From Computer Science to Nursing.. need help! - page 4

by chiliwings

4,323 Views | 37 Comments

hi, like most of you here, ive been considering going back to school to pursue a nursing degree. i graduated with a degree in bs management of information systems. it has been almost 4 years since my graduation and i must say... Read More


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    Quote from trekker76
    Your letter sounds very much like a lot of them. But I must warn you, no matter how well you did in your previous degree, wanting to be a nurse for the job security just won't cut it with admissions committees. I'm graduating from a competitive second degree program in August, and one of the admissions reps told me when I was applying that they had hundreds of IT people applying because they were out of work and none were accepted.
    This might be true with some programs, but not the ones in my area. All they care about is your GPA in pre-reqs. There is no other criteria except things like residency, minimal unit requirements, and things like that. Out of six programs I believe only one brings you in for an interview where that issue may come up.

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    Ideally, nurses should be invested in the outcomes of their care beyond earning a paycheck. Vulnerable people's physical and emotional health are at stake. Teamwork is necessary for patient safety, and the foundation for that teamwork should be genuine care for patients and willingness to meet all of their needs. Being a good nurse requires educated, intelligent people to do BOTH interesting AND devalued tasks like those mentioned in my previous post. Nurses are the eyes and ears of the health care team. If you are not fully present in your job, you will not see or hear pateint's needs until they have gone neglected for so long they cannot be ignored. That involves unnecessary suffering.

    When you don't really want to be there, in an often unpleasant job like nursing, you will grow to resent your work. It could become about not having to do more menial work than so-and-so, which downward spirals the unit into very poor nursing care and outcomes. You could find yourself trying to get assigned to the "easy" patients as a matter of everyday life. Your co-workers could resent you. The way I've seen this play out in the real world is that nurses like me end up picking up the slack for nurses who are there for the paycheck, else the patients suffer. It totally sucks for everybody.

    Please shadow a nurse on a medical/surgical unit for at least one day before you apply to nursing school. Without experience, applying to nursing school is like applying to be a CS major having never seen a computer because you hear the pay is good. I'm not saying you couldn't be a good, caring nurse. I just haven't seen evidence of that in what you've written. Not everybody is cut out for nursing. Have you considered the ethics involved in caring for extremely vulnerable people? Do you realize that patients are sicker now than they ever have been? That many develop bed sores in two hours laying in the same position?

    If you discover a passion for nursing, awesome. But if you go into it for the money, realize that you could be degrading the work environment for those who have a passion for it, and negatively influencing patient outcomes.
  3. 0
    Quote from trekker76
    If you discover a passion for nursing, awesome. But if you go into it for the money, realize that you could be degrading the work environment for those who have a passion for it, and negatively influencing patient outcomes.
    Why is is that everyone assumes that if you're going into a career for the money, you're going to do a lousy job? I've worked in jobs I absolutely hated, but I still did a good job.

    Isn't it possible that you might be able to better care for other people if you don't have to worry about being laid off all of the time and know that you're finally going to have a stable career and paycheck?

    Besides, if some nurses aren't in it just for the money, I'm sure your employers would love to take back that paycheck, since there seems to be an abundance of nurses who claim they're Mother Teresa or something.

    :chuckle
    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 21, '04
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    Hi chiliwings -

    I too am moving from IT to Nursing. I was a systems analyst, making around 50K. Not a great salary - not terribly bad either. However, 60-70 hour weeks were very common. Salaried postion - No overtime, no compensatory time off. Basically on call ALL the time. I've read a lot on this forum about nursing not being as flexible as we may believe, but in IT there is NO option to work days, weekends, or nights. The current situation in IT forces those who want to keep their jobs to accept the schedule they are given -- in my case it often included all: days, weekends, and nights. No additional compensation. (Not even the feeling that what I was doing really benefitted anyone.)

    I've been off work for two years now - searching for a position that would allow me to also raise my two sons. The only things I have been able to find are full time analyst positions (meaning 60-70 hours again) or consulting positions with no benefits - which also require extensive travel. I know a lot of nurses -- none of them have looked very hard for a job. In fact, many of them were approached while still in school by area hospitals.

    One final note: one poster wrote something like that it might be difficult for a former IT person to get accepted into a nursing school regardless of how well the applicant had done academically while obtaining the first degree. My personal experience: I applied in April to one school; got my acceptance letter in May. Go for it!
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    Hi Lizz,

    I chuckled at the Mother Teresa comment. I think nurses need to be compensated their market value, which they're not, because they don't negotiate for salaries and allow managers to manipulate them with bleeding heart tactics.

    Although I have not met a nurse who doesn't like the job but serves as an effective team member, I am willing to entertain the thought that this is possible. Afterall, I was a great cashier in high school even though I didn't *like* the job.

    The way nurses are evaluated is totally different from one place to the next. And with the shortage, I don't think they're held accountable for a lot of oversights. This includes nurses wiht all motivations.

