Hello! I have been looking at this site for a few months now, but can't seem to find the answers to my specific question, though I have found answers that are close. I want to be a nurse very, very much. However, I have a BA in Communications and a family, which makes things a little complicated.
As I'm sure a lot of you know, if a person has a Bachelor's degree, they cannot receive much in the way of student aid for any post-baccalaureate classes, nor can they receive much if they seek a second Bachelor's degree. So, as much as I want to be a nurse, financial aid is a very serious issue, particularly since it's not just me I have to think about anymore. My husband thinks that it might be better for me to go into Speech Language Pathology b/c at least then I could go directly into a Master's Program and, therefore, be eligible for more types of financial aid. It seems to me that there should be some sort of direct-entry Master's program for Nursing (like there is for SLP) that would NOT require post-bac classes (b/c those classes are included in the Master's program), but I can't find one. The only option that I seem to be able to find for me to get into Nursing is to take out private loans, which, frankly, is a scary proposition.
I'm hoping that my search has been fruitless b/c I've been looking in the wrong places, and that maybe someone here can give me some guidance. I really appreciate any help I can get!
You have heard the nursing outlook is fabulous from the media, not from nurses. There is no nursing shortage and new graduate and some experienced nurses are out of work all across the country. With the economic downturn healthcare providers are finding multitudes of ways to cut their budget, the largest line item of which is nurses salaries. As such, there are fewer and fewer positions available, hiring freezes, wage cuts and layoffs. Add to that retirement age nurses who cannot afford to retire, part time nurses returning to full time work to compensate for lost wages of a spouse and stay-at-home or inactive nurses returning to the field to also compensate for a spouse's lost wages and you have a not-very-rosy picture.
Paradoxically, with all the hullabaloo about there being a nursing shortage, people are seeking to attend nursing school in record numbers. Schools are cranking out new graduate nurses at a phenomenal rate and the supply far exceeds the demand with every major metro area having several nursing schools glutting the market with graduate nurses every three to four months. The average time for a new graduate to find work in most major cities is anywhere from 6 months to well over a year. The complicated thing about this is that nursing knowledge is not like other jobs. You can't really hold a nursing degree and just pick up and start to work after a couple of years have gone by after graduation. If the new grad does not find work within the first year, they become an "old" or "stale" new grad with skills waning and the likelihood of employment shrinking even further. A lost generation of nurses, if you will.
Do your research before going into nursing. It is not at all the situation that the media puts out there. It is one of the best hidden secrets ever. Nursing is not thriving right now. The face of healthcare is changing and it is anyone's guess what will happen to nursing as these changes take place. This is not to discourage you from being a nurse. I am a new nurse myself and have been successful. But go into it with your eyes open. Read this board - you won't have to dig very deep to find evidence of the above.
Last edit by not.done.yet on Sep 7, '12