your opinion on changing careers

  1. currently I am a licensed prof. counselor in private practice (I have a master's in counseling). However, I've always had a dream to be a post-partum/well baby and/or labor and delivery nurse. I have been talked out of this/talked myself out of it at various times in my life due to taking the path of least resistance I guess and being fearful that I would sacrifice a lot and then regret it. When I read the posts on other boards about arrogant doctors, nurses being treated like handmaidens, etc. I think No way! But when I read this board I think, "that sounds cool!" I like therapy but I'm getting kind of bored with it, and bored of working basically by myself, and I've always been fascinated with babies and new mothers. I have two of my own and my birthing experiences were OK, not the best, but I think I could be patient with people because of this experience and the experience I have as a counselor. Unfortunately I couldn't satisfy this urge being a social worker on a floor because I don't have the right credential, and I think I'd like being a nurse better anyway.

    What do you guys think?
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   nursemeow
    Quote from counselor1st
    currently I am a licensed prof. counselor in private practice (I have a master's in counseling). However, I've always had a dream to be a post-partum/well baby and/or labor and delivery nurse. I have been talked out of this/talked myself out of it at various times in my life due to taking the path of least resistance I guess and being fearful that I would sacrifice a lot and then regret it. When I read the posts on other boards about arrogant doctors, nurses being treated like handmaidens, etc. I think No way! But when I read this board I think, "that sounds cool!" I like therapy but I'm getting kind of bored with it, and bored of working basically by myself, and I've always been fascinated with babies and new mothers. I have two of my own and my birthing experiences were OK, not the best, but I think I could be patient with people because of this experience and the experience I have as a counselor. Unfortunately I couldn't satisfy this urge being a social worker on a floor because I don't have the right credential, and I think I'd like being a nurse better anyway.

    What do you guys think?
    Well, I am 25 and it has taken me 4 years to get thru college. I grad in Dec 04 FINALLY! So I have never had a diff. career. But, from my point of view if you are questioning you career path and that is normal, but there is no harm in going for it! Some schools are 2 years to become a R.N. and once you have that behind you there are thousands of oppt.s for ya. That is what I love about the field. I say go for it. You'll be surprised how many woman and men feel the same way as you with similar fears about going back to school. The majority of my peers are 30-40 with careers and families. Go for it and best of luck. There is a huge support system just on this website alone. Be prepared for the lifetime of learning. It is the most gratifying postion to have! Remember, this life is about you. Make yourself happy.
  4. by   counselor1st
    Thanks so much for replying, and the encouragement! Most people, esp. my family, think I'm crazy for wanting to go back to school and basically "start over". But I just can't see myself doing what I do for the rest of my life. I have been in counseling for 10 years, and you are right nursing is so varied one thing it seems you don't have to worry about is getting bored (and not having a diff. type job you can go to). Anyone out there changed careers? Regrets or not?
  5. by   LovePeaceJoy
    Thank you for starting this thread! I am currently in nursing school and I am still questioning this decision. I too have a degree and have actually bounced nursing and counseling around. Between the people that really seem to hate their jobs and those that love it, its a hard decision. I also fear finishing the program and then realize that I absolutely hate it. I don't look at nursing with rose colored glasses. The grunge work would not bother me (except for vomit) and I don't think crabby patients would bother me. My fear is working with colleagues that don't respect each other, nurses that "eat their young" and overall burn out from having a patient load of 15.


    I've spoken to nurses that say I should do CNA work or LPN work before making a decision. Honestly, with a full time job, going to school, and a 3 hour commute a day I don't have time to do that. If I had the time, I would.

    I would like to take the medical part of nursing and combine it with education. My current thinking is to become an NP and educate women on health issues. But, I have to get there first...
  6. by   cowgirlup
    I am also in the process of a career change. I have been an elementary school teacher for 8 years. I worked for 7 years and had to take a "sabbatical". My husband felt as if we could make it on his salary and he was really tired of my coming home in a foul mood and lots papers to grade, etc. I never had time or patience for my daughter after dealing with other children all day. I felt so guilty when I went to bed each night. I became a totally different person during my time at home-much happier. I also did a great deal of soul searching. I have always loved science and the field of medicine but did not really feel like I wanted to go back to school. After 4 wonderful years at home, I financially had to go back to work. Of course the salary scale wasn't much better than before and there was even more "crap" to put up with from everyone. During this school year I decided I would check into nursing school and begin to take some pre-nursing courses. By the time I applied for nursing school they told me it would be fall 2004 before I began. I felt like that would be fine because I might be able to save some money. Anyway, I was surprisingly admitted into the program that fall of 2003. It all happened very quickly. What I would like to tell you is to not let anyone discourage your decision. You see, although my entire family was very supportive, many other people continually questioned my decision to change careers-even one of my nursing instructors. At least once a week, until I dropped out, I would have someone ask me why I would want to be a nurse instead of a teacher-they have their summers, weekends, holidays off! Well let me tell you that is not a good reason to continue in a job-if not for the breaks there would be even fewer teachers than there are now! (People also think you have more time for your own children, but you do not. I never got to participate in school parties, field day, etc. with my daughter because I had to be with my own students. I also had to leave my son at daycare everyday and was exhausted every evening when I picked him up.) Finally the pressure and the questioning got to me, I dropped out and went back to teaching-dumby me! Only after a couple of months of teaching again, I remembered why I quit in the first place. Also, most of the teachers were very encouraging in my decision to go back to school-many of them would make a career change if they were not so invested in their retirement.

