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Career Change

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by RizzoRazz RizzoRazz (New) New

Hello all! I am so glad to have found this forum, and an opportunity to reach out to people actively in the field, in my area.

I need some direct advice. I'm 38 years old, and have spent the last 15 or so years of my life in marketing and production, on a local level. It was creative and interesting, but I burned out AND have found more and more that I have a calling for helping people and supporting people, hands on, directly. I volunteer a great deal, and feel more alive when I volunteer than when I work.

I recently hit a financial snag, which has left more (more or less) starting over. But I see this as an opportunity to find a new direction.

I have been exploring career paths in health and human services. I've had many people in my life who have been positively impacted by those in the Allied Health fields, medical fields, and social sciences.

Due to this, I have been looking at careers in Occupational Therapy (or likely COTA due to the financial stresses), SLP, Special Education and, of course, what brought me here: Nursing. I am old enough to not be utterly self delusioned that these positions are lollipops and roses, and have done enough job shadowing thus far to understand their realities, at least on some level, but I still love the idea of helping people, and earning a decent salary along the way.

However, unlike COTA, SLP, Special Ed, etc....the path to a career in Nursing is confusing and seemingly full of a lot of charlatans selling snake-oil.

I have a Bachelor's from 11 years ago in Political Science from Oregon. I just moved back to Arizona to take care of my aging mother. I'm reading everything from things saying "There is a huge and growing need for RNs in Arizona" to "It's very difficult to find jobs as a new RN"

But I'm fresh. I have a little time to put in here and my overhead is low. So I can make the right path now, rather than regretting a hasty decision.

What programs should I consider and what should I avoid. It SEEMS like I could get an ASN for a reasonable price, even with out of state tuition, at one of the Maricopa Community colleges, then at some point after getting some experience, do the RN to BSN program at ASU. Are the programs challenging to get into? I have heard issues of years of waiting lists and heavy competition, from friends in other states who became RNs.

It also seems like there are a ton of nursing programs out here....are there jobs for recent grads (who are also older and male?)?

The private colleges seem obscenely expensive as well, and that I find confusing. (I could get a law degree at ASU for almost less than a BSN at Carrington, I think. Not that I would.)

Is there any guidance for me? What should I consider? What do you wish you had done? Where can I set myself up for success?

Thank you all very much!

I am in my early 30s and in my first semester of nursing school (a BSN and ADN concurrent program). This is a second career for me, I am going on 10 years working in special education as an SLPA. Several years ago when I started thinking about seriously considering nursing I researched the different programs and then eventually met with an advisor at the community college. I think this would be your best first step is to meet with someone at one of the community colleges and review Prereqs and talk about the program some more. The job outlook does vary and I know even just a few years ago it was very flooded here in Phoenix with new grads, making the job hunt very difficult. To my understanding that has improved somewhat but not entirely. Good luck and I think you'll find some good resources on here as well as good insight from other folks who are already working as a nurse or are in school.

Thank you so much azgal81. I am very attracted to SLP as well, and I'm wondering what your experiences were in that field? You said you worked in it for 10 years?

Here are my two cents for what they are worth to you: I am in my early thirties, and needed a career change (last 11 years spent in allied health) into something that could pay better than what I am making now, has lots of room for growth and different opportunities, and could be rewarding at the same time. I came to the conclusion that nursing could check all those boxes for me. I am also male and was hesitant at first, but I have seen many good male nurse role models out in the field. I am in my last semester of an ADN program at a Maricopa Community College. My suggestion to you: Definitely look into the Maricopa ADN programs and get started on your pre-requisites ASAP so you can apply. I was lucky and already worked for HonorHealth (formerly Scottsdale Healthcare) when I applied, and they have paid ALL of my tuition, leaving me to just pay for books and supplies like stethoscope and shoes. I believe they offer tuition reimbursement once you have been employed for 6 months, or perhaps a year. So you could go that route. I think the concurrent enrollment options through the Maricopa schools and NAU or ASU is the best option to save a little money, but I was really worried about being able to take on that kind of work load since I had to work 3-4 days per week for financial reasons. If you don't have to work, do the concurrent enrollment thing!!! If you need more of a work/life/school balance, go the ADN route and know that yes, it can be difficult to get a new-grad job right now with so many students graduating from BSN programs, but it is NOT impossible, especially if you already have your foot in the door at a health system. I could relate to you when you wrote that you preferred to be volunteering instead of working. I think, like me, you will find nursing and caring for people extremely rewarding. Good luck!

ackbar

Has 1 years experience.

I'm an older male who switched to a nursing career for many of the same reasons you described. I started taking classes around the age of 40. I wish I had done more research into nursing, because I really have not been loving it. Sure, helping patients is rewarding, but it is extremely fast-paced, very demanding and often understaffed. Burn out is not uncommon. I find myself feeling stressed out, even when I'm not at work. Make sure you really believe you're going to like nursing before investing the time, energy and money. Plus, speaking of money, the money really isn't that great for nurses, especially for new grads. Expect to make $26-$29/hour. You can make a decent salary once you have several years of experience and/or you're willing to kill yourself by working lots of OT or PRN jobs.

The problem with the ADN program at MCCC is that there is a 2 year waiting list. I believe if you do a concurrent BSN through NAU or ASU, you don't have to wait as long to get into a program. ASU offers a 12 month post-bacc program. If you have a bachelor's degree already, you might be able to get into this program, but the cost runs about $30,000 for in-state tuition and fees.

In terms of reputation, your best bests are Grand Canyon and ASU. Doing the ADN/BSN would also be a good choice and be less expensive than GCU and ASU. Any other programs, I would probably bypass.

Once I got my license, it took me about 4 months to find a job. I applied to hundreds of positions and went on 4 interviews before receiving 2 offers. If you are very persistent, I think you should be able to find something. It seems hospital hiring has been on the upswing the last few years, especially for BSNs. Good luck!

I'm an older male who switched to a nursing career for many of the same reasons you described. I started taking classes around the age of 40. I wish I had done more research into nursing, because I really have not been loving it. Sure, helping patients is rewarding, but it is extremely fast-paced, very demanding and often understaffed. Burn out is not uncommon. I find myself feeling stressed out, even when I'm not at work. Make sure you really believe you're going to like nursing before investing the time, energy and money. Plus, speaking of money, the money really isn't that great for nurses, especially for new grads. Expect to make $26-$29/hour. You can make a decent salary once you have several years of experience and/or you're willing to kill yourself by working lots of OT or PRN jobs.

The problem with the ADN program at MCCC is that there is a 2 year waiting list. I believe if you do a concurrent BSN through NAU or ASU, you don't have to wait as long to get into a program. ASU offers a 12 month post-bacc program. If you have a bachelor's degree already, you might be able to get into this program, but the cost runs about $30,000 for in-state tuition and fees.

In terms of reputation, your best bests are Grand Canyon and ASU. Doing the ADN/BSN would also be a good choice and be less expensive than GCU and ASU. Any other programs, I would probably bypass.

Once I got my license, it took me about 4 months to find a job. I applied to hundreds of positions and went on 4 interviews before receiving 2 offers. If you are very persistent, I think you should be able to find something. It seems hospital hiring has been on the upswing the last few years, especially for BSNs. Good luck!

Hi ackbar,

If you don't mind sharing, would you mind sharing what it is that you don't enjoy about nursing with us? I'd definitely take it in stride, but I am interested in knowing what the cons are for you. Thanks so much for the info you shared. It was definitely helpful.