Lawyer to Nurse - page 7

I am considering a career change from law to nursing. I am a practicing attorney and am very unhappy in my current career. I am actually one of the lucky ones who did very well in law school and,... Read More

  1. by   PacoUSA
    Maxvoca, just to give you some inspiration: I was in my early 40s when I started nursing school and finished my accelerated program a year later. I had a job offer on graduation day. My colleague graduated with me (not a lawyer) in her early 60s and was also hired on my floor, though a couple of months later since she sat on her application longer than I did. As for student loans, I put mine on deferment while I was in school, and tried to avoid thinking about it while I finished my BSN. Sacrifices were made for a greater good. Follow your heart. It's obviously not in law, mine wasn't either. And most important ... Those networking skills you may have learned in law school? Embrace them in nursing school, because you will be surprised how knowing people gets you working faster. Btw, also in the NYC metro area.
  2. by   Natalie513
    Resurrecting this old thread. Just wanted to say this is all so encouraging!! I am a lawyer in my 30s, work on the plaintiff side so my salary is quite low. Been working while I finish my pre recs and I am about to start applying to nursing school! Trying to decide between ABSN and entry level MSN. So glad to hear others have made this change and love it!!! I feel like such a weirdo for making this crazy change!
  3. by   Danzi
    You're not a weirdo! I'm a lawyer in my thirties too and have been thinking about nursing school for two years now. I'm starting my pre-reqs next month, hopefully! I'm so excited at the prospect of leaving the law. I graduated at the top of my class, have had three excellent jobs, and still can't shake the anxiety of being a lawyer that makes me dread getting out of my car in the parking lot at my job. For me, being a lawyer is not fulfilling; I leave work at the end of the day (but of course as a lawyer I never really leave work) and can't convince myself that I've done anything good for anyone. I have no free time, I sit at a desk for 10-13 hours a day, the thought of what I have to do to take a vacation makes me want to cry, and I now know that the "prestige" of being a lawyer is not worth the tradeoffs. Natalie513, good luck! I hope to follow in your steps soon. :-)
  4. by   Natalie513
    good luck, Danzi! I graduated at the top of my law school class too but man i just hate being a lawyer. no way i could do this for 30 more years!!! i know nursing will be a better fit for me. i completely understand it is extremely difficult, both mentally and physically, but i would rather work hard at that than toil behind a desk lawyering for the rest of my life. good luck to you! i did my pre recs while working part time as an attorney, i think that is the best route if your firm will allow it (i am still an employee at my firm but i switched to being paid hourly so i just get paid for the hours i come in, which changes with my school schedule). good luck!!
  5. by   BeenThere2012
    Just a little clarification... There are some states that are in a pac (not sure if I spelled this correctly)where they recognize other state licenses, but many do not. So in some cases, you do not have reciprocity. In the event you do become a nurse, see if it's possible to take your board exam in a state that has reciprocity with other states. It will be easier to re-locate depending on where you may want to go. Also, the state BRNs (boards of registered nursing) have different rules and regulations than others. For example, in California, your lisence renewals are due every 2 years on the same date, based upon when you got your first license. In Oregon, your license is renewed based on your birthday. So, it doesn't matter if you get your first lisence in Oregon in say June, and your birthday is in July, you stil have to renew that next month in July.
    Obviously, every profession has its pros and cons, and knowing what your particular state board requires is important as they are all NOT equal in what they require/mandate, nor in how well they function.

    I've been a nurse for 30 plus years and I cannot imagine doing anything else. The variety of specialties (similar to Law) is immense, coupled with the variety of settings, and levels of practice allow for a huge variety in the work you can do. As you may know, there are also Legal Nurse Consultants and Nurse/lawyers whose field is growing by the day. Your experience as a lawyer would make that a breeze for you. However....if you consider doing that, PLEASE practice as a nurse for a few years first and possibly ongoing in some capacity as I have met a few who in spite of their degree, really know little about "being" a nurse and we need better representation.
    Good luck to you!
  6. by   BeenThere2012
    Career #2....I know in some areas, getting a job these days as a new grad has been difficult. Hang on...I am seeing many more "New Grad" programs (similar to a preceptorships), and positions for new grads popping up lately. Often, it may not be the specialty you prefer, but if it gets you some experience even remotely related to what you want to do, it is worth the year or 2...sometimes even less than that like 6 mos.

    I have been in your position twice. First as new grad LVN and then new grad RN. Both times, the timing was bad. The first time around, hospitals were transitioning from "team nursing" to primary care, so in-hospital LVN positions were being eliminated. The second time around, the economy was crashing, and hospitals were going back to team nursing and RN positions were being eliminated. I've seen this cycling a few times over the years.
    As an LVN I finally took a job in a Dermatology private practice, which on the surface was not even remotely what I wanted to do. However, the experience it gave me has been invaluable for all of my 30 plus years in nursing. There were many, many things I learned that I still use to this day, such as minor surgical skills, dressings, sterilization of equipment, patient teaching and giving injections. Of course I also learned about many skin conditions and let's face it, most people have some sort of skin issue even if it is simply how to maintain the integrity.
    As a new grad RN, I took a position as an LVN in-patient, which was frustrating as hell since all I wanted to do for several years was to be an RN and worked hard and long to obtain my degree as a single parent with no support. Again...however, I was able to practice alongside the RNs and learned a lot from them. They all knew I was a new grad RN and so would pull me into situations that were good learn experiences and taught me so much. So having no actual experience as an RN, in time, my first employer saw the value of what I had been doing a gave me a chance.
    I hope this encourages you. It takes determination and some creative thinking at times, but eventually you will find a position, and you just never know how much you may actually enjoy a position you didn't think you'd be interested in. At the very least, you will learn and that is the whole point!