Anyone made career change from engineering to Nursing? - page 2

DIdnt know where to post this question. I am a Mechanical engineer by degree but work in the aerospace field for the past 7 years. I have been thinking of goign back to school for a career change and... Read More

  1. by   Jeniya
    Oh my goodness!!!! It is such a relief to finally find someone that has already done this. I have a BS in Civil Engineering. I got into this because of the money and not wanting to spend years in medical school. When I was in my second yr of college I was about to transfer and my mom told me to stay where I was because everyone is a nurse. I regret that decision everyday of my life. I have been in engineering for 4 years now and I have a baby. Living in NY makes it impossible to quit working and go to school. I wanted to do the accelerated BSN program. I've thought about relocating to another state to do the program. I am currently taking my last 4 pre requisites. I'll be done by next May. I hate my career with a passion. I am a people person. I feel confined by this cubicle. I know nursing school entails alot of work and stress but I'm so ready. I feel that is where God wants me to be. Thanks for the advice!!!!
  2. by   2ndyearstudent
    Quote from lmf2006
    I have been thinking of goign back to school for a career change and would love to go into obgyn nursing. Anyone out there who has made the career change from engineering to nursing?
    I did. More accurately, I am. I am also a Mechanical Engineer in the last year of an ADN program.

    "How did nursing school compare to engineering school?"

    Like Romper Room compares to theoretical physics. Oops, that reference might be too old. Anyway, nursing school is orders of magnitude more challenging and stressful than engineering school. At the time, I thought engineering was hard, but I had no idea.

    In general, it is a lot more stressful and demanding. You are constantly tested and you need to perform - often at the risk of failing out of the program if you don't demonstrate a sound knowledge and actual demonstration of the material. Your engineering background will not make checkoffs or doing head to toe exams in front of your instructor any easier. The pace is fast.

    "How did your engineering background help/ or not help you in nursing school or in your nursing career?"

    My engineering background has been a huge help in any number of ways. I did a lot of Project Management and Quality Engineering so I had a lot of experience dealing with many types of people - Sales, Manufacturing Floor, Marketing, Purchasing, Management, Geeks, Freaks, Nerds, Basket Cases, Chicken Littles...you name it. I was surprised how much this exposure to different personalities helped me. I was always rather strange among engineers in that I had great social skills.

    Dosage calc math will be a breeze for you. Caution - you still have to practice a lot because the problems are formatted weirdly (often on purpose). While many of your classmates will shudder when metric terms or simple algebra are tossed at them, you'll be cool as the other side of a pillow. Partial Pressures, Boyle and Dalton aren't going to throw you at all either.

    I noticed I had a lot easier time with terms than a lot of my classmates. Discussions of planes (transverse, saggital, coronal) and direction (distal,proximal) were easy. I seemed to pick up a lot of Latin terms along the way and had little problem with terminology.

    Having to look things up never bothered me like it seems to bother my classmates. I was very accustomed to having reference books around or foraging through databases to find information when I needed it. Many of my peers don't want to know anything they cannot google.

    Looking at anatomical diagrams also seems very easy for me, perhaps from generating or reading thousands of engineering drawings and prints. Same goes for learning new equipment - syringes, IVs/pumps, suction, O2 equipment, chest tubes, all that will be very easy to pick up.

    I even had one test question I could not have known without being an engineer. The question was on the drug Normodyne. I had no idea what it was and had forgotten it was Labetalol. But I did know that dyne is a unit of force and if something is going to "normalize force" I could rule out the other answers and get it right.

    So, being an engineer will help you in a lot of ways. You are used to classes being hard and having to study and do a lot of practice problems in order to succeed. Even so, you will have to perform a lot of skills that you have never done in settings you have never been just like your classmates.

