Leaving office job to pursue nursing career

  1. I have come to a decision after a few months of mulling over my options in regards to pursuing a nursing career. I have worked for the past two years in an office job, it's high stress environment at times since we have deadlines. Due to the economy, we've had no pay raises and I don't get paid overtime for extra hours (salary).

    I came to a realization that with all the hours I work and stress induced moments that I know it will get better but I want to have a steady career that will ensure once I turn 50, I won't be scrambling to find work. My mom has been a nurse for over 20 years and has always encouraged me to pursue it but I guess I wanted to pursue another field during college (sociology major) and after a few years of working now, I realize that now especially in this economy would be an ideal time to go back to school. My fiance and I both plan to work part time while we finish our respective studies in the medical field (he's pursuing physical therapy).

    I've always enjoyed helping people, and I used to volunteer at my mom's past nursing employer, along with a brief internship stint at a hospital where I observed medical staff and helped during their daily activities. I guess I wanted to see if other people have gone through the same ordeal, I'm 26 now and I feel like while it's a little late at least better late then never =)

    Another appealing aspect aside from helping people is the ability to be able to work 3-5 days and still have a comfortable income.

    I have about a year of finishing up pre-reqs and I'm considering 3-4 nursing programs in the San Diego area. I plan to give notice at my office job about a month before I plan to leave (Feb-March 2010) to give my employer plenty of time to find a replacement for me. So while I am stressed in my current job, about 6 months from now I won't be working full time and I will have a part time job while finishing up pre-req classes.

    Does anyone have any words of wisdom for a 26 year old leaving her job in a few months to pursue nursing? I'm anxious but I look forward to starting a new chapter in a few months for a new career. If anyone has any advice about nursing programs or places to check out in San Diego regarding an RN career. I'm looking at accelerated programs, 3 year BSN programs and elsewhere.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   tuttle13
    First of all, you are by no means too old. In fact, you are more on the younger side to go into nursing these days. I just graduated at age 38 (went back to college at 35). My classmates were between early 20's to 50's (even 3 grandmas!). Most of them were like me - 30 something, spouse, kids, wanted a second career etc.

    It is not easy taking that leap but if it is something you really want to do, then go for it. I am a little frustrated with my career choice right now, because as I am sure you have noticed on this site there are NO JOBS for us new RNs. It is very discouraging to work so hard to become a RN and then not have any job opportunities, especially after being told that we have a nursing shortage and employers will trip all over themselves to hire us. LOL! Well, the reality is that the majority of us still have not found jobs because employers just don't want the expense of training a new grad in this economic climate. The positive thing about you starting school now is that hopefully this will all pass by the time you graduate and you will be able to get a job easier than this year's grads.

    I wanted to comment on how you stated that you want to go into nursing because you do not want the stress of your current office job, with deadlines etc. Well, I am sorry to say that nursing is 10 times more stressful and deadline driven than the worst office job, so if working under stress is something you cannot handle, you may want to re-think about becoming a nurse. Remember that the big difference between a busy office and a busy hospital is that if you forget to do something in a office, no one will die because of it. I hope that doesn't come across mean or discouraging in any way - it is just reality. As far as comfortable income is concerned - the going pay for a new RN is $25-$30/hr.

    As far as nursing school - be prepared to spend every waking hour studying. Your days off of class are not really days off - you will have exams to study for, care plans to write, patients to research, clincals to prepare for, skills to practice in the lab, papers to write etc. Yes, just keep on smiling like that little guy and you will make it through! Good luck to you!
  4. by   Jade8626
    I wanted to comment on how you stated that you want to go into nursing because you do not want the stress of your current office job, with deadlines etc. Well, I am sorry to say that nursing is 10 times more stressful and deadline driven than the worst office job, so if working under stress is something you cannot handle, you may want to re-think about becoming a nurse. Remember that the big difference between a busy office and a busy hospital is that if you forget to do something in a office, no one will die because of it. I hope that doesn't come across mean or discouraging in any way - it is just reality. As far as comfortable income is concerned - the going pay for a new RN is $25-$30/hr.

    Sorry just wanted to clarify that what I meant by stress of current job is that while I am capable and handle the stress, it's frustrating to know that I'm not being well-compensated for it. The going pay rate for a new RN would be a welcome change =)

    I guess also with your other comment about people depending on you, in my current job while people do depend on me. I don't have the same sense of satisfaction of knowing that I am making a difference as knowing that I am affecting someones life and can make a real positive change.

    It sounds like the economy is affecting everyone these days including new RNs. That was my reasoning as well, with going into this different career path in a few months that during this time of economic turmoil by the time I am finished, it should be better or at least slightly better.

    When you went to school for nursing, were there any instances where you wished that you had some things differently while pursuing the degree?

    Thank you for all your help and the comments are really helping me with my decision =) I am quite eager!
  5. by   tuttle13
    "When you went to school for nursing, were there any instances where you wished that you had some things differently while pursuing the degree?"

    I don't wish that anything was different. I like the path I choose and I would do it the same way again. I took pre-reqs and also most of my non-nursing courses (psych, English, math, sciences etc..) for the first 3 semesters. I got accepted into the nursing program during my 3rd semester, and then did my 2 years in the program. So overall, it took 3 1/2 years for an ASN, and that was the fast track! I highly suggest that you take any and all non-nursing requirements before you start the program. Believe it or not, one nursing course is a full time job and there is little to no free time to take any other courses at the same time unless you can do a few online, which is what I did for a few of the easier courses. I also took one during a summer semester just so I wouldn't have to take it while in the program. I don't know how the schedules are where you will go, but that is what worked best for me. My classmates who had to try to fit in other on-campus courses while in the program really struggled to fit them in and also pass. My program required a 75 or higher or you were kicked out of the program.

    We all also started out with GPAs of 3.9 to 4.0. Once in the program, your GPA will drop and you will just have to learn to accept that, as hard as that is for some of us. I started with a 4.0 and graduated with a 3.8 which was one of the highest in my class. Many were down to a 2.3 which was just barely passing, but by the time you graduate you are thinking "who the hell cares, I passed!" :chuckle

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