Second career nurses

  1. Wondering if I could hear from people who began nursing as a second career. Was it what you expected? Are you happy/satisfied with the decision you made? Would you have done anything differently? From reading these threads, it seems there are a few of us out there who are considering nursing after being in a different field...your input would be valuable...

    lkh
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Pretzlgl
    Hi Hotel - I used to work as a Consumer Loan Specialist before I entered nursing. I was 26 at the time. It took 3 years for me to receive my nursing diploma, and it was not easy. I worked 2 part time jobs in my senior year to support myself, but I would do it again. I have been a nurse now for 6 years. I have worked ICU and OR. The great thing about nursing is the diversity within the profession. The bad thing is short staffing, long hours, relatively low pay. What I would do differently is to save more money before I started nursing school. Or take out more student loans for living expenses. Anyway, good luck to you. It can be done - and it is worth it.
  4. by   sjoe
    I had several careers before starting nursing over 10 years ago.

    I learned a lot of interesting stuff during nursing school and on my 1.5-year med-surg job, but frankly if I had known what I know now about the working conditions I would encounter and the fact that they get steadily worse as time passes, I probably would have just bought a few of the textbooks (anatomy, physiology, and med-surg nursing) and read them for my own interest instead of going to school.
  5. by   live4today
    I use to be a Business/Psyche major.......became a licensed Realtor/Finance career person. When the real estate market waned......that is when I switched to nursing.....no regrets.

    After nursing will be yet another career. As long as I live, I will always evolve where my heart leads me. Night night!
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    I had a lot of different jobs before becoming an RN at age 38. I started out working in factories when I was just out of high school, then I managed apartments, did some painting and carpet cleaning, and of course raised children. I've also been a part-time freelance writer for the past 20 or so years, having published many social/political commentaries in several large West Coast newspapers and a national magazine. That's always been my first love, but a girl's gotta pay the rent, ya know....... Seriously, I enjoy nursing and have wanted to do this since I was 9 years old, but never thought I had the smarts to get through the math & science courses until about 10 yrs. ago. Now I'm glad I went through all of that, even though I sometimes find myself seriously questioning my sanity!
  7. by   AlaskanRN
    hotelgirl....go for it!!!

    this is my third career...
    #1-bartender...i figure that was the best psych clinical i could have gotten...lol
    #2-working with disabled children/adults and the frail elderly...that gave me valuable experience working with families and different cultures

    i went back to school at almost 40 years old...it was no breeze...i had a child in college at the same time and one still at home...but i will never be sorry i went for my dream...

    now instead of dreading going to work everyday...i look forward to it...good luck and GO FOR IT!!!...
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Worked in a management position for a record company.

    Bartended/ worked the door at nightclubs.

    Interned in college (the first time) in evidence gathering and documentation for a crime scene unit.

    Was an office manager for an office supply company.

    Worked as an office manager for a coin/collectibles/antiquities dealer.
  9. by   nakitamoon
    Hotelgirl,,,, ditto the go for it!,,,, Started college at 17,,, after year and half~ quit,,,, BIG MISTAKE

    Have held many jobs,,,, bartending,,, then I managed a hotel,,, 100 unit for 13 years,,,,

    Started nursing school again,,,, at 36,,,, NO REGRETS!!!!!! working as a nurse now,,,, & continuing to go to school,,,,,

    good luck,,,, ~~kitamoon
  10. by   kook
    37 years old, BS/MS in engineering. Been an engineer for 13+ years. Recent tragedies to family and friends have enlightened me to the potential rewards of a career in nursing - the big + is the feeling that your job has meaning, you have had a positive effect on other people's lives .

    I figured the best way to see if this is for me is to start volunteering at a local hospital (Christiana Care, in Christiana, DE)... But in what area should I request to volunteer? As my friend and family were trauma cases, I'd certainly like to consider that area, since I has *some* exposure to the potential rewards in that area.

    Money is a big concern. As an engineer, I'm used to a decent income - I've got a mortgage and a couple other loans - as my income has increased, so has my cashflow. I'm certain I could change my lifestyle a bit, but going from $75k/year to ??? would be a real lifestyle adjustment.

    Schooling is another area of concern. After 6 years of engineering school, my mind was "fried" - I mean I swore I'd never take a credited course again. What are my options? Lots of my engineering courses don't count a thing towards a nursing degree. I could see an associate's degree, but a bachelor's degree, while working full time, would be very tough - some people have all the energy to do that - I don't think I could. I'm single, so I would need to continue my existing job, in order to pay the bills and schooling costs....

    Advice, links, e-mails appreciated.

    -Mark
    Last edit by kook on Oct 15, '02
  11. by   purplemania
    I worked full time and went to nursing school but it is tough and I don't recommend it UNLESS this is what you want above all else. Your income will definitely drop. If nursing isn't your calling there are plenty of agencies needing volunteers. Getting involved with your community is rewarding. Try raising $ for AIDS, cancer, etc. and see how challenging that becomes! Good luck in your decision. P.S. I was 45 when I started nursing. Age isn't relative if you want to do it.
  12. by   oldgirl
    My fourth or fifth career. Graduated at 49, and plan to do it until I can't any more! Don't work full time, I have benefits, and make enough to keep myself happy. I know people who are in their late 60's that do a few days a month of private duty type cases for a extra money-nice option that a lot of careers wouldn't offer . School is rough, but if you want to get through, you will.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Ex-Air Force here; 10 year veteran. Nursing has been MORE than I expected, because I took the opportunity to mold it to my lifestyle. I am presently VERY content in what I am doing and do it on my terms.
  14. by   nursemicke
    My youngest daughter and I were freshmen together. Became an RN at 54. graduating with honors. Helping others is very rewarding to me.
    Other careers.. stenograher, hairdresser, buyer for store, owner Mini-mart and restaurant, escrow analyst, sales manager/sales trainer, manager imports store. Now have my own private duty nursing business (no boss, no employees). I also help my neighbors for free, diabetic foot, MS, cancer. I find this rewarding too.
    It is hard work going to nursing school. Studying will be your life. I visited people in nursing homes, even bought a dog for a lady that missed her dog. Also, was a hospice volunteer.

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