Career switch - from 6 figure salary - page 2

Just wanted to share my situation for those of you who are thinking of changing careers -- you are not alone! I currently work in the IT field and make 108k a year (in NJ). I have a 5 month old... Read More

  1. by   futurenurse01
    some please help!I have been reading all the posted comments on the site in regards to the career switch. I am a full time student who is aspiring to become a nurse but I also have a love for teaching. my heart and mind are both torturing me causing me great confusion in making my career decisions. I'm posting this because I don't know any nurses who can give any real advice on the nursing perfession. The people I do know in the medical field are CNA's who think I should become a nurse because the salary is good. I really don't know what to do and I'm just looking for someone to place a little light on the real situation of being a nurse, I would like to know the good, the bad, and indifferent.

    Thank you in advance to all that reply.
  2. by   angel337
    melly, i know you are reading all these posts and thinking nursing is the worst job you can have. just understand that everyone has their own opinions and own experiences. i work with plenty of nurses (including myself) who worked the "normal" job for years of monday thru friday 9-5 and they had the same problem youare having and now they can't even imagine another "normal" job. well it didn't work for me. i was more tired then than i am now. i personally think nursing is the most flexible job you can have. especially with a family. all nursing is not back breaking. there are plenty of options in nursing as you may know already. don't let the negative comments discourage you. if you only see your child 1.5 hours a night you have every reason to be concerned, but like someone else said, don't do nursing for convenience only. if nursing was so horrible so many nurses wouldn't be doing it. no one puts a gun to our heads to take care of patients. we all have choices. you know what is best for you and your family.
  3. by   blueinplaid
    Nursing can be flexible. I worked 12 hr nights, three days a week and for the most part, and had the days I needed off by self scheduling or trading days. Yes, the holiday part stinks. Every hospital works differently it seems. The one I liked the most required two major holidays a year and alternated each year. (i.e. if you worked Christmas and New Years one year, then you had Thanksgiving off and vice versa the following year.) We also only worked 8 hr shifts during that holiday so everyone had the opportunity to spend some time with their families. You could also plan what you would be working the following year and trading holidays were usually an option as people had their own family celebrations at different times. I am a traveler in pediatric intensive care and have found many emotional rewards for my care. There are of course the bad days, but aren't there any place? Every hospital is different. There will be good hospitals and not so good ones; Managers who support and appreciate her nurses, and others who don't. You can find the flexibility that you're looking for in nursing. It isn't that difficult and there are many hospitals out there.

    All the best and kudos for choosing to be with your family.

  4. by   LPN4Life
    Quote from futurenurse01
    some please help!I have been reading all the posted comments on the site in regards to the career switch. I am a full time student who is aspiring to become a nurse but I also have a love for teaching. my heart and mind are both torturing me causing me great confusion in making my career decisions. I'm posting this because I don't know any nurses who can give any real advice on the nursing perfession. The people I do know in the medical field are CNA's who think I should become a nurse because the salary is good. I really don't know what to do and I'm just looking for someone to place a little light on the real situation of being a nurse, I would like to know the good, the bad, and indifferent.

    Thank you in advance to all that reply.
    Why not have the best of both worlds, a School Nurse position?


    I think nursing is great, you can try out several different specialties until you find your niche'
    Most places are wonderful in working around family issues. I've never had a problem with getting off requested dates that I need, usually I can switch with someone else if need be.
    Nights worked great for me because I didn't need a babysitter, I would sleep when my hubby got home about 4 hrs, I am able to spend more time with kids and that is what it is all about.
  5. by   LPN4Life
    Quote from melly06
    Just wanted to share my situation for those of you who are thinking of changing careers -- you are not alone!

    I currently work in the IT field and make 108k a year (in NJ). I have a 5 month old baby girl, who I only see for 1.5-2 hrs at night during the week, then on Sat and Sunday. That just isn't enough for me. I have decided to switch careers and become a nurse. I am going back to school in Fall. It should take me 2 1/2 years. If all goes according to plan I will take the boards Dec '06.

    I have been mulling over being a nurse for some time. The IT job just doesn't satisfy me. Though the $$ is great, I feel that if I have to be away from my daughter I should be doing something more rewarding and fulfilling. I must admit, the flexible hours are a huge draw as well. As a nurse I would work 2-3 nights a week, and be able to spend my days with my daughter -- no daycare necessary! Plus, NJ has lots of opportunities for nurses.

    I would like another child, but want to make sure I am at least done with my final class before giving birth. They would end up 3 yrs apart, but I don't want to risk not being able to finish school - especially with the investment we will be making (savings runs out after a year - so we are in for loans and any part time work I can get at night to try to make up some of the difference).

