Lawyer considering nursing - page 4

by legaleagle30 8,484 Views | 38 Comments

hello, I just wanted to get some thoughts from RNs and CRNAs. I am a lawyer now working part time. I have small kids. I could either work part time with a family member as a lawyer and try to build up my own area of practice... Read More


  1. 1
    I see a lot of screen names here, but for some reason, I really really love "CountyRat."
    WildflowerRN likes this.
  2. 5
    What follows is My life, My opinion, My experiences and what works and doesn't work for ME in My little corner of My world.
    Dreams of nursing in my head as a kid. RN adn-10 years. BSN then worked 8 more years as BSN.
    Loved being an RN but wanted to make wild amounts of $$$ went to law school.
    Kept license current but stopped nursing and had a successful career as a trial attorney for 20 years. Took me 7 years as an attorney to catch up to the salary I made as a RN.
    After 20 years as lawyer made low six figures.
    I did not leave nursing as a disgruntled burn out-I wanted a new challenge.
    As a nurse I was an advocate, an empathetic nurturing care-giver, I was a good listener and gave words of comfort.

    As an attorney, the expectation was to win at all costs. PUSH PUSH. Plaintiff attorneys tie all of their clients woes in life (depression, disability, job loss, chronic pain, broken home, accelerated aches and pains) to some type of personal/work/product injury for which the Defendant has to pay.

    Defense attorneys representing the insurance industry proceed with their main objective being to minimize any and all symptoms, conditions and circumstances being alleged by the victim. Deny, deny, deny. Snoop around, get incriminating video. Wow, got a video of him walking upright-that proves he is not injured! Oh oh- did you see him in the grocery store when he had the strength to lift a can of tuna without assistance-wow-smoking gun, he is not injured and is a big liar. ....Get the picture?

    After 20 years, depression, stress related medical conditions and an almost complete breakdown of my spirit, soul and body- I am skipping through the tulips (my R N refresher course) and once again filled with hope and joy.

    Hard work? 12 hour shifts, too little time, rigorous requirements, drug test, criminal background, CNE's, titers, vaccinations, blood borne pathogens class, grueling 15 modules R N- refresher course, 120 unpaid hours for a clinical and no guarantee of being offered a nursing position...all of that and I am still proud to return to my first calling, I have a new respect for nurses.

    There are no needs for do-overs-no endings, no bad choices, just a lifetime of eyeopening experiences. YEP. All of the above makes me proud to be a registered nurse, proud to have completed law school while working as a nurse full time. Proud to have a 20 year career as a successful trial attorney and grateful that I have choices and at this point in my life, I choose nursing. Just My humble opinion. CRNA salary trumps all of the above.
    Follow your own heart-recognize that each variable can make your experience unique, tax law would be different from personal injury. Working in pediatrics may provide a different experience than an OR scrub nurse. Only you can choose for you!
    MacMaster, CountyRat, WildflowerRN, and 2 others like this.
  3. 0
    I would only do the 1 year ABSN. I've got all the prereqs already. My main motivation for nursing was the CRNA track. I was told (by a director of a CRNA program) that it wasn't too difficult to get a job in the ICU for 1 year and go into the CRNA program, although that was 1 year ago when he said that.

    My motivation for CRNA was primarily that I enjoy science and regret not having gone to medical school. But, with all your advice and numerous others, I'm reconsidering my position!

    I am in a unique situation because my husband is also a lawyer so I could work part-time through his office. I wasn't sure about working together, but when I think of all you guys have said and everyone else I have asked, it sounds like working with him wouldn't be as challenging and afford much more flexibility then nursing. Our hospital has also started cutting costs and positions, and it has become much more difficult to go into ICU.
    After a rigorous year in the ABSN + 1 to 3 years trying to get the ICU experience, then 2+ years CRNA, then possibly 2+ more years till I could work "part time", it just doesn't sound as appealing, not to mention my kids will be all grown up!
  4. 0
    Well I came on here to say something, but you just said it: "...then possibly 2+ more years till I could work "part time", it just doesn't sound as appealing, not to mention my kids will be all grown up!"

    If your goal is to have time with your kids while they are little, do NOT go to school - for any career-track! I love being a nurse and you may want to be one later-or maybe a doc, but for now, just work your part-time job and enjoy your babies.
  5. 3
    Quote from legaleagle30
    I would only do the 1 year ABSN. I've got all the prereqs already. My main motivation for nursing was the CRNA track. I was told (by a director of a CRNA program) that it wasn't too difficult to get a job in the ICU for 1 year and go into the CRNA program, although that was 1 year ago when he said that.

    My motivation for CRNA was primarily that I enjoy science and regret not having gone to medical school. But, with all your advice and numerous others, I'm reconsidering my position!

