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2nd Career in Nursing

New Jersey   (4,451 Views 18 Comments)
by teenieebikiniee teenieebikiniee (New Member) New Member

459 Profile Views; 1 Post

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I currently hold a BS in Finance and Economics and I have been working in my field since I graduated from my undergrad program. I have been struggling to be content with my choice in career... I sit in my desk on a daily basis and question why I even went this route... I have always been interested in the nursing profession - mainly because i could have a direct impact on someone's life.

I am planning to start my prereqs this summer in order to apply for a Accelerated BSN program... I live in South Jersey so UMDNJ and Jefferson are among the programs I am interested in..

This is such a risk for my husband and I... I make a decent salary now, which I think is comparable to BSN salaries in my area ...however my real concern would be to not find a job. In my research I am finding that it is very difficult to find a job in New Jersey as an RN. Just wanted to see if I can get some thoughts from any other 2nd degree BSN... How did you make the change? Was it a financial risk for you?

I just want to feel like I am doing good in my life!

Thank you all!

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wldcard specializes in Critical Care Hopeful.

57 Posts; 2,560 Profile Views

I am also making a career change to go into nursing. I have a BS in Information Security and I work for a major pharmaceutical company. But I can honestly say that the job market stinks in NJ no matter WHAT degree you have or what field you are working in. Everything has been affected.

The real question is not whether or not you think you will find a job, but ARE YOU HAPPY WHAT YOU'RE DOING? I asked myself the same question a year ago and I also prayed about it. The answer that I came up with and what the Lord gave me was the same... NO. Nursing was always a path that I had considered but never explored for various reasons. But this time around I did not let the crappy economy deter me.

There is an issue finding jobs right now now. BUT GO FOR IT.... especially if it something that you really want to do. One of the worst things to do to yourself is force yourself to stay at a miserable job in a miserable field because it's safe. Nothing is ever really as safe as we think it is anyway lol.

If you want to ease into is slowly (and more cheaply for that matter :)) you can start by taking prereqs at night while still working full time. There are also a number of programs out there at night time as well, so you could work full time and still do nursing school. Personally I would recommend not going that route and quitting your job entirely once you are ready to start nursing classes, but everyone has their own levels of comfort and their own financial realities to contend with.

The main thing is, don't let the current state of the economy stop you. JUST DO IT. By the time you graduate the market will be picking up again (if it isn't already in full recovery mode by then) and the baby boomers are only getting older in the meantime. Don't forget, the baby boomer generation was one of the largest generations on record and they are in their late 50's, early 60's or something like that (possibly a little older as I don't recall exactly what birth years they are). They will all need care of some sort in the very near future..... and who are they going to need to provide that care. NURSES. :D

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nycNurse2b specializes in LTC, sub-acute rehab, supervisor.

375 Posts; 8,426 Profile Views

I am a career-changer as well who is fortunate to be employed as an RN, however, it WAS NOT EASY. Jobs are extremely scarce and I honestly wouldnt give up a good career, job, salary etc to enter nursing school now. You very well may end up like the other gazillions of unemplyed new grad RNs in NJ.

Yes, there is a possiblity that things will be different by the time you graduate, but there is also a chance it won't. You just have to decide if you are willing to take that chance.

Good luck!

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52 Posts; 1,926 Profile Views

In my opinion, stick with what you have and be grateful. The economy is too fragile and there are not enough jobs to be taking that kind of risk. Not only will you be forking out 35-40k for school, there is a good chance you will be unemployed for a substantial time once you get your license.

I'm a current student at UMDNJ's acc. BSN and for the record it really takes everything out of you. Half of my class has failed out and most of us barely make it by day to day. If you have a family life and enjoy where your at right now, don't sign up for this torture unless you have no other choice.

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46 Posts; 2,275 Profile Views

I say do it. You only live once, and you may end up regretting it later on in life if you don't follow your dreams. Yes, the economy sucks right now, but I highly doubt that once you graduate that you will never be able to find a job. If worse comes to worst, you always have your previous career and experience to fall back on. Good luck!

