Midlife Career Change to Nursing - Advice, please - page 7

by mcgocara31 27,947 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


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    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.
    Last edit by VroomVroom on Apr 18, '13
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    Vroom Vroom,

    You bring up an absolutely excellent point. We who are pursing nursing as a second career, are doing so because perhaps we didn't make the right decision the first time around. It is imperative that much, much research is done into the world of nursing, before pursing this career path. My wife and both of my sisters are RNs, so I have insight into the profession.

    But at least those of us pursing nursing as a second career, have the guts to change careers in the first place. For those who complain about your current profession, do something about it....why would anyone want to continue to work in a field/industry they hate or are unhappy with. Now if they are simply just conveying some of the negative attributes that come along with being a nurse, that is a completely different story.

    It would be intersting to hear from all those 2nd career nurses who can't stand being a nurse. You don't hear from them too often on this site.
    HomaShahabzadah likes this.
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    FSUNurse2b - Please clear out your inbox, trying to reply to your PM! Thanks!

    The following errors occurred:

    • FSUNurse2b has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.
    Last edit by VroomVroom on Apr 23, '13 : Reason: Allowed to PM now!
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    Done.
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    "Nursing's career track today looks roughly like this:
    Languish on a college waiting list to be accepted, 1-2 years;
    Toil away for 2-4 years in a brutal, competitive nursing program;
    Pass NCLEX;
    Begin job hunt;
    After several months to a year maybe find a nursing home/HH agency that will hire new grads;
    Put your time in the trenches passing meds, dealing with psychotic families and 40:1 ratios, and Medicare fraud, 1-2 years;
    Maybe land a hospital job with a decent Magnet joint that hires BSNs;
    Work a med surg floor 12 hour nights to start;
    Be forced into OT because of the documentation demands, be chewed up and spit out by more experienced nurses and snotty managers, your back and feet get destroyed from the physical expectations, and be worked to death by management who have profit in mind over people, be treated like a glorified waitress, multiple UTIs from holding pee for hours, 2-4 years;
    Burn out;
    Make another career change, or go for a Masters to get into management or teaching
    By then, you'll be what age?"



    I could see myself in all those steps...
    Last edit by BrazilianTeresa on Jun 3, '13 : Reason: message too long
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    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.
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    Much less happy. I'm collecting unemployment and cringe at the thought of having to work as a nurse again.
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    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. =)
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    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.
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    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.


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