Graphic Design vs. Nursing?

  1. I am 16 and going into my senior year of high school, and I want to go to community college to start school for either graphic design or nursing. Ideally, I would be able to take a few courses in each to see which I am more interested in, but there are too many prerequisites for nursing to do that, and I don't have the money for both. I've always been really pulled towards art and design and I have a talent for it, but nursing is something I would really love to do because of the nature of it, helping other people. It probably sounds cliche, but I am most interested in neonatal nursing. Also, graphic design means long hours working alone on computers while nursing would have much more social interaction. I've always had good grades, 4.0 gpa, but I have real trouble in math and chemistry. If I study hard enough I can slide by, but would this be enough in nursing school? I know I have a year to think about it and make a decision, but any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance.
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    About carrot_thief

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 17


  3. by   smk1
    not sure where you are from but my sister graduated from a community college in the portland oregon area, with honors and an award winning portfolio, and wasn't able to find a job anywhere. THe few jobs that were available went to designers with bachelors degrees. I hate to say go with the job with more security, but you do need to think about this. Find out from the companies around town what their hiring preferences and trends are. DO NOT take what your school says as law. They are a money making institution and may mislead you. Do your research and see what you come up with for both professions. Also if you still can't decide, maybe go for LPN (1 year course, mush shorter and cheaper than RN) and then go for your graphic design degree if you still want it. THis way you may find that nursing isn't for you, and you haven't spent too much time and money getting there, or you may find that it definitely is for you, and you want to put the time and money/effort into getting the RN degree.
  4. by   koan
    Even if it doesn't work out you're young enough to change to something else.
    Trust me there is nothign worse than being 50 years old and wondering "should I have gone for it?"
  5. by   hypnotic_nurse
    Volunteer at a local hospital or ask to shadow a nurse. This will allow you to see if it's work you would like.

    Whatever you decide to do, do it as long as you enjoy it...and when you stop enjoying it, it's time to do something else. You can have more than one career in a lifetime -- me, I'm good for about 10-15 years at any one thing.

    Oh, and I'm not good at chemistry either. You may never use it as a nurse. And the math you will use tends to be more in the algebra range than anything fancy.
  6. by   kae rn
    Wow, this hit me close to home! I am a nurse and husband is a graphic designer. We started on my salary, then he did well, now it is back to my responsibility as the primary income. If you want job security, go for nursing , but only if you like people. I would consider looking for a job at a large university hospital where you could go to school tuition free in any area, not necessarily nursing. Perhaps then you could get your graphic design degree and free lance on the side.
  7. by   carrot_thief
    thanks for the advice, it gave me more options to explore. It's also interesting because I am in the Portland, OR area and now I'm going to research the job availability for graphic designers after what you said.
  8. by   Chevelle
    Do not feel bad about the chem/math thing...I am TERRIBLE at chemistry & math. I have to work extra hard and end up with a "C". I agree with doing the volunteer work/shadowing. I did that and there is nothing like seeing it first hand.

    I wish you the best of luck! It is never to early to start thinking ahead! Good for you!
  9. by   SugarMagnoliaMom

    I was immediately drawn to your post!! We have a little in common.

    Here is my story: in high school I volunteered as a candy-striper at the local hosptial. It was literally, my favorite place to be. I remember being eager to arrive each time i was asked to help. I also remember, putting the nurses on pedestals. I admired them so much, and as an insecure teen I could not even look them in the eyes!! LOL I thought the nurses were far better then the doctors. There was just something I admired and longed to have. BUT, I just never, for some reason, for even a second - thought I could become a nurse.

    Well, I started college away from home, had a family emergency and returned to go to community college for one semester. Oddly enough I found a part-time job in the Dean of Allied Health's office. Then, I ran into my best friend from third grade, who was majoring in nursing. I was in awe of her, she told me it was very hard work, but what she felt she was being called to do. Every chance I had, I would walk through the nursing building, peek in on classes, admire the work. BUt STILL, it never occurred to me - to be a nurse.

    SOoooo fast-forward to graduation day- five years later I have a BA in Communications Journalism (concentration in Public Relations, with the goal of Desktop Publishing and writing), I get my first PR job through a temp agency - WHERE?? A HOSPITAL!! ROFLOL!! And following that, it just continued, I moved home to take nursing classes, and through a temp agency was continually placed in positions at hospitals!! LOL

    I will never forget the day I called my mom and said to her "Mom, I think I want to go back to school to become a nurse" her reply? "It's about time, I think that is the right plan!"

    So, always listen to your mother! LOL Could have saved me years!!

    I finally came to the realization that being a nurse was my calling. I have to do it. I may not be the best, I may not be the smartest, but it just seems that is home to me. I can honestly admit, I am terrified I will find I cannot handle it, because I just feel "this is it!" this is the life for me.

    I am also terribly challenged in Math and science. It took me three times to pass Statistics!

    So I DEFINITELY agree with everyone else, sign up as a hospital volunteer, make some nurse friends, and just see how it "feels." Are you someone who can tolerate working at a desk? or do you need to move around?

    You'll figure it out! You are blessed to be 16 and asking these questions! I am sure the answer will come to you soon!

    (I start school for nursing next fall! YAAAA - I am now 29, so I am a testament that you can always go back and change your mind!!)
    Last edit by SugarMagnoliaMom on Jul 15, '04
  10. by   Dixiedi
    Since you seem to be very interested in both, maybe you should consider which will provide better for you in the years to come.
    Graphic design is hot. Very hot. To the tune of the market being over-saturated with unemployed and underemployed graphic artists and tech schools and colleges are pumping them out faster than is believable.
    Nursing, on the other hand is in high demand, has been for the 30 years I have been a nurse and stats are telling us will remain so for at least another 30 (it was a much higher number than that, but I don't remember what it was.) It's not as "hot" as graphic design but it is one of the tried and true professions with more possibilities than nurses.
  11. by   smk1
    great advice here! follow your heart, but do your homework so you can minimize unpleasant suprises. good luck!
  12. by   zacsmimi
    great answers, good insight. Remember too that nursing is something that is very very broad, you can work in so many different areas...

    Ive worked in jails, for an insurance company, for a methadone clinic, in psych, in Labor and Delivery - yeah, even a little in NICU. Ive been teaching for 4 years coupled with being the school nurse. You will never get bored...

    Nursing makes money. Nursing job security is guaranteed. If you are a RN you can name your ticket... and even go back and do whatever you like in art later.

    I HATED Chem and Math. I got tutored all the way through and I dont think I use either of them - ever.

    Good luck
  13. by   carrot_thief
    Wow, you guys are great. I've never gotten so much wonderful advice and great responses from a message board before, thank you.
  14. by   carrot_thief
    Also, I have another nursing related question. Eventually, if I want to work with newborns, but not necessarily "high risk" newborns, what area would that be? Maternity, neonatal? I feel sort of clueless.