Lawyer considering nursing

  1. 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 or go get an ABSN degree and then try for CRNA school.

    I'm trying to decide if it is worth it. My goal is to work part time so i can be with my kids as much as possible, but also make a good living so i can support them financially.

    If I stuck with the lawyer route, i've got a lot of autonomy and control over my schedule. I have read that nurses can do flexible work arrangements but difficult to get those jobs. I'm concerned about the sacrifice i would be making for almost 4 more years of schooling if i go the CRNA route and the possibility of then being in a position of making good money but not being able to work part time for a number of years as a new grad.

    I could probably make about the same as an RN doing law, but definitely not as much as CRNA.

    Just wondering what those of you who do RN and CRNA think about working hours, conditions, quality of life issues.
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 30, '12 : Reason: spacing
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    About legaleagle30

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 4; Likes: 4


  3. by   Good Morning, Gil
    I wouldn't do it, but that's just me. Don't get me wrong. I do love being a nurse, but the flexible schedule you speak of is almost unheard of now. (It is possible, but day shift, non-hospital nursing jobs take a huge pay cut, and you likely won't get a day shift position in a hospital as a new nurse; you'll be on nights.). Can you work part-time as a new nurse? Most definitely, but it will be part time nights, weekends, holidays, so even though you will be part time, you will be away from your family possibly more than you are now (don't know your schedule). If you have the option to be part time as a lawyer working days, then keep it. Don't know what area of law you work in (lawyers make vastly different salaries depending on their area), but the lowest paying lawyer job still makes what a nurse does (most of the time or close). CRNA's are, however, among the highest paid jobs in nursing.

    Best of luck to you! Again, do not misunderstand my post. I love being a nurse. I work in an ICU, not a CRNA, though I guess I'm on the path to being one (you need at least 1 year of ICU experience, but usually 2-3 years of exp as an ICU nurse prior to CRNA school). Just not interested in the OR environment, etc. CRNA school will not allow much time for your family at all, and that takes 2 years, nor will nursing school, which is 1-2 years depending on the ABSN program you choose. When I have a family, I am hoping I can work part time since working full time nights 7p-7a, I barely see my husband who works days, and I'm usually pretty tired on days off from working nights.
  4. by   Esme12
    CRNA requires a specified amount of time spent at the bedside and in a critical care area before acceptance to school will be least the programs worth anything do. I neve r ceases to amaze me about nhe misocnceptions of nurses. As an Rn you will work all shifts, weekends, holidays and vacations. Hospitals function 24/7 365 days a year. Even a CRNA has call. The CRNA programs are acdemically arduous and require extensive clinical time. So you "family time" will be strained for a few years.

    This may be better served in the advanced nurse practice forums.....Advanced Practice Nursing for Nurses | Nursing Students under CRNA and SRNA and pre SRNA forums. Good luck!
  5. by   danarooo
    i would not do it at this time. i am a recent graduate who left another field to becomea nurse. i graduated over a year ago and have had a whopping 2 interviews since graduation. i have submitted many resumes, tailored my resume for each job etc...and gotten nothing. i couldn't even get feedback from either of the places i interviewed as to what i could do differently or why i wasn't their choice. i am unemployed, extremely upset and left with 20k in students loans spent for an education that has gotten me absolutely nothing. i am usually fairly positive, but at this point i am depressed and stressed at the fact that i can't find a job as an rn. i have even with through the phone book cold calling long term care facilities and doctors offices. i can't tell you how many times i've had conversations with different nurses about how tight to job market is right now.

    since you have a job right now i'd wait until things start looking better. had i known going into nursing school it was this tight i would have waited or formulated plan b, as it is now i have a great education and a license to practice but without the 1 year acute care experience everyone wants i am dead in the water.

    sorry to be a "downer", but it's just the perspective of one of the many new grads looking for work right now.
  6. by   sirI
    Moved to Pre-CRNA forum
  7. by   Been there,done that
    , excuse me I am LMAO.You could not possibly imagine how many nurse wish they were a lawyer!

    Would you prefer to work 12 hour shifts.. that turn into 14 hours.. standing on your feet the entire time.. without being able to eat, drink or pee? CRNA's are STUCK in the OR for hours on end.. on call @ odd hours. (I,m sure there are options I am unaware of).
    Think about consulting in the medical field.. instead of actually getting into this mess.
  8. by   nursing81student
    Hi, I just wanted to note that it would be a lot longer than 4 years to become a practicing CRNA. You would need to take about 2 full time semesters of prereqs, apply to a 4 year (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program, not a 2 year program, and then complete nursing school. If you complete nursing school, you wouldn't be able to just get right into a CRNA program. Most grad programs require 1-2 years of full time work in a critical care setting (Intensive Care Unit). So at this point you are already looking at a commitment of around 6 years....say you get accepted into a CRNA program, then you would be looking at another 2 years of full time, intense schooling...most programs don't even allow you to work.

    To put it bluntly, you should probably stick with being a lawyer, especially if your main goal is to spend more time with your children. Nursing school is hard, rigorous, ridiculously time consuming, and demanding.
    Last edit by nursing81student on May 1, '12 : Reason: sp
  9. by   RNperdiem
    CRNA is not a "mom job". It is a highly competitive career specialiy to get into requiring years of work before you even apply.
  10. by   legaleagle30
    thanks so far for the comments. Please keep them coming!! I really appreciate your honesty and insight & am in a position to have to make a decision on this asap.
  11. by   RNsRWe
    If your goal is to spend more time with your children, as you say, this is not the career move you should be considering.

    While it's true that there is often flexibility when it comes to RN positions in hospitals, it's also true that CRNAs don't function anything like floor nurses....and the flexibility you seek won't come for many years, not four. You're looking at several years of schooling, true, but the competition to land a CRNA school seat takes typically a MINIMUM of a year, and nowadays two isn't odd, in critical care to even be considered. And during that time you're waiting for a CRNA school spot, you can kiss off any idea about flexibility: you'll be a new grad, you work when you get it. And landing a spot as a new grad in critical care is a challenge in and of itself: you can expect to spend a year or more in a less-intense setting (but still acute care) before GETTING to the ICU for the START of the critical care experience you'll need!

    You might also consider why you really want to aim for CRNA as'll be spending years NOT learning CRNA coursework, as the schools' goal is to make you an employable RN (and that means hospital nursing for the typical new grad). None of that is easy to get through when you are dedicated to becoming a nurse, let alone for someone who does NOT want to be a "nurse" per se, but rather an advanced practice nurse.

    In short, this isn't the time for a career change......perhaps in the future, when your kids are older, maybe IF you feel a burning desire to do it.
  12. by   turnforthenurse
    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.
  13. by   NP Sam
    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.
  14. by   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!!!!