career change, looking for advice.

  1. Hi there,

    I'm looking at moving into nursing. I currently hold a BS in Computer Science, which you may have heard is the employment touch of death these days, but am looking at moving into nursing. Specifically, anethesia.

    From what I've read, not many people switch INTO nursing. As a matter of fact, there seems to be a mass exodus away from nursing.

    Being as how this decision will effect the rest of my life, I've got a TON of questions. I'd really love it if I could get some help from the people on this board.

    The most obvious question I have is, "What is driving people away from Nursing?" Why would I want to go into nursing, when so many other people are leaving?

    Another question...when I went into Computer Science, they were handing jobs out like candy. If you could switch on a computer, you had a job. Four years later, there's not a job to be found. If I invest the next four - six years of my life into nursing/anesthesia, is the same thing going to happen? Will I come out of anesthesia school only to find that there aren't jobs availabe anymore?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but those are the two biggest. Thanks for your insight!!!

    --Ryan
    •  
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   nilepoc
    Ryan,

    I hate to be brief, but I am pretty busy right now. But I have a similar story, i am very computer literate, and while I did not get the degree in CS, i did pursue one and then switched to nursing specifically to become a CRNA. Do some searches for my posts and you will see my story. I say go for it, the jobs will be there, especially in the fields you need to become a CRNA. BTW look into programs that do not require you to get a BSN, and will accept your prior bachelors. i do not personally know which ones allow that, but there are some.

    Craig
  4. by   jed
    Ryan--- Like Nilepoc said go thru his post and others and you'll find tons of info about everything about CRNA. To answer your questions what drives some nurses out of the field is due from low pay, manage care, bad management, stress...others, this I believe some of the major ones; however, there are many places that you can work with good pays...good managements....you just have to find it....I am sure there's plenty of them.
    As for CRNA, I wouldn't worry about getting a job later, believe me there's plenty of them, shortage will get worse 5-10yrs from now, as the old batch will be in retirement. So go for it ! Follow what your heart says. Have fun reading the old post
  5. by   smiling_ru
    Did you go to VT. Saw the hokies reference and wondered.
  6. by   hokiecsgrad
    Originally posted by smiling_ru
    Did you go to VT. Saw the hokies reference and wondered.
    Indeed!! =) GO HOKIES. Yes, we did whoop up on BC last night. Yes, we ARE going to the national championship this year. =) And next year. And MAYBE the year after that, if Mr. Marcus Vick doesn't go pro.

    --Ryan
  7. by   MK2002
    hokiescgrad,

    I have a strong background in the technology industry, including a CS degree. Some advice I can give you is to NEVER choose a career because of seemingly lucrative high wages or employment shortages. Those attractions tend not to work out over time for one reason or another. Instead, you should pursue a career because you truly want to do what it involves. Remember that this is not something you are going to do for a short while and then abandon if you cannot handle it. You must put in years of preparation and assume high debt. Think of your own classmates in CS. How many of them failed because they did not have the dedication that you did? I saw plenty of them fail at some point when I was an undergraduate. A few of them even abandoned CS at graduation time, having pursued it merely because they were after a good paying job involving easy work. When they discovered it has its unpleasant side, they could not handle the thought of employment in the Information Technology field.

    Concerning shortages, I want to go against the crowd on this point, something that is very difficult to do. However, as someone in my mid 40's I have made a few important observations during the past 30 or so years, going all the way back to Nixon's first term as president. Whenever there has been a labor shortage in a given career field it ends up going away sooner or later. The current crowd has not understood this simple fact, partly because many of them are too young to have such experience. In the past similar labor shortages also seemed to offer an infinite demand that could never be eliminated. Instead, the crowd kept yelling for more recruits. Beware, I say. I have seen it happen before all too many times. The crowd has no memory afterward. There is a window of opportunity that eventually passes by. When you run for the opportunity you are taking a risk, not pursuing a certainty, as some would have you believe.

    Lastly, I am leaving my technology career for healthcare because I am tired of technology (25+ years), and I want to do something that has a closer connection with people rather than abstraction. I currently have a good paying dream job in tech. Most people would do anything for my job. I did not get there overnight. It took a lot of work AFTER graduation. I understand your struggle. When I was a new grad I had to work for a few months at $7 per hour doing something that was basically data entry. It was hard work making it up the ranks. But last year I earned about $90,000. The same opportunity is waiting for you, if you want it. Choose carefully, and make your decision based on what you really want to do, not necessarily on what market conditions and the crowd are telling you to do.
  8. by   hokiecsgrad
    Originally posted by MK2002
    hokiescgrad,

    Lastly, I am leaving my technology career for healthcare because I am tired of technology (25+ years), and I want to do something that has a closer connection with people rather than abstraction. I currently have a good paying dream job in tech. Most people would do anything for my job. I did not get there overnight. It took a lot of work AFTER graduation. I understand your struggle. When I was a new grad I had to work for a few months at $7 per hour doing something that was basically data entry. It was hard work making it up the ranks. But last year I earned about $90,000. The same opportunity is waiting for you, if you want it. Choose carefully, and make your decision based on what you really want to do, not necessarily on what market conditions and the crowd are telling you to do.
    Let me just say that this is not just some flippant decision. I have struggled and struggled to find employment in my area of expertise. I came right out of college with my own company ( I was making about $60k / year during my senior year of undergrad ) which ran for a couple of years, until the big technology bust. It went under about this time last year.

