Quit current career

  1. Would you advice anyone to quit current career if they are only making $40,000/yr with only 2-3% raises every year and start over as a nurse? Do you think there are more opportunities to move up the career ladder in nursing?
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    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 98; Likes: 29

    15 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    I would never advise anyone to quit their current career if they're happy in it.
  4. by   LadyT618
    In a nutshell, most definitely, but it all depends on what you're looking for in a career.
  5. by   Quickbeam
    My opinion...I changed careers and actually took a hit financially my first years as a nurse. 2-3 % raises every year would be fabulous...I've never gotten that in my 20 years in nursing. Nursing also happens to have a wicked wage compression where you tend to get a stagnant salary after a few years.
    To me the real question is, do you want to be a nurse? I'd not do it strictly for the money. It helps a lot if you like the work. There are a ton of options and some security but if you don't like the work, that's kind of like saying there are 5 million jobs and I don't want any of them. I know plenty of nurses who say exactly that.

    Best wishes to you!
  6. by   thomask
    Well if you are worried about taking a pay cut, fear not!!!! You will make more than you are now your first year out of nursing school. The possibilities for moving up are endless depending on what you want to do with your nursing degree. If you really think you want to be a nurse, there are hospitals that offer job shadowing with an RN. Call some of the larger hospitals in your area and ask about it. (before you quit)
  7. by   wugfun
    That is my situation almost exactly. I am going to school to become a RN to get out of my 40,000/year dead end desk job. I have done quite a bit of research and it seem like both the $$ and the opportunities are much better in nursing than in business. And the schedule seems much more conductive to raising a family, which I hope to do in a couple of years. However, you do have to face the 12 hr shifts and the high probability of working nights for a while. Do a couple online job searches in your area to see if there are jobs you'd be interested in.
  8. by   2bNurseguru
    Quote from wugfun
    That is my situation almost exactly. I am going to school to become a RN to get out of my 40,000/year dead end desk job. I have done quite a bit of research and it seem like both the $$ and the opportunities are much better in nursing than in business. And the schedule seems much more conductive to raising a family, which I hope to do in a couple of years. However, you do have to face the 12 hr shifts and the high probability of working nights for a while. Do a couple online job searches in your area to see if there are jobs you'd be interested in.
    Thanks for your support. My current co-workers who have been working for this organisation 20 years + are only making lower 50s. My problem right now is that where I live, nursing start at a lower pay than I am currently making-about $18/hour, so I would be taking a pay-cut, plus huge student loans and 2-3 years loss of pay (when I am in nursing school). I have a 3 year old and another one on the way and so I am really not sure what to do. I am in my early 30s.
  9. by   llg
    Quote from kikuyu
    Thanks for your support. My current co-workers who have been working for this organisation 20 years + are only making lower 50s. My problem right now is that where I live, nursing start at a lower pay than I am currently making-about $18/hour, so I would be taking a pay-cut, plus huge student loans and 2-3 years loss of pay (when I am in nursing school). I have a 3 year old and another one on the way and so I am really not sure what to do. I am in my early 30s.
    I can see why you are asking the question. After you pay for your schooling ... and for your living expenses while in school ... and for the interest on the loans you will take out to finance all that ... you might not come out ahead in the long run.

    You are going to have to sit down with a pencil and paper and actually do the math to figure out the purely financial aspects of your question. I suspect that you would not recoup your school expenses for many, many years. In the meantime, you could find ways to boost your income in your current line of work -- get a 2nd job part time -- etc. and come out ahead.

    Digging a hole for yourself financially at this point of your life is not a smart thing to do. By the time you finish school and work a few years to get a basic foundation of nursing experience, you will be approaching 40. Who knows what your life will be like, how your health will hold up, etc. by then? Also, you need to know that the route up the career ladder in nursing often involves additional education and/or working the unpopular shifts or relocating to another town. There are great jobs out there in nursing, but they don't plop into your lap the minute you get your RN. Landing those good jobs usually requires hard work, experience, and sacrifice.

    All that said ... if your heart is set on being a nurse because your life won't feel fulfilled without it, then by all means do it. It is possible and it can work out for you if you are willing to do what it takes to succeed.

    If you decide it is the right path for your life, I would thoroughly investigate every avenue available for financial assistance while you are in school. It's one thing for a 20-year old with no kids to take out a big loan: it's another thing for a mother in her 30's. A 20-year old can "live cheap like a college student" for a few years after graduation and pay back a lot of the money quickly, but that will be harder for you in your late 30's with 2 kids who will have needs. For example, check into the tuition reimbursement and scholarship programs at local hospitals. You might find one that suits your needs.

