Show me the Money

  1. 0 Folks, I need some advice.

    A little back ground. I am a forty-two year old, husband and father of two that has been employed as a sales engineer for the past 20 years. Several life experiences, including an exposure to flight nursing via my service as a first responder and volunteer firefighter, have led me to the conviction that my calling is to serve others as a nurse. I am close to completing my pre-requisites for nursing school and have been accepted to a local accelerated BSN program (16 months) which begins this fall.

    I am posting on this forum because I need input from all of the other (please tell me there are other) "older" dads out there who are pursuing a mid-life change into nursing while having to support a family. Specifically:

    * How are you financing your career change?
    * How much is this costing you (tuition and living expenses while in school)?
    * How much of a pay cut are you taking to pursue this calling?
    * Have I lost my ever-loving mind?

    I am sincerely looking for input as I am currently riding the roller coaster of excitement for finally finding my calling and the feelings of quilt/fear for what this may mean financially to the family that I love. Some input to consider as I seek your advice:

    1) The BSN program that I am pursuing will cost over $30K and I expect to spend another $45K in basic living expenses for the family. (There are no local public school programs that offer an accelerated format and time is money with a family of four.)
    2) My current income is approximately $90K.
    3) Upon completion of my BSN, my goal is to immediately enroll in an ACNP program while working at night at a local Level 1 Trauma Center. I would ultimately like to work as a Nurse Practitioner in an ER with a PRN position with a flight program.
    4) My wife supports me on this 100%. She is great.

    Am I crazy for giving up so much financially to pursue this goal. Will this financial sacrifice be forever or can I expect to get reasonably close eventually. Has anyone else done this? Should I "punt" and resign myself to an empty (but profitable) career?

    Sorry for the long post. I really need to get all of this out. Thanks for the sounding board.

    Browndog
  2. Visit  Browndog profile page

    About Browndog

    Joined Feb '05; Posts: 49; Likes: 17.

    60 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Tweety profile page
    0
    There comes a point in time where it's better to pursue what will give you the most satisfaction rather than money. If you think you can swing it, go for it! I do think that in order to make that kind of money you would have to work for an agency and put in some overtime. But there are nurses that make $90K or more.

    The most I've made is $60K. But that's in the low paying state of Florida. Other states particularly California an in the NE pay more. I'm about to lower my salary by going to day shift from night shift. It's just something I have to do.

    Sounds like you have a good plan and lots of support. Good luck to you!
  4. Visit  piper_for_hire profile page
    0
    1. Loans loans and more loans plus gutting our savings
    2. the total tuition for my BSN is $24K
    3. My previous salary was about the same as yours. I'll make $60K in my first year as a new nurse (not including overtime) and then twice that after I start the weekend program (but this will be for 48 hrs/wk at two different hospitals). So - take a hit a first and then make more. Man - did I ever work less than 50 hours a week in my last career?? Never.
    4. Yes - you have lost your mind. I still feel like this could be the dumbest thing I've ever done and I graduate in 20 days. Career change when you have a stable career and a family is a scary thing. I try to have faith that I'll feel good about it in the future.

    -S
  5. Visit  Browndog profile page
    0
    Thanks guys for the input. It is reassuring to hear that I am still awake, alert and oriented enough to realize that I HAVE indeed lost my mind. So far both replies to my post have indicated a salary of 60K. I would not be that concerned if I felt certain that I could achieve that level of income. Seems that the Nashville area hospitals are paying closer to $18-23hr ($36-46K) for nurses. Am I missing something?

    Thanks for your comments.

    Browndog (Soon to be in the doghouse.)
  6. Visit  piper_for_hire profile page
    0
    I live in a city in the northeast and the pay is generally around $25/hr before differentials. I have heard that the south is quite a bit less and that Florida is the worst in the country - but I can't say if that is really true or why the pay may be less.

    -S
  7. Visit  max6well profile page
    0
    Congratulations on getting into the program.

    You can go to www.salary.com to get a decent salary range for your geographical area.

    I make about the same as you and if i get into the program I applied to my income will be going down by at least 75 percent for the three years I am in the program.

    I am willing to sacrifice the money if I can spend one day (hopefully more) in a job that provides some level of personal satisfaction. I will have to make some serious lifestyle adjustments and probably burn through what little savings i have.

    I sometimes think Ive lost my mind but I actually think I might have finally found it.


    I'd love to hear more on your decisions.

    Max


    Quote from Browndog
    Folks, I need some advice.

    A little back ground. I am a forty-two year old, husband and father of two that has been employed as a sales engineer for the past 20 years. Several life experiences, including an exposure to flight nursing via my service as a first responder and volunteer firefighter, have led me to the conviction that my calling is to serve others as a nurse. I am close to completing my pre-requisites for nursing school and have been accepted to a local accelerated BSN program (16 months) which begins this fall.

    I am posting on this forum because I need input from all of the other (please tell me there are other) "older" dads out there who are pursuing a mid-life change into nursing while having to support a family. Specifically:

    * How are you financing your career change?
    * How much is this costing you (tuition and living expenses while in school)?
    * How much of a pay cut are you taking to pursue this calling?
    * Have I lost my ever-loving mind?

    I am sincerely looking for input as I am currently riding the roller coaster of excitement for finally finding my calling and the feelings of quilt/fear for what this may mean financially to the family that I love. Some input to consider as I seek your advice:

    1) The BSN program that I am pursuing will cost over $30K and I expect to spend another $45K in basic living expenses for the family. (There are no local public school programs that offer an accelerated format and time is money with a family of four.)
    2) My current income is approximately $90K.
    3) Upon completion of my BSN, my goal is to immediately enroll in an ACNP program while working at night at a local Level 1 Trauma Center. I would ultimately like to work as a Nurse Practitioner in an ER with a PRN position with a flight program.
    4) My wife supports me on this 100%. She is great.