    I've been unemployed ever since.

    I have spent a lot of time considering my current skills and education, my potential education, time investment v career payoff, etc...The conclusion that I have reached is that I am willing to invest another six years into education in a field with a high potential for financial security when I've finished.

    This decision would certainly spark enthusiasm from my family. Nursing has a long history in my family, so it's in the blood, so to speak. Yes, I CAN do it. I know I can. Will I like it? Will I have a passion for it? Who can say? I'm willing to take the plunge, as I have NO OTHER PROSPECTS. Really, makes the decision a lot easier.

    My father has been a CRNA for a long time, and he doesn't have a passion for it. He doesn't even necessarily like helping people. As a matter of fact, he doesn't even seem to like his job that much, but he does it and he provides for his family. And he spends a lot of time doing what he loves on his time off. Doesn't seem so bad to me.

    I do have a gift. I can connect with people very quickly. I have a way of making them feel at ease. I can talk to them, no matter if they're wealthy, poverty stricken, old, young, fat, thin, male, female. I know people. And, deep down, I have a desire to help my fellow "man". I want to give back.

    As most of my family is in health care already, I know a lot of the challenges they face, but they all say that it is very rewarding, in the end.

    --Ryan
    Last edit by hokiecsgrad on Oct 12, '02
  9. by   MK2002
    The key to success in technology is mobility. Without it you have a much smaller chance of achievement. There is no other way. I had classmates who moved 2,000 miles for their first job after college graduation. When I made my last move--the first of several--I simply packed up and moved 1,200 miles away to Dallas, a place I had never seen.. Now four years later I work on a network with thousands of Cisco routers. I knew nothing about routers when I made that decision 4 years ago. This is the kind of dedication it takes to get to the top in technology. You cannot sit by and wait for opportunities to come your way. Others will take them before you do.

    If you don't have a passion for something you are beginning, then you should not expect it to appear miraculously later. Don't try to convince yourself that, "It will all just work out." While it is very good that your family can explain issues and concerns, any enthusiasm should be in yourself from day one. Your decision must be your own. Example: my career decisions were different from all my direct family members and relatives, and I became more successful than any of them. Success came from the drive to be the best at something I was genuinely interested in, not because I looked at salaries.

    In ending, from your post it seems like your mind is made up regarding your direction, so good luck in whatever you ultimately decide. Hopefully, what I have written has made some sense, not only to you but also to others reading my words.
  10. by   Brenna's Dad
    It sounds like you have thought this out rather well. Perhaps, better than i did when I started nursing at the age of 20.
    In retrospect, I was rather naive about the nursing profession. Of course, it helps if you have nurses in the family who can explain it to you. I did not.

    I don't think nursing is a bad choice, but it is definetly not for everyone. First and foremost, bedside nursing, (which you will be participating in) is very difficult work. You are on your feet for the majority of your 12 hour shifts. Some of your fellow men, who you want to help, have a habit of getting under your skin during this period. And you cannot simply leave or ignore them like the rest of the hospital staff.

    While working in ICU to gain your experience, you will see the terrible tragedy and sickness. Since your working in close quarters, you will be exposed to all manner of contagious diseases. You will be responsible for "cleaning up" various bodily fluids.

    I would suggest that anyone thinking of nursing spend a day shadowing one. It is important that you realize what the job entails before taking the plunge.
  11. by   MICU RN
    I agree 100% with Brenna's dad's post, many people get into nursing thinking it it is almost like being a doctor. And if you become a NP or CRNA that is true to a certain extent. However, bedside nursing is nothing like being a doctor, you do plenty of grunt work, follow orders, wait on the patients and do aid work. If you seek autonomy and want to primarily use your brain and not your back you probably will not enjoy bedside nursing. So if you think you can handle that while your in nursing school and in the ICU until you can get to anesth. school go for it. But make no mistake you will pay your dues at the bedside.
  12. by   hokiecsgrad
    Thanks for all the input. I've got a meeting with the head of the Nursing Department at Radford University in about an hour that I'm really looking forward to. The information I pull out of this meeting will hopefully be the last of my unanswered questions about nursing.

    As far as the grunt work goes, I can honestly say that it's not something that I'm really looking forward to. =) I like to work with people on a one-on-one capacity, but I also like to be appreciated for my work, and I know how unappreciated bedside nurses are. I guess there is a bit of selfishness that goes into wanting to help people...

    --Ryan
  13. by   smiling_ru
    I am homesick now. I grew up in Blacksburg. It's been too long since I have been home.

close