    Could you write a brief list of what entails doing a great job as a nurse? I think this could differ greatly from one person to the next.

    Thanks!
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    Quote from trekker76
    Could you write a brief list of what entails doing a great job as a nurse? I think this could differ greatly from one person to the next.
    I'm one of those downsizees (although not in IT) who's 42 years old and working on another career. Therefore, I'm just a student so, quite frankly, I wouldn't know.

    I just get frustrated with of all these posts saying it shouldn't be about the money. That's great in an ideal world, but it doesn't exist. For those of us who have been kicked around in other fields, it's incredibly frustrating. After awhile you are looking for a career where there's a labor shortage, just because you get tired of working your butt off just to get laid off, once again. You gotta eat, pay the mortgage and you need options.

    I've worked a dozen jobs in the last 20 years in a variety of areas. All of the stuff everybody complains about doesn't sound that much different from all of the other jobs I've had, that is, when you talk about lousy pay, poor working conditions, greedy management trying to screw you, etc. To me, it's like, "What else is new?" Just give me a career where I at least have some choices if it is really all that bad, and at least I don't have to worry too much about pink slips and constant rounds of layoffs.

    I have no idea if I'll be a good nurse or not, but I'm sure as hell gonna try. I'll do a good job, like I always have, whether I like it or not. I do take the responsibility seriously and I study my butt off. I'm also taking additional courses to acquire additional medical experience. So I guess that's all I can do.

    But maybe you guys could give us downsizees a break every once in awhile. You're always saying, if you don't have the "calling" or the "passion," do something else. Well, we have. It's not that easy or simple. If it was, all of these nurses who complain about their jobs would be doing something else too.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 21, '04
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    Thanks everybody for all your replies. It sure is very interesting to read different kinds of opinions. Anyway when I originally posted this message, I was still in the stage where I was considering taking up nursing as a second career. Being in IT for quite some time and suddenly doing a 180 degree turn is not at all that easy to do. I had a lot of people asking me why I wanted to get in to nursing. I must admit, had the situation with the IT industry been any different, I of course would gladly stick to it. But as every body knows, things right now are not that what they used to be. Seasoned programmers are being laid off here and there. As for nursing, like what one of the posters wrote, nursing students are immiediately hired even when they are still in school.

    Job security may be one of the first reasons why I decided to pursue nursing, but it certainly isn't the only one. But that reason did make me consider looking into the nursing field more closely. We all got our own reasons why get into a certain field. These reasons are the ones that motivate us to want to become programmers, doctors, engineers and nurses. But what makes us stay in that particular field is what is more important I think. Because in my opinion, we never really know what makes a good doctor, or a good nurse or a good programmer until you yourself are immersed in that field. Before we enter into a certain field, we only have a vague idea of what being a good nurse (or doctor, etc) entails. In other words, I honestly think you learn more of the field as you go along - from taking classes to finishing your degree, to actually working and doing your job as a nurse, doctor etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I of course agree that there should be more than just money or security as the reason for getting into nursing. Because if money is the only reason why I decided to enter IT, then I shouldnt have lasted for more than 1 month in my job! :chuckle Of course I know the importance of loving what you do in order to be successful in it. I did my research into the nursing field, did a lot of informational interviews and all. And from what Ive learned it does look like a rewarding job, regardless of what other people say. Yeah, there may be a few "disgruntled" nurses here and there, but what other field doesnt right?

    When I initially considered the nursing field, I did not have that much idea about it (or if it is something I wanted to get into) which was why I decided to take just one class to serve as my "testing" board. I took AP as my first class. In this way I thought, if I don't like it, I can just quit and there's no harm done. After all it is just one class. But so far I am happy to say (and to my suprise too) that I actually am enjoying it a lot and find it very interesting. Before, just the thought of blood and doing lab and all that turns me off, but now that I am actually doing it, I find a certain degree of satisfaction and enjoyment. So the saying that "Dont knock it until you try it" holds true in my case. So far I honestly think I made the right decision and I am very happy with it. And in the long run, that's the only thing that matters.
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    While I do not hold an academic degree in computer sciences (I do hold a number of NetWare, MS and Cisco certs and systems adm is what I've been working with), I have worked in the field for some years here in Sweden. When the industry started going downhill, I found myself without a job and unable to get a new one. For this I am now only grateful, as it gave me a chance to pursue my interest in nursing and medicine. I've always been wanting to work with health care but for several reasons this has never come to be until now. I started RN school this January and so far I am loving it! I so can not believe I didn't get into this earlier!

    The work situation for nurses in Sweden is a mixed blessing. As it is very rewarding working with health care that is free to every citizen and there is a shortage in nurses just like everywhere else, the pay is just rediciolous and most nurses are very unhappy with management. I believe you have to have a genuine interest in nursing to be a good nurse, but that does not exclude trying to make a good living. Since my wife is a "native" Texan, we plan on moving back after I'm out of school. We both miss the heat and the humidity!

    I hope you will love nursing as much as I do and that your career works out well for you.


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