New - considering nursing; former med student, Army officer, family man

  1. Howdy, all! My name is Mike, and like the title says, I'm new here. I'm a 26-year-old husband and father, and I'm currently an officer with the U.S. Army. I've been bopping around the Internet for the past couple of days trying to figure out if nursing is the right career path for me.

    Educational/professional background... I graduated Texas A&M University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in biomedical science. I was accepted into an MD program with an Army scholarship and began shortly after graduating from A&M. For various reasons (already burned out from undergrad, long-time girlfriend dumped me, plain ol' lack of maturity, etc.), I was dismissed from the school in 2003. Of course, Uncle Sam never gives you anything for free, and so here I am in Iraq, about halfway through my service obligation to the military.

    Now here I am at a pretty significant crossroads in my life. I know I want to get back into clinical medicine. I'm a new husband (coming up on a year-and-a-half) and a new father (my precious daughter is six weeks old), and I don't know whether I should go back to med school again or go for something different. I didn't seriously consider nursing until recently after talking to our PA and a nurse I met. If I chose nursing, I'd try for one of the accelerated BSN programs, since I already have a BS. I just... basically don't know what I want to do professionally. I never thought I'd be here at 26, trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up!

    Thanks for reading, and please feel free to give me any advice you can think of. Bye!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Quote from Static Cling
    Howdy, all! My name is Mike, and like the title says, I'm new here. I'm a 26-year-old husband and father, and I'm currently an officer with the U.S. Army. I've been bopping around the Internet for the past couple of days trying to figure out if nursing is the right career path for me.

    Educational/professional background... I graduated Texas A&M University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in biomedical science. I was accepted into an MD program with an Army scholarship and began shortly after graduating from A&M. For various reasons (already burned out from undergrad, long-time girlfriend dumped me, plain ol' lack of maturity, etc.), I was dismissed from the school in 2003. Of course, Uncle Sam never gives you anything for free, and so here I am in Iraq, about halfway through my service obligation to the military.

    Now here I am at a pretty significant crossroads in my life. I know I want to get back into clinical medicine. I'm a new husband (coming up on a year-and-a-half) and a new father (my precious daughter is six weeks old), and I don't know whether I should go back to med school again or go for something different. I didn't seriously consider nursing until recently after talking to our PA and a nurse I met. If I chose nursing, I'd try for one of the accelerated BSN programs, since I already have a BS. I just... basically don't know what I want to do professionally. I never thought I'd be here at 26, trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up!

    Thanks for reading, and please feel free to give me any advice you can think of. Bye!
    Hello and Welcome to Allnurses.com

    Great to have you with us. I read about your experience and education. Have you considered Nurse Practitioner/CNS? This is a great career choice.
  4. by   llg
    Congratulations on you new baby. I wish you and your new family all the best in the world.

    As far as nursing goes ... it can be a rewarding career offering lots of flexibility and the chance to help people. However, it has its negative side, too. You'll read a lot about the negatives here on this bulletin board because this is one place that people come to vent. Few people write a lot when everything is going well: they write when they have a dilemma or problem of some sort. Please keep that in mind.

    Take care,
    llg
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    hello and welcome to the wonderful family of allnurses.com. enjoy your stay, and best of luck to you.
  6. by   Thunderwolf
    Welcome, Mike.

    I think many of us can relate to some degree when you say "being at a cross road" in one's life. This is a very exciting time in your life...new beginnings. Congrats on your being a new husband and father. Hopefully soon, your tour of duty will becoming to an end or beginning a new phase. Glad to have you on board. Wish you the best, pal. And good luck in whatever you decide regarding your career and/or returning to school. I know you will make the right decisions.

    Wolfie
  7. by   Static Cling
    Thanks to everyone that's posted for your kind welcome. I am just starting to learn about all of the different levels and specialities of nursing. I guess before, I lumped all nurses into one category. I know, I know... my bad.

    It is an exciting time, but also scary. Wondering where the money's going to come from while I'm in school, wondering where we'll live while I go to school, wondering if I'm going to do well, etc. I'm trying to get myself and my wife to focus on the opportunities as opposed to the abject fear.

    If anyone else has any advice or encouragement, please keep it coming. Thanks again!
  8. by   Tweety
    Good luck in whatever you do.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    First - thanks for your service and welcome to All Nurses. I didn't do nursing school until I was in my early 30's after a stint in the Navy (and a husband and two kids). There are many opportunities in the medical field - nursing is certainly one of them. My only regret is that I didn't get a BSN right off the bat. I personally love ER nursing so that is what I do, but there are many, many different things to do. The schooling and cost will be very dependent on where you go after you get stateside. Once you decide a general area, then see what types of education are offered there. Good luck.
  10. by   bluesky
    Hi Mike.

    I don't know you personally and how much you want the MD in your heart of hearts. For myself, I really really wanted it. I had struggled for so many years taking orgo and getting good grades... I relished the thought of being the responsible decision-maker, the figure of authority (OK, these are stereotypes...). I got a BSN as sort of a "in the meantime" approach, one which would keep my feet wet in the medical world while providing a substancial living to help support my family.

