Midlife Career Change to Nursing - Advice, please - page 4

by mcgocara31

26,995 Views | 73 Comments

Hi all, I'm a 42-year-old lawyer who's seriously considering making a career change to the nursing field. (I've been an unhappy lawyer, in several different law positions, for 18 years now...). I am looking for a career that... Read More


  1. 3
    Not cynical, truthful. You don't know how many people we interview that are new grads in their 40's and they can't believe they can't have 3 weekend off a month "Buy my kids play XXX sports and I have never missed a game" or "My family always goes on vacation for 2 weeks in July, you mean I wouldn't be able to get this? ".

    And it is demanding to be on your feet for 12 hours a day with only a half hour break , if you are lucky!

    It is just the nature of the beast.
    Fiona59, anotherone, and missladyrn like this.
  2. 3
    Run as far as you can in the other direction! I am not being cynical, I am being truthful. Healthcare is going in the wrong direction and nursing morale is currently circling the drain. They just keep dumping more work, more liability, and more responsibility on the nursing staff while the pay and differentials are going DOWN. The benefits are the worst I have ever had in my life in ANY job. I worked part time at a coffee shop during nursing school and had better health insurance than I do now. And with all the aches and pains from lifting, bending, pulling, and catching confused people as they fall- you need a good health plan. I am so tired of dealing with combative confused and high patients. It is taking a toll on me. I wish I could rewind a few years and save myself, but I cannot so instead I will try to save you!
    chevyv, Fiona59, and anotherone like this.
  3. 2
    Quote from toonsis
    Wow! So so cynical I am sure she appreciates the honesty, but not one person could say anything positive. I hope I never become this way.
    I am guessing you are not a nurse yet. My advice, save yourself too! Change programs before its too late and you become (cue evil music) ONE OF US!
    Fiona59 and anotherone like this.
  4. 3
    Quote from netglow
    I wonder, what other profession draws so many with such off-base ideas?
    Law. I speak from experience, not only my own but from that of someone who has interviewed many, many law students in my life. All of your complaints about nursing could apply equally to my field (well, except for being on our feet. We sit on our butts for 13 hours a day and get very wide very young ), but thank you all for your comments as every opinion is very valuable to me.
    Fiona59, roser13, and brian like this.
  5. 6
    At the risk of being totally flamed by my e-colleagues, I have to speak up in support of going into nursing.

    I was a graphic artist and made a good salary before I changed careers and went into nursing. The reasons I went into nursing were personal, and I am so thankful that I decided to change careers.

    Yes, there are more than a few downsides to our profession; I am not challenging that. But there are downsides to EVERY profession.

    The nursing world opened doors for me that I never dreamed I would be a part of. I have gone to third world countries on surgical mission trips with a group of orthopods to do charity surgery. I have set up and organized a mobile surgical hospital for the state. I have been able to contribute to "brainstorming" sessions within my surgical group to come up with better and more efficient ways to streamline our services. I enjoy teaching new nurses.

    It all depends on what you seek, and what fulfillment means to you personally.

    I think you should go for it.
    HomaShahabzadah, hbjb, mcgocara31, and 3 others like this.
  6. 1
    You are a lawyer so you already have a valuable degree. If you really wish to enter the health care field I would suggest something in the medico-legal sphere; administrative rather than floor nursing. I would suggest this for multiple reasons, many of which have already been put to you eloquently and persuasively in the earlier responses. The fact is that floor nursing is a thankless, exhausting, painful and often bitterly unhappy work milieu and you could not pay me enough to go back to it. I am old enough and have enough experience as an RN to know the difference between cynicism and realism, so please don't mistake my meaning. Best of luck.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  7. 5
    I graduated from nursing school in 2009 at the age of 45.

    I was not able to find a good job right away but did find *a* job which required many sacrifices: Working 200 miles from home, doing nights, for $29/hr with lousy benefits.

    But...

    3 years later, I found a *great* job 20 miles from home making nearly $50/hr.

    - Working 12-16 hour nights is hard on the body but it beats the heck out of sitting on my butt at a desk for 10 hrs/day as I often did at my last jobs...

    - and it's nice to be paid for every 1/4 hour of OT I work as opposed to being a salaried chump working 55 hrs/week while getting paid for 40

    - and it's nice to leave work behind when I walk out the door...

    - and it's nice not to have to be the person making all the decisions... there's a freedom that comes with being the implementer of orders rather than the generator of orders...

    - and I'm in a strong union, building seniority...

    - and I really like the folks with whom I go to battle every night... which is often what the big-city ED feels like

    - and some of the patients touch me in a way that never happened with my other customers

    - and I like working with docs... and I love working with residents (meaning MDs, not in the LTC sense)

    - and I like knowing my job will never again be outsourced to China

    You will be taking a huge risk, as you can tell from what you've read here, but it does pay off for some people... and sometimes very quickly.

    To your original point, though: There is * NO NURSING SHORTAGE * at all.
    HomaShahabzadah, MissH1967, brian, and 2 others like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    I graduated from nursing school in 2009 at the age of 45.

    I was not able to find a good job right away but did find *a* job which required many sacrifices: Working 200 miles from home, doing nights, for $29/hr with lousy benefits.

    But...

    3 years later, I found a *great* job 20 miles from home making nearly $50/hr.

    - Working 12-16 hour nights is hard on the body but it beats the heck out of sitting on my butt at a desk for 10 hrs/day as I often did at my last jobs...

    Amen to that!

    - and it's nice to be paid for every 1/4 hour of OT I work as opposed to being a salaried chump working 55 hrs/week while getting paid for 40

    Double Amen!

    - and it's nice to leave work behind when I walk out the door...

    Isn't it, though?

    - and it's nice not to have to be the person making all the decisions... there's a freedom that comes with being the implementer of orders rather than the generator of orders...

    Ah, so nice.

    - and I'm in a strong union, building seniority...

    That must be nice. No union here...

    - and I really like the folks with whom I go to battle every night... which is often what the big-city ED feels like

    LOVE LOVE LOVE my co-workers

    - and some of the patients touch me in a way that never happened with my other customers

    And that makes all the difference in the world!

    - and I like working with docs... and I love working with residents (meaning MDs, not in the LTC sense)

    Yes, it's like free education!

    - and I like knowing my job will never again be outsourced to China

    Bwahahaha! Right!

    You will be taking a huge risk, as you can tell from what you've read here, but it does pay off for some people... and sometimes very quickly.

    To your original point, though: There is * NO NURSING SHORTAGE * at all.
    I love your response. Spot on!
    ♪♫ in my ♥ likes this.
  9. 0
    I'd go for an accelerated program (for people that already have a bachelors in another field) and go for the MSN. One of my friends did this and took a position in risk management in a hospital after doing only 6 months of floor nursing.
  10. 0
    I am sorry, but I find it cynical to completely dissuade some one from being a nurse.


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