    We have a lot to work out, but I am taking it one semester at a time. I think going back to school to be a nurse takes 100% committment - but the good news is at least in the beginning I'll see more of my daughter going to school (taking Chem and Bio first semester) than I do right now working fulltime and commuting 1.5 hours each way!.

    Anyone who is in the same boat and would like support or has any questions, feel free to contact me!

    Melly06

    What would it hurt to at least try it, its not like you don't have an IT job that you can fall back on if you don't like the hrs, and it's not what you expected........Just the commute alone would have me looking for other jobs.
  6. by   Dixiecup
    Quote from HUP RN
    My advice is :Stay in IT profession! Nursing as not as flexible as you think. The job is extremely hard and does not pay near as much as IT jobs. As a nurse and a mother of a 1 yr old daughter I have tried to work weekday nights, so I could stay home with my daughter. I did not feel safe sending my child to daycare before she turned at least 1 yr old. After working a 12 hr night, I came home so tired that I just was not able to care for my child! My solution was to work a weekend program. My husband stayed home with our daughter, so that I could work weekend nights and sleep during the day. This was beneficial for our daughter. But not for our family. I feel that I have missed out on having a time with my husband and daughter as a family. By working weekends and holidays I have missed all the special events and all the family functions. Now that my daughter is 1 yr old I am looking for a day care for her and a new job for myself. If I were you, I would stay in IT profession. My husband is an IT professonal and I envy his normal hours and weekends he has off. My husband's employer allows him to work from home when necessary. Talk to your employer and maybe you could balance out your work and family time.
    P.S. I find it very hard to believe that you would trade 6 figure salary job in air-conditioned office, sitting on your fanny all day long and having a 1 hour lunch breaks for working 12 hr nights running on your feet with minimum or no breaks and a 60% salary cut on top of all! GOOD LUCK!
    :hatparty:
    I have been viewing this website for several weeks now and just kind of sitting back and listening. Trying to get my nerve up to reply. (isn't that stupid, like anyone can actually see me or even know who I am!) And then all of a sudden, today I'm going wild! Anyway, regarding the post--I totally agree with the above poster. Prepare yourself to switch from steaks to hotdogs on a regular basis. As far as flexibility, there isn't any unless you are financially able to work just because you want to. ( I personally don't know anyone like that but it sure would be nice.) Have you thought of your daughter's future on a nursing salary vs. your six figures? This part is really none of my business but It would seem that you could provide for and offer a better education oportunity with the six figures. Just my thoughts!
  7. by   bbear
    Melly, if your calling is to help others (as well as have more time for your daughter), pay no attention to the nay-sayers. If you go into nursing and love it but the money does end up being a greater concern than you had anticipated, there are certainly ways you can increase your earning power in the field. CRNAs make well above what you were making in the IT field, and it is not all that uncommon for Nurse Practitioners to be making $80k-100k per year--or more. Do it first because it is your calling. Do it second for your daughter. Do it last for the money. But if you need to make more, you can.

    Just a thought--with your professional background I would think that you could go into nursing informatics. That would enable you to apply your past experience to the nursing field and you might also be able to use that past experience to earn more out of the gate.

    Best of luck to you!

    Brian
  8. by   bbear
    One thing I forgot to mention, Melly.

    I too was in your position. I owned my own business and made close to $150k annually. But I was miserable. One day my then 8-year-old son came home from school, rather despondent. He had hit the 2nd grade doldrums and had all but lost his enthusiasm for school. I proceded to lecture him regarding the importance of doing well in school now, whether he was enjoying it or not, so that he would one day be able to realize his dreams. My son soaked it all in, looked up at me, and asked, "Dad, what was your dream?"

    Of course, I felt like a complete hypocrite. My dream had always been to go to medical school. But I had let the daily demands of my life sidetrack me. So I thought a lot about my conversation with my son. Eventually, I worked up the courage to approach my wife to tell her I wanted to go back to school. I fully expected her to kick me to the curb. She was a stay-at-home mom and we were solely dependent upon my earnings to survive. But I was pleasantly surprised when my wife not only supported my returning to school, but said that she would go back to school with me.

    I ultimately decided not to attend medical school. The demands of time for doing so would have been more than I was willing to endure. I have 6 children and I do not want to miss watching them grow up in order to chase my own dreams. So my wife and I are still in school. I have 2 years left and I will have my MSN/ACNP certification. I intend to attend CRNA school following that. We live modestly, but comfortably. Surely we have made many financial sacrifices, but you can't put a price tag on the lessons we're teaching our children by our example--that one must always be true to their heart, and that it's never too late to do the right thing.

