Is nursing your second career?

  1. I decided to go back to school to become an RN after a short career in sales and retail management. My first degree was in a Bachelors in Communication. I've noticed a lot of educational programs recently catering to second degree students. I am just wondering about any others out there who went into nursing as a second career. What was your first career and why did you decide to leave it for nursing? Also do you regret it or do you think you made the right choice? I believe that I have opened up a whole new world of opportunities now that I am an RN, however I often wonder what if I stayed in my first career and was it worth it.
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  2. Visit LeLeeFNP profile page

    About LeLeeFNP

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 231; Likes: 56
    Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in ICU, CVICU, Surgical, LTAC

    32 Comments

  3. by   maxcat
    I'm taking my prerequisites this year, and hope to start nursing school next fall. I am 37 and have a MS in environmental science. I worked in that field for 4-5 years, and have been a SAHM for the last 6 years. I need a job that is flexible with lots of opportunities, and better pay. I worked as a CNA this summer to make sure I could handle the work. I have no regrets so far-I do know that I'd regret *not* pursuing this! I've been thinking about it for 5 years, and I finally have the time to go back to school.

    I enjoyed my former field, but I can't say I was super passionate about it. There are few job opportunities in my area as well. I was pre-med as a college student and have a biology degree, so it's not a huge stretch to go towards nursing.
  4. by   redraider1977
    32 here, was in insurance sales for 4 years. Tired of sales and idiotic managers. Always interested in healthcare, but couldnt handle the high level science and math for MD. Got my Bachelors in history, was in law school for a yr but just wasnt for me. Excited about new opportunities, flexible schedule and OVERTIME.
  5. by   zephyr79
    I am 30 and in my last semester of prerequ's for the nursing program this fall. Before I changed careers I had worked as a retail manager for 6 years, insurance sales and Business to business sales. I have always loved science and never went on to finish my degree bc I never felt like anything was my calling. I always thought nursing was different then what it actually is and to be honest never though of myself as a "nurturing person"! So when the owner of the companny I was working for decided to close my branch I decided that I didn't want to go back into another job that I disliked! Took a cna job (huge pay cut) and had initially decided to go for radiology tech. But as I discovered the true meaning and feeling of it I knew this is what I wanted to do! So here I am changing careers to get my RN and I know that there is so many opp's at there for me know and I feel Like I can actually enjoy the rest of my life! So I do not regret leaving my field of work. I absolutely love working 3 12's it gives me time to pursue hobby's, travel and be with my family while feeling like a made a difference in someone's life instead of feeling stressed bc I didn't make my sales quota or pressure someone into buying stuff they don't need! I feel so blessed to have discovered this career!
  6. by   nursestudent1975
    Wow, it's nice to hear of other people in the same boat! I'm 34 and my background is in real estate sales. I kinda miss it but it is soo hard in this economy these days. I began to realize that nursing was exactly what I was meant for. I've majored in everything from pre-vet to psych but never wanted something soo bad. I wish everybody the best of luck. I began pre-req.s fall '08 and I just feel like it's taking forever. Probably because I'm not so young .
  7. by   LeLeeFNP
    diva you sound just like i felt. I hated the pressure of sales. it was such a thankless career that makes you feel like you are nothing. Nurse student, I know what you mean about feeling old. I am 28, but a lot of the people i went to school with were fresh out of high school going straight into nursing. sometimes its difficult when i meet nurses that are so much younger than i am or the same age as me but they have been nurses for years. I sometimes hate that i didn't go into nursing first. I would have been so much more established by now. although my first degree helped me get through nursing school faster, i still feel like it was a waist of time. with all the schooling i have done i could have been a doctor by now, but i'm just getting started.
  8. by   Mikessa
    I am 42 years old and never had a career. I had been on disability most of my young life and unable to work for many years. I have done odd jobs and also got a diploma from a technical school as a teachers aide, but never got a job in that field. I have been in and out of school since high school, had a lot of majors from geology to pre vet, pre med, civil engineering, and even nursing at one time until a family member died. I am currently in a two year school working on my prerequisites for an Associate degree in pre nursing known as a direct transfer agreement. I will be graduating this year and attending Bozeman in the fall. I chose nursing because it runs in the family and I want to make a living. I just finally gave up and said that this is the last time I am going to school, major in something, and get a collage degree.
  9. by   zephyr79
    Angel I think having had another career and being more mature makes us better than the younger ones! I get what you mean about wishing you had discovered this first, bc there are days I feel that! I wish I knew back when I was 22 what I know now! However, I feel that bc we had worked in different fields you really know what is you want and really do appreciate our jobs more than the younger ones who has no other experience. I also feel that having prior skills and education is a plus. In some fashion down the line it will become usefull. Such as dealing with different situations with co-workers, patients and the potential opps. I am considering doing travel nursing down the road and I think that my negotiating skills will insure that I get the best contract ect.. No education and experience is ever a waste!
  10. by   JulieCVICURN
    I have a BA in film/video post production and worked as a project manager for many years before staying at home with my kids for 8 years. At 37 I went back to school for nursing, graduated in 2007 and have been working as a CVICU nurse for the last 2.5 years. Considering that the odds are excellent that I'd have had difficulty finding a job in my old field since the economy got so crappy, I'm very happy with my decision to become a nurse. I've always been interested in science. As someone upthread said, if I was younger I'd have gone the med school route, but this works for me now.

