Nursing as a 2nd degree and career

  1. It seems there are a lot of nurses out there who have Bachelor degrees in other areas. I am curious to hear from others on this subject. I have a B.S. in Geography and worked in the computer field for 7 years prior to nursing school. I have met others with degrees in geography, literature, sociology, history, biology, etc.

    1)What is your story?

    2)Why did you change careers?



    Cheers,

    Marc
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   lehua
    Graduated in 1994 w/ a b.s in environmental sciences and urban planning which led to varying jobs focusing on employee safety and air quality. The part I liked best was health and safety training, and being part of a team involved with safety compliance. Nursing (I hope to start in Spring) for me, whether teaching or occupational nursing is a natural step to complement my field. And be more of a proactive advocate for employees who are exposed to varying nasty work environments like aerospace, semiconductor, refinery...Chance to travel abroad aint bad too!
  4. by   KristinWW
    80s - Always interested in medicine from a young age and was a candy-striper for years. Majored in medical technology and switched to nursing when I found I liked working with people. This was the 80s - everyone told me how horrible nursing was and business was the way to go. Was young and impressionable, discovering the joys of college and freedom, and I listened.

    Early 90s - Graduated with a degree in Business, worked for banks and was miserable. Never quite "got it". Began to float back to the helping professions in the form of psychology after a series of wrong turns both in jobs and training. Became a college/academic counselor and began an M.A. program in Psych. Eventually became the school's Allied Health Advisor.

    Late 90s - After several years found jobs for an M.A. in Psych were not there (listened to the wrong people AGAIN) and decided to continue for the doctorate. Moved with the family to FL for a fresh start, but now had my first child. Offered a fantastic position in allied health advisement at a university again, but unable to accept due to the time and travel involved since I now had a child (whoops, did I mention a hubby too?). Drifted back into corporate life in the form of training & development/instructional design. I now had another child and the doctorate would have to wait.

    Millenium - I still found I was not "clicking" at work. My closest friends observed I am not corporate material - no kidding! Went through a period of career research, but in the back of my mind medicine was always there. Did the research and re-discovered nursing. Now I have the old 80s naysayers emerging from the woowork telling me they always saw me in medicine.

    I learned the hard way it doesn't matter how hard you work (and believe me, I worked 24/7 in my other jobs) you will not be successful unless you are doing something in which your natural talent lies.
  5. by   JudithL_in_NH
    Always was interested in science/medicine, was going to be a bio major in college, but at the last minute I chaged to Latin!

    After a few shifts in major, finally got a BA in French/English as a 2nd Language Teaching in the early 80s. Few teaching jobs in those days, so I went into administration at an Ivy League college, managing a research branch of the psychology department.

    Moved in 85 cuz my husband got a job further north, then had kids and wanted to be a SAHM. Started a medical transcription business (science and medicine have kept cropping up in my life) out of the home in 88 which I continued until 98, when I was ready to not be home full time and found A TEACHING JOB (ESL)!

    I have been teaching since then, but find I can't make a go of things financially with teaching (I teach as an adjunct at the college level--you really piece together a living--a course here and a course there.) That's fine as a second income, but I'm aiming at not being married much longer.

    A couple of years ago I realized I had to teach in a grade school to have any job security, but that I'd need to go back for a Master's to make a halfway decent living at that, too. And, for a lot of reasons, I really don't want to teach at that level.

    I kept weighing an Ed Master's vs. nursing school, and nursing finally won out. Nursing is 75% education as it is, and I do hope to at some point to progress to an MSN and teach nursing as well as nurse in a hospital.
  6. by   AmyLiz
    I got a Bachelors in Psychology in 1994. Funny how they don't tell you that you are pretty much unable to get a decent job without going on to grad school.

    Anyway, after trying my hand at the only job I could get w/ my degree - an eligibility specialist in the county welfare department - I quit after 5 months. It was by far the worst job I ever had. So it was on to clerical jobs through a temp agency.

    I have had around 3 clerical jobs since. Really didn't enjoy myself at all. Lost my job in the fall of 2001 - along with the rest of the world, it seems - and couldn't find a job for over a year (thanks, 9/11). In the meantime, my step-mother kept telling me I should go into the medical field. Yep...that's the only field that seemed to be hiring at the time. Still...I didn't really listen to her.

    Finally got a job last fall - another office type job. Soon after, my husband was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma (non-malignant tumor growing on the vestibular nerve) & between all the dr visits & the eventual hospitalization after it's removal...I got a close up & personal look at nursing as a career.

    Now, I've always been interested in medicine, but never thought I'd actually jump into the profession. Now...well, here I am.

    And...I've found that the Bachelor degree did come in handy finally...all of my gen ed courses transferred!
  7. by   memphispanda
    Started college in 1987 (following my junior year of HS). Was going to major in Biology. Changed to Chemistry. Quit college for a while, got married, had a baby. Went back to college and got a degree in Psychology because it was one of the few available taking night classes. I was working in child care because my child got to attend free. I have had a few other jobs along the way, but have always gone back to child care. I LOVE teaching the kids.

    Anyway, child care doesn't pay the bills, and I have always been fascinated by how the body works. So after much debate (thought about getting a degree in teaching, but I decided I have had enough of the classroom for now) I decided to go to nursing school. I am one of those people who needs an active career (desk jobs are not for me).

