Nursing school or become a teacher? - page 2

Hi everyone, Here is my question: If you knew someone who was trying to decide whether to go to school to become a nurse or a teacher, and they asked for your opinion, what advice would you give... Read More

  1. by   busylady61
    Thank you Epona!

    It has been a difficult and sometimes painful process to finally admit to myself that I need to think about getting out of teaching.

    But now that I am learning more about nursing, I am getting so excited about all of the possibilities. My greatest hope is that my teaching experience will end up somehow helping me in nursing...

    Anyway, it was nice to hear from you. Good luck with your BSN!!!

    :hatparty:
  2. by   Epona
    yes busylady61. I will use what I learned in PR and Broadcasting in my new RN career. There are MANY opportunities I am told where I can mariott the two together.

    Wishing us both luck!! Epona
  3. by   outcomesfirst
    I would double check that salary quote - nursing salary is very location dependent, and also tends to remain flat for cost of living - what sounds like allot in CT, may translate to 35K in TN. Also, most nurses work 12 hour shifts 7a - 7 p or 7p - 7a - nights, weekends, holidays are required. Think about your age - can you run for 12 hours straight, maybe no bathroom, food or water? Can you do this 2 or 3 days in a row? Your original post mentioned a high level of frustration with the system - this is the same, perhaps escalated in health care - lives are dependent. For example you mentioned paying for copies for students to be prepared; how are you going to translate this to not having the ability to check your patients status more than a few times a shift, or not being able to complete a full admission assessment because your other patients need you, or knowing that a patient is being discharged into an environment where they will develop bedsores, infections etc and be right back in, or cannot afford their medications and still eat? Consider these questions carefully. If you believe you can handle it, you can make a difference and not just collect a paycheck - please do become a nurse - but go for your RN - LPNs work just as hard, without the benefit of some great education and the pay. If it is strictly a money/security/future earnings issue, I urge you to look at other fields where the returns may be more in line with your needs. A great advantage for nurses with a few years experience is the diversity of opportunity - schools, teaching, research, pharma, insurance, health policy etc. Good Luck!
  4. by   star.crush
    go for it
  5. by   busylady61
    Quote from Epona
    yes busylady61. I will use what I learned in PR and Broadcasting in my new RN career. There are MANY opportunities I am told where I can mariott the two together.

    Wishing us both luck!! Epona
    Epona,
    I smiled when I read your message. I also have a background in PR and journalism (prior to teaching, for many years)...funny that we have that in common! I am positive that our prior experience will find a way of making itself useful to us in our future profession! :typing

    : )
  6. by   slou!
    My friend is a teacher and HATES it. She said she would like to do nursing, but obviously is going to wait it out and make sure a, she really wants to do nursing and b, gives teaching some time. She used to waitress before hand and actually made the same amount of money working as a waitress in Cracker Barrel! That is absolutely rediculous!
  7. by   busylady61
    Hi outcomesfirst, somehow I overlooked your comment. Thanks for your response.

    Well, I think you've brought up some good points.

    I hear everything you're saying. And I think in many ways, nursing sounds a great deal more stressful than teaching.

    But I guess it's like comparing apples and oranges.

    I have always been a work horse so I don't think nursing would be a shock that way. I often work 12 hour days, five days a week. Tutoring at 7:30 a.m., class all day, then after school it's mandatory staff meetings or parent conferences or just trying to clean up the class room or setting up centers for the next day. All day long I am running around the classroom and the school on my feet. Then when I get home at 7 p.m. I take a one hour break for dinner and have been known to then sit down at the laptop to type lessons or do whatever until 9 or 10 p.m. And then on the weekend, spend Sunday afternoon grading papers and such. No, I don't carry that type of schedule every single week. But I do it a lot.

    I am accustomed to 20 minute lunch breaks in the middle of the day, and not being able to use the restroom for long periods. Week after week, I am putting in these 60 and 70 hour workweeks, for $36k per year.

    Generally I spend about $1,500 a year of my own money for classroom supplies. One year I spent $2,500. Every year I swear it will be the last year I spend anything for my classroom and students, but I end up breaking down and buying ink cartridges, copy paper, books for the class library, etc.

    It's true I get summers off. But at the rate I'm going financially, that will be moot because I'm going to have to take a clerk job at Barnes and Noble during summers to make ends meet.

    As a nurse, I would not be real excited about working on weekends or holidays. I know I have gotten spoiled that way as a teacher. I am definitely not excited about having limits placed on the number of sick days you can call in. From what I have read, I am gathering that nurses are given X number of days per year to call out, and if they are sick more than that, they get written up. I am still not real clear on that. Someone please correct me if I am wrong because I would love to be wrong on this one!

    Even so, financially I feel I cannot afford to stay in teaching. I am a single woman with a mortgage on a high maintenance house. I am barely making my expenses. I am saving nothing toward my retirement at this time. Not a penny.

