Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some insight/advice on switching my career to nursing. I already have a bachelor's in finance and accounting, worked in the field for 3 years and absolutely hated it. Went back to school for law and I am contemplating dropping out because I just do not see myself doing it forever. I have always wanted to pursue a career in nursing and feel as though I ignored my calling 3 times before. I am looking for advice on different nursing programs in the Pittsburgh area. I am looking at the second degree program at Duquesne. Is anyone in that program now or have advice on the admissions process? I will need to complete some of the prerequisites and was hoping to enroll in some classes this summer. Also, has anyone done an associates of nursing program part time at a community college? I am not sure yet if I can afford to not work for a year so I am looking at part time programs as well. Any advice is greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!
I would urge you to first see if you are comfortable in the patient care role before even thinking about nursing. Try volunteering at a hospital or getting your EMT cert and joining your local fire/ambulance company.
If, after getting your feet wet, you decide patient care is what you want to do, an Associate's Degree via your local community college will almost certainly be the lowest cost and fastest route to becoming an RN. Your can follow that with a low-cost online RN-BSN program. Unfortunately, a great deal of your previous coursework will not be relevant to nursing, though work in the social sciences, bio, chem, math and some liberal arts will transfer. This will still leave you with anatomy/physiology, nutrition and perhaps some social science (most CC's require at least developmental and abnormal psych, not just intro), in addition to the nursing courses. Depending on where you live however, the nursing education can be the easy part.
I was one of those "mature" nursing students and have a varied educational background, with a couple of years in Engineering school, a BA in Communications and an MBA. I had all of the social and natural science prereqs plus math through Calc 2 and Stat, so I really had only nutrition, A&P and the nursing courses to compete my ADN. Because of my prior degrees, I had most of the work needed for my BSN, which took only about 12 months. Total time ADN-RN-BSN was about 4 years but keep in mind that I did everything on an evening/weekend part-time basis.
I'd also urge you to look at that the job market for nurses in the Pittsburg are before you make the jump. Though the marked varies widely across the country, in many places (such as my area - greater Philadelphia), it is very difficult for new grads to find nursing jobs. My CC has one of the oldest and most well-regarded ADN programs in the country and in years past, its graduates were highly sought after. That has changed now with nearly all hospitals in the area hiring only BSN's and very few of those to boot. Most of my classmates struggled to find jobs, with most now going to LTC rather than hospitals. Even with a BSN however, it is difficult for new grads. Your area may be different but this is something worth looking into prior to investing the time, money and energy into getting a nursing degree. Not meant to discourage you but definitely worth taking into consideration in your decision.
Best of luck to you.
Last edit by chuckster on Feb 18, '13