Jump to content

Need Advice


What should I do?

  1. 1. What should I do?

    • 0
      Finish biology degree, forget nursing school!
    • 0
      Finish biology degree, then go to nursing school!
    • Abandon biology degree, go to nursing school!

1 member has participated

Hi everyone! I am posting this in hopes that different people can give me some advice on what to do. Maybe if there is someone else out there that is torn between two different paths? I am torn between a biology degree and nursing school. I have completed about 1/2 of my credits for my biology degree and although I love it, I have concerns that it isn't a practical choice and that nursing is.

My concern is that you can't do a lot with just a biology degree, although I recognize that there are also concerns about getting a job as a new graduate nurse right now. I originally chose biology because I felt like it would be a good jumping off point to lead me to other things via graduate work, but now I have serious financial concerns and I just don't know if graduate school is going to be a possibility in the near future.

I can't say nursing is my passion. "biology" isn't either. I love science and I am good at math. Over the years I have worked in animal shelters and I have developed a lot of coping skills for dealing with stress and have learned how to deal with difficult people, although it does take its toll on me.

I am already 26 years old and I feel kind of bummed that I haven't done more with my life but working with animals pays very crappy so while I earned enough to take care of myself (with no help from mom and dad!) I have never had enough to save or even take a vacation.

What appeals to me about nursing is the science behind it as well as the technical skills. I have worked as a vet assistant and have given shots, IV fluids, helped on ultrasounds, helped with surgeries, and much more. I loved these types of tasks! However, since I am allergic, veterinary medicine is not a field I can be in. In addition, I find the variety of jobs that nurses can work very alluring, as I tend to want to learn new skills all the time.

I have had a couple of very stressful months as I am very, very poor right now, my car keeps breaking down, I have had expensive medical and veterinary bills right now and on top of it all I keep accumulating this student debt. I am just worried that I am going to graduate from college with a bio degree and be right back where I started and I can't help but think that if I were to pursue nursing I might stand a fighting chance at pulling myself out of this extreme poverty and have a life where I am allowed to have hobbies and maybe take a vacation once in a while.

I know that this was a long post! Any thoughts or advice or even your own stories are welcome as I try to decide what the best path is.


Specializes in EDUCATION;HOMECARE;MATERNAL-CHILD; PSYCH. Has 25 years experience.

Many years ago, my cousin gave me this gift that I will pass to you:

Go to Nursing School then use Nursing as a stepping stone to go to Law School. I did that. I have never regretted making that decision. Today, I cannot imagine doing anything else but nursing. I am in love with my career. It has taught me how to be ME, and how to help others. I have other careers, but I always go back to Nursing.

I know your passion is biology, however the job market for biology majors is poor. Some passions do not pay.

How will you pay back your student loans or pay your bills? How will you survive?

Go to Nursing school. Get a job. Use the money to get a biology degree. Combine both disciplines. Be a happy and a phenomenal person. You will be surprised what you will learn as you navigate through the Nursing world.

Good Luck!


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Have you thought about being a surgical tech or something along those lines? What aspects of veterinary medicine particularly interested you? It sounds like you understand the market for nurses right now, which is good (so many people with unrealistic expectations!).

What would you WANT to do with the biology degree?

What can you do to keep from burying yourself in debt?

You've got a dilemma there going on. First off can you imagine yourself holding a career in something you're interested in for a long time and still feel satisfied ? What is that dream or goal of yours?

For the bio degree if you kind of don't know what to use it for in graduate or professional school it could be a bit wasteful. What I'm trying to say is do you have a true reason for going into and completing that bio degree? There's a lot of people who have a bio degree for the hopes of going to medicial /DO school, pharmacy school, optometry school, etc. Sometimes people do also major in bio, complete it and are interested in nursing (master degree and beyond maybe). The school I attended I felt like I was swarmed by many who were bio majors most likely going into some type of professional school or graduate studies. Follow your dream that allows you to enjoy what you're doing and also focuses on your interests.


Specializes in None yet..

What do you love?

Life is too short not to do what you love. That does not mean you won't have hard days... or more, just that you will have connected to a source that will sustain you.

It might be worth investing some time and money in a competent career counselor so you could get some guidance. A few hours spent filling out some forms and talking with a counselor may be worth more than we can give you here. First step is to know yourself, your gifts.

Thank you for the advice, everyone! I have a lot to consider. I really like the idea of a career counselor who can help me sort all of this out. I believe my school has a career counseling department available to us.

I have a friend who did an undergrad degree in bio and computer science, and went into a PhD in bio/tech. He went into a research job afterward. Within a year of finishing his PhD, he told me his student loan was paid off. I think he had to pay tuition for the first few years, the "school" part, and not for the latter part, the research part (and he also got a stipend during that time).

BeachsideRN, ASN

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 7 years experience.

Go to nursing school. Unless you really want to go on to get a phd. Even then the pay is not good for research. The job stability is non-existent. I've worked in boomed research for 10 years. Message me if you want more details about what the typical job market and salary is for experienced researchers.

BeachsideRN, ASN

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 7 years experience.

If you want to go to graduate school you can either go the MSN route or the MPH route. The nursing degree will give you much more stability and income potential than biology.

Just to add to keylimesqueez's comment, my friend expressed worry that his research's funding might be cut (even though it was a government job), and when I was doing my nursing prereqs, I found that a few professors (at least 3 of 5, maybe more) were ex-researchers, probably hoping to get back into research... and doing teaching just until they could get their next research position.