Career Change/Education Change-looking for some direction

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm 34 years old and live in the Boston area. I have been working in the financial industry for many years now, and although it has been rewarding in some ways, it is not something that has made me feel fulfilled in any way. I've decided it's time for a career change. I miss working and caring for people, I love science/medicine and feel that nursing will be a good fit for me.

    When I started college, I was a biology/premed major. I switched to finance basically because I had landed a good paying job in that area and it made sense to take classes that complement my work experience.

    I am going back to school in the fall (evenings and weekends) and have some classes to finish up (because of the change in major I never completed my bachelor's in either biology or finance.) I have many classes in biology/biotech completed such as all the chem, bio, pathophysiology, a&p classes completed. It seems the fastest and most applicable route to my bachelor's at this point will be biology - I think I can finish it in one year.

    My biggest question is where to go from there? I have been told some of the following options:
    Local Hospital Nursing Program
    BSN Program -tie in the credits I have now

    pros/cons?

    Just wondering if there is anyone out there that has had a similar experience and has some advice. My ultimate goal is to become an RN but for now I must keep my day job in the finance industry so I can pay mortgage, etc. and pay for some of my education as well. I've sent away for information from several schools in the Boston area about their evening/weekend programs.

    I have heard about hospitals that will reimburse for education? I am attending a volunteer orientation program at a local hospital with hopes of volunteering once again in an E.R. setting.

    Sorry this post is so long - as you can see I have a lot of questions and need some direction.

    Thank you in advance!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   studentdeb
    Welcome to the board. Can't answer your questions, but I was thinking the BSN route might be the best for you. I too am switching careers and will begin nursing in the fall. I will have to quit my job though because they don't offer a part-time program here. My goal to to get the RN and then the BSN.

    Good luck in what you decide.
  4. by   seekinginsight
    Unfortunately I cannot offer any advice either, but I am 31 yrs old and recently laid off, also beginning to pursue a new career in the med field. I just wanted to wish you luck.

    I come from a HR background, if any advice I can offer, go with the BSN. I'd imagine it will give you more options in the long run. I understand you can't quit your day job, but don't give up on this pursuit.
  5. by   Wren
    SeekingInsight,
    I am glad you are thinking about nursing and I am biased but think it is a great career! You already have many of the nursing prereqs and you might find it useful to make an appointment at a university or college in your area with someone in the nursing department and have them go over your transcripts with you. They should be able to help you realistically assess how much time it would take you to complete the BSN program or if you'd be better off to get your BS in biology and then apply to an accelerated program....I don't think you would but find out for sure.

    This is what I did when I decided to go to nursing school but I already had a BA in psychology. I didn't know that accelerated BSN programs existed and the person I met with at a private college kindly pointed me to the local university that had the accelerated program. You can probably get your answers from the schools of nursing that you are considering so I'd start there. Good luck!
  6. by   Tweety
    Good luck. Accellearated BSN programs are the toughest programs out there, but they are designed for persons with degrees in other areas and can get you a BSN in one year.
  7. by   83studentnurse
    The best option for you depends a great deal on what you want to do as a nurse. Do you want to care for people, to be at their bedside, or do you want to manage nurses, the department budget, etc.? Perhaps after years in finance you don't actually want to have those managerial responsibilities to take home at night, but want to work your 12-hour shift and be done (you can find a lot of information about the different nursing roles online, including first-person accounts on this website). I originally thought I needed the BSN because I wanted the career flexibility to do management. Then I remembered that, in addition to wanting to have a meaningful and nurturing career, one of the reasons I left the communication field to go into nursing was so that I could leave my work at the hospital, not bring it home! I want to be in clinical practice, so I should find the best clinical experience and stop worrying about what degree I was getting.

    If you definitely know you want to go into management, you will want to get your BSN, either right away or later on. The one thing I would not recommend based on your post are accelerated BSN programs, only because they are very intense and would likely not give you the flexibility to keep working. I think the easiest thing would be to enroll in a local college or university's BSN program and take it at your own pace (accelerated programs require you to take a specific courseload and specific sequence --there's no dropping a class or taking an extra year to finish your degree at a slower pace).

    The best advice I received was from a nurse with 20 years of experience who told me to focus mostly on two things when choosing a school -- the school's NCLEX pass rate and the amount of clinical time offered. Both were strongly in favor of a hospital program in my case. With no previous clinical experience, I thought the most important thing to do was to make sure I was well prepared to be a NURSE. If I want to do management later, I can always do more classroom time, but never more clinical.

    One last thing -- for all the programs I have researched, science courses (A&P, chem, micro, etc.) are only acceptable for 5 years after they are completed. So unfortunately, no matter which way you go, you may have to repeat a few courses.
  8. by   alwilder89
    Hello, I am 38 and have a BS in finance 2001. I have not worked in finance for over a year due the economy and would like to change careers to the medical field. I have done a little research and am interested in Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I know it would take a few years, but hope to reach that goal in the future. I live in NYC and am currently not working. I was hoping to find a waitressing job working nights and go to school during the day. Unfortunately, I have many obstacles to overcome as I will also need to either receive a grant to pay for school, or a student loan. Can anyone please guide me on how I should proceed? It would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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