Previous Career Measure of Success as 2nd Career Nurse?

  1. I am curious - there is an inordinate number of former flight attendants in my pre-req classes at a community college who wish to pursue nursing. I also see many former IT folks on the board here.

    I originally majored in nursing as an undergrad before I was diverted from the field by well-meaning medical professionals. They were wrong and I'm pursuing the field again, many years later. I was always interested in nursing as a profession. Therefore, I wonder:

    1. What is the motivator for people who had no prior interest in medicine?
    2. Do these people stay in the field or eventually drop out?

    I really am curious and would love to hear from all about how these people eventually perform on the floor. Thank you!
  2. Visit KristinWW profile page

    About KristinWW

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 464; Likes: 20


  3. by   bukko
    Quote from KristinWW

    1. What is the motivator for people who had no prior interest in medicine?
    2. Do these people stay in the field or eventually drop out?

    I really am curious and would love to hear from all about how these people eventually perform on the floor. Thank you!
    My motivation was unemployment. I had a good-paying job as a newspaper reporter in Florida until the Tampa Tribune decided to close my bureau during the recession we had the first time our country was in a war with Iraq. (Deja vu, anyone?)
    What was advertising for help in the midst of bad times? The medical profession! I found I could go to what amounted to one year of trade school, become an LPN, and have a job anytime, anywhere. With agency work and/or overtime, I could make as much as I did with a four-year college degree and 10 years of journalism experience.
    Did I stay? Twelve years and an RN degree later, yep. It's not just about the money, either. I make a point of being darned good at whatever I choose to do, and I believe my patients feel the same way.
    I too have noticed laid-off computer people among the nursing students training at my current hospital in California. Here's hoping they are as good at the human touch as they were with keyboards.
  4. by   oramar
    My younger brother went to LPN school in 1988 as result of the collaspe of steel industry. He is still workinbg at it 15 years later. My youngest brother has been laid off from his his job in communications industry for nearly a year. I heard my LPN brother telling him he should go to nursing school.
  5. by   suzanne4
    When I used to fly United Airlines to Asia all of the time, many of the flight attendents were actually current or former ER nurses. We used to have some good laughs together..........
  6. by   orrnlori
    I may be in the minority but I don't think that being a nurse requires a "calling" to the field. I was simply tired of doing what I was doing and wanted to do something different. I spent a year researching options and found I had no interest in computers, grads with business degrees were a dime a dozen and after looking at the government's studies on careers for the future, nursing was right up there near the top. So I chose it. But it's not for everyone. Still if you were successful in other careers there's no reason you wouldn't be successful in this one providing you find your niche. Had I remained a trauma nurse, I would no longer be a nurse at all. Got to find that niche.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The only "calling" I Had was the desire to have a good outlook for long term employment at a job where I felt I made a difference. I hate that people feel we must be "called" to nursing to be any good at it. It's just not true. I am an excellent nurse with great compassion and pretty decent clinical skills after nearly 7 years. I love what I do but know a big part of the reason why is I am secure in it.......I will not be without a job unless disability occurs. I feel good about that.

    IF you are willing to work hard, and I mean HARD, and have integrity, and reasonable intelligence and the interest/drive to be a nurse, to me, that is MORE than good enough to want you among the ranks. It's up to you!!!!

    Signed: "USAF enlisted" --------------NO medical experience and NO sudden revelations I needed to be a nurse as a higher calling).
  8. by   CherryRN
    I wonder what makes nurses become flight attendants and vice versa?????????

    The jobs are nothing alike.

    Well, not really.

  9. by   Anjann
    It's funny that you make that observation, because my Director of Nursing said she originally (35 years ago) wanted to be a flight attendant and it was the quote "coffee, tea, or sleeping pill" component that attracted her to nursing. I of course scoffed at that, because we are so much more than that, but I guess if you have time to bring a patient a cup of coffee, more power to you.

    My class was full of IT converts, including myself. The bottom line was simply that there is no security in the IT field and that the critical thinking necessary in the IT field often but not always, translates well into the critical thinking component of nursing school.

    Does that mean that a person should be a nurse just because they can? Of course not, but IMO our field just like any other is full of people that both genuinely care or don't care about what they do.
  10. by   Sensoria17
    Good thread.

    I've never had a calling either. I spent 13 years working on a BA. Nothing felt right. I started out majoring in accounting. After either failing or barely passing all my business classes, I finally accepted that this wasn't for me. I had zero interest in it. I then changed my major to Sociology and thought I would go into social work and finally did get my degree in that major. After thinking long and hard before persuing further education, I decided all I really wanted was good pay and job security. Nursing is one of the few jobs that provides both. Now I'm enrolled in an LVN program. After that I'm going to go for a BSN either through ISU or University of Phoenix in Modesto, CA (they have a fairly new LVN-BSN program). I swear, one of these days I will be done with school!
  11. by   HeatherB,CST
    I was a hairstylist for 10 years, and I've noticed quite a few stylists who've become nurses. There are some similarities, the hands-on dealing with people, the long days on you feet, the need for patience...I think many of these people just wanted turn their contribution "up a notch", if that makes sense. That's kind of my reason. The health insurance and paid overtime doesn't hurt either!
  12. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    You can add me to the "looking for job stability" column. I'm sick of having companies go under and then needing to relocate in order to find work.
    Last edit by ♪♫ in my ♥ on Aug 29, '08