Midlife Career Change to Nursing - Advice, please Midlife Career Change to Nursing - Advice, please - pg.6 | allnurses

Midlife Career Change to Nursing - Advice, please - page 6

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... Read More

  1. Visit  MissH1967 profile page
    2
    This thread made me cry, made me smile, filled me with dread, and filled me with hope.


    I am 46 and just passed the NCLEX (in 75 questions, I might add). Yes, I'm nervous as hell about pursuing a career at this age; however, I feel that I'm in a better position than many who are half my age because I am already married, my kids are grown (no games to attend to), I'm willing to work weekends, nights, holidays (I'm very happy to switch shifts with someone younger who needs to attend to his/her children for whatever reason), and I'm willing to relocate if need be.

    I have no experience and no job right now, so that is scary, but I'm also not going to be picky and I am open to exploring many areas of nursing.
    colorado31 and chevyv like this.
  2. Visit  johnnyt8 profile page
    0
    Much less happy. I'm collecting unemployment and cringe at the thought of having to work as a nurse again.
  3. Visit  HomaShah profile page
    1
    Very well written, thank you! I did notice almost all 2nd career nurses did state they enjoyed what they do, and kudos to all those who chose to change their career, I know it isn't easy, I know it is possible. =)
    colorado31 likes this.
  4. Visit  iTyrizzle87 profile page
    1
    I am a former public school science teacher. I would say that the profession of education is another career field that is glorified as being "easy" or an "anybody can do that" type of job. Crappy pay, students and parents that don't care, not worth it. I am currently in the process of trying to save money for nursing school. I would say go for the change! It's going to be one hell of a bumpy ride mentally, physically and financially, but so worth it at the end.
    colorado31 likes this.
  5. Visit  iTyrizzle87 profile page
    1
    Oops! I wasn't finished typing. I've decided to become a LPN/LVN because I already have the required courses for a nursing program at a technical college. It's a quick way to get your feet wet. Most programs are just 11 months long. If I tried going for a BSN, it'd take me another 3 years or so. Quite frankly, I am really over being a CNA and ready to move on. This will also allow me to work full-time as a LPN while getting a RN license, just another 11 months for that. Lucky for me, our medical school here offers a MSN for those who have a current RN license and a Bachelor's degree in some other field. That's going to be my way around having to waste time obtaining a BSN.
    colorado31 likes this.
  6. Visit  Nonetheless profile page
    0
    Honestly if I was making a good, comfortable living as a lawyer then I wouldn't make the switch to nursing. I love nursing but I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice a stable job to start from square one again. You may find that you cannot find a job for a long time as a new nurse. Could you work as a lawyer through school and for about a year or two after graduation until you get a good , stable nursing job?
    why not go further in law, like becoming a professor of law?
  7. Visit  LoyalWeim profile page
    2
    Hey,

    Wait wait wait.... keep in mind you are getting advice from people that are ALREADY nurses. I am in a very similar situation as you are and what this post and it's responses tell me is that "grass is always greener over there". I am 41 years old and an engineer of 15 years. I want to switch to nursing and by God that is what I am going to do. The jobs? Seriously? These people act like nursing is the only field struggling with the job market. EVERY field since 2009 is struggling with the job market. Every. Single. One. Unless of course you are already a multi-millionaire... in which case you could choose to not work at all. Ok... some areas are better than others... right? So you have to move for that first nursing job. It is so easy for folks to say, "Man are you crazy? Lawyer switching to nursing? Stay where you are!" Yet they have no idea who you are or where you want to be today. All they know is where THEY are and to them I guess law looks better. But isn't this always the case? Looking at the other side and saying how "better" or "easier" it is over there? They envision lawyers running around in BMWs while they toil for a 12 hour shift in the ER. What they do not realize is that *you* might actually enjoy making less money in the ER. The issue is that you will not know until you try... period!
    colorado31 and TallSN like this.
  8. Visit  TallSN profile page
    1
    Quote from VroomVroom
    These kinds of posts will always get people battling on extremes. I think it's important to take in what the seasoned, veteran nurses have to say about the nursing climate and how it has changed (for better or worse), but at the same time, if someone is ready and willing to take the plunge after considering their personal situations, then by all means more power to them.

    I'm also in the midst of a career change at 36. I've looked at various options of pursing a profession in healthcare, and nursing school just made the most sense to me in terms of how I want to spend my resources, both time and money-wise. It's not just nursing jobs that are tight; jobs in practically any field are hard to come by and very competitive. It's the nature of our economy these days. That said, U.S. medical care will see enormous changes in the coming years and I look at it as an exciting and dynamic place to be. As others have noted, there may be no shortage today, but there will most certainly be a need for more healthcare practitioners in the coming years. I think nursing offers the greatest flexibility and breadth/depth when it comes to creating a unique career path in healthcare.

    Perhaps the posters who feel so strongly about preventing and chiding others from entering nursing should re-evaluate whether this is still the right and fulfilling profession for them? That would make way for more eager, energetic and fresh nurses to take on the roles that they've dreamed and worked so hard to achieve. Just a thought.

