Career switch - from 6 figure salary - page 6

Just wanted to share my situation for those of you who are thinking of changing careers -- you are not alone! I currently work in the IT field and make 108k a year (in NJ). I have a 5 month old... Read More

  1. by   nekhismom
    Talk to nurses in your area and see how "flexible" thier schedules REALLY are. And I mean talk to NURSES. Not recruiters, managers, etc. Talk to people who are at the bedside each and every day and see how they feel.

    I know I was promised loads of flexibility, the ability to continue my education and arrange my schedule around it, the ability to be able to travel half way across the country to see my family if I needed to, etc. i was promised self-scheduling. However, that was a huge lie. My schedule is set in stone. I can't switch days without getting approval, and that doesn't happen, because the people that are in charge always say, "well, if so-and-so can work ___ day to cover, then that mean's she's available. I'd rather have her come in so we wouldn't be short, so I'll offer her OT and incentive pay to come in extra rather than as a replacement for you." :angryfire Flexible scheduling is a lie here.

    As for per-diem, you must have experience first. You WILL NOT be hired right out of school to work whenever you want to work. You have to get experience, then MAYBE you can get a per-diem job. Lots of hospitals are not offering that option anymore. Agency is an option, but hospitals are trying to reduce the use of agency nurses too. Plus you need experience.

    As for the comment that nursing is paying top $$, I'd sure like to see that here. I make NOTHING. On paper, it looks like I make out ok, but in real life, I saw more of my $$ when I made $10/hr in customer service.

    Melly, if you really want to be a nurse because you want to be a NURSE, not because of the alleged "benefits" of nursing, then go for it. Otherwise, you may want to reconsider and perhaps look into another career. Best of wishes to you, whatever you decide.
  2. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from tj796
    ALL jobs on the planet have negatives - there is no perfect job and it is wrong to think that any job ever will be.
    We tend to forget this- the grass is always greener on someone else's lawn. I'm not saying it's easy, but imagine doing what you do 5 or 6 days a week (if you work 12 hrs). My best friends husband is in the Mortgage business. I recently learned how much $$ he's been making (I wanted to choke!!). The down side, he's not home until 10pm most nights, and does weekends when he needs to (you have to accomodate your clients schedules if you want to make the deals!!). The other down side of his job- he doesn't have a salary. He has actually gone weeks without a check.

    I don't think people who are entering the nursing profession think it's the "easy way out", as we nnurses make sure we prepare them for the reality.
  3. by   ltcdon
    Who says nurses cant make 6 figures??? I guess it all depends on what field you are in and how many opportunities have come your way. I have been a nurse for 14 years now and i am in the 6 figure range and there are a number of areas of nursing that one can explore to reach this figure.
  4. by   nekhismom
    Yes, ltcdon, it IS possible. But you said yourself that you've been in the field for 16 years. Some new nurses may have less time than that until retirement!!!
  5. by   Toby's mum
    Quote from melly06
    Just wanted to share my situation for those of you who are thinking of changing careers -- you are not alone!

    I currently work in the IT field and make 108k a year (in NJ). I have a 5 month old baby girl, who I only see for 1.5-2 hrs at night during the week, then on Sat and Sunday. That just isn't enough for me. I have decided to switch careers and become a nurse. I am going back to school in Fall. It should take me 2 1/2 years. If all goes according to plan I will take the boards Dec '06.

    I have been mulling over being a nurse for some time. The IT job just doesn't satisfy me. Though the $$ is great, I feel that if I have to be away from my daughter I should be doing something more rewarding and fulfilling. I must admit, the flexible hours are a huge draw as well. As a nurse I would work 2-3 nights a week, and be able to spend my days with my daughter -- no daycare necessary! Plus, NJ has lots of opportunities for nurses.

    I would like another child, but want to make sure I am at least done with my final class before giving birth. They would end up 3 yrs apart, but I don't want to risk not being able to finish school - especially with the investment we will be making (savings runs out after a year - so we are in for loans and any part time work I can get at night to try to make up some of the difference).

