MI Dental Hygienist Turning Nurse...the right decision?

  1. Hello!
    I am new to allnurses.com. I am a dental hygienist who is returning to school to become an RN in Michigan. I practiced hygiene for 12 years and am certified in local anesthesia. I was also a dental assistant for 6 years prior to that. I have two girls (ages 6 & 9) and was recently accepted into an ADN nursing program in Michigan. I start Pharmacology in May. I loved doing hygiene and loved treating patients. I am 37 and just now have decided to return to school for (hopefully) more opportunities in nursing and excitement (LOL). Everyday, I contemplate whether I am making the right decision to enter nursing because I am afraid I won't be able to find a job after graduation in MI's economy as a new grad nurse. For those of you who don't know, dental hygiene is very saturated in MI. I just hope I'm not in for a rude awakening. I would love to hear from any and all nurses and hygienists who have turned nurses in MI who may have any input! Thanks!
    Last edit by nerdymama on Apr 24, '13 : Reason: Would like to post thread in Michigan Nursing forum, not General Nursing
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    About nerdymama

    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 7


  3. by   portalhop
    Well, I'm not a dental hygienist, but my advice to you is this: look into externships while you are going to school. If you can, get a tech position in a hospital. Getting your foot in the door early is the best way to secure a career later.
  4. by   SopranoKris
    Congratulations! I'm also in MI and I'm starting my ADN program in the Fall (I'm in the Lansing area). I, too, am an older student (43) and a career changer

    When I was doing my phlebotomy externship at the hospital this semester, there were pages of RN positions available. I'm confident I'll be able to get a good job once I've finished school. I'm going to go on and finish my BSN at Michigan State when I'm done with the RN.

    Best of luck to you!!!
  5. by   nerdymama
    Thank you so much for the positive feedback! Portalhop, I have a question for you...what is the best way to get a nurse tech position in a hospital while enrolled in nursing school? And if I were to finally get one, how many hours would they expect me to work while in school? I have read that I can apply for tech positions after my first medical/surg rotation in my first year. I was thinking of just walking into the nurse recruiters' offices in school at all the local hospitals in my area and let them know I am interested before I even take med/surg so they know ahead of time. Maybe I could stay in contact with them through email once I finish. Is that a good idea? Or do you think they would laugh at me, lol? I would love to get a nurse tech position while in school! Any advice would be so appreciated Thanks!
  6. by   nerdymama
    SopranoKris, congratulations to you too! I will also be completing my BSN immediately after graduation. I plan to complete it at UofM-Flint, Eastern, or Oakland University (whichever will transfer the greatest number of credits to make it more affordable). Since you have worked at a hospital SopranoKris, could you tell me whether those RN position openings you saw were for experienced nurses, or are they really willing to hire new grads too? I have seen tons of RN positions as well on all of the hospital websites, however, I am never sure whether they are willing to hire new grads. I live in Livingston County and there are a number of hospitals and doctor's offices in my area. I am worried about the job market for new grads only because of what I have read on this site and heard from some experienced nurses I know who are working and complain about layoffs and hiring freezes. But I did read an article online on www.mlive.com about Michigan's employment outlook for new grads still remaining positive through 2010. They reported that new grads are being hired, however, it may not necessarily be the area of nursing they wanted at first. If that is the case, I can definitely understand that and don't mind, since I know I will have to start out at the bottom and work my way up! I have no complaints about not getting my first choice....I will just be happy to be a nurse, period. I really would love to be able to work at a hospital, however, so that I may have the opportunity to complete advanced certification training, etc. and become exposed to every area of nursing to see what I like best. SopranoKris, what career did you do before nursing? Did you work in a hospital? Thanks for any advice!
  7. by   SopranoKris
    Nerdymama, yes, hospitals do hire new grads. You have to think of your clinicals as a semester-long job interview. The hopsital where I did my externship is the teaching hospital. Many of the nurses were new grads. Seems like the majority of new grads end up in med-surg positions. I don't care what position I'm in. As long as it gets my foot in the door. You can always apply for another position after you have enough experience or transfer to another department once you're in.

    I'm a career changer. I worked in the corporate world for the past 17 years. I was laid off last May and have been going back to school since the first week of June. It's a BIG change for me. I was in banking management and was a corporate trainer for many years. One thing I know is I love training. So, I'd really like to become a preceptor once I'm done with my BSN. I had considered becoming a nurse educator, but there just isn't a good job market for it in this area and I can't relocate. My ultimate goal is to be a PA or NP. I'm still leaning towards PA after all the research I've done and looking at the job market, there are LOTS of PA positions in this area. Luckily, the pre-reqs for each program are similar. I figure once I've completed my BSN, I'll have a better perspective on which avenue I want to pursue.

    I had looked at UM-Flint to finish my BSN, but they require so many irrelevant classes (extra sociology, humanities, music, etc.) that it was actually cheaper to finish at MSU than UM-Flint. I would need far fewer classes to complete the BSN at MSU. They accepted many credits that some other schools would not accept (e.g. creative writing, foreign language, honors courses, etc.) They have a transfer agreement between LCC & MSU, so it shaves off a semester from the usual RN-to-BSN bridge. I'm excited about getting things started in the fall!!!

    Good luck to you!