New Teacher Wants to Become a Nurse: Advice Please!! - page 4

by teacher1986 34,388 Views | 39 Comments

hello, i am new to this forum and would like some positive help. i am going to just put my thoughts out there for you and they may become jumbled. please forgive me!! i know that there are some posts like this one and i have... Read More


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    I truly feel all the teachers out there that decide to make a "career change" to nursing, because you are burnt out, my question is, do you really, truly, have the heart to become a nurse??? The passion? I have been an RN for 28 yrs, went to school right out of high school...got my CNA in high school, to be hired after graduation, while i attended nursing school. Surely anybody can study "pre-reqs", have a 4.0 gpa, apply and finally get in, but it truly takes more than that. Have any of you even stepped foot in a clinical setting besides visiting relatives or friends??? Will you be able to tolerate patients throwning up on you, you being up to your elbows in feces, a stage 4 decubitus ulcer you can put your fist through draining MRSA??? Thats the reality!!! Book knowlegde has very little to do with that on a day to day basis, to an extent. Nobody cares about a GPA once you hit the floor. As you can see, I am very very passioinate about my profession, and I hate to see people, just think its something simple to do, just because you see $$ advertised, for working 3 12 shifts/wk, as a career change.

    After reading the many post on this thread, I could not help but add my 2 cents. I truly love nursing, but feel its more to it than getting into a program, just because you have the smarts, and already have a bachelor's in education. However, good luck and much success!
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    Hello RN in FL. I can't speak for anybody else out there, but I am actually still teaching part time while attending nursing school. I really like nursing and i have always wanted a job in healthcare. I am a specialized teacher and it is hard to get a fulltime job teaching one subject without having to do quite a bit of other stuff so for me it made sense to become a nurse and now i can balance both part time in the future. Call me crazy but it will work and I am pretty excited about it, and I will be doing everything that I really want to be. Going back to school fulltime and not having a full time job to pay my bills has definately not been an easy way out if that is what you mean, I want to help people and know I am making a difference every day, no matter how difficult my day may have been. I think some people on here thinking about switching are just very frusterated with their situations, not thinking nursing will be easier or an easy way out but that it just might meet some of the needs people have out of a career but we know it is not an easy job. So far I am really enjoying my program!
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    Hi JayMar23. Applauding you for being in nursing school AND teaching!! I am glad you are enjoying your program. I truly wish you success and smooth transition into our world.
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    Ok so this post is old but I found it by chance while looking for something else and decided to put my story in too.
    I went to school for public health and while I was there I also got a degree in Spanish. I went on as a grad. student researching with various projects and teaching health 101 in return for my tuition and monthly stipend. I actually had 2 emphasis areas of health administration and nutrition and ended up with a MPH. I graduated early at the age of 23 and tried to get a job where my mother works as a nurse so I grew up around nurses and thought of it while in school but I really wanted to work in something like epi or disease control and had every intention of returning for a Dr.PH
    in international health. I have the same degree as the man that is over the entire southeast well known company for health care so I thought I would just walk right in and he told me that while I have the credentials I am too young to manage nurses and a clinic at this time so come back after I have experience.
    Ok--no problem right? well I tried to find a job in administration and various other positions with my degree and Spanish and heard nothing back where I lived. I would have moved off to work but my now husband was still in school getting his phd so I had to stay close.
    So I went to a college job fair one day on campus right there in March and there were tables for high schools all over the place..I got curious and talked to one of the adminstrators for a school and they offered me a job to teach Spanish on the spot. 45,000 was hard to turn down when you barely have 14.00 to eat each week.
    I took it and knew I had to add 4 classes to keep being re-certified and eventually certified fully.
    I did it. Taught Spanish 1-4 for 7 years..on the 6th year I was miserable. I agree with every single teacher post here. It is not an easy job. Many days my job was very rewarding and I like teaching. I never really complained and had a wonderful first 2 years until no child left behind kicked in and my spanish classes were turned upside down with students that could not write on a 1st grade level. I am not knocking these students but I have no experience or training to teach special needs students. I was supposed to have a special ed teacher in my classes to assist but they never came. Not one class and not one day in 5 years as they were supposed to. The regular students made fun of those students so discipline issues went up as I will not tolerate the torture of other students by students in my class. Administration has so many leashes they wear they can't really do anything for some cases. As my experience grew my time after school was less and handling situations were easier. The first 3 years I spent an average of 500-1000 on my classes due to copies that need to be made that they make teachers pay for, class supplies or things I do personally for students. My summers were short like theirs and full of meetings or training programs which is not that big of a deal but it is a myth that teachers get the entire summer off or work until 3 only. I like working so hours are not a problem for me but I am not paid for any intense effort going into my job and never thanked as most jobs that serve the public are thankless

    I found myself wishing I had waited out a job in healthcare like I originally wanted to do so I can start a new chapter in my life doing something I really wanted to do so I talked to my mom and the man I talked to those years ago about working in health care. He advised me to become a nurse. He said with the MPH and Spanish I would make a great nurse and could eventually end up in administration or research easily. I am not sure I would like to do administration but rather something like my mom does and loves. She works with patient education advising patients on their options after losing function of their kidneys. She has worked all the jobs in nursing including directors positions and loves what she does now without the stress of being in management so I feel I will like the same or ortientation programs, research hospitals or just simply nursing to work with patients. I enrolled in a RN program that had nights and weekends and could not be happier with my decision and will finish next year. I am already in love with my classes a year in and appreciate the challenges I have to go through. I love the girls I am in it with too.

