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Leaving federal job for nursing school

Pre-Nursing   (2,166 Views 40 Comments)
by guest62419 guest62419 (New Member) New Member

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I am currently a health technician at The National Institute of Health. I currently make $26 an hour and am taking pre-req 's for to apply for Nursing School, I plan to apply a year from today. I am a single mom (dad is deceased) to twin girls and my plan is to work overnight once I'm an RN so that I can take the girls to and from school and just to be more involved since they are under 6 years old. I also plan to stop at MSN but will be starting at Community college. I can make anywhere from $26-33 hourly at my current job but would have to stick to the M-F 9-5 schedule, which I hate sometimes. My question is do you think it's worth it to leave my federal job with good pay (no degree, just experience and certifications) for Nursing school? I'm open to all POV. Please help a gal out and sorry for the ramble lol 

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360 Posts; 4,294 Profile Views

Ah, that's a tough one. Will you have to take on debt to go to nursing school? If yes, then I would say don't do it. Depending where you live your pay as a RN will probably be about the same as what you make now, and most hospital's benefits aren't the best these days. The scheduling flexibility is nice, but nights really wear you out after awhile too. 

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

5,536 Posts; 44,665 Profile Views

In my personal opinion, no. You also have outstanding benefits as a federal employee and lots of holidays off with pay that you won't even come close to as an RN. You are already making more money than a beginner nurse in many to most places. Twelve hour shifts are nice until they aren't anymore and then 9-5 M-F seems pretty dang cushy.

I think in your case the grass is not greener over here.

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2 Posts; 152 Profile Views

I am paying out of pocket right now and plan to use Financial Aid once in nursing school. I also commute 33 miles each way, the cost of living where I am is ok for now $900-1200 for two bedroom apartment but If i moved closer i would be working just to pay for childcare and rent $1700-2300 for 2 bedroom. 

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

3,250 Posts; 33,652 Profile Views

Currently:  1.  Single parenthood

                  2.  Job with decent pay, civilized hours, holidays off

Potentially:  1.  Single parenthood

                    2.  Education debt

                    3.  Juggling school, work and children

                    4.  Varied, unpredictable hours with minimal control over schedule and major childcare SNAFUs

                    5.  Work most holidays

 

Unless you feel a burning need to become a nurse and have a good social support network, please think what your day-to-day life is going to look like, in nursing school and afterward.  Also put yourself in your children's shoes; what is their day-to-day life going to look like?

                   

                    

                    

                 

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477 Posts; 2,312 Profile Views

You will probably get a bedside nursing job when you first graduate.  Do you like working weekends, holidays, being on call?  Unexpectedly having to take low census days or being called in?  I worked nights with a small child when I first got my RN, babysitters raised him, I had no choice.  So how are you going to sleep when they are out of school and you are working night shift? If you go to work at 630pm and get home at 8am, how will you take them to and from school?  Except on your days off?  You should really and I mean really think about this.

I'd love to have the M-F  day shift, no weekends, no holiday job with great benefits.  12 hour shifts only work if you are young and healthy enough to do them.  You should do more reading on this site.  You'll see what I am talking about.

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

32 Articles; 13,028 Posts; 127,060 Profile Views

Sorry to hear about your children's father. Do you have someone to watch the kids on weekends, evenings, holidays, or when you are called in?

Many nurses I know (me included) seek out M-F positions so that we are able to be present in our children's lives. The 12-hour shift life doesn't provide that. I don't love M-F, but I do it for my family.

Also, benefits. I have worked for the federal government, and those benefits are absolutely unbeatable. Period. 

I would really think twice about this. 

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology.

676 Posts; 8,798 Profile Views

I work on a step down and I cannot wait to find the right job that allows me to work M-F. The grass is not always greener. I work for the federal government too and you will be hard pressed to find a hospital that offers pay and benefits like the feds do. 

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8 Posts; 43 Profile Views

I know we all need to get paid. But if you feel that a career change is best, then start working towards it. You have time to decide if it’s something you can fall in love with. Take those classes and watch for red flags. 

I currently am about to apply to nursing school for spring. I have a bachelors, a good paying job (40$/hr salary), but it’s a hostile environment and not where I want to spend every day until I die or retire. Or walk out without a plan. I love the medical field. I know it has its flaws, but at the end of the day, hopefully I can feel that my day meant something to someone,  not fattening the fat cats. 

In my opinion, it’ll just give you the freedom to make that change if/when you are ready too. What if you met mr/Mrs right in school or while in school? Or something else changes where it made nursing the absolutely no brainer right choice? 

I vote: work in that direction.  

Edited by AnaRho
Dang auto correct again... hehe.

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monkeyshines has 1 years experience.

65 Posts; 1,031 Profile Views

Hi! I'll be leaving my federal job for nursing as well, although it's a totally unrelated field. I hate to give up my good pay and benefits, but my future doesn't lie with where I'm at now. I might end up staying on my federal position part time while in school. I wanted to get a PCT job at the hospital to get my foot in the door, but the pay would be half of what I make now for worse hours (bad for spending time with my husband and son) and worse insurance. You're not the only one!

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monkeyshines has 1 years experience.

65 Posts; 1,031 Profile Views

And I understand that it will be more of a struggle as a single mother. I'm honestly not sure what the answer is. I do know that part of the time when I was doing my prereqs, I thought I would be a single mom but I planned to do it anyway. I was going to move in with my parents temporarily to make it happen. To me life is too short to not pursue my dreams, and life just kind of works out around them. Good luck with whatever you decide.

 

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316 Posts; 909 Profile Views

Overnight shifts typically get off between 7-7:30am.  Assuming you get out on time (many do not), who will wake your kids up, get them ready for school?  You didn't mention where the kids would go while you work overnight.  When you work night shift on weekends (and school breaks), your kids will be home & have to occupy themselves while you have to sleep.  Will this work for you?

Is there a potential fed job for you as an RN?  Gov't jobs typically have lifetime medical benefits after a period of time (20 years?) and great pensions which you probably will not get at a private hospital.  You didn't mention your age or how long you have worked for the gov't but those are other things to consider.  

If you're going to incur a bunch of debt, have to work holidays and weekends and work all night for basically the same salary as you make now, I think you should really think about it.

It also depends on the typical RN salary for the region where you live.

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