Am I making the right decision? Nurse or Sonographer?

  1. Hi everyone!

    Prior to posting or even registering I've been a big fan of this forum and have come here to get a real inside look into nursing and what many of you have had to say. It's helped me understand the field but also has put in some concerns about what to expect.

    I am 37 years old, single parent with 2 kids (16 & 9)..and about a year and a half ago I came back to school to finally pursue my passion of becoming a nurse, something that I've always aspired to be. I lost my son Cameron at 2 years old in 2008 and it drove me even more so to pursue this career, as all I wanted to do was help people in any way I could. However, because I know the process of becoming a nurse requires years of commitment..I'm so afraid that I will commit to all those long years (since I'm starting off in a community college currently) I have 1 year left of pre-reqs before applying to nursing school) and once I graduate I'm not only afraid of not finding a job (I live in Los Angeles where it's competitive) but I'm worried more so about the work environment, the bullying, the stress, and burnout that can come with hospital jobs. I know most new graduates get hospital work and as much as I know it's hard to avoid I wish I could avoid it and work in a more specialized field or smaller setting. I've heard many nurses say that good hearted nurses get chewed up and spit out on the job and have read many stories of nurses wanting to leave. Because I'm 37 I'm so worried that I won't be able to just decide to re-do a new career in this case and I'm stressed out trying to decide whether I should just keep going and hope that I am successful regardless of the situation. I've also been interested in working as a Sonographer doing breast scans for Cancer patients, I know it's less stress but also more of a per diem job without stable hours and also can be a hard job to find being that there aren't many jobs available for this. But I hear the work environment is ofcourse much easier to handle. Which leads me to be stressed on what to do?!!

    Please forgive this novel of a post lol I know this was A LOT to read but I would TRULY appreciate any advice on here...you guys seem to always give wonderful advice and I would love to hear your ideas and opinions on my current situation and maybe help me to make a clearer decision!! Thanks so much!
  2. Visit MarieRWilliams profile page

    About MarieRWilliams

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 2; Likes: 1

    6 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from MarieRWilliams
    Hi everyone!

    Prior to posting or even registering I've been a big fan of this forum and have come here to get a real inside look into nursing and what many of you have had to say. It's helped me understand the field but also has put in some concerns about what to expect.

    I am 37 years old, single parent with 2 kids (16 & 9)..and about a year and a half ago I came back to school to finally pursue my passion of becoming a nurse, something that I've always aspired to be. I lost my son Cameron at 2 years old in 2008 and it drove me even more so to pursue this career, as all I wanted to do was help people in any way I could. However, because I know the process of becoming a nurse requires years of commitment..I'm so afraid that I will commit to all those long years (since I'm starting off in a community college currently) I have 1 year left of pre-reqs before applying to nursing school) and once I graduate I'm not only afraid of not finding a job (I live in Los Angeles where it's competitive) but I'm worried more so about the work environment, the bullying, the stress, and burnout that can come with hospital jobs. I know most new graduates get hospital work and as much as I know it's hard to avoid I wish I could avoid it and work in a more specialized field or smaller setting. I've heard many nurses say that good hearted nurses get chewed up and spit out on the job and have read many stories of nurses wanting to leave. Because I'm 37 I'm so worried that I won't be able to just decide to re-do a new career in this case and I'm stressed out trying to decide whether I should just keep going and hope that I am successful regardless of the situation. I've also been interested in working as a Sonographer doing breast scans for Cancer patients, I know it's less stress but also more of a per diem job without stable hours and also can be a hard job to find being that there aren't many jobs available for this. But I hear the work environment is ofcourse much easier to handle. Which leads me to be stressed on what to do?!!

    Please forgive this novel of a post lol I know this was A LOT to read but I would TRULY appreciate any advice on here...you guys seem to always give wonderful advice and I would love to hear your ideas and opinions on my current situation and maybe help me to make a clearer decision!! Thanks so much!
    A few thoughts: Not many of us have been a nurse and a sonographer, so not many of us are able to compare the two.

    If you want to be a nurse to "help people", please understand that medical care is BIG business- first and foremost.

    LA is a tough market for new grads, particularly without a BSN. When I worked in Texas, I worked with a lot of new graduates from Southern California who couldn't find work in their home state. After a year or two of experience, it's easy enough to find work, though ...you may still be shut out of some larger facilities and some desirable specialties without a BSN, though.

    Hospital work is where you'll earn new grad, RN wages. If you want to work in a small, friendly clinic (and one willing to hire a new grad) the pay offered will certainly reflect that.

    You have one year to apply to nursing school, but not everyone who applies actually gets accepted. People tend to underestimate how competitive community college nursing programs can be.

    Nurses in California have it good. Really good. We're the only state that currently has legal ratios, at least in acute care.

    I went to nursing school (ASN) in my 30's ,and at eight years in, I'm very happy with my decision.
  4. by   MarieRWilliams
    Hi Sour Lemon!!

    Thanks for your response and you're right I definitely understand it would be hard to compare 2 professions when most in here have only experience in Nursing alone. I am actually pursuing my BSN not the associates, which is why it's taken me so long , I'm doing all of the prerequisites for both. I have family in Texas and have questioned whether to head out there for work but I'm so glad you mentioned that you are also from CA and that it's much better for nurses out here and that you are happy with the decision you made! Makes me feel much better!

    Thank you so much for this advice really appreciate it!!
  5. by   426332
  6. by   ProperlySeasoned
    One thing to keep in mind is the duration of your career, and long term goals. One advantage nursing has over ultrasonography is the opportunity for advancement, even if you stop your schooling at the BSN level. If you see yourself being happy as a technician or supervisor for long term, not a big difference. But, you will hit your earning potential much sooner (unless you specialize is something like vascular studies).
  7. by   katyq82
    I just finished my ASN, and my sister in law just finished an Associate's Degree in Echocardiography. Both degrees took the same amount of time, but she will very likely earn quite a bit more than I will when we both get our first jobs. Her job will likely be physically easier and definitely cleaner than mine! But on the other hand, I can go on to get my BSN, MSN, specialize, change the area of nursing I work in down the road, etc... I like the many options available through nursing. I would think really hard about what type of work environment you want, and look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics on job outlook for both options and pick the one that is best for you. Depending on the different prereqs required, you could apply to both programs if you qualify. Good luck!
  8. by   hopefulRN'17
    I went through this same dilemma and at the same age as you. I graduated ASN and went straight into RN-BSN. I am in the Boston area so both careers are hard for jobs but in the end..... there is more to do and move around in within nursing.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!

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