Anyone get into nursing as a second career? Was it a good choice??

  1. Hi,

    I graduated from college (BA degree) last year only to find that there are hardly any jobs in my field exist for recent grads. After 9 months I finally found a decent job (full-time anyway), but my department is constantly being reduced in size. They tell me no one lasts more than 2 years here, no matter how well you do your job. Professionals who have been in this industry for 5+ years are loosing their jobs and, in most cases, aren't able to find another one in this field.

    I've been told that nursing is the field you want to get into now for stability and good pay. This is something I've been interested in for a while, but I like having a regular schedule. Plus, when I was in school I was told that careers in my field of study were easy to come by, paid well, and that need would greatly increase by the time i graduated. Well, that certainly didn't happen

    Has anyone gone into nursing as a second career? If so, was it a good move? I know everyone's experience will be different, but any advice I can get will be greatly appreciated!

    I've found an accelerated nursing degree program (BSN) that looks promising. I was a science major for a while, so I know I can do the course work and I have the time now to take a year and a half to complete the degree. I just want to be sure that nursing is a stable career where it's possible to find jobs that don't require you to work nights (I have medical problems that would prevent me from working nights) and at least make enough money to pay off my student loans.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   bunrab
    nsg is a second career for me. first was for ibm, then i was an exotic dancer, and when i started getting too old for that, i became a nurse. the beauty of nsg is you can do so many different kinds of nsg and can work just abt any shift you want, altho days sometimes takes a few years to get enuf seniority to get to days.

    there are 8 hr, 12 hr, baylor (wkend only) and per diem (when you want). it can be a terrific career choice.
  4. by   maxcat
    I'm considering getting my ADN also, as a second career. First career was environmental field (have a bio degree, and an MS). It pays poorly, jobs are fairly scarce, and the schedule is generally inflexible (very 8-5ish). So, you're certainly not alone and Ill be interested to see what others say!
  5. by   JaneyW
    38 years old. BA in psych. 1/3 of an MA is marriage family child couns. ADN degree at age 35. I will be starting an MSN to be a nursing instructor in January. It was the best thing I have ever done. I LOVE being a nurse (most of the time! ). There are many jobs and the money is good but you definitely earn it. It is flexible and all else you have heard. If I were you, I would try to shadow a nurse for a shift or two and make sure. This is easy to do even with a full time job as we work 24/7. Good Luck!
  6. by   maxcat
    btw, I meant that my *former* field was poor paying, etc.. not nursing!
  7. by   2bnurseguy_2005
    I too am considering a change in jobs..I am a recent college grad in 2004 and work in IT and regret entering this field
    I realize I want to work with people.
    I am torn between Nursing and Education....I see alot of Nursing jobs open BUT I dont want to work night shift..I do that now and it is the worst thing EVER

    Whats the good thing and bad thing you career changers have about nursing?
    Im a guy BTW and I dont think there are enough guys in nursing

    But I been wondering if I should go for ADN or BSN...I think I could get into an ADN program quicker and then do an BSN. I do want to teach so maybe I could get a MSN and teach as well
  8. by   manofletters
    BA in elementary education. I was told by the school that there are lots of jobs...especially for males. So I graduate and find out that there are like 100 applicants for every position. And the icing on the cake, HOSTILITY towards men in elemetary teaching (out of the mouths of principals...all men BTW). So I had a 3.7, impeccable credentials, accolades from teachers and peers, and for two years...no job!!! So, this last summer, after shadowing a few times, I signed up to complete my prereqs and just sent in my application.

    I went into nursing for one reason...to take care of my stay-at-home wife and kids. So yes, the money and opportunities was my only motivation. I make no apologies. And for all of you who will quickly judge me, my dedication to my family is stronger than your dedication to a job you enjoy. I didn't really care if I liked it or not. To put my family before myself and a selfless act of sacrifice. What could be more honorable than that?

