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Lawyer to Nurse

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by layne228 layne228 (New Member) New Member

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Oh and funnily enough, my firm deals mainly w personal injury/ medical negligence. It's the closest I can get to my interest in healthcare, but it's just not cutting the mustard in terms of job satisfaction. I wanna be the person healing/attending to the injured individual, not the one sitting in a negotiation room hammering out an out of court settlement re his injury! Basically I feel oppressed being a desk jockey (which is what solicitors are) and I hate the people-related side of law as well (all that confrontation makes me feel out of my element).

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1 Post; 354 Profile Views

Did anyone have trouble getting a hospital volunteer job because of your JD? or did you even admit to having one? Because of the lawyer stigma, I don't know that I should advertise this fact.

Voluntarily, I provided a 1-page "resume" listing "relevant" medical experience and education (science undergrad). At the second interview, I am now being asked for a resume (she probably didn't see or have my 1-page creation). I think they just want to go through the motions for HR

Any suggestions?

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PacoUSA has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PCU / Telemetry.

3,418 Posts; 43,960 Profile Views

When I applied to my hospital volunteer position before nursing school, I mentioned nothing about my law background, because of the same reasons you stated, SophieD. I wanted to volunteer based on my personal merits and not based on the preconceptions and perceptions out there. It was not a big deal. Of course, when I applied to nursing school, having a law degree was a plus. There are more lawyers-to-nurses career changers out there than you realize. At the school I attended there has been one lawyer in each class for a few years now, it's very interesting. Also (specific to missineichen), opposite of you -- I was always strong in the math and science arena and struggled with reading and humanities, so nursing school came more natural for me than law school. In the end, I graduated with honors from nursing school, whereas in law school I was just average. Today as an RN, I dont drag myself out of bed to go to work -- ever. I love my job and I love the change I made in my career. Law was sucking the life out of me and life had no meaning, and now it does. Nursing was definitely my calling, hopefully it is yours too!

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6 Posts; 299 Profile Views

I am very glad to know that there are others who have gone before me. I am a lawyer. I am finally taking the action I have considered for several years and getting out before all the life force is sucked out of me. I have been taking pre reqs for the past two semesters. I didn't have that much to do because I already had a Biology minor. I received my acceptance letter today to start the nursing program in January. My only regret is not having done it sooner.

Edited by WaitForIt
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maxvoca has 1 years experience.

42 Posts; 1,880 Profile Views

Hello EnRsmom, I have been scanning allnurses for quite some time now, and was wondering if you had any thoughts on the present day job market. I am 36 (37 at Christmas), and a very dissatisfied lawyer. Nursing has been something I've been considering for years, but my law school debt had been too onerous to leave the legal field.

If you could, and if you're still even looking at these boards, could you give some advice on going back at my age? And if I'd even find a job? I'm in the NYC area, and I hear that it's difficult. The NYC legal market is abysmal, was wondering if the nursing field was as awful.

Thank you!

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maxvoca has 1 years experience.

42 Posts; 1,880 Profile Views

Wow, your post mirrors my law experience very closely. My first semester as an 1L, I thought I should have hit the bricks. One woman did, who did quite well, and I have never forgotten her. That was a small part of my thought process, and I too did not want to be 'a quitter' and thought all of it would get better and more interesting. Ten years later, it's only gotten worse.

So now I'm volunteering, only three months now, but I love it. I look forward to my volunteer shift more than I have ever any of my legal work. So I'm thinking about nursing school. But maybe due to my legal-work, I'm thinking all about practicality and job forecasts. Would I be too old at 37 to go back to school to get my RN degree? Would I ever get a job? The legal job market has been so brutal, and I do not want to enter another field that is as punishing as the law market has been.

I realize you posted this quite some time ago, but just throwing it out there, in case any one would have any advice. Love reading these posts.

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PacoUSA has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PCU / Telemetry.

3,418 Posts; 43,960 Profile Views

Maxvoca, just to give you some inspiration: I was in my early 40s when I started nursing school and finished my accelerated program a year later. I had a job offer on graduation day. My colleague graduated with me (not a lawyer) in her early 60s and was also hired on my floor, though a couple of months later since she sat on her application longer than I did. As for student loans, I put mine on deferment while I was in school, and tried to avoid thinking about it while I finished my BSN. Sacrifices were made for a greater good. Follow your heart. It's obviously not in law, mine wasn't either. And most important ... Those networking skills you may have learned in law school? Embrace them in nursing school, because you will be surprised how knowing people gets you working faster. Btw, also in the NYC metro area.

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Natalie513 has 1 years experience.