    Am I crazy for giving up so much financially to pursue this goal. Will this financial sacrifice be forever or can I expect to get reasonably close eventually. Has anyone else done this? Should I "punt" and resign myself to an empty (but profitable) career?

    Sorry for the long post. I really need to get all of this out. Thanks for the sounding board.

    Browndog
  8. Visit  caringRN2B profile page
    0
    I am a 35 year old single mom going back to school for nursing and its tough. But I can tell you, I have 2 male classmates, one is 47 and the other 52, both persuing nursing degrees after being in totally different fields (one a computer programer, the other was in sales) and they switched and went to school for the same reason as you, they felt it was a calling. The 47 year old has 3 small children and the 52 year old has two in college. I'm not going to lie to you, its tough for them both financially and mentally for many reasons, I know it weighs heavily on their minds that they are not able to support their families the way they once did and they both feel very selfish for going after their dreams. But their families are very supportive and so are we as classmates. I know the one with the younger children has taken out a few alternative student loans to make ends meet while he's in school, I'm not sure what the other does. I think nursing school is rough for the student, the family and everyone and everything surrounding it, but its well worth it in the end. I guess the point to my post is, no, you are not out of your mind. Go for your dream, you deserve it. It will all pay off in the end. Good Luck!!!
  9. Visit  piper_for_hire profile page
    0
    Wait - you're a mom?? This is the Male Nursing Student forum!! I had this same problem with our tree house in my back yard growing up. :P

    -S
  10. Visit  whiteaustin profile page
    0
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    1. Loans loans and more loans plus gutting our savings
    2. the total tuition for my BSN is $24K
    3. My previous salary was about the same as yours. I'll make $60K in my first year as a new nurse (not including overtime) and then twice that after I start the weekend program (but this will be for 48 hrs/wk at two different hospitals). So - take a hit a first and then make more. Man - did I ever work less than 50 hours a week in my last career?? Never.
    4. Yes - you have lost your mind. I still feel like this could be the dumbest thing I've ever done and I graduate in 20 days. Career change when you have a stable career and a family is a scary thing. I try to have faith that I'll feel good about it in the future.

    -S
    I was just curious to how you are planning on working the weekend program at two different hospitals? Are you going to be on the weekend program at one hospital and work during the week at another? Was just curious because 120K sounds pretty darn good! I work at one hospital, and due to low staffing I get to put in lots of overtime, but Im still no where near 120K. Last year I pulled in around 80K (I also did a few jobs with an agency)!
  11. Visit  piper_for_hire profile page
    0
    Oh - no - I'd be doing the weekend program at one hospital for and then (at least) two other shifts at another hospital. Sorry for the confusion.

    -S
  12. Visit  ABC'S DAD profile page
    0
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    1. Loans loans and more loans plus gutting our savings
    2. the total tuition for my BSN is $24K
    3. My previous salary was about the same as yours. I'll make $60K in my first year as a new nurse (not including overtime) and then twice that after I start the weekend program (but this will be for 48 hrs/wk at two different hospitals). So - take a hit a first and then make more. Man - did I ever work less than 50 hours a week in my last career?? Never.
    4. Yes - you have lost your mind. I still feel like this could be the dumbest thing I've ever done and I graduate in 20 days. Career change when you have a stable career and a family is a scary thing. I try to have faith that I'll feel good about it in the future.

    -S
    I am just finding this site, and it could not be more relevant for me at this time. I am making $70K at present. I am a 46 y.o. married father of 3 small children. My wife has been an LPN in a retirement home for several years. I worked in hospitals for several years while younger, but not on the medical side. After all this time, and being dissatisfied with my present, second career of 12 years, I am suddenly excited about the possibility of working in a hospital as an RN. Of course, I would have to figure out how to get through a local 2-year ADN program (there is one) and still support my wonderful wife and kids. I guess I need to know if it will pay off if I can stick it out for 2 years. I have done the salary wizard thing, and seen various other websites, which seem to indicate "average" salaries for my locale, which is just outside Philadelphia. I have seen numbers ranging anywhere from about $55K to $80K. Of course, I need to find out what an entry-level salary would be, and what kind of benefits could I expect. And how easy or difficult is it to get a hospital RN position with an ADN?

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks.
  13. Visit  piper_for_hire profile page
    0
    Do you already have a degree in something else? You could try one of the many accelerated BSN programs in the Philadelphia area. RN salary for new grads around there is about $25/hr plus differentials.

    -S
  14. Visit  ABC'S DAD profile page
    0
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    Do you already have a degree in something else? You could try one of the many accelerated BSN programs in the Philadelphia area. RN salary for new grads around there is about $25/hr plus differentials.

    -S
    Thank you for the response. O.K., here goes. I have a B.A. degree in Journalism, and a law degree. (I have been a lawyer since '93, but I'm ready for a change.) I have heard that pay scales are not different between RN's with ADN degrees versus BSN degrees. Do you know if that is true? I am also wondering, if there are jobs where a BSN is required or prefereed, do you think it is possible that they would consider my having an ADN with a BA to be the equivalent of a BSN? I know this may be a lot to ask you. I have reviewed the required courses for the ADN program and some BSN programs, and although it would still take two years for the ADN, due to the clinical program set-up, I am fairly certain that I would not have to take about 1/2 of the required courses due to my prior college credits. This would save some expenses and hopefully free me up to still work full-time in the evening (if I can find an evening job).

    Also, do you know what kind of benefits (medical, 401-K) one could expect as a hospital RN, and how much contribution is required from the employee? I have a million questions -- sorry. How easy/hard is it to land a full-time hospital RN job with full benefits (vs. prn). Thanks.

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