From Computer Science to Nursing.. need help! - page 2

hi, like most of you here, ive been considering going back to school to pursue a nursing degree. i graduated with a degree in bs management of information systems. it has been almost 4 years since my... Read More

  1. by   luv2yoga

    You mention you have no nursing/healthcare experience and are advice is find a way to get that. There are lots of ways. I am volunteering at a hospital on Saturday mornings in the ER. It's fascinating. I've also been active on the Wellness Committee at work for the last 10 years. You're going to have to show in your application that this is not just a job-security thing or a whim for you (I don't think it is, but remember that they are just reading your paperwork, they don't know you at all). Anyway, think it over.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from chiliwings
    I just hope I get accepted. I am hoping that the fact that all my experience had nothing to do with nursing wont hurt my application to get into nursing school. If everything goes as planned, I intend to stay here in my job until the end of the year. By that time I shouldve finished all my pre-reqs. I am aiming at Spring term to apply. We'll see how it goes.
    Does the school ask for work experience? Mine doesn't. All they care about is whether you've taken the required courses, meet the minimum GPA, credit hours, etc.

    If you're really worried about it, call them. When I have questions, I just call the head of the nursing program or just drop by. They always answer my questions.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 8, '04
  3. by   Sheri257
    Incidentally, I too am a downsizee (although not in IT) and have returned to school to become a nurse. Like many of you here, I researched the job market and health care seemed to be the way to go. But it's also a mixed bag, so to speak. Here's what I've learned:

    If you spend any time on this board, you'll find that many nurses don't believe there's a shortage. They believe there's many nurses who've quit the profession because of lousy working conditions. Their view is: There isn't actually a shortage, per se, but a shortage of nurses who want to continue working in the field.

    Some statistics may add weight to this argument. The study isn't available online anymore (at least that I could find) but the federal health department's 2000 report pointed out that there's something like 400,000 licensed nurses who aren't working. One possible reason is that, long term, wages have barely kept up with inflation, even though there has been some salary progress in recent years.

    However, the report also pointed out that 70 percent of those licensed non-working nurses are also over age 50. So there has to be some retirements in there, but they don't know how many.

    On the other hand, at least the health care industry can't export a nursing job. I don't see people travelling to India to get their health care.

    However, hospitals do recruit many foreign nurses who work here for cheap. But, from what I've read, the foreign nurses do eventually demand better wages. Afterall, they do have the same cost of living and have the same bills to pay. (Unlike those overseas IT workers.)

    Nevertheless, more foreign nurses could be coming into the market in future years. One hospital in my area just hired 15 foreign nurses to meet California's new ratio requirements. So, that's something to watch, although new English proficiency requirements (on top of passing the NCLEX, etc.) could also slow that down a bit.

    I mention this because I'm trying to approach this realistically, and hoping that my investment in nursing does lead to more job security. Afterall, I can only go back to school so many times. But there's other factors that convinced me to stick with it despite the above mentioned factors.

    Demand for nurses is expected to explode because of the aging baby boom generation. If I remember correctly, there will be a projected 200,000 unfilled positions in my state alone over the next 20 years, a lot more nationwide. So even if there is, by chance, a large pool of RNs waiting in the wings who suddenly flood the market, I'm hoping that demand will still remain high.

    Also, I don't see a lot of young people coming into the profession. If my school is any indication, 80 percent of the students flunk of out pre-reqs and never make it into the nursing program. And, up to a third of the nursing students don't make it either. The academic requirements are tough enough that supply, at least on that end, should remain limited. This shouldn't change unless the academic requirements are severely compromised in future years but, hopefully, that's not likely to happen.

    P.S. For those of you who said you were not interested in bedside nursing, but other aspects of the field, the report also mentioned that 60 percent of the nursing jobs are in hospitals, and 40 percent of the jobs are in other areas.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 10, '04
  4. by   chiliwings
    Thanks Lizz! That was very informative... I too had heard about the demand for nurses in the coming years. Although this is not to say my only reason why I decided to pursue the profession. Altough it is one of my mojor reasons why. It is just sad that people here are losing jobs because of this so-called outsourcing. But like most of the second-career nurses here, Ive decided to take the proactive stand. Rather of waiting for anyone to respond to the job applications Ive sent out, I decided to just pursue nursing. I guess I just got tired of waiting for something to happen. And surprisngly, I am actually looking forward everytime I go to class. I actually like it. This makes me even more excited to finally get into nursing school hopefully by next year.

    Anyway.. just out of curiousity, does anyone know the entry level or recent grad salary for nurses? I live in IL so any information will be really appreciated. I couldnt seem to find any information about this..

    Thanks and keep the posts coming!
  5. by   Sheri257
    Quote from chiliwings

    Anyway.. just out of curiousity, does anyone know the entry level or recent grad salary for nurses? I live in IL so any information will be really appreciated. I couldnt seem to find any information about this..
    Check out It's fairly accurate, although not always. For example, while the average they quote for my area in southern California is within the ballpark, the hourly pay rate varies widely within a half hour's drive since I live between more populated areas, which pay better, and more rural areas, that don't.

