Hello all. I would like to introduce myself, and tell you a little bit about me, and hope for some of your feedback. My name is Josh. I'll be 34 in July, and am seriously considering becoming an RN. Unfortunately, I have a HUGE amount of obstacles to navigate through. I have a serious weight problem, as I am over 500 lbs. I have been working for a private security agency for the last 11 years making horrible money. I only recently got my GED 3 years ago.
Because of my situations, I also suffer from depression. Recently, I nearly had a breakdown because off the crossroads I have come to in my life. I decided that it was time for me to find a real career where I can earn decent money, and enjoy what I am doing. I can honestly say that I never up until recently considered being an RN. The idea came to while thinking about a career that has some security in it. Well, after doing lots and lots of research, I feel this would be a good job for me. I really am a very compassionate person. (Maybe too much, really)
While doing my research into getting into the community college's program, I have found that it is one that is of a "competitive" nature. From what I gather, you could literally get a 4.0 and still not be accepted to it. This really scares me because I goofed off the entire time I was in school, and eventually just quit. I have never learned any good study habits, and have a very lazy mind. I was also very discouraged to find out that I would have to probably quit my 3rd shift job as a security guard because of the time conflict.
Apparently, the hours of class would start at 8am in the morning. I don't get off work until 8am in the morning. This made me very anxious, because I don't have rich parents or a trust fund or anything like that. I will basically have to eat rice and noodles, and rent a cheap room from somebody's house while I flip burgers on the weekends to try and keep shelter over my head while I am attending school. This is not a problem for me. I don't mind eating noodles today so I can have steak tomorrow. I am just very nervous about the competition process. If I give up what little I already have, and am not successful in nursing school, this would devastate me. Failure would not be an option.
Not to mention, I probably have to loose about 250 lbs before I can even get into nursing school. Theres no way that I can stand on my feel all day rite now. I have basically started eating small meals now, because I have a goal to shoot for. Instead of going to Wendy's and getting a half dozen burgers, I brought a turkey sandwich on wheat and an apple for lunch. No more Chinese buffets for dinner, instead, salmon and a small russet potato with fruit. I have anxiety disorder, and food usually comforts me, but I can't do it anymore. I am very unhealthy rite now because of my size. I am just really really nervous about failing when I get in because I can't fail!
I am going to be living super poverty stricken in order to pursue this goal. I am hoping while I am in school I can find some people that can teach me to study and learn things. I know nursing school is VERY VERY difficult and there is a lot of information to learn. I often wondered if I have a learning disability. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was a boy. Perhaps, I will go talk to a doctor about getting on something for that. I think I still may have it. It's hard for me to concentrate on reading and what not.
Anyway, I just would like to hear from you folks about anything that may be able to help me. Also, I would really like to try to make some friends on here too. It would be great to have someone to talk to when it comes time to questions about the field. Coincidentally, I don't know any nurses. Anyway, thank you very much for taking the time to read my topic, and I very much look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.
Last edit by TheCommuter on May 14, '13
: Reason: formatting, paragraphs
May 14, '13
There are PLENTY of RN's here that have taken the plunge with school in our 30's or later. You may just surprise yourself (like I did) that your study habits and attention are much better at this age. I slacked in high school and early college years, but when I went back for my RN in my very early 30's I found that I was earning A's in ALL my classes. I graduated with High Honors. It was hard, I won't lie. I think it is fantastic that you have hit your "turn around" moment and are ready to make a change. Your weight, of course, will make the challenge much more difficult. It all will be determined based on YOUR call to action. And...you are absolutely on the right track. Making better choices and reducing the size of your meals will help you drop pounds like crazy! You can do this!
I do suggest that you get into school and start your prereqs and when you feel strong enough (weight wise) you really need to shadow a nurse in a hospital. Being an RN is a rush and you are proud to belong to a great world of RN's, but there is soooo much more to it than the title and the money. You WORK for every single penny you make. You will have times that digging ditches for half the money sounds better. It is a very physical career.
Whatever your path will be, get into school and get those prereqs started. The early ones will be good for almost any degree if you decide to go a different direction.
Good for you for being ready to make a change in your life and possibly someone elses.
May 14, '13
One thing at a time. While you are changing your lifestyle, I think a great place to start is to take some of your general education programs online. If you have a college in mind, call them and speak with a guidance counselor about doing coursework online, and be sure that it is transferrable to a program of study on campus when the time is right to do so. Then you can get a feel toward what college coursework is all about.
See if your current place of employment has tuition reimbursement. If you are part of a union, see if they do as well. Fill out a FASFA form, and see if you qualify for financial assistance. (Fasfa.GOV, NOT FASFA.com).
