Nursing (free tuition) vs. OT (many loans)

  1. I've asked everyone that I know, so I figured maybe I should try to get some advice the nursing community. Here's my issue...long background needed (i think)...

    I'm almost 27 yrs. old have a B.S. in Special Ed., but decided I didn't want to be a teacher. Then I fell in love w/OT through my work at a school for kids with DD. I've also thought about nursing since before my first go round at college. However, the 5 aunts and my mom said stay away!

    So, I started taking prereq's. for an OT master's program in NY, then found out that my step-dad (a Vietnam Vet) is now eligible for a ed. benefit...FREE TUITION, but only in the state of Alabama...easy choice right? Find a school in AL for OT, well not exactly.... I didn't get into the school. And there's only 1 other program in the state...

    So, I decided I would bite the bullet and take out more loans for school I'm getting ready to move back to NY, go into more student loan debt (the program is 8 semesters).

    I applied to a A.S. program in AL (which was kind of my back up plan) and won't find out until after I'm back in NY. I don't really have a preference in either...I have more hands on experience working w/OT's and truly fasinated and passionate about the profession.

    Here's the curve ball. My mom has Stage IV Ovarian cancer and is on her 3rd round of chemo. She lives in AL. Being close to her is my priority, but I don't know if nursing is for me. Of course my mom says she wants me to do what I feel is the right path for me.

    Please any words of wisdom, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
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    About tencents

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 14


  3. by   crissrn27
    If OT really is your passion, I don't think you would be happy in nursing. If you just want to do something in healthcare, I would take a CNA course to kind of feel out that area. A CNA course is different than a nursing program, of course, but it would allow you to see some of that area. Then you could compare the two. I am so sorry about your mom, I hope she does well.
  4. by   barbyann
    I have a very similar background and I went the RN route. I wish I had gone the OT path instead. Nursing is much harder, physically and emotionally than I ever expected. OT is a much longer haul in school but once working you have the better of the two jobs. Your Mom would want you to make the right choice for you!
  5. by   natrgrrl
    I'm sure your mother would want you to do what you want to do, but I have to add that once your mother is gone, she's gone. Spend your time with her while she is here. I'm sure any debt you incur will be worth it. And if you want to do OT, talk to all the schools you can about financial aid. Find a hospital that helps pay for school and work there. Do a job shadow with OT and ask them if they have any advice about your situation.

    Good luck,
  6. by   I_am_Julia
    ot seems to bring a sense a joy to you. (well through your writing anyway). if that's what you want, go for it. you have had an opportunity to see what they do through your interactions in the schools and it will be somewhat different than working with adults in the same realm.

    regarding your mother, if she needs your care, please be there for her. ot school will be there. also, in some school districts, tuition reimbursement is available, so take as many pre-reqs as you can if they are paying. since you are sped certified, you can easily get a job anywhere.

    ot is a great profession and best of luck to you. sped will have you again as an ot if you so chose.

  7. by   huskersfan
    I would say go to ot school.. There are no similiarities in being a nurse or an ot.. and I agree with the other posts. Spend time with your mother and then worry about school.
  8. by   chuck1234
    I hope your mother is going to be ok after the 3rd chemo....I will pray for her..
    I think that you should spend time with your mom for now.
    It seem to me you are having a 2nd thought about OT....
    But I am not so sure if you really like nursing...
    Nursing Program is harder to get into...
    I don't know how to answer your question...
    Good luck.
  9. by   shellsincanada
    here in canada ot is much harder to get into then nursing.

    I say go with OT.
  10. by   Quickbeam
    I want to echo many of the prior posters that OT and nursing are only vaguely similar. My childhood best friend is an OTR, master's prepared. She really is a free-standing professional, doing school evaluations and treatments, billing out her services, contracting for her services with many area physicians. She'a a lot closer to, say, an accountant setting up his/her own shop than the typical RN who works in a more dependent setting. My friend also has total control over her schedule. However, she would be the first to say that there are not quite so many opportunities in OT as nursing.

    I definitely would not chose nursing unless you had a sense that being an RN was what you wanted.
  11. by   angel337
    i think you answered your own question. why do nursing if that's not what you really want??? if taking out student loans to be an OT means having a satisfying career, then that's what you do. i have alot of student loans for my nursing degree and it was worth it for me. if i didn't do it, i would still be working in retail/customer service for 9 bucks an hour.
  12. by   pkapple
    I would reapply to OT school, get a job, maybe take a pre-req or two and stay in AL near your mom.
    You don't say why you are going back to NY,other than you were taking pre-reqs there. If you don't need to be in NY why not try again for the AL programs???? If OT is what you want-don't go to nursing school-it is not even close to being the same.
    Trust me ONE YEAR out of your life to wait to get in school--for free-and near your mom--is not a big deal, and might even be a precious memory for you.

    Good Luck