Considering a nursing career

  1. I have been in the call center management business for 14 years and want to do something that has real value. I want to feel like I did something worth while at the end of the day. My current situation is: married w/ beautiful wife and 2 great kids and I am 37 yrs old. I have a BA in business administration and I am accustomed to making approximately 45k/year here in Tampa, Fl. I want to make sure that this is the right career move for me. I have a strong aptitude for medicine and I am great with people. My plan is to attend school to get my LPN then a bridge to RN. Can anyone please tell me some of the best things about being a nurse and some of the worst. How did you know it was right for you? Is there a way that I can shadow an LPN to see what a day in the life of an LPN is like? Should I be concerned entering a field where 95% is female? I would greatly appreciate any info you can give. If you recommend a school please let me know. Thank you.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   tridil2000
    Forget LPN. Go straight into an RN program

    Best things - flexiblity, job security and lots of different areas to work in.

    Worst things - Working Christmas; about 50% of the public don't think you know anything, but we're the first ones they come running to when there's an issue; and being expected to be responsible for ungodly numbers of patients.
  4. by   bucfan
    Thanks so much for your reply. I definitely do want to end up with an RN. I guess I just don't want to commit to such a long program without knowing if this is the right path for me. I really want to shadow a nurse to see what their days are like. Do you know if this is possible? There are so many different programs - LPN, RN, BSN - what's the difference. Why RN over LPN? I really appreciate any insight or advice you can give!
  5. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from bucfan
    Thanks so much for your reply. I definitely do want to end up with an RN. I guess I just don't want to commit to such a long program without knowing if this is the right path for me. I really want to shadow a nurse to see what their days are like. Do you know if this is possible? There are so many different programs - LPN, RN, BSN - what's the difference. Why RN over LPN? I really appreciate any insight or advice you can give!
    In this area (Tampa Bay), LPNs in hospitals make about $5/hr less than RNs. I know some CNAs who became LPNs only to actually wind up with a pay cut for the first year.

    In Nursing Homes (LTC) LPNs are used more and make better money.

    I'm sure that you can go online to any local hospital or nursing home and talk to the HR department and be able to shadow a nurse.

    The LPN program is generally about 12-18 months long (you might try a search for PTECH's LPN program just for an idea). The Associate RN degree (St. Pete College has one that can also move into a BSN program) takes about 3 years to accomplish, including Pre-Requisites. The RN-BSN degree takes about 4 years.

    I am an Associate Degree RN and work in a hospital in the Tampa area. I'm netting over $45K per year. I'm going to get my BSN online, not because it'll make me more money but because I might want to move to a managerial position in the next 10 years.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Dec 21, '07
  6. by   tridil2000
    Quote from bucfan
    Thanks so much for your reply. I definitely do want to end up with an RN. I guess I just don't want to commit to such a long program without knowing if this is the right path for me. I really want to shadow a nurse to see what their days are like. Do you know if this is possible? There are so many different programs - LPN, RN, BSN - what's the difference. Why RN over LPN? I really appreciate any insight or advice you can give!
    Yes, call either a hospital or School of Nursing to find out about shadowing.

    Here in NJ LPNs work very little in acute care. Hospitals have stopped hiring them. They work mostly in rehab and in nsg homes. They aren't able to do as many things as the RN.

    The RN title is the "registered professional nurse" and is the highest nursing license. An RN can have an Associate's, Bachelor's or Master's. Of course, like many careers, the more education, the more opportunities.

    This is just my opinion, and I'm sure some LPNs might argue with it, but if you're worried about the time frame to get to your goal, you'll be very limited with an LPN and you might regret all the time you invested in that just to end up being able to do very litttle and being very limited. You will find yourself on an endless journey to get to the RN.

    Look at Associate Degree Programs. They will accept a lot of your college credits and you can jump right into the sciences and nursing classes.

    What do you think you'd like to do? Kids, ER, publilc health, OR, critical care, neonatal?? What's drawing you to nursing?
  7. by   UM Review RN
    You also might find these forums interesting:

    Nursing Career forum:
    http://allnurses.com/forums/f87/


    Male Nurse forum:
    http://allnurses.com/forums/f213/
  8. by   bucfan
    Thanks so much for the advice. I will look into the associates RN. That along with my Bachelors in Business may help me move towards management? Everyone says it's so hectic. Do you get any breaks? Time to catch your breath? What type of paperwork is there. (sounds like a lot). Again thank you so much for all of you advice and inspiration.
  9. by   NursePinky
    Bucfan, don't do bridge, its all or nothing, RN programs like to "mold you" from the start. When I was considering a nursing career, I volunteered at the hospital working on a nursing unit helping the RN staff. I got a really good feel for what nursing was about. You can also call your local hospital and ask to "shadow" an RN. If you decide to go for it, scale your work back if you can, it is too stressful working full time. Most nursing schools offer programs for working parents but I do suggest just hunkering down and getting it over with. Listen, I was a C student, I hated school and survived my
    BSN program. If I can do it, you will. All you need to do is sit and do the work. Since you already have a degree, it shows dedication and having the BS degree will help you move into being a RN manager. I'm 40 now, been doing this almost 15 years and I would never want to do anything else. Some days yes, Its not all glory, its a hard job. But the good days out number the bad, I still love it. Good luck to you
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Dec 21, '07 : Reason: Implied profanity
  10. by   love-d-OR
    Bucfan if you already have a Bachelors degree, dont waste your time doing a Associates degree in nursing. You can do a Bachelrors in Business to BSN program. It only takes a little over a year to complete, but first you have to complete your prereqs. My sister wanted to go to med school when she obtained a Bachelors in neuroscience, two years later she is in a BSN program that will only take her a year. Look at schools near you and research what they offer.

    Look at the male nurse forum to get an idea of what its like to work in a female dominated field. My class has about 10 males out of 60 students.

    The benefits of being a nurse: flexibility and financial stability,personal growth, you work three days a week ....

    Downside: Crappy hours, having to work with body fluids in some cases....
  11. by   rn660r
    BUCFAN

    well i was in your shoes. i worked for a very large company making about 60K a year repairing steam boilers and refrigeration units. but i was bored and wanted a change in careers. i had the itch to become a RN so i took night classes to apply to RN school and was accepted. i finished and graduated 2 weeks ago. i was hired before i even finished school at the local hospital making 10K more than my last career. so if i was you, go for it, i would target your RN not LVN of you can. the road will look long, the jurney will be difficult, and it might seem endless. but i you can do it and when it is over, you will be so thankfull that you did. i know i am. good luck!!
  12. by   JaeDream
    I don't know if this is offered in FL, but in CO... if you have a Bachelors degree in another area you can just take the applicable science courses and the ones that you might have fallen behind in such as Math or English and then you can get into more schools and possibly quicker because you already have your Bachelors, then you'd just take the few pre-reqs and then end up with your BSN instead of your ADN (Associates Degree) You might want to look into that. I don't have a bachelors degree, and I'm just taking pre-reqs, for the BSN, so this might help you out.

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