    We have a lot to work out, but I am taking it one semester at a time. I think going back to school to be a nurse takes 100% committment - but the good news is at least in the beginning I'll see more of my daughter going to school (taking Chem and Bio first semester) than I do right now working fulltime and commuting 1.5 hours each way!.

    Anyone who is in the same boat and would like support or has any questions, feel free to contact me!

    Dear Melly06,

    I commend your decision. Money is no match, and never will be, for spending precious time with your baby girl. There is no doubt there will be times you will miss that income and all that goes along with it. However, you will never miss the time away from your daughter and you will reap the wonderful rewards from watching her grow and develop.

    As for all the comments about nursing--and think before you jump type of thing-- I agree. Nursing certainly has its challenges that will be significantly different than your previous job--that doesn't mean you shouldn't or couldn't deal with them. They just test different muscles--and will force you to grow and develop. Plus the beauty about nursing is it can lead you in so many directions. You will be able to find a specialty that is just right for you--one you love. It may take a while, but it can happen. There is flexibility, mobility, good community, and look at this network, lots of continuing educational opportunities--basically it's up to you to fulfill your own goals.

    You obviously were very successful in IT. You can apply those same skills and smarts to nursing and the field will benefit from your contributions. This is one of the most challenging times in the healthcare field. Your knowledge and business instincts will be highly valued--you will just need to find the right place within the healthcare field to express them--and you will.

    Any new job/career will have its ups and downs. Don't get discouraged. Your decision is a good one that seems to feel right to you. Follow that instinct and trust it. You can do it and it will be worth it to see your little girl grow. Upon graduation, try and look at Magnet hospitals--these are the ones that are supposedly more nurse friendly with regard to scheduling etc.

    Good luck to you! Steph
  6. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from ltcdon
    Who says nurses cant make 6 figures??? I guess it all depends on what field you are in and how many opportunities have come your way. I have been a nurse for 14 years now and i am in the 6 figure range and there are a number of areas of nursing that one can explore to reach this figure.
    What do you do??
  7. by   ltcdon
    I am a Director of Nursing in Long Term Care. Long term care salary has gone up tremendously in the past few years for not only RNs but LPN and CNAs.
  8. by   JWRN
    Do what is in your heart, if this will make you happy, then go for it..making yourself happy is up to you, no one else will...not this kind of happiness, this is something that will make you feel good inside and that is a great reward....Yes it will be hard work, but after a year experience, you can work for agency or take a travel contract in your city, and make more money that way....As other posters have said, you will have to make sacrifices...Though I am not at the bedside anymore, I do miss it, I work with great NM's who are flexible with the schedules for their floors...Anyhow, good luck with you new career.....
  9. by   Bumpus
    I was making loads of money (>$100K) but very unhappy with my job as a Networking Systems manager. I worked with people that were driven very very hard to make objectives and would have sold their mother to make quota.

    Fortunately, three years ago (at 49 years old) I had a major heart attack followed by a cardiac arrest two weeks later. I was introduced to some of the best people in the world, caring nurses, during my lengthy stay in the hospital and rehab. I then got layed off from work and with the aid of the dislocated work program decided to make a career change into nursing.

    I sleep at night not having to worry about all of the fires at work. I work very hard but feel like my efforts help others. Unlike my old job. I work at a great place with some the the most remarkable people in the world. FYI, I am male and work with almost all females. It has made no difference what so ever - as everyone is professional. I have learned so much and feel accepted. None of this would have been possible without my wifes help, support and understanding.

    Think it through carefully. I was recently asked to return to my old job and turned down the offer. I decided the money was not worth it. I later told my wife about the offer and she agreed with my decision - stating she likes be alive and that the job would have killed me.



    Go for it. It worked for me but only because my wife is a great person.

  10. by   debx
    Go ahead and get your nursing degree. Try nursing for awhile and see if it works for you. You will have duel degrees which could make you more marketable. You can always go back to IT if you have to.

