Former Teachers turned Nurses?

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    Hi! I am having the most difficult time deciding between teaching and nursing. I am a current Teacher, and have all my nursing pre-reqs done! Can anyone (even if you're not a Teacher) please tell me who is preferably a mommy, what your RN schedules are like? Everything always has this conception, that Teachers work the best hours! FALSE! We work from 7:30am to 3:30pm, but we stay for several (unpaid) hours after work, grading work, preparing lesson plans, etc. Not to mention the take-home stacks of paper work, and the numerous hours we spend to brain-storm to help prepare for prosperous crafts, lesson plans, etc. I understand nurses work 3-12s. But I would love to know I am getting paid for those hours, even if it's 3 days straight. I can leave the work at work, and then have days off after to re-collect. What I'm getting at I guess, is, what job is best for being a mom! I LOOOOOOVE both equally, nursing and getting help to save lives and learning about medicine is just intriguing to me. Molding the minds of little ones to grow up and be my future is also intriguing to me. I love both equally. They both have pros and cons. I am burned out as a Teacher and I feel that my weekends go by WAAAAYYY too fast!!!! Is this the same case for nursing? What about holidays, is it hard to get Christmas off? Any insight would help, thank you all.
    Last edit by RN2bBevy on Jul 6
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    I have never been a teacher, but, boy, are my hours AWFUL as a nurse. Most nursing jobs require lots of weekends (and 12s back to back on the weekend will translate into no time to enjoy your kids on your working weekends.) I work every other weekend and every other holiday. And, yes, it is very hard to get Christmas off! Night shift can be even harder since you are trying to sleep all day when the kids are home and rowdy. When kids are young, nursing hours might be convenient and help parents avoid childcare costs. However, once the kids reach school age, it is hard to get the time off to spend time with them/attend their events, etc....
    RN2bBevy likes this.
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    Wow, thanks for the feedback @RNbellashadow!!!!! Something to definitely think about!!!!!!
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    I was a teacher for three years prior to deciding to go back to school. It wasn't so much the schedule for me, it was what I was teaching. My first degree is in Elementary Education and upon graduation, I moved states, which made it very difficult for me to find a teaching job. I ended teaching for a public pre-k program and just realized that the specific type of teaching I was involved in wasn't for me. I enjoy teaching; empowering others to be self advocates and providing the knowledge needed for them to do this, but that isn't the kind of teaching I was doing. I simply wasn't getting that, so I did some deep soul searching for what I really wanted out of life and my career. The teaching hours are amazing. I loved having a M-F routine where I left the school, went to the gym, made dinner and had time for ME. I haven't yet started my nursing job, but I know that having a steady routine will be difficult. The hours are longer, so on my days off I may be too tired to workout (hopefully not), but it is going to be a real change. I'm married, and I don't have children yet, but when I do, I still don't plan on changing my schedule or finding a new job because I know what it took for me to get where I am. I am determined to make it all work because of what being a nurse means to me. I may sound like na´ve, but I will truly strive for a balance when that time comes.

    I'm sorry this post is kind of scattered, but from my experience, the hours teaching are wonderful for having a family. The routine is great, even though many hours are spent lesson planning, gathering supplies, grading papers, and working on the classroom. I think you should think about what it really is you want out of your career for YOU. Besides the extra time spent on outside projects, teaching may be fulfilling for you. If it is, which I believe a career should be, it may not be worth leaving behind. Yes, many nurses may work 3 days a week, but those three days are long, mostly nonstop, and possibly emotionally draining.
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    I am a former teacher, and I do have to agree that teacher hours suck. I remember putting in up to 18 hours sometimes with all the lesson planning, grading, etc. Sometimes the work went into the weekend and there were still inservices, student events, etc that we had to go to. Summer break was nice except many of us were back after only two months already beginning to put our classrooms back together for the upcoming year. I decided to change careers and go into nursing and couldn't be happier with my decision. It has been financially a better decision, given me the opportunity to still have time for my family and saved my sanity. I can leave my work at work and and even though there are times I worry about what my patients are doing while i'm gone, I know my team is working hard to take care of them.

    I think what's most important is that there are multiple avenues to pursue nursing. You can do hospital nursing, surgical centers, hospice, etc. From how I am reading your personality, I think you might find some interest in becoming a school nurse. You will continue to have the opportunities to work with kids in the school setting and will probably be able to be (for the most part) free of lesson planning and paper grading. I have a few friends right now that are school nurses and they love their jobs. I myself have left the public education arena and am working in a hospital setting with the intention of going into Nursing Education. I love the teaching part and helping others learn which is part of what I do at the bedside with patient education.
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    I also taught school. Cons unruly kids, no flexible hours, mandatory meetings, no overtime pay. Pros: nights, weekends, holidays, summers off making it family friendly especially if you are a single mother. Also, depending on your school district and location some teachers get paid very well with benefits and retirement. Nursing cons: alot of nurses may work in the hospital with 12 hour shift as a new nurse you may have to take what you can get. I don't know about you but I don't too much like the idea of being away from my kid and hubby overnight . #2 physically demanding a toll on your body as you age. #3obnoxious doctors and staff. #4 retirement benefits? #5 can easily lose license and highly competitive . PROS #1 More flexible then teaching. More job options in many different areas of nursing. Higher .income potential. Helping and teaching role can be implemented.
    Last edit by SU2013 on Jul 29 : Reason: spell check
    RN2bBevy likes this.


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