I'm 31. I never went to college. Even though most would consider me to be a smart guy, I didn't possess the economic, or the ambitious resources to pursue higher education.
I've worked in sales for over 10 years. I hate it. It has not always been bad, but over and over again my complaints about my profession have been echoed to myself repeatedly.
While I would never have considered it when I was younger, a career in Nursing sounds rewarding to me on so many levels. I have been inching towards making a decision in the matter for a while now, reaching out to the few people I know who work in Nursing to ask their advice.
I should disclose that the Nursing associates I do have, I am not close with. In fact, one of them is nothing more than a "myspace friend."
I'm also aware that when it comes to advice or opinions, people tend to give you what is true, for them. This is especially true when they don't know you very well. Such is life!
While I only recently discovered this website, I have to say that it is exactly what I was hoping for. Since I don't have many opportunities to see what Nurses actually have to say about their profession, I had a lot of doubts about my intentions. This forum has changed a lot of that for me, and I've made the commitment to myself to pursue it.
So this is where this post comes into play.
Most Nurses start their career at a much younger age. I'm 31, but I'm not a grandfather. For that matter, I've never even been married. I do have relatively low living expenses, and while more money is ALWAYS good, I can in fact do quite well for myself making a salary that many of my friends my age would find completely unsuitable. To further illustrate this, due to a layoff I suffered in January, I am working a job right now where even working as a CNA would very likely result in a pay INCREASE.
Of course I say this with a grain of salt, since even the salary of my current job is much lower in reality than what was advertised. The crux of working on commission, I suppose.
The shooting from the hip plan I have for myself is a direct result of having a brief conversation with a customer of mine who has worked in Nursing since 1986. Slightly modified for realism, of course.
She told me a few things about what it was like for her, but one of the things she mentioned is that "You want to work for a hospital if you want to make any money." At first I thought she was referring the alternative being working in a private Doctor's office. But with a little more investigation I concluded that she was referring to working in LTC.
LTC does not pay well, I get that. But as I hinted at before, I am in utter despair with my current profession. I would like to think that I am not romanticizing a career I've never had any direct interaction with, other than from being a patient.
Although it is worth mentioning that my only visit to a hospital that I have any recollection of, was actually a FUN experience, and for what it is worth, the Nurse assigned to me was very prominent in making it so enjoyable. I really hope the hospital was able to forward the card I sent her.
Back to my high-noon showdown with my career that I promised. I am going to take a CPR/AED course from the Red Cross next month, and am going to reach out to a few LTC facilities to talk about what I can do do to make myself attractive to them to be employed. While the Nurse I spoke with briefly suggested that I could start working in a LTC facility before completing or even starting CNA courses, I suspect that in this matter, she is mistaken.
From what I have seen, the CNA course will set me back $800. I don't have that right now, but I can save up for it. It is a relatively small investment to make. It is nothing like what people do to become LPN's and RN's, which sound like very good long term goals to work towards.
What kind of challenges might I have, that are specific to my age?
I have come to understand that getting into Nursing school can be very challenging. But there is a very specific one that does worry me. I have heard that one of the largest factors to contribute to being accepted for a Nursing program (such as an ADN) is your GPA for your pre-requisites.
I am confused on that point, how can an undergraduate degree have GPA requirements? I can understand a particular school having high school GPA requirements, I'm not going to get into Yale or MIT, but how does this apply to a community college?
Get hired on at an LTC facility, before or after obtaining CNA.
Put two weeks notice in 5 seconds after getting a job offer
Work as a CNA for as long as it takes to start and finish school to become an LPN.
Work as an LPN for a while, let life take over, who knows! Perhaps get married.
Go back to school and work towards RN.
Work as an RN.
Take over the world?
Sorry, I wish there was a Pinky and the Brain emoticon though!
Thank you for reading this far.