Dear Nurse Beth,
I'm in my late 30s, I have a B.S. in biology, and I'm looking at changing careers from science editing (among other things) to nursing. Currently a new CNA on a med/surg unit and living with family on the east coast. I want to be an RN and live in San Francisco.
I'm considering staying out east to do an accelerated BSN cheaply, then move to the Bay Area. However, I'm concerned about my job prospects as a new grad without a local professional network in California.
Am I right to worry about this? Would I be better off taking a longer, more expensive path - working as a CNA in the Bay Area, then putting myself through a nursing program over there?
On a personal note, I've been a rolling stone for over a decade and I feel anxiety and urgency about figuring out my career as I round the corner into middle age...
I'm an excellent student and I'm confident I'll do well in whatever nursing program, fwiw.
Thanks so much for your advice!
Congrats on your decision! No worries, being in your 30s can be an advantage as a student and also as a nurse.
Safe Option #1 Knowing the Bay Area market as I do, it is very competitive to land a job as a new grad. But the good news is, all you need is 1-2 years of experience
and then you are golden.
You could stay where you are, attend school, graduate, gain work experience, and then move to the Bay Area.
Riskier Option # 2 Alternatively, it would help to hire on as a CNA in the hospital you want to eventually work at as an RN- working as a CNA only helps if you have insider advantage-
and then you must be strategic about your end goal. This means being highly visible as a CNA, making an impression, and effective networking.
It depends on your risk tolerance, and of course finances. The Bay Area is beautiful, but it's expensive to live there.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
Fully agree. And making it in SF on a CNA salary would be very rough. I live in Sacramento also. It's very pleasant and make plenty to live on. I do think it best to get degree back east and work a year or 2 first.
I lived in the Bay Area for many years...the cost of living and crowding became too much.
Last edit by BeenThere2012 on Sep 14
: Reason: typo Forgot to include the original post I'm commenting on.