What to choose? Nursing school vs. Radiology school

  1. I am a college student and I recently got accepted into both the nursing and radiology program at my college. I am having a difficult time deciding which to pick because this is my future that I am deciding on. I get so many different opinions from people at home I just thought I could maybe turn here for a little bit of help. I know my decision is going to have to be the one that will make me happy but I also want to have a job when I graduate. I need opinions on what both the fields are like. Help!
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    About kree3

    Joined: Mar '10; Posts: 4


  3. by   sparkleofthelost
    I am a licensed (ARRT) radiology technologist. It is (was) a good field...but most employers prefer you to be multiskilled (ex: CT and general..). People say there is a 'shortage' in radiology...but not really. The economy isn't good plus the radiology schools are pumping out new graduates every year. This equals more licensed techs than jobs available. I (as well as many others) have been waiting for the job market to get better.... Not enough imaging jobs to keep up with the demand.

    Right now, I have applied to nursing school and got accepted. In the nursing field, there are more job opportunities/many different paths - more than radiology.

    In the end, there is a lot to think about (nursing vs. radiology).....but the only thing that matters is what you want to do...do what will make you happy.
  4. by   LoveMyBugs
    Can you shawdow an RN for a day and then shadow someone in radiology?

    I would go with nursing, as there are so many different areas of nursing, something isn't the right fit or you wanted to try something else you can
  5. by   tookdaddy
    One thing to consider is this: At any given hospital, you will need many many nurses for each radiology tech. And the demand for nurses is generally the same day or night in a hospital. In the hospital, we keep much more radiology staff during the day (when we schedule our imaging), and just a handful of radiology staff at night (for emergent scans and the few done at night). That said, there is always going to be more demand for nurses. Also, if you are already accepted into a nursing program, congrats. We are not able to pump out nurses to the degree that we pump out radiology techs because nursing schools have a very hard time finding instructors (bc pay is much better in patient care than in teaching). So you will not find the field quite so flooded. And, as a nurse, you will have many more options for what type of work you want to do AND what type of continuing education you are interested in (nurse practitioner, CRNA, clinical nurse specialist, etc...) Not sure that radiology has quite the ceiling that you have with nursing. Hope this helps.
    Evan, RN
  6. by   ajhill00
    Wow, you are lucky to get into either program. Where I live the wait is about 3 years to get into Xray tech program, and about 2-3 for nursing....
  7. by   Junebugfairy
    my advice is to pick the career path that feels right for you. it would not hurt to shadow a radiology and an rn for a few days, it will really help you to see what feels like a great 'fit'.

    right now the economy is shaky, so even new grad rn's are having difficulty finding jobs. chances are good that both fields will have an eventual increase in hiring as the economy stabilizes and current emplyees retire.

    radiology is great, but if your heart is in nursing then you will not like your job. the same is true for nursing..if radiology really is an interest for you, you may not be as happy as a nurse.
  8. by   ItsTheDude
    more opportunities in nursing, most of the folks i know in radiology didn't want to wait to get into nursing school or were denied acceptance into a nursing program, so they went into radiology.
  9. by   schack
    I am an RN, my husband is an RT.... We both enjoy are jobs. However, if my husband had it to do over, he says he would go with nursing because there are so many different jobs under the "nursing" umbrella. As for the job market.... both fields are flooded in my area (OH). I think the above advice to shadow both an RN and RT is a great idea. You have to go with what you are going to be most satisfied with in the long run.
    Having said that.... I vote for nursing!!
  10. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Go be a radiology tech, nursing STINKS, in my humble oppinion anyway!

    Don't listen to the "nurses can get jobs anywhere", it is untrue! I have been trying to change nursing jobs for the past 2.5 years with no luck, I have finally given up and have gone back to working as a paramedic!
  11. by   Wsmith16
    Run to radiology. You will experience less stress, less drama with family, none of the "nurses eat their young" syndrome, and will receive more respect from pts and staff. Nursing is not all its cracked up to be. Don't believe the hype. Good Luck in whatever you choose.
  12. by   sunnycalifRN
    Right now, due to the recession, jobs will be scarce for either field. The radiology job is a little "cleaner", less cleaning up bodily fluids, I think. I agree with the other posters who recommended shadowing an RN and an RT for a shift or two. Both jobs involve moving our obese patient population.
  13. by   kree3
    I have shadowed an RT before and I work in a nursing home right now so I see what a nurse does everyday to an extent. I really thought at first I wanted to do radiology but I don't want to get bored with it either. I am a people person and I like to interact with lots of people and change things up all the time if you know what I mean. I am having a really hard time making this decision. I have heard before someone mention a Radiologist Nurse. Is there such thing and what do they do???
    Keep your comments coming please because I enjoy reading them and they are helping me think a lot. I just keep jumping back and forth because I think I have made up my mind and then I find another reason to change it.
  14. by   LeLeeFNP
    a radiology nurse prepares patients for imaging procedures and administers medications they need before, during or after the procedure. they also do the assessment before and after, make sure the patient understand the procedure, makes sure the consent is signed. etc. the role is very very different than the radiology tech. i think you should go for x-ray tech personally. you will get the same pay for a job that is less stressful. if you get into it and don't like it, you can always go back for nursing. nursing isn't going anywhere, and with all the accelerated program popping up, if you have a degree in radiology, it won't take you much time to switch. plus you will have a lot of knowledge from being an X-ray tech.