    Having said that, yes, I discovered that, at least thus far, I love nursing. Bonus.
  9. by   VickyRN
    I would estimate that at least 50% of the students in our ADN program are second-career, some with bachelors and masters degrees in another field. Others come to us after years of working in a trade (manufacturing, real estate, etc.), since many jobs in our area have gone south due to NAFTA (and now CAFTA ). The second-career students are generally very focused and have an element of maturity due to life experiences that many of the generic students do not possess.
  10. by   grimmy
    [font="book antiqua"]i graduated with a bsn when i was 38. i had already had 2 careers and 3 degrees: the first career didn't have enough work to provide any security, and i hated the second one. the third's the charm! what helped me the most in nursing school was my previous life experience! i was also willing to work at things that the younger set was not. you have a lot in your favor - and look at the age thing this way: you'll be older whether you go to nursing school or not, but if you do go, you'll be older and wiser.
  11. by   ZootRN
    Having Bachelors and Masters in Communications, I can finally say that after getting ADN in Nursing, I am going to land a job.
    Should I say more?
  12. by   SecondCareer?
    Quote from nurseguy_2005
    I too am considering a change in jobs..I am a recent college grad in 2004 and work in IT and regret entering this field
    I realize I want to work with people.
    I am torn between Nursing and Education....I see alot of Nursing jobs open BUT I dont want to work night shift..I do that now and it is the worst thing EVER

    Whats the good thing and bad thing you career changers have about nursing?
    Im a guy BTW and I dont think there are enough guys in nursing

    But I been wondering if I should go for ADN or BSN...I think I could get into an ADN program quicker and then do an BSN. I do want to teach so maybe I could get a MSN and teach as well
    I can see why one might be torn between nursing and education... there are many parallels. I've been a teacher now for seven years and LOVE it... however, now that I'm a Mom, I want more flexibility in my schedule and not to have to sign a contract each year (you're locked in if you're no longer happy!) In nursing, I don't think I will have piles of paperwork to do at home on my own time. I have my M Ed + 30 hours, so that puts me at the top of the pay scale now with no opportunity for advancement unless I want to be an administrator (and I don't). And no, really GOOD teachers do not have the summers "off." We continue to read, study, attend conferences, work on state committees, etc.

    Furthermore, I think in a lot of nursing situations you have short-term relationships with patients - not nine months - which is soooo long with grumpy/uncooperative parents and students.

    Did I mention that I will earn more money? From what I've read, I believe that I could walk into a nursing job out of school at my current pay rate - around $20/hr - and go up from there with a BSN, which is where I'm thinking I'm headed.
  13. by   NursingStudent08
    this is a very interesting thread...i thought i was the only one in this situation. i graduated in 2004 with a ba in public relations and have gotten absolutely nowhere with my degree. i've had the hardest time finding a job of any kind. i plan to actively pursue nursing as a career, not only for the job opportunities, but because this was my first love before i changed to pr. :angryfire

    i have a sincere interest in helping people and contributing to the betterment of the human race mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. i am definitely going to follow my heart this time and will walk across the stage with a bsn in hand!

    thank you all for the inspiration
  14. by   jollygreenRN
    This is my second career, first was US Army for 12 years, German Linguist. East Germany went away and so did my job, I was offered retraining in Arabic!:uhoh21:

    After having just returned from Desert Storm in 90-91 (don't ask me WHY the Army needed German lingists in Iraq) IU finally ended my service in 1993.

    After a year of unemployment in WA state, I moved back home to KY as a single dad, and got a job within a month as a corrugation supervisor in a cardboard box mfg plant. Talk about a job that sucked like a hoover! Got the heck out of there. A good friend told me about nursing ADN courses, so I went back to school. One year to finish up my prereqs, and was accepted into 3 different nursing schools. Finished up in 3 years, and love it. No more living in tents, having people try using you for target practice, and great benefits. Love my job too, at least most of the time!:chuckle

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