Changing Careers to Nursing as 35 year old man - page 2

by DB7721 8,251 Views | 27 Comments

I am currently employed in IT but hate it. I've been considering a career change. My wife is a nurse and I am 35 with two young children. There is a local tech school that has an ADN program. I already have a Bachelors in... Read More


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    Quote from DB7721
    . . . Is there still a stigma toward male nurses?
    Perhaps, but if so it's virtually imperceptible.

    Quote from DB7721
    Would my bachelors in Healthcare Management combined with an ADN put me on equal ground with new BSN grads as far as the job market for new nurses?
    Unlikely. The BSN is the new holy grail of nursing. Though this varies somewhat across the US, the trend is toward the BSN as the minimum educational credential. Virtually every hospital nursing position now states "BSN required" where in the recent past it may have been "BSN preferred." Increasingly, even nursing homes are restricting hiring to BSN's (at least in my area). Plan for the BSN. One route is to get your ADN, pass the NCLEX and do an on-line RN-BSN. If you do the ADN at a CC and choose a RN-BSN program at UT-A, U Wyoming, OU (or any one of dozen reasonably priced programs) you could wind up spending less than $18k for both the ADN and BSN. That's less than most BSN programs in 4 year schools.

    Quote from DB7721
    Do male nurses tend to specialize in certain areas? I know one thing I absolutely am not interested in is long term care.
    I think you see more guys in ED's and Pscyh settings. Though I feel the same way about LTC, I would caution you that the with the current nursing surplus situation (the case in most parts of the country), the odds are good that you may wind up working in a nursing home. I graduated from a very well-known, highly respected CC nursing program that actually is significantly more selective than most of the 4-year programs in the area. Hospitals across the area are filled with ADN's from this CC and prior to 2008, they actively recruited from the program, with many students being offered positions prior to graduation. Something on the order of 80 to 90% of those who passed their boards worked at hospitals with few going to LTC. That's all changed now and for my 2010 graduating class, those percentages are reversed. This is not a unique situation and is not meant to discourage you, only to let you know that it may no longer be realistic to expect to have much of a choice about not working in LTC.

    Quote from DB7721
    Any other advice for someone in my situation? All advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    You can do it. I was older than you are now when I started nursing school and worked 60+ hours per week while in school. I would advise that you do not take any student loans if at all possible. At 35, it's possible you could be saddled with paying those loans off even when you retire - take a look at this article: College loans follow some to old age - Sun Sentinel As suggested above, the least expensive route to RN is through your local CC. You will likely need the BSN but once you are an RN, there are a number of options open to you to do that. You may even be lucky enough to land a nursing job with your ADN and have your employer pay for your BSN. Finally, make sure that whatever school and program you choose is fully accredited. This means not only nursing accreditation like NLNAC and CCNE but also regional academic accreditation such as Middle States, Western Association, New England, etc. This may turn out to be very important should you decided to continue your nursing education.

    Best of luck to you.
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    The type of program you attend may be decided by the time commitment. In my case, I had a bachelor's degree in a social science going in. The BSN programs in my area essentially expected me to be available all day, whereas an ADN program in my area had just started a track geared toward people like me, who couldn't afford to quit their day jobs while they went to school. I'm an administrator now, so it hasn't hurt my career at all. If all things are equal, though, go for the BSN.

    As far as stigmas, those are pretty much gone. Men have been in nursing long enough and in large enough numbers that we are just part of the environment now. Women are still the majority, but not by as wide a margin as was once the case.

    Good luck on your career change. You got an earlier start than me. I finished at 40.
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    I'm a 31 and came from the IT sector doing Network Administration. Seems to be quite a few of us tech guys around here hu?
    Before I left my job to go back to school, I checked out the job market in nursing around my area. Through looking at online job postings and speaking with others in the field close to me, I found that most places around here will gladly hire a new ADN grad...although they may advertise that they are seeking BSN. The reason? It's the same as in the IT field. Its all about perception. Most employers know that new grads have about the same amount of knowledge coming out of school.

    However, they will typically hire more people with great personalities that may know a bit less than someone that may be more knowledgeable but with less of a outgoing personality. Make sense? If they know you'll be easy to get along with and have great patient interaction then any knowledge you lack can always be taught. Its more difficult to teach someone how to have a personality! I know 2 people that got hired with a ADN when the hospitals were seeking BSN applicants because of reasons just like that.

    Disclaimer: I'm not an RN. I start my Pre/Co reqs in two days. I obtained the above information from close friends that are RNs and hospital management when I would have to set up networks in newly built or remodeled hospitals.

    My best advise for you: If being an RN is something that you know you will love, then don't let anyone or anything discourage you.
    Good luck!!!
  4. 0
    Quote from sterling684
    if i where you, i would check in your local area and see if there is any accelerated bsn programs available. if so, complete the prerequisite requirements and apply. i see no reason to settle for an adn when you could complete your bsn just as quick... being that you have already completed your bachelors, you could also check and see if there is a physician assistant program in your area.
    why do that when you can do an adn program (cheap, cheap, cheap) and subsequently bridge to a msn with his already finished b.s.?
  5. 0
    Quote from chuckster
    Perhaps, but if so it's virtually imperceptible.

