Change of Mind (not heart)


I have been reading/posting here for several months primarily to get a feel for the nursing field and to commiserate with those in similar situations. These forums have been invaluable.

I have spent about a year preparing to go back to school to pursue a nursing degree (ADN). I currently have a B.A. and M.Ed. and am staying home with my 2 children (ages 2 and 4). I struggled with returning to school full time while still having very young children--so I worked diligently over the last year to make sure that all I had to do would be to complete the nursing courses, hoping to limit time they spent in a daycare program (we have no family here).

I was accepted into a program, did all the post application work and now I am making the difficult decision to NOT go to nursing school this fall. I thought my decision would be a lot easier, but it wasn't. And I'm not so sure why.

I was given the opportunity to pursue my Ph.D. in Education (such a lucrative venture--note sarcasm). I love teaching and the thought of teaching future teachers is exciting (I had hoped that one day I might teach future nurses). It all happened very fast. I am now preparing to take the GRE, I'm adjuncting at the university this fall and completing the application to begin officially in winter.

While weighing this opportunity I came on these boards and asked for advice in regards to my situation and if nurses/students would do it all again. I was grateful for the honest replies--some people said NO WAY, others said, WITHOUT A DOUBT that they would do it all again. I guess I was looking for something to hit me and tell me what to do. Even with the "no jobs" "nursing school is demanding" "work is tough" --I still found making the decision tough.

In the end, I looked at my children. They are 2 and 4 . . . I went to school and worked and had them later in life so I could be home with them. On top of that, my son is receiving therapies (OT, speech, ABA)--something we hope he'll transition out of in the next year. I feel I need a little more time and the Ph.D. is more flexible (I can go part-time or even just one class at a time). Plus, this route seems to justify my former degrees.

HOWEVER, I can't shake the nagging feeling that I don't want to completely let go of the possibility of nursing. Would it be out of the realm of possibility to ask the director of the nursing program to hold my application until next year (not asking for a guarantee, just a chance to not go through gathering all 10 of my transcripts again)? I figure that gives me a whole year to figure things out--my children will be a little older and both in preschool (and hopefully therapy-free) and I can determine if the Ph.D. is the best option or if nursing is still calling.

Advice, thoughts, comments, criticisms?


378 Posts

i know exactly what you are talking about. I tried to talk myself out of nursing several times. I had even changed my major from SLP to OT to business and finally to Health Science. Nursing was my original reason for going back to school in the first place, I tried to get rid of that nagging feeling and no matter how hard I tried. The feeling would not go away. I would see nursing students on campus and I would get a feeling like, "I wish that was me." Or I would see nurses at the hospital and wish I would have stuck with nursing. But I would quickly put it out of my head and continue to pursue the other majors and the feeling persisted.

I even continued to come to this site frequently even though I tried to convince myself that I did not want to pursue nursing.

My local ADN program was accepting applications so I said to myself, let me apply and see what happens. I was accepted out of 700+ applicants for 41 spots. I just started this fall and it was the best decision I have ever made. I no longer have those doubts I had when I was pursuing the other majors. I love nursing school:redbeathe.

I think you should ask the program director can you delay your acceptance for one year, so you can see if you really want to pursue the PhD. Good luck to you!


140 Posts

I was actually one of the people to tell you to go for the Ph.D only because it was a great opportunity and you would probably never get an opportunity like that again. I really do not see any reason for the Director of nursing school to reject your request to delay your admittance to the ADN program for a year. And if they cannot delay it, I'm pretty sure the application process wouldn't be such a hassle if you do decide to pursue nursing in the future. I really hope the Ph.D position works out for you. Best of luck!!!!


1,062 Posts

My vote go for the Ph.D and do not look back!

In the future you can evaluate if the nursing option holds another

journey for you.

Good Luck!


78 Posts

Holy hell . . . seems there isn't any industry that hasn't been impacted by this atrocious economy!

Talked to the instructor with whom I'll be teaching the college course and then to my old advisor/professor of my grad program to hear her thoughts on the Ph.D. program . . . yup, you guessed it. Finding jobs will be HARD. And, the same politics, drama, back-stabbing you'd find just about anywhere.

Thankfully, I am not deterred. I am going to stick to my decision and hold out one more year--praying and praying that they will hold my app until then. I am going to teach a course this term and prep and take the GRE. Then, I will take a doctorate class next term. If I can't figure something out by then I'm applying to Lowe's or McDonald's :)

Seriously, my advisor was lovely and encouraged me in any pursuit, but I felt she was leaning toward nursing--but still felt I should wait a year until my little ones are older and both in preschool. Ugh, I can barely imagine that . . . they were teeny tiny babies just the other DAY!

Thanks for the advice. I think one of the biggest reasons I am so torn about bowing out of the program this year is because I love the camaraderie with other nurses, students, pre-nursing students. So many of us are in the same boat. Thank you, thank you . . . I'll let you know how it goes with my app.