Nursing school or become a teacher? - page 3

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, tencat. It is so nice to hear from a former teacher turned nurse who doesn't regret it.

    I agree that there are some parallels between nursing and teaching, in the sense that it is a helping profession. I just can't get over the difference in pay.

    I am sick and tired of being broke all the time. It's not because I'm out spending extravagantly. I buy shoes at Payless, many of my clothes at Target, all of my make-up is Maybelline, and I do my own hair. It is really getting old....I just don't see our teaching salaries going up anytime soon.


    Hi, KatRN... Yes I am a relatively new teacher. Perhaps your teacher friends work in a school or district that doesn't require as much documentation from its teachers... One of the reasons I am spending time on lessons this year is because the new assistant principal at my school is requiring more detail in all of our lessons than we have traditionally done. We also have adopted brand new science and social studies series which require completely different lessons this year.

    In addition our new superintendant has increased what we need to document for report cards. This past semester some of my students' report cards were eight and nine pages long, filled with boxes I had to manually check off to indicate on a scale of 1 to 5 where the child is at with very specific reading comprehension skills.

    I could go on and on...

    As far as the salary... I still feel that based on what I've researched and what I've heard from other nurses here, that the pay is significantly higher in nursing. For nurses who have BSN's and masters degrees, I mean.

    If I got a master's in education tomorrow, my salary would go up to $38,000 and I would still be working 60 hours a week. A nurse with a master's degree would easily make $10,000 to $20,000 more than that depending on the setting.

    I have no doubt that many nurses (and probably eventually me) feel that they are not properly compensated for the amount of work and stress they deal with. But the bottom line is that they still make more than teachers.

    I know I probably will work harder in nursing. And I won't have two months off every summer. And I won't have as many bathroom breaks and all of that. But I need to make more money. If I get the LPN certificate, then I will have the ability to choose what shift I work on. At that point I can go to grad school if I want. I would like to get a master's in nursing or physical therapy, I'm not decided yet. I've heard good things about physical therapy, that there are many opportunities yet it is supposedly not as stressful as nursing, and the patients have a higher rate of success due to the nature of physical therapy.

    I really like your idea of shadowing a nurse on a 12-hour shift. Thanks for that suggestion.
    Last edit by busylady61 on Dec 9, '06
  2. by   TachyBrady
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    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.
    I agree. Look for a bridge program that offers evening and weekend classes and/or online classes. It takes a little longer than LPN but in the end, you'll be glad you went the extra mile.
  3. by   busylady61
    Thanks Kat and Tachy.

    I agree that would be the best route. But in my area the only accredited bridge programs are offered in the daytime, which would conflict with my teaching job.

    The online private universities are way out of my price range, I've found.

    I'm going to start the LPN program in August (18 months, part time evenings). Who knows, maybe sometime between now and then one of the local universities will begin to offer an evening bridge program...
  4. by   tencat
    What I did was get a part time nursing aide at the local hospital. I worked 8 hours a week for about 7 months, and it gave me a good idea of what to expect as a nurse. I didn't have to go back to school and get a CNA, but not all hospitals will accept that. I don't regret leaving teaching at all. The salary is A LOT better, but the retirement leaves a lot to be desired. I taught long enough to qualify for retirement from two states, but I don't think that will be enough. I do miss the breaks, but I only work three days a week now and have four days free. I like that so far.
  5. by   busylady61
    I think I am going to try to line up a part-time job like that next summer during my vacation break. I will have two months off and it will be my last break before I start LPN school in August 2007. I agree that would be a good way to get a glimpse of what nursing is really like.

    I am glad you didn't regret your move out of teaching. I have a feeling I won't regret it either. I can't imagine working three days on and four days off all year. Wow.

    In any case, I won't let my teaching certificate lapse. It's good through 2011 anyway. If I ever wanted to go back into teaching in my district, I could have a job at a good school in a heart beat. They are desperate for teachers here....
    Last edit by busylady61 on Dec 10, '06
  6. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Nursing is very hard physically and mentally. Shift work is difficult, working all or most holidays and weekends is hard. I know if I had it to do over again, I would not it. There is a big reason for the so-called nursing shortage- nurses are being driven away from the bedside by working conditions.
  7. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    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.
    Excellent advice!
  8. by   busylady61
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    Nursing is very hard physically and mentally. Shift work is difficult, working all or most holidays and weekends is hard. I know if I had it to do over again, I would not it. There is a big reason for the so-called nursing shortage- nurses are being driven away from the bedside by working conditions.

    Well, I can accept that I will have to work on holidays especially in the beginning.

    But I really do not want to work weekends for any kind of prolonged period. Isn't it possible to find nursing jobs (even if it means going outside of the hospital setting) that don't require working weekends? I thought that hospitals had vacancies on all of the shifts.
  9. by   jjjoy
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    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. 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.
    You make some good points KatRN. However, I know many people in teaching and many do still spend time working well past the end of the school day and paid working hours. Many school districts are changing materials and teaching methods every few years, so teachers can't just use the same lesson plans year after year. There are also often mandatory meetings and committee membership. Education has also jumped on the uber-documentation bandwagon. It's got its pros and cons but it also, leaves teachers, like nurses, wondering when they get to the job they thought they were hired to do and not get bogged down by endless paperwork.

    You say you know teachers who manage to hold second jobs. I know many nurses who manage to hold two jobs. I don't know how. I couldn't do it. Some people have amazing stamina. Others, nurses and teachers, alike do the bare minimum and provide lower quality service.

    Teachers often look longingly at jobs that you "leave at work" whereas nurses may look longingly at jobs that don't require holiday and shift work. We've all got our preferences and strengths. And jobs have their pros and cons. This is a useful and interesting thread to compare and contrast different types of work (in general).
  10. by   maggijo
    I know this an old thread, but I thought I'd give it a shot. As a teacher debating whether to go back to teaching or into nursing school (SAHM now), I want to point out 2 things about teaching.

    First of all, it's a common misconception that teachers sit on the beach or at the pool all summer. GOOD, conscientious teachers work on and off all summer on lesson plans and new ideas. True, you don't have to go into work, but you're constantly working on improving your teaching. The same is true for holidays. My first year of teaching, I worked from 7am to 6pm (required coaching duties), then went home and graded until 10pm. To top it all off, I made $22,000 8 years ago! Secondly, private schools don't necessarily pay more than public. The opposite is true in my city.

    The bottom line is, don't go into either profession because of the money or time off alone. Take a good look at your passions and what will motivate you to get out of bed each morning and go from there.
    I'm curious as to what the original poster ended up doing. I will IM her. Any more teacher-to-nurse or nurse-to-teacher people out there? I need to decide between the two in the next two weeks and I'm torn.
  11. by   nursesail
    I've done both. Go into nursing.

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