    My current Social Security retirement benefits are estimated to be $600 /month if I retire at 62. If I stay in teaching, I will be working until I am 80 years old. I need to put away some serious money.

    I'm making $36k here in Florida with a bachelor's degree in teaching. I could make $40k here in the same city, with a vocational tech school diploma as an LPN... and be able to have more control over my hours (working evenings), so I could further my education with a BSN or a master's in physical therapy or something...from what I gather, once you get the higher level degrees, then you are looking at $60k and up in this area (Orlando). Depending on the degree, the job, the location where you work, how many hours you put in, what shift you work, etc. etc.

    The only way I could make $60k plus in education is if I became a principal, and there is no way you could pay me to do that job.

    I don't know whether nursing will be the end of the rainbow for me. But I think getting the LPN status will be an important stepping stone that will allow me to continue my education and move into a higher paying field. And, to not have to work 60 hours a week for the rest of my life.

    Anyway, I really do appreciate your taking the time to respond. I really do want to go into this with my eyes wide open and it's important for me to hear all perspectives. Thank you! :typing
    Last edit by busylady61 on Dec 8, '06
  8. by   RN BSN 2009
    Nursing is a lot of teaching, so why not get paid a lot more to be a neacher
  9. by   busylady61
    Quote from slou!
    My friend is a teacher and HATES it. She said she would like to do nursing, but obviously is going to wait it out and make sure a, she really wants to do nursing and b, gives teaching some time. She used to waitress before hand and actually made the same amount of money working as a waitress in Cracker Barrel! That is absolutely rediculous!

    Slou, that is a pretty sad commentary, I agree!

    Also, as someone who "gave teaching some time" and waited for it to work out, I have just one piece of advice for your friend. She shouldn't waste any more time waiting. If she hates it now, she will not like it a whole lot better in two or three years after the paperwork continues to pile up on her.

    I actually like teaching. Even as a beginning teacher who was snowed under and stressed out, I still liked teaching right from the very beginning. If I were married or had a partner who helped with the house expenses, I might try to find a way to deal with the crazy hours and the paperwork and just stick with it. But I am a single woman. For me the decision to give nursing a try is partly a lifestyle decision and partly a financial decision.

    If your friend doesn't like teaching now, I seriously doubt that she will like it later. Just my .02....and thanks for your response!
  10. by   busylady61
    Quote from iceyspots
    Nursing is a lot of teaching, so why not get paid a lot more to be a neacher

    Hehe....LOL
  11. by   outcomesfirst
    Your welcome to my thoughts anytime I hear your stress, with your BS degree, you may already meet some nursing school requirements - good luck!
  12. by   tencat
    I was a teacher for twelve years. I paid FICA then. I also had to pay for my health insurance. If you hate teaching, it will just get worse as the years go by. There are a lot of paralells between teaching and nursing, and teaching will help you to teach your patients about their conditions. There is a lot of teaching in nursing, I find. I know other nurses beg to differ, but on the whole I find that I feel more appreciated as a nurse than I ever did as a teacher. Not to say that overall the appreciation factor could be WAY better in nursing, too, but at least once a day a patient says 'thank you' for something I've done for them. "Thank you's were few and far between in teaching. Just my experience. Go for it.
  13. by   HealthyRN
    This is an interesting thread for me because I am a nurse that has considered going back to school to become a teacher. Of course, I've considered going back for just about anything, LOL! I did always want to be a teacher when I was younger though. I am very close friends with a few teachers and I know that the profession isn't perfect. Your schedule does surprise me a bit though. What grade are you teaching? Are you a fairly new teacher? I ask because you mentioned spending a great deal of time writing lesson plans. I was under the impression that after you are teaching for a few years, it gets a bit easier because lesson plans are already in place and you may just have to alter them a bit.

    Maybe teaching is a bit different in your area of the country, but the teachers that I know work very good hours, 7AM-4PM. And definately no weekends or holidays, which you may not realize how important it is until you are spending holidays with your buddies at work instead of at home with your family. They do talk about having to spend time outside of class grading papers, but it doesn't seem too bad though. Both of the teachers I know are able to hold second jobs outside of their regular teaching jobs, one as a fitness instructor and the other as a private tutor. I am not trying to minimize the difficulties you are having with your job, but I just want to point out that the grass is always greener on the other side.

    Please do not be lured into nursing by the promise of better pay. I am a new nurse and I do not believe that the pay is adequate compensation for the amount of work and responsibilty that I have. Pay attention to the threads on this site to gain a better understanding of the issues that nurses are facing. It's not pretty out there. Make sure that you shadow a few nurses in different practice areas for a full 12-hour shift before you decide. Also, I would go straight for the RN. You already have a bachelor's degree, so this would make more sense and you would have more options available to you.

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