Alcoholic Male, should i do nursing?

Nurses Career Support



I have been putting a lot of thought into nursing(my other career choice being something engineering based). I am a 19year old college student, male, recovering alcoholic and addict(sober since 7/5/04). I worked in an OR as an intern student doing the same thing which technicians do for about a month before i flunked my intern program(it was during VERY bad spot of my abuse career). However, i loved the work. I loved helping people and being with them, i liked how it wasn't overly chit-chatted(sales/business) and was hands on and there was always a very urgent issue at hand. I would like to work in a chemical dependancy center or psychiatric ward possibly, however i liked the work in the OR. Now, i thought nurses made a lot more money than from what im reading on the websites. Money is important to me, to an extent. Also i plan to become LPN and possibly work part time or attend nursing school part time all the way through RN to PA(maybe) is that possible without burning out? Do most employers offer tuition reimbursement? Is the income level projected to rise? Are there more males entering into the nursing career? Does knowing a second language help? Help the pay?

Anyway, I'm glad theres a board like this!



1 Article; 3,037 Posts

Specializes in Medical.

Hi Devin, welcome to allnurses :)

I can't give you any advice about courses and pay scales as I don't work in the US, and conditions vary not only from state to state but also withing citites.

Additional languages are always an asset, but being unilingual isn't usually an issue (depending on the dominant ethnicity of where you work).

I think your personal experience with alcohol abuse could be very helpful should you decide to pursue a career in nursing or an allied field (youth work or social work, for example). There is certainly no shortage of nurses who have had substance abuse issues, including alcohol.

I'm just a little concerned about you taking on too much so early in your sobriety. Nursing is difficult, and many students have problems coping with the schedule and the amount of work they need to do - check out the student nurse forum for an indication of how some students feel about it. It may be that this isn't an issue for you, but I thought I'd flag it.

Good luck!


168 Posts

Hello Devin and welcome!

I think you could make a great nurse, but, I agree with the above poster about taking too much on in the beginning. Sounds like you could have the heart and desire to be a nurse. Taking the LPN-RN is a good idea and i have many friends who have taken that route. According to them it helped them to be able to practice nursing with less time in education and less responsibility than an RN. Also, I have a friend who started as an LPN and is now an NP (which may be a more nursing oriented route similar , although better :coollook: ,to PA). Most employer now do offer some sort of education assistence or payment. Because of the nursing shortage nurses income is said to rise...who knows how much and if it really will. In my nursing class of 55 there were 5 males that graduated. I have also seen many males within the hospitals and they can make great nurses. Some hospitals will pay for if you know more than one language...but many do not.

I hope this helps! Good luck to you in whatever you choose! :)

Bonnie Blue

155 Posts


I have 18 years + of recovery. I have earned a BS, MS and a MSN in that time. I would strongly suggest that you work on staying clean and sober for right now. You could probably get a job as a tech in treatment facility after 6 months clean time. After a year, when your body has recovered somewhat and your life more stable then pursue your education. LPN training is a great place to start. There are also Psych-Mental Health NPs so that could be a long term goal if you want to stay in the addictions field.

Good luck and remember one day at a time.

Bonnie Blue

Sarah, RNBScN

477 Posts

Congratulations on your sobreity sound very determined...yes...all of the above post are true...nursing is hard've already made the first step you'll make others...

Continued support....keep us posted...



115 Posts

I am an RN now and I have worked in substance abuse and Psych. First congrats on staying clean and sober .

Nursing school is stressful and you should avoid putting yourself in that position right now. get more time sober befor you challenge yourself to hard. If you do decide to get into nursing I would look into getting an Associate RN or BSN right at the start.I started as an LPN and I quickly got fustrated with the lack of growing room. So I went back to school for my RN while I was newly married and had to work full time to afford school + mortgage ect...

Good luck to you It sounds like you have good goals for yourself.

FYI some of the best Psych and SA nurses I have worked with are in recovery

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