Teacher or Nurse? HELP!

  1. In a nutshell, I am at a crossroads educationally. I have always wanted to be a nurse, have been a nurses aide, am currently taking pre-reqs for RN program ( that can also apply to an education degree) HOWEVER......
    Now I am starting to think that with 4 & 10 year olds, teaching is a better option (no summers/weekends/holidays, off when the kids are off, etc...) but its 2 MORE years of schooling to be a teacher. And the money is good in teaching but the money is better in nursing. I have thought about being a school nurse, but jobs of that nature just aren't that plentiful where I live, especially if you have an associate degree vs. a bachelors in nursing. I have a few more classes to take that can be used for either major, and then I have to REALLY decide. Can anyone give me some input? Dear hubby just says "whatever makes you happy" but I would like impartial opinons!
    FYI: I am currently a preschool teacher in my daughters school and really like because of the above reasons, but nursing holds great appeal to me because of the money and because of my great interest in medicine/helping people thru those times. HELP!
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   mom and nurse
    Perhaps you can be both. I've learned that many people who are now nurses have had other occupations before they became a nurse. In the end, the decision will be yours.

    or perhaps something that will allow you to be both a teacher and a nurse? Nursing tends to be very flexible.... I would not go into nursing because of a nursing salary....especially if you enjoy teaching more.....
  4. by   Blee O'Myacin
    it sounds to me like you are leaning on the nursing side of the fence. I think that as a nurse, the job is more physically demanding, but you can also work a 12 hour shifts and be home more often. I work 2 twelve hour days at a hospital per diem and it works out well. Nights were a struggle, but more because of my inability to get a refreshing sleep - the quantity was there, but the quality was lacking.

    What decided things for me was that I am not all that warm and fuzzy around other people's children. Don't get me wrong, I like children, but I really didn't want to spend day in and day out with an entire roomful of them. So I stick to adults and am quite happy doing so.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    Blee
  5. by   tnbutterfly
    Maybe you could do some substitute teaching or work as an aide in the classroom to see if teaching is what you really want to do. Can you take classes at night to allow you to do something like this during the day? Or take classes a few days a week to open up other options to explore. You need to do what you're happy doing, because one day your children will be all grown up and you want to be in a career you enjoy.
  6. by   lauralassie
    I know a couple nurses that do both. They teach durning the school year and then do agency in the summer. That way they get the best of both worlds. They double dip pay wise, in the summer. I must say though, the older they get the more they talk about leaving nursing. It's demanding on the body. They say it worked out well when they had children because during the summer they could work when they wanted, make lots of money when they did and have the advantages of teaching durning the school year. They said it was nice to have snow days. Say they lay in bed and think of their nursing friends that are making their way out in the snow, ice and cold to go to work. They hear a lot of people talk about how little a teacher gets payed. But, they say it all comes out in the wash. Teachers don't have to rotate shifts, work holidays etc...that nurses are exposed to. They say if you manage time well, you don't take work home with you (they say nursing is the best way to develop time management skills). They do say however, the threat of law suits is ever growing in the teaching feild as well.I say do what you like, cause, you have to be happy. Best of luck with what ever you decide to do.:spin:
  7. by   dream'n
    I'm sure I am really biased, but I would get the education degree. I'm a nurse, but with the all the stress and worsening acuity of patients, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone at this time. Besides, MY dream is to become a literature teacher.
  8. by   Hnebun
    Thanks for your really great replies....Blee-I too am not the kind that goes ga-ga over other peoples babies, and the only kids I really like are my own!! However, I am told that I am great with kids (though I think not) so now this is the plan:
    I will go ahead and get my RN. I think that I will only work per diem, not full-time. Nursing school will be bad enough on the wee ones, I don't think its fair to go full-time immediately after nursing school unless its absolutely necessary. Then, if things move smoothly, I will go back and get my BSN and teaching credentials. My family is my #1 priority & I don't want to miss out on their growing up years, but mommy is going to need a life too!
    Thanks everyone!
  9. by   kenny b
    Quote from Hnebun
    Thanks for your really great replies....Blee-I too am not the kind that goes ga-ga over other peoples babies, and the only kids I really like are my own!! However, I am told that I am great with kids (though I think not) so now this is the plan:
    I will go ahead and get my RN. I think that I will only work per diem, not full-time. Nursing school will be bad enough on the wee ones, I don't think its fair to go full-time immediately after nursing school unless its absolutely necessary. Then, if things move smoothly, I will go back and get my BSN and teaching credentials. My family is my #1 priority & I don't want to miss out on their growing up years, but mommy is going to need a life too!
    Thanks everyone!
    Wow! Planning your children in is very admirable! If there were more parents like you, I would probably still be teaching (high school math).

