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2nd Career in Nursing

New Jersey   (4,423 Views 18 Comments)
by teenieebikiniee teenieebikiniee (New Member) New Member

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learner1108 specializes in none yet.

2,692 Visitors; 41 Posts

1. Take prereqs at night. Keep your daytime job until your children are grown. Nursing will still be there when they are grown.

2. Become a part time CNA (requires training) or hospital tech (no training required in my state) first. Gives you experience and connections.

3. An ABSN program is extremely time consuming. Don't do it if you have children of any age at home or an unstable marriage. Take the traditional route instead. Traditional takes longer, but you need the stability and support of a peaceful home to do best in nursing school.

4. In my state you can't work as a CNA, Tech, or LPN if you have passed the RN license. So, don't get that RN license until you have a job.

:o

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1,150 Visitors; 17 Posts

While I agree with most of what leaner1108 stated above, in the NYC/LI area, several of my friends worked through school as a PCA (pt care associate or nurse aide), and were told to come back AFTER they passed NCLEX. No one was guaranteed or considered for any position until they had RN next to their name. It certainly helps to attain one of these positions while attending school. I had another friend who worked in the nursery on nights through school. There were no positions in house for her when she passed the boards. When the nurses found out that she did pass and was an RN, they were trying to force her to leave saying she can no longer work as an aide when now an RN. She fought them on it and held the position. Eventually, she did take a nightshift position on a surgical unit.

I also met a nurse aide who had her RN and said she interviewed for about 15 different nursing positions in house where she works and has yet to be offered a position. She said she's competing against nurses with years of experience. A lot of area hospitals closed which displaced many experienced nurses so they are more likely to get the job because it's cheaper to orient an experienced nurse rather than a new grad. Bottomline is, there's no simple answer to this and other dilemmas. In the end, you have to do what you feel compelled to do and know it was the right decision made at that particular moment in time.

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ddv106 specializes in School, LTC, OB, LNC, Instructor, etc.

1,982 Visitors; 33 Posts

1. Take prereqs at night. Keep your daytime job until your children are grown. Nursing will still be there when they are grown.

2. Become a part time CNA (requires training) or hospital tech (no training required in my state) first. Gives you experience and connections.

3. An ABSN program is extremely time consuming. Don't do it if you have children of any age at home or an unstable marriage. Take the traditional route instead. Traditional takes longer, but you need the stability and support of a peaceful home to do best in nursing school.

4. In my state you can't work as a CNA, Tech, or LPN if you have passed the RN license. So, don't get that RN license until you have a job.

:o

Good comments about going at night and keeping job in day. And all the other comments were right on.

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ddv106 specializes in School, LTC, OB, LNC, Instructor, etc.

1,982 Visitors; 33 Posts

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?

I wouldn't say nursing is Family friendly, unless you are per diem and have no benefits etc.

When you are working and they schedule you, day, evening or night they don't care. If you have a family event on the weekend and it is yours to work, find coverage or show up. That is why so many people call off from work.

I have been at this game for 35 years and sacrificed a lot with my family. If this is not what you want think about it.

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ddv106 specializes in School, LTC, OB, LNC, Instructor, etc.

1,982 Visitors; 33 Posts

Hi there from the Cherry Blossom town in South Jersey! Think about this long and hard. There are many excellent posts from the different experiences that people have had. Nursing was my First Career, I have a second one because Nursing is not life friendly. It is still working as a nurse but as a teacher, consultant, and involves my own business.

I loved Nursing but not the garbage that came with it. I have worked in some good places and more not so good. I have worked all over the country and it is alll the same. Keep in mind that a career in nursing is a 24/7 job. I tell people this because they are not aware of how hospitals, facilities and other sections work. Over the years I have watched how they wanted nurses to have more and more education, I have every degree you can get. I am one of the most over educated underemployed nurse out there. Nurses have burnout at a high rate, because there is not enough time to do the job well. I have been told when working and sent to a unit that I have never worked, don't worry we just need a body. I worked as an Aide that day for fear of giving a med that would kill someone. In Nursing there are specialties. I started in OB/GYN, which included all levels of Nursery. I am certified but don't move me out of the unit because I was a specialist in my field not CCU. Then I expanded into Peds, ventured out into the community. Now in the past decade plus have gone into Geriatrics where I am now a specialist. (Just a funny thought, It looks like I have gone the life cycle in work) I have loved working in these areas and I am not a unit or er nurse. Not for me. That is something else you need to look at, where do you want to go in Nursing?

So after all that, I can't tell you what is best to do. I really wish I could.

Some suggestions, find a school that is not so expensive, and maybe you can get a job in PA. I have license in NY (original), NJ, Pa. Pa is what they call an at will state, and you can be let go for any reason or no reason. Pa does not have state disability, if you get hurt/sick and don't have a private plan or one from the job you are out of luck and a paycheck.

Good luck in whatever you decide. I wish you well

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959 Visitors; 18 Posts

While I agree with the PPs - you have to decide if this is going to work for you.

I am also a second career nurse. I love it! - But when I decided to do it I was not married, had no children, and owned my home (no mortgage) and my truck was paid for. Boy did that help!!! I worked part time at my old career and as school went on that part tme went down and down.

Be prepared to travel - some of my clinical sites were 60+ miles from my home and we had to be there EARLY.

Schoolwork and classes themslves are really not that hard - but nursing school was SO demanding of time. Papers, and clinical paperwork, and so on were hours and hours of details, and reading and re-writing. (something it seems many of the husbands and kids of classmates didn't understand)

I heard over and over how families thought that when Mom walked in the door - the school day was over - That is not the case - for me that was when my day started (after class, and work) - going through the class notes or clinical notes, getting started on that paper that is due - or the other endless little "things" that are "mandatory". we had 12 hour clinical shifts so that helped.

As far as nursing being family friendly? i guess it depends on where you work - we do 12's - so figure out where to take your kid at 5 or 6 am - and how to get him to school - and where to take him till 8 at night or whenever you can get there to pick him up. OR find someone to stay over with them at night - because let's be honest, as a new nurse - you're going to be working nights - or at least middles.

Working is more "family friendly" than school - I guess??

I love that i changed careers, but I was offered a job before I was done at a place I did and entire summer of "intern" self study - whatever you want to call it. 30 - 40 hours a week - for three months to get my foot in the door almost an entire year before I took my boards. I got to know people they liked me and it paid off with my first nursing job. But I knew where I wanted to work - and I made it happen.

I'd say do it - if you really hate what you are doing now - nursing is tough - but it's fun too - as long as you keep and open mind

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