    Teaching is a great career if you are cut out to teach. You are the first line with generations of tomorrow and who they will be. Before people become teachers they know that it is underpaid and overworked and many leave before 5 years are put in because of other reasons than just pay or hours. I believe that any former teacher will make a great nurse as they both have to have compassion, understanding, patience, intelligence and a great work ethic to be good at their job. If you were a teacher you already are able to multi-task, be responsible for the well-being of students, perform multiple roles daily, easily conform to change and quickly, handle tough situations, deal with confrontations and remain calm as well as remain professional at all times, be willing to keep up your certification with countless seminars that 95% of the time you will pay for, assess situations and respond quickly, handle criticism daily and last but not least work long hours with no pay or a thank you.
    If you are teacher considering this leap of faith and have the ability to work with healthcare and it's own set of complaints then I say do it. I agree with other people who post here..do not do it for money because people will be able to see right through you and it will show in your job performance. Please do not do it because there many jobs in nursing and you think it is a way out or attempt it if you cannot handle the sight of blood or have no interest in the human body and it's diseases. I am 100% sure this is why A & P is required with a C or better for most programs because if you can't handle it whether it be the level of difficulty or the site of body parts then you will know right off and there are still many health care career options out there for you. Remember that nursing is equally demanding if not more than teaching just in different ways so if you were looking for a less stressful job you have chosen wrong.
    Good luck to anyone thinking of it and don't hesitate to do what makes you happy!
    lindarn likes this.
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    This is a great topic and I am so glad this thread was started. I have been a lurker here for over a year and have been considering nursing. I haven't been able to land a K-12 teaching job here in Georgia for 2 years (except as a preschool teacher). I moved here from another state and even though the state I came from requires 1 year of graduate school in addition to a BA for a teaching credential (Georgia is just a 4 year degree), I can't even get an interview here. I did get a job as a Pre-K teacher for half a year and I hated almost every minute of it! The job was at one of the national chain daycare centers which are independently owned and operated. The owner had no childcare background and only wanted $, the director was a horrible person (regularly- daily lied to parents and staff), reports were not filed when children were hurt so the center would not get in trouble, ect............. The money was lousy, but I needed a job and thought at least I would get experience, a little paycheck and a great reference. I knew within a couple of weeks that getting a great reference would be impossible from these people (lied about the reasons other people had left). The turn over was crazy (1/2 of us were brand new) and 1/2 the employees left when I was there. Anyway I ended up spending over $1000 of my own money to run the themed curriculum properly. Even in Preschool we had to write 3 page lesson plans daily and reports sheets for each child, every day. 1/2 of the curriculum had to be based on the theme, which we were given no materials to cover. So in order to not have to lie to parents on the daily sheets, I ended up having to buy lots of product (you can only make so much) to honestly do what the center required. I ended up spending between 1-3 hours more a day in my classroom than paid for and plus nights at home prepping materials. Then I would spend weekends writing lesson plans and curriculum. They gave us no curriculum (just told us themes that we had to use) so we had to write it all from scratch. Then I would work 8 hours a day paid (not including the unpaid overtime) without a break or lunch. Not uncommon for a teacher or nurse, but I had no helper and you can never leave the kids, ever. I would have to call the front so they could watch my kids when I needed to go to the restroom and the office workers hated to have to come give "potty breaks." Sometimes I would have to hold it for hours and hours! I ended up not drinking water or fluids all day so I didn't have to go, plus you weren't allowed to have drinks or food for yourself in your classroom. Supplies were a hot commodity. At one point they accused me of stealing trash bags and paper plates (all items I bought myself and had receipts for). Anyway, when I left they accused me of stealing items from the classroom and refused to pay me my last paycheck. That was the thanks I got for all the unpaid hours and my own $ spent. URGH.... I am 40 years old and had never in my life had such a horrible work experience.

    Anyway. That one teaching job just about ruined me and I don't think I can go back to teaching. I have the potential of being a great teacher, so after all the hard work it is really hard to just walk away. The kids & parents love me and all my supervisors/master teachers only gave me fantastic reviews. I am in college now to take a class that I need to convert my out of state to an in-state degree. It cost so much to attend school for the one class I had to take a full course load just to make it worthwhile ($3,000) for the semester. Anyway I feel horrible spending so much money on my teaching career. The fifth year of grad school cost me almost $20,000 to get my teaching credential. I feel like I have wasted so much money, time, effort and emotions on a job that I do not want to do anymore.