    One caution...
    When I left teaching (1996) there were a lot of requirements for obtaining a masters within so many years, and attending inservices during the summer, and and and...
    I'm not saying the place where you'll work is like this. I just know that we were required to spend a lot of time off-shift and we were salaried, so we were working for free. By the time all of that was figured in, we weren't making a ton of money.

    Teaching the younger ones is probably different since you don't have 5 sections to teach and they are at a different maturity level. Just some things to think about.

    Now have you ever considered teaching adults (since it sounds like you maybe love teaching and not children in particular??)

    I only ask because nursing educators are in short supply (of course you'd want to pursue that after the children are older or in college, but it's something to think about).
  10. by   Jo Dirt
    Whichever you do you will probably wish you had done the other. Why don't you just do both? If that isn't an option then maybe get the nurse license first then work on teaching?
    I'm sick of being a nurse, though I still like to com here.
  11. by   BSNtobe2009
    Considering you are married and your youngest will be in school in a year, go ahead and get your RN degree. State emloyees enjoy amazing benefits, but hospitals is one of the few places left besides top corporations, that are still offering great benefit packages, especially pensions, that are starting to make the endangered species list.

    You can do it, if I can do it as a single mother with a 2 year old, you can do it with school-aged children and a husband.

    Teachers in the regular school system are leaving in DROVES because schools just flat out refuse to discipline children anymore. Recently there was a case that I read about where a student was premitted to continue to attend a high school after he had raped another student. The school board said it was not done at school or on school grounds and the juvenile justice system was taking care of the problem...the girl's family eventually had to take her out and pay for a private school they could not afford, while the rapist got his legally entitled education.

    This is what they call "mainstreaming" and it has RUINED the educational system. Students even threaten to injure or threaten other faculty and students and they are suspended, but they come right back. They get expelled for weapons...and they come right back. They get caught with drugs, and they come right back.

    I am a firm believer in bringing back reform schools and making them extremely unpleasant places for troublemakers to be and I DO NOT believe in educating criminals that are using the school system as a state supported babysitter.
  12. by   GPatty
    How about being a school nurse?

    Believe me, they do alot of nursing AND teaching......

    Good Luck!!!
  13. by   maggijo
    As a former teacher, I don't recommend going into teaching because of the time off. Yes, you will have the same vacations as your kids, but you will spend part of those vacations lesson planning, grading papers and exams, and going to conferences... and like it stated above, you don't get paid for this time. It's just expected. The people who go into teaching for the time off tend to burn out in five years or less. Go with your passion, not vacation time. Teaching's not easy. I loved it, but it's a lot harder than many people realize. Good luck!
  14. by   MIA-RN1
    I hear ya. I just received my associate's in nursing and now I am going to continue on to my Master's and I am thinking of getting it in Health Education. Then I can be a nurse who teaches...maybe in a high school, maybe in a college. So I plan to combine both.

    I would be careful with school nursing. I worked in a high school nurse's office for 6 years as a medical assistant in an adolescent health clinic located within the nurse's office. We worked side by side with the school nurse and it is *way* more in the way of paperwork than patient care, at least at the high school level. Plus there are specific guidelines (see your BON) and it gets fuzzy with the medications etc.

close