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anyone leave high paying 1st career?

Nurses   (5,991 Views 22 Comments)
by onedayitllbeme onedayitllbeme (Member) Member

5,135 Profile Views; 170 Posts

I have dreamt of being in the nursing field for years. I have pre-reqs back to 2003. I was accepted into rutgers nursing around that time also. i didnt take the plunge and decided to give my current career (computer programmer at an investment bank) more time. (i graduated college in 1996. ). i took a break to have children and now have 2 who are 5 years old. i took micro in 2009.

i really want to change direction but we would need to live off of savings for a while, husbands job can't get us by alone. is it worth taking loss of (most) of my income - i could apply for scholarships or get a part time job if i could handle it along with children and studies..

should i just move on and readdress down the road if i am out of a job? some options i have considered are

1. school all weekend in addition to 55 hour per week job. (limited time with children :( ) there is a part time Associates program here, still working on prereqs.

2. resign, work on pre reqs and spend time with children for a year then apply to second degree BSN at public university

3. apply for MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader for this fall at private univ (80K for program about!)

Is there anyone that did something similar or could imagine doing that? I am 37.

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redhead_NURSE98! is a ADN and specializes in Med/surg, Quality & Risk.

1,081 Posts; 15,403 Profile Views

I quit being a lawyer to get an ASN.] I kept working full time while finishing up prereq's in evening classes (already had a lot of them from my BA at the same university). Then I left my practice and went to school full time for two years and externed in my free time. So far I'd say it was worth it to do something where you get at least an ounce of appreciation for your work every day you show up. Plus I actually get paid for my "overtime" hours. Hour for hour it will probably only be a 15K pay cut instead of 25.

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980 Posts; 9,113 Profile Views

I have a high paying career. I'm taking pre-reqs part time but plan to quit and go to school full time when I'm accepted into a nursing program. I'm also massively saving for school and expect I won't have to take out loans, even if I go to a private school. I've adjusted our budget to cut out some of the extras to help with that endeavor.

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Bill E. Rubin has 7 years experience and specializes in Neuro, Cardiology, ICU, Med/Surg.

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You are not alone (though it feels that way sometimes). I left a 20+ year as a software engineer/architect to be a nurse. I consulted part time while going to my accelerated BSN program, and now I work as a nurse making about 2/3 the salary I made at my last full-time software job (and I was underpaid at that job because I was on the "ground floor" and had amassed 200,000 shares of stock in the company.... which became worthless when the company went out of business).

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theantichick has 3 years experience and specializes in LTAC, ICU, ER, Informatics.

320 Posts; 9,550 Profile Views

I'm 42 and just finished my first semester of an ASN program. I am currently a Data Warehouse Analyst, and will see my pay cut by about 30-40% when I start working as a nurse.

I *love* the medical field, especially ED (I was a Paramedic in my 20's) and don't love what I do. I'm finally in a financial and family position to go back and have a "do-over". Eventually I might make what I do now, depending on what I do when I reach my Master's program.

As a single mom, I'm having to work full time along with my nursing courses, and it's not easy, but it's do-able. I'm also paying off every debt I can while my paycheck is healthier, with the goal of having everything but the house paid off by the time I graduate, so I can more easily absorb the paycut.

A lot of people think I'm stone cold crazy to be taking that much of a paycut, but I know where I will be happy and I'm following that now. They aren't living my life. :)

Good luck, and you're in good company!!

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vwde specializes in Psych, Stepdown, Research.

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I left a job that payed almost double what I'm now making as a nurse. I got into an accelerated BSN program and didn't work for the year I was in it. I don't have kids, but know plenty of people who did in that program, and they definitely had a hard enough time juggling school and kids without a job.

I agree with other posters that this is your decision, but I would always go for the higher degree. I know there are people in my hospital system that are sort of being "grandfathered" into higher positions, but for the most part, you need a minimum of a BSN to get further than base level. I would definitely go with option 2. Also, many hospitals in my area offer scholarships in exchange for working with them upon graduation. HRSA is also offering scholarships to nursing students. I've seen people have the entire accelerated BSN program paid for by these routes.

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bsyrn has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor.

792 Posts; 12,168 Profile Views

I took a 50% pay cut to take my current position and I don't regret it at all. I am able to spend more quality time with my family now and have less stress and much better health insurance. I will say the first year was hard but I have fast become a coupon queen. Money helps but it's not as important as being happy. :nurse:

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168 Posts; 7,688 Profile Views

I haven't left yet, but I will be (maybe as early as August). I am currently an engineer, but I am starting an ADN program this fall. I will be taking a 45% pay cut AND giving up a work from home job. Working from home helps make my current job more bearable, but bearable is not fulfilling. I plan to work PT at high paying job (provided employer goes for it, 60% chance they will) while doing ADN program. Should only take an extra year for RN-BSN bridge. The local accelerated BSN programs are way too expensive and there is NO way I could work too. There's a reasonably priced one an hour commute away, but I would have to commit to a 90 minute commute for three years AFTER the one year ABSN. So I am taking the cheaper, but longer route. Oh, and I have a three yo son. I believe I am answering the call on my life (yes, I am one of those people :lol2:) so I have faith that the money thing will work itself out and my family will not be in want. Good luck in your decision. It's a tough one, but trust the decision you have the most peace about.

