2nd career people: nervous about switching?

  1. For all you people who chose (or are choosing) to switch careers and go into nursing: were you feeling as nervous about it as I am?

    I'm not even a student yet, but am planning to start taking a few of my non-nursing courses during the evenings this summer. I'm starting this way because I don't want to quit my current full-time job until I have to - want to get as much $ out of my current employer as possible before I leave!

    But here I am, not even a student yet, and I'm soooo nervous... can I handle school (again), am I choosing the right career this time, will I make it, will I find that nursing is just too difficult / confusing / stressful for me? I know that only time will answer these questions. But please tell me that some of you were just as nervous as I am.

    I'm intelligent, caring, detail-oriented and work better under pressure, at least in my current job... so I believe I can handle it. But this will be such a major change in my life, I need some reassurance that the way I feel is not uncommon. Help!

    Kathy
    •  
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Hooligan
    Hi Kathy!

    First, welcome to the board!!

    Second, yes, I was/am nervous about changing careers...especially since I'm quitting my job in August. But I must also say I'm very, very excited about it too! I'm just finishing up my pre-req's and will hopefully be admitted into the program this fall. I think a career change is a stressful & confusing experience for anybody. But I believe I'm making the best decision for myself. In my current job, there's really nowhere else for me to go and I really despise it...it's a desk job where I'm isolated from everyone...Yuk! I could go on and on about my current job and how much I hate it...but despite that...I'm still nervous about leaving it. It's my security blanket, my comfort zone. I am about as far away from nursing in my current career as one can get and I worry about whether I'll like nursing, be good at it, etc... I even have anxiety dreams about clinicals (which I haven't started yet). Bottom line, the jitters are perfectly normal! So sit back, hang on tight and enjoy the ride! Good Luck!

    ~Bean
  4. by   TheBrainMusher
    Kathy,

    I thought it was me writing your post. I am doing the same thing you are, getting as much money as I can from my current employer till (HOPEFULLY I GET ACCEPTED TO NURSING SCHOOL) I can give my notice and say, "Guess what, I'm leaving banking to go to Nursing school!". I wish I could say it right now. I am extremely apprehensive about switching, what if I don't like my job and I dreamed that this is what I really want to do, or what if I'm making the wrong decision ...

    But then, I think about it, and deep down in my heart ... I KNOW this is something that I want to do. I want to be involved in patient care, medicine, hospitals, challeneges, and use my love of science/math to better purposes. I don't want a desk job right now pushing paperwork everyday. Will I have that as a nurse? sure! But not to the capacity that I have now.
    I dreamed of being a doctor when I was little, now I'm being a nurse. Because being a doctor isn't what I want to do. I want to take care of the patient and I'm attracted to the more personable aspects of nursing. I feel I'm intelligent, personable, caring, honest, plus I Love science and technology. I think this would be a great fit for me, but unlike in the business world, with nursing you have so many different fields you can get in. I have a drive that I haven't felt in SO Long to do something to better myself. This will help me and I know nursing is hard, challenging and I will probably hate some aspects of it. But deep down inside every time I think about making the switch I get nervous, but an excited nervous b/c I can't wait to begin my new life. A life that I feel will bring me a sense of peace (career-wise) which I was never able to find in college or my first job. Granted, I'm only 23y/o which makes the switch a little easier than say someone who is 35, but it makes no difference. Both of us are giving up our comfort level to try something new! I welcome that!

    Good luck and hang in there!

    **Crossing my fingers and hoping I get accepted**

    Megan who's working on A&P I
  5. by   colleen10
    Hi there,

    I'm with Head and Bean on this one.

    I am currently finishing pre and co-req's and hope to start clinicals this coming fall.

    I was very apprehensive about switching and even now I get a little freaked out at times wondering if I will be able to handle the nursing classes and working full-time for at least my first year of nursing school.

    I wonder if I will enjoy nursing as much as I hope I will and if I am not jumping into yet another frying pan so to speak. But, then I think about where I am at career wise right now and how it pretty much stinks. No career to really speak of and really no opportunities. Feel like I am wasteing my talents and natural abilities and interests. So, I tell myself you never know unless you try. And that's all you can really do at this point, is try. Like you said, time will tell how well you do and if you will like it. But I know, it is nerve racking and makes you a bit indecisive and question if you are really doing the right thing. But that comes will all big desicions and changes. I like to think of all of this as "Good Stress" not the bad stress.
  6. by   LauraLou
    I left my job in January and am going to school full-time taking pre-req's. I am going to apply late admission for the Fall semester but realistically it will probably be Spring 2004 before I start nursing school.