    I'd like to work on an adult med/surg floor until my kids are older, then go work at either St. Jude or the Childrens Hospital. Both are a longer commute, that's why I don't plan to start there. I also plan to get my Masters and when the floor starts getting to be more than I can handle because of my age, I want to teach.
  8. by   PSUNURS05
    Marc,

    I received my BA in history in 2000. When I was a freshman I wanted to be a physical therapist. I was morbidly obese and did not feel comfortable around other people because I always thought they were making fun of me. After my freshman year, I decided I needed to lose the weight. I switched majors (to history) and began losing weight. I thought about foreign service and wanted to work in a museum. I worked in a museum when I graduated and was BORED TO TEARS. I worked at jobs (3 of them) after I graduated that were not challenging and had nothing to do with medicine. I love hospitals and the fascinating things that go on there. I had thought about nursing 2 years ago, but was told not to do it. I will finished my BSN program in 2005. Was it a waste with the history degree? Not really. I am a very very different person now than I was then, not to mention 140 lbs. lighter. You have to take care of yourself first. And I did that. I am much more confident now than I have ever been.

    Best wishes,

    Robin
  9. by   colleen10
    I'm a city girl that graduated with a degree in Agricultural Science, minor in Soil Science, in December of '97.

    While I was always interested in that field and did pretty good in my classes, looking back I just "never seemed to get it", if that makes any sense.

    I was never able to find a job in that field (funny how when you are applying to college they throw out numbers like "by the year 2010 there will be a need for 250,000 employees with your background" and of course there never are.

    After I graduated I could not find a job to save my soul and my mum was kind enough to get me a secretarial job at her company. I was pretty good at it, I have to admit, and I worked in employee recruitment, HR and also in Trade Show Marketing and Planning. When I got to do more things on my own and manage my own projects I really did enjoy my job and the people I worked with, but I always knew that I wouldn't go anywhere in either of those fields nor be successful. I just "don't get business". I'll admit the whole topic bores me to tears and I really just don't understand a lot of things about it.

    Also, I live in Pittsburgh and don't want to leave here because this is where all of my family is, but Pittsburgh is still trapped in the 1950's where women are expected to be stay at home moms and if they work they should only be secretaries and typists. I will fully admit that Pittsburgh is a biased city towards women and minorities and I really couldn't see putting up with all the discrimination and annoyance just to try to be successful in business. Also, there are very few jobs that require a college degree anyway.

    Then, even before 9/11 I was laid off from my job and could not find a job, not even an interview for 7 months. I finally got the job that I am currently holding and it stinks.

    During this whole time, even when I was at my last job I thought about how much I still liked science, how I was interested in medicine and taking care of people and how I get the most satisfaction out of working hard and having helped someone, even if it is something really small.

    So, I started looking into nursing more and more and finished up a couple pre- and co-req's. and now I start nursing clinicals this fall.
  10. by   EmeraldNYL
    I have a bachelor's in biology. I was debating going to PA school or working in a lab after I graduated, but as I was researching the CRNA profession I decided nursing was right up my alley. So, I started nursing school right after I graduated with my bio degree, and did not take any time off. Good luck to all those pursuing a second degree in nursing!!!
  11. by   srose
    I got my BS in psychology in 1999, and was all set to head off to graduate school in England for my PhD. However, two weeks before I was due to leave, I got word that my funding fell through. So, on a whim, I picked up and moved to the PNW, since I knew some people here and thought it was a nice place. I got a job in medical research, which unearthed my fascination with medicine, and a friend's flippant comment ("You're obsessed with those medical shows on TV. Why don't you go into the medical field?") all led into deciding on nursing. Now, I'm going into my 3rd quarter in an ADN program and I couldn't be happier. I don't regret that psych degree at all, it extremely useful knowledge to have in this field, plus covered all my prereqs!
  12. by   PJMommy
    Neat stories!! I received a B.S. in meteorology - did that for four years, bored to tears. Somehow morphed into a computer nerd and did that for 6 years, ending up in a management position. Hated it so much! I'd always enjoyed medicine and love people but kept hesitating making a switch because the money was outstanding in IT. (Side topic: Isn't it funny that I sat on my butt and made up things to do for $40/hour and in nursing I'll run my tail off and have people's lives in my hands and make less than half that??? ) I kept stuffing my thoughts about returning to school on the back burner - then lost 3 friends/colleagues who were in WTC on 9/11. I guess I just realized that we only have this one shot at life and who knows when it can all be snatched away from you. I think we all have a path we are supposed to be on - and I wasn't on it. Since returning to school, I am at such peace with my life and where I'm headed.

    So...I'm in an accelerated program and I'll graduate 6 months from today!! Yay!!
  13. by   back2school
    Have B. S. in Biology and Psyc. but what can you do with that? That was my frustration. After being out of school a while and having a family, I'd like to go back to work. My choices were limited to getting a master's in one of the previous fields or a teaching certificate. None of those programs have hours conducive to being a mom. So now I am starting Nursing school in the evenings and excited since it really is the field I am most interested in. Not to mention nurses are always needed!

    Toni

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