Teacher to nurse? Questions from a military spouse

  1. 1
    Hi,
    I always longed to work in the hospital setting. I got a degree in college that would allow me to go to PA school, but I instead decided to marry my husband and become a high school science teacher so that I could be more available to my family. He is military, moves around and is gone a lot. I got my MA in Education and am in my second year as a chemistry teacher (two states so far). I am very dissatisfied with teaching high school kids and have no passion for it although I am told very often that I am good at it. I see others with such enthusiasm for teaching and I'm just not there. I am thinking for the fifth time of going back to nursing school. I know that the hours for nurses can be a bit crazy; however, I feel that if I loved my job it would be worth it. My husband thinks that this is a "grass is always greener" thing and that I will regret not having summers off. I'm wondering if you all can offer any help. I want to have time to spend with my children and wonder how the hours are for nursing? Are there benefits for moms as a nurse that I may not be considering? Is it hard to move around as a nurse? I know the military lifestyle puts the spouse tagging along and I really want to do something for myself but I don't want to hate it later as a mother. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated from mothers, military wives, or anyone who feels they can help. Thanks so much in advance.

    -Melanie
    greenfiremajick likes this.
  2. 15 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    I would do PA school.
    AmericanRN, Otessa, and ImThatGuy like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from RNTOBE_1970
    I would do PA school.
    Can't echo that enough.

    My degree was pre-health bio. although termed general science. I too took the easy way out upon graduating, taught h.s. bio, chem, and A&P for a year, quit, built a law enforcement career (working as a paramedic on the side), and now I'm finishing my first year in nursing school (BSN). Given the option, I'd prefer to have gone to PA school, but at this point I wasn't moving out of state or sitting around waiting for our one, small, private school PA program to offer me a seat.
    AmericanRN likes this.
  5. 3
    I was a nurse for 10 years, went back to school for teaching. I taught kindergarten for 5 years. I am now back in nursing. I loved my summers off but worked my tail off during the school year. This cut into my family time tremendously. I missed my kids field trips and conferences because I was teaching. Nursing allows me to make a much better income while spending no out of pocket for classroom supplies. I work 3 - 12 hour shifts a week and can work extra if I wanted to and paid for it. Teaching I worked many extra hours with no pay. I guess what I am trying to say is get out of teaching if your heart is not into it. Nursing is so much better because it still allows you to be a teacher.
  6. 1
    I am a school nurse so fully understand the summers off There are times when I would like to be a teacher too - one of my schools had someone come in to observe and critique our school's teaching of math. I stayed over with the rest of the staff to hear his debriefing session - what they did right and what they did wrong. I was ready to be a math teacher at the end of it