  6. by   luv2yoga
    Good information, Lizz, yes it's consistent with what I've gleaned from this board after looking at it daily for about 4 or 5 months now. As far as pay, I've looked on the hospital web sites in my city and one of those actually posts starting pay for new grads. It ain't great, but I can live with it. Can't expect to start from square one in a new profession and not get paid like that, can I? The other thing I did was go to a job fair that my school offered and the handouts from there had some pay rates on them. The other thing about the job fair was that employer interest was just palpable, which is a far cry from IT right now. So that was nice and invigorating. I'm enjoying learning again, learning interesting important science. I think all I've learned the last few years is how to get along with jerks and beat a bureaucracy. Not what I want to do any more.
  7. by   RNNR

    I think nursing is a great field to get into no matter what people say. One because of so many options and career paths. I don't think one could ever get bored as a nurse, you can always keep going to school-usually for free because hospitals have excelent tuition assistance. If you burn out in one area you can always move to another one. I am not a nurse yet, but half of my family is or was and retired.
    I recently quit my job as a field engineer for uninterruptible power systems. Good pay and very easy. but I could not see myself doing that for the next 30 years. You being in IT, you've probably seen the field guys.....The ones that have been doing it awhile are the ones that convinced me to leave before it was too late. I'm in school now and love every minute of it. Its so much better for my mind. I never liked electronics anyway, just good at math..
    Good luck to ya chilli!!
  8. by   chiliwings
    Thanks for the encouragement..! Just curious, what made you decide your current job? How long were you in it? As for me, I am still with my old job but I dis start taking my pre-reqs. I am aiming for spring semester next year for enrollment to nursing school. Are you enrolled already in nursing school? Thanks for all the replies everyone!
  9. by   RNNR
    Quote from chiliwings
    Thanks for the encouragement..! Just curious, what made you decide your current job? How long were you in it? As for me, I am still with my old job but I dis start taking my pre-reqs. I am aiming for spring semester next year for enrollment to nursing school. Are you enrolled already in nursing school? Thanks for all the replies everyone!
    After getting my ged and taking the military entry test, I was given three choices- nuclear, avionics, or aviation electrician. The little caption at the top of one of the job descriptions said "Sometimes avionics techs can even fly with the pilots!" From that point on I became a techie and have been since 1995. I never had any interest in electronics or nuclear energy. I was just good at math. I am in school, taking night classes right now, switching to days starting august. I love it! Its so much more interesting and I actually like going home and studying. What worries me is that its almost too easy, I find myself wanting to go further and figure everything out. Alot of what we're studying now is just the "surface" of the medical field. Who knows, maybe I can get my BSN and work my way through medical school someday. Wouldn't that be something? A highschool dropout becoming a neuro-surgeon? Oh by the way, I never did get to fly in any fighter jets!
  10. by   Sheri257
    Speaking of outsourcing, did anyone see the West Wing segment that aired this week? It basically focused on the same issue.

    I realize it's a fictional program, but it really annoyed me. They claimed that even though IT jobs are now lost. American always comes back with higher paying jobs. They called it "creative destruction."

    What a bunch of bull. Wages and salaries have been declining for over 30 years now. One of the very few sectors that made a dent in that trend was IT, and now those jobs are gone.

    I realize that nothing can be done about it, but I was disappointed that the show glossed over this reality with the "better paying jobs will occur in the long run" BS.

    Thirty years and counting. I won't hold my breath waiting for the comeback.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 23, '04
  11. by   ChrisA
    Hello. Chiliwings just directed me over here from another thread. Yup, I'm another IT guy on his way towards nursing. I got in to Java programming at the start of the bubble, in '95, fresh out of school with a degree in History. For a couple of reasons, I've just run out of steam in this biz. I'm seeing the hours lengthen, and the jobs disappear, and the money evaporate. I'm basically realizing that, at 30, I either need to get a Masters in CS to keep going in a field that I don't like (well, the problem solving I like, the rest of it...), or I need to consider a career change. My girlfriend is a high school math teacher, and listening to her talk about how she considers teaching to be a vocation, not just a job, has been inspiring. I've always been attracted to healing and medicine. I volunteered in a hospital when I was 14, and I do dorky things like reading books about the discovery of the flu virus.

    So I'm giving this nursing thing a go. Glad to see I'm not alone.
  12. by   Sailorboy
    Yep, I agree with you. I have lost my love of IT mainly because of the way we are currently being treated. Longer hours - no respect. I start nursing school in October. I too am looking forward to it.
  13. by   ChrisA
    Yup, it occurred to me: I've I'm going to be working long hours and getting little respect for it, I'd better at least be saving a life once in a while.