mid-life career switch

World International


Hi all:

Thinking a career switch either being a teacher or a nurse. i live in edmonton, alberta. i am a male and i am physically fit. i currently work in the banking industry.

i am thinking applying to the after degree program offered by either u of a, u of c or u of l, i am not sure which school is the best to go with, as i read lots of comments about how u of a's program is horrible, the teaching method is problematic, u of c is overly enrolled, but found nothing about GMU and U of L, any comments are welcome.

i also found that there's no f/t employment while browing the AHS employment website, either temp f/t, .8, .7, casusal, what do they means?

what's the job market like in alberta?

i heard that there may be a hiring freeze due to budget cuts, is that true?

do u think the after degree program is sufficient enough or should i go for the traditional 4 yr program?

Thank you!

Honestly? I'd stay in banking.

Nursing. People think they can work where ever they want, in any department, that's it's a job for life.

Let's see: casual means just that. If they need you they will call you to work. No guaranteed income.

.5 FTE is what is say. It's a half time job. A pay period is based on 10 shifts, so each .1 is a shift.

The job market is a mystery to those of us working in it. It's feast or famine for new hires. Right now, everything is on hold due to AHS implementing a new HR computerized system. It's a mess. They can't hire because they are trying to sort out the computer system for existing staff.

When budgets are cut, hours dry up. So it's hard on casuals and part timers. Then the threat of lay-offs pop up. Healthcare still hasn't recovered from the Kline cuts of the '90s and the Duckett regime.

GMU doesn't do an after degree as far as I know. They only do the four year.

I wouldn't let my kids go into nursing. I'd rather have a union plumber in the family than another nurse.

Shift work is a reality for most nurses. "Clean" jobs with "good hours" are few and far between and usually based on seniority. I've got ten years and am considered a "new" girl on my unit.

Banking sounds far more dependable than nursing or education.

Specializes in Cardiology.

First I would ask yourself, why nursing? Seriously. Really think hard about it.

If you find nursing really does interest you. Try and find a nurse to shadow, go to your local uni and talk to a nursing faculty advisor, try to sit in on a few lectures, go to an open house.

If you'll be in Calgary, the U of C is having an open house on Nov 5th. 10:00 - 15:30 and I'll be doing an orientation in the simulation lab if you want to talk or ask me some questions.

Also, what degree do you have? Chances are you'll need all the science pre-req's (anatomy and phys etc) before you can apply to the after degree program.

I can't speak to the U of A program (aside from reading/hearing negative things about PBL) but the U of C recently changed its after degree program to a two year Jan entry. Haven't heard if it's better then the old phased out BNAT program (what I'm going through).

If you have the time and can afford it, doing the 4 year program could be an option but being a mature male in the regular track stream with 18-22 yr olds has it's own unique challenges.

Personally I would recommend the after degree program.

Either way, think LONG and HARD about a career in nursing. It's not easy and as Fiona mentioned, you will be on shift work, probably including some nights.

Good luck.

Specializes in ER.
hi all:

what's the job market like in alberta?

i just graduated this august and i got 5 job offers: two full time, one 0.9, one 0.65, and 0.7 (which i decided to take). and i applied to icu, surgery, and er postings. there seemed to be psych, community, and other jobs out there (at least a few months ago anyways...)

do u think the after degree program is sufficient enough or should i go for the traditional 4 yr program?

if you want to finish faster, go for the after degree program. the major bonus that i see for the 4 year program is that you can work in the summer as a une, which is invaluable experience. however, if you are motivated to learn, ask tons of questions, and make the most of your clinical experiences while in school , the 2 years straight of the after degree program are sufficient. i was given advice at the start of my program "there are a lot of issues/problems with this program but if you put your head down and work hard you'll be done before you know it". i found that to be extremely true.

thanks for the replies, kind of disappointed w/ the number of response...lots of people read it, but only 3 replied...


To Fiona59..."Banking sounds far more dependable than nursing or education" - it depends, banking equals sales, especially in retail banking area = high stress sales.

i kind of not enjoying my job anymore, so i am looking for a career change

i think "saving lives/patients care" (in a noble way of saving it) is better than selling financial products, making cold calls all day long. to me, it's more fulfilling. every career has it's ups and downs.

i based my decision with the following reasons:

- baby boomers retiring

- newer hospitals coming up

- staff shortage (starting a family, raising family, small children), nurse is predominately female profession

- MBA will cost me $70K and 2 years, with economy like this, no guarantee for jobs too

- i am thinking going into business (private healthcare if laws permitted)

- opportunities are hugh in the healthcare industries as aging population is growing exponentially going forward

- i can speak 3 languages (i think that's a plus) given we have so much immigrants coming in

i could be wrong, that's why i post questions in this board and ask for feedbacks.

Also, going forward, i can get a master degree in nursing and switch the focus into either as an instructor, as a NP, or move oversea.

please provide feedbacks.

Not that many that read the Canadian forum actually work in Alberta, there are maybe six or seven regular AB posters, so you in reality you got roughly a 50% response rate.

I work with four "retired" pension collecting nurses that work casual because they are "bored" staying at home. That's on one unit. Number in the float pool casuals and I can think of 15 retirees still working.

Hopefully, if and when the new hospitals open there will be full time lines available for the part time nurses within the system.

Staff shortage? In reality there isn't really that much of a shortage. It's a shortage of full time lines, nurses that chose to work casual so they don't have to work shift or weekends. Many don't take the full mat leave and their vacancies are covered from existing staff.

You would be surprized at the number of nurses who are not enjoying their job anymore. As one coworker said, if she could find a job that paid $40/hour she'd be out the door in a shot. She's been working for less than five years.

Saving patients lives/providing personal care. It's a given that you will provide personal care. Saving lives? The sad truth is if you work in LTC, you find yourself wondering "why". Even in acute care, we see seniors who are being kept alive by their famiies who can't face the end of life decision. It's hugely demoralizing on the nurses caring form the senior who has multiple tubes coming out of them, who has coded four times, and has a terminal disease. Yet the family insists that they want granny to have every treatment available. The body is broken, the eyes are haunted, pain control is at time doubtful, yet the family want everything done.

That's why the dark humour that is present in nursing. I always tell my kids, if they change my DNR order, I'll come back to haunt them.

Healthcare is government funded. Don't hold your breath on the new hospitals. Remember the Sherwood Park fiasco? Families are very often cost conscious and will fight using private services for as long as possible, while expecting the taxpayer to cover the costs.

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Although I am in Ontario I can see several different problems with the OPs reasons for wanting to enter nursing. We have all been told that the aging population is going to create a boom in nursing jobs and huge opportunities but the reality is that nurses in most of Canada are struggling to make ends meet.Like Fiona said, jobs, especially full time work, is hard to come by.I don't know about Alberta but in Ontario being multilingual would make no difference.

I agree with Fiona, "saving lives" is more like "prolonging suffering" much of the time.

Yup, Lori, the multilingual thing isn't going to be a deal breaker. It all comes down to skills, knowledge and sheer dumb luck. Oh, and don't forget sometimes it's who you or your mother knows.

The only time extra languages come into play is if you are applying to places like St. Michaels which has a a huge Ukranian population or some of the LTC units aimed at the Chinese population. But even then seniority can and will come into play.

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