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I have wanted to be in the healthcare industry since the 7th grade. (I did the Heimlich maneuver on my little sister on thanksgiving that year) A very long time ago. I will be 32 before the end of the year. I made exceptional money in my last career. I was making 32 to 49 an hour, and only worked 8 to 10 months a year. But my heart was never in the right place. I could feel that I was missing something. So I went back to school, acquired my CNA cert, and started from scratch. I begin my first medical job as an ED tech on May 6th. SO EXCITED!!! If given the opportunity to do it all over again, I would not change anything. I have a house that will be paid off in a few short years, and I have a wonderful family.
I literally gave up a career that paid good money to be happy in my life.
This is the direction I wanted to go in life, and I'm not getting any younger, so it was time.
When I was young I actually wanted to be a doctor. So once in high school I took a CNA course so I graduated with my CNA and a baby. Then I had 2 more children all back to back. Working as a CNA and was cross trained as a MA I decided I love it, but would like to further my education (finally!). I was 21 when I started college and it took me 5 years to finish my pre-reqs for the RN program. I have 5 kids and took it really slow. I was accepted for the RN program for fall 2013, so excited. I don't have the time now to become a dr, but I would love to get my ADN and further that someday. I would love to become a nurse midwife someday. I love helping people and making a positive healthcare experience for them. I am very compassionate and enjoy everything about it.
My dad was my reason for becoming a CNA. When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I spent the summer taking care of him, it made me realize how much I loved caring for others and thought I would enjoy doing it for a living. I'm glad I went with my decision because it's like I turned a negative, my dad getting ill and dying, into a positive. What a wonderful way to honor his memory, by using the experience to help others that are in need and suffering.
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".