    I am in a unique situation because my husband is also a lawyer so I could work part-time through his office. I wasn't sure about working together, but when I think of all you guys have said and everyone else I have asked, it sounds like working with him wouldn't be as challenging and afford much more flexibility then nursing. Our hospital has also started cutting costs and positions, and it has become much more difficult to go into ICU.
    After a rigorous year in the ABSN + 1 to 3 years trying to get the ICU experience, then 2+ years CRNA, then possibly 2+ more years till I could work "part time", it just doesn't sound as appealing, not to mention my kids will be all grown up!
    Ah, you WERE listening

    To all the lawyers who posted about what a great career change it was for them, how they hated being lawyers and love being nurses (or expect they will love it once they pass the NCLEX): I'm pretty sure what the OP was trying to find out was whether the change would be beneficial, and help her reach her goal of spending more time with her kids. I think she's seeing what the rest of us were saying, which is that if she truly wants to leave lawyering and sees nursing as her dream goal in and of itself, then she should absolutely do it. But if the goal is to spend more time with her kids, flexible scheduling, etc,....she is kinda far off base in making a change that has as its end-goal a CRNA designation.

    OP, a parting thought, since you just mentioned it in the above-referenced post: If you have the option of working part-time in your husband's firm, he's able to support the difference in your salaries, and out of this you get to spend more time with your kids....DO IT.
    I have NEVER heard of ANYONE on their deathbed wishing they had spent MORE time at work.
    NurseLay, koi310, and wooh like this.
  6. 0
    What exactly is a "mom job"?
  7. 1
    Quote from wooh
    I see a lot of screen names here, but for some reason, I really really love "CountyRat."
    Thanks Wooh. Remind me to tell you the story some time (not real pertinent to the OP's topic).
    wooh likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from legaleagle30
    I would only do the 1 year ABSN. I've got all the prereqs already. My main motivation for nursing was the CRNA track. I was told (by a director of a CRNA program) that it wasn't too difficult to get a job in the ICU for 1 year and go into the CRNA program, although that was 1 year ago when he said that.

    My motivation for CRNA was primarily that I enjoy science and regret not having gone to medical school. But, with all your advice and numerous others, I'm reconsidering my position!

    I am in a unique situation because my husband is also a lawyer so I could work part-time through his office. I wasn't sure about working together, but when I think of all you guys have said and everyone else I have asked, it sounds like working with him wouldn't be as challenging and afford much more flexibility then nursing. Our hospital has also started cutting costs and positions, and it has become much more difficult to go into ICU.
    After a rigorous year in the ABSN + 1 to 3 years trying to get the ICU experience, then 2+ years CRNA, then possibly 2+ more years till I could work "part time", it just doesn't sound as appealing, not to mention my kids will be all grown up!
    I'll be starting CRNA school in 3 weeks, and the road to get there is not easy. It can be fairly difficult for new grads to get into an ICU right out of school, most ICU's prefer RN's with experience. As a preceptor who has precepted many nurses in the ICU, including many new grads, I can tell you that the ICU is a difficult place for brand new nurses. On top of learning how to actually be a nurse (i.e. time management, organization, basic skills), you are expected to learn about complex hemodynamic interpretation, learn about all sorts of gizmos and gadgets etc. I started on a stepdown right out of school, and had to move out of state to find a job. Then transferred to the ICU and got some good experience. Total nursing just shy of 5 years before starting CRNA school.

    Remember too, not all ICU's are equal. CRNA schools are highly competitive and they will only take the best of the best. There were 200+ people that applied to my program, only 50 got interviews, and only 25 actually got in.

    Keep in mind, that many ICU's are now having new graduates sign work contracts to try and prevent the high turnover of nurses going back to school. Yes, most CRNA schools only require 1 year of ICU exp, but IMHO 1 year is not enough. That first year, you spend 3-6months on orientation, then the rest of the year just trying to survive. CRNA's are highly autonomous and depend on prompt decision making and keen critical thinking skills. This level of autonomy and skill is not usually obtained within that first year of being a "novice" nurse. Some of the nurses on my unit who just reached their year mark are talking about submitting applications to CRNA school, yet are taking care of the least sick patients on our unit, and haven't developed that autonomy/critical thinking. Naturally, they are having difficulty getting good recomendations for CRNA school.

