I was an MDS nurse as an LPN for 12 years. I just graduated as an RN in May. I went back to school to get out of the MDS job. In all reality, I made way more money as an MDS LPN than I do as a hospital RN. BUT, I was STUCK. I could go nowhere and make the same money without returning to school. Even now, I don’t make it but I am working my way through the 1 year of acute care experience so that I can go anywhere. I am getting old. I may end up back in MDS but there was an awful feeling of being stuck there with no options if something else happened or I wanted another opportunity. Take this first year and do your acute care time. You can go anywhere from there. In all honesty, the red tape, the regulatory responsibility of MDS in the State Survey process… it gets to be more and more and where I worked, there was no relief. I did it in the last 6 years alone in an 87 bed facility with 36+ Medicare unit. No assistance, no one to allow me vacation. PPS meetings, care plan meetings. All of the care plans and updating for the building. It was a crazy responsibility hence the return to school. Consider carefully.