    I am now going back to nursing school this fall and I refuse to let all of the comments from others discourage me. If you have never been a teacher, you do not understand what we put up with. I do not think I am making a career change to a less demanding, less stressful field. I know it is also hard to be a nurse sometimes. I can also tell you that when I wanted to become a teacher, every teacher I already knew discouraged me. Before I decided to go to nursing school, I asked every nurse I came upon if they liked their job and most of them said "I LOVE IT!" Most all nurses were very encouraging.

    Sorry this was so long! I'm afraid it is the teacher in me.
  7. by   Kyriaka
    I am in the process of a career change from accounting.

    I have no doubts that this is what I was meant to do.

    The problem really going to college when you are younger is that truly you dont know what your interests are. Or your interests change.
  8. by   counselor1st
    When I was younger sick people, and people in pain frightened me. Now that I myself (and my children, other loved ones) have been in those situations and coped it doesn't frighten me (as much anyway, it's the feeling of not knowing what to do that's bad). That and my mother had a bad experience in her short stint as a nurse (on an IV team). So she esp. thinks I'm crazy. I wish I had majored in nursing the 1st go round in college but I was a different person then, it wouldn't have worked out.

    The thing that's difficult is the financial sacrifice for my family for me to go back to school. My husband is supportive but he wonders about my commitment because I do tend to flip-flop in my mind. But I think the fact that at least 2x year I seriously think about quitting my job and going to nursing school is telling me something. I have gotten as far as taking the pre-reqs (10 yrs. ago), but then I felt intense pressure to find a moneymaking job fast due to personal reasons and I took a shorter and at the time less expensive route to go to grad. school in counseling.

    Anyway, thank you for your posts, you're really helping me. And if I start this time they'll have to kill me before I quit.
  9. by   dbihl
    I dont think you would be "starting over" counselor first because you have a skill sset that would serve you well in nursing, someone with experience who can deal with patients and their families is worth a lot, some of the kids coming out of school I dont think have these skills in place yet I am not saying none of the younger kids have these skills jsut some will gain them with life experiences.
  10. by   ChrisA
    I'm just setting out on a career change from software engineering. Talking over in the Student Forums on this board, there's a whole lot of people who become nurses as a second (or third, or fourth) career. I don't know what your educational path would be since you already have a Masters. I'm planning on going into a direct entry Masters, which is aimed at people with non-nursing Bachelors degrees, and gets you an MSN after 3-3.5 years of study. Good luck!
  11. by   sr.shirley
    Hello,
    Im new to this site so bear with me. I take offense to lovepeacejoy's suggestion of aquainting yourself with nursing and working as a CNA or LPN. Both levels take education and differ greatly. I have been an LPN for over 8 years and it's not an introductory into the nursing field...You are expected to do all required by an RN except Iv push and pronounce someone deceased...unless you are specialized. I have taught RN's fresh out of school, the technical skills of performing their job, which as an educated LPN you are allowed to practice and become skilled at before graduating, but as a graduating RN you are not. LPN schooling is a relatively short but intense schooling and it does not come cheap or overnight, you are also regulated to a class of 30 per year...which makes it very difficult to be accepted into the program. It is a great introductory into the field of medicine and will challenge your mind for further advancement but you have to want to be a nurse first!
    Sincerely,
    Shirley Burton LPN (Valedictorian of class 1996-Dean LPN Program, Holyoke MA).
  12. by   sr.shirley
    I appoligize to LovePeaceJoy,
    When I first read your comment, I thought you had suggested working as a CNA or LPN I was incorrect...Please pass on my thoughts to those who gave you this advise.
    Sincerely,
    Shirley Burton
  13. by   LovePeaceJoy
    Quote from sr.shirley
    I appoligize to LovePeaceJoy,
    When I first read your comment, I thought you had suggested working as a CNA or LPN I was incorrect...Please pass on my thoughts to those who gave you this advise.
    Sincerely,
    Shirley Burton
    Shirley,

    No offense taken! The nurse (an LPN herself) actually told me I should first try being a CNA for a year (to see if I would really like nursing) and then become an LPN for a year and then become an RN.

    What are your thoughts on this path?
  14. by   rollingstone
    Sounds like counseling and nursing would blend together nicely. Good luck.

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