    If I were you Melanie, I would seriously think things over. I hated working in the hospital. I would job shadow for a few days to see if it really is your bag. Since you have a MA already, the PA might be the way to go, though. There are also "immersion" degrees in nursing that are geared toward people with college degrees that aren't in nursing.
    Last edit by Heidi the nurse on May 2, '11 : Reason: word change
    Otessa likes this.
  7. 0
    Nursing with children is hard in a hospital setting. None of the shifts are compatible with parenting. 7-3 means you gotta be at work by at least 6:30 to prepare and get report. That usually means not getting the kids off to school. 3-11 means not helping with homework. 11-7 means your too tired to do "day" activities. 3-12's (7-7) are rough because you leave early and get home too late to cook dinner. Plus cancel any after school activities. You usually have to do every other weekend and rotate holidays. Think about not spending Christmas or Thanksgiving with your children :-( If your gonna go into nursing with children, think about school nursing or a doctors office but they don't pay as well. Just some things to consider coming from a single mother with 2 kids. I'm 2 semesters away from my NP, just so i can try to get some normal work hours. My kids miss me.
  8. 1
    I am a nurse manager and my nurses love their 3 x 12 hr shifts. I have several military spouses and always try to work with them regarding their schedule but I know not everybody is willing to do that. School or doctor's office jobs are not easy to get. Nurses usually have no problem getting a job when their military spouse is transfered.
    Momfirstalways likes this.
  9. 1
    Well my PA program is 27 months...my sisters RN was 24 months... considering that id go PA. With todays economy finding a RN job is very hard and as a military spouse myself moving alot or somewhat frequently without alot of experience in nursing under your belt may hurt you. Going the PA route ensures more job opportunity, higher income, being ble to work in the area that intrests you without worrying about having to take any job you could get and your scope of practice is much more advanced in some aspects, all for very close to the same amount of time for programs! Plus PA school is more sciene wired then nursing school in my opinion (i did one year before i decided to go the PA route and thats my opinion, not stating all programs are like that though)
    ImThatGuy likes this.
  10. 0
    Hi,
    I am not a nurse yet, I am actually waiting on my acceptance letter (hopefully) as we speak. But, I thought I would post on here because I was in a similar state as you. I teach high school and I have my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. My husband is a nurse and he is currently working on his Bachelor's Degree in it. We don't currently have children, but hope to start trying when I finish school.
    There are so many changes in the educational setting, at least in Florida, anyways. And, like I am sure you know, there are so many extra hours we put into teaching that we do not get paid for. I coach volleyball, so I don't have a summer...so that benefit isn't the same for me. Personally, I couldn't imagine having children now with my schedule. And, as you, I am losing my passion for teaching.
    From talking with my husband and my sister-in-law (she is also a nurse), I honestly think my schedule will be easier than it is now as a teacher and coach. My husband did suggest looking into PA School, but in my area you have to have a certain number of hours in the medical setting, which I do not have. Also, I applied to an Accelerated Program, so I will finish sooner than the traditional program.
    Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best!!
  11. 0
    I know I was disillusioned with the public school system. After teaching for several years as preschool teacher, then director, then paraprofessional, then SPED teacher in a resource room for K-3rd graders, I was done. So done, as a matter of fact that I have been homeschooling my kids since 2nd grade (now in 7th and 4th grades)...Anyway, I can't really tell you whether or not you would enjoy working all year (did you really take summers off, or did you work at another job or spend 1/2 the summer cleaning up your room, getting ready for next year, attending meetings in the middle of summer, etc? Also remember the extra amount of hours that some of us put in, totaling WAY more than the average work week hours)...But I can provide you with this: If your husband is deployed (and up until 6 months after he gets home), you can go here https://www.militaryonesource.com/MO...tAccounts.aspx and the military will pay for quite a bit of your education.

    Also, your hubby can look into donating some of his GI Bill to family members...I believe it is aprox $3-400 per month, up to 36 months.

    I wish you much luck and happiness in your choice. I'm happier than ever after leaving the public school system!



    Quote from girlinpearls
    Hi,
    I always longed to work in the hospital setting. I got a degree in college that would allow me to go to PA school, but I instead decided to marry my husband and become a high school science teacher so that I could be more available to my family. He is military, moves around and is gone a lot. I got my MA in Education and am in my second year as a chemistry teacher (two states so far). I am very dissatisfied with teaching high school kids and have no passion for it although I am told very often that I am good at it. I see others with such enthusiasm for teaching and I'm just not there. I am thinking for the fifth time of going back to nursing school. I know that the hours for nurses can be a bit crazy; however, I feel that if I loved my job it would be worth it. My husband thinks that this is a "grass is always greener" thing and that I will regret not having summers off. I'm wondering if you all can offer any help. I want to have time to spend with my children and wonder how the hours are for nursing? Are there benefits for moms as a nurse that I may not be considering? Is it hard to move around as a nurse? I know the military lifestyle puts the spouse tagging along and I really want to do something for myself but I don't want to hate it later as a mother. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated from mothers, military wives, or anyone who feels they can help. Thanks so much in advance.

    -Melanie


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