From librarian to nurse

  1. Hi All,

    I'm a 30 year old male who currently lives in Kentucky. For the past four years I've been a librarian and I quite like it. However, lately I've decided to become a nurse. The reasons are various of course, and money is only a relatively small part (though not insignificant). Also, my girlfriend lives in Atlanta and I've been looking for a job to move down there for a few months but, of course, the job market is terrible for somebody with a bachelor's degree in English/History.

    So here's what I've been thinking: get a cna. I've been reading about the training and it is fairly quick and in theory can get you working in less than two years of study. Now, do you guys think it would be better for me to just go ahead and do the certification classes in Kentucky, take the GA certification exam and try to find a job, or would it be better to wait until I have relocated and do it all in the Atlanta area? There's no pressing time table and I'm willing to be patient in order to increase my chances finding employment.

    Also, if the latter option is the best, are there any positions in a healthcare facility (or service provider) that I can look for that will be relevant to nursing training even though I'm not certified? Can my impractical degree do anything at all for me or should I just resign myself to working in a grocery store (which I am happy to do) until I'm certified?

    Finally, is the cna even worth it? I see it as the first step on a long path but should I maybe just concentrate on getting an RN without the intermediate steps?

    Thanks for your time and I appreciate any responses.

  2. Visit Eric_M profile page

    About Eric_M

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 2


  3. by   Starting Over...
    Hello Eric,

    Like you, I am making a career change and also have a bachelor's degree.
    Have you considered being an RN? You can accomplish this by getting an Associates degree in nursing and passing the nursing exam.
    The reason why I suggest RN is that in Atlanta, it pays more than an RN and the amount of time it would take you to complete the RN program is probably about the same as a CNA since you have a previous degree.
    In terms of whether or not you do it in Kentucky or Atlanta depends on you and your resources.

    I looked at the Georgia Board of nursing and it seems easier if you start your program in Georgia and get licensed in Georgia versus completing a program in another state and trying to to get a Georgia License
    notice the part where 500 hours is required before applying for a Georgia License if transferring from another state.

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]If applying by endorsement, the applicant must be licensed as a registered nurse in another jurisdiction and must have graduated from a nursing education program prior to passing a licensing examination recognized by the Board as valid for licensure as a RN. The applicant must submit the following:

    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A completed application with a fee of $60.
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A completed criminal background check.
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Provide verification of current RN licensure in another state.
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Provide verification of original licensure obtained by NCLEX-RN in another state.
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A verification of employment as a RN documenting (3) months or 500 hours of licensed practice as a registered nurse.
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Any additional information requested by the Board as needed for licensure.
  4. by   Eric_M
    Thanks! Getting an RN would be the ultimate goal (at least) but I figured the cna would be a way to get into the field somewhat quickly. I wonder if you may be right about transferring from Kentucky to Georgia not being worth it. I know having a previous degree won't hurt but since I was so arts and humanities oriented in college I doubt it will help. But maybe I'm being overly pessimistic. Who knows?
  5. by   Starting Over...

    Another degree helps because you have already taken core courses like history, English, art,etc....
    The courses that you would have to take now would be Biology, maybe chemistry, and health courses. If you have never taken psych courses, you would have to do that too but most people with another degree have already taken intro to psych.
    As long as your core courses are a C or better they should transfer. If you took bio and chem less than four years ago, and earned 3.0 or better, those would transfer too.

    Put it this way, a buddy of mine has a business degree and went back to get his RN. He went full time and took classes during the summer and was out within a year, year 1/2. He found a job right after graduation.

    If you want CNA then go ahead an do it, but I think you would be better off getting an RN because the pay is higher and there are more opportunities.

    Also, if you want to further your education later, there are bridge programs you can take that will let you go from Associates RN degree to Masters in Nursing.

    If you do the CNA route you would have to go back and get your Associate's or Bachelor's in Nursing first before you could go and get your Masters.

    In Georgia, the demand for CNA's but the wage is not high. Whereas for RN's the demand and wage is high
    Take a look

    you can also go here to compare the occupational outlook for CNA's and RN's

    I have a degree in psych and I am doing the RN option because it pays off better financially for me (I'm a single parent).

    If you are worried about work, I did a search on and found that some places will hire someone not as a nurse or an aide but for other positions if they are enrolled in a nursing program.
    This may not give you the direct nursing experience you are looking for but it will help you formulate relationships and build your resume. Plus you will have an inside regarding nursing positions coming down the pipeline and will be able to approach your boss and HR that you are graduating soon and are interested in a position.

    Here's an example of job I found that is willing to hire a nursing student

    The job states 2 years experience in peds preferred but notice, it did not say required. My current boss tells me all the time to apply for positions that have experience preferred even though I may not have that specific experience. He tells me that as long as I have the minimum requirements, I can still land an interview.
  6. by   Starting Over...
    Also, transferring a license into Georgia is worth it only if you have 500 or more hours of RN experience. Otherwise the board won't grant you a license. So if you stay in Kentucky and get your license, you can't transfer unless you have 500 or more hours under your belt. I'm not sure about the job market in Kentucky but the fact that more people from the Kentucky and Ohio area are moving to Georgia tells me that it may not be doing as well as Georgia in some areas.

    Now if the Board of Nursing works faster in Kentucky and you are confident you can find a job quicker in Kentucky, I would stay in Kentucky and get it done.
    The reason is that the Board of Nursing takes a long while in Georgia.
    I believe they only meet only once or twice a week to review license applications , I could be wrong but judging from my other people I know and the feedback given on this site, they can take a while to process
  7. by   librarian2nursing

    I'm a librarian too! I am quitting my job to go back to school full-time to become an RN. I was wondering have you started your healthcare journey yet?
  8. by   RhodeIslandMSN
    Hi - I'm the opposite - nurse wanting to become a librarian. I would like to work as a librarian in a hospital, medical school, or something similar. I have my MSN (nursing administration) and absolutely burned out on healthcare. I'm currently researching library programs.

    Maybe we can help each other or answer each others questions. Feel free to reach out to me.

    Good luck.