    Is nursing my "calling"? Probably not - but it's more than just a job, and I love my patients.
  11. by   sunnycalifRN
    Hardly. Right out of college, went to med school for two years . . . absolutely hated it . . . took a leave after 2nd year and never returned. This caused a major falling out with the parents . . . worked in a long series of "dead end" jobs . . . restaurant, machine operator, tire builder, assembly line worker . . . back to school for "computers" . . . worked 12 years as a systems programmer (3 lay-offs) . . . finally decided to make use of the medical background I had . . . tried for nursing but only got on waiting lists . . . went into respiratory therapy instead . . . 10 yrs as RRT . . . during that time, tried again for nursing, since I could wait . . . got my RN, working in ICU and loving it . . . of course, the parents AND wife are saying "you shouldn't have quit med school!" Oh, well . . . that's just water under the bridge!!
  12. by   emsboss
    2nd career... Started as an EMT in 1980 in H.S, Paramedic immediately after, 10 years as an Army medic, keeping current as civilian Paramedic also. Moved up the ladder to Director of EMS in a Hospital based squad. Got into a "discussion"(read- Argument) one night with an E.D. RN about patient care. She said "you are too dumb to be a Nurse, you are just a Paramedic and always will be one.":angryfire Was in school at the time for a degree in Paramedic Science, my advisor said that all the pre-reqs were the same, also stated she had "one opening for Nursing this Fall Semester, do you want it?" Long story short(to late, I know), two and a half years later I graduate. Been a Registered Nurse 6 years, let my Paramedic license go at the 25 year mark. I REALLY miss EMS at times
  13. by   tencat
    I'm 40 and was a public high school teacher for 12 years before I went into nursing. I left teaching because I was tired of being responsible for things I had absolutely no control over...ie parents sending their kids to school, kids doing their homework, etc. and being reprimanded with other teachers for all of these issues that we could not control.

    I'm not sorry at all that I chose nursing. Nursing has a lot of the same issues and working environments as teaching...long hours, colleagues tearing each other apart, clueless management, etc. BUT, I feel so much more in control of my work and not responsible for the life choices that my patients make. I work home hospice, and I really would have a hard time going back to a hospital as I think that place has more of the issues that drove me crazy in teaching. The only thing I REALLY miss about teaching is the schedule with all the vacation time. The only thing I'm kind of sorry about is that I didn't go the medical school route, but by the time I got interested in the medical field I already had a young family and wasn't going to put them through that.
  14. by   anon695
    I got a BA in English right after high school, it was a useles waste of time and money that I didn't even enjoy. A useless degree like that doesn't lead you into any real career, so I spent some time in dead-end jobs like receptionist and administrative assistant at companies in NYC. I somehow floated into Human Resources Recruiting, and spent a few years doing that. It was THE WORST. Boring, unappreciated, sedentary, always having to BS people and lie about things, and always the first position to get cut in bad times. I was laid off 6 times in 8 years because companies hire a recruiter when they want to grow, then lay you off in 1-2 years when the growth spurt stops. I hated both the instability and the jobs themselves, and I wanted to do something more hands on, where I wasn't sitting in a cubicle staring at a screen all day, where I was actually helping people, and posessing real skills. I had worked in an animal shelter as a teenager and loved it, the hard, dirty work with long hours was not a problem for me. And I always liked science and health issues so I had a gut feeling that I'd like nursing. So after my most recent layoff in January 2009, I applied to nursing school and started taking pre-reqs. Thankfully I was right, I love nursing and am so glad I'm doing this now. I wish I had done it at 20 instead of 30, but I was not mature enough at the time to really know what I'd be good at and what I wanted to spend my life doing (and my parents were pushing me to "be on wall street").

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