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Help! Desperately seeking advice before I turn my life upside down!

Pre-Nursing   (2,057 Views 20 Comments)
by Tempest626 Tempest626 (New Member) New Member

187 Visitors; 2 Posts

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I can't stop thinking about becoming a nurse, but this is insane for a few reasons and I can't talk to any of my friends or family about this, so here I am, begging for advice from those who might understand.

First, the reasons that this impulse to be a nurse is totally insane: I am 30 years old, I already have three degrees (a bachelors and two masters), I just spent two years going through a difficult and demanding program to become an English teacher, I am in debt and the whole reason I went into the teaching program was so I could get a job right away and start earning some real money, my family already thinks I'm a direction-less child that can't seem to get out of school and do anything productive, I can no longer get any kind of fin aid, I am supposed to be looking for a teaching job, I feel like I am way to OLD to be doing this!

The reasons I want to be a nurse: I love taking care of people; for as long as I can remember I have had this impulse to take care of everyone (sometimes to the point of ignoring myself); While doing my student teaching one of the students hurt her knee and came into the classroom in a wheelchair, the few minutes I spent helping her in and out of the chair, and getting her foot propped up was more fulfilling (on a deep soul-searching level) than any time I spent at the front of the room teaching, I HATE teaching kids who would rather be on snapchat and who are 10000% clueless about the world around them; I feel like this world needs a lot of help and healing, I want to be part of that; I could travel and help people all over the world, The idea of going into the classroom everyday makes me want to jump off of something very tall, the idea of going to a hospital everyday sparks something deep inside of me that wants to learn everything and help everyone, The idea of going to a conference to learn about how to be a better teacher sounds deeply boring while going to a medical conference sounds like Disney World, I think I want to be a teacher for the wrong reasons, I think I want to be a nurse for the right reasons

Sorry for the long post and I hope this shows a bit of my dilemma and please, any current nurses or nursing students, HELP! Am I crazy? Should I pursue this or should I just go be a teacher and stop thinking of all of the ways my life could have gone? Or am I finally figuring out what I really want?

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336 Visitors; 22 Posts

Oof, doesn't seem like there is really a "right" or "wrong" answer here.

How long ago did you graduate, and how much time have you spent teaching? Do you believe that your debt load is contributing to your disenchantment with your career choice? Is teaching (not sure if this is a dumb question, I'm not the right person to ask) the only thing that you are eligible to do with your various degrees? Have you seen a career counselor (perhaps at your university that you graduated from) to explore options? Surely you aren't the only graduate that has felt this way. There could be possibilities out there that you just aren't aware of.

I don't think you sound "directionless", I think you sound like you love helping people, but you just don't know HOW you want that to look like. I'm not saying nursing ISN'T for you, but I'm thinking you should take a step back and see what's in your toolbox and what you have to offer the world before you put yourself through more debt and a few more years of education. Depending on how much debt you have, I would recommend getting that debt load down/saving up before you jump into a program.

I am going to say right now that you are NOT old to enter nursing. I'm 28 and just beginning my program. Many in my cohort are younger, but most are my age and older, up into mid 40's. You aren't late to the game. We will be here! Career change students bring a LOT of experience with them that can be helpful in their education. Don't worry about that. FWIW, a lot of nurses I shadow on the floor share their experience of their education with me, and many of them went back to school as a second career/went for the first time after children grew, etc.

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187 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thank you for your comment! Sadly my degrees are a bit useless (A BA in creative writing, Masters in English and Communication and a Masters in teaching). I just graduated this past semester and I have not had my own classroom yet. I had a feeling it was the wrong place for me from day one but I did not think I had any other options. I figured I would suffer through it and hope it would grown on me, it didn't, I feel no pride or connection to the profession and sitting in a room of teacher-candidates makes me feel like a liar because these people really WANT this and I just do not. I did it because the program was there and I was already enrolled at the school. I wanted to be a college professor and I figured that my love of books and learning would translate to the secondary classroom (it doesn't). Can I ask what made you want to go to nursing school?

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direw0lf has <1 years experience as a BSN.

26 Likes; 10,326 Visitors; 1,023 Posts

"I HATE teaching kids who would rather be on snapchat and who are 10000% clueless about the world around them"

Definitely spend some time shadowing a nurse FIRST then, do yourself a favor!!! Because you will get patients who are what they call "non-compliant" and very similar to the kids who are 10000% clueless. Only you will still get them their turkey sandwich with a smile. If that bothers you, you'll be burned out real fast.