    I have a Masters degree in library science and have been working as a corporate researcher for ten years. It is scary to make such a big career change at 34, but I know this is the right thing for me. People think I'm nuts to change careers after having gotten an advanced degree, but I really feel a strong pull towards nursing.

    I really want to do something meaningful with my life. I am tired of sitting in front of a computer all day with little or no people contact. I want to feel like I am making a positive impact on the world. Studying to become a nurse has given me a new energy for life that I have been missing for a long time.

    The school work is much harder than I had anticipated. I had originally thought, "How hard can community college classes be, I have a Master's degree." Then I started A&P and my arrogant attitude flew out window! The amount of material that needs to be memorized is staggering! I have two weeks to learn the name of every bone, hole, joint, suture, groove and depression in the human skeleton. That is hundreds of names to learn and identity. Getting my masters degree was much easier than this.

    Sometimes I wonder why am I putting myself through this as I could always go back to research, but mostly I feel really good about becoming a nurse and it is certainly intellectually challenging!
  7. by   Hooligan
    It's nice to know I have company in this boat!

    ~Bean
  8. by   Elenaster
    I know what you all are going through because I was there exactly 3 years ago. I too was full of self-doubt and confusion over whether or not I was making the best choice for myself or my family and whether or not I would fail or succeed, or even survive for that matter. Well I graduated with my BSN in December and took the NCLEX today and can look back and honestly say I made the right decision. I feel really good about switching to nursing and feel confident that I will be a lot more fullfilled professionally for doing so.

    I applaud each of you for your initiative and offer you all my support. Not only do you already have what it takes to be successful in nursing school, you will most likely excel. You will also find that once you get out of the pre-reqs, nursing school is not about memorizing tons of facts, it's about learning how to think critically. That revelation became very clear to me today as I was suffering through the NCLEX!

    Will it be easy? Most likely not. However, it can be done and done well, even with numerous outside commitments (e.g., work, family, etc.) and even with little or no money. I'm living proof!!!

    Good luck to each of you. I know you can do it!
  9. by   Hooligan
    Originally posted by Elenaster
    I know what you all are going through because I was there exactly 3 years ago. I too was full of self-doubt and confusion over whether or not I was making the best choice for myself or my family and whether or not I would fail or succeed, or even survive for that matter. Well I graduated with my BSN in December and took the NCLEX today and can look back and honestly say I made the right decision. I feel really good about switching to nursing and feel confident that I will be a lot more fullfilled professionally for doing so.

    I applaud each of you for your initiative and offer you all my support. Not only do you already have what it takes to be successful in nursing school, you will most likely excel. You will also find that once you get out of the pre-reqs, nursing school is not about memorizing tons of facts, it's about learning how to think critically. That revelation became very clear to me today as I was suffering through the NCLEX!

    Will it be easy? Most likely not. However, it can be done and done well, even with numerous outside commitments (e.g., work, family, etc.) and even with little or no money. I'm living proof!!!

    Good luck to each of you. I know you can do it!
    Congratulations on your BSN!! Let us know how you did on your NCLEX!! Goo Luck!!

    ~Bean
  10. by   salgal
    Hi Kathy-
    I can understand where you are coming from....major change can be really scarey sometimes. I think due to the type of work I have done for the past 20 years I am not feeling the fear as bad. I have worked in telecommunications and it is a very unstable field to be in at this time. Due to the competition there is absolutly no job security to speak of anymore. It seems like they are constantly downsizing and closing offices every time I turn around. I sat down and really thought about my strengths and interests and decided nursing is where I need to be. I am very compassionate, enjoy people, detail orientated and just love science so the switch hasn't been to bad. I am still working in telecommunications while in school....I was very straightforward with my employer when they asked what I was studying.......I thought it may cause problems....but they completely understand my reasoning for wanting a carreer change and have been extremely supportive. Just take a deep bereath and go for it!!!! I am sure you will have no regrets........Good luck!!!
    Sally
  11. by   ggfifirn05
    Kathy,

