Second Career: Where to Begin?

  1. Hi folks,

    Here's the quick and dirty on my situation:
    --I already have a B.A. in French and Int'l Business and an M.A. in Educ. Policy;
    --I am 28;
    --I am a grants administrator;
    --I have been dreaming of switching to nursing for several years;
    --I really am not sure how to get started;
    --I already have a significant amt of student loan debt.

    Given this laundry list, does anyone have good tips for programs that I could pursue (especially in the MD/DC area)?

    Currently I'm looking at University of Maryland's BSN program -- after what looks to be two years of fulfilling prereqs, which I would do at a local community college to save money. John's Hopkins' accelerated BSN program looks great, but there is no way I could swing that kind of additional debt.

    If you have any ideas or advice, I would LOVE to hear from you - please reply!!

    --L
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Accellerated programs are usually the way to go in cases like yours. It only takes a year (a killer year at that) and you get a 2nd Bachelor's Degree. But as you say it's very expensive since it's two years crammed into one.

    Otherwise you take much longer to get a cheaper Associates Degree, which you can always upgrade to a BSN and get help with tuition reimbursement through an employer. Given what you say is "significant debt" this might be the way to go and it's not a bad way. I held an ADN for 16 years and did rather well. I recently did online RN to BSN.
  4. by   TheOldGuy
    Just a suggestion....at this point don't worry about which school to go to - you can't apply to any of them yet since it doesn't sound like you've got your prereqs done. Unfortunately nearly every school seems to have their own set of prereqs. Check out the requirements of all potential programs, then start working on them. Some schools require you to be a CNA, some schools require the GRE, others require the TEAS or NET.

    Most schools won't even let you apply if you don't have your prereqs completed (some will let you apply if you are in progress with one or two) and your test scores in. After you've gotten through chem, anatomy, physiology, etc and you know what your grades and test scores are, you will be in a much better position to assess where you should apply. Then you can make your decision weighing the cost of the program vs the quality of the program, the amount of time it takes to complete and how it may fit in with your career objectives.

    Good luck - I think you are at a great point in your life to make the move if you are drawn to it!

    My 2 cents....
  5. by   HealthyRN
    It seems like you already have a good start since you are looking at some programs. I would recommend an accelerated BSN program, but they are expensive. Are you interested in being an advanced practice nurse? If so, you may want to look into a direct entry master's program. These are usually 3 year programs that allow you to sit for the NCLEX after the first year and then begin working on master's level courses. Most do not grant the BSN though.
  6. by   jjjoy
    A double major and a masters now in grant administration... it sounds like you've had a hard time nailing down an interest to pursue professionally? If so, I can totally relate. I'm wondering if you might not be able to find a job that would bring you closer to health care while you consider nursing school.

    Getting into nursing school and going through nursing school are each their own challenges and neither of them are really like nursing itself, so if you go straight through, it still could be years before you find out if you really like it and if you're glad you invested the time and money in it. At the very least, start volunteering where you can have some contact with nurses.

    As you research what you might need for nursing school and get more information about whether or not nursing would be for you, I'd also suggest that you look around at the wide variety of jobs out there in health care (such as health care administration, health information publication, jobs at hospitals, universities, etc) that might help you find a line of work that is more satisfying to you as well as give you more insight into whether or not nursing school is something you want to invest in.

    Good luck!

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