    So I am thinking now about going ahead and starting to take my pre-recs for nursing school. The above teachers have posted all the problems with education now. I know that nursing has it's own challenges, like every profession! At least you don't have to buy supplies for your patients, get overtime paid, and don't have to work constantly on your days off. To be a good teacher you constantly have to work. Even when you are not physically working, you are thinking about the next bunch of things you have prepare. It becomes an all consuming job and you never have time for yourself. I think with nursing you would have your days off. My friend is a nurse and she sews, exercises, cooks when she is not at work. She says the days are really long. Her biggest complaint right now is that the hospital is doing lots of customer service programs that is making her job harder. What do other nurses think?

    The only thing that is stopping me from perusing nursing as a profession is the job situation. I am afraid the same thing will happen to me that happened with teaching. I do think it is because all of my network/references are out of state. It seems here on this forum that is the most common reason for people not getting new grad nursing jobs, because they have moved after getting their nursing degree. Do you nurses agree? What is the job market like in Georgia. Nurses I know say there are jobs here, especially if you have connections.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Hi Isabunny did you get my private message?
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    I did beebop. I will send you a private back. Thanks for responding. Appreciate talking to someone in teaching-nursing.
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    Beebop,
    I am new to posting on this site and haven't found out how to send the PM yet. I am a long time lurker, but just started posting. As to your message, I think my particular situation with teaching is not the norm. I ended up working for some people who were not honest. However, all the teachers I have ever known, including music teachers, spend lots of their own money for supplies. It is normal to spend $1000-$3000 a year on supplies. In the K-12 classroom you do make more $ than in preschool (preschools pay poverty salary) so it's not quite as bad to spend money for your students. I taught 4th grade in a public school and I had to constantly bring pencils, paper, markers, ect... It was in a poor school district. I remember at one point teachers had to bring in toilet paper for the staff bathrooms because the school ran over budget on janitorial supplies and couldn't buy TP. Now not all schools in the US are the same. There are lots of schools that are doing OK budget wise. Usually they are in wealthier areas. My own children go to some great schools. However, all the No Child Left Behind Laws, Raise to the Top, and a host of other problems, have made teaching really difficult here in the US. However there still are some teachers that are in really good school districts and doing just fine. It just depends on where you work.
    lindarn likes this.
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    you are required to spend 1000-3000 of your salary? what happens if you dont? What if your mortgage and student loan payments and groceries take up your whole salary and you can not afford to spend any at all? I am just curious because i know i could never afford to do that.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Beebop
    I wouldn't say you were required to spend it but sometimes the school books you are given to use are 8+ yrs old and you would like to provide updated info or study charts, worksheets..etc. Many schools have decided that with the 100-500 they give teachers each year for classroom materials that they will get some of that back by making teachers pay for their own copies. Our copies were 5 cents each. I had 197 students on average each year so if I make many copies at all it finishes my budget. I just signed every dollar over to the school and made copies or borrowed from other teachers. At the same time you are paying for copies you still have to buy your own expos or chalk, pens, supplement materials or anything you can think of seeing in a classroom down to staples. If you are lucky the teacher before you will hand you down something but lucky me walked into a brand new position with a bare walled room. Our curriculum director expected a colorful and inviting room from each teacher. Posters that promote learning, decorations or whatever else you can think of. I paid 50.00 for a roll of paper to cover the bulletin board that had been there for no telling how long...older than me for sure. No teacher would donate any because they hoard their own supplies because they too paid for them. The school expects you to be creative and inventive and think outside the text..so in order to think outside the text with activities that means you will have to bring something else in plain and simple. So in a way..you will be spending money. Now if you are like me, you had a car note, student loan repayment, apartment rent, credit card bills (ran up trying to make it in grad school--I know it was dumb) gas to get to work that was over an hour and a half one way, food, you know the rest..and I was on my own because I had no help from parents nor my boyfriend at that time because he too was struggling in his own degree when I finished ahead of him. I ended up having to move to closer to the school and live alone because gas was too much and they volunteered me to take over the dance team which practiced daily. I was told if I didn't take the dance team ...do not expect to come back to work next year so you can imagine the gas I spent just to see him on the weekends but it was better than everyday.
    So it is no wonder that many teachers get tired of all of this before the famous 5 year mark. Most teachers quit by their 5th year or before. I have met nurses turned teachers so I guess it goes both ways and just depends on what you really want. If you really want it you will get it and be happy you did. I recommend that any teacher quitting just try to find a way to keep up the certificate so you don't have to re-take all those exams to be re-certified and you can always fall back on what you did before to make ends meet if you find it is not for you..if you don't try you will never know and you are never too old to go back to school if you want to.
    Last edit by holli_80_73 on Dec 8, '11 : Reason: added
    lindarn likes this.


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