Another thought in the short term is to take an LPN course. It is less expensive than an RN course of study, then you would be in a position to bridge to an RN when that is completed.
In any event, I would most definetely start taking some online stuff just to get a feel for it. If you have a local community adult ed school, see what their website is like--sometimes they have very low cost courses--and stuff that is not necessarily transferrable to a college credit, but for enrichment and the like, that could help in your current position (ie: Spanish, for instance) but is more for getting a feel of what a college course online is like, and if it is for you.
Lastly, there are many colleges that offer evening courses, weekends, that type of thing. So first things first and explore your options that you could start now, and in the future when you are able to physically do so.
Wishing you all the luck in the world, and let us know how it goes!!
May 14, '13
Where there is a will there is a way. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and understand what it is going to take. I suggest starting out small with just a few classes online to meet pre req stuff. Or like someone else suggested an lpn program. That would give you the opportunity to make some money sooner and the bridge classes are usually more accommodating for busy schedules. Good luck.
There are some good apps out there for tracking calorie count that may be beneficial in your weight loss journey. I find if I write down what I eat I do better. My fitness pal or losing it are great.
May 14, '13
A small piece of fish and some veggies and fruit cost less than half a dozen burgers! Water from the tap is cheaper than soda or shakes! Think if all the money you'll be able to save for school! Put it in a jar on your dresser so you can see it build up.
Another easy thing to start doing is walking. At 500 lbs you probably can't go too far, so start with fifteen minutes a day-- seven minutes out, eight minutes back. Then after two weeks, do it twice a day. Then after a week of that, increase to ten and ten, twice a day. Listen to a book on your headphones- it makes the time pass, and if you choose a really good one and do not let yourself listen unless you're walking, you'll do it more often just so you can hear what happens next.
You would likely qualify for wt loss surgery under your insurance -- ask your doctor to help.
May 14, '13
I'm so excited you are looking into nursing and changing your life! Think of how motivating you'd be to patients. I second the person who suggested with starting walking first. Even just a few minutes every day, gradually increasing the length, is a terrific start. I'd also suggest you look into being a CNA or PCA to get some experience. I usually pass by the "I want to be a nurse" posts, but yours makes me smile because you are putting so much thought into it and doing research and making plans. Good luck!!!!
May 14, '13
Thank you all so much for your wonderful advice. I am going to be enrolling in my prenursing courses this year. I look forward to the challenge. I know it's going to be a long road, but I'm putting my work boots on. I have many concerns, but can't Let them discourage me. I look forward to growing with you folks. Thanks again
May 14, '13
Josh, i agree with you. I have nothing against people being overweight, so don't take it that way. I'm saying it because it is a very physially demanding job. You are on your feet 12+ hours a day. If you cannot physically do that, then you will not enjoy your job and only be misserable. If you succeed in losing the weight i do think it will only make you a stronger and more compassionate person and only assist you in your career. Concentrate on your health and getting back into the swing of things in school. Take some general education courses that will be required for nursing school. You are still young and have time on your side. It is never too late to make a change!!
May 15, '13
Thank You very much, Caitlyn. I definitely wouldn't be able to go to nursing school until I drop probably et least 150 lbs. I plan on doing that in less than 12 months, though. I'm the kind of guy that when I TRULY put my mind to something, you better watch out.. hehe I'm pretty lazy, and that's usually why I fail. I want to do this job badly, though. I know I'm going to have to really work. This actually makes me happy, though. Now, I will have purpose in life. I can make a difference in other people's life. That is all that I ever wanted. Check in with me a year from now. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Thanks again.. Talk to you.. Josh
May 15, '13
Josh, please do take one step at a time. You must lose the weight. You must also get control of your depression and anxiety. Nursing school is very rigid, and stressful. If you have any mental health problems, such as the depression and anxiety, that alone is enough to disqualify you from the nursing program. Maybe start off with taking just one class, then maybe 2 easy ones. That way you can maintain a good GPA and increase your chances of getting in. Just don't "set yourself up for failure." You will need basic core classes for any degree, so start with those. There are many, many things you can do to "help people." You could be a dietician, a psychologist, work in radiology, etc. There are jobs out there that are far less stressful and physically taxing than nursing. Good luck.
May 15, '13
You're on your way! Good luck with everything. The journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step!
May 15, '13
Thank You so much for your honest input. I honestly feel that the problems I have now are directly caused by the weight. So, I feel that when I get the weight off, things should improve for me. I don't mind getting stressed out, it's just that I know what I want to do, and am willing to do EVERYTHING to get there
May 15, '13
It took me 6 years to get my BSN (chronic health issues, 2 small children, sinle mom). You can do it! One step at a time, like others have said. I am cheering for you. And thanks for helping motivate me.