I'm a second career student, with an unrelated BS (Business Admin & Math), and 5 years experience in the corporate world. I want to help people, and have a purpose (as most of you probably do) and sitting at a desk all day makes me cringe. Not to mention I was getting headaches from it, and repeatedly pulled my hip flexor because I sat too much. I work out 5x a week and was training for a ½ marathon...so I'm not out of shape, I just can't sit for hours! I made a good living before, but I've come to terms with starting over professionally. I'm 27, so I have lots more time to work.
I'm looking at PT/PTA, OT/OTA programs but the excitement and lower barrier to entry for RNs is really appealing to me. I'm just scared of your profession! I have a lot of respect for nursing but it also seems as most of you are undervalued. I started off looking at PT since the pay was good, and the stress was low but I can see the pitfalls there too. Since I have a bachelors the programs, aside from an accelerated BSN are about the same in length, and require most of the same pre-reqs.
My specific questions to you guys are:
1- Even with the craziness, do you have more good days than bad? I've been told by a few friends not
to quit and purse a second career because it's all work in the end. I can see their point, but life is too short to not try to find your passion!
2- I live in VA and have about 5 aBSN programs to pick from (yay!) - but they're so competitive. How does getting my Associates compare? I had a lot more options then. I was reading postings on this site comparing the two, and it sounds like the big perk of the BSN is you can go into administration easier and have more managerial opportunities. If that is true, wouldn't my BS help me out there?
3- What are reasonable starting salaries? I know the average is about 65k, but I assume that is 5 years experience? 10? I know it can vary by specialty, and I'm interested in NICO, Oncology, and possibly CRNA. I'm not ruling out the idea of masters; in fact I would prefer to get that, but one step at a time.
I've been around this forum a lot in the last 6 months, so I apologize for asking a lot of the same questions but I know some of this has changed a lot since some stickies were last modified. I have a ton of respect for nurses, and appreciate any insight provided.