You wrote that your family sees you as a "directionless" child. Do you see yourself as a child? I am not trying to dissuade you from nursing. That comment just stuck out. If you don't want to be a teacher because you can not come to terms with kids on their snapchats, and think that nursing is going to be more fulfilling or different because you can take care of someone, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed again. My advice is don't jump to anything. Get involved in the field first - shadow, volunteer, patient observer, CNA...talk to nurses in person, watch them in person.

"The idea of going to a conference to learn about how to be a better teacher sounds deeply boring while going to a medical conference sounds like Disney World"

Why? What do you think they learn in a medical conference? What do you see as the role of a nurse? There is a meme about how society views nursing, how your friends view nursing, etc then how nursing really is. (search google images for "what nurses do" if interested) anyway the point was that you might have this idea but it might be a little bit sugar coated from real life.

And I think while you explore nursing, it would only benefit you to try and change your feelings finding a teaching job. Instead of thinking about how you dread it, you can look at it as a learning experience and be open to it. Like tell yourself "This is where I am for now. It might be temporary if I want it to be. But I'll make the most of it now". It won't feel as bad if you think about it that way, because for now, you are in fact a newly graduated teacher.

Edited by direw0lf

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience and works as a Nursing Faculty.

49 Likes; 3 Followers; 63,683 Visitors; 7,496 Posts

Well, here's the thing OP. you have an immediate need to get employed and start working on those loans. Looking at the degrees you currently have, I feel safe in saying that you have probably got a couple years of pre-requisite coursework in the sciences ahead of you.

Find a teaching job and at least TRY using your current degrees. WHILE you are doing that, get a weekend gig to pay down those loans and start chipping away at your sciences.

One of two things will happen. Either you will find you DO enjoy teaching- in which case you've take a few extra science courses and, while unnecessary, is not the worst thing. OR- you will confirm your bias against teaching, but you will be able to show that you at least tried AND you will be progressing toward nursing.

I heartily, 100% agree with shadowing a nurse. I think you have no CLUE what the actual work entails. At least find out before you change your path.

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1,048 Visitors; 41 Posts

Hahaha, are you me? I also have a BA in Creative Writing and two MAs, and want to leave teaching for nursing. (I actually love teaching, but I teach college students--and without a PhD I'll never get a full-time job, and may not got one *with* a Phd, so I may well be stuck doing adjunct work until my 80s, with crappy pay and no benefits.) I'm in my 40s, though!

In my opinion--and I know you asked real nurses, not me--you'll *never* stop thinking of all the ways your life could be different, and you'll always wonder why you didn't pursue nursing. I say: Give it a shot. Maybe it's not what you think it is; maybe you'll hate it. But you'll never know unless you try it.

Stop worrying about what other people think or what your resume will look like and all that trivial stuff. Don't quit your day job yet, but volunteer in a hospital or clinic, take a prerequisite class or two, and research the nursing programs near you. Maybe get trained as a CNA!

You seem to think that once you make a decision, you can never go back. That's not true. You have your teaching education, and if you try out nursing for a few years and it doesn't work out, go back to teaching! Or get a job as a medical writer, or hey, try out law school. In America there are always second chances... and third chances... etc... GOOD LUCK!

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bgxyrnf has 10 years experience.

5 Likes; 10,636 Visitors; 1,208 Posts

The reasons I want to be a nurse: I love taking care of people; for as long as I can remember I have had this impulse to take care of everyone (sometimes to the point of ignoring myself)
IMO, a lot of nursing burnout comes from attitudes like this. It is a hard job and quite often thankless. And you often can't provide the kind of care which really is needed because of the constraints of the job... and quite often, the patients don't really want the care that you're providing... and many of them have no interest in taking care of themselves.

I HATE teaching kids who would rather be on snapchat and who are 10000% clueless about the world around them
Then you really have no business being a teacher. I don't love nursing by any means, and my wife doesn't love teaching by any means, but neither of us HATE it and we're both very dedicated to doing our jobs to the best of our ability. If you can link the words HATE and teaching, please do not get into a classroom. The job is far too important for that.

I feel like this world needs a lot of help and healing, I want to be part of that
Well.... there are a lot of impediments to "help" and "healing" in nursing, and I personally wouldn't make a drastic change in search of something so ephemeral.

I could travel and help people all over the world
I suppose you could... but it's pretty tough to find employers willing to provide so much time off and it's pretty tough to do what you describe without the money to support it.

The idea of going into the classroom everyday makes me want to jump off of something very tall
Please, please do *NOT* get a teaching job.

the idea of going to a hospital everyday sparks something deep inside of me that wants to learn everything and help everyone
I suspect that's because you've spent very little time seeing the reality of working in a hospital.

