Career switching advice

  1. Hello all:

    I am currently working full-time and taking nursing prereqs in the hopes of applying to an accelerated program this fall for admission in January 2008. I have a prior degree and after getting internship experience in my field (engineering) I decided that I did not like the office environment and needed something more fufilling and hands-on. I've been doing quite a bit of research, volunteering, shadowing and talking to as many people as I can to learn as much as I can about this field. I feel like I don't want to make the same mistake twice (getting back into school and getting a degree that I don't want to use) so my question to anyone out here who can give me some advice, wisdom, or tips is this:

    Do you ever really know for sure if you want to do something until you actually get into the field? I feel like in order to really go for something sometimes you just have to jump in and get your feet wet (basically nothing will substitute for your experience) but what else can I do to figure out if this is right for me?

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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   luvschoolnursing
    No, you never really know, but one thing in nursing is you have so many opportunities to work in different areas using the same degree. After getting into nsg. you will hopefully find your niche. Good luck!
  4. by   Spartan05
    Quote from luvschoolnursing
    No, you never really know, but one thing in nursing is you have so many opportunities to work in different areas using the same degree. After getting into nsg. you will hopefully find your niche. Good luck!
    Thanks! What areas do you have experience in?
  5. by   firstyearstudent
    I second what the other poster said. Nursing is wide open. It's not just about being at the bedside. It's also an entry into the healthcare field. For instance, you have an engineering degree, did you know that many hospitals are doing Six Sigma?
  6. by   hunnybaby24
    Hi, I am in the same boat you are in, I have already gotten my bachelors degree (not in engineering). Everyone I have talked to says basically what others are saying, you really don't know until you try. I think thats for every career. You really don't know until you are really in it to say if you like it or not. Hopefully, you have patience, caring, and are a positive people person, but only you know, right?

    Good luck in your endeavours!

    HB
  7. by   SBCspBR
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']I'm going to quote something I recently heard from a school advisor where I'm taking my nursing pre-reqs: "the average American will change careers at least 3 or 4 times in a lifetime." When he stated that I found some peace inside me, because I was kinda feeling guilty of basically throwing my previous degree in a trash can. Then I had a chance to speak with a couple of nurses who said I can still utilize portions of my knowledge even if I become a nurse. I believe everything is worth trying. You can never have too much education. Besides, you'll always have your engineering degree, in case you want to go back to that field in the future. Good luck to you!
  8. by   purplemania
    Again, nursing is so diverse there is no way you could be bored or misfit unless you give up too soon. You will learn a lot about yourself while in nursing school as well as a lot about nursing. So give it a chance unless you are totally freaked about blood, caring for people and working hard.
  9. by   luvschoolnursing
    I worked med-surg and all the various units you go to with prn while my kids were little because of the flexibility of the shifts. I now work in school nursing. Regular shifts, summers off, less money but a good trade off.
  10. by   I_am_Julia
    In my opinion, one doesn't really know if a specific profession of interest is for them until they are engaged in it, be it internship or employment.

    I am a career changer too, so I understand your apprehension.

    Quote from Spartan05
    Hello all:

    I am currently working full-time and taking nursing prereqs in the hopes of applying to an accelerated program this fall for admission in January 2008. I have a prior degree and after getting internship experience in my field (engineering) I decided that I did not like the office environment and needed something more fufilling and hands-on. I've been doing quite a bit of research, volunteering, shadowing and talking to as many people as I can to learn as much as I can about this field. I feel like I don't want to make the same mistake twice (getting back into school and getting a degree that I don't want to use) so my question to anyone out here who can give me some advice, wisdom, or tips is this:

    Do you ever really know for sure if you want to do something until you actually get into the field? I feel like in order to really go for something sometimes you just have to jump in and get your feet wet (basically nothing will substitute for your experience) but what else can I do to figure out if this is right for me?

  11. by   mom and nurse
    Hi Spartan05 - It's interesting you said you have a degree in engineering. I work with a 60 something year old gentleman who worked for years as an engineer. Then later in life received his nursing degree. He once told me at one point he was doing both. Engineering by day and nursing in the evenings (I'm assuming part time). Yesterday evening a patient's family was asking for him to compliment him because their mother had spoken so highly of him they wanted to meet him. He is retired from engineering now and works as an RN part time on the weekends and watches his grandkids on the weekdays..... (One thing about nursing..... even if we receive our degrees in our 40s or 50s someone somewhere will hire us). Nursing is very flexible and many of us come from different backgrounds. In other words for many of us this is a second career.
  12. by   VIXEN007
    I know an engineer who decided he wanted to go to D.O. school. He made it. Quite a few Orthopedic surgeons had engineering degrees. They even use their engineering experience to design instruments or devices for patient care.
    I think you should pursue it. There are a lot of things that you can do in nursing. Maybe you could be a consultant and help design devices. I was in a different field and I realized that I had never thought of nursing, but only medicine.
    When I researched nursing, I realized that I could become a Forensic Nurse or even, a nurse coroner. I have a 4 year degree and an MBA but I am getting an ADN. After that, I will pursue the RN/MSN. Maybe someday a PhD in nursing. I talked to nurses as part of my research. Some were encouraging and some thought I was crazy for going a route that will involve a paycut. If you really want it, you believe that the rewards will make up for any loss in earnings.
  13. by   tropicbound
    Spartan05 - go for it. I switched from being a software project manager to nursing (just graduated) and it's by far the best thing I've done outside of family. With the volunteer work and shadowing you've done, you'll have an idea of what's involved in patient care. Best of luck!
  14. by   swartzrn
    I've always been a nurse with only that education but when I was in high school, I planned on attending engineering school (electrical.) Circumstances changed and I didn't go to college right after high school but when I finally did start to college, I was thinking criminal justice. At any rate, I eventually decided I wanted to be a nurse and here I am.
    The field is WIDE open. Some people decide right away that's what they want to do (or any career) and stick to it their whole working time. Other's change several times. Just depends on the person. I figure I will stick with nursing although I do not plan to be at bedside my whole career. Not sure what I want to do but I'll figure it out. There's a nurse who works with me now who has a degree in some kind of computer management and did not like it--went onto nursing school and loves it. My husband, also for another example has done all of his business degree classes and hated every second. He's in the Army (infantry) and getting ready to start RN school in the Fall. Big change! You'll figure it out. Some people even get into nursing school, graduate, start working and hate it. Good luck!

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