    Good luck to -- whatever you decide.
  10. by   Lilnurse0803
    Like other posters said, think about this before you make the move. Nursing is very difficult, demanding, yet it can bevery rewarding if you find your niche. You will definitely have to make some sacrifices with time and finances on the way, but if it's what you want, go for it!

    I am making a move in the opposite direction since I am leaving a well paying job to become a nurse. Obviously, money is not a factor in this career change since I am taking a $10k pay cut to start as a nurse in New York City. However,I know this is what I want to do. I am proudly giving away a cushy desk job, with loads of perks, client lunches and dinners because nursing is what I have wanted to do for years.

    Yes, there are many opportunities within nursing; you limit yourself. So, if you are ready to put in some long, hard hrs.and are willin' to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, come on down!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. by   HM2VikingRN
    do what you love and the money will follow......If you feel a calling to be a nurse then pursue your dream....I am and I am much happier....
  12. by   futurecnm
    only do it if you really feel the pull to become a nurse. It isn't for everyone and don't do it for money. If you would need alot of loans to pay for schooling, you have to figure out if it would benefit you. Only do it if you love it. If not, then find something you really want to do.
  13. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Just a FYI as you consider the temporary sacrifices for schooling -

    In my area you can go to work as an intern after one semester of a clinical nursing course. Basically in an ADN program this allows you to work 3 semesters as an intern. In my area interns are making $15/hr plus night & weekend diffs prn. A lot of the students work two 16 hr shifts on the weekend and support themselves that way. So..there may be opps to make a decent supplemental income as a student!
    As far as the $18/hr .. by the time you graduate it will probably be higher. New grad wages have gone up quite a bit since I started school (I graduate in < 1 month) I am in the south and it's gone up from about 18/hr to 20-22 hr depending on hospital..plus night and weekend diffs (up to 4.50 hr each..stacked...depending on hospital)
    If you don't need benefits (ie married and spouse has insurance) some hospital let you take full time without benefits. Again in my area that is up to 29/hr plus diffs (on night weekends a new grad can make $38hr) So...don't look at JUST the base..there are lots of ways to make more $ if you are willing to work the off shifts. After one year you may qualify to accept a weekender position if that is appealing to you... and you get paid 36 (or 40 depends on hospital) for 24 hr of work. Then if you want to work full time you can pick up another shift at another hospital for top prn pay...
    Now if you are strictly a weekday person then there is less $ to be found... but just to give you some insight.
    Also about those loans - many hospitals will pay those! Around here it's 250 month .. some have 10,000 limits and some pay on it as long as you work. Or you can sign a contract and let them pay for your schooling in exchange for agreeing to work for them after graduation.
    There are many unique opportunities in nursing that you just don't see in other occupations.
    I will admit when I chose nursing as my major I absolutely had ZERO calling to do it! But I decided I wanted to go to school and get a "career" and I liked the flexibility nursing offered so I decided to try it. Now here I am about to graduate and have found I truly enjoy it. I love my patients and they love me. I never thought I was a "caring" person but I never had the satisfaction that comes with helping a person feel better and providing care and comfort and reassurance when they are sick and scared. I've even grown accustomed to some of the more less appealing aspects I NEVER thought I'd be able to deal with lol (although I admit when my respiratory pt was wretching today I did have to take some deep breaths not to join in lol)

    I hope you are able to make the best choice for you! No one can tell you but you!
  14. by   NPs4health
    Quote from Quickbeam
    My opinion...I changed careers and actually took a hit financially my first years as a nurse. 2-3 % raises every year would be fabulous...I've never gotten that in my 20 years in nursing. Nursing also happens to have a wicked wage compression where you tend to get a stagnant salary after a few years.
    To me the real question is, do you want to be a nurse? I'd not do it strictly for the money. It helps a lot if you like the work. There are a ton of options and some security but if you don't like the work, that's kind of like saying there are 5 million jobs and I don't want any of them. I know plenty of nurses who say exactly that.

    Best wishes to you!
    I agree with Quickbeam, job security isn't the biggest thing, the biggest issue is whether you think you will like living the life of a nurse. For example 12 hr shifts, evening shifts, organization, dealing with working from different patient rooms, not having your own workspace but having to share with your fellow co-workers, working as a team (which can be troublesome if you have nurse aides or secretaries who are reluctant to help) There are many pros and cons to consider. Even if there are tons of jobs out there, but you don't like doing it then who cares about job security? Nursing is not easy, so do it only if you think you will like it, not because of the pay or the job security.

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