Teacher considering Nursing school

  1. I haven't had any luck with feedback on the "Would you recommend nursing as a career" board, so I thought I'd try here. Thanks!

    I am currently in my 8th year of teaching. I love working with kids, but I haven't felt a great sense of satisfaction for the past 2 years. Between poor behavior, budget cuts, lack of parental support, and students not playing a role in their own education, I've become very dissatisfied. I need a career change and have been contemplating my next step in life. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a pediatrician. I'm seriously considering returning to school to become a pediatric nurse. My sister is an LVN and she absolutely loves her job. I know that nurses work long hours, have to put up with just as much bureaucratic problems....some of you could probably go on....put I can't help but feel there must be a great sense of satisfaction. The nurses that I know (sister, neighbors, and friend) all love their jobs, despite the long hours.

    The other part of this quandary is finances. I just got married a year ago and we bought a house. The nursing programs here in Houston require you to go full time. We could not pay the mortgage on my husband's salary alone, unless in his current job search he gets a position making a lot more money. I plan to attend an info session at one of the colleges and perhaps call to speak with someone. Maybe it is more doable than I might realize.

    I would appreciate any suggestions, advice, and encouragement that anyone has to offer. I've read a lot on these boards. They are fabulous!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    The situation is much worse in healthcare than it is in education, as you can see from reading many of the posts on this BB.

    My suggestion: stay in your present field. Look for opportunities you might enjoy more in education--special ed, multiple-disabllity special ed, teaching at a college, community college, adult education, working for Sylvan, doing professional trainings for corporations, etc.
  4. by   Keely-FutureRN
    I think it is completely up to you if you want to stay in teaching or go to nursing school. I would also consider new options in teaching, maybe at a pediatric hospital. Every job, including both nursing and teaching, comes with drawbacks but don't let set you back if it's what you really want to do.

    Keely
  5. by   Hardknox
    I taught third grade before I became a nurse. Be aware that you will work every other weekend, every other holiday, rotate to night shift, have to do overtime and even mandatory overtime when someone cannot come in to cover the next shift. That's the down side. It is VERY satisfying working with the patients and very challanging. I would think carefully about giving up school vacations, summers off and very stable hours. I do not regret becoming a nurse but my husband and family liked my teaching hours a whole lot better!
  6. by   K O'Malley
    If you do decide to go into nursing make sure you are going in with your eyes wide open. Otherwise you might be in for some rude awakenings. Read some of the threads on this board and it will give you an idea of what nursing entails. Read "nursing is pathetic"from beginning to end and if you still desire to be a nurse then it just might be for you.
  7. by   fab4fan
    Big No!! At least you have some protection via union; many nurses do not.

    Find some things to do outside of work to give you fulfillment. Nursing can be a very ugly place right now.
  8. by   PsychoRN
    Nursing is not as wonderful as it may seem. The working conditions and treatment by management can be horrible! You would be much better off staying in teaching!
  9. by   Tweety
    hmmmm.....those same parents that don't take responsibility for their childs education also aren't taking responsibililty for their health or their families. Peds if full of abused kids, crack babies, fetal alcohol babies, poor behavior. Budget cuts, lack of management support, on and on and on.

    Sounds like you're not naive at all.

    If you want it, it's doable. Many hospitals if you are willing to commit to them are willing to pay for part, if not all of your education. The hospital I work for is very student supportive, we have a program where they work 16 hours a week and get paid for 40 hours, plus they get all books and tuition paid. Good deal.
    Another way to do it is to take an extra year to get related courses out of the way. (Being college educated already, much of those you have done already, but get your anatomy and physiology, chemistries, microbiology's, etc. out of the way first, so if you have to work you can.)

    Do a thorough soul searching because the frustrations you describe are rampant in nursing.
  10. by   Dr. Kate
    You might want to volunteer on a peds unit. Sick kids are a world of different from well ones. And sick kids come with parents that frequently are there 24/7 (as well they should be.)

    There were some suggestions about other paths in teaching. A lot of the members of my library school class had been teachers in another life.

    Consider consulting a career counselor, they can help you sort out what you want and your options.

    Good luck
  11. by   Q.
    Originally posted by sjoe
    The situation is much worse in healthcare than it is in education, as you can see from reading many of the posts on this BB.

    My suggestion: stay in your present field. Look for opportunities you might enjoy more in education--special ed, multiple-disabllity special ed, teaching at a college, community college, adult education, working for Sylvan, doing professional trainings for corporations, etc.
    I agree with this post.

    I left bedside nursing for the very reason you are contemplating it: satisfaction. I had none. I worked in L&D/nursery and wasn't able to provide the care I wanted to my patients because we were so understaffed. Don't get me wrong, I love nursing, but have found other ways to get that satisfaction that I crave, by working towards my goal of becoming a nurse educator, and influencing patient care from behind the scenes.
  12. by   Edward,IL
    On a positive note: Pediatric home care/private duty can be very rewarding. One-to-one nurse patient ratio, ability to work with the same kid/parents over time so tha tyou can really feel that you are helping. All of the kids I've worked with need remediation of some kind and have special learning needs, most are enrolled in the special ed classes within their school district.
    Ventilator dependent kids have a right to go to school, they just have to be accompanied by a nurse. I've been on many case that need a nurse to accompany the kid to school, working usually from 7am to 4 or so, Mon-Fri. Sometimes weekends are required, but believe me, the stress is nowhere near working in a hospital or a classroom full of kids.
    Now, to get you there. Nursing school is difficult no matter where you go. LPN programs are not easy, they just try to cram into a 12 month technical program what the rest of us take 4-5 years to do. ADN programs are no piece of cake. BSN programs try to shove doctoral education down undergraduate throats. Nursing school can be an enjoyable learning experience. Pace yourself, find your own rate and rhythm for learning. Since you already have at least a bachelor's degree, go to only a BSN or MSN program. There are accelerated BSN programs (Creighton University in Iowa was one of the first to offer this about 10 years ago, check out web sites of these places). Many options exist nowadays. You can take a lot of course work over the internet, especially the traditional lecture courses (sociology, psychology, etc). Course work that doesn't lend itself to the internet can be done at a local college and then transfered in to the school that you will be obtaining your degree from. Early on, consult with a faculty member to help you plan your curriculum, review the course content of hours that you intend to transfer, develop a time frame, etc. Go to the library and fing out about the recommendations/accreditations made by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (they accredit bachelors and higher degree programs), the National League of Nursing (they are the oldest accrediting body for nursing ed programs. Again, on the internet, go to your state board of nursing web site and print out a copy of your state's nursing practice act and study it thoroughly. Is this what you really want to get into? Don't listen to hospital staff nurse too much. Very few of them are happy, hospital working conditions are horrible.
    Good luck. Edward. IL
  13. by   spineCNOR
    Have you looked around for other teaching options? Likes like you have excellent qualifications that would transfer to another area of education. Houston is a large city--is the one or more children's hospitals? Some of these hospitals have a teacher on-staff for their long-term patients. Some hospitals have an large enough education department that they have staff with no clinical background to do hospital orientation and some manadatory inservices.
    Some organization, such as zoos or museums have and education department, and as sjoe mentioned, many corporations have an in-house training department.
    Would you be interested in adult education, such as GED preparation or English as a second language classes.
    Good luck--there is bound to be some good job options out there for you!

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