I'm also a second-career nurse; graduating from school at 36. I left a Supervisor position at a major hospital here, to attend school. Second year into school, I went back to that hospital and worked as a nursing assistant, and when I completed my first Med/Surg rotation I got promoted to nurse tech.
I did not stay on my floor when I graduated, simply because I didn't like the management!! It was a miserable place to work. I relocated to a smaller campus, same hospital system and LOVE my unit. I work on an Ortho unit and I don't have those new grad horror stories about seasoned nurses "eating their young", being left alone to fend for myself, or not being able to take a coffee break, pee or eat my dinner. I just came off of my 11 week orientation and go it alone starting Tuesday. I feel TOTALLY ready and know I have support if I get stuck or if a patient goes bad..
You have half the battle won already as far as finding a job. You already work in 2 hospitals!! Meaning ample opportunity to make connetions and you get access to their "inside" job postings! You're VERY likely to find a job after graduation. The majority of the folks I graduated with that have jobs now, already worked in the hospital while in school. Those that didn't are either still searching (we graduated in April) or they're working in nursing homes. Speaking of nursing homes...that's the field that I would NEVER work in. I love the old folks, but it drives me nuts when my patients don't know who they are or where they are. It's sad and frustrating as a nurse.
I have 2 daughters I would definitely encourage them to work in the medical field. If they were truly interested in hands-on, nurturing type of work, I would encourage them to be nurses. If they wanted to go into medicine because they liked the science of it all and weren't as inclined to do bedside care, I would encourage them to go the PA or MD route. Nursing is HARD. It can be chaotic and stressful. That's the truth. But on the right unit, with the right coworkers, it's an interesting job and can be lots of fun interacting with patients. You really DO make a difference!
I am VERY proud to wear my blue scrubs
and have RN on my badge. It always makes me chuckle that when I'm out shopping after work and have my scrubs on, random people that I don't know always talk to me. They tell me personal stuff, or they just start chatting. Nurses are the NUMBER ONE trusted profession in the US. I'm proud to be a member of this profession!!! You will be too!! Good luck to you!