Thinking of Nursing School

  1. hello.........I'm new to the boards, and have read several messages. I'm glad to have found this site. I have several college credits but no degree. Am considering nursing BSN so I can use some of my credits as electives. I'm 40 and need to start a career for myself. I have been volunteering @ a cancer hospital one day a week, and enjoy being with the patients. Would I be able to support myself & 2 children on a nursing salary? Now I waitress and average $30 per hr most of that tax free with no college degree. At this time in my life I need to find something with meaning I want to help other people, but at the same time be able to support a family. I know I will need a degree with several years experience but it seems like such a rewarding career. I was hospitalized twice for serious reasons, and the nurses were extremely wonderful, so it started me thinking.........I know money isn't everything, but I have a mortgage etc. Am I considering the right field? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you !
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    About melgrek

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 40


  3. by   Katnip
    It seems that salaries range from $16-$30ish, depending on where you live. You need to take into account too, benefits. Does waitressing offer healthcare, 401Ks and things like that?

    Can you raise two kids on a nurses salary? Depends on what your expenditures are like. It seems to me it's being done all the time by a lot of nurses, so I'd say yes. Just don't expect to drive a BMW.

    Yes, nursing is rewarding. It's frustrating and exhausting, but so is being a waitress. I think nursing will give you a much deeper sense of satisifaction.
  4. by   Cynthiann
    Wow, $30/hr as a waitress! I used to wait tables and would be lucky to make half that on a really good and very busy day.

    Like the previous poster said, wages all depend on where you live. In my area it's starting out at around $16/hour but I've heard in other areas with a higher cost of living, like in NY or CA, it's usually around $25. It's very possible to make more than that as you become more experienced.

    If you truly want to be a nurse then you are going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. Live much more modestly and reduce unnecessary bills. If you are worried about finances than I would suggest that you first fill out a FAFSA and then talk to someone at the financial aid office at the school you want to attend. If you will quit working or will just work part time let them know that at the financial aid office so you will get a much better financial aid package.

    Check out the student nurses forum, lots of people there who can tell you how they are currently supporting themselves through school, actually there is a thread on it right now.

    Let us know how everything works out and what you decide.
  5. by   purplemania
    Do you think you are at the top of the pay scale for the waitress job? If so, consider that in a few years you could be earning more as a nurse. Base pay for nurses varies--call Human Resources in a few facilities and ask about base plus differentials (for working nights, weekends, etc). Some dept. earn more, like Critical Care. I know nurses making >$80k
  6. by   MICU RN
    I know of no RN's making 80k a year who work just a 40 hour wk job. The average is more like 40-60K depending on experience. I tell anyone who is thinking about becoming a RN to go shadow some in an area they think they would like to work in. ANd yes, you can support yourself and two kids, but you wont be living the high life. I am doing right now and my wife is a stay home wife, however, money is always very tight and I am getting ready to go back to school so that I can increase my income potential.