Quote from radicalsenseofhope
I need some encouragement and maybe a kick in the pants....
Back in 1999, I was a 3.9 gpa pre-nursing/pre-med major and loving it. I dreamed of being a doctor or a nurse practitioner working in primary care someday. In 2000 I left to become a stay at home mom. As early as 2003 the urge to go back was creeping back in. Over the years I've talked myself out of/and been talked out of nursing with so many reasons.... among them, fear that the sacrifice of nursing school wouldn't be worth it; fear I would not have enough spoons (energy) to make it as a new nurse on the floor; fear I would not get a job in the post 2008 economy and the glut of new grads.
I was dead set on going back in 2011 when I once again was talked out of it by people telling me that I was too old to work night shifts and there was no way I was getting hired in this economy without starting on nights. I told myself that I just couldn't do it. I've tried every avenue I could think of to circumvent nursing and still do what I want to do. But the reality is that nothing can replace the medical/clinical training of nursing (short of medical school); no career will allow me to do the things I could as a Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner. I need to view that time as a new nurse on the floor, maybe working nights, like an internship/residency that will give me the background I need to reach my goals. I need to stop letting fear dictate my decisions. I need to find ways to overcome the challenges, like the difficulty of working nights at my age (I'm 37 now). I need to stop doubting myself.
I've recently started talking to my husband about finally going back for my ADN/BSN (and ultimately FNP) and he is somewhat supportive but still trying to talk me out of it. He doesn't think the sacrifice will be worth it in terms of time away from him and the family (our kids are 10 and 12 years old and we homeschool). He tells me that he is happy to support me financially and I don't need to work. But I want to work? Is that crazy?
Friends who are nurses are telling me that a nursing career just isn't worth it with the grim realities of working as a nurse on the floor these days. Other friends who are nurses are telling me to go for it. It is hard work, but rewarding.
Will I finally do it? I'm not getting any younger. If I'm ever going to do it, now is as good a time as any. Nurse Practitioner or Bust? I could use some support and encouragement, share your stories with me, etc. My husband just doesn't understand my drive to do this. I know when the going gets tough, I will need support. There will be days when I doubt what I'm doing. I need a support network to remind me of my goals and why I'm doing this. Also, I would like to offer support to others who may be in similar situations. We can do this.
"Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." -Jack Canfield
In 2009 I went back to school to do my prereqs. I already had a BA and a MBA. I had worked in healthcare for 13 years in various positions; Drug rep, Pharm tech, Marketing and admissions for a nursing home, but always felt like I could do more to help my fellow man. So I understand your inate need to go back to school. I was 42 when I started my prereqs.
Age was not an issue for me. My classmates treated me as if I was one of them. It wasn't easy going back to the classroom after a 20 year hiatus, but I found I had brains I didn't know I had. I actually did better in school then I did the first time around, and even raised my GPA from my first degrees. (I went to the same institution as my first two degrees.)
I graduated this past May. Interviewing has been interesting. I have played to the fact that while I was a new nurse, I had an advantage of being more experienced at life! This experience could translate to a quicker fit into a team than many of my younger, less experienced classmate. I am actually the age of most of the nurse managers that have interviewing me, and also have a lot in common with them.
Will you need a lot of family support? Yes. However, it sounds like your children are old enough to understand what it means to you to go back to school. They can become your greatest cheerleaders. Perhaps you could incorporate some of your nursing studies into your homeschooling, and all of you learn together. Just a thought.
I think your should obviously go for it!!! There is only a "glut" of nursing in certain areas. As the babyboomers age, I feel that the demand will only become greater.