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Going from plumbing to nursing


I'm a 26 year old guy and i'm halfway through a plumbing apprenticeship program. I've been laid off twice already with no prospects of work in sight. everyone keeps telling me to get into nursing and that i cant go wrong in health care.

I agree, and seriously considered the nursing field years ago. Stereotypes and my youth made me shy away from it, and go for other things. Now i'm completely sick of this dead end industry. there's just too many plumbers and not enough work. I've reached a point in the apprenticeship that i only have to go to school at night once a month. I fully intend on finishing the plumbing program and getting my license, but I am going to go back to school starting this summer. Looking back about 7 years into the past, i realize that i am about 1/2 to 3/4 finished with an associates degree so i'm practically starting with nothing. Do you guys have any advice? I think i'd like to be an E.R. nurse, or do something in a fast paced environment. Id wanna do my best to avoid maternity and O.R. any pointers you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated.



Specializes in ER.

I say go for it and forget the stereotype. I have been a male all my life and "male" nurse for 8 years (sorry just a lil male nurse humor) and it has been the best career move i've ever made. Wish I would of went into the field at your age, then I could of done traveling nursing, what a great way to travel around the world and get paid for it. I'll have to wait until my kids are out on there own, and I can take my wife along. Remeber there are lots of attractive female/male (whatever ur preference) your age going into the profession. While I was in nursing school I got my share of male nurse comments or jokes from coworkers and even family members saying that it wasn't " the manly thing to do" but thats a bunch of b%$^^^^t. I got the last laugh. Would you believe 3 of those coworkers are now trying to get there RN. Im not saying nursing is easy but you can progress in the field and do some exciting things......I landed an ER new grad job. With my ER experience I landed a job and travel with the medical team that follows the pro supercross races throughout the US. I have a buddy who switch over from the Paramedic/Firefighting side and now is a flight nurse transporting patients all over the world. Due to cutbacks, you may not get that ER job you want right away but thats ok cause you will get there eventually and who knows you may end up hating ER and do OB or OR (my second choice). Goodluck.

i think i'm gonna do it. I truly feel i will want to eventually become an ACRN. i might wanna do work with the LGBT community as i'm one of their own. have you ever met a gay male nurse? how is it to be a double minority nurse?


Specializes in ER.

Im not sure what you mean about double minority,........yes I have worked with many gay nurses male/female and every one I have worked with were excellent nurses...ok maybe except for one, he was just annoying because he complained all the time about his work and how he wish he went into flight attending instead..........but of course being gay has nothing to do with being a good or a bad nurse. Whatever you do, Im sure you'll do fine

groovy jeff, RN

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU.

nursing is just like plumbing in that one of the first things you learn is to quit biting your nails! :D

go for it; but realize jobs are tough for new grads.

You are also intimately aware of one of the fundamental political rules of nursing: S_ _ _ runs downhill. :eek:

nursemike, ASN, RN

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro).

i think i'm gonna do it. I truly feel i will want to eventually become an ACRN. i might wanna do work with the LGBT community as i'm one of their own. have you ever met a gay male nurse? how is it to be a double minority nurse?

I know a few gay, and fewer Lesbian, nurses, and many more whose sexuality I don't know or need to know. I think you'll find nursing a more tolerant community than plumbing. Probably not as tolerant as it should be, but we are an educated group and are supposed to understand some things about growth and development and diversity, and I think a fairly high proportion do. I'm only "single minority," but I don't feel like I've experienced any discrimination for being male, and I haven't seen any gay males abused.

I don't mean to disparage plumbers, but I was a carpenter for 25 years and never met anyone in the field who was openly gay. I worked with more than a few who'd have given anyone who was a hard time.

a little late and not a RN yet, however I will be starting nursing school in the fall. I went to a vo-tech college and became a Pumber/HVAC guy right out of high school (type 3 universal certified). Did that manual labor thing for a few year and it sucked. I made decent $$ at the time for my age but my whole life consisted of attics and crawl spaces. A few years go by and now i feel back and knee pain (i have the weather knee to prove it) due to my small size and the demand of lifting and moving things that are way too heavy for my to lug up and under houses. RN seems like a sound thing to me. I really like learning and bio. Thins makes it just about perfect for me. Yes it will take some time and work, but it took my 2 years and 3 tries to get accepted into a nursing program (need to keep the grades up, it matters.. I dont think you would want anything less than a 3.5 gpa). Again, i will start the program in fall at the age of 27. Never to late to learn.


josh1974, LPN

Specializes in LTC/Subacute.

Dude, I did plumbing/hvac for a bit. I was in the Marine Corps for six years (infantry), was a farmer growing up, did a carpentry apprenticeship, got a BA in behavioral and social science and then became a nurse. No regrets here. We need more guys in the profession, cause being the only male nurse at my facility makes me the target of every single nurse, cna, 95 year old dementia lady, etc. LOL! Good luck.

have you ever met a gay male nurse?

***, the stereotype is true, i'd say around 33-40% (if not more) of the males i've know in nursing have "liked" a guy at some point.

being a male is generally a plus in nursing from getting a job to promotions.

I was a truck driver for about 6 years before I decided to go into nursing. I amputated part of my finger on the job and decided it was time to make a change in my career at age 28. I am now a CNA, and I am starting nursing school next month. I get a hard time sometimes about going into nursing but I don’t let it bother me. I have had a few old ladies refuse letting me be there nurse assistant but most people are cool about it. I enjoy my job much more than I did as a truck driver. I am planning on going on to become a CRNA and make 5 times the money I did as a truck driver. :smokin:

Go for it. I was in the automobile business first. Since High School I wanted to go into the medical field. Raising a family kept me out of school for a few years. When my kids got out of the house, I made the change. I will never regret it. I love it. One recommendation. Go CNA first. Get into a 3 month program quick and cheap. You will know if you like nursing or not. I worked as CNA through registry in the ICU, ER, Med Surge and Nursing homes. I am now an LVN. The thrills, sadness, satisfaction, stress. Oh my goodness, go for it. I am a male. Helps as CNA, as nurse, I don't think it matters too much. Do it because you want to help, not for the money. My opinion anyway. Good luck!!

Im in a fairly similar situation. Through my early/mid 20's i worked in construction and found it was extremely inconsistent. I had a degree in psych but was not using it because entry level jobs in psych did not pay nearly as much as i was making. I had every intention of going to grad school eventually. Then back in about 2008 the floor fell out of my job and i was forced to use my psych degree. I ended up in a hardcore mental hospital doing about 4 restraints per day and watching people get thorazine IM's all day. It sucked. I persevered and ended up being shift coordinator on the peds unit after only 8 months (there was a high turnover). I found that i envied the nurses. They sat in their little station writing notes and calling doctors and making $30 an hour while i was making $14 an hour and under much more stress. So instead of going to grad school i started nursing school last year at the age of 27. So far i have a 4.0 and im finding the academic work fairly easy. The main problem i ran into was that they did not accept students part time. I was about to buy a house, work full time, and attend school part time. But I ended up having to move back in with my parents (oh the indignity i feel like such a loser sometimes) because i can only work about 20 hrs per week max (more lke 16) and I cant support myself on that. Nursing school is a crap load of work ill tell u that. Be prepared to make major adjustments. And i have a few years experience working in an estrogen soaked environment at my psych jobs. At times it will rot your soul and suck the life out of you.


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