    If you are going into nursing, make sure you go in for the right reasons. You will earn every single penny. It is not a glorious job, but if you get into it because you like helping people, then you will enjoy it. Many new nurses where I work, who are "second career" nurses, got into it because it was considered a stable job with decent money. They aren't bad nurses, but they aren't spectacular either... I think some of it has to do with motivation/reasons behind getting into nursing. It's true it's a job, but it's alot more than that too. Same with CRNA. There is a reason behind why CRNA's make the salary that they do, long hours, call, and an extremely rigorous program. Many CRNA's that I've spoken to say that if you go into the program soley for the money, you either don't do well in the program, or don't find true enjoyment in their role.

    IMHO, if you feel like you are drawn to nursing because you enjoy caring for people, or if you are drawn to CRNA school for reasons other than monetary, go for it. However, if your main reasons are for money, stability, or "just something new", you may want to stick with what you've got, and expand on that. Nursing & CRNA, are huge investments of time & money, and there are tons of trade offs... you just have to determine if it's worth it.
    msquaredthefirst and jtboog2003 like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from EtherFever

    I'll be starting CRNA school in 3 weeks, and the road to get there is not easy. It can be fairly difficult for new grads to get into an ICU right out of school, most ICU's prefer RN's with experience. As a preceptor who has precepted many nurses in the ICU, including many new grads, I can tell you that the ICU is a difficult place for brand new nurses. On top of learning how to actually be a nurse (i.e. time management, organization, basic skills), you are expected to learn about complex hemodynamic interpretation, learn about all sorts of gizmos and gadgets etc. I started on a stepdown right out of school, and had to move out of state to find a job. Then transferred to the ICU and got some good experience. Total nursing just shy of 5 years before starting CRNA school.

    Remember too, not all ICU's are equal. CRNA schools are highly competitive and they will only take the best of the best. There were 200+ people that applied to my program, only 50 got interviews, and only 25 actually got in.

    Keep in mind, that many ICU's are now having new graduates sign work contracts to try and prevent the high turnover of nurses going back to school. Yes, most CRNA schools only require 1 year of ICU exp, but IMHO 1 year is not enough. That first year, you spend 3-6months on orientation, then the rest of the year just trying to survive. CRNA's are highly autonomous and depend on prompt decision making and keen critical thinking skills. This level of autonomy and skill is not usually obtained within that first year of being a "novice" nurse. Some of the nurses on my unit who just reached their year mark are talking about submitting applications to CRNA school, yet are taking care of the least sick patients on our unit, and haven't developed that autonomy/critical thinking. Naturally, they are having difficulty getting good recomendations for CRNA school.

    If you are going into nursing, make sure you go in for the right reasons. You will earn every single penny. It is not a glorious job, but if you get into it because you like helping people, then you will enjoy it. Many new nurses where I work, who are "second career" nurses, got into it because it was considered a stable job with decent money. They aren't bad nurses, but they aren't spectacular either... I think some of it has to do with motivation/reasons behind getting into nursing. It's true it's a job, but it's alot more than that too. Same with CRNA. There is a reason behind why CRNA's make the salary that they do, long hours, call, and an extremely rigorous program. Many CRNA's that I've spoken to say that if you go into the program soley for the money, you either don't do well in the program, or don't find true enjoyment in their role.

    IMHO, if you feel like you are drawn to nursing because you enjoy caring for people, or if you are drawn to CRNA school for reasons other than monetary, go for it. However, if your main reasons are for money, stability, or "just something new", you may want to stick with what you've got, and expand on that. Nursing & CRNA, are huge investments of time & money, and there are tons of trade offs... you just have to determine if it's worth it.
    Great post, I started my career as a medic in the army (EMT-B) and then went into LPN school through the Army. While deployed in Iraq where i was able to work in an ICU and treat our wounded warriors I met a CRNA who started out the same way I did and let me follow him around the CSH (Combat Support Hospital) and let me get a glimpse of what he did.

    I enjoyed seeing how much patient contact CRNAs do have with patients and the comfort they provide before placing someone who may seem anxious at ease. The bedside manner in which he displayed was second to none, but what really took me was the amount of autonomy he had in providing anesthesia to his patients.

    As excited as I was, I knew as did he that it would be a long road. 4 years of schooling later and a BSN I finally am about to hit my year mark on my unit (CTICU). I'm putting in 2 years before I apply but it has been almost a 7 year road for me. It has been long but also rewarding and helped me in gaining my confidence.

    There are a lot of nurses on my unit that are just there to go to CRNA and until they started on the floor they either barely touched a pt, never put in an iv etc. these nurses tend to be the ones that when you come on after them the room is a mess, the patient is tangled in lines and everything tends to be unorganized. Get into nursing because you generally wanna be someone who helps others not just to get into CRNA school cause this job entails a lot of grunt work and even though sometimes you may not want to go to work, hearing a pt or family member say thanx makes it all worth it. Good luck in your decision and do it for the right reasons.
    Cheers


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