Leaving teaching to be a nurse..

  1. Is anyone else out there a former teacher?

    I am starting an RN program next year (after I get a few pre-reqs out of the way). I am currently a teacher. Has anyone else left teaching to become a nurse? If so, what was your experience? Were you glad you made the switch? Pros & cons?

    I am leaving teaching because I don't make any money, I have to buy supplies out of pocket to do my job, and I have to work, unpaid, hours upon hours each week (60-70 on average).

    Just looking for thoughts or advice...
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   futurecnm
    I am not in your situation but wanted to add that I read somewhere that teachers and nurses are 2 of the highest stress jobs! Not sure how they determined that, but it was interesting. My parents were both teachers and made sure I didn't go into teaching due to many reasons I'm not even sure of! That being said, they aren't that supportive of my becoming a nurse either! Luckily my husband is. From what I hear, nursing is just as stressfull if not more so than teaching. YOu have to be willing to work long hours and sometimes hours that are not what you would want. However, there are more part time and flexible hours I think??? I am a first year student so I can't say what it is like to be a working nurse, but I look forward to the challenge.
  4. by   ladybella
    Thanks! I am not opposed to the stress. I handle stress just fine.

    My main reasons for wanting to go into nursing are:

    I want to be challenged at work. I hate office work. I like being on my feet and moving and thinking.

    I want to be paid for the hours I am putting in. ALL the hours I am putting in. I don't care when those hours occur (nights, weekends are not so foreign to me as I am always grading, planning, making something or whatever for class). I don't mind working my tail off at work, but I want to leave work AT work.

    I don't want to have to buy supplies to do my job. I have never heard of nurses having to buy needles to give patients injections. I am sick of privately funding schools so that I have the materials I need to do my job.

    I like that there is the potential for flexible schedules and that I could be promoted or change duties to find something that suits me. Teaching is teaching is teaching. There are no promotions.

    I want to make better money. Plain and simple. I won't EVER make much more than I do now as a teacher. I barely see a raise every year. My health benefits are atrocious, I won't see much with my so-called pension, and I don't make enough to save on my own. I am really sick of people thinking teaching is such a cushy, plush job. It isn't. I don't think one could really understand unless one has done the job.

    I still want to help people.
  5. by   tencat
    I left teaching to go into nursing and I've been a nurse for 4 months now. I like it a lot better in some ways, not so much in others. I like getting paid for the time I put in, where I work we even get to clock in for meetings and training sessions that fall on our days off. Health benefits really stink where I work, except we get free use of the hospital as a nurse, but not family. I really don't like working on holidays. I worked Thanksgiving and I'm working Christmas. I'm not too thrilled about that, but hopefully that will change as I get more seniority. I like nursing because I can leave it at work when I go home. I don't have to worry about lesson plans or sub plans if I'm gone. I don't have a long term relationship with patients, so I don't have to worry about them when I am off work. There are so many specialties I can persue; the possibilities are endless. I'm not sorry I switched. I would like to further my education and become an independent practitioner eventually as med-surge bedside nursing will get real old real fast (many of the same issues as teaching with being treated poorly and having no respect and little power over the work environment). But for now I'm content. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
  6. by   ladybella
    Thanks Tencat!

    I am not thrilled at the idea of holiday working, but I've worked on holidays and other not so savory times before. I am even less thrilled by the daily grind of teaching so...

    As far as it goes for my family... my husband is a teacher as well. He loves it. I do not. I sort of figure that working holidays won't matter as much because we could celebrate anytime on the breaks. If I have to work on Christmas Day, we'll celebrate on the 26th. Whatever. I sort of figure that is paying dues kind of work and eventually you can get off certain holidays. During the summer, schedules don't matter much anyhow since you lose track of the days. I can always get health care through his job too. I work in a different district. His health care is better than mine currently.
  7. by   angel337
    you can do it. i have a lot of teachers in my family and they don't like teaching for the reasons you mentioned and a few others. you seem like you have the right attitude and realistic expectations. i can't imagine working 60-70 hours a week and not getting paid. that much OT where i work is a VERY nice check. good luck with what you decide.
  8. by   busylady61
    :groupwelcome:

    Quote from ladybella
    I want to be paid for the hours I am putting in. ALL the hours I am putting in. ...

    ........I don't want to have to buy supplies to do my job. I have never heard of nurses having to buy needles to give patients injections.

    As a fellow teacher who is pursuing a career change into nursing, may I just say HEAR, HEAR!


    We teachers are very familiar with 12 hour shifts. Unlike nurses however, we only get paid for 7 or 8 hours of work on a 12 hour shift.

    And, I am up to here with buying supplies for my classrooms. I don't want to figure out how much I've spent out of my own pocket on copy paper, ink cartridges, pencils, folders, file cabinets, books for the classroom library, literacy supplies, books on tape, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum over the years. The answer would be depressing! :angryfire Someday when I leave teaching, I can probably put all of that stuff on E-bay and make a small fortune.

    Although nursing surely has its share of challenges, at least nurses are getting paid to deal with their challenges. Personally, I am going to have to block out two or three days of my Christmas vacation to catch up on report cards, grade books and lessons. I don't know of any nurses who catch up on patient charting at home during their vacation time.

    OK, getting off the soap box now! Happy holidays everyone! :icon_lol:
    Last edit by busylady61 on Dec 24, '06
  9. by   NaomieRN
    Although I have a degree in education, I only used it for 6 months. I did not like teaching at all. I only went because I did not have to pay a penny for the degree. They school actually paid me to get a master in education. Rightnow, I just completed my first semester of nursing and I really like it. Good luck to you all.
  10. by   WantToLeaveTeaching
    Hi Everyone,
    I am in the exact same boat as you. I am ready to get out of teaching and move on to nursing. I heard nurses have to work hard but I also like that idea of not having to spend my own money on supplies, getting paid for the hours I work, and also being able to finally save money ON MY OWN! I want to take the first steps in accomplishing the big switch. Does anyone have suggestions for me on which path to take? Associates, BSN, accelerated courses, etc. Please help me with any suggestions. Being a current teacher I am somewhat of of my realm!
    Thanks!
  11. by   SusanKathleen, RN
    I taught high school for 24 years. I began my accelerated second degree program in September, and will finish at the end of August. It was a good decision. You may need to complete some prerequisites, but it's a very good program. Accelerated does not mean abbreviated, and it's an intensive program. It makes a lot of sense for someone who already has a bachelor's degree.
  12. by   WantToLeaveTeaching
    Are you taking the accelerated BSN or for your Associates? Where did you take your prerequ's and are you going to BCC Or MDC
  13. by   time4meRN
    True, and I wish you luck. I have been a nurse for 30 years and most days I still don't mind going to work. But, just keep in mind that durning your winter holiday breaks, spring breaks and summer breaks, your week off during the year, your sick time during the year and your free education days and the days you can get a sub to cover your dental and dr appts, nurses are at work, usually with no lunches let alone breaks. We work many shifts, many holidays and in most cases, our sick time is our vacation time, unless you go on short term disability that requires lots of paper work and the pay is usually 70 % of your base pay. I'm not trying to say you shouldn't go into nursing. It is a good career. However, be sure your not looking through rose glasses. Because in my years I have found that those glasses come off quick, and replaced by, OH my gosh..... this is nursing ! Also let me say, I love teachers. Nurses and teachers have jobs that can change peoples lives, despite coorporate and management BS. We have difficult jobs and very few times that we get a pat on the back. So, keep on keepin' on and the best of luck. But remember, you are appriciated !:heartbeat

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