Nurses and/os retired, or former Teachers!!!!! Help PLEASE!!!!!

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    Hi! I am having the most difficult time deciding between teaching and nursing. I am a current Teacher, and have all my nursing pre-reqs done! Can anyone (even if you're not a Teacher) please tell me who is preferably a mommy, what your RN schedules are like? Everything always has this conception, that Teachers work the best hours! FALSE! We work from 7:30am to 3:30pm, but we stay for several (unpaid) hours after work, grading work, preparing lesson plans, etc. Not to mention the take-home stacks of paper work, and the numerous hours we spend to brain-storm to help prepare for prosperous crafts, lesson plans, etc. I understand nurses work 3-12s. But I would love to know I am getting paid for those hours, even if it's 3 days straight. I can leave the work at work, and then have days off after to re-collect. What I'm getting at I guess, is, what job is best for being a mom! I LOOOOOOVE both equally, nursing and getting help to save lives and learning about medicine is just intriguing to me. Molding the minds of little ones to grow up and be my future is also intriguing to me. I love both equally. They both have pros and cons. I am burned out as a Teacher and I feel that my weekends go by WAAAAYYY too fast!!!! Is this the same case for nursing? What about holidays, is it hard to get Christmas off? Any insight would help, thank you all.
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    Quote from RNBevy
    Hi! I am having the most difficult time deciding between teaching and nursing. I am a current Teacher, and have all my nursing pre-reqs done! Can anyone (even if you're not a Teacher) please tell me who is preferably a mommy, what your RN schedules are like? Everything always has this conception, that Teachers work the best hours! FALSE! We work from 7:30am to 3:30pm, but we stay for several (unpaid) hours after work, grading work, preparing lesson plans, etc. Not to mention the take-home stacks of paper work, and the numerous hours we spend to brain-storm to help prepare for prosperous crafts, lesson plans, etc. I understand nurses work 3-12s. But I would love to know I am getting paid for those hours, even if it's 3 days straight. I can leave the work at work, and then have days off after to re-collect. What I'm getting at I guess, is, what job is best for being a mom! I LOOOOOOVE both equally, nursing and getting help to save lives and learning about medicine is just intriguing to me. Molding the minds of little ones to grow up and be my future is also intriguing to me. I love both equally. They both have pros and cons. I am burned out as a Teacher and I feel that my weekends go by WAAAAYYY too fast!!!! Is this the same case for nursing? What about holidays, is it hard to get Christmas off? Any insight would help, thank you all.
    Teachers do at least get the summer off to be with their kids (provided they are not in year long school programs).
    Most hospital based nurses are only allowed to take a maximum of 2 weeks off during prime time (summer) vacation time.

    Many nurses do not work 12 hour shifts. Working day shift can also involve rotating to another shift as well as working weekends and holidays. Nurses don't get snow days. They also do not get all of the other school celebrated holidays off that their kids do. If you work in a hospital, expect to work half of the holidays you have off.

    Getting Christmas off if it is your holiday to work or taking the week off to be with your kids who are out of school? Good luck with that. The same with spring break week if you are low on seniority.

    Nurses are also expected to go in on their days off for meetings and inservices. It doesn't matter that you are in the middle of a week of nights and the meeting is at 2PM and you live an hour away.

    Someone on the next shift calls in? You might be staying over. Patient codes toward the end of the shift or you have a busy night and get behind? You stay until you get done (at least documenting and delegating anything else).

    If you are looking for a job that maximizes the number of hours you can spend with your kids; those weekends, holidays, snow days, and summers off associated with teaching look like hours you won't find in nursing.

    If the hours don't matter and you're up for a new adventure each day, nursing will be that and more. Good luck in your decision!
    RN2bBevy likes this.
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    Quote from enuf_already
    Teachers do at least get the summer off to be with their kids (provided they are not in year long school programs).
    Most hospital based nurses are only allowed to take a maximum of 2 weeks off during prime time (summer) vacation time.

    Many nurses do not work 12 hour shifts. Working day shift can also involve rotating to another shift as well as working weekends and holidays. Nurses don't get snow days. They also do not get all of the other school celebrated holidays off that their kids do. If you work in a hospital, expect to work half of the holidays you have off.

    Getting Christmas off if it is your holiday to work or taking the week off to be with your kids who are out of school? Good luck with that. The same with spring break week if you are low on seniority.

    Nurses are also expected to go in on their days off for meetings and inservices. It doesn't matter that you are in the middle of a week of nights and the meeting is at 2PM and you live an hour away.

    Someone on the next shift calls in? You might be staying over. Patient codes toward the end of the shift or you have a busy night and get behind? You stay until you get done (at least documenting and delegating anything else).

    If you are looking for a job that maximizes the number of hours you can spend with your kids; those weekends, holidays, snow days, and summers off associated with teaching look like hours you won't find in nursing.

    If the hours don't matter and you're up for a new adventure each day, nursing will be that and more. Good luck in your decision!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! This definitely gives me more insight. Maybe grass isn't always greener. Like I said, they both have their pros and cons. And by your description, I guess I'll be at home doing work, but i'm definitely at least home with my family!!!!! Thanks again!
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    I was a teacher for eight years before I quit to go to nursing school. I said I wouldn't miss the summers off, but I did, and my kids most definitely did. I never worked in a hospital setting; I worked private practice, 8-5 Monday-Friday for two years after graduating.