    Money isn't the most important thing. Follow your heart, Melly. I've not once regretted my decision.
  9. by   Soonstudent
    Sometimes I'm not really sure why I'm chosing nursing, weather it's something I just want to do, or just the convenience of the profession. I do know that I'm not happy with my currrent job, and I need a change, and I've always been facinated with the medical field. The point is, listen to the advice, then make your own mind up, Just follow your heart.

    Good for you bbear!


    Quote from bbear

    Money isn't the most important thing. Follow your heart, Melly. I've not once regretted my decision.
  10. by   ginger1023
    but if we truly search of what is most important to us we usually make the right choice...
    Money talks ..money means a lot and it will buy almost anything...but truly "FAMILY" is what we can count on ...
    so if you have to make a choice between time for your family and being with your kids ..or money in the bank...
    I vote for family ...
    but remember if you are use to the kind of spending money it will be hard to adjust ..and once the money is diappearing you might wish you had stayed ...
    but time spend with your kids when they are young is more then you can ever earn in money ...and the pay off in later life cannot be measured in gold...
  11. by   peaceful2100
    Why should the OP stay in a postion that makes her miserable?? I truly admire the OP for having the heart to say she is NOT happy in her current position and she wants to change.

    I have been a R.N. for only 7 months and out of school for a year and since I have been out of school I started working on the med-surg floor I currently work on now. I have flexibility on my job. I am able to trade a night if I need to. At my job we only have to do 1 major holiday and 1 minor holiday per year. I only have to work a TOTAL of 3 weekend nights a month. Not every other weekend or anything like that. I literally got to choose my schedule and I can even change it now if I wish. I guess part of that is the fact I work on a med-surg floor and they are desperate so it may not be the same on other floors that are more competitive.

    It may take me a day or two to really catch up and become normal again but I have so much more freedom to volunteer at my daughter's school, go on her class field trips, go and help her teachers out. If I had a Mon-FRI type of job it would be harder for me to do all that especially considering I don't see as many parents in my daughter's class who work Mon-Fri up at her school and they said they wish they had more time but they had to work.

    Money is defintely a big help but it is not the key to happiness. If the OP is willing to make some cut backs to spend more time with her family then I say GREAT!!!!!

    Yes, she should realize that if she plan to work nights then she better have child care lined up.

    The plus side for the OP is the fact that she has her IT knowledge. So she can choose to intergrate that into nursing or if she finds that nursing is defintely not for her then she can go back to IT.

    So to the OP do what you feel is best for you and your family and what feels right within your heart. You never know unless you try. Some people go into nursing and find that it was the best move they had ever made for them and their families while some don't. That is going to be the case in EVERY field.

    I personally may never be rich, have a fancy car, or fancy house but I am comfortable. I live pretty decently, able to provide for my daughter as a young single mom, and able to buy decent things and save money. The financial rewards may not be as nice as someone in other fields but in the short time I have been a nurse the emotional rewards and other rewards I have received has far exceeded any financial rewards I will ever receive in my life.
  12. by   Town & Country
    as well as job security
    JOB SECURITY?

    Did I miss something?

    I've never had any job security. Everyplace I've ever worked plainly states on their app they can fire you without notice.

    I am in an "at-will" state.

    There is no job security. If there is I haven't seen it.
  13. by   TiffyRN
    If nursing is the calling of your heart, then go for it. I haven't seen people happy who go into nursing for the money (obviously not your motivation) or better hours or anything but nursing being what they want in their heart.

    It seems your will have more time for your family but you might need to realize that the time will be defined by the hospital or floor for which you work. I have seen too many new nurses crying when the holiday schedule comes out and they realize that no one can go out of town for holidays because they are expected to work either the eve or the day of Christmas, New Year's and Thanksgiving. Adjusting to never doing things with their extented families because their weekend schedule never seems to line up just right. And here's one to think about. . . Nurses on my unit that are in their family-making stage actually plan out how to get pregnant in a way to make their due date right before the end of year holidays so they can get off for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    You can make it work for your family to give you more time with your family. I do however see much grief from others I work with as they struggle to spend time with their families. Some nurses only work one night in a row at a time because they figure they can go without sleep for one day anyway so they can continue to provide care for their young children at home.

    As some others have said, working per diem or agency will give you much more flexibility but one can't often start out in such a position and hours are not guaranteed. I worked per diem for a couple of years and really loved it.

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