Hi all, sorry for the long post.
I'm new to the forum and have several questions I hope you all can help me with. First a little background info:
I'm a 37 y.o. married male with one small child at home. I'm also the sole financial support for my family. I currently work in healthcare, though not in a clinical position, so I have no patient interaction at this time. What I have discovered is that, more and more every day, I want to be on the other side of the equation. In other words, I want to work with people and help them directly. I have been contemplating this for a while now, and realize I'm not getting any younger. It's time to make a choice and start the learning process needed.
My first problem has been that I'm fairly well paid now (about 88k), so it's really hard to pick something that I feel will continue to allow me to support my family in the manner they've become accustomed to. I figure I'm pretty much limited to MD, PA, or advanced practice nursing of some kind. Also, being in a director level position now, I've become spoiled by having a significant level of autonomy and don't think I could be happy in a position that did not allow that.
Obviously, I'm giving considerable thought to going the CRNA route or I would not be here, but for some of you other mid-career job changers, why did you pick CRNA over say, MDA? From my perspective as someone who will have to spend years prepping for entry to either, I'm not convinced that going the MDA route would not be better for me. The way I look at it, I will actually have to spend an additional year prepping for a BSN (or even an ADN), than I would if I simply take the needed science classes I'd need to prep for medical school.
I am concerned that I could spend considerable time and energy to prep for medical school, only to be turned down. I had thought that the CRNA route might be easier for me to make it through, but from reading some of the posts here, entry to the CRNA schools seems just as competitive and coursework just as difficult as med. school. It this a true statement?
One other note: Since nursing school would require me to quit my job for essentially 2 years, and most CRNA programs are in the 27-28 month range, it would seem to me that I would actually be out of work LONGER
to go the CRNA route than the MD route. What are your thoughts on this?
Shifting gears a bit, what can you tell me about student loans? My wife is convinced that one can only get loans for tuition, books, etc., yet I've seen postings here that lead me to believe some people have essentially lived off loans. Can one really get student loans sufficient to live off of? Would it be possible to support a family this way?
Next question: Forget CRNA schools for a moment, how competitive are BSN programs? If I go this route, what can I do to increase my odds of getting in? Do you think my being male is a help or hindrance in this regard?
Finally, what are the prevailing thoughts on UT Arlington as a nursing school and Texas Weslyan as a CRNA school? Since these are local to me, They would be my preference.
Thanks in advance for the replies, and thanks for all the other great information on this forum.
Nov 18, '02
Thanks all for the great advice! I'm definately leaning more toward the CRNA route right now. (In fact, I just registered for A&P I for the spring semester.)
Any thoughts on Texas Wesleyan as a CRNA school? Good school? Bad school? I've been focused on it as it's about 5 minutes from me as I type this. I don't want to find out later that I would regret going there.
One other question: I touched on this before, and I've seen some other postings about male inequality in nursing, but I was wondering if any of you think it's easier or harder for males to get accepted to BSN programs? Any thoughts?
Thanks, and feel free to keep the advice coming!
Last edit by Scott_T on Nov 18, '02
Nov 19, '02
quality of life? Consider, that my wife and I were earning in excess of 120K per year in the mortage industry via our small brokerage. However, there were downsides to this scenario including but not limited to:
1. Having a rapidly changing (for the worse) regulatory burden always hanging over our head making each year SUBSTANCIALLY more difficult, just to almost stay even.
2. Working AT LEAST one hundred hours per week EVERY week with almost no days off and absolutely no vacations.
3. Being in an incredibly sales orientated field, despite having about the most anti-sales personality possible (thus in order to enjoy whatever success we had we had to work all the harder).
4. Being unable to purchase an individual health insureance policy due to my two hundred and forty pounds on only a six foot frame and because it was a small business not being able to purchase group coverage.
5. Having the constant threat of an IRS, FHA/HUD, or state audit hanging over our heads at all times.
6. Having little possibility of "transporting" our business successfully to where we wished to live (Hawaii for me, Fiji for her, but even being a CRNA doesn't offer a legitimate opportunity to work in Fiji but just MAYBE we could someday have a boat and sail/motor there from our Oahu home!).
7. Facing every month as a tablau rasa with nothing even resembling a guarentee that we would close even one loan THAT month. Indeed, loans would often involve weeks of work only to fall apart at the last minute with no compensation, just part of the business.
8. Having very little hope of ever escaping that vicious cycle.
9. Not being able to exercise our intelligence much at all beyond regulatory compliance.
Thus, for me the prospect of becoming a CRNA however remote, offers at least some hope for a more normal life. If you told me that you would pay me 100k per year with reasonable benefits, and security at a job where I would work on average less than seventy hours per week; well I would agree to stand on reasonably hot coals and be flagellated with a whip every hour on the hour just for the opportunity.
Last edit by Roland on Nov 20, '02