Psychologist thinking of late in life career change....advice? - page 3

I'm a licensed psychologist working for a federal agency. I've been thinking about lack of job flexibility as I get older, with plans to work a long time because I'm in great health and have no... Read More

  1. by   Orion81
    Quote from live4ward
    Thanks so much for your feedback! I absolutely agree that I wouldn't get credit for past experience, and shouldn't............nursing would be almost an entirely new skill set, and a field I would enter with great humility. Yes, I would be starting at the bottom of the totem pole and would not get too far up in the relatively short time I'd be doing it. Very good advice. Thanks so much -----
    Getting in the specialty you want also greatly deepends on where you live. Me for example, it took 4 cumulative years to become an RN, that's just an associate's...in Chicagoland area hospitals don't really hire with out your BSN...(2 of those years were prereqs, 2 were core nursing) and I've been a nurse for 5 years. That's 9 years and the closest I've come to "hospital" experience is post acute rehab. Even with that so many pple think its just "nursing home" experience, so even IF I had a BSN, hospitals mainly skip over my resume for someone with more experience. And that is just for basic med-surg positions, let alone ED, ICU, Peds etc...it can take YEARS depending where you live to get that coveted position. Where I am, nurses are a dime a dozen, with thousands of nursing students being spit out each semester, all on the hunt for a job.
    What matters is... how much do you want it? And do you even know what "it" is. No amount of talking with nurses or shadowing could have prepared me for what nursing is.

    I'll say some things you have going for you. You've been through a doctoral program and deal with psych patients, so you clearly can cope with stress. Just a different kind of it.

    You'd probably handle difficult patient situations well. Like when they are being complete a-holes when you have been working so hard for them. You will deal a LOT with "I have been waiting for a bazillion hours for you!!!!." Meanwhile its like you've been carrying trays on your head while juggling 3 pins in your hands and running at the same time, all while everyone thinks you've just been sitting on your butt, the patients, their families, your supervisors AND your nursing assistants alike. You'd probably do well with handling being yelled at like that, and just the general snotty attitudes you WILL be getting with your psych background.

    The HARDEST thing I find about nursing is how they keep piling on the plate while taking away funds and resources. "Oh, you're going to be getting 5 new patients on top of the ones you have, we've had to let go of some nurses cuz the CEO needs his fat bonus, oh the social worker too, so if you could handle that work too, and a nurse and 3 nursing assistants called off. Oh btw, we have these new policies...it'll take you an extra 2 hours to chart all that...have a great day!
    Hours later after your shift, you get called by your supervisor scolding you about something you didnt chart, bc of course you did it on purpose out of ***** and giggles bc you were too bored at work with not enough to do, and being demanded that you come in NOW and fix it. And none of that is an exaggeration.

    I was in the ER, went there FROM work, about to get my 2nd CT with contrast, and my DON is texting me telling me I HAVE to be back within 24 hrs to complete something on my admission. Yeah...in the ER!!! Still getting tests done!
  2. by   Kristenlaurenw
    I haven't read all the responses but the ones I did read through were negative and not my experience at all. I finished my ADN at 26 and was the second youngest person to graduate in my entire class. We had plenty of people in their 40s and 50s in my class and they ALL got jobs quickly. Also, you don't have to enter with an ADN. Not sure what all is near you, but there is an MSN program near me for people with bachelors degrees in other fields and no nursing experience. I have many coworkers that graduated from that program. Another thing I saw in a reply was the lack of scheduling flexibility. Every hospital I've ever worked at has had set schedules so I always knew my schedule well in advance. Getting in full time hours in 3 days leaves 4 days off every week, and you can always swap with coworkers. I will agree that hospital nursing is hard work. I'm 30 and after a few days in a row, I come home absolutely exhausted and need a recovery day to get back to normal (keep in my this is a in a level 1 trauma ER though, so I rarely get a break at work). However, nursing is versatile and if you work the floors for a few years for experience, you can move into management, education, case management, etc. for something a little less physical.
  3. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Kristenlaurenw
    I haven't read all the responses but the ones I did read through were negative and not my experience at all. I finished my ADN at 26 and was the second youngest person to graduate in my entire class. We had plenty of people in their 40s and 50s in my class and they ALL got jobs quickly.
    Yes but were those people leaving well-paying jobs with FEDERAL benefits for a chance to start out at the very bottom at an age not far from retirement? And those people talking about lack of scheduling flexibility were relaying their experiences which are just as valid as yours. In addition when I was in my thirties I never could imagine how physically different I would feel in my 50s. What once was easy now leaves me tired. And FTR I am an extremely physically fit (even more than when I was your age), not even a smidge overweight long-distance cyclist and competitive sailor so my health status is not at fault. I'm just aging and it pisses me off but it is out of my control. Nursing is hard, physical work and the OP needs to know that. She needs to hear from those of us who are her contemporaries

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