    I recently made the switch from Nursing to IT. I was a nurse for 22 years in all positions, Peds, ER, Med/Surg, Home Health, in management as well as staff. I found that the older I get the harder the physical labor was and I wanted to get into something less physically demanding. I got a degree in Computer Networking. I now work as a Patient Care Application Specialist in the IT Dept. at my hospital. I have the best of two worlds. I can still apply my nursing knowledge and I get to learn the IT aspect of the hospital system. I'm loving Monday-Friday. I actually have energy when I get home.

    Although I was sooooo ready to give up patient care, nursing if very flexible. If you burn out in Peds, you can go to OR. If you get tired of OR, you can go to Home Health. If you hate your boss in Home Health, transfer back to the hospital. Unlike many professions, nurses that move around alot are awesome because they have a wide variety of experiences.

    You have to do what's best for your family. They are more important than a job!
  11. by   Drysolong
    From reading the posts and talking with others, I see that there are many nurses who are in the wrong field. Perhaps, they chose nursing for the wrong reasons, or didn't understand exactly what they were getting into. I have just completed my first quarter of prequisites and can't wait to get into the actual swing of things. I am also changing careers.
    I am pretty aware of what I'm actually getting into, but my main concern is graduating and getting experience. I personally prefer working nights, holidays, weekends, 12-hours shifts that represent a 3-day work week. I am a wife and grandmother with the full responsibility for raising one 9-year old grandchild. I've found that time off during the weekdays is wonderful for me and my family.

    I know I am not going to like working with fellow employees who are difficult, condescending, etc., and that I may (will probably) run into this, but the rewards of patient care and working in a medical setting outweigh the various cons. It just depends on who you are and what you personally want to accomplish. With experience, I feel I'll be better able to choose nursing assignments that suit me to some degree.
  12. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from Drysolong
    I know I am not going to like working with fellow employees who are difficult, condescending, etc., and that I may (will probably) run into this, but the rewards of patient care and working in a medical setting outweigh the various cons.
    Difficult and condescending...what are you talking about :chuckle :chuckle . Isn't that wherever you go, regardless of your job? You are absolutely right about the rewards: as long as you find your niche, the rewards are tremendous.
  13. by   linfull
    Last year, I made the decision to return to school for nursing. I had never talked with a nurse or read much about nursing. I have always admired nurses and have a deep love for science, yet was always a bit squemish so I went into medical records. I was hoping our local college would be bringing their nursing program up to our town, but I was told it would at least a three year wait because the test scores at their other campuses were so low that their license was suspended. So....after reading all of the posts here for about six months, it has given me pause. I have learned that nursing is not a bed of roses (of course, not many jobs are). I have such a respect for nurses (especially hospice nurses) that I was under the belief that everyone felt the same way I do. I have learned otherwise!! I work from home as a medical transcriptionist (very little office politics, very few unhappy clients). Lots of flex time. I can make approximately $22.00 an hour on up depending on speed. I live in a small midwest town so that sort of money is good. The RNs at our LTC make approximately $18.00 an hour. I have no benefitis (husband does). No overtime. No holiday pay. I work every weekend. But... I am home every day. The company I work for is great. They believe very much in family. I must have all work turned around within 24 hours. They don't care if it is done the moment I receive the dictation or if I am done the 23rd hour. I also must be perfect. Those are the rules along with no gossiping and agreeing to help my fellow workers to become better at their job. My boss says, "I will not fire you for making a mistake. I could not look at myself in the mirror if I did that. But I will fire you if you are purposely hurting another worker." He is a wonderful man. I spend every holiday with my family. I may be up at 5 am and start typing, stop for presents and dinner and then type at night. I take my son to school every day and pick him up. I am involved in PTA and don't have to miss any school functions. I have wanted to work for hospice or LTC. I am beginning to think I can work from home and still do some volunteer work for hospice or LTC and satisfy that inner need for me to help people. I figure the next three years will be a good time to really think long and hard about going into nursing. I guess time will tell!!!