Quote from SmoothKeys
And if I could, I'd follow my dreams to be an astrophysicist or mechanical/aerospace engineer. I deviated from the latter because I was very concerned about job stability and employers being very picky. Besides, I do lack the rigid mathematics (reached calculus 2), physics training to be a physicist.
My current situation calls for me to be less selfish toward my own ambitions and put my family first. My decision to enter nursing is not without doubts, however. Having reached this decision earlier this year, I missed an important BSN admission deadline and waiting another year is not practical. Engineering is out the door for now because I need to take time and complete the remaining maths (up to differential equations) and being unemployed, and the uncertainty of being accepted into engineering makes nursing the practical choice. I'm aware most hospital prefer the BSN, so I aim to prove my professional worth with excellent grades and pursue the BSN upon graduation. I went into pharmacy to be a clinical pharmacist or the possibility of another niche in pharmacy; but even if I were to stay in retail, the days of sign-on bonuses and other perks are long gone. The fast-food-like approach to patient care does not appeal to me and I refuse to get deeper into debt for that career. My decision may prove catastrophic later, but hindsight is always 20/20.
No, nursing is not a passion, and I apologize to those who might be offended. I always dreaded seeing critical cases and so, I'm hoping I can eventually go up the ranks, or earn a PhD and teach, particularly cardiac physiology or dosage calculations. I'm new here so I hope to learn as much as I can about the profession. And I still need to be admitted somewhere lol.
While there are no such thing as job security, we can all agree that healthcare is pretty stable. And what I like with nursing, there is very little loans to pay back (unlike dentistry, medicine, pharmacy). Four to six years of school to essentially work to pay loans is not right imho. In nursing, you can leave work at work, it seems, and most people graduate with very little debt. ...
Having worked as a chemical engineer for 22 years (& volunteer paramedic for about 19 of those years, in my "copious free time") before going into nursing, I'd encourage you to follow your heart. Life is too short to settle for a job that merely pays the bills. Of course, I say this as a person who had the luxury of a supportive loving spouse with a good income, a prior college degree, and a relatively short (accelerated BSN) path to a RN degree. Your mileage may vary...void where prohibited...
Your concern about employers of ME or astrophysicists being "picky" is interesting. It took me a year following graduation as a ChemE to get my first job. If you think that nursing employers aren't picky, well, I'd ask you to reconsider that position. Especially when recruiting/training newbies, employers can be very fickle, and quick to dump a potential or current employee. As a new grad without experience, expect it to take months to land your first nursing job.
PLEASE do not think that a nursing career will give you job stability. There's no such thing.
Yes, on a short term basis, you might enjoy a job. Should a hospital decide to cut back, you're expendable. Accept it, plan for it, and move on.
If the "fast-food-like" approach to pt care doesn't appeal to you, then many aspects of nursing might also be less than satisfying. In a perfect world, you'd have the time/equipment/support staff to adequately meet your pt's needs. In current nursing reality (at least, "reality" as I've seen or experienced it), your job is to meet the basic needs and move on. This is especially the case on medical/surgical floors, where a single nurse must not only meet the needs of 4-6 (or more) pts, but also the needs/whims of their family members.
You are right about nursing being a job (for the most part) where you can "leave work at work." This is one thing that I thoroughly enjoy about nursing. Back during my engineering manager (facility management/production engineering/...) days, I was essentially on-call 7 days a week. Even when I left work at the end of the day, I was still "at work", subject to being called at any hour of the day/night, or having to travel to a customer's site anywhere in the US or Canada. Fun, fun, fun! Of course, I worked for a supplier of "stuff" to automotive assembly plants, so this was much higher stres than if I just worked for a manufacturer of peanut butter or whatnot.
As a nurse "worker bee", the pay isn't as nice as that of an engineer, but there's a better work/life balance.
Only you can decide what's right for you.