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I'm thinking about a career change and need advice. CPA to RN (Male)

CPAtoRN? CPAtoRN? (New) New

Hello everyone.

I have been thinking about a career change the last few months and this site has been a wealth of information.

About me:

28 year-old Male

BA Economics, University of Michigan

Master of Accounting, University of Southern California

CPA License

Work for a Big 4 accounting firm as an external auditor

Let me start off by saying that I don't like my current job. I just don't find it interesting or fulfilling in any way. This has led me to explore many different career options moving forward.

I would have a much higher income ceiling if I stuck on the path I'm on, but I know I would be unhappy with my day-to-day life.

The benefits of nursing that appeal to me:

1) Helping People (some sense of satisfaction or purpose)

2) Work-Life Balance

3) Decent Money

1) In my current job, I know I don't make a real difference. It is impossible. How can analyzing the accounting and financial statements of companies ever give anyone any personal satisfaction? I have zero passion or appreciation for it. The only thing that motivates people in my industry, that I can tell at least, is making money. Zzzzzzzz. Wake me up when something interesting happens...which will be never. As a nurse, I feel like I would at least be making a small difference in someones life some of the time.

2) It is hilarious to me that firms in my industry promote their "Work-Life Balance" initiatives. There is no balance. It's all work. Most of the year we are working at least 50 hours, and often many more. Even if I'm not at work, there is always something to finish up or plan for. There is just a lot of stress because there is always more to do that can be done. In nursing, it seems like many "full-time" positions are 3-12hour shifts. That seems like the most amazing thing in the world to me. I know it is tough work on your feet and can be stressful, but 4 days off a week would more than make up for it IMO. It would leave me plenty of time to have a life outside of work. I'm kind of pondering the whole...am I working to live or living to work...philosophy. I'd rather work to live.

3) The pay is pretty decent. It is certainly enough to have a decent way of life. I grew up pretty well-off so I have no burning desire to live the good life. That doesn't motivate me. There are certainly a lot of options for advancement and grad degrees...I would certainly take advantage of one of those avenues. I don't need to be rich.

I would enter one of the accelerated BSN programs for students that already have bachelors degrees. This would require me to take approximately 6 prereq classes to get in the BSN program, maybe a couple more depending on the program. I am thinking I would move back to Michigan (where I grew up) from Los Angeles and take advantage of one of the programs there (maybe U of M). I am kind of over LA and want to get back to my mid-west roots.

I could not pursue the prereqs to gain admittance to an accelerated BSN program while working at my current job. The hours are too long and unpredictable, including weekends once in a while. There is no way I could make it to class regularly unless it was always at 10PM...and even then sometimes I wouldn't be able to make it. I can't tell my employer...oh yeah, on Mondays and Wednesdays I have to be at class at 6PM. It's not an option.

I would have to get a new job that has predictable hours where I could take night classes to get the BSN prereqs. I am thinking of trying to find an accounting job in Michigan to make this happen and then I would be able to pay in-state tuition to my BSN program.

As you can see, I'd have to be pretty certain that Nursing is what I want to do before I put the wheels in motion of looking for a more reasonable accounting job in Michigan.

There are some things that concern me about nursing:

1. A stigma of men in the profession, both in my personal and professional life

2. Cleaning up poop (please excuse the bluntness) and giving sponge baths

I am pretty sure I can mentally deal with the Greg, RN (Meet the Parents) type of comments or opinions. I hope it wouldn't matter to women, but if it does, then I wouldn't want to marry her anyway...right?

I'm also sure I can get over the more undesirable parts of the profession, such as cleaning poop. That is something RNs are responsible for right? Or do LPNs or Nursing Assistants do more of that?

Any who, I am open to any and all advice. I am especially interested to know if nurses are generally happy with their careers. I can tell you that most people at my firm openly complain about it and we have extremely high turnover. Your view of the work/life balance would be interesting as this is a very appealing aspect of nursing to me.

I'd love to hear about someone's personal experience making a similar type of change.

Most of my friends think it's a bad idea. I'd love to hear what you think.


Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

We are responsible for everything including poop.


Specializes in Pediatrics, Med-Surg. Has 9 years experience.

