What am i doing with my life?

  1. Here's my story. I'm 36, work in the printing field, make plates and do scanning, it sucks, so in 1998 i decide to go back to school.
    I went for a A.S. in PC and Internet Programming...it took me 4 freaking years going part-time to get that degree. But the funny thing is,,,i got it,,but im not really motivated about it. Since graduating last summer, Ive applied at maybe 10 places, of course i havent gotten anything, but im not trying that hard either. Programming is ok, i was gonna get on the WEB side of it, but I wont get the time of day with just a Associates degree.
    So i looked into an online program to get a bachelors in Information Systems,,but then i thought to myself,,,is this what i REALLY want?

    Last week i was at my aunts, she isnt a nurse but works around them, she has no education in nursing, so shes some kind of assistant of a assistant i guess. Anyway, I was talking about how I'm still in printing and havent found a new job yet, then out of the blue she says, "You should be a nurse Tom! They need big guys like you in nursing." The wierd thing was, I didn't come out and say "Oh noway, thats not for me." But instead i said "yeah?!?! with a sense of curiosity. But I shoved it away from my brain cuz i just spent 4 years going to school! But at the sametime, I'm wondering if I went for the wrong thing by getting into computers.
    Today, I took a personality test online and wouldnt ya know it...
    I'm a "ISFJ" The Nuturer Personality Type!
    IM NOT A INTJ Scientific Type hence programmer!

    And wouldnt ya know it, under the ISFJ personality type one of the careers is...Nursing.
    One should be happy, but I feel like a total IDIOT!

    Everybody knows i went back to school at age 32 to learn computers,,,and now after im done at age 36,,,get into nursing???
    Im just really confused,,,and bummed by what people at work are gonna say,,,everyday at work they ask me if i got a new job yet.
    I know I shouldnt care what others think cuz its my life,,,but it is hard.

    One funny thing that happened after i got done taking the personality test was, i kick back, star at the ceiling, grab the remote start flicking through the channels, and in the first 15 or so channels i flicked through,,,3 channels had scenes of hospital setting. Quincy was on, Sanford and Son was on where Sanford was talking to a nurse, and the Cosby show where Bill was in a hospital room talking to a patient. WHAT THE HELL KINDA SIGN IS THIS!

    Im really down on myself for i think i majored in the wrong thing.
    Thus, i fear if i go through a 2 year nursing program, will i pull the same stunt again of majoring in the wrong thing???

    I guess the major thing I'm worried about regarding nursing is,,,
    will i be able to handle the dying part?
    Are there nursing jobs that dont deal with alot of death?
    I know that patients dying is a part of the job, but I jsut wonder if i could deal with it. Any death is sad, but if i saw someone die before their time age wise,,,i just dont know how long i could handle that part of the job.

    Sorry this was soo long,,,but im just really bummed out and really need advice.
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Cmyst
    I'd like to be able to tell you that you can avoid dealing with issues like death and still be a nurse -- but you can't.

    However......nursing does educate you and train you in accepting death as a part of the continuum of existence. Personally, when I started in nursing my children were young, and I could not work Pediatrics. I eventually had to stop working ER for many reasons, but one of them was that it had gotten to the point that I saw my children's and husband's faces on too many patients. There are nurses who thrive under those conditions, though.

    But, yeah, nursing is full of darkness for all that we are portrayed as Angels! It's a benevolent darkness, the kind that you have to have when you are too intimate with the harsh realities of life yet always hopeful that growth and healing is possible.

