Lawyer considering nursing - page 2

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... Read More

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    CRNA schools require a nursing degree (at least a BSN which will take at least 4 years to accomplish, or with your degrees you could probably opt for a fast-track/accelerated BSN option) and usually require at least 1-2 years of working full time in critical care. This includes any type of ICU. Some schools may NOT honor ER, PACU or OR experience, but again, it depends on the school. And getting into the ICU can be tough, especially as a new grad and even after you get some experience. For ICU jobs, look for internships as a new grad. If you have experience, look for fellowships, because when looking for experienced nurses, ICUs prefer nurses with SOLID ICU experience.

    Full time in the nursing world is three 12-hour shifts/week, but those shifts can easily turn into 14-16+ hour days, especially if you are short-staffed or have staff that do not show up, causing you to stay longer. As a floor RN, there are some nights where I will hardly have a moment to sit down and some nights I don't even have time to eat lunch! Or pee for hours on end! As a CRNA, you could be locked in that OR for HOURS on end so it would kind of be the same thing. As other posters have mentioned, you work odd hours and will probably have to be on call, too. A majority of CRNA programs also suggest not working at all during the program because it is so demanding.
    lindarn and Zookeeper3 like this.

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    The OR is awesome by the way. Every CRNA I work with here LOVES their job. Maybe shadow a CRNA in the OR(if that is possible) and see what you think. As mentioned earlier it will take a couple years to even be qualified to apply to that program. Focus on nursing school in general first.
    NJnewRN, alaur74, Zookeeper3, and 1 other like this.
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    I wish I could trade you mine for yours, I could then get famous hopefully, get on CNN with Nancy Grace and tell her how bad she gets on my nerves, and how freaking rude she is!!!!!! That is the BEST thing about my wife packing up and moving out, NO MORE Nancy Grace, Yay!!!!!! Hip Hip HURRAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

    But, Good Luck Whatever You Decide to Do!!!!
    chaka_1709, NutmeggeRN, NoonieRN, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I wish I could trade you mine for yours, I could then get famous hopefully, get on CNN with Nancy Grace and tell her how bad she gets on my nerves, and how freaking rude she is!!!!!! That is the BEST thing about my wife packing up and moving out, NO MORE Nancy Grace, Yay!!!!!! Hip Hip HURRAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

    But, Good Luck Whatever You Decide to Do!!!!
    Thank you for this- it made me laugh out loud
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
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    How much in student loans are you currently paying off? How much would you have to borrow to get the necessary education? How long will that take to pay off if you're only wanting to work part-time?

    Added thought, as long as the economy is in the crapper, it's going to be really hard to get a hospital to hire you and give you the necessary new grad training in exchange for you only wanting to work part-time. Especially if you want to get into an ICU (which you'll have to do if you want to get into CRNA school.)
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    My Fiance is an attorney,, He has a full time job in the army as a JAG but he has a small civilliam practice too ay which nmakes his own schedule,, you can "tinker" in law a lot easier than getting through nursing school, and you can do it wall from a home office too..he has a legal assistant who works from her home too.., your kids won't be little anymore by the time you are done and you will be away from them alot for school and clinicals,, did you find law is not really your cup of tea?
    SHGR likes this.
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    Stick with being an attorney. You can spend the 5+ years it will take to get your foot in the door as a CRNA to grow your legal practice, and be that much ahead.If you want to go into medicine, though, you may as well go to med school and become an anesthesiologist.
    SHGR likes this.
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    Well I have a JD and RN after my name. It depends if you like being an attorney or not. I couldn't stand it. I have run into a few of my fellow JD classmates in the ED, none of them are happy, they work long hrs, pay about the same. I have a smile on my face. As for the CRNA, I thought about going that route but honestly I would get bored. Long hrs sitting behind a sleeping pt zzzzzzzzzz.

    Question: Most lawyers I know went the legal route because they sucked at math. Is this you? Nursing has a lot of math, I wish I could teach algebra because I have answer to the question "will I ever use it". Yes, I use it every day.

    If you are just looking for different hrs, stay with ESQ. If you are not happy with what you do... You can always go back to being an attorney, nursing exp will open a lot of doors. Life is short, be happy with what you do.
    CountyRat and PacoUSA like this.
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    Quote from Been there,done that
    You could not possibly imagine how many nurse wish they were a lawyer!
    Too true! If I had the brains to be a lawyer, I wouldn't be a nurse but a Doctor.
    I can't possibly see how nurses and lawyers can earn the same amount of $.
    Speaking of which, I could do with a free lawyer right now, not the $300 per hour ones here!

    Good luck with your decision.
    NurseLay likes this.
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    I am a lawyer, 15 days shy from graduating with my BSN degree. Time and time again during nursing school (one accelerated yet insanely fast year), I have validated my decision to switch careers as the best decision ever. I don't want to bore people here with the details of my 10+ year law experience prior to nursing school, but it suffices to say that I would clearly trade standing 14 hours a day to work with patients over the 12 hours a day sitting on my ass doing some of the mundane things lawyers do. There is also a sense of pride in the work I have done so far in nursing, as compared to the ones that I did as a lawyer. This is probably why there is a Nurses Appreciation Week and there is no Lawyers Appreciation Week (not as far as I know). I am more proud to say I am a nurse than I ever was to say I am a lawyer, and that is a shame. Most nurses who tell lawyers not to leave their profession to be a nurse don't realize how emotionally taxing a legal career can be, and that in many respects the grass is greener as an RN. I can speak to both now, and FOR ME the nursing route is best. This is not to say I regret becoming a lawyer, funny to admit. I enjoyed law school and cherish the education I received, but the career path I followed thereafter was not conducive to my happiness, ultimately ending up in a dead-end direction. I also felt a large void in my career, and now I realize it was about recapturing my interest in working as a health care provider (as a child I always wanted to become a doctor, but somehow diverted weirdly). Law school helped me become the person I am today, more confident and mature to enter the original profession I should have pursued in the first place.

    I was ALWAYS a math whiz and lousy at reading comp and writing, so in hindsight law school was so out of character for me. It was a struggle but I managed to graduate and pass the New York bar, which is historically one of the toughest in the nation. I am proud of that accomplishment, and proud of the fact that I am a much better reader and writer after the fact. And nursing school showed me that I still love math! Yes, I could have gone to medical school ... but I am in my early 40's, and 1 year in a nursing school degree program was an ideal option for me as opposed to 4+ years to become an MD. Besides, I now see (as opposed to when I was 18) how nursing is far better suited for me than being a doctor.

    As for you wanting to be a CRNA, my first instinct in reading that in your post is that you want to recapture the same earning power as an attorney because CRNA's have the highest starting salaries. I hope this is NOT why you have earmarked a new career as a CRNA, and I apologize in advance if I made this assumption erroneously. Yes, that kind of money is nice, but you have to be dedicated to your craft to enter nursing, irrespective of pay. Yes, pay is important and nurses deserve to be compensated nicely for what they do. But it should not be the #1 reason to enter the profession. On average, I will make about $40,000 less a year as a nurse than I would as an attorney, but I could not care less, because I would be happier in the long run. I desperately needed a balance of happiness and decent pay in my life, and this has somehow made the cut.

    Later on, I may combine my law and nursing degrees into a more distinctive career path, but there is time to cultivate that. For now, I just want to get the work experience I need to be the best nurse I can be.

    Good luck deciding on your career path ... and don't let ANYONE deter you in your dreams! Other people's bad experiences won't necessarily be yours!
    Patti_RN and CountyRat like this.

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