I know plenty of good men who are nurses and in no way are they looked upon as gay or feminine. Keeping poop is definitely one of the least desirable aspects of the job but you take it with a grain of salt and once you can understand where a patient is coming from it makes it much easier. Nursing is stressful and hard and there are times where there will be short staffing but to tell the truth I can't imagine doing anything else. Also as far as the pay remember that it differs according to where you live. In NY starting is about 65K/yr which is like 34/hr but in other places its as low as 18-22/hr. In whatever you decide I wish you the best and I hope that you acheive and reach that balance that you are looking for. Much Luck.

glad to hear that you are thinking of joining us

there are accounting jobs, not on the present level, but enough that you could work around school and still make a decent living

an accelerated program is rough by nature but it is certainly doable and when you finish you will be happy with the results

do not concern yourself with the stigma because this is blurring out more and more all the time as more men enter the field

the 'dirty' parts of the job are there and will continue to be as many hospitals are doing away with the aides who can be a Godsent but it will be good for the patients if there is a lower nurse-patient ratio

the pay is decent and if you have times when cash is short you can usually pick up overtime

the hours are what you make them, a job that i had was weekend option where you work 16 hours on sat and sun you received the equilivant of 40 hours and then were off on weekdays..these jobs worked out well for parents who had kids in school they could be home with children on weekends and work during week and the weekend jobs were ideal for nurses trying to further their education while getting decent paycheck

making a decision like this while you only yourself to be responsible for is smart thinking

what ever you decide i wish you good luck

The good thing is that you are young and you also have a good background which you can still combine with a nursing degree,nursing is a rewarding career , with nursing, you career options is very versatile, you can be a nurse manager, you can be an admisitrator,school nurse, flight nurse,have your own nursing staffing agency,have your own nursing home,work in doctors office, set your own schedule, you can decide to work seven days and take the rest of the month off by way of working registry or per diem,you can also utilise your accounting backgroung and be the chief nursing financial officer,the opptiunities are endless. i do not think your are making a mistake because no education is a waste, you can always build upon your education and use it as opprtunities present it self.

About cleaning poop, most bedside nurses clean poop as part of their daily routine, but some nurses do not clean poop, for example if your are a case manager or a marketing clinical nurse or if you work in the insurance company or pharmacy sales rep nurse, it depend on where you work. i love nursing ,but the only drawback for me sometimes is the stress that sometimes comes from family member and some back stabbing co worker, which male nurses handle better than women, Male nurses also have better chances of becoming managers, also male nurses get better respect from doctors, family members ,co workers. i will say if nursing is something you feel strong about go for it:nurse:

A few things first:

42 y/o male, critical care nurse with 12 yrs experience. Add on another 5 as an AF medic. And since the 'stigma' seems to be an issue: I'm straight, married, and crazy about my wife (she's not a nurse, btw).

I'd like to ask where you have gotten you're insight into the 'stigma' from. If the cources are movies/TV, well, you are losing big-time. Yeah, males are 1/10 of the workforce. Yeah, I make a fair income at best (not what you make I'm certain), but I do some amazing things in the course of my day that you can only think or wonder about currently. And, yes, some even involve poop. As for the rest of it, go here to get a global view http://www.mollieb.us/chenevert.html

Perhaps it would be best if you follow the advice of your friends---sounds like the safest bet to me.

Good Luck!

I don't have any personal experience in nursing yet, but I did want to point out that there are a lot of universities that offer very flexible online courses that count for prerequisites (I took a nutrition class through UT-Austin and had a full nine months to complete it). If you want to get a head start on your prerequisites before making your big move, I would suggest checking out your online options. Also, I worked as a tech in a pediatric ER this past summer and NEVER noticed any stigma against the male nurses (many of them were former army medics who went the nursing route when they left the military, and they were probably tougher and more well-respected than the vast majority of guys in what you may think of as more "manly" jobs).

I want to thank everyone so far for reading my post and for the replies. I appreciate your opinions and advice.

I also want to clarify that it is not my personal feelings when I say the "stigma" associated with male RNs. Maybe that is the wrong choice of words. Perhaps "non-traditional" is more appropriate. Either way I don't think it is unfair to say that most people associate the nursing profession with women, though I know males are increasingly becoming a bigger percentage.