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5 Posts; 1,156 Profile Views

I graduated from an ABSN program in 2009 and I am still searching for my first nursing job. It is extremely frustrating to the point that I'm now resenting my decision to become a RN. Don't get me wrong, I still think its a great profession but I did not anticipate the possibility that I might not find a job right away. Its a tough market for new nurses.

Good luck!

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rw77 specializes in PACU predominately.

24 Posts; 2,682 Profile Views

I live in South Jersey and attend UMDNJ for my masters. I have been an RN for 20 years in NJ and have been gainfully employed. It is definetely tuff right now for RN's to get a job, however if RN's hold a BSN they are more employable right now. MY best advise to you is, go for it! It is the best investment of money and time I have ever made. Nursing is my life, not just a job! Once you get a job, stay there for at least 1 year (like it or not) to get your 1 years experience, then you can look for another job if you're not happy with your first one.

Good luck to you.

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34 Posts; 1,809 Profile Views

Echoing some of the sentiments by nycNurse2b and 8packmurse, it was challenging to make the transition & the market conditions are currently tougher! When it will change is unknown.

I would recommend working as a Patient Care Assistant or Nurse Tech in a hospital on your days off. This experience will give you great insight into the world of nursing. You can find classes for this at a community college.

Then make your decision whether you want to take a financial risk.

If you decide to continue, being a nurse tech in a hospital will greatly help your opportunities in getting an Internship as a New Grad at this hospital. But, nursing school is extremely time demanding - is your family prepared for this? Just getting in is also extremely competitive. Talk to one of their counselors too & attend an Info Session to learn more.

Best wishes!

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1 Post; 341 Profile Views

i am also thinking very seriously of making a career switch into nursing. i currently work in fashion, which is not very flexible or rewarding. i have a young child and a husband and feel like a nursing career would be a lot more family friendly. it is also a field that i have been interested in for a while now.

after having read some of these responses regarding the tough job market for nj nurses, i'm getting very discouraged! i have not yet completed any pre req's or applied to any programs, but was hoping to get all classes done part time while working full time in the next year and then applying for the ABSN program at UMDNJ...going full time and quitting my job. So realistically, i wouldn't be looking for a job for at least another 2 years. With the aging population, i'm hoping that the job market for nurses will be better by this time, but I'm still concerned. Any thoughts?

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114 Posts; 1,738 Profile Views

I too am entering the nursing field as a second career. I have one more semester left to complete the RN program.

The route that I chose was to take one or two of the pre-requisite classes at night. (14 in total) It took me five years to be able to apply for the program. I'll now be 55-years-old and out beating the bushes for a job... but I would do it all over again. I simply cannot get enough of the work with patients. (And this is coming from a cynical old cop that could not understand how anyone could possibly stand to work in a hospital!)

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17 Posts; 1,154 Profile Views

I agree with the previous posters. Nursing was also a second career for me and had long been a dream of mine for many years. I just never thought I had what it took to be a nurse, but in the end proved myself wrong. I gave up a good paying career working in a nonclinical healthcare job and acquired 50K in loans in the process. I was forced to give up my full-time job because the hours were not conducive to my clinical schedule during my 2nd-4th yrs of school. The hospital would not split the position into a part-time one because it was not advantageous for them. This was a management without staff position with great benefits with lots of vacation time. I can't move because I'm married and my husband has his own business. While no one can make this decision but you, I can only advise you to stick with what you have. The job market for new grads in the NYC tristate area is extremely tight. If you can move, then go for it. There are more new grads than jobs available as I was told today at the Advance Healthcare Job Fair in NYC. See my post on page 7 of "Reality Check for Nursing Hopefuls."

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2 Posts; 733 Profile Views

I am in the middle of transitioning from a high paying career as a business systems analyst with 4 weeks vacay, benes, etc. to going back to school to get my BSN (I too already have a BA). I am starting next week at a hospital as a CNA and plan to do that while getting my prereq's done.

I feel some regret for this decision but when I think back to how miserable I was as a business analyst it helps me keep moving forward. But some days are really, really hard. Like yesterday when I had to decide to make the car payment or replace two tires that were about to fall apart. I miss the money, benes and paid vacations, and wonder if getting into all this debt it worth it. I am still undecided. Sorry not more encouraging.

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