need advice... thanks in advance

  1. Hello,

    I am 34 years old and looking to make a career change into nursing - I was hoping I might be able to get some advice from people who have gone down this road. I have worked in financial services since I have been out of college (since my early twenties). Although I had done well there, I realized it was just not an industry I was passionate about. All my life I have been interested in everything medical. On some level I am sad to have wasted so much time in the financial world, but thankfully I can say I met my wonderful husband there (so it was worth it).

    I have decided on nursing for many reasons. First, I find it extremely interesting and feel it would be a rewarding career. The 2nd reason is because I really want a career that will have flexible hours and will pay well. My husband and I would like to have children and I would like to work flexible hours if we have children, but still need to make decent money. I live in MA where the cost of housing is brutal.

    My question for all of you is as follows....

    How hard is it to get into these programs in the northeast/specifically MA? I am taking some science pre-req's now. I have almost finished biology and have an A. Next semester I will take chemistry and A & P 1. I feel confident that I will work towards and hopefully will receive an "A" in both of these.

    I am very concerned because I have been told there is a shortage of teachers, and right now even if you apply to the program there is no guarantee of acceptance at any time. The particular school I am taking courses at will review all the people trying to get into the program every year and based on grades and credits at that school it determines whether you will get a spot. If you don't get in you don't end up on any kind of wait list... they just reevaluate you again next year against a whole new crop of people.

    What is my best chance of getting into one of these programs? Are there any easier ways to ensure acceptance into a program? Are there any programs in MA that you would recommend (I live in the so. shore)?

    Finally if I get pregnant in the midst of this, how is that going to impact my acceptance into a program?

    Due to my age... my husband and I wanted to start trying very soon. It is very hard because we feel we have competing demands right now. New career vs. having children....

    Thank you so much for your advice.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   classicdame
    You sound like you are in a mid-life (not really) crisis. Can't decide between children and career. I cannot address most of your questions since I am not in MA but I will tell you that any nursing school program is demanding. It would be very hard to have a baby in the middle of all that, but people do it and survive. I guess it depends on your support - family and friends. I am a lot older than you and can say one thing for sure: I have more regrets over things I did not do than things I did do.
  4. by   nurseangel47
    ClassicDame is so righton with her statements. I, too, went to college later in life immediately after having two daughters. One was an infant, one was three years old. It was the hardest time of my life and one thing I will tell you hands down with no reservations, if there's any way at all you could do the school thing first, then have kids, that'd be the way to go. I did it backwards and it was extremely hard. I did it, though, and for that, I'll always be grateful. I have been a nurse for twenty years, raised the girls alone but with huge financial support(thank God!)but it was tough. If I hadn't had my nursing degree before the divorce, it'd have been tougher.
    You never know what life has in store for you. I'm sure that it will work out as it is meant to for you. I had to actually turn down one year's admission to nursing school since I'd waited a whole year to get on that years list of selections to choose from, then got accepted...got to wait it out an entire other year due to having to have a csection (first baby a section, doc didn't want me to try for a vaginal delivery) and you cannot miss but a couple of days of class or clinical per semester I think is how strict it was back then. Anyways, I knew I'd be out of commission with that post op csection and a new baby in the house it wouldn't have been fair to her to not be there for her as much as possible in her infancy to bond...so had to in fact, wait for two years before I even started the nursing program. It was a two year diploma nursing program. I did fine. Not excellent grades but good enough to graduate. Passed the first time on the state boards, too, though, there again, could've/should've done better...just too many balls in the air, so to speak.
    You can do anything you set your heart/soul/mind on...
    Just set a goal and let nothing distract you.
    Good Luck!
    Sorry if I rambled!
  5. by   futurecnm
    The first thing I would recommend is to do school BEFORE kids. Absolutely. I cannot imagine going through school being pregnant. Nursing school is the hardest thing I have ever done (I'm finishing up my 1st semester). I am 32 years old and it is my 2nd degree. I have 2 kids ages 6 and 4. I would absolutely not be able to do it with a baby. First, I could have never left my kids as much as needed to for school. SEcond, I would not have any free time to study. A baby is a full time job in itself. Additionally, if you haven't been pregnant, you don't know if you are going to be sick with morning sickness and that will affect things also. I was so sick with my kids I had to stop working and be on disability. Nursing school would not tolerate that and you would have to drop out. There is NO way I could have done clinicals on my feet all day when pregnant. Not that some people don't sail through their pregnancies feeling fine, but facts are that 50% of people experience some degree of morning sickness. There is no way I could have studied and functioned through it. I wish I could have done this before having kids. My studying and class time is very time consuming. It is do-able but my oldest is in school and my youngest has school 3x a week for 2.5 hrs. I also stay up late most nights studying. With a newborn they don't sleep and are very needy so it would be VERY hard. I'm sure some have done it, but I'm also sure they would recommend going to school and getting that done first.

