Advice for changing my major. Leaving nursing?

  1. Hey everyone, I am applying to NS, but I didn't look at my other options before I dove into this major 100%. The human mind and human behavior interest me way more than any of this pharm, physiology, or bio stuff. I know I want to do something in the "helping field", but I am not particularly excited to begin NS. I have looked at other fields such as social work, management, and counselling... and yes, psych nursing too, my hesitation with that is I will have to make it through NS to get there lol... which I have already mentioned I'm not very excited about since it doesn't seem like anything they study interest me. Since many nurses work side by side with some of these professions (Mgmt, SW, psych nursing, counselors) what can you tell me about what they do? Pros/Cons of the profession? Thank you!
  2. Visit Nursls21 profile page

    About Nursls21

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 46; Likes: 28
    from LA , US

    25 Comments

  3. by   cyc0sys
    Nursing school, much like the profession, isn't for everyone. But it's also like no other profession as far a specialties are concerned. You can move around in nursing if you decide you don't like particular type of nursing.

    Any type of BS degree other than nursing, such as psycho-social counseling, social/work services,and mental health related professions are mostly low pay and long hours. At entry level, you will be helping medically under served populations such as the elderly, children at risk, substance abusers, pregnant mothers and others in poverty. Some positions often pose a risk to personal safety due to social economical conditions and cultural barriers. However, I'm painting with a very broad brush depending upon where you live and what employers are available. Medical social work in a hospital setting, often pays more initially.

    25 years ago, 3 of my friends choose the BSSW. Of the 3, 2 took it to MSW. One's in private practice and makes 150k. The other is a director of managed care contractor through the state. He works with a staff of LCSW serving the developmentally disabled. He makes around 100k. The 3rd one didn't pursue a MSW and works with at risk children for a non-profit hospital. She makes about 45k and sometimes gets beat up by her patients.
  4. by   brownbook
    The bottom line is nursing pays better than social work. My husband has his MSW, his LCSW, (I know, I hate people that use acronyms..License in Clinical Social Work), is bilingual and worked full time. I made more money after several years in nursing and moving into mid management, with my ADN degree and only working 32 hours a week.

    I vote for becoming a psychiatric nurse. My advice is worth what you pay for it
  5. by   Nursls21
    Thank you both for your advice. Cyc0sys Nursing is hard to give up bc it is so diverse. Of course, with social work I will have to "pay my dues" by working with the population that are seen as less desirable, but that's okay. I'm actually interested in doing that... for a little while. And I know new grads don't jump into private practice. Job descriptions in my area typically look for 1yr of experience to get hired on with a agency that doesn't work with "undeserirables". I would never JUST get a BSW. SW is MSW-LCSW or ending up in your 3rd friends position after years of service. How do your friends like their jobs? And where are their jobs located if you don't mind me asking?

    Brownbook you didn't really say anything that wasn't money realated. I suppose I should have added I am not money motivated lol. I know what I need to make to have the life I desire in my area, which it is possible with the career choices I am researching. Do you know anything about psych nurse job duties or the setting they usually work in?
  6. by   Neats
    If you want to make a decent pay I would avoid Social Work/Psychology, you only make the bucks if you have your PhD and even then it can lag behind. You want to help people I get that. Business you can help people. Management you can help people. You can go into biology and make decent monies, dental hygienist make decent monies (4 year degree), special x-ray like radiation tech, specialized Ultrasound/CT/MRI techs (all 4 year degrees) make decent monies...but you have to specialize in the field. Registered dietician that hold Masters or about make great monies.
    In business you can become a retirement planner, accountants make great monies and truly help people.

    You see there is so much more than what you think. I would review what you are interested in, think how do you want to interact with these people for instance for dental hygienist you more than likely will have a short pleasant conversation at the beginning and then bam we are wall done, here is what I found, can I help you with your next cleaning?

    X-ray it can be real quick for radiation, the first initial set up takes time to measure the exact spots thereafter your patient comes in for up to 8 weeks daily-Mon-Fri and you radiate the area takes a whole 15 mins, bam you are onto the next patient. X-ray can be a nice job to have especially if you work in a outpatient clinic and have the hours Mon-Friday. If you work at a inpatient hospital then you maybe working all hours all days to include holidays. Outpatient hospital would be the M-F hours.

