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Nursing as a second career at 30

Nurses   (2,453 Views 24 Comments)
by 5418ujyyhbewbttberbr 5418ujyyhbewbttberbr (New Member) New Member

703 Visitors; 15 Posts

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I a 30 year old married guy with a 2 year old and one on the way. I have a BS in Biology and an MS in Bioinformatics. I have been working for the same company for almost 5 years now and I am seriously considering a career path change. I have found that I don't do well in the traditional office enviroment and nursing is very intriguing to me. It seems that nursing presents mental as well as physical challenges. It also seems that career specialization for nurses is very diverse.

I'm trying to find out if this is even realistic for me to consider. Family and financial obligations may make it impossible for me to make this transition.

Should I go through a CNA program and start volunteering or working part time at a hospital to get some hands-on experience before I take the next steps?

I know I may have a tough road ahead, but I want to start on that road while I am still young.

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21,306 Visitors; 6,487 Posts

YES!!! If you're not sure if nursing is for you, or what it's truly all about, volunteering or getting your CNA will give you the opportunity to see "behind the scenes", so to speak.

You can also try getting permission to shadow a nurse for a shift, many facilities will allow that.

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703 Visitors; 15 Posts

YES!!! If you're not sure if nursing is for you, or what it's truly all about, volunteering or getting your CNA will give you the opportunity to see "behind the scenes", so to speak.

You can also try getting permission to shadow a nurse for a shift, many facilities will allow that.

I have seen that CNA programs run in the $300-600...is that true?

Also, say I decide to make that next step. Is it feasible to work full time and go through a nursing MS or BS program? Financial issues notwithstanding. :)

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21,306 Visitors; 6,487 Posts

I don't know about costs for CNA programs, I went through one more than 25 years ago.

If you can handle it financially, it would be better to either not work at all or work part time while in nursing school. It's a demanding and stressful program, and the less added stress the better.

Your best bet, if you want to get to the bedside quickly, is to get your ADN and then work on your BSN later. ADN and BSN grads take the same NCLEX and get the same license and receive the same pay for the same job.

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703 Visitors; 15 Posts

I don't know about costs for CNA programs, I went through one more than 25 years ago.

If you can handle it financially, it would be better to either not work at all or work part time while in nursing school. It's a demanding and stressful program, and the less added stress the better.

Your best bet, if you want to get to the bedside quickly, is to get your ADN and then work on your BSN later. ADN and BSN grads take the same NCLEX and get the same license and receive the same pay for the same job.

Thank you very much. This is extremely helpful. I don't think quitting work is realistic...maybe part time. I still need to pay the bills and help support my family :) We are getting into the nitty gritty...which is great. Could you give me a salary range I could expect if I complete an ADN and become an RN? I live in the DC Metro area by the way...

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21,306 Visitors; 6,487 Posts

I have no idea, because it's different state to state. In CA you would start in the high 20's per hour and up, depending on where in CA.

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Quickbeam is a ASN, RN and specializes in Government.

10,137 Visitors; 1,009 Posts

Hey, original poster (that's some user name you've got)...I just want to make you aware of the presence of accelerated BSN programs. Since you have degrees, it can be the fastest way to get licensed as an RN. You also get your BSN to boot...very useful.

I went back to school at 31 with a BS and an MA that weren't doing me much good. I was working as a nurse one year later. My 12 month accelerated BSN program was fabulous. That was 20 years ago and I still think I had a terrific nursing education.

If you decide nursing is for you, look at all the options. For me, the opportunity cost was the driver. I needed to get back to professional employment ASAP. There are plenty of ways to get there however. Good luck to you!

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Testa Rosa, RN has 6 years experience and specializes in Tele Step Down, Oncology, ICU, Med/Surg.

10,428 Visitors; 333 Posts

My advice is start applying yourself towards nursing programs while volunteering. The application process can take up to a year or more in some states. Once you are in nursing school, you can often work as a CNA after your first year. As a second career student, I'm glad I didn't waste time going the aide route. Although, it's what I'd recommend doing for those who are younger.

It didn't take long volunteering for me to absorb a decent amount of what goes on within a typical unit; I knew within a couple months that I wanted to be part of it. I too am not cut out for the typical office job. I need only look to my family for that: my brothers who are the smartest and most educated people I know are police officers, firemen, EMT's and butchers....I finally figured out my genetic destiny and will use this abstract thinking/ADD/kinesthetic brain of mine in the way it was meant to work.

Given your science background you probably already have most of the pre-reqs, but there may still be more pre-reqs you need to take and you might will want to start banging those out at night or while on childcare leave. It may seem impossible, but you are a much better time manager with your second baby than with your first. I felt schooling was easier for me when they were younger, as you