career guilt

  1. I was wondering if other people have experienced something similar: I really want to go to nursing school, but I am struggling with the decision because I already have an established career as a teacher. If I go back to school, I will be away from my 2 young boys part-time days (I stay home full-time right now) and we will be spending money for me to go to school that would otherwise be spent on the family. I feel drawn to becoming an RN- I can't seem to get it out of my mind. BUT I am feeling guilty and selfish for choosing to leave my kids to go to school when I already have a career to go back to when I go back to work. I also feel guilty and selfish for forcing us to cut back financially for 2 years. Any advice or similar feelings? I feel torn.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   nurseangel47
    If it is your calling, and it sounds as if it is, the fact that you cannot get it out of your head, so to speak. Then, no, I would try to put the guilt feelings aside and pursue the dream you have of becoming a nurse. I, too, had the same situation or nearly the same. I didn't necessarily have to go to nursing school...it was a calling. My girls ages were 6 months, 3 years old at the time I entered nursing school. Would I do it again? Yes, in fact, needed to for a self supporting situation since I divorced husband when the girls were still little. Did I have guilt over the decision to go to school? Yes, due to missing out on almost three years of the little ones lives...studying was very hard for me, was not a strong student in high school, didn't know "how" to study, had to reteach myself things that come second nature to a lot of students. BUT, I would not have been able to provide financially as well as I did while my girls were growing up and I wouldn't have been able to support myself NOW .... so...it was a card of fate that not only was I called to the vocation, I ended up needing it to survive, if you will.
    Do that what is in your heart. It leads to good things.
    Merry Christmas
  4. by   DesertRain
    I think just a few threads under this will be one titled "what are you sacrificing." and "delaying children until after.." If you go through the posts you will find many others that feel similar to you and have children but really want to do this. I think that if you feel drawn to the career and have felt this way for a while then the feeling may not dissapate until you actually explore it. I also know that for myself the actual decision to leave an old career to become a nurse and take that "time" away from my children came when my baby (now 3) fell terribly ill and I was in and out of the ER and had no idea what to do and was paranoid that his condition would take a turn for the worst and I wouldn't even realize it. It was when I weighed out the positive benefits for my children in the long run that I decided to take the plunge. No more paranoid mom not knowing what to do in an emergency and no more mom worried about not having a job and no more mom worried about making ends meet-So I did my research and here I am. And-- that's just my personal situation but hopefully it lets you know that if you really want to become a nurse, you're not alone with how you feel.
    Good luck!
  5. by   Jules A
    I would investigate it and see just how much time and money it would take. Since you already have a degree you might be surprised at how quickly you could get your BSN. You could always take a gen-ed class one semester at a time as something interesting for Mom to enjoy without jumping in with both feet in the beginning. Good luck and remember if you don't do it now that doesn't mean that you will never be able to do it. Many of us have gotten into nursing as our second career. I was 40 when I started nursing school and have no regrets.
  6. by   I'm History
    I was at the exact same crossroad you are in now. Eighteen weeks ago I was a stay at home mom/once teacher. I agree with Jules-do your research. Know exactly how many classes you will need/ how much it will cost/who is going to watch the children. I had all of this information before starting classes. It helps with the guilt if you have done your research, and have a plan.
    My husband and children have been exceptionally supportive! My husband understands that it is a good weekend if I can stop working on A&P 1 in time to watch Saturday Night Live. As for the money we have earmarked funds in savings. I give a heads up when I have to pay tuition, or buy books.
    I have never been so happy! If this is what you want, and your family is supporive, then go for it! I just wish that I had done it sooner. Good luck!
  7. by   busylady61
    Maggijo,

    I am also an established teacher who has just made the decision recently to leave teaching and go into nursing. While my situation is much different from yours in that I don't have children, I have thought a lot about the pro's of nursing vs. the con's of teaching, and I think some of the things I've discovered apply to your situation.

    Yes, it's true that for a temporary period, you will be part-time focused on nursing school vs. being full-time focused on your sons. BUT.... once you get through nursing school and start working as a nurse, you will actually have a shorter work week than if you were teaching and bringing home a lot of paperwork.

    Nursing will enable you to "be there" more for your sons in the long run. What is the good of being able to come home at 3:00 or 4:00 if you have a stack of papers to grade and you have to shoo your sons away while you finish writing lessons?

    You can choose your schedule as a nurse. And you leave the work at the hospital.

    In the beginning, it's true that it will be a financial sacrifice to pay for nursing school. But the initial investment will naturally pay itself off. As an experienced nurse one day down the road, you will have the ability to earn far more per hour than you would as an experienced teacher.

    Therefore you will be able to work fewer hours for more money. As a seasoned RN, you could probably work 20-30 hours a week and earn more than if you were a teacher. Fewer hours at work means more time with your family.

    I think nursing has a much more solid future than teaching.

    Anyway, these are just a few things I had considered as I was debating whether to make the move. I hope this helps in your situation too.

    Good luck in whatever path you take!:typing
    Last edit by busylady61 on Dec 22, '06
  8. by   WDWpixieRN
    As a mom who finished a BS in MIS while my children were teens, I wish I had gone to school when they were much younger...I was constantly torn between 'being there' for them and needing to be in class or working on something for school...and then you add in the frustration of not being able to have the extra money for all the "things" they "need" at that age, lol....they're much more expensive when you're looking at proms, yearbooks, clothes, cell phones, etc....

    Although I doubt there's ever a good time to feel distracted from your kids, if you've got the support of family, I'd vote you do it now while they're younger...you'll be more available to them both financially and physically later on.....
  9. by   pikey
    I sort of know how you feel. I work full time and go to school full time and have an athletic career im working on....but my wife has a great degree and doesnt want to be in school, our son gets a full time parent no matter what, i support her other interest like photography and athletics and most of all they support my dreams. but sometimes i still feel bad.
  10. by   Annaiya
    I think it is always difficult to make the decision to go to change careers. However, if it is the right thing for you, you should do it. Just make sure you have researched nursing and the schooling enough that you know what you are getting into. There are 12 month programs, but usually these aren't good for people with kids, because they are too time intensive. For me, it wasn't kids that was making me feel guilty, it was that I still have over 100k in school loans from my last degree. So I (and my husband) felt like that degree should pay for itself, before I get to be a nurse. However, I will make more starting as a nurse than I do now with 5 years experience in my current profession, and nursing is what I want to do. I hope to start in the fall. Good luck with your decision.
  11. by   maggijo
    thanks for all of the stories and advice. I think I just wanted to know there are other people out there in similar situations. it's going to be a tough decision in any case, but if I feel this passionate about becoming an RN, I'll forever have the ITCH! I just don't ever want to look back and regret something when it comes to being with my kids.... Anyway, you've all given me lots of food for thought. thanks and Merry Christmas!

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