I want to start posting here regularly, so I thought I should write an introductory post.
I'm 24 years old, living in Columbus, Ohio, but originally from East Tennessee. My family was mostly poor textile workers, but I did well in school and got scholarships to go to college. I came up here to get my Masters degree in English (have a BA in English) but had a change of heart when I got a taste of what academia was like. I read all the fretting about the nursing job market toughening up, but you should see what the market is like for academics in the humanities! Programs *pay* for students to get their graduate degrees and leaders in the humanities say people should stop going into the field, hehe. Though, even if there were better prospects, academia just wasn't me.
Well, after being out of school for a (little) while, I decided I wanted to start a second career in healthcare. I like working directly, no nonsense with people. I'm good in a crisis, deliberate, highly intuitive and empathetic, thorough, hard working and have not too bad of a brain. Caring but skilled health care professionals meant a lot to me growing up, and I'd like to fill the same function as my contribution to society. I also like the opportunities for specialization and advancement available to nurses, so I believe it is a path that would enjoy. I'm not sure what area I'd like to specialize in yet, but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon. I'm just getting a handle on the basics for now.
I have a 3.9 GPA from undergrad, so I figure going for the ABSN is my best bet to get my RN. I hope to be part of a summer 2013 cohort (beginning, not graduating). I'm taking the few pre-requisites I need at the local CC and working as a home health aid, though I'll be taking a class to sit to become a CNA/STNA and get my BLS and CPR certs between Spring and Summer classes. Hopefully, that and my few months of HHA experience will get me in as a tech at a hospital or LTC. That will give me a year of healthcare experience before I even start nursing school.
This board has been so informative as I plan for nursing school and landing that first nursing job someday. I can't wait until I look back on this post when my goal isn't that first job anymore.
My plans are to apply to a few ABSN programs in Philadelphia and hopefully get a job there out of school, though I'm not opposed to moving if I need to do so. The east coast is where I've wanted to be since I was a little kid, and it has the right kinds of education for my needs. I'm unattached, so I'll have more freedom of movement when it comes to employment than many others.
Thank you to everyone who gives their time to write such great responses and information. I'll try to pay it forward and keep posting once I'm further into the journey.