Nursing as Second Career for Mature Professional w/Full-Time Job?

  1. 0
    Would someone please give me some feedback?

    If you are an entry level RN or an experienced RN or just like me - a wife, a mother of a 2 year old, a full-time professional with a Bachelors (Business) and Masters (Education). I am now 38 years old and live in Broward County (South Florida) and earn a good living (between 80-90K). Although I enjoy going to work every day, I have never in the past 15 years felt like what I do each day matters. Recently, I've had great hospital experiences (my mother's breast cancer; my natural childbirth; my current in-out of hospitals for my cancer stuff). Before this I had only entered a hosptial 3 times that I can recall in my life. Every nurse that I've met has inspired me (except for one in med/surgical floor) and I truly like the idea of being able to help others while having a job that allows for flexibility (hospital or non-hospital; flex-schedules), portability and opportunities to grow (the possibilities seem endless). I know it's not going to be easy - I'm sure there will be many stressful days (which I don't have at all in my life right now). My passion is education. I get excited when I see the light-bulb brighten or turn on for another person. Patient education seems exciting to me.

    I can't say that about my current job in a non-healthcare field. I am the steady income in my household since my husband is self-employed. I have to work full-time for benefits and the salary.

    So, I need a sanity check from the folks in this great community - Am I crazy???? For some reason I feel I have the nursing bug. I've checked out numerous books from the library and I've been trying to register at Broward College to start my CHM1032 prereq - hopefully online if something opens up. I figure if I focus on my pre-reqs first and get A's then I can begin focusing on getting into Nursing School. However, all the schools in Broward County are full-time (clinicals during the day). Miami-Dade College is the only one that currently offers a part-time curriculum for full-time professionals (clinicals on the weekends).

    Right now, my husband doesn't support me in my current pie-in-the-sky dream because he says that nurses in South Florida only make 40K. I told him that I'd spoken to several nurses who made 50-60 K (with ASN degree and BSN). So, would someone out there shed some light on my very dark situation - am I crazy or just a glutton for punishment? Should I be saying hey I make good money stay put and forget about this nursing thing!

    Please help. :spin:
    Last edit by journeyhope on Nov 29, '09
  2. 5,211 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 33 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    How will you do it with a FT job and a hubby and child?
  5. 0
    I was thinking of starting off slow. I have to take 4 pre-reqs (Chemistry for HealthCare; AP1; AP2;MICRO). I will see an advisor tomorrow (I have a General Chem class from 1989 but I don't think it'll count). All of the prereqs can be done online except the labs are 2 hours . I noticed that Broward College offered a lab from 8 PM - 9:50 PM (one night a week). Great time because the little one will be winding down and getting ready for bed when I leave home at 7:30 PM. I figured I'd worry about the Miami Dade (part-time) when I get to it since I'll need to be accepted. For that program, I'll have to take a course 1 night per week for about 4 hours and clinicals on Saturday. Right now, my focus is baby steps for pre-reqs and deal with the nursing school stuff when it happens. Thanks.
  6. 19
    Dont do it. stick with your 90k job. The euphoria you currently feel wont last long when you have to go through nursing school and when you are on the floor being screamed at by patients and doctors.
    If you want to do something to help others, volunteer at a hospital or homeless shelter.
    DedHedRN, mustlovepoodles, chelynn, and 16 others like this.
  7. 1
    You have a Masters in Ed. That's a HUGE step in the right direction; if you are willing to make some sacrifices (my friend did the PT MDCC program and she had a HARD time with a FT job and a middle school kid and hubby)....

    I don't see why you shouldn't do it. Just expect that you may not get the dream job you want in the beginnings of your career. But I see you being an educator and that would be awesome!
    journeyhope likes this.
  8. 1
    You have to do what will make you happy in life. I made $230K last year but I left that career that was making me miserable, to go to nursing school. I wake up every day excited that I can go to school! It was always a dream of mine to work in healthcare. I decided to do it before I got too old. No doctors or patients have screamed at me yet.

    You already have a lot of education, so you can move on to NP, PA, or another position where the salaries are equivalent to your current salary. You might have to tighten your belt for a while.

    Don't quit your job until you have to. I think sticking with the night classes for your pre-reqs is an excellent idea. Give yourself some time to decide if you really want to take the plunge. Good luck!!
    journeyhope likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from journeyhope
    I was thinking of starting off slow. I have to take 4 pre-reqs (Chemistry for HealthCare; AP1; AP2;MICRO). I will see an advisor tomorrow (I have a General Chem class from 1989 but I don't think it'll count). All of the prereqs can be done online except the labs are 2 hours . I noticed that Broward College offered a lab from 8 PM - 9:50 PM (one night a week). Great time because the little one will be winding down and getting ready for bed when I leave home at 7:30 PM. I figured I'd worry about the Miami Dade (part-time) when I get to it since I'll need to be accepted. For that program, I'll have to take a course 1 night per week for about 4 hours and clinicals on Saturday. Right now, my focus is baby steps for pre-reqs and deal with the nursing school stuff when it happens. Thanks.

    Only you can decide if it's the right decision. I gave up a very lucrative career, put myself in to self-imposed poverty (no hubby or kids, so I could) so that I could focus primarily on school. I really enjoyed my former career.....but I know this is what I'm made to do. I love school (and I was never a scholar the first time through). This time is so different.

    I will say though that I would try and speak with students in the part-time program you're looking at so that you can get an idea of the time commitment outside of class and clinicals. You've got advanced degrees so I'm sure that the material isn't going to be overwhelmingly challenging to you.....however, the volume of material might take you by surprise. Nursing school has a way of eating up far more hours than you expect......and you have a pretty full plate. I'd hate to see you get blind-sided.

    Peace,
    CuriousMe
    journeyhope likes this.
  10. 5
    If I could have made it in my former career, I would go back to it. I have wasted too much time and money pursuing nursing only to achieve inadequate employment at best and unemployment at worst. There is something to be said about sticking with the known versus chasing the elusive. Dreams don't pay the bills or buy healthcare for oneself much less one's family.
    3rdcareerRN, RNnbakes, RNMLIS, and 2 others like this.
  11. 5
    I am going back to school to get out of nursing. I wouldn't make the switch. Nursing is stressful and the pay is not worth it. You will miss out on so much- mainly weekends and holidays if you decide to become a nurse. I would love to trade spots with you!
    mustlovepoodles, RNnbakes, Sisyphus, and 2 others like this.
  12. 7
    I wouldnt do it if I were you. I left a very stable career, making 55K-60K with only an Associate's Degree, only to go through a very hard nursing program to not having a job when I graduated. It took me 3 months after graduation to land my first RN job, and by then, I was behind on my mortgage. I almost lost my home. I had been looking for my first RN job months before I actually graduated. I wouldnt do it if I were you.

    With the economy the way it is, don't believe the hype about a "nursing shortage" which is the BS they will feed you all the way through nursing school. Just look around on this site and see how many new grads are struggling to find a job 6 months post graduation.
    bethann27, Ivanna_Nurse, RNnbakes, and 4 others like this.


Top