    It seems like what you're saying is that you're afraid of the possibility of strong emotions and how you might react to them. I'd urge you to face your doubts and fears, and be honest with yourself, first off. It's a good sign that you're asking this question! Believe it or not, some people go into Nursing without seeming to realize that they will be dealing regularly with very harsh realities.
  4. by   Genista
    I posted in reply to your other thread (about caring for dying patients). I read this post, and couldn't help but want to encourage you to explore your interest in nursing. If you are unhappy in your current job, it is certainly worth a look. Who cares what anyone else thinks! ;-) I don't care even if you made plates for 50 years (I work with a gal who become an RN in her 50s and is happy as a lark). It's your life- and if you are seeing "signs" and are open to the idea of nursing , then check it out. See if you can shadow an RN or interview some folks. I tested the waters by volunteering at a rehab hospital. It was a great experience. Go visit some local colleges and check out their nursing programs for kicks.Who knows, nursing might be your dream job?!
    There are more & more male nurses (I had 5-6 men in my nursing class about 5 yrs ago), so don't let that stop you. Diversity in nursing is a good thing. Good luck to you in whatever you decide.
  5. by   Mr_D
    Hi, I am a web tech generalist who has been looking at nursing for the last two years. I have invested a lot in my skills over the last several years and the return on investment has been disappointing.
    However, you nor I didn't waste time -- learning isn't wasting time period. I don't regret all the programming skills I've learned.
    So I empathize with your delimma of investing time in programming and I think you had to go through it to get at this crossroads. That's very, very common.

    Use your skills of holding down a job and going to school and excelling at it. Sign up for chemistry and go for the 'A'. Then sign up Anatomy . . . that's as far in the future as you need to worry about. And when you finish your prereqs -- then you will be in a **totally** different place. You may decide to go into nursing. You may do something totally different. You may decide you like clinical nursing, or may prefer to get into nursing informatics (the computer science side of nursing). You may end a BSN who is writing and printing glossy brochures for your local health department. Who knows.

    I think you are in a all to common rut -- I have experienced this myself, in that you are putting too much passive negative mental energy into your life. And that's creating your delimma. Focused activity will get you out of that undermining place. I say undermining because it's easy to do nothing except thrash in your head.

    Take chemistry and go for the 'A'. Believe me, you won't have time to dwell on anything else.

    good luck.

  6. by   NicoleNW

    I understand how you feel! I graduated 2 1/2 years ago with a BBA in Management Information Systems, and I am now wondering what was I thinking!! I am currently a systems analyst, and I am miserable. I hate starring at my computer for 8 hours each day in my little cubicle. The only reason why I got a degree in information systems was b/c it was the future. I have realized that waking up each morning with a pit in my stomach isn't worth it anymore. No amount of money is worth being miserable. I have been looking into nursing these last couple months, and have begun to realize that would suit me better. I still continue to ask myself what the heck was I thinking about getting a degree in IT, but I feel as though there are many challenges in life that help us get to where we are today. This has definitely been difficult on me, but I've taken the attitude that I will do whatever it takes as long as I'm happy in the end. Good luck with everything!!!
  7. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by RudeyMvp
    Everybody knows i went back to school at age 32 to learn computers,,,and now after im done at age 36,,,get into nursing???
    Im just really confused,,,
    A quote, and a question:

    The quote:

    What other people think of you is none of your business.

    The question: Nursing school takes 2-4 years.

    How old will you be in 4 years? 40.

    How old will you be in 4 years, after finishing nursing school?

    40, with one major difference. You will be 40, with a nursing degree!

    Your situation is not all that uncommon, people nowadays DO have 3 or 4 careers. Sometimes it takes time to know what you like.

    I would try some volunteering or job shadowing to see if this career fits for you. Go to school for Certified Nurses' Aide, again, to see if you like it, and not having to invest much time and $.

    If you do like it you will have a great job during school that will make you a most EXCELLENT nurse!

  8. by   agent

    I had almost the exact same thing happen to me a few months ago.

    I am a computer tech/web developer. I was going to go to Northwestern for a bio degree/pre-med when someone suggested nursing, (as it being easier on the fam) and I didnt say, NO WAY!

    I thought about it and the more I contemplated it, the more I embraced it. Good luck to you. I'm only 26, but people still think I'm crazy for going into nursing (ie switching careers) but I think the fact they all look at me and talk about me like that makes me special. I'm doing something different that many of them are too afraid to do.

