When I graduated HS, I pursued a teaching career. I loved teaching and I had been an off-campus TA my senior year and the staff all agreed I'd make a wonderful teacher. I pursued that education, with emphasis on Child Development so I could teach preschool while in college. Then hubby joined the military and I stopped school to follow him across the US. I continued to teach preschool while we started a family. My degree was only 1/2 complete and hubby was deploying for 6 months. His salary paid the bills but NO extras and we had just moved to a new state. I decided to go back to work to keep me occupied because being alone with a baby and no adults to talk to, no support group, no money would drive me out of my mind. I wanted a job that paid for more than just daycare so I ditched the preschool job and joined the business world as a secretary.
I eventually worked my way into a Business Analyst role and it pays the bills comfortably. I used to joke that I would pick up my teaching career when I could afford a pay cut because we all know teachers don't get paid well and are lacking in job security. Then it donned on me one day.....that "joke" really isn't funny. I was 30 and putting my dream job on hold. I had once had a job I loved. It didn't pay well, but I felt whole and satisfied. I now had a job that paid well but I was stressed out and unfulfilled when I went home. I'm selfish enough to want both ---- pay me well AND let me be fulfilled.
I still didn't think teaching was the best avenue for me so I started really analyzing (Business Analyst here) the different aspects about teaching that I love. I also analyzed my current job and those days that are really "good" days. I wanted to see if other jobs may have those same aspects that I find self-rewarding. A light-bulb came on glaringly bright! So bright, it amazed me that it had never occurred to me before.
I want a career in which I know I have a direct, positive impact on another person's life. It's really quite simple, actually. Nursing provides that - and a salary comparable to (and slightly higher) what we're accustomed to today.
It took me 5 years to complete all of my pre-reqs since I was working full time and going to school part time. My last pre-req will end in a few weeks and I am already enrolled in a summer CNA course. I have my TEAS practice book and my list of schools to apply to. I'll be applying to RN programs at 2 state colleges and 4 JCs. When I complete the CNA course, I'll look for a per diem job in which I can pick up occasional weekend shifts because I still need the business job to finish paying off one more credit card bill. But, when the RN program starts next year, I plan to work as a CNA while going to school full time.
I am really looking forward to working with patients. People gripe about CNAs doing the "crap" jobs, no pun intended. But, our patients need us. I may go home exhausted and some days will be better than others, but I have no doubt, I will going home knowing I had a "direct, positive impact on someone else's life".