Should I become a nurse or a teacher?

  1. 0
    I am currently a sophmore in college and I either want to apply for nursing or teacher in the upcoming fall. I am confused as to what I should do. The thing i like about teaching is that I will someday have a family and have holidays, weekends, summers off, etc. I thought I wanted to do nursing until I discovered that many nurses hate their jobs. I was also led to believe that nurses made more than teachers but some information says that teachers make more and they only work 10 months out of the year. Is this true? I am just really confused and need some advice.

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  2. 27 Comments...

  3. 1
    1. Money
    2. What you can do when not working

    Two very important factors. And yet, they don't say anything about what you want to do 3-5 days per week. Don't get me wrong, you need to consider those things. But while teaching and nursing have commonalities, they're very different. You can rationalize it any number of ways. I'ver heard teachers don't make that much per hour when you include the number of hours they work outside of the school day. Or that nurses salaries as a whole don't increase much over time.

    What do you want to do? What kind of things do you want to do all day? And yeah, we all want to help people and not be sit around all day. :chuckle One of these professions is more right for you at this point in your life. Identify what you want, then you'll know what's fulfilling day in and day out.
    kimi64 likes this.
  4. 0
    The starting salary for a new teacher in Dekalb Co., Georgia is $38,900. The starting salary (based on an hourly wage of $20) for a new graduate nurse in a hospital setting in the same area is $41,600.

    Not much of a difference. You also need to look at benefits (the government probably provides better ones than your local hospital I'll bet...). Working hours and conditions, Ability to advance, etc. Many teachers do spend hours outside of the school day doing their work. I can tell you that my sons teacher is there when I drop him off at 0700, and is frequently still there when I pick him up at 1700. With most types of nursing, you just can't take you work home with you. Then again, nursing has some weird schedules as well. There is often on-call work that you have to oblige yourself to, But if you get sick of your oncology floor, you can request a transfer to mother-baby. If you get tired of teaching High School English, they just aren't going to let you transfer to kindergarten, that's a whole 'nother degree.

    I'm a big fan of job-shadowing. Spend a day with a teacher in the age group you have the most interest in, and spend a day with a nurse on a unit you think would be of interest to you.

    Nursing school can be quite brutal, make sure it's what you really want before you subject yourself to it
  5. 0
    Definately get out there and try to expeirence each job. A lot of people I know who contemplated switching to nursing went and got their nursing assistant certification so they could get a tase of what it would be like.

    Also, as another posted mentioned try job shadowing, or even volunteer work.

    Good Luck
  6. 3
    Howdy. I was a teacher for 12 years, and now am a nursing student. Yes, I had a lot of time off, which I know I am going to miss, but as someone else said, with nursing you can work different areas, and there are so many choices. There are few choices in teaching. Teach, administrate, counselor. And the other two require whole new degrees. I hear nurses say that they have no respect from people for the jobs they do, but I'll tell you that there is WAY more respect for nursing than for teaching. In teaching you are held accountable for many things that are totally beyond your control, like a kid's attendence at school, his/her behavior at school, etc. I don't hear a lot of nurses saying they get blamed for the high blood pressure, or the two pack a day smoking habit that their patient has. Teachers are blamed for EVERYTHING that doesn't go right, and not given any credit at all for anything that does. It's a horrible, demeaning profession. For a while the time off and the kids were enough to go for, but that doesn't last forever for most teachers. Most of the older teachers I know are bitter, have high blood pressure, and count the years, hours, minutes until retirement. It really isn't worth it, in my opinion. I think a person can be excited about it for about 5 or 6 years. Then you either decide to stay teaching for the time off, or you get out. It took me longer than most, but I finally got up the nerve to get out. Leaving teaching is one of the best things I've ever done. I love nursing school, and I have had a passion for this work for several years now. If you are not passionate about teaching, don't do it.
  7. 1
    If you think you might like to teach then nursing is a perfect spot for you! I was really torn between teaching and nursing as well. I'm currently working in L&D and postpartum and I find it to be a perfect avenue to do a lot of patient teaching.
    Tinker88 likes this.
  8. 0
    If I had the means, I'd go back to school to be a teacher. It was a toss-up when I was in high school; ultimately, I chose nursing.

    And believe me, tencat, nurses get blamed for boatloads of stuff that is totally out of their control. Teaching doesn't have the corner market on that problem.
  9. 0
    Quote from fab4fan
    If I had the means, I'd go back to school to be a teacher. It was a toss-up when I was in high school; ultimately, I chose nursing.

    And believe me, tencat, nurses get blamed for boatloads of stuff that is totally out of their control. Teaching doesn't have the corner market on that problem.
    Why would you go back and be a teacher?
  10. 0
    I'm with Fraggle, In your question, you seem very focused on the benefits, rather than the actual jobs. I'd learn about what each job really entails, opportunities for advancement in the field, areas of specialization, etc. and make a choice on what you think you would enjoy doing, rather than the side bennies or the schedule.
  11. 1
    I taught middle and high school Spanish for 6 years and am now pursuing nursing. My biggest piece of advice is, DON'T go into teaching because of the time off because there's not as much as people think. I arrived at work at 6:45 to get ready for my classes and left between 4:00 and 7:00, depending on coaching duties (required at our school) and evening meetings. I spent about 6-8 hours a week outside of school grading papers and lesson planning. I spent about 12 hours twice a year writing comment reports for each student. In the summer, planning for your courses is essential, and this can take quite some time and energy. Many schools require their teachers to do professional development in the summer, as well. I was passionate about teaching, and that's what got me through. It's tough, though. The teachers who don't go into the profession with a love for children and their subject matter tend to burn out in less than 5 years. The ones who go into teaching because they think it sounds easy last about one year. My advice: do what you love and find your passion. Since both professions pay about the same, consider finding the right profession in terms of what will motivate you to get out of bed each day.
    seekinginsight likes this.

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