Nursing as a second career

  1. Hi,

    I'm a 38 y/o guy who started his career as a Paramedic. After doing that for 12 years I went into the corproate world. I made it to a high level management position but always think about returning to medicine. Now I'm thinking about leaving all this and going to school to be an RN. Anyone have any insights to share about going back to school after so long? Anyone doing it now? Drop me a line
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   jhrn
    I am a elementary teacher and am thinking about going back to school in the evenings to earn an ADN! Big decison and it affects so many people beyond myself-husband and family.

    Good Luck!
  4. by   MsBruiser
    I totally know how you are feeling. I am working as a management consultant, and have just begun completing pre-reqs for my local associates program. Should quit work by August 2002 to go full-time. I am also a former firefighter/paramedic from NY…
    Last edit by MsBruiser on Jul 25, '06
  5. by   seltzerguy
    Originally posted by Stopnik
    I totally know how you are feeling. I am working as a management consultant, and have just begun completing pre-reqs for my local associates program. Should quit work by August 2002 to go full-time. I am also a former firefighter/paramedic from NY...
    Stopnik. Where in NY? I grew up all around that area, maybe we hit the same ER's along the way. What do you think of the local ADN program? Have you found the people are helpful? How about the "impact" of being the "old guy" in the class?

    >>I am just very fed up with the corporate life right now. I always thrived in the intense hours of working in ER(s) and on Ambulances - I was at my happiest with the stress, lack of respect, and other related problems! So it is a logical switch back - despite the 60% paycut!

    BINGO Stopnik... That's my situation exactly. Good to know I'm not alone. Drop me an email some time and let me know how it's going... ed@estern.com
  6. by   MsBruiser
    I'll answer here for the benefit of anyone wanting to read my response. ADN programs in the Phoenix area are fairly well-run. It is just very difficult sorting out all necessary pre-reqs, etc. If you push (gently), the people are fantastically helpful. Still...given the nursing shortage they should make it a heck of a lot easier to get into a program! As far as being old 32 isn't that bad (though my wife says I look older). I'm still a new student and trying to sort things out. Hopefully, onceall pre-reqs are done, I will not have trouble getting a permanent slot in one of our ADN programs.

    I was a firefighter/EMT volunteer in Rockland County for almost 8 years. Also ran 911 with Empress Ambulance in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and New Rochelle...I'll certainly keep you posted.
  7. by   rory535
    Your guys situation is exactly like mine. I too am fedup with the corporate world, yes good money, but zero job satisfaction and stimulation. Cant wait to get into nursing. I was thinking of doing a BSN, but damn, so many pre-reqs to complete is frustrating to me. My concern is that I will not get paid as much with an ADN. I am not concerned about the management aspect, which Ive heard a BSN will allow you to get into,(Had enough of that in the corporate world)but I dont want it to prohibit me from working in a particular area. Any comments you guys have on this?
  8. by   seltzerguy
    Well I have been reading up on the facts that there's a big movement under way to move towardsa a requirement that all nurses have BSN's. So in theory ADN nursing jobs will get harder to find. I've seen that happen in other lines of work but I think, knowing how slow the medical community moves anything lile this would take time. As for the nursing work you can or can't do... these days most places still look at the certifications first and then the "experience". I'm betting (OK actually hoping) that my business experience and maturity will be a bigger asset./
  9. by   kimtab
    I am a "second career" nursing student. I made the decision to go into an ADN program based on time and financial concerns. I already have a Bachelor's degree, I am 34 years old and I'm a single Mom. If I had to get a BSN to work as a nurse I probably wouldn't be able to do it at this point in my life. While I do think it's true that nursing is moving toward the BSN as a minimum standard- it's also true that with the current shortage your immediate job prospects aren't going to suffer much just because you have an ADN. And someone pointed out to me while I was trying to decide- get the ADN and let the hospital you work for pay for you to go back and complete the Bachelor's degree.

    Good luck!

    Kim
  10. by   135ctv
    I left a corporate career to become a CNA. (Wanted to work in health care but after spending 11 years in college and graduate school did not want to pursue another degree.)

    I recommend keeping your current job as long as possible while you complete the prereq's. Start living on a reduced income now, save the surplus or use it to pay down any outstanding debts. If you have already completed a B.A., there is not a lot of federal financial aid available. Some states have loan forgiveness programs if you work in a rural area after graduation.

    Consider obtaining nurse's aide certification. It will allow you to earn some income while you are in school. If you work through agencies, you will have a higher hourly income and the ability to set your own schedule. Some nursing schools like to see applicants with this type of experience.

    The drop in pay really isn't that bad if you're doing something that makes you happy.
  11. by   MsBruiser
    It's amazing to see how this thread has grown -- and quite heartwarming to see so many others in a similar position. About the ADN vs BSN thing -- I gave it lots of thought, research, and study -- as well as the accelerated MSN option (I have a BA and MA at the moment). It all came down to two factors -- time and money. I can get my ADN done in less time and start working. For starting hopsital jobs there is no difference in pay, prestige, etc. NOW after several years, it does matter if you want to work your way into interesting things -- but most hospitals in Phoenix will bend over backwards to pay you to get your BSN -- and lots of colleges offer flexible one year transition courses. So you can get the ADN -- start working -- finish any pre-reqs-- and then be done within 12 months or so. The ADN will make no difference for that first or second job -- just if you want to move up into administration or clinical specialties. So the ADN can effectively buy you/me/whoever a nice cushion to earn some good money while we pursue the BSN -- so don't let the "prestige" of a two year degree hold you back. It is just a stepping stone.
  12. by   MsBruiser
    One other thing I learned. Be VERY, VERY, VERY nice to the people in Admissions and Records who evaulate your completed coursework for pre-reqs. They are in an amazing position to make your life difficult or easy -- though I have truly found most really enjoy helping returning students clear through the government maze. Find out there name and visit them in person -- don't just talk over the phone. It is amazing what some small-talk will/can do.
  13. by   BioRN
    I have a B.S. in Biology and I am accepted into a BSN program whcih costs more than I can fathom. I am also on the waiting list for an ADN program. I am number 119 for fall. I am very concerned about taking out $40,000 in loans at my age (36) to do the BSN program so I am holding off a year to see, if the ADN program will take me. I have been told by career counselors and nurses that I will be given opportunities just as, if I had a BSN, by signing my name as _____RN/B.S. Any advice on which path to follow would be appreciated.
  14. by   seltzerguy
    Originally posted by BioRN
    I am also on the waiting list for an ADN program. I am number 119 for fall.
    Oh my god! And what there are probably only 30 seats per class?

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