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This is a discussion on Man with Law Degree Considering Nursing in Men in Nursing, part of General Nursing ... So, you wanna be a nurse? Yes. But, I have a few concerns. Here is a quick synopsis of my...by JSBes Apr 30, '12So, you wanna be a nurse? Yes. But, I have a few concerns. Here is a quick synopsis of my background:
- Union Ironworker, got injured on the job, started college while recovering from a couple knee surgeries
- Recovered nicely from surgery
- Began educational career as physics major
- Switched to Political Science, earned BA
- Went to law school, because it seemed like there was the possibility of making money while helping people (wanted to be civil rights attorney)....unfortunately I simply drank the law school recruiting cool aid and didn't do enough research beforehand
- Graduate law school May 2011
- Legal field tanked with economy, law school soured me on the practice of law, there are no remotely remunerative jobs available for would be civil rights attorneys, and working 80-100 hours per week is unsustainable if I actually want to be a present father and husband
- Wife & I decided I'd stay home with our daughter (7 mos) because she has a great career already as a......NURSE
- Re-evaluate career choices, my wife and some other friends (nurses) suggest nursing school
For the past few months, in an attempt to get a feel for what it's like being a man in the nursing profession, I've been trolling around the internet, asking questions of my sister (a nurse for 20 years), my wife, and my friends. The questions I've answered positively for myself are the following: do I really want to be a nurse, i.e., do I really know what it entails? Yes. Do I understand that I may have to work somewhere I don't want to work initially just to get my foot in the door (i.e, I'm fascinated by ICU & ER nursing, but understand that MedSurg may be the only work available)? Yes. Do I understand that my law degree will not be immediately applicable? Yes.
But, these are the questions I have not answered, which I'm hoping the individuals on this site may be able to help with:
- For men with professional degrees other than nursing who have entered the nursing field, are/were you questioned about why you did not pursue/continue your other career path? If so, how did you deal with those questions, and what was the general response? And, have you been able to incorporate your previous education into your new professional life?
- For family men, how did you handle going to nursing school, being a father and a husband, and coordinating all of your various responsibilities?
- For other "big guys" out there (I'm 6'11" and 320 lbs), have you ever encountered patients or fellow medical professionals who have been intimidated by you and have treated you differently because of your size? And is your size generally a boon or detriment to you professionally?
- And, finally, probably the most practical question here, do they make really big scrubs???
I apologize for the length of the post, but look forward to any and all responses. Thank you all in advance for your time and help.
Jim.Last edit by Joe V on May 2, '12 : Reason: spacing
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- Apr 30, '12 by maidayI am not a man so can't give you personal experience. But have a few thoughts. First... nursing is not recession proof and depending on where you live, new grads are having a heck of a time finding work. You may have to start somewhere you don't really like to gain experience. Of course there are still jobs out there, it's just not like it used to be. If you want to get your foot in the door somewhere you may need to find work in a hospital before graduating. Most of the people I know who got jobs right out of nursing school had jobs in that hospital (including myself).
2nd. Men in nursing is fine, not only fine, it's great. I think most places will be happy to have you. Just know you will be asked ALL THE TIME to help with boosts, lifts, etc. Especially being a big guy.
3rd. My manager has a law degree. He's a man, I have no idea why he didn't continue with law but I'm sure his law degree helps him in his management position. However, he is now going back for his MBA because the hospital will give more money for an MBA rather than his law degree... crazy.
Hope that helps some. The big thing is really think about nursing and how you will set yourself up for a job right out of school. It's rough out there right now. Of course, may change in a few years, who knows?
- Apr 30, '12 by JSBesMaiday, thank you for your reply. Where I live, medicine is the ONLY thing going right now and nurses, PT's, docs, and other med professionals are finding work without too much trouble. We have a large teaching hospital and one of the largest hospital systems in the world HQ'd here. With that said, I agree that it's definitely not a recession proof field--really, nothing is these days. Thanks again.
- Apr 30, '12 by SabotaiI am 6'3 250 so bigger guys are in nursing. It helps greatly to have size and strength to deal with difficult situations. I get great respect as a man even while in school doing clinicals. As for scrubs they do have big and tall ones so you would be good to go. I would think your law degree would help greatly. My wife has a bs in business/computer science and a BSN. She is getting her np currently and is accepted to go on to her dnp and all her hospital talks about is her going into upper administration as soon as she is done.
- Apr 30, '12 by SunSurfRNHere's reality, an ADN is 2 yrs, and BSN will be 12-24 months accelerated. Then, you take NCLEX in 1-4 months usually, then your a new grad, which is a serious challenge. One you land a job and get 1 yr acute care experience, your off to the races.
