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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 community colleges, then at some point after getting some experience, do an RN to BSN program. 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!

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

The quickest , least expensive route to nursing is an ASN degree from your community college. As far as jobs out there? That is something only time can tell. I personally feel that once us baby boomers retire.. a new nursing shortage will emerge.

WKShadowNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 20 years experience.

The quickest , least expensive route to nursing is an ASN degree from your community college. As far as jobs out there? That is something only time can tell. I personally feel that once us baby boomers retire.. a new nursing shortage will emerge.

BTDT, thank you for all you do. :)

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

If you are willing to be flexible, if you are willing to consider relocation, and if you can make some connections at your clinical placements you will eventually find work. Sometimes it takes 6 months or more, but there are jobs out there.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Check your local job ads to see if the "BSN required or preferred" mentality has taken hold in your area. If ASN nurses are still being hired, then by all means snag an associates degree from your local CC, start working as an RN then decide if you need the BSN. Your colleagues will tell you if and where to get it.

Agreed, private (and Investor-owned) colleges are obscenely expensive.

Being a little older and male will not be a deterrent. If you were 50+ there is a slippery slope being a new grad and looking for work in a competitive market. Experienced nurses not so much.

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

The quickest , least expensive route to nursing is an ASN degree from your community college. As far as jobs out there? That is something only time can tell. I personally feel that once us baby boomers retire.. a new nursing shortage will emerge.

Really?? I'm going to get to retire????? I'm feelin' palpitations.

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 6 years experience.

Really?? I'm going to get to retire????? I'm feelin' palpitations.

About 70 percent of baby boomers have nothing saved in retirement. I think most will work until they croak or become physically disabled.