    Unlikely. The BSN is the new holy grail of nursing. Though this varies somewhat across the US, the trend is toward the BSN as the minimum educational credential. Virtually every hospital nursing position now states "BSN required" where in the recent past it may have been "BSN preferred." Increasingly, even nursing homes are restricting hiring to BSN's (at least in my area). Plan for the BSN. One route is to get your ADN, pass the NCLEX and do an on-line RN-BSN. If you do the ADN at a CC and choose a RN-BSN program at UT-A, U Wyoming, OU (or any one of dozen reasonably priced programs) you could wind up spending less than $18k for both the ADN and BSN. That's less than most BSN programs in 4 year schools.
    This makes more sense. I ask you though, Chuckster... BSN is the new holy grail, but would it be better for someone to bridge to a MSN with their already finished B.S. in ___ology, or to actually get a BSN?
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    Welcome to the club...41 years old here and just jumped off the IT boat after 25 years. Got tired of sitting on my backside and wanted to do something that made a difference.

    You can do it!
  7. 0
    Quote from veggie530
    This makes more sense. I ask you though, Chuckster... BSN is the new holy grail, but would it be better for someone to bridge to a MSN with their already finished B.S. in ___ology, or to actually get a BSN?
    I debated about this as well - as a previous degree holder (though in my case BA and MBA) before becoming an RN, I could have gone directly to an MSN program rather than getting my BSN. My ultimate goal is PMHNP, so I obviously need the MSN but it was actually less expensive and no more time consuming to get the BSN first. All of the MSN programs for second-degree, non-BSN's require a number of "bridge" classes. These are essentially undergrad level courses that attempt to bridge the essential BSN-type coursework you missed. Depending on the program, there may be 3 or 4 needed and they will take 2 or 3 semesters. Few schools actually give your the BSN as part of the deal and you are charged graduate tuition rates for the courses - in my view, a waste of both time and money. In the same 9 - 12 month time frame and for the cost of just one of the bridge courses, you can get a BSN from any one of several fully accredited schools (e. g., UT-A, OU, Wyoming, SUNY - to name just a few of the programs out there that are in the $8 - $10k range for an on-line RN-BSN).

    This has strayed somewhat from your question about getting an MSN without bothering with a BSN. My opinion is that you will be at a considerable disadvantage in lining up that all-important first job as a newly minted RN with an MSN but with essentially no nursing experience beyond your program's clinicals. Getting a nursing job as new grad is difficult in most parts of the country. BSN's seem to have an easier time than ADN's but I think most hospital would be very reluctant to hire a new grad MSN for a variety of reasons, not least salary. Perhaps someone with a recruiting or HR background can provide some better insight however.
    Last edit by chuckster on Aug 3, '12
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    A 50 year old career changer here. I'm switching out of engineering after a successful 27 year stint in it to pursue healthcare, namely nursing. This is something that I have always intended to do, as you only live once & I want as diverse an experience possible. Last spring my son enlisted, leaving my wife and I empty nesters. I took a look around and realized that this was the time to do it. Could afford to take the income hit of going to school & not much working a job, kids out of college & the house altogether, plus, at 50 I still get a good 15 years or more in doing this. The timing of everything was that, if I am was going to switch careers, it would never be better than now to do so. So, here I am! Nursing I & related classes starts at the end of the month.


    I really do enjoy the surprised reactions received from some when they ask me what I am switching from to nursing. Some are mildly shocked that I am switching from engineering to nursing??????? One time two nuclear engineering students I was co-teacher in a class to actually startled, as in that little jump we make with genuinely surprised, when told this. He He He.
    umbdude likes this.
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    I am a male RN (ADN) x 16 years, all at the bedside. I tell you no BS. The people that work under you resent you. It's not you they are angry at but it gets directed at you. The people under you work very short handed and they know it and they resent it. I work in a vent unit and my aids care for 10 freaking patients at a time. That is insane. The family's are ******, the patients and docs get ******......that **** is coming your way. The bosses can't give a crap. In the last year, I have seen the bosses ignore patient and family complaints. The bosses have the attitude that seems to say "We are making money, more staff means less money, sorry" and that is the attitude they have with the customers !!!! The staff that you depend on is in the same boat. We run with 2 resp. techs, 15 years ago, we had 4 on duty. The equipment we use today is at least 15 years old. It is not uncommon for me to strip a patient on a vent of a pulse ox cable and put it on a new admit. The Boss tells you to do it and tells you that the patient has been stable. No patient on a vent should not have a pulse ox on. Even the cleaning crew gets backed up and gets ****** off about it. But the real crazies are the nurses you work with. Nurses are like a lot of other people. They come to work all ****** off at the kids or some other BS and they always find the male RN to take it out on. Think long and hard bro. If I knew 16 years ago what I know today !!
    Never would have happened.
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    44 year old new grad with ADN. I work on a tele unit at a large hospital, the staff loves male RN's, the patients think you're the doctor. Managers like the guys. You'll always be asked to help move heavy patients or open containers. Dude, go for it. Network like hell while in school so you have a job waiting for you. With your wife as an RN you have a huge advantage as she can teach you and help you study. Maybe down the road you would be interested in health-IT systems. WGU has an online degree I think. It's a lot of hard, stressful work...


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