Changing career to nursing, some q's..

  1. Hi, I'm a forester in his late 40s (master's deg.) and want to be an er/trauma nurse. I know this sounds crazy to some and I know the grass isn't greener but rather a differerent species on the other side.....but:

    I have some questions that I hope can get answered.

    1) At my age, would you suggest to hurry, forget the BSN (would do MSN if had bucks!) and go for the RN and get the certifications (CEN, etc.) thru continuing ed. and hands-on experience asap VS. enrolling in an accelerated BSN program and starting from there?

    2) Anyone have experience in having third party loan repayed thru service obligations, ie., The Feds (Indian Health Service, etc) or State programs, or thru places like Kaiser.

    Hence: go to school, pay your dues in a difficult/in need area.

    Any help appreciated and this is a wonderful bulletin board. Thanks - mw

    PS. If you wish, you can email me at
  2. Visit muddywaters profile page

    About muddywaters

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 11


  3. by   kaycee
    If you want to work in a hospital in an ER and don't plan to take an administrative, or nursing education role then I would take the shorter route and get your RN. Once you've had some experience you can try for CEN. Most places don't pay more for BSN so it depends on what you plan to do. You can always earn your BSN while you are working. I know quite a few people that have entered nursing at your age and have done very well.
    I can't help you with the loans question.
    Good luck with what ever you choose to do!!
  4. by   muddywaters
    Dear Kaycee,

    I appreciate you taking your time to help out.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. by   MCrist
    Are you sure you want to go into nursing?

    It is a rough world in the ER.

    It is not easy pleasing people 24/7.

    There is a lot of abuse too.

    You get hit, bitten, spit on, cussed at and anything else you can imagine.

    Don't forget about the lovely shift work.

    You usually have to start on night shift and work your way to days which could take "years".

    Don't forget about having to work weekends and every other holiday, and begging for time off for vacations.

    Good luck getting hired straight out of nursing school to become a "trauma nurse".

    Get your feet wet on Medical for a couple years, this will give you some instincts that you will need in the ER and help you decide if the student loan was worth it.

    If you want a quick "rush" then just go to Paramedic School.

    If you are looking for a mid life crisis "fix" don't go into nursing, just watch "Trauma: Life In The ER", less chance of deadly exposures.

    Good Luck!
  6. by   RoaminHankRN
    First of all we need more male nurses so we don't have the attitude that some are giving our profession... (i'm sure I offended some there

    Second... go ahead and say it, Associate Degree... it's not a bad way to go for you.. You get your feet wet early and get an idea if this is for you without wasting alot of time or money if you decide against it. But it's not until you get into the real world when you play with the big boys!

    I worked 9 years in ER and recently took a house supervisor position. I can agree with MCrist and a lot of things. Many for why I changed. But we need fresh minds, enthusiam, new blood, etc. I encourage you to step up to the plate and take the challenge. Once you become licensed, apply for an ER position. Research hospitals and network. I came out of school right into ER ( Level II) Did my two years and moved on to Level I. You do your time, learn lots of things along the way (you never stop learning) and maybe make a difference in someones life. Try to stay positive because there will be lows. Having hobbies, family and friends will help!

    Best of luck
  7. by   muddywaters
    Thanks for the real-world down n' dirty truths.

    ER nursing at my age, changing careers sounds utterly horrible, especially one who inherently questions doctors inwardly (nothing like being misdiagnosed by young punks) and hates taking orders from stupid people.

    Sounds so terrible that its' a challenge! Let them try to break me.

    All nurses I've spoken to say forget it. All.

    Still, someone's gotta do it.

    Re: Associate's Degree, after a MS at an Ivy (still paying loans) and PhD work at a redhot school. I'll get over that.

    Why not become a NP and then do ER? If too rough, then eventually one can set up their practice in an inner city or in Nowhere.

    Thanks again.

  8. by   traumaRUs
    Come on over and join us! Nursing is a wonderful profession, especially ER nursing. I have worked the last six years in level I trauma center and love it. The short-staffing is difficult and forces you to be on your toes at all times. I'm in my 40's, changed careers in my 30's, so its very possible to do. I went the associates route because of time constraints. Lots of hospitals will pay your loans back for nursing school - ours currently pays 100% of initial nursing degree and if you agree to work here - no guaranteed unit or shift though. I also do pre-hospital care as a volunteer in the rural area where I live and love that too. Is volunteering in a hospital or pre-hospital setting possible? That would be a great place to start. Wish you luck.