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Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

If you are here on AN because you are thinking about nursing,what are the obstacles/concerns that are holding you back?

Loriangel14 -I am a big fan of your posts. I have been lurking here for over a year.

I have applied to and hope to start RPN part time school in January. The possibilities nursing offers - including the chance to move into different areas and undertake further training - excites me. I know I have the self discipline to do the school work. I know I do not ever want a desk job. I know I am cut out for a job working directly with people thanks to my previous career in teaching. I am not afraid of hard, often dirty work. main worries are:

- will I be able to find a job? I'm in the GTA, and I am particularly interested in visiting home health care and palliative care.

-how will I adjust to rotating shift work? Will it ruin my health?

-am I too old to change careers? I have two little kids (3 and 4 ysr old), so full time school is not an option.I'll be 44 by the time I am an RPN , I worry that I'll be fairly old when I finally qualify and will spend the rest of my 20-odd working years at the bottom of the seniority totem pole. Have I left it all too late??

is there any camaraderie between nurses? I hear so often how they 'eat their young'?

Basically, I think I'm just scared of the unknown. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated, especially from you!

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Oh yeah I remember being in your shoes. I went part time as well, two nights a week for almost 4 years. I was almost 42 when I finished.

I haven't kept in touch with all of my classmates but as far as I know everyone is working.Jobs aren't plentiful where I am ( about an hour north of the GTA) but there are some out there to be had.My hospital has been hiring RPNs within the last year or two.There are plenty of home health jobs but you would want to get some experience first.When you are in the community you are on your own and you need experience to draw on when you need to make a judgement call.You can do palliative care either in the community or the hospital.Home health tends to pay considerably less than other jobs, hence the availability of jobs.

Shift work can be difficult to adjust to.I am part time and I pick up a lot of shifts so I tend to be all over.Days, evenings, the odd night shift, 8s.12s....It is hard on your body for sure.I suffer from insomnia as well so I find it hard.( I have been up ALL night and I am heading to work soon.)

I don't think that you have anything to lose by going to nursing school now.20 years will be long enough lol.

Camaraderie? it depends on the workplace.I am lucky to work with a great bunch and many of us are friends outside of work as well. We socialize regularly as a group and take an interest in each others lives.Pictures of new grads, grandbabies and vacations are shared with enthusiasm.I have a couple of friends that work at other hospitals and they enjoy their coworkers for the most part.You have to be able to accept the quirks of others I guess.

Advice? Do your reading, don't procrastinate and don't get involved with the drama. You may think you are going to school with adults but it's high school all over again.

Oh if you find a couple of people that you get along with, a study group can be a good thing.

Thanks for that info Loriangel14. its really good to hear from someone who has been where I am now. I feel that just as I am on the brink of getting into nursing school, I am starting to feel really apprehensive about it. Is that normal?

Just have another question regarding RPN speciality training. I have seen courses on college websites for RPN Operating Room training, but not much else. What possibilties are out there for RPNs, and how does further training reflect in your hourly wage? (I know I am putting the cart before the horse....but I'm just wondering for future reference)


Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

The extra training has no effect on your wage. I have seen courses for OP, perioperative nursing, foot care,mother/child care,palliative care, coronary care...hmm I am sure there are more.You can always take shorter courses in pain management,wound care,palliative care, dealing with dementia etc. I try to take at least educational thing a year.

I would say it is completely normal to feel nervous.

Lori, out here in AB, if you are certified in Dialysis or the OR Tech specialties you make arourn $1/hr extra on top of your base wage. If you are a certified Ortho Tech, they make $$. Better bargaining position than the rest of us LPNs.

Footcare, Immunization, etc. don't merit any extra $ because they are viewed as "improving" your skills.

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Really? that's interesting.I think you have a better agreement than us.Our negotiators aren't always the best.

Specializes in geriatrics.

If you're pursuing an RPN/LVN program in ON, there's probably more jobs, especially in the GTA. I see many jobs advertised for RPN versus RN these days.

I guess I have been lurking...just a tad :)

I am a mom of 3 teenagers and just turned 38. I'm headed back to school Sept 4, for the RPN program at St.Clair in Chatham. I'm absolutely giddy with excitement, and terrified all at the same time!

I know without a doubt this is what I'm called to do. Just need to jump through the hoops and do it now.



Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I was also 38 when I started. I wasn't scared but then again I had no idea what I was getting into.It's not what I expected but I love what I do.Best of luck.

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