Switch fields? = quit nursing school...

  1. Hey everyone! I have posted a few times on here, but never made a thread. So I'm counting on you guys for some sound advice. I know in the end I'll have to make my own decision, and I'm sure I'll make the right one, but I really need as many viewpoints on this as I can get.

    First of all, I am in the first semester of five of nursing school at a very good school and I am doing fine gradewise (based on first test/quizzes, etc). Now, I have wanted to go to nursing school for a long long time, though I have never really been able to come up with a concrete WHY I wanted to. I already have a BA in psychology, which was something I wasn't incredibly interested in (long story... pretty much irrelevant).

    Anyways, lately I have been serioulsy considering quitting nursing school and applying for the same school's rad tech program. I work for a place that does MRIs, and I absolutley looove the technology associated with imaging of any kind. I really like talking to the patients and love answering their endless questions. I am just the receptionist at this place, but I find myself going into the "suite" and looking at all the images and asking questions and its jsut soooo cool.

    Now, as far as nursing goes, I find all of that interesting as well, but I just dont see myself as a bedside nurse (dont jump down my throat on that, I know its bad to say that, but oh well). If I am an RN, I see myself in the ER, OR, ICU or as a radiology nurse. I am deadset on the healthcare field, and I think that until now, I didn't realize that you didnt have to go to nursing school to be an integral part of the health care team. I saw nursing school as the logical way to work in the hospital. I have contemplated med school and becoming a PA, but for various reasons, I dont like those options.

    SO, what do you guys think? Should I stick nursing school out and then move on to what I want? Am I making a rash decision? The app for the rad tech program is due March 1, so I plan on submitting it and then if I've changed my mind, no big deal. It really sucks to think you know what you want for years and years and years and then when you get it, youre not so sure anymore....
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   moongirl
    follow your heart, and your gut feeling. sounds like you have found your niche! dont spend your time in nursing school hell if the thought of being a Rad Tech is what does it for you!
  4. by   amyk_ncsu
    yeah, thats the advice i'm afraid of!!! i think you are right, but my stomach hurts just thinking about all the money/time I've already spent on nursing school thusfar and the thought of it being wasted...

    I wish there was something that combined the RN and RT degrees, but thusfar I haven't found anything. It seems that they are completely incompatible.

    My tentative plan at the moment is to submit my application to rad tech school (same school actually!) and finish this semsester doing the absolute best I can in nursing school and keep as many options open as possible. If I dont get into the radiology program, I'll still stick with nursing, but if I do get in, then I can really reevaluate what I want to do with my life.
  5. by   jov
    Quote from amyk_ncsu
    I have been serioulsy considering quitting nursing school and applying for the same school's rad tech program. I work for a place that does MRIs, and I absolutley looove the technology associated with imaging of any kind. I really like talking to the patients and love answering their endless questions. I am just the receptionist at this place, but I find myself going into the "suite" and looking at all the images and asking questions and its jsut soooo cool.

    Now, as far as nursing goes, I find all of that interesting as well, but I just dont see myself as a bedside nurse (dont jump down my throat on that, I know its bad to say that, but oh well). If I am an RN, I see myself in the ER, OR, ICU or as a radiology nurse.
    you need to consider the flexibility that RN licensure will offer you
    at 23, it is highly unlikely that you will stay in the same field. Can you see yourself STILL loving being a rad tech at age 42? However, within nursing you can switch departments and specialties in a way that utilizes your experience, rather than starting over.

    If you become an RN, you can still work in a suite, look at images, ask questions, but I would venture to predict more than likely Rad imaging will lose its coolness in a few very short years (10?) and you will be bored silly with few places to go. In Nursing, on the other hand, you have many horizontal places to go...

    I also am guessing a Radiology/ER/OR/ICU nurse makes better bucks than a rad tech?

    p.s. I won't jump down your throat because the thought of being a bedside nurse turns my stomach, frankly... but I have many plans post RN licensure that are way better options!
  6. by   moongirl
    its not a waste of time unless you think you should stay and you really dont want to ..end up working as a nurse and hating it.. looking longingly down the hall towards radiology.. wishing you had done it differently
  7. by   cherokeesummer
    I like what Jov said...I would have to agree that you will have more options as an RN but it is up to you and also where you are. Here I have heard that there are not many full time RT jobs. I was getting an upper gi done the other week and the tech told me that b/c I told her my Hubby was applying to RAD Tech school.

    also wanted to say...we must be on the same plane of existence LOL. My name is Amy and I also have a BA in Psychology but am in nursing school LOL hahahaha. I am in my final semester of 6 and I don't have a concrete reason WHY I want to be an RN other than the flexibility?! I don't know what else to say really.

    I love Psych but there is no real career in it for me. With nursing I can work, teach, etc. You can even be a consultant for companies (i.e. I'm on an insulin pump and was trained by an RN).