    I'm taking the big leap.. and when I get there, they'll be jealous.
  9. by   LoriB
    I'm a 38 year old web developer. I finished school (with my BS in Computer Science) last December and applied to the nursing program for next year. You are not alone. I have the EXACT same concerns as you but I'm going to give it a shot. The computer science field sucks right now and nursing needs us.

    Oh and let me add that my entire family thinks I'm nuts.

  10. by   Pucci
    Hi!! I'm Pucci and I was going pt to a community college for a degree in computer programming. Last fall, when I really got into my classes, unix, etc., I knew it wasn't for me. And like you, I had signs that led me into nursing. I would even have dreams about it. I also believe that nursing is for me. I love the field. I'm in my first year of a BSN program and I absolutely love it!!! I couldn't imagine anything else I would do. Don't regret what you've done, but embrace the changes to come. We live life everyday to make choices. Get the feel of nursing. You can go to www.discovernursing.com. They have an overview of the profession and I wish you the best of luck.
  11. by   NursePru
    Same thing here! I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design...found a job, got laid off because it was a small company not doing well. Looked for other work, but got a job doing tech support for a large corp. (which by the way I HATE). It was the only job I could find after Sept. 11. I'm still taking pre-reqs, but I really can't wait to get away from corporate America and computers! I mean I like computers and will probably always use them, but I no longer have the desire to sit in front of one all day. Your situation sounds so familiar and I've read several posts where people want to get away from the business world. I also work with 2 other people who are working on their nursing degrees while staying with their current jobs. So I guess from here you should weigh the pros and cons. I did that and the pros of Nursing far outweigh the cons. I also realized that my current job has very few pros. Making the decision was a big commitment, but it will be worth it in the end.

    Good Luck!

    Keep us posted on your decision.
    Last edit by NursePru on Sep 15, '06
  12. by   agent
    Originally posted by nursepru
    Same thing here! I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design...found a job, got laid off because it was a small company not doing well. Looked for other work, but got a job doing tech support for a large corp. (which by the way I HATE). It was the only job I could find after Sept. 11. I'm still taking pre-reqs, but I really can't wait to get away from corporate America and computers!
    I have the same situation. I had several computer technical degrees but could only find a job in tech support. I pretty much hate it.. it wasnt what I had in mind.

    I'm also a web developer.
  13. by   jnette

    Don't know why, but for some reason your original post just really touched me. Almost gave me goosebumps. I felt a real need to respond... for what it's worth.

    I LIKE what you shared, and above all, I appreciate the total honesty. From what little I have read about you in your post, "something" tells me that you would make one heck of a nurse. Just the way you wrote about it, your concerns, your desires, your almost "fighting" it. I think I just liked what I was reading BETWEEN the lines...

    One is NEVER too old to go after something new, especially if that something turns into a career that fits you ! You also sound like a person who would have much to give, and a person who cares. We need more of you.

    Please browse around on this BB and check with the guys here, too... they certainly would have valuable input for you ! As suggested above, you might follow some nurse aquaintances around for a week or two ( in different settings, of course) and get the "feel" of it... see what it does to your head and your heart. You should discover something right there.

    Never put it out of mind if it's something you really think is YOU... because it will only continue to pester and haunt you... untill you give in to it ! Why waste precious time putting it off when you think that in the end it will be what you desired all along! And no... it's NVR2Late !!! But you might regret the wasted years spent procrastinating !

    Wish you the very best in your quest ! Do keep us posted.
    Last edit by jnette on Oct 2, '03
  14. by   JenNJFLCA
    Rudey, I tried to "fight" (as jnette said) my true, deep down desire to be a nurse, but lost. I was afraid to tell my boyfriend and my family that I wanted to go to nursing school, but it turned out to be a great thing. They are so supportive of me. I am now in a BSN program, and I start clinicals next semester. My grandma is a nurse and she is SO excited for me. My 1st degree is in Marine Bio and I couldn't find a job in it. I am now a lab rat in a public health lab, and realized lab work is not for me, but helping people IS.
    Listen to what your heart tells you and think about YOUR happiness. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. They'll get over it.
    Good luck!