I don't know what you should do. You certainly should *NOT* be a teacher. Whether nursing is the right path is debatable because it's not at all clear that you understand the reality of what nursing entails and the realities of the job.

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lindseylpn has 12 years experience and works as a LPN.

8,246 Visitors; 420 Posts

Have you possibly thought of becoming a special education teacher? You'd still get to use your teaching degree but, you'd get to see a little of the nursing aspect as well teaching children with disabilities. It may be a more rewarding path for you without giving up your teaching degree or your feeling of wanting to help the sick/disabled. I know someone who is a special education teacher and she works alongside several aides and a school nurse in the classroom. In my local school system the special education program starts at age 3 and they can attend till age 21 so, you could choose to teach younger children, teens or even young adults with special needs. My friends little boy that has cerebral palsy will be starting the program this fall at age 3. Sorry to throw a 3rd option into the mix (lol) but, it could be something to consider?

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chacha82 has 3 years experience.

13,171 Visitors; 613 Posts

"I just spent two years going through a difficult and demanding program to become an English teacher, I am in debt and the whole reason I went into the teaching program was so I could get a job right away and start earning some real money, my family already thinks I'm a direction-less child that can't seem to get out of school and do anything productive, I can no longer get any kind of fin aid, I am supposed to be looking for a teaching job, I feel like I am way to OLD to be doing this!"

If you are in debt right now, don't go into more debt to become a nurse. 30 is not to old to become a nurse, but it is unwise to keep racking up debt at any age. Why not teach full-time for awhile, take some pre-reqs (that you pay in full up front for, not borrowing more money) and see if after a year or two you still want to become a nurse?

If you feel like you can't stop going to school, don't sign up for more school. Stay in the working world for a bit and see how you feel. At least you'll be in a better financial position if you do ultimately decide to change careers.

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FutureNurseInfo has 1 years experience.

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Hi there! Let me first tell you that some of what you described partially resonates with me. I am as well 30 year old, possess two degrees and I am a teacher!!!! Unlike you, though, I do enjoy teaching the kids, but I am leaving this profession due to overwhelming amount of paperwork, being blamed for everybody's mistakes, parents only willing to procreate but not educate, teachers expected to do more and more with less and less time given, constant evaluations etc. Even though you having obtained 3 degrees and now thinking of getting yet another one is rather alarming. I can understand your parents and your friends. However, ultimately, it is your life: whether you are making it better or worse, you will be the one to suffer through it. I just want to tell, though, from your post it seems like you are too impulsive. Please, think through it all twice, three, four times before you make a final decision to pursue nursing. Think about how you will financially support yourself while in school and how you will be able to pay for your tuition since you maxed out all financial aid possible. Also, try to volunteer at a hospital for a while and see if you truly like the atmosphere. I would very much hate for you to get into it, and hate it later on. If you do still decide to move forward with nursing, work as a teacher for a few years and try to save up as much as possible so you can support yourself while in school and pay for tuition.

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience and works as a Nursing Faculty.

49 Likes; 3 Followers; 63,683 Visitors; 7,496 Posts

Hi there! Let me first tell you that some of what you described partially resonates with me. I am as well 30 year old, possess two degrees and I am a teacher!!!! Unlike you, though, I do enjoy teaching the kids, but I am leaving this profession due to overwhelming amount of paperwork, being blamed for everybody's mistakes, parents only willing to procreate but not educate, teachers expected to do more and more with less and less time given, constant evaluations etc. Even though you having obtained 3 degrees and now thinking of getting yet another one is rather alarming. I can understand your parents and your friends. However, ultimately, it is your life: whether you are making it better or worse, you will be the one to suffer through it. I just want to tell, though, from your post it seems like you are too impulsive. Please, think through it all twice, three, four times before you make a final decision to pursue nursing. Think about how you will financially support yourself while in school and how you will be able to pay for your tuition since you maxed out all financial aid possible. Also, try to volunteer at a hospital for a while and see if you truly like the atmosphere. I would very much hate for you to get into it, and hate it later on. If you do still decide to move forward with nursing, work as a teacher for a few years and try to save up as much as possible so you can support yourself while in school and pay for tuition.

I hate to burst your bubble, but nursing has all of this IN SPADES plus the added bonus of people die when we make mistakes.

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Infection Preventionist/Nurse Epidemiologist.

250 Likes; 7 Followers; 32 Articles; 125,607 Visitors; 12,817 Posts

I hate to burst your bubble, but nursing has all of this IN SPADES plus the added bonus of people die when we make mistakes.

THIS. The grass really isn't greener. At least get some shadowing in and see the grass for yourself.

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