153 Posts; 3,742 Profile Views

Resurrecting this old thread. Just wanted to say this is all so encouraging!! I am a lawyer in my 30s, work on the plaintiff side so my salary is quite low. Been working while I finish my pre recs and I am about to start applying to nursing school! Trying to decide between ABSN and entry level MSN. So glad to hear others have made this change and love it!!! I feel like such a weirdo for making this crazy change! :)

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4 Posts; 367 Profile Views

You're not a weirdo! I'm a lawyer in my thirties too and have been thinking about nursing school for two years now. I'm starting my pre-reqs next month, hopefully! I'm so excited at the prospect of leaving the law. I graduated at the top of my class, have had three excellent jobs, and still can't shake the anxiety of being a lawyer that makes me dread getting out of my car in the parking lot at my job. For me, being a lawyer is not fulfilling; I leave work at the end of the day (but of course as a lawyer I never really leave work) and can't convince myself that I've done anything good for anyone. I have no free time, I sit at a desk for 10-13 hours a day, the thought of what I have to do to take a vacation makes me want to cry, and I now know that the "prestige" of being a lawyer is not worth the tradeoffs. Natalie513, good luck! I hope to follow in your steps soon. :-)

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Natalie513 has 1 years experience.

153 Posts; 3,742 Profile Views

good luck, Danzi! I graduated at the top of my law school class too but man i just hate being a lawyer. no way i could do this for 30 more years!!! i know nursing will be a better fit for me. i completely understand it is extremely difficult, both mentally and physically, but i would rather work hard at that than toil behind a desk lawyering for the rest of my life. good luck to you! i did my pre recs while working part time as an attorney, i think that is the best route if your firm will allow it (i am still an employee at my firm but i switched to being paid hourly so i just get paid for the hours i come in, which changes with my school schedule). good luck!!

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 6,950 Profile Views

Just a little clarification... There are some states that are in a pac (not sure if I spelled this correctly)where they recognize other state licenses, but many do not. So in some cases, you do not have reciprocity. In the event you do become a nurse, see if it's possible to take your board exam in a state that has reciprocity with other states. It will be easier to re-locate depending on where you may want to go. Also, the state BRNs (boards of registered nursing) have different rules and regulations than others. For example, in California, your lisence renewals are due every 2 years on the same date, based upon when you got your first license. In Oregon, your license is renewed based on your birthday. So, it doesn't matter if you get your first lisence in Oregon in say June, and your birthday is in July, you stil have to renew that next month in July.

Obviously, every profession has its pros and cons, and knowing what your particular state board requires is important as they are all NOT equal in what they require/mandate, nor in how well they function.

I've been a nurse for 30 plus years and I cannot imagine doing anything else. The variety of specialties (similar to Law) is immense, coupled with the variety of settings, and levels of practice allow for a huge variety in the work you can do. As you may know, there are also Legal Nurse Consultants and Nurse/lawyers whose field is growing by the day. Your experience as a lawyer would make that a breeze for you. However....if you consider doing that, PLEASE practice as a nurse for a few years first and possibly ongoing in some capacity as I have met a few who in spite of their degree, really know little about "being" a nurse and we need better representation.

Good luck to you!

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BeenThere2012 is a ASN, RN and specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

1 Article; 781 Posts; 6,950 Profile Views

Career #2....I know in some areas, getting a job these days as a new grad has been difficult. Hang on...I am seeing many more "New Grad" programs (similar to a preceptorships), and positions for new grads popping up lately. Often, it may not be the specialty you prefer, but if it gets you some experience even remotely related to what you want to do, it is worth the year or 2...sometimes even less than that like 6 mos.

I have been in your position twice. First as new grad LVN and then new grad RN. Both times, the timing was bad. The first time around, hospitals were transitioning from "team nursing" to primary care, so in-hospital LVN positions were being eliminated. The second time around, the economy was crashing, and hospitals were going back to team nursing and RN positions were being eliminated. I've seen this cycling a few times over the years.

As an LVN I finally took a job in a Dermatology private practice, which on the surface was not even remotely what I wanted to do. However, the experience it gave me has been invaluable for all of my 30 plus years in nursing. There were many, many things I learned that I still use to this day, such as minor surgical skills, dressings, sterilization of equipment, patient teaching and giving injections. Of course I also learned about many skin conditions and let's face it, most people have some sort of skin issue even if it is simply how to maintain the integrity.

As a new grad RN, I took a position as an LVN in-patient, which was frustrating as hell since all I wanted to do for several years was to be an RN and worked hard and long to obtain my degree as a single parent with no support. Again...however, I was able to practice alongside the RNs and learned a lot from them. They all knew I was a new grad RN and so would pull me into situations that were good learn experiences and taught me so much. So having no actual experience as an RN, in time, my first employer saw the value of what I had been doing a gave me a chance.

I hope this encourages you. It takes determination and some creative thinking at times, but eventually you will find a position, and you just never know how much you may actually enjoy a position you didn't think you'd be interested in. At the very least, you will learn and that is the whole point!

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