    As far as getting in, I am in the midwest and it is very competitive. But usually if you have all your pre-reqs done with A's you can get in. Even one class short or a lower GPA will hurt your chances. I took 1 class at a time and highly recommend that also! Chem and A&P will be hard to do together but that is just my opinion!!

    Good luck, and hope you find the solution!
  6. by   Lightning Bug RN
    I too did things backwards, having children first, then I went to nursing school. I waited until my children were in school full time before I started. I started out slow doing summer classes at the local community college to build a good GPA before I applied to nursing school. Some advice I would give you is: take all the sciences prior to going to nursing school, save things like sociolgy and psych to take with nursing, if you decide to have children first, make sure your husband is like mine and is willing to run the houselhold or at least do the majority of running the house (nursing school is all encompassing), and make sure you and your husband have a strong marriage because this will test it, and try to have a good support network around you (friends and family).

    Nursing is a wonderful profession, but it is very physically and mentally draining. Make sure this is something you truly feel a calling for because it is not a job that I would recommend soley for the money, or flexability.
    Often the job is not as flexible as you would like, and if you decide to work in a hospital such as I do, you will work many holidays, and many times not what you place as your preference, as well as working weekends.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  7. by   star.crush
    good for u
  8. by   futurecnm
    I forgot to add that I too, would not go into the profession unless you feel a strong desire to be a nurse. Don't do it for any other reason (money, flexibility). Where it can be flexible and there are many opportunities for nurses, there are also a lot of hard things about it. YOu have to really love it to make such a life change and sacrifice.

    Here, to get in , you also pretty much have to have all the general courses done along with sciences. If you are lacking a class, you are lower on the list and it is harder to get in. I can't even imagine taking a class like psych or sociology with nursing classes! Too much workload for me!
  9. by   dragonflyRN
    Well, I have a different story. I am the mother of 3. I had my second child the first semester of nursing school. I did not get any special treatment other than not having to care for the patient with cytomegalovirus. I never missed a clinical. I had my 3rd child in my last semester of nursing school. Once again I never missed a clinical. I arranged all of my application hours to be done well before my due date. I also worked parttime through out school and children. I am now 32, I've been an RN for 2 years now and wouldn't change a thing. Sure school was hard. You need to have a good support system and great sitters if you have kids. Always have a backup sitter or 2...knowing you cannot miss a clinical.
  10. by   Lightning Bug RN
    I only mentioned to save things like sociology or psych with nursing because of two reasons: 1. Many schools, such as the one I attended, require you to carry full time credits 2. If you do decide to go with a school that does not require this, it will take you that much longer to get your degree.

    I know when I was in school, my goal was to get in and then get out as quickly as possible, but again that is up for you to decide what is a priority for you.

    One thing to keep in mind that all schools are not alike. Make sure you research where you are going to go and make sure it is a school with a good reputation. These schools may be more difficult to get into, but are worth it. Also many of the schools offer tuition reductions if you have a GPA of 3.5 or greater. The school I attended gave me half off.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
  11. by   Mudwoman
    I was 40 when I started down this road and I had been in the financial industry too.

    My advice. Do all your prerequisites and then reevaluate where you are with the other very important parts of your life. There is nothing that says you can't get all the courses other than the specific nursing components done and take off a year. As far as getting in. Keep a 4.0 and you will get in. A 4.0 will guarantee acceptance.

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