Considering a Career Change

Students Pre-Nursing


Hello All,

I just registered to this forum this afternoon...

A little bit about myself, I am a 37 year old male who lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA as an IT Project Manager. I hold a bachelors of science in information technology. I am absolutely sick to death of life behind a desk in an unrewarding, lifeless, impersonal job. I have considered becoming a police officer or a firefighter in hopes that it would provide an atmosphere that would be more rewarding and more apt to make me feel as if I'm actually accomplishing something or helping someone. Unfortunately, starting out in these fields at my age is difficult if not impossible. Also, there is a huge influx of returning combat veterans to fill these types of positions and they are usually considered first.

I have a long distance friend who recently completed his examination to become an RN. I am more than intrigued with the idea and I have been researching the possibilities. Pittsburgh is a wonderful city to live in if you are interested in the health care industry. I am seriously considering the possibility of applying to one of the UPMC schools of nursing as they will pay for your schooling if you sign an agreement to work for them for 2 years.

A couple of questions. Can I take my prerequisite courses as part of the agreement with UPMC i.e. will they pay for those too? What challenges do men face in the nursing industry? Will my IT skillset give me a leg up?

I am interested in becoming an RN and also getting my bachelors in Nursing. Any advice here? Should I go into this with anything in mind or take anything in consideration that would help me out in the long run?

For those of you that began your nursing journeys later in life, what did you do to work and pay the bills while you went to school? Are there paying jobs in hospitals prior to becoming an RN?

Any help and/or insight you might be able to provide would certainly be appreciated.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,


Hi there,

I too am going for an IT to RN career change! I have a BS MIS and half of a masters MLIS, and just find it unrewarding. I am very excited about the future! I do not know the answers to your questions, just felt glad that I was not alone on the new venture!

My ultimate goal is to be accepted into the Navy Nurse Corps (I am prior service Navy.)

Best of luck to you! I start my pre req's in Sep!


231 Posts

Specializes in Psych/med surg.

I also have a bachelors in Computer information systems/computer science, I did it for 4.5 years and absolutely hated it. The money was good but it was the most boring, unrewarding job sitting in a cubicle. I recently started to take my pre-reqs for nursing school. I want a job where can I help people and make a difference and it is not the most unrewarding stuff day after day as a cis job is.

Good luck and go for it. :)

Well it's good to know that I'm not the only one... Thank you for the good word and good luck to both of you as well.

I've finally signed up and I'm a long time lurker...about 3 yrs in fact. Like you all have stated I'm in the IT field as well. I've been going back and forth about career choices. I feel so invested in my IT career (10+ years) so to totally up and leave might have great risks. On the other hand, I've been wanting to be involved in the health care area for some time now. I'm almost finished with my undergrad degree (business) however I have no drive and motivation anymore. Job and $$ are good, but having to constantly justify my satisfaction in my current job role everyday just bring my morale down.

I haven't started my prerequisites yet, but might just totally pull out of the undergraduate race in an attempt to begin a new one.

What's a woman to do???

Husband suggest completing my degree since I'm almost at the finish line so I'll have a backup plan, but I'm not interested in those classes anymore.

I also wonder if health care is just a 'pipe dream' for me or a nagging reality since I continue to come back to it.

Any advise would be great..sorry for the long post!

I think the real issue at hand is the personal satisfaction quotient. I have my degree and have worked in the field for a number of years but being stuck in front of a screen in a cube is going to make me chew off my own tongue, I swear to God...

I understand and agree with this being a big risk. However, I'm still somewhat young and I've kept my body in reasonable shape so I think now is the time to make the move. I've also been networking with a handful of other people involved in health care and everything I have heard so far is positive.

I think I'm going to jump into the deep end of the pool...


231 Posts

Specializes in Psych/med surg.

I can relate to the chewing off your tongue after sitting in a cube in front of a screen for 8 hours a day. When I used to work in IT I used to wake up every morning wondering how many more days till I could retire. Many times I wanted to quit my job and work at Taco Bell because it would be more interesting work. I want a job that I just don't go to for a paycheck, I want to feel good about what I do and that is why I chose nursing. I have always thought about doing it but was always scared of the science courses.

Specializes in Med-Surg; ER; ICU/CCU/SHU; PAR.

Hi, and welcome!

These were all interesting posts...lots of IT people! I've talked with a number of folks who were right where you all are! I'm going to give you some ideas to chew on (to save your tongues!)...

1. Why is it that you want to go into nursing? That's not just a quick, easy kind of question...I advise you to really think about it. Is it because you've heard from the media that it's "recession-proof?" Do you think you'll make lots of money? Do you believe you'll find real job-security in nursing? Are you motivated by these things because you fear the loss of your current job?

These may be relevant considerations, but if they're the only reasons you're looking into nursing, at least so far, I would advise you to dig deeper. Figuring out why you want to be a nurse is the first step in figuring out how you're going to get through the difficult times on the road there. And it will be difficult!

2. Will nursing be a good "fit" for you? Yes, there is quite a bit of technology involved in nursing, especially as you get into critical care areas, so that part may not be as intimidating to you as it may be to a "non-techie." But the machines, even when your patient is on 6 of them to stay alive, are only a small part of what the nurse does. There's a human being attached to all the machines, and they don't always follow the manual!

Again, it comes back to why you want to be a nurse. Someone mentioned they wanted to "help people," "make a difference," "feel good about what I do." That's getting better in terms of the "why." But you need to add to it now...what is it about nursing that you think will make you feel good about doing it? A lot of nurses absolutely HATE what they do. They are burned out, discouraged, disgusted, and they walk away in anger and heartbreak from a career that they spent thousands and thousands of dollars and many years getting into. (Sound familiar? Were you "interested" in the career field that you are about to walk away from when your first considered what to major in in college?) How much do you know about nursing? How do you know if nursing is really for you? Are your ideas about what the day-to-day reality of being a nurse coming from popular TV shows? (I hope not...)

I wrote a piece called 7 Essential Questions Every Future Nurse Must Ask. It's free, just google it as I can't link it here. But it goes through a number of areas that you'll probably find thought-provoking. I can't fit all of them here, as it would be way to long. But at the very least, do spend some time thinking on the above 2 questions to get yourself started. Nursing can be an awesome profession...for those who are "called" to it. For those who are just not quite made to be nurses, it can be a nightmare. So do your research, consider what it will mean to you to be a nurse, and don't enter into nursing school lightly. It isn't easy, neither is the reality of the job, so you really have to want it!

Best of luck to you, and let me know if you have more Q's I can help with!

Lori RN, BSN

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