    Btw, thanks canesdukegirl, ♪♫ in my ♥ and theantichick for keeping the dream alive.
    Thank you for writing this! It was very well put!!!
    colorado31 likes this.
  9. Visit  ♪♫ in my ♥ profile page
    2
    Quote from VroomVroom
    I think it's important to take in what the seasoned, veteran nurses have to say about the nursing climate and how it has changed (for better or worse)...
    Since my earliest days as an adult I've been hearing from the veterans how glad they are to be nearing the ends of their careers because of the negative changes. Early in my Marine Corps tenure, then as I began my engineering career, then later from the chemistry faculty when I was considering a PhD in that field, and then from several physicians I spoke with as I considered a career in medicine. Then, of course, some of the mid-career nurses. A lot of the older nurses marvel at how good we have it and shake their heads at some of our complaints. Nursing is a field that I never would have considered 20-30 years ago, before all of the positive changes... at least in California, which has always been my home.

    I'm also in the midst of a career change at 36. I've looked at various options of pursing a profession in healthcare, and nursing school just made the most sense to me in terms of how I want to spend my resources, both time and money-wise. It's not just nursing jobs that are tight; jobs in practically any field are hard to come by and very competitive. It's the nature of our economy these days. That said, U.S. medical care will see enormous changes in the coming years and I look at it as an exciting and dynamic place to be. As others have noted, there may be no shortage today, but there will most certainly be a need for more healthcare practitioners in the coming years. I think nursing offers the greatest flexibility and breadth/depth when it comes to creating a unique career path in healthcare.
    Smart guy or gal.

    Btw, thanks canesdukegirl, ♪♫ in my ♥ and theantichick for keeping the dream alive.
    You're welcome. And this should count for a lot coming from me because I'm about as far as one could get from the "blow sunshine up your butt" cheerleader type... terms like confrontational, irascible, grumpy, and increasingly, curmudgeonly more often tend to be directed my way... though I prefer to think of myself as realistic, forthright, and brutally honest.
    colorado31 and ICUman like this.
  10. Visit  GAgalhere profile page
    1
    I am considering a career change too. I am late forty's and have been behind a computer screen most of my career. I need something that is more relational and has real relational component to it. I am wondering what you (mcgocara31) and others in similar situation decided? Did you make the decision to change careers?
    colorado31 likes this.
  11. Visit  haby profile page
    0
    Going through these comments gave me all the answers to my questions (Thanks guys). Feel so relieved and happy right now. I'm 28 with a BSc. in Engineering, MSc. in Business Information Systems and 6 years of IT work experience. Going back to school to pursue a nursing degree (start in January).
  12. Visit  theantichick profile page
    0
    I thought I'd offer an update, and emphasize the importance of having backup plans with a midlife career switch.

    I worked a little over a year in the ICU at the LTAC I mentioned in my previous post. Started my BSN online, and then got an offer for my "dream job" which was at a level 1 trauma ED in my area. I loved the work, but the pace was just too much for me physically. Having 8 or 9 very sick patients without coverage for lunches and breaks made for hellish shifts. It seemed like I would recover on my days off just in time to start it all again. What I didn't know is that I had developed rheumatoid arthritis. I got a new job at a smaller community ED with strict 1:4 ratios, coverage for lunches, and fabulous coworkers. I absolutely loved it, and I would still be working there if the RA hadn't flared up so badly and the resultant treatments (immune suppressing) made it a very bad idea to stay in bedside care.

    Because I accounted for the possibility of not being able to continue bedside nursing due to physical issues, and had a plan, it's all worked out OK. Not my first choice, but my backup plan wasn't a bad one. I'm now working in Medical Informatics, blending my extensive IT experience with my nursing training and knowledge. I'm pursuing my Masters in Healthcare Informatics so I can advance my career further. It's a desk job with office hours, and I'm not exposed to tons of sick and contagious people on a daily basis. The money is quite good, and I don't feel like my nursing education and short-lived career were wasted.

    I don't want to say that people in their 40's are necessarily going to have problems physically doing the job. I've worked with 70 year old nurses that run circles around the 20-something new grads. But it is a very physical job, and contingency plans are a must in my opinion.

    I don't regret my choices. Yes, if this hadn't happened, I would have spent another several years in the ED and then gone on for my NP. My life would look different than it does now. But one of the things I love about a nursing career is that there are many specialties and disciplines in nursing, and you can find what works for you. I won't discourage someone from pursuing nursing, even as a mid-life career change. My original advice, I think, is spot-on. Go into it with as much information as you can get on the profession, and your eyes WIDE OPEN. Have a PLAN for how you're going to get through school while likely needing to work and care for your family. Have plans already in place for your alternatives if you find you don't like bedside nursing or the specialty you got into. Keep those options open. And if you still want it, GO FOR IT.
  13. Visit  marcos9999 profile page
    0
    You couldn't have put it any clearer and better. This is exactly how it is these days and I'm posting this in 2016

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