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Is it time to finally do this...


Good Afternoon Everyone,

I'm currently a 31 year old male, and have been following AN for a few years now and have finally decided to write in. I'm writing this post as I have struggled a LOT with deciding if I want to go into nursing and thought that it's time to get some feedback from those with more experience. Disclaimer: I know no one can make this decision for me.

I graduated from college in 2013. Worked corporate jobs- HATED sitting at a desk, doing meaningless "irrelevant" work. I've also worked in the restaurant industry bartending in some very busy places, so I know what it's like to hustle and have a running list of 30 things to do at all times and constantly having to prioritize all the while solving everyone's problems. I do like the energy, but sometimes it's just exhausting.

4 years ago I thought to myself- Well how about nursing? It seemed to fit a lot of things that I wanted out of a career. Decent pay, flexible schedule, flexible time to enjoy other interests, ability to travel, rarely boring, meaningful/interesting work, not sitting in a chair for extended periods of time, and lots of options.

I've shadowed in ERs, Cath labs, Oncology, and PACU. ER was kind of cool- I shadowed an AWESOME nurse, and I liked the interviewing and problem solving aspect of it, BUT it's also very stressful and I saw some things where I thought to myself, I truly don't think I could do some of this (maybe it just requires being desensitized, IDK). Lets be real, some of it is just gross. I really actually kind of liked the Cath lab- from this experience I realized I like the more procedural side of things. I wish I had the opportunity to shadow in the OR, but where I stand, that is the unit I would be most interested in working in if I pursue this.

In my current bartending job, I will go out of my way to help people who are nice and I have no problem doing it. I have gotten along well with most people in every job I've had, and been described as a people-person. I know I'm a caring person, but I have my limits, and I am not a "martyr type". I'm compassionate, but also have a bit more of a tough love approach. I'm not cold, but I'm not super warm and fuzzy and some times I have a hard time feeling bad for people who don't do anything to help themselves regarding their health. Having said all of this, sometimes I think of myself in the future as a nurse and feel a sense of identity with that- it's kind of hard to explain.

I've taken all the prerequisites, was accepted into an accelerated ADN program last January and withdrew in the last minute. I couldn't get myself to sign up for 40K in student loan debt, not be able to work for a year, and only have an associates to work with. I also had personal debt that made the choice difficult to commit to at the time. At that point, I gave up the idea of nursing. Months later, revisited the idea and I can't seem to shake it, but I also can't seem to commit to it. I'm thinking of applying to another program that would give me a BSN in two years and allows me to work through it so as to minimize overall debt. (Sidebar- I just got myself out of personal debt, and it's an awful place to be. I REALLY don't ever want to have to go back into debt unless absolutely necessary. So I'm also looking at this from an investment standpoint as well.) I have looked and continue to look into MANY career options and I KNOW there are EASIER ways to make money, but I don't find sitting at a desk doing soul-less work to be EASY at all.

So having said all of that I hope I've been able to give an accurate and honest portrayal of my dilemma. I appreciate you taking the time to read all of this and if you chose to, input your thoughts. I expect positive and probably negative responses, I just request that any feedback be constructive. Thank you so much!

-Ahhh! LOL

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Have you explored the idea of being an OR technician? Also known as a "scrub tech". You would be working in the OR without having to be a registered nurse. The program, I believe, is typically 9-10 months at a community college so you shouldn't have to rack up a pile of debt.

You could probably tend bar to an extent while you're in school so that should help as well. At 31 you're still young enough to change course a few times and recoup lost wages.

Good luck, whatever you decide on.

Hi Tricia,

Thanks for the suggestion.

I looked into this a bit and it looks like the only way to do this that would make sense would be community college. Even still, that would require about two years of classes. Some of the other private programs are in the range of $20-30k. At that point, I might as well just commit to nursing providing greater career and earning potential.

Also, that is a good point, at 31 I do still have some time to change course a few times. To your point, that was one of the things that attracted me to nursing, the vast number of directions you can go with it.

Edited by potentialrn24

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

You sound like a perfect fit for nursing if you ask me. See what you can do re: scholarships or fundraising. I think you will be pleased with your career choice.

WOW!, thanks for that and the link.

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't expecting such a positive response 🙂

Hi, I'm going to be 31 (also male) in Nov this year and I'm in a two year MSN Entry into Nursing program. I did 4 years of flight attending prior to that. Got so bored doing it just as you did with corporate job. It's nice that you have shadowing experience prior to going into nursing school, which I didn't have. But I knew it's time for a career change and I had a colleague what was in nursing that I can ask questions about. Nursing is a much better career choice for me since it has way more options and higher pay.

I had one OR observation so far and kind of liked it and interested in pursuing it too. But soon as a new grad, I feel it really just depends on what options are available instead of just fixating on getting into that one speciality, which might come later.

I encourage to continue dig deeper into your goals and nursing as a career. Ask us any questions you might have. Good luck!

Edited by magicpandora

@magicpandora Funny you mentioned being a flight attendant. Currently I'm bartending at a major airport, so I'm pretty familiar with the industry. Was actually considering becoming a pilot until I got up in a Cessna and realized it wasn't for me.

You mentioned the higher pay and increased options, do you mind me asking what your other motivations for going into the field were? Also, if you're in an MSN program, I assume that means you don't have an RN license currently. Does this prepare you more for the administrative side of nursing?

@potentialrn24 My motivation is that I want to help patients and I'm highly interested in this field plus I want to step away from the airline industry.

Maybe this MSN Pre-licensure Nursing program might help prepare me for the administrative side of nursing with Leadership class, but I definitely don't think I can go into that side any time sooner than people with ABSN who have more related experience.

I applied to both ABSN and MSN and chose this MSN because it gave me the most scholarship (merit-based) and is a very prestigious school with a good support and career network. It costs me 55K for the entire program, while another private BSN program I applied costs about the same. so getting from a degree from this school (Hopkins) was a good decision for me overall.

Edited by magicpandora