My wife and I have been together since high school and I have watched her nursing career from CNA through nursing school all the way to BSN, RN. She has spent the last 13 years as a cardiac nurse.
We we recently had a close friend graduate from medical school as a DO and he did it in his early 40s. Seeing him graduate has really inspired me and my wife to pursue something greater. She has decided to pursue her MSN and become an FNP. She desires more autonomy and really wants to take her career and her ability to provide direct care to the next level.
As for me, I was really considering and have been looking into pursuing a PharmD and becoming a clinical pharmacist. However there is a big part of me that keeps pulling me towards a direct care position. After many conversations with my wife and other nurses I have decided that I would rather follow in my wife's footsteps and pursue a career in nursing with goal being to become an FNP. We both feel that this is a great thing and will give me the ability to be a direct care provider without having to do the school/residency thing for 12 years. However, I will not be able to begin nursing school until my wife completes her MSN and earns her FNP certification so I am going to be in my late 30s before I even begin.
What advice do you have for someone like me, a male, in his late 30s that is starting from square one to pursue a career in nursing as an FNP?
Thanks in advance for the advice!
I would advise that you focus on one step at a time and make sure that you'll be happy if you "stall" somewhere along the way.
You don't say what you're doing for work now or why you want to make a change beyond being "inspired" by your friend. It's hard to offer much advice without much information.
The "male" part of the story is insignificant, though. I'll say that much.
I've been in the automotive field for 14 years. From a technician to a business owner now as a Service Manager of a dealership. Have considered many times pursuing a career in healthcare but have never been brave enough to do so.
I don't believe that anyone should be going to nursing school without wanting to be a nurse. Advanced practice nurses are just that, they are still nurses but with medical education and practice. They should also have good nursing experience before they start their advanced practice training.
Depending on what you decide going to medical school may not be that much longer than getting your bachelors degree and graduate training. Pharmacists for example typically have at least one year of post graduate training after four years of graduate studies, but more are pushing towards two years of post graduate training.
There are many areas in healthcare in which you can provide direct patient care without going to medical school. Without any medical experience you are going at this a bit blind, I would try to shadow a couple of different clinicians before you decide what you want to do.
Best advice for starting off is getting experience in bedside care. It can be done by being a volunteer or you can get your CNA, become a ER tech, or even do EMT. There are many places to start off for hospital experience, but the mentioned 3 are you best bet. I, on the other hand had a position as a lift tech (aka mobility tech that turns patients all over the hospital, helps with transfer/DC's, etc) and that's how I got my foot in the door. Since it seems like you have quite a bit of time since you will wait for your wife to finish first, I'd look into getting one of those 3 positions and do a per diem job.
Side note, if you already have a bachelors in any other field, you could look into doing a BA to MSN/NP degree and see how that fairs for you.