I've been lurking in this forum for a few months now so I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself and hopefully open up to some advice and/or guidance from the nurses on this board.
I am a 28 year old Male - I have lived in Portland for 3 years with my girlfriend of nearly a decade - we are a happily child-free couple and have no plans for a family other than our dogs. I believe my greatest strength is my personality which in my first step into the working world lead me to restaurants, sales, and because of a natural aptitude with computers and an ability to deal with *******s information technology. I take pride in any job I do and get a thrill out of taking the difficult tasks - I loved taking on the dirtiest jobs, and the rudest customers, finding a thrill in the challenge. Ultimately I found myself leaving positions out of boredom, many of these jobs become very mundane, the same meals, the same 4-5 common technical problems, etc. - the last of which was working for a large bank in a phone center selling mortgages, though I was very good at my job I made the mistake of taking a couple weeks off right before over 200 people were laid off from my position and banking being the cold sterile world it is, I got the axe.
This might be the part where you feel bad for me but honestly I was thrilled - this Dilbert comic is pretty close:
Don't get me wrong - office work isn't the worst thing in the world, I loved that it kept me busy from clock in to clock out making the day go a lot faster than sitting in que in IT, and of course the money was fantastic. In the end though, I felt unsatisfied, I was in it only for the money everything else was boring and repetitive - I knew this was an opportunity.
Between severance and unemployment getting fired was surprisingly manageable, I really got lucky and I know it so I'm trying to make the very best of the situation. Months of research narrowed down to a few different options but I felt myself drawn to nursing. A friend of a friend of a family member works as a helicopter nurse in Wisconsin, like myself he has ADD and needs something mentally stimulating that has diversity - I fell in love with the life he was leading and decided it was time to start making steps into the field.
This is where I am today.
Now you know me - my dream so far would be working either as a helicopter nurse, or in an ER (possibly ICU?) - I want the difficult patients, I want the weird cases, I want a challenge in my work. I am willing to put in my time if necessary but if possible I want to avoid the paths of nursing that seem to involve more routine such as elderly care. I don't particularly like children but I can take them in doses so I also wouldn't want to get into pediatrics, but again I'd take the job if the experience meant getting to where I want to go in the long run, and I'd do a damn good job. Beyond that? Who knows, I understand many nurses go into various specialties or administrative work if bedside gets too stressful, I don't see that happening to me but I'm glad there are options, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it though.
What I hope to find out here:
Currently I'm just trying to find my path, I'm looking into 10 schools in just the Portland area alone but I'd be willing to drive down to Salem or up to Vancouver if it meant getting things done right - ideally I'd like to get done as quickly as possible as I prefer being at work to being a student but I also don't want short cuts to be my downfall as I've heard very mixed reviews on some of these 2 year schools.
I am looking to you - the person who is still somehow reading this giant post, yes you! - to help me sort out the best path.
I am starting with almost no experience, I worked in an elderly care facility for about a month 8 years or so ago and left to chase the all mighty dollar in sales. As such I'm not sure if I should dive into an RN or if paying my dues involves getting my CNA first and putting in some grunt work. I hear lots of people talking about the impossibility of getting in to many nursing schools and I am wondering if I would even be a viable candidate without it. Since emergency work has my interest I'm also wondering if getting an EMT certification would be a better path - I would love to hear any opinions.
As far as going to actual nursing school I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of confusing options. If I go to 'traditional college' PCC will have me doing pre-reqs for 2 years for the privilege of applying along with the masses - it almost seems like a scam, give us your money, time, and effort and if you're in the top 5% you MIGHT get in, if not we'll still send you the bill! Considering this stretches it out to 4 years just for an associates degree and a 5th for the seemingly mandatory BSN to work in this area I have to question if this is the best path. People frequently point out the high cost of 2 year schools but 4-5 years even in community college ads up, and then I have to consider the potential wages lost in that extra time. If a school like Breckenridge or Sumner or others I've seen can get me an ASN in 2 years and a BSN in possibly 3 (still researching this) that means 2 extra years at an RN's salary and a jump start at working my way up the salary chain - a gap from say CNA work that would easily cover the extra cost of education in a very short time.
Is my thought process wrong here? I've only been to 3 schools so far (Breckenridge, PCC, and Concorde which only has an LPN program) so I feel like I'm still scraping the surface but I want to avoid wasting time at schools I shouldn't attend and filling my brain with useless information.
I understand that Portland is a flooded market but I believe I can be a stand out candidate, I'm willing to work on making the right connections, proving myself at 'lesser' jobs, and waiting for my opportunity to get where I need to be. I also feel like most of the things that the average person would consider a negative about nursing really appeal to me - the typical 3 12's schedule sounds amazing, and my child-free lifestyle means it won't be an inconvenience but actually a great way for me to tend to my hobbies and get more travel in. I have no qualms about blood, puss, vomit, rude or even violent patients and family, etc and in the past have managed to keep myself separated from office drama. Honestly I'm a bit excited to get dirty and have these experiences, to have the opportunity to rise to a true challenge and maintain grace and composure dealing with situations that would be upsetting for most.
If you've made it this far I'm either a better writer than I thought or much more likely you're a very kind person - thank you for hearing me out and please feel free to impart any advice you may have - include your own rambling stories I'll read every line, I want to soak up as much as I can and make the best decision for my future - 28 isn't old by any stretch but I know I've lost time and I'm ready to start taking my life more seriously. Thank you!