Can't decide RN or Social Worker

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


I am so lost right now! I am enrolled for A&P 1 next semester and I will have an awesome teacher but I am second guessing nursing as a career choice. I am not strong in the science department at all and made a C in Chem 1406. I took a step back and realized I am better at listening and solving people's problems. I also sat for a seminar that was a day in the life of a social worker and I felt drawn to the profession. However, I keep hearing nothing but negative about its job outlook, pay etc. I am 35 yrs old and I take care of my special needs son who is 16 and financial stability is important to me. Does anyone have anything positive about social workers? I have zero work experience! I have only worked one job in my life and that was McDonalds for 2 weeks. I have literally spent the last 17 yrs taking care of my special needs son which is another reason I feel I don't want to be a nurse.. I feel I have nursed someone for 16 years, I kind of want a change.

It looks like you already know what to do.

You say you are lost and do not know what decision to make. After reading this post, it is clear to me that you want permission to follow your passion! Social work is an extremely rewarding profession. You said you do not have strong grades in your science classes and that your strength lies in social skills. This is perfect for a social worker! You recently attended a seminar and you feel drawn to the profession. If you have nursed someone for 16 years and want a change, you shouldn't go into nursing. This post was a list of reasons why you want to do social work!

Yes, it's true that nursing will probably pay more money up front and it may be easier to get a job. But social work is still an in demand profession and many social work jobs offer great benefits, especially social workers in hospitals and schools. Talk to an advisor and students who have graduated from social work programs you are interested in about finding jobs and job placement statistics. In my opinion, you've been taking care of you wonderful son for so long. You deserve to begin the career that your heart is telling you to! Good luck

Please know that a Bachelors in Social Work isn't really enough to do much that will pay enough to be 'financially stable' if you're on your own. The more advanced social work jobs require a Masters Degree.

My husband was a social worker with a Bachelors and 4 years experience. He STARTED at $24,000 a year. He took the course work to become a Certified Drug Alcohol Counselor and got a raise to $27,000. If he had his Masters at that job he would have made $30,000. Now, this was nearly 20 years ago, but the pay hasn't changed THAT much. Now he has his Masters and works for the VA. He makes significantly more now.

Obviously, there's more to your job than money, but consider that you'll possibly have student loans from a Bachelors & Masters to pay off and money is an important factor to consider.

Many, many years ago I met a woman who joined the Army because her social work degree could not get her employed. All I could think of at the time was, "what a waste of time and money". While only one anecdote, it certainly points to the need to do research about the real employment picture for this profession.

Particularly if you're only prepared to go as far as a Bachelor's degree.

A BA in Social Work is kind of like a BA/BS in Psychology - not terribly useful unless you get more education.

Social work is a very noble profession, but choose it with purpose, not just because you didn't do well at one science course.

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