    Last summer, I accepted a school nurse position, and absolutely love it. I'm off when my kids are, don't take work home, and leave promptly at 4:00 most days. The pay isn't as good as hospital pay, but it's more than I made in private practice, and I am paid with my previous years of service. I get teacher retirement, and can wear what I want to work.
    RN2bBevy likes this.
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    Yeah if you want to do hospital nursing, that is one thing. But there are a lot of other kinds of nursing including clinic/dr. office/outpatient surgery/home health/etc that are not 24/7 jobs where you can potentially get holidays and weekends off. Just something to think about
    RN2bBevy likes this.
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    At least as a teacher, you didn't carry a 6 million dollar malpractice insurance policy. And on late night TV you don't watch commercials for malpractice at every turn. (And yes, nurses do get pulled into malpractice cases as defendants.)
    RN2bBevy likes this.
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    I only work 60% which at my hospital is two 12 hr shifts a week. In my area, I make more money working 2 days a week than a lot of my friends working full time including teachers. My unit also self schedules, in order of seniority. We take turns working weekends/ holidays. I get Christmas off because I sign up for New Years. I often schedule my shifts so that I have 5+ days off in a row. For me, this is the best schedule for my family. We also take call 1-2 shifts per month which means I work 3 days that week but my 3rd shift is OT! I know not all nursing schedules are like this but maybe you could find something like this. I can't imagine ever working 5 days a week again!
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    Quote from 87RN
    I only work 60% which at my hospital is two 12 hr shifts a week. In my area, I make more money working 2 days a week than a lot of my friends working full time including teachers. My unit also self schedules, in order of seniority. We take turns working weekends/ holidays. I get Christmas off because I sign up for New Years. I often schedule my shifts so that I have 5+ days off in a row. For me, this is the best schedule for my family. We also take call 1-2 shifts per month which means I work 3 days that week but my 3rd shift is OT! I know not all nursing schedules are like this but maybe you could find something like this. I can't imagine ever working 5 days a week again!
    ALL the advice from previous comments is awesome and good to know. But I really love knowing this as well. This is awesome!!!! 2 days, still making more. And I heard you can schedule yourself to get even 10 days off if you schedule yourself right through the early week to the next later week!! This is awesome! Thank you!
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    It is! I rarely use vacation time because I just adjust the schedule to have as many days off as I need. For instance my oldest child is starting kindergarten next month right after his birthday so I took off a week for his birthday (going on a mini vacation), took off his first week of school so we can adjust together, I work that weekend then am off for his second week too.
    I also meant to add that although the paychecks are more, I forgot to take into account that teachers have the whole summer off which I think balances out the pay. Another way some of my coworkers do it, their spouses have a job with benefits so they just work per diem, which usually has a higher hourly pay but it depends where you work and how many shifts are available. Also some of my coworkers prefer to work nights because it works with their spouses schedules and they sleep during the day while their kids are at school.
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    Had some other thoughts re teacher vs nurse careers. I believe most teaching positions are Civil Service. That usually means some rather nice Civil Service benefits. They usually are union-negotiated so they are attractive to many non-union, non-teachers. I can think of PTO for educational seminars and conventions. Good health care benefits, good pension or retirement programs, credit union, UNION REPRESENTATION for disciplinary issues, tuition assist etc. You get a lunch period! If the school is closed for Blizzards or Hurricanes, you don't have to go in either (yes?).

    Some nurses have spouses whose own benefits cover the family. Nice if that occurs. but what if it doesn't or if it significantly changes?

    Now I know over the years, some of these benes may have shrunk, but with the unions, they prob remain much more attractive than what's avail for nsg in today's penny-squeezing healthcare industry.

    Your desire for flexi-time will have to be weighed along WITHthe other conditions under which nsg functions.

    You'd also have nsg school with which to contend. Acceptance is not guaranteed and the school work is HARD, plain and simple. Then passing NCLEX and becoming licensed is another obstacle. And the most difficult (at least accdg to my perception) will be your job search to snag that elusive first position.

    Reading posts here on AN you can see the loooong searches after graduation (even for the great students). And with the trend in healthcare today, you'll most likely need to go the BSN route. You most likely will have to start in the trenches, like a military private first class, front-line bedside care before you have the possibility to move on up to the more favorable positions (and those with seniority). And then advanced education is becoming the norm for higher level positions.

    Nsg is 24/7, 365 days/yr. If you are lucky to catch a position that is time-flexible, you still don't have TRUE flexibility. If your little kiddo has the sniffles, taking the day off might not be an option. Nor will it be so when you are scheduled to work when schools are closed for snow/rain.

    Hate to be a Debbi Downer but folk who look to nsg as a second career really need to look with eyes WIDE OPEN. Nsg is a unique species unto itself. The only other professions I can closely equate with it is law enforcement, corrections and air traffic controllers. We all NEVER CLOSE.

    I know you were specifically looking at time/scheduling flexibility issues, but there are many more issues to consider.

    Good luck on making a realistic decision.


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