I started the prereqs in 2006, now I am an ER Nurse with 1 yr exp. in 2012 - just to temper expectations your could have a real fulfilling career in nursing but its not going to happen overnight or be a quick fix by any means. Also, its rather easy to find work in the flyover states when a new grad so thats an option, but on the coasts its very tough to find acute care jobs as a new grad - unless you network a hospital through clinicals or work as a tech prior. Income also varies greatly...some states are as low as 18-22/hr (some flyover states) ....some states like California can be around $43/hr (yeah, big swing).
- Apr 30, '12 by SunSurfRNAs far as size, its not bad to be big in nursing and it can come in helpful...in high torq areas like ICU/ED though your critical thinking skills are super important. Your law training will come in handy in upper level mgmt jobs but thats 5-10yrs away....clinical exp is important first.
- May 1, '12 by AndrewMichael
- May 1, '12 by Argo
- May 1, '12 by JSBesSunSurf, right on, thanks for the information. We have three 18 month accelerated (bachelor's +) BSN's to choose from here. I already have a BA, so most of my prereq's are met. As a matter of fact, I only have to take an additional 4 science classes to meet all prereq's for the 3 programs I mentioned--unlike most liberal arts majors I actually studied science while an undergrad because I considered it the only way to acquire a "real" education. As far as location, we're not moving, which is exactly why I'm considering nursing. Medicine is not just big business here, it's the only business. Still, your advice is well taken. Best case scenario I'm looking at, minimally, 3 years before I'm actually working.
- May 1, '12 by Esme12Quote from JSBesWelcome to AN! The largest online nursing community.Maiday, thank you for your reply. Where I live, medicine is the ONLY thing going right now and nurses, PT's, docs, and other med professionals are finding work without too much trouble. We have a large teaching hospital and one of the largest hospital systems in the world HQ'd here. With that said, I agree that it's definitely not a recession proof field--really, nothing is these days. Thanks again.
Be a nurse only if you want to be a nurse. Remember that to get to advanced degrees bedside experience is a must and at times a requirement. Contrary to popular belief.....There is no nursing shortage. There are new grads that are looking for jobs for close to 2 years now. "Big" men can certainly be nurses....you mentioned the ED and I can tell you your size is an asset but the NICU may find you intimidating...at 6'11".......those babies are small for my hands. Place in yours the would be dwarfed!
Some articles for perspective......
The Big Lie?
Without a doubt, the main source of frustration experienced by recently graduated and licensed but still unemployed nurses is what could be called "the big lie."In other words, the television commercials that encourage young people to become nurses -- and then abandon them for months (or years) without employment; and the educators who tell them that the associate's degree is perfectly adequate to guarantee employment, that they will have their pick of jobs when they graduate, and that there is plenty of time to get a BSN later on. Who knows whether it is greed, ignorance, or wishful thinking that underlies the fairy tales told to nursing students about their future job prospects? Whatever the motivation, the disillusionment of our new grads is palpable. The jobs they expected after all of their hard work just haven't materialized, and some grads are getting pretty desperate......
Medscape: Medscape Access
medscape requires registration but is an excellent reference and resource AND it's free!
Has the Nursing Shortage Disappeared?
It's that time of year again. Graduating nursing students are preparing to take the NCLEX and are looking for their first jobs. This year, many are finding those first jobs in short supply.
Reports are rampant of new graduates being unable to find open positions in their specialty of choice, and even more shockingly, many are finding it tough to find any openings at all.
These new RNs entered school with the promise that nursing is a recession-proof career. They were told the nursing shortage would guarantee them employment whenever and wherever they wanted.
So what happened? Has the nursing shortage—that we've heard about incessantly for years—suddenly gone away?
The short term answer is clearly yes, although in the long term, unfortunately, the shortage will still be there.
The recession has brought a temporary reprieve to the shortage. Nurses who were close to retirement have seen their 401(k) portfolios plummet and their potential retirement income decline. They are postponing retirement a few more years until the economy—and their portfolios—pick up.
Many nurses have seen their spouses and partners lose their jobs and have increased their hours to make ends meet for their families. Some who left the profession to care for children or for other reasons have rejoined the workforce for similar reasons.
In addition, many hospitals are not hiring. The recession brought hiring freezes to healthcare facilities across the country, and many are still in effect. Help wanted ads for healthcare professionals dropped by 18,400 listings in July, even as the overall economy saw a modest increase of 139,200 in online job listings. (Nurses Schools, Salaries, and Job Data)........
Has the Nursing Shortage Disappeared?
From a contributor to AN Ruby Vee
Do you want to be a nurse? There's more to it than a calling. Here are some questions to consider.