    Good luck really think where do you see yourself in 5 years, do you like people and how much are you a social person or do you like to watch things unfold...know yourself and then decide on what you want to do. What job most fits your personality

    I think if I could redo my nursing and healthcare administration I would pick radiation tech...a 4 year degree and given the right training I can make over 100,000 annually in a hospital based outpatient radiology department.
  7. by   Nursls21
    Thank you so much for the advice Neats!! Thinking about how I like to watch things unfold and how much time I will be spending with either clients or patients opened up a new way of thinking for me too. Thanks!
  8. by   CalicoKitty
    Before continuing an education, you could become a sitter in a hospital. You'll be 1:1 or so with an unruly patient. You can interact with them or just observe them (depending on hospital rules). Many of them are "techs" or nursing assistance (can get that education). With that role, you could have the opportunity to see other roles in a hospital. Sure, the pay isn't very much, but it can be something while in school. (the hours can be flexible for classes).
  9. by   Nursls21
    That is a great idea. So CNA or nurse tech would be the path I need to take to open up these opportunities for me?
  10. by   CalicoKitty
    It is a chance to see and work in the inside of a hospital. Being a sitter will give you chances to talk to people. You'll also have the opportunity to see other roles in a hospital. Getting a tech job in a hospital may be more challenging than a sitter (they often want like 6 months of working in assisted living or something first). You can see other hospital jobs (radiology techs, respiratory therapists, nursing, social workers, etc).
  11. by   Neo Soldier
    Quote from Nursls21
    Brownbook you didn't really say anything that wasn't money realated. I suppose I should have added I am not money motivated lol. I know what I need to make to have the life I desire in my area, which it is possible with the career choices I am researching. Do you know anything about psych nurse job duties or the setting they usually work in?
    I just want to point out that money is an important factor for most things in life: dental insurance, health insurance, rent/mortgage, utilities, car note, groceries, emergencies, retirement, family, etc. Why would you take on a career with the intention of helping people but not extending the same courtesy to yourself? Nursing grants you the opportunity to help others and yourself as well. You mentioned you want to be a psych nurse in your initial post. For this, you would have to go to nursing school. Don't put money and time into school for the sake of becoming altruistic. Also, if you want to dip your toes into the world of psych nursing, try being a CNA at a psych hospital. You will get a chance to see social workers do their work as well as nurses.
  12. by   Nursls21
    Neo solider I understand what you are saying about money which is why I have sat down with a financial advisor. All of these fields I am looking into make enough money for me otherwise I wouldn't be looking into them. I believe in taking care of yourself before others. I said money wasn't my motivation because I would take a job that makes less if it means doing what I love. My deciding factor will never be money unless it's having to live on the streets type poor.
    I work front desk at a clinic now and I like it a lot. I get to speak to patients and just be someone who listens to them. My coworkers however are the most miserable people. I float between 3 clinics and this is the case everywhere. The Dr. hates it the NP regrets every going into nursing, and the nurses and X-ray techs hate every time a patients walks in the door. I don't know why everyone is so miserable and mean to the patients and each other. I'm hoping the majority of the medical field isn't so glumy. I will definelty look into becoming a CNA to enable myself to see other roles in the hospital. Thank you!
  13. by   applewhitern
    We don't use social workers in our hospital. We have RN case managers instead. They got rid of the social workers and started using the nurses instead.
  14. by   FolksBtrippin
    Quote from Nursls21
    Thank you both for your advice. Cyc0sys Nursing is hard to give up bc it is so diverse. Of course, with social work I will have to "pay my dues" by working with the population that are seen as less desirable, but that's okay. I'm actually interested in doing that... for a little while. And I know new grads don't jump into private practice. Job descriptions in my area typically look for 1yr of experience to get hired on with a agency that doesn't work with "undeserirables". I would never JUST get a BSW. SW is MSW-LCSW or ending up in your 3rd friends position after years of service. How do your friends like their jobs? And where are their jobs located if you don't mind me asking?

    Brownbook you didn't really say anything that wasn't money realated. I suppose I should have added I am not money motivated lol. I know what I need to make to have the life I desire in my area, which it is possible with the career choices I am researching. Do you know anything about psych nurse job duties or the setting they usually work in?
    I am a psych nurse in the community. I work with a lot of social workers. I can do all the same stuff they do, plus a lot of stuff they can't do with less educational time and expense and more pay. I am also highly in demand as nurses who are interested in community psych are very few and far between.

    My social worker friends have to intern for various licensing and letters after their names, and interning means working for free. It's a racket. There is an intern where I work. She does everything we do without getting paid for it.

    For these reasons I usually suggest nursing.

    However, given that you refer to underserved people as "undesirables" I don't think you would really be happy in nursing or social work.

    If your goal is to counsel rich people in an office with a brown leather chaise in an affluent community, then nursing and social work are not for you.

    Study psychology instead.

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