    I had to finally realize this summer that my dream to become an MD was not realizable. To begin with, medical school/ residency is a double full time job which would render me useless to my husband and son for many years, and more or less unavailable thereafter. Many of the MDs I work with have reiterated this point, but then again they are surgeons and intensivists in a high stress teaching hospital so you have to take that under consideration.

    Secondly, I didn't appreciate how the practice of medicine has become industrial-like due to the negative impact of the HMOs. Physicians are thereby forced to see a gigantic number of patients to maintain the income they expect... leaving the genuine doctor-patient relationship completely eroded. For example on the SICU where I work the average 24 hr shift for the residents sees them taking care of 14+ (and sometimes up to 40) extremely sick patients. They can barely make a 10 minute visit to each room to quickly copy down the pertinent lab data and history information on their little pre-fab sheets before having to recite the information on rounds. A good 3/4 of them don't even have the time to assess the pt and so the RN ends up playing a huge role since he/she actually knows the patient. The RN actually knows the patient. In the end, after some uncomfortable self examination, I realized that knowing my patient... her name her hobbies how I can relieve her pain, her in depth medical history_ won out over the ego trip of knowing that I would be recognized by everyone as the top gal. Not by much, mind you. : ). It still hurts when I have to take orders from someone I tutored in high school (this actually happened to me recently), but a little intellectual bruising is survivable. The best physicians always acknowledge that their nurses are invaluable players in the healing process. Attendings often bypass the judgments of the residents on my unit in favor of the nurses because of our familiarity with the patient and our sharp critical care skills.

    There are only 3 things I don't like about nursing. 1) It is a physically and emotionally demanding job (I can only speak to the hospital environment because that is all I know... other areas of nursing may not be so demanding). 2) There are times when nurses don't treat each other very well... this appears to be a systemic problem in nursing and if you search this website you will find quite a few threads dedicated to it. I have found, however, that my male friends in nursing tend to avoid this pitfall better than the average female. 3) there is quite a bit of mindless taskwork that I am neither interesed in nor particularly good at such as bedbaths, linen changes, etc.
  11. by   stpauligirl
    Quote from Static Cling
    Howdy, all! My name is Mike, and like the title says, I'm new here. I'm a 26-year-old husband and father, and I'm currently an officer with the U.S. Army. I've been bopping around the Internet for the past couple of days trying to figure out if nursing is the right career path for me.

    Educational/professional background... I graduated Texas A&M University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in biomedical science. I was accepted into an MD program with an Army scholarship and began shortly after graduating from A&M. For various reasons (already burned out from undergrad, long-time girlfriend dumped me, plain ol' lack of maturity, etc.), I was dismissed from the school in 2003. Of course, Uncle Sam never gives you anything for free, and so here I am in Iraq, about halfway through my service obligation to the military.

    Now here I am at a pretty significant crossroads in my life. I know I want to get back into clinical medicine. I'm a new husband (coming up on a year-and-a-half) and a new father (my precious daughter is six weeks old), and I don't know whether I should go back to med school again or go for something different. I didn't seriously consider nursing until recently after talking to our PA and a nurse I met. If I chose nursing, I'd try for one of the accelerated BSN programs, since I already have a BS. I just... basically don't know what I want to do professionally. I never thought I'd be here at 26, trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up!

    Thanks for reading, and please feel free to give me any advice you can think of. Bye!
    Greetings from San Antonio, TX. My husband is also ARmy at Ft.Sam and I had to get under the knife at BAMC quite a few times lateley. The Army nurses were very wonderful to me. My neighbors are Aggies....I would like to apply at UTHealth Science Center and become a RN.
    It must be hard to leave your family behind, especially the little baby.
    Stay safe, and god bless you
  12. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from Static Cling
    Thanks to everyone that's posted for your kind welcome. I am just starting to learn about all of the different levels and specialities of nursing. I guess before, I lumped all nurses into one category. I know, I know... my bad.

    It is an exciting time, but also scary. Wondering where the money's going to come from while I'm in school, wondering where we'll live while I go to school, wondering if I'm going to do well, etc. I'm trying to get myself and my wife to focus on the opportunities as opposed to the abject fear.

    If anyone else has any advice or encouragement, please keep it coming. Thanks again!
    First of all, thank you for your military service in the sandbox.

    You mentioned having a Bachelors Degree. At the University of Texas, at Austin, I know they have a program where if you already have a Bachelors Degree you can apply for there accelerated MSN program. Maybe other colleges have the same program.

    BTW, have you ruled out PA program? Just curious.
  13. by   live4today
    Hello Mike! Welcome to Allnurses! Thank you for what you and countless of other troops are doing for our country in Iraq. :icon_hug:
    I think you should do what your gut feeling tells you to do as far as whether you return to med school, or attend nursing school. Search your heart, your mind, your spirit.....talk it over with your wife, pray about it before you leap into something that will cost you lots of time and money, and trust the decision you arrive at as a couple.

    Congrats on your baby daughter, too! :hatparty:

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