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wishinguponastarLPN specializes in Rehab, LTC.

217 Posts; 6,686 Profile Views

I have dreamt of being in the nursing field for years. I have pre-reqs back to 2003. I was accepted into rutgers nursing around that time also. i didnt take the plunge and decided to give my current career (computer programmer at an investment bank) more time. (i graduated college in 1996. ). i took a break to have children and now have 2 who are 5 years old. i took micro in 2009.

i really want to change direction but we would need to live off of savings for a while, husbands job can't get us by alone. is it worth taking loss of (most) of my income - i could apply for scholarships or get a part time job if i could handle it along with children and studies..

should i just move on and readdress down the road if i am out of a job? some options i have considered are

1. school all weekend in addition to 55 hour per week job. (limited time with children :( ) there is a part time Associates program here, still working on prereqs.

2. resign, work on pre reqs and spend time with children for a year then apply to second degree BSN at public university

3. apply for MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader for this fall at private univ (80K for program about!)

Is there anyone that did something similar or could imagine doing that? I am 37.

I left my well paying accounting career to work as a CNA while in nursing school. I have 2 children and a husband. My salary is about 1/3 of what I was making before. I wanted to get into a facility and get patient care experience to secure a position for when I finished nursing school part time. Although I am getting anxious to finish I am very happy that I chose the route I did. I have really been able to strengthen my skills and nursing school was easier for me then some of my classmates who didn't have experience in the field. I also am 110% certain that this is what I want to do with my life. I haven't looked back at accouting since left! My husband and I have struggled financially for the past year, but I only have 8 weeks left and already have a nursing job for when I get my license!:yeah:

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i really want to change direction but we would need to live off of savings for a while, husbands job can't get us by alone.
Beware that new-grad Nursing Jobs can be very tough to come by so your budget shouldn't presume that you'll be hired immediately upon graduation. In fact, there is a very real chance that you won't find gainful employment at all. Just be prepared and realistic. The dream can be a dream but it can also end up a nightmare.
is it worth taking loss of (most) of my income
Unless you're reasonably expecting to be unemployed soon, I do not think so.
i could apply for scholarships
I don't know much about this but I'd guess that there are fewer funds presently available and the competition for them is fierce. I'd make sure you get the money locked in before you quit your job.

should i just move on and readdress down the road if i am out of a job?
That would be my suggestion.

1. school all weekend in addition to 55 hour per week job. (limited time with children :( )
It could be done but it would be quite a challenge and nursing school is very unforgiving to disruptions (immovable deadlines, required business trips, etc). These days, with the extreme competition for jobs, grades are very important. Not everybody has the wherewithal to work 55 hours per week, have a family, go to nursing school, and keep their grades up.

2. resign, work on pre reqs and spend time with children for a year then apply to second degree BSN at public university
Very risky, IMO. You'll either be chewing up savings or incurring debt before you even get in to nursing school, let alone start. What if you don't get in? What if you change your mind? What if a major change happens in your life? Just stuff to ponder.

3. apply for MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader for this fall at private univ (80K for program about!)
Not worth it!!! I say this as a DEMSN/CNL grad - but one who went to a public university. There is no short-term gain to the DEMSN approach and, in fact, some people are quite biased against these grads.

Is there anyone that did something similar or could imagine doing that? I am 37.
I did... sort of. I was an engineer but had become unemployed and was faced with relocating or staying put and going to grad school. I chose nursing for a variety of reasons but one was the *mistaken* belief that I would easily find a good-paying, relatively secure job. (While I did find a job out of school, it is neither good-paying nor secure.) There are some intangibles associated with nursing that I appreciate but I'm not sure I would've chosen this path if I'd had a crystal ball (though I'm not certain that I wouldn't have, either).

Some nurses do get paid very well but a lot of nurses do not. I'd be very reluctant to leave a high-paying career unless I just had an overwhelming passion for nursing. Even at that, given the risks involved and the family situation that you describe, I'd be hesitant to make that drastic change.

One thing of which you should be certain: What exactly is nursing really like (and it can be very different at different facilities) and why you really want to change careers. You may not *like* your job but unless you really detest it, I'd consider just standing pat. Even if you hate it, I personally could put up with a lot for a high-paying job.

Much success, whatever you decide.

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