I have decided to switch careers from construction to nursing. Weird huh? :-)
So I am in the information gathering stage, and have a few questions I'm hoping some of you can help to answer.
I have a family and need to continue to work full time to support them while going to school. This means the schooling of course will take longer. I will be taking a significant pay cut when I do make the actual transition, so I am trying to increase my chances for a good starting salary every way I can. So here is the bottom line, it looks like it could take me about 5-6 years to finsh the program with an AA. I have noticed a lot of the jobs being posted are asking for a BSN (preferred). If I go that route, I'm looking at a possible additional 3+ years. I just turned 40 years old, I am convinced this is what I'm going to do, I am just looking for some experienced advice on how best for me to attack this.
Jan 4, '12
Generally the associates degree requires some pre-reqs, and then 2 solid years of nursing courses. I would say that your program will not let you pick and choose to only take one class at a time(usually you have to take theory, clinicals(usually a all day thing), do return lab skills).
Talk to a financial aid advisor and see if they have any grants when it comes to changing careers. Also, look into community colleges versus privates. CCs generally charge less to residents.
Jan 4, '12
I guess in my attempt to "try" to make a short post, I left out some information. :-)
So I have checked with the community colleges on the pre-reqs and it looks like that will take me about a little over two years to knock out. Then I was able to stumble upon an (Approved) nursing program, at a different community college in Seattle, designed for those of us who need to continue to work. Instead of the typical 6 quarter program, this is a ten quarter program set in the evenings. As for the clinicals, I have no idea how they work that. I have an information appt. scheuled in a couple weeks to hopefully answer that and other questions I have.
Checking into grants for career changes, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for that idea.
In addition to this, are there ways I can improve the starting salary I will be offered after graduating, or is that mostly based upon experience?
Jan 5, '12
Most facilities have a set starting salary for new grads, depending on shift. Personally, I started in the summer of 2008 at 23/hr with a 5/shiff diff per hour for working nights. Doesn't matter what unit you work. They also paid for a NCLEX review class and NCLEX related expenses once you passed and started working. They don't do that anymore. What is the market like currently for new grads in your area? That's a question worth asking, and schools
aren't as honest as they used to be. Post a general thread in the new grad area. It may be different in a couple years, or it may not. Also, what are your motivations for going into nursing? My school had us write a page essay for the professors on "Why I want to be a nurse". Spot essay with 1 hour to write it. No points, but it was good thought process for me. Feel free to PM me that, or any questions you have. I like to think I'm a pretty good sounding board.
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