2nd career nurses- any regrets?

Nurses General Nursing



Maybe you can help me. I am a married 38-year-old mother of three, and I work part-time at home as a Chemical Information Specialist. This is a job with a big title, but low-pay. Now that my three children are school age, I'd like to get out of the house and pursue a medical career. Some realistic options that I have are nursing, dietetics, or contiue in my current job.


6 Posts


I didn't finish my post. This is my first time posting and I accidently sent the post before I was finished.

Anyway, I do like my current job. I have great flexibility in working at home and make about $17.00/ an hour. In today's job market, though, I feel that I should be broadening my skills in case of a lay-off. I've always been interested in medicine and would love to acquire the kind of knowledge that nurses receive in school. I also like the idea of helping people in a meaningful way.

After reading many posts on the subject of nursing as a career, I am starting to feel foolish for considering this option. I would love to hear from anyone who chose nursing as a second career and whether or not they are glad that they did. Thank you in advance for any reply.


I regret I didn't go to nursing school first!

I love what I do. I make good money. More than I can say for my last career.

Do it! You'll know before you graduate if you made the right choice. Don't spend your days, "What if?"-ing!

Good luck!!


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Ex-Air Force. Late entry nurse at age 34. NO REGRETS 5 years later. Ijust wish I had had the confidence to pursue it sooner. I never felt I had the brains, patience or talent. Anyhow, I am happy w/my decision and never look back. :-)


364 Posts

I am not in nursing yet, but I am going to go to school for it. I was just accepted into the program last week and will begin in August. I am 39 and have two children and this will be a 2nd career for me also. If all goes well, I will be finished in Dec 2004 for the RN and then will continue on to pursue the BSN.

Sometimes I get discouraged by some posts I read, but the good posts outweigh the negative ones.

I think you should go for it. You won't know until you try. We can support each other as we go to school.

Good luck in what you decide.


live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

I was a very lucrative Real Estate Agent prior to becoming a nurse. I had already had a lot of college courses at that time...and had the real estate market not gone sour then, I would probably still be selling real estate as it paid very well. :)

Once the real estate market went sour, I was approached by a student in one of my psych classes to consider becoming a nurse...so I did...so did she...NO REGRETS...and that student and I have been the bestest of friends...more like real sisters...for the past 18 years. So, I not only gained another career...I gained a really true friend and sister. :kiss

One should never have any regrets for the paths their lives have walked because one step leads to another step and eventually brings us to where we should be. So, embrace each path of your life...have NO regrets about it...we can't change the past, BUT...we CAN gather up its lessons and move on...stronger and wiser than we were before. :kiss


99 Posts

I am a second career nurse, having left a criminal justice career at 31 to get my BSN. I had weighed going on to a MA/PhD in CJ but then decided to change to nursing.

I have very few regrets. Nursing has been portable with a lot of varied opportunities. I would warn you that the most plentiful opportunities come with schedule headaches...nights, weekends, Christmas...if you work from your home now you may not fully appreciate how scheduling may affect your life. Competition for nursing roles with normal hours can be intense....50 RNs applied for my job as a state RN consultant.

Floor/hospital nursing can be very taxing physically. I could only do it for 10 years. Always keep in the back of your mind what you might want to do in nursing if you can no longer physically do the hard stuff. Too many nurses never give that a thought and then their back goes, or their knees. Have a Plan B.

oldgirl, RN

56 Posts

Graduated at 49. Got downsized out of "the largest competer company in the world" in the early 90's. Took me awhile to get my ADN, but is has worked out well for me. Am still doing floor nursing at the moment after 5 years, but I do agree, a plan B is a good idea. There are many different roads to travel as a nurse-that's one of the +'s. It is rewarding, heartbreaking, and NEVER boring!

oldgirl, RN

56 Posts

Boy, worked last night, just got up-can ya tell my fingers and my brain aren't going together yet?!? I meant "computer".


443 Posts

yeah. i am serious and yeah I am a nurse. an ICU nurse. there is a nursing shortage and there is a shortage for a good reason. can you imagine yourself bringing someone a drink or bending a straw for some lady for the rest of your life.

do you want to be disrespected for the rest of you life. I will not jump on the band wagon and try to recruit nurses. thats what army recuriters do. they lie. and so does anyone who tells you " you should become a nurse". there are far more down sides than there are up sides. the only redeaming quality is if you plan on going to graduate school. Do you?


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

sorry to hear it alan....maybe it is your experience, but not mine. I find what i do rewarding beyond description...the day i got pinned was only 2nd in the amount of joy and accomplishment to the days i married my husband and gave birth to my two kids...and that was just the beginning.

i guess i am lucky....found my niche, you might say, and i love it. i would never discourage people going into nursing for the "right" reasons. (not to marry a dr or make lots of $$$$, i mean). guess it depends on your outlook and experiences. mine are wonderful and the people i touch each day and that thank and hug me make it worth much more than money could buy. i hope i do always feel this way; if not, maybe i will have to move on....never can say.


6 Posts

Thanks to all who replied.

To Alan:

Right now, getting a BSN seems daunting enough. I'd love to go to grad school, but I think you have to work for a year as a registered nurse first. I have a bachelor's degree in biology and have met all the prerequisites for the BSN program at my college. I am also looking into the dietetics program, but I think nursing is more interesting. Physical therapy is out of the question because it is intense, full-time study. What I like about dietetics is that the hours are more regular and it is less "messy." But I think as a nurse you would have more of an impact on your patient, and there are so many more interesting areas of focus. Also, nurses get higher pay and are in more demand. If I were to go the dietetics route, I think I would want to get a Master's degree. I seem more drawn to nursing, though.

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