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MS in Biology

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MS in Biology

Postby Beth F. » Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:21 pm

I am considering pursuing an advanced degree in biology from the University of Nebraska Kearney, which is offering an online, non-thesis MS in Biology. My background is nursing (nurse practitioner); I have a Master's Degree in Nursing. I currently work in the public health area (state) and am planning on retiring out of state government within the next 3 or 4 years. Although I am in the "older" age group, I do not see myself sitting around in retirement watching TV. I worked for many years oler adults, some with dementia, and know the best thing you can do for your mind is to keep active and challenge yourself. I do not want to return to clinical nursing. I enjoy teaching (have experience) and would like to teach sciences (biology, A&P, micro, etc) at the junior colleg or undergraduate level. Anyone care to comment on my plans? Thanks in advance.
Beth F.
 

MS in Biology

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:07 pm

Hello Beth,

I hated seeing your post languishing on the forum, without a response. I didn't answer it earlier because I personally do not know the nursing area well.

An online program such as the one you described may be great for those who are into "lifelong learning," as many are. I've taken some online courses on topics that just interest me personally, and for which I will never get any kind of reward. Similarly, you may find that this course gives you a lot of "updating" on your knowledge of biology, which is a good thing, but it may not open a lot of doors. Anyone who is "non standard" isn't going to have an easy job search. The usual person coming from a MS degree has done the thesis and is a young person ready to go into an entry level job. Employers are ready to hire such people. It may be more difficult for an older person to land those same jobs, and you may not want them anyway, because you've had some additional life and work experience already.

The field of clinical trials is one that people pursue with backgrounds like yours. Companies called "CRO's" -- Clinical Research Organizations -- sell their services to pharma companies, device companies, biotech's, etc, and they run clinical trials. Many of them are staffed by nursing professionals who have a strong knowledge of biology -- so, this training may help you there.

But, if you'd like to teach, there is a trend now for Community Colleges to train biotechnology workers. I don't know if this has reached the community colleges in Nebraska, but it certainly could in the near future. Community Colleges are vitally important for the future of the industrial life sciences, because they can quickly bring people up to speed for certain kinds of jobs. They hire teachers with backgrounds like yours.

In short, I think your plans are fine but you'll need to hold out some realistic expectations about the job search afterwards.

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MS in Biology - Example of CRO

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:27 pm

You'll hear the expression "CRO" on this website a lot. It is a major category of employer in the clinical field.

Beth, I mentioned CRO's in my note to you, and there is one in Nebraska by the name of JFJ Research Services

The link above may be of interest,

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