    I don't think its bad to say you don't want to be a bedside nurse b/c frankly I do not want to be either or more specifically I should say I don't want to be a med surg nurse but the experience there is great as far as skills so I may need to do that to learn as much as I can. I think its each person and how they fit with a position. I know some med surg nurses that are GREAT and they love it, but they would hate to work with kids...or vice versa, its each person and their own unique skill set and personality.
  8. by   SoulShine75
    Hi, it sounds as though you really need to weigh your options. Many people would kill to be in the situation you're in....in nursing school. There is absolutley nothing wrong with being a rad tech, but you must remember that the options with the field are limited. It is very interesting to look at films, but with nursing you get to look at that plus more. Deciphering what is wrong with my pt based on some labs and data is one of my favorite things to do. It feels like detective work and it's fun. If you like technical skills then nursing is full of them. Plus there are many specialties to go in. Your choices are without limits. You don't have to work at the bedside, maybe at first to get expereince, but from there you can go anywhere. You have a lot of independance and are a highly trained professional. With radiology you are going to be doing the same thing all of the time (in the majority of situations) and some people are comfotable in that position. I, myself am not, which is why I wanted to be a nurse. It's exciting because you always meet new people and get to really interact with them. I wanted to be a rad tech when I 1st went back to college and I looked at the pros and cons of each profession. What changed my mind was the options. Nursing has a multitude of them. Just follow you heart. If you decide to be a rad tech then go for it, they are just as much a part as the medical profession as anyone else. It takes an army as they say.
    Good luck to you in whatever you decide.
  9. by   GratefulHeart
    Quote from jov
    you need to consider the flexibility that RN licensure will offer you
    at 23, it is highly unlikely that you will stay in the same field. Can you see yourself STILL loving being a rad tech at age 42? However, within nursing you can switch departments and specialties in a way that utilizes your experience, rather than starting over.

    If you become an RN, you can still work in a suite, look at images, ask questions, but I would venture to predict more than likely Rad imaging will lose its coolness in a few very short years (10?) and you will be bored silly with few places to go. In Nursing, on the other hand, you have many horizontal places to go...

    I also am guessing a Radiology/ER/OR/ICU nurse makes better bucks than a rad tech?

    p.s. I won't jump down your throat because the thought of being a bedside nurse turns my stomach, frankly... but I have many plans post RN licensure that are way better options!
    Jov thinks like I do, lol. For many of the same reasons she mentioned I want to encourage you to stick it out for now. Nursing offers MANY, MANY more and varied opportunities throughout your lifetime; whereas a rad tech will be limited in scope. Think long and hard before you make that leap: Are you a person who easily grows bored? If you are, you'd be better off in nursing where you'll never be able to master it all/do it all.
  10. by   amyk_ncsu
    Thanks for all your advice guys. I knew that being an RN would be waaaay more flexible, but I'm still torn. I know I would be happy in radiology, but I have doubts about nursing. So who knows at this point... I need to do some more soul searching...
  11. by   MBARNBSN
    Quote from amyk_ncsu
    Thanks for all your advice guys. I knew that being an RN would be waaaay more flexible, but I'm still torn. I know I would be happy in radiology, but I have doubts about nursing. So who knows at this point... I need to do some more soul searching...
    Normally I would agree with the others but in your case I will make an exception. You sound like as soon as you have the chance, you will be working outside of the nursing field. Thus, if you like what RTs do, then go in that direction. In the long run you may be better off.

    Yes, there are many jobs in nursing that provide flexibility, but not EVERY job in nursing provides flexibility. As far as employment is concerned, most fields of study do not have as many opportunities as nursing, however, this does not mean other fields lack any opportunities. I think if you LOVE what you do, you will find employment and satisfaction. On the other hand, if you hate what you do, you will not be doing it for very long!

    Read the posts on the board of Registered Nurses who are not working after a year, not to mention the many who post that he/she quit after a few months. I do not mean that the he/she quit working bedside. I mean that many posted that he/she is working outside the nursing field!

    I noticed that you posted you work with RTs right now. Your current job may provide you with the connections you need to be gainfully employed and to move up in the world working as a RT or as an Administrator (I know a few former RTs that are now Executives).

    Your future is up to you. Don't let people scare you into doing something your gut is against. GL
    Last edit by MBARNBSN on Feb 5, '07
  12. by   WDWpixieRN
    I considered rad tech before I headed in to NS....one thing a doctor told me to consider that I found very interesting was how much did I like interacting with people...he said the RT's "take a picture" (his words) and then they're done with the person...if I truly liked working with people and getting to know them, then the RN position would probably be more suited to me....my friend who's been an RN for 20 years also suggested I go the RN route since there were "more rewards, more options, more money"....are there additional schooling/degree options with the rad tech field should you decide to go that route? As someone pointed out, you are very young and it'd be nice for you to know that you have options for growth should you be looking for more challenges! Good luck!!
  13. by   melissar121
    imagine the possibilities you can have being an RN. you do not have to have a job being "at the bedside". the jobs are endless in this field. you can still be in the rad dept, just as a nurse. you might find an area more interesting the further you get into nursing school. i'd hang in there and finish the program. you can always get the rad. tech license after that and being double certified.
  14. by   JaxiaKiley
    When I first considered going back to school, it was for RT. I loved imaging, and the basic job description. However, after talking candidly with several RTs and nurses, I decided nursing was a better long term option for me. The RTs I spoke to were tired of their jobs after a very short period of time and didn't really have much of a career path.

    Best of luck with your decision.

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