Identity shift- Social Work to Nursing Advice?!

  1. Hi there,

    My name is Amber and I have just started my first term of prereqs for nursing school (including my CNA1 cert.). I have a previous BS in Psychology, but have mostly all the sciences to complete before application ready.

    I just left my 4.5 year career in homeless services- more specifically, I was a street outreach worker with youth experiencing homelessness. The reason I'm writing is because I'm struggling with the switch already and was seeking some input/advice.

    I decided to switch to nursing because healthcare is something I have been interested in my entire life (I applied to college as bio/pre-med, but quickly switched to psych and started life skills support for youth on the autism spectrum while working, as well, at the homeless and runaway shelter in the city). My almost 5 year career in youth homeless services peaked my interest again in healthcare when I spent many hours and days in urgent cares, clinics, and ERs for various youth needs. (My role was very much accompaniment.) I absolutely LOVE social services, but I also witnessed such a gap in care. I shadowed a nurse recently on an acute peds floor and loved it, but I also have some fear I'll miss my case management life (not the pay, though haha). My interest is in care coordination teams, public health clinics, etc., specifically with teens/houseless youth/mental health, but my main question is this:

    Have any of you switched from social work to nursing, and if so, how was it? How did it effect your identity? Did you find it was the right switch and why? What was the biggest struggle?
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