Do you like nursing? I am considering it.

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Hi everybody,

My name is Laura, and I am considering becomming a nurse. My dilemma right now is that I have small children at home, and I am going to wait a couple of years before I begin. I have a bachelors degree in Psychology and a minor in spanish. I have taken all my English, Algebra, Chemistry, Zoology, and General Psychology, and LOTS and LOTS of Spanish. I even took a Brain Anatomy class.

What I need to know is this: Do you like your job? How do you spend time with your family? What is your salary if all you have is an RN dergree (not a BSN) because that may well be me if I choose the path. I have also considered becomming a bilingual elementary teacher, and I have many credits toward that field also. Now you might see my dilema. I need to know which way to go. Teaching or Nursing. I don't want to earn a low salary if I have to take a lot of courses, and Teaching is becomming longer and longer as far as requirements and courseload to complete the teacher training courses. Then the starting salary is about 37,000 a year. I know that money is not the only to weigh a job, time away from familly, and demands of the job, and all of the stresses that go along with the job, but I worry that if I become a nurse, that I will never see my kids because of the workload, and I dont want to live to do nothing but work! ! To earn the BIG BUCKS DO you have to have BAD HOURS and a MSN or can you get about 45,000 just getting an A S degree in nursing? I need to know how to weigh the salary and the time with family factors as well as the job strress factors. Any insight or advice you can give me would be appreciated.




517 Posts

Hi Laura,

Nurses' salaries vary based on where you are in the U.S. Some new grads start at $17/hr where others are making mid 20's an hour. I'll tell you this...being a bilingual nurse, you'd make more than your English-only peers.

Interestingly, I also debated between teaching and nursing as a second career choice. My first degree and a decade of experience was in the computer and science fields.

I ended up choosing nursing and went through an accelerated BSN program -- for those who already have a Bachelors. It took me 12 months. Hard work, lots of studying...but here I am, a year after starting, and I'm an RN. :) I have four children...ages 11 to yes, it can be done with a family. In fact, people with kids just seem to do better in class - more time management skills, more goal-oriented, etc. Put it this way...I *never* spent Friday night at the bars!! :)

I don't start my job until Monday but I can tell you what I do love about nursing that I wouldn't have gotten in teaching. I love the science of nursing and medicine. I love the direct application of what I've learned to life. I love that my 2 y/o can crack his head on the bed and I *know* what to assess to be sure he is okay or not. I love understanding what medicines, illnesses, or diseases my family and friends experience -- and actually be able to explain the what's and why's to them. In clinicals, I loved when a patient would grab my hand and say "thank you"...knowing that they meant it from the bottom of their heart.

Teaching and nursing both have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in someone's life. :) Good luck in your decision. Send me a PM (private message) if you want more info.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.
Originally posted by Laura77598

Hi everybody, ................................What I need to know is this: What is your salary if all you have is an RN dergree (not a BSN) because that may well be me if I choose the path............................................................................

.....or can you get about 45,000 just getting an A S degree in nursing?...................... Any insight or advice you can give me would be appreciated.



Welcome aboard allnurses Laura! :nurse:

There are a few things about how you wrote your post that are inaccurate about nursing.

There is no such thing as a "RN degree".

The degree choices are: Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, Masters Degree, and PhD degree.

In some areas of the United States, Diploma Programs are still putting out some excellent nurses!

And...YES, a RN who has an Associates Degree most certainly can earn $45,000 per year. I have on many jobs myself with no problem. I made more than that at my job last year, so I know its possible in today's nursing.

I would also caution you to really do some deep soul searching about whether or not you can handle taking care of very sick people who often times become combative, abusive, and unappreciative. Their family members often are that way as well.

Yes, there are many patients that I have cared for that are my shining stars as patients, but I've had just as many who were not. :o

Another thing to consider, you won't gain as much respect as a bedside nurse these days...not on the units anyway. Maybe in the specialty areas you the ICUs of many types. So, if you are looking for both money and respect, you won't be trading your present job for a better job by becoming a registered nurse.

ONLY choose to become a nurse IF you really have the heart and the stomach for the job. It aint a pretty sight most times, so don't give up your current job in search of something that doesn't exist in hospital nursing. Your heart must truly be in it, or it won't work for ya. :nurse:

RNSuzq1, RN

449 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg..

Hi Laura,

First question is - after getting your degree in Psychology - did you do anything with it job wise? I know a lot of people with Psych. degrees and strangely, none of them went on to be Psychologists, family therapists, counselors, etc. - most went into the computer biz, hmm.

I agree with "cheerfuldoer" who said only become a Nurse if your heart and stomach are in it. The money can be very good, but that can't be the reason you choose this career. For me and many like me on these boards who are waiting on pins and needles to hear if we were accepted into Nursing Programs for Fall 2004 - it's not just a job, it's a dream and a true calling to go into the profession. There are few careers I can think of where people actually feel a calling to do the work - Nursing is one of those.

As far as money goes, I can tell you a bit about that. The hospital my husband works at in NC - some of the Nurses make as much as $60.00 an hour - those are the ones who work in the Units, worst hours, weekends, nights, etc. - all those weekend, shift differentials and specializing in certain areas of Nursing can really add up. My brother and his wife are both ER Nurses at a huge hospital in Boston (each with 20 years of Nursing under their belts) but work crazy hours. My Sister in-law works 3 - 12 hour shifts a week and my nutty brother usually pulls 16 hour shifts in the ER. I can't imagine working those hours, but he loves all that excitement and gets paid very big bucks for it. I'm nosey and asked about their salaries a few years ago - she said combined they made about $150,000 - not sure what they're making now.

There is a price to pay for that money though - my sister in-law said not a day goes by where she doesn't have a combination of blood, urine, vomit and God knows what else on her scrubs before she clocks out. Since they are both Nurses at the same hospital and have 3 children, they work opposite shifts so one of them is always with the kids (not much alone time for the 2 of them). It's a job you just have to love doing.

You sound like you're leaning towards teaching - also a great profession and without the blood and guts involved. I know many private schools pay teachers more than at public schools and since you are bilingual - that might be a big plus.

Hope this helps you out a bit. Best of luck in whatever you choose. SusanNC


31 Posts

Hey Laura! I just wanted to add my two cents in for you. I cannot speak to the nursing aspect of your question but I have taught for eleven years and am thinking of making a career change to nursing. One of the major misconceptions that people have about teaching is that it is less than an eight hour a day job. This week we had report cards due and I worked about 65 hours. There will be many nights when you will need to make phone calls from your home at night to reach the parents of your students. Unfortunately, the job does not end. I often liken it to you write the play, you produce the play, you clean up after the play and you write the critque of the play. You are most definitely a performer and will spend much of your day trying to keep the attention of 25 or more students. This being said there are also many rewards and you do know what you are doing will make a difference. Also, many people think private school pays more than public school but it most defintely does not-I have taught in both!

Basically, I am leaving teaching because I just don't think that I can deal with kids all day and then go home and do a good job with my own (future) children at night. However, I know that there are some people who can do this-I am just not one of them. Also, I was a biology major and I want a job where I use my science knowledge-not just teach about it. Although, I think patient education is key.

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