Nursing as a Second Career - Advice Please

  1. I am thinking about changing careers and becoming a nurse. I would really appreciate anyone's feedback on what are the great things about nursing and what are the bad things on nursing.

    Also, I am trying to understand how to map out the next few years before committing to a career change.
    I have a BS in Psychology and BFA in Design. After practicing as a nurse for a few years, I would like to transition into becoming a nurse practitioner or crna and am not sure how to move forward with choosing the correct programs.

    Should I be looking into another bachelor's program, accelerated nursing program, local community college, or online program?

    Does the reputation of my nursing program affect my chances of getting into a master's program?

    Thank you for your time!
  2. Visit ysin profile page

    About ysin

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 17

    7 Comments

  3. by   Whispera
    Nursing is my second career...the same is true for many...welcome to the club!

    Good things are a certain degree of autonomy (especially if you become an advanced practice nurse), mind-stretching all the time, and seeing that something you do for someone helps make him or her better...

    Bad things include having too many patients to do your job well, intense emotional stress when people are angry or upset, heavy physical work, and management that doesn't see things realistically....

    Since you already have 2 Bachelor degrees, I'd say you'd be a good candidate for an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Even if you don't go for an offical accelerated program, I bet lots of the courses you've taken will apply, especially if they aren't more than 10 years old. Talk to schools in which you have an interest, to see what they offer, what they require and what they will accept from your past schooling.

    It's important to go to a reputable school, but you don't have to go to an expensive school. I have a bias against online schools, since I don't believe you have clinical supervision that you get through an in-person school. There are many community colleges that have good reputations, but some that aren't worth your time or money. I got my BSN from a local branch of Indiana University. It is a great school. You MUST go to a school that is accredited. Not all are accredited. If the school IS accredited, it will be in their literature because it's important, and something they're proud of (and they know people are looking for it) It's unlikely you could get into graduate school without a bachelors in nursing from an accredited school. Also, you have to become certified after grad school, in order to practice, prescribe, and bill for your services, and that requires schooling at an accredited school.

    Good luck! It's a big decision!
  4. by   birdgardner
    Don't unless you can pull up stakes and move. There is no nursing shortage. New grads are having a very hard time now.

    If you do, go the cheapest route. Take your time, wait for the economy to recover, work as a tech or unit secretary while going to school so you have a better chance at being hired by people who know you.
  5. by   jazz_is_my_game
    Hi ysin.

    I think nursing is a good idea. Just because the economy is bleccchh now...it doesn't mean it would be bad in 2/3/4 years when you graduate.

    I have other academic degrees, like you. I went the traditional BSN due to my location. It goes fast I don't know where you live, but it is up to you, your financial situation, and the type of program. I don't know about online programs...never looked into those (plus I know anything online is $$), so check out your local programs and decide what is best for your personal situation.

    Also, don't forget to research state, local, and hospital scholarship help!

    Oh, and the reputation of the nursing program has nothing to do with getting into a master's program - it's all about your performance. What's in a name? lol.

    Good luck with your decision
  6. by   ysin
    Thank you for your responses! And I will take all into consideration. I was concerned that the demand for nurses has decreased. I have heard both sides of the fence where there is a shortage or nurses and a surplus of them. Are recent graduates not finding work similar to other professions?
  7. by   ysin
    Thank you for the advice! It is a big decision and I want to make sure that this is the right path that I need to go down. I hope you don't mind, but why did you choose to change careers and go into nursing?

    Thanks.
  8. by   Whispera
    My reason for changing careers....I was an elementary school teacher before my kids were born. I quit working while they were toddlers. When I went back to it, there weren't any jobs, so I went back to school in nursing.

    As for the nursing shortage. I believe there IS a nursing shortage, and it will continue to grow as the baby boomers start needing more and more care. The problem is, employers aren't hiring even though they need staff. Budgets won't allow that, even though they may be building buildings. In my career I've seen many ups and downs in hiring. I think that will always be the case.
  9. by   ysin
    thanks Whispera!
    I have been reading a lot of comments and am trying to set up informational meetings with nurses in my area. I am going to volunteer at one of the hospitals in my city. Just so I get a little sense to if I like it or not. Hopefully I'll find someone I can shadow there too. And I am trying to coordinate times to meet with the department chairs to ask more questions. Thank you for your insight on nursing!

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