    I have to say "ditto" to the posts above. I'm waiting to find out (hopefully by the end of March) if I've been accepted to my CC's nursing program that starts in May. I just made a very spontaneous (not usual for me at all!) decision at the beginning of 2002 to pursue nursing, and started my prereqs that March. I've worked in Corporate America for nearly 30 years, in the accounting/financial fields, and realized after the death of my younger brother in late 2000 and the events of 9-11 that life is too short to continue working at a "job" (not a career) that just pays the bills, not to mention the downsizing and layoffs my firm has experienced over the last three years with the stock market's collapse. So I just jumped in with both feet, and have really enjoyed learning new things (which have always interested me anyway) and meeting new people.

    On one hand I'm nervous, but on the other I'm so excited about what the future brings. If/when I'm accepted, I will be quitting my job of ten years with a major brokerage firm to go to school full time, and this is going to present not only financial challenges, since I've been my family's primary breadwinner for the last 10 years, but also the emotional challenges that any career change brings. I understand those changes very well, because my husband retired from the Navy in 1992, and then went back to school himself, to become a teacher...I know how hard it was for him to completely change directions. My husband and children are very supportive of my decision to change careers.

    I am normally a worrier, and the weird thing about all of this is that I don't seem to be as worried as I usually am about something new...its almost as if it was "meant to be". I was concerned when I started school that perhaps I was too old (I'll be 47 in April) to keep up with the classes, but I've managed to maintain a 4.00 GPA in my prereqs while still working fulltime, so I guess the old girl still has it. I do worry a bit about the physical aspects of nursing (hoping the back and feet hold out) but I am in relatively good physical shape, and have always tried to take care of myself that way. I know once I'm in the nursing classes(and actual nursing) I'll be presented with new challenges and experiences, but I also have a lifetime of personal experience and maturity to draw upon, and in a way, feel like that is an advantage over my younger classmates. I guess my signature line says it all for me. Best wishes for you and good luck!
  12. by   Nurse2BinNC
    mastiff38, I was very nervous about switching careers, I had worked for the same Finance company for 14 1/2 years. It was like giving up my safety blanket to leave my company. But I had always wanted to be a nurse and when my then 9 year old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, I thought that was the perfect reason for me to leave that career for a career in Nursing. I wouldn't change anything about that decision, other than wishing I had made it sooner. But now I am in my final semester and will graduated in May and I see it as one of the most positive things in my life. Good Luck
  13. by   Belgndogs
    I gave up a career of 8 years as an animal trainer to switch to nursing. I'd reached literally the top of my field and found that it 1) wasn't challenging enough anymore and 2) didn't pay enough; I was going to be broke when I retired, even with a retirement plan. So I started looking for a second career that was in demand, paid well and would let me go anywhere in the country. Found it in nursing! I'm currently taking my pre-req's, should have them finished up next quarter and with luck (keep your fingers crossed!) I'll be in my CC's nursing program in the fall. I have to say I was scared to death; I kept having moments of panic and 'oh my god what am I DOING??' But I can't tell you how happy I am I made this decision and am pursuing this goal. I feel more alive now than I have for the last 3 years; I love being back in school and the daily challenges of studying and learning. So to everyone, keep at it, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do it!
  14. by   kat57
    Hi Mastiff;

    I am 46 and will also be making a career change into the LPN program August 2004. I have always worked secretarial jobs and have been burnt out for a long time. I thought I had lost my mind when I decided to pursue nursing. My first job was as a CNA MANY years ago. I also have that security blanket, an 8 hour job a paycheck every 2 weeks, but I am also scared !! I will be quitting my job next year and my husband will be the sole breadwinner. In the meantime I am taking my pre-reqs at night. I still have doubts about getting into study habits, retaining stuff and all kinds of things and most days I think to myself 'you're nuts', but I know that if I don't pursue this I will always wonder if I would have made it and I get pretty excited about it, kind of a pep talk. What's funny is the brochure for my nursing program has a picture inside of some students in class and I recognized one of the students as a man I knew about 10 years ago, a family friend, I found out he graduated last year. I flipped. I can't wait to give my employer notice. Of course I do menial things at my job and I know I will as a nurse but I will make a difference and be appreciated by someone. good luck.

close