    Have fun!
  3. by   2ndyearstudent
    Quote from dijmart
    I'm in the U.S. & you do not need a 4 yr. degree! There is a nursing shortage, so if you have a adn you WILL get a job. Ads may say they would "prefer" a BSN, but that doesn't mean anything.
    Depends. Check on your location.
  4. by   Jeniya
    What state do you live in? Are you working? Do you have a family?
  5. by   jrock17


    Wow...I am soooo jealous of all you engineers...I'm trying to get OUT of nursing and into engineering (civil).

    Please...if you are considering nursing, make darn sure you get an advanced degree (and do so immediately), and get off 'the floor' as soon as you possibly can. You will Never get the respect you deserve as a floor nurse that you receive as an engineer...Ever!

    I'll switch places with ya in a minute!

    PS. my husband is a transportation inspector (consultant), and I am jealous of his job every single day... Work outside, work on a project that actually gets results, work with mostly guys (wait til you work with all/mostly women....dog eat dog, every b*%#@ for themselves attitude), M-F schedule w the occasional Sat/Sun and double time and half for any holiday worked, laid off in the winter for 2-3 months.... the good life!

    God bless you if you are considering getting out of your prestigious career.
  6. by   2ndyearstudent
    Quote from jrock17
    You will Never get the respect you deserve as a floor nurse that you receive as an engineer...Ever!

    I'll switch places with ya in a minute!
    Yeah, being on salary and getting worked to death for no bonus, no pay increase and no comp time after which the company is sold and your job gets shipped to Shanghai.

    If that is "respect," you can have it.
  7. by   Despareux
    I never finished my mechanical engineering degree, but I worked as a statistician for about seven years.

    Since a child, I have always wanted to study genetic engineering. Who knows, maybe one day I'll get back into it. Got into nursing for many reasons, but one of those was to "refresh" my love of the sciences and to better communicate with others. Being a statistician, you tend to lose the ability to communicate with others, and many people dislike you because of a silly 'ol number.

    Nursing education is an entirely different animal.
  8. by   jrock17
    If I could kindly clarify...


    Taking heavy pt assignments (complete, labor intensive, back breaking) b/c the charge nurse has 'friends' who are working on shift w/ you and they would never give a crappy assignment to their 'friends', having pt's hit, spit, pee/poop, bite and verbally abuse you during your shift (it's a felony to hit a cop, firefighter, doctor...but not a nurse), being floated to other floors 2 and 3 times a shift (caring for up to 20 total pt's in a 12 hour shift), and when lodging a valid compliant/concern to those above you (in the proper ways and channels) only to be ridiculed by your peers and nurse manager for 'opening your mouth'......

    Hostile, hostile work environments. No respect for knowledge gained or given.


    I'm sorry for you that your position was outsourced and that you have worked on salary for nothing or less...honestly, I am.
    I wish we could work together and rid both professions of their problems.
  9. by   2ndyearstudent
    Quote from jrock17
    I'm sorry for you that your position was outsourced and that you have worked on salary for nothing or less...honestly, I am.
    I wish we could work together and rid both professions of their problems.
    Don't be sorry for me, I could not be happier.

    I am taking steps to avoid the things you mentioned. I've got my eye on few couple facilities/floors/departments where stuff like that isn't happening. I've seen how bad it can get, though, and I can handle it if I have to.

    I'm more than fine with ending my engineering career. Heck I could still do it, I just don't want to.
  10. by   Streamline2010
    Quote from dijmart
    I'm in the U.S. & you do not need a 4 yr. degree! There is a nursing shortage, so if you have a adn you WILL get a job. Ads may say they would "prefer" a BSN, but that doesn't mean anything.
    Not true. The push for "magnet" hospitals (ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® - American Nurses Credentialing Center - ANCC
    , but I admit I don't know the details) means those hospitals want BSRNs and not diploma or associate degree. In many US cities, there is such a glut of fresh-out BSRNs amidst a succession of hospital closings and downsizing and mandatory overtime, that the new-grad BSRNs are not being hired there. The "shortage" if one exists is in and will continue to be in the more rural or less affluent areas that lack college grads and / or diploma RN schools.

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