I didn't mean to suggest that you yourself thought that (I understand if it was confusing), but I do think that Hollywood is way behind the real world in terms of perception of male nurses. Good luck! :)

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

once upon a time, most of the men in nursing that i met were gay. that hasn't been the case for a couple of decades and "the stigma" is pretty much gone as nearly as i can tell. at least, no one gives my 6 foot tall martial arts instructor husband any attitude about being a nurse! dh says he went into nursing "to meet women". also for the pay, the hours and the job security.

cleaning up poop is just part of the job. there are many nursing specialties where it won't be an issue, but you're going to have to clean up some poop to get through school. on the other hand, if you own a pet, care for aging parents or have a child, you'll be cleaning up some poop anyway, so you might as well get used to it! it's really not that bad, and it's such a small part of my work in the critical care unit!

nursing is exciting and challenging and it allows dh and i to have a very nice life. if you think you're interested, perhaps you could arrange a day to shadow a nurse. our critical care unit has been recognized as having a high percentage of male nurses than the national average. i think it's the technology that draws men into critical care, transport and flight nursing.

in the past three years, i've had four orientees for whom nursing was a second career: a former software engineer, a former sound engineer who traveled with some pretty well known bands, a former lingerie model and a former divemaster. all of them cited the same reasons as you do for wanting to make a change: the pay, the hours, the job security and a chance to make a difference.


Specializes in TELE / ER/PACU/ICU.

Funny, I am a male, was/am an accountant and went through an accelerated program. I went to nursing school for exactly the reasons you listed...

I HIGHLY recommend you do some shadowing because it's not for everyone. I can speak from experience in that it was very difficult for me to adjust from the corporate world to nursing. While you work long hours now, you have nights, weekends, holidays off. What i really missed was the ability to start my day with a cup of coffee at my desk and a few minutes of quiet time. I promise, you WILL NOT have that as a nurse. Chest pain right out of the gate, someone going to surgery, someone just crapped their bed and want to be cleaned up NOW. Some days are rewarding and I feel I've made a difference, some days just plain suck.

Not trying to scare you. Nursing seems to be the "in" job right now, but I can't tell you how many people go through the pain of nursing school to realize it's not for them. I would be more than happy to exchange some emails or even chat on the phone. Let me know.

BTW, I am straight and happily married. Seems to me about a 50/50 mix of straight to gay males, but who really knows?

....That's funny I have never heard of a male nurse stigma - but have always understood that male CPAs were a bit fruity ;)

Sounds like a good plan.. I recommend the shadowing experience as well - it will confirm your ambitions ;)



Specializes in Nurse Practitioner-Emergency Room. Has 5 years experience.

Hello. I am a 28 year old male who has been an RN for almost 4 years. I work in the emergency room (where I started, and where I'll stay) of a pretty busy regional hospital. I work with several male nurses, and not one of them is homosexual. I'm straight, every guy in my department is straight, and I think that every male nurse I know is straight. Being the only guy around has it's perks, LOL!

As far as the stigma, it's still there to some degree. So many patients assume I am their doctor. That's especially true for the older population, and of course the little kids. I've actually had a couple little kids say, "he's not a nurse. He's a boy!" Once I tell the patients that I'm their nurse, I've never had any problem. Not easy to explain it to a kid though, sometimes it's best just to let them believe what they believe, lol.

As far as cleaning patients, dealing with "poop," etc. it's a reality of the job. I think that people make it out to be MUCH worse than it really is. Also, it's not as frequent as you think. I go many more shifts not having to deal with "code browns" than I do having to be on poopy patrol.

I enjoy taking care of my patients. What I don't like about the job is the paperwork. It seems like you document the same thing 15 times, write the date 15 times, and before long you really start signing your name with an RN at the end of it at the grocery store when you sign your checks!

Still, as a nurse, you do get to help people at their greatest time of need. There is good job security in that you can often easily find a job. Nursing is recession proof. People are never going to stop getting sick. It pays okay. You'll never be rich, but you'll always be able to make a living. Oh, and of course, you get to work around many, many pretty ladies:yeah:


Specializes in Adult Cardiac surgical. Has 5 years experience.

Yep and I would argue that if you have trouble or are not willing to clean up a pt. that maybe nursing is not the right career. I work in an ICU and to this day I still like to ensure my pt. is clean and dry and the bed looks good.

We are responsible for everything including poop.

LOVE this post...Mainly because I'm the female version of you. I worked tax in Big 6...Big 5...Big 4 for about five years. (Coopers, then PwC post-merger, then I was at Andersen when Enron hit the fan) After the Andersen debacle, I thought my "work-life balance" (which is laughable, by the way) would be better if I moved into industry. Uhhh, nope. About the same.

So I quit my job a couple of years ago, moved with my husband and kids to London for a year for his job, and then came back to Texas. I'm in my last semester of prereqs and will apply to an Accelerated BSN program in January.

I think nursing is the thing for me. I had the exact same feelings you do about working my tail off for nothing. No one cared about tax savings. I wasn't helping anyone.

I. Feel. Your. Pain.

Good luck in your quest for a new career, and feel free to PM me if I can help you.

Medic09, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Flight. Has 10 years experience.

Guy, straight, happily married, kids, previous successful careers.

Like many, I started my love with patient-care as a combat medic doing it all. In our own little ED, on my shift alone (something less than 40 beds, town of 70,000) I can think right away of four guys who are all ex-military. Funny, no one thinks of 'killers' as being nurturers. Real life and real people are complex and interesting. Not stereotypical, that's for sure. :D

Nursing is great. I agree you should try to shadow some folks, because there is a LOT of mundane, dirty work. Lots of poop. But you will go home every single day knowing that you worked hard for your pay, and you directly personally did some good for somebody. :coollook:

I don't know if it is for you; but it is certainly worth investigating further.

BTW, there are a few accelerated programs that will move you through a BSN and MSN together. You might as well find out about them. Getting an education clearly isn't too tough for you. In any case, you should find out from a program what the prerequisites are by way of science courses. Those are nearly universal, and you'll need to think about getting them done.

Good luck!

cherrybreeze, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg.

CPA to RN certainly is an interesting leap! I like it! :)

I am curious as to why your friends "think it's a bad idea." That statement just by itself doesn't tell me much, as there could be a lot of reasons, none of which are probably very good ones.

Drawbacks? The pay is decent, I am sure less than what you make now, but it's enough to get by. You've already said that this isn't that important to you any more, though, so I think you're ok there.

Working weekends and holidays. I don't LIKE doing it, but again, it's not that bad. I like having days during the week off, too, for getting errands and things done. No one likes working Christmas, but the way I look at it (cheesy as it may sound), the patients don't like being there on Christmas any more than I do, so if I can make it any better for them by my being there, then that's good. We're all in it together.

As far as cleaning up poop goes, honestly, you get used to it. You quickly get to the point that, it doesn't phase you anymore. After 12+ years of doing it, to me it's like doing any other task now. I think about it like, if it were my mom or dad in that position, someone would have to do those basic cares for them, and I would want it both done well and with respect, and it puts it in a whole other light and kind of removes the "gross" factor. When I finish tucking someone in, all clean and with fresh linen, and they're comfortable and happy, there's a real sense of satisfaction in that. That too sounds corny. There's a lot more to being an RN than that, that's just basic nursing care, but the small things like that are the core of it. When you pick up on a small change of condition, get that call in to the doc and make that intervention and see them turn around for the better....that feeling of knowing you just saved them from something much more serious, I can't describe that feeling, either.

I'm getting off on a tangent here...sorry. I think a job shadow would be a great idea. See if you can do it in a few different areas, ER, ICU, on a floor. Good luck to you!


Specializes in ER, Peds ER. Has 4 years experience.

Just curious but what's the pay like for RNs out in LA? Anyway I'm male and ER RN, straight and have a baby on the way. The stigma that you're so worried about I really don't encounter that much to be honest. And major of the other male nurses I know are straight. Actually in all honesty if you're single, I found the stigma that I've found a bit bothersome (really just slightly annoying at times) isn't that people think I'm gay because of my profession, like I said I've rarely encountered that, it's that once the women I worked with found out I was single all of a sudden all of them had a single daughter, sister, cousin, friend etc... they wanted to set me up with. And that 'harassment' continued until I got a girlfriend. I guess simply because I owned my own home, had stable employment, was fairly good looking and not a jerk, and took care of people for a living it made me perfect for every single woman they knew in my age range. And i know some maybe thinking wow dude's complaining about that, but if you've ever had to deal with it it's more annoying than being thought of as gay.

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