Going Nuts Deciding Whether to go to School

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I am 33 years old and going nuts debating whether to pursue my BSN degree. I am a motivated and hardworking individual with strong ambition, but I have a complicated life situation. I attained a B.A. in GIS after my college dropped its BSN program after my freshman year and I became quite ill after a viral infection. I spent most of my 20s very ill, and was eventually diagnosed with a form of dysautonomia. I have worked hard to regain my physical abilities!

I now live near a university that offers a 12-month ABSN degree and have been struggling whether or not to go back to school so I can help contribute more to my family and offer compassionate care to others as a nurse. It was my original career calling! I would need to retake all prerequisite courses due to the time span since I last completed them.

I am wondering about what career path options there would be for someone like me who is physically able, but lacking the hard-charging "spry" abilities I otherwise would have minus my lingering health issue. I spent the last several years studying nutrition and health coaching and took my boards to become a NBC-HWC. Unfortunately, though I can work from home, my current pay working with clients is just not enough long-term.

I would appreciate any guidance!

Dear Going Nuts,

Some people with dysautonomic disorders have mild symptoms, some have symptoms that interfere with daily life activities.

You say you have regained your physical abilities and just aren't as "spry". That sounds pretty good, plus you are 33. There are so many career options for someone at your age with your background.,

The tricky, challenging part is getting through the stress of school and then maybe working bedside for 1-2 years to qualify for non-bedside positions. There are also nurses who go straight into non-acute care positions that are less stressful

There are no guarantees with your health- your symptoms may reappear under stress, but then there are no guarantees for any of us. 

Your health is your most important consideration, but I say go for it. You don't

want to have regrets if you don't. Best wishes in your decision,

Nurse Beth

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 4,152 Posts

I don't know what a BA in "GIS" is:)  But think about medical technology if you have the science background.  Nursing is physically very taxing.. extemely physically taxing.  We often end up with back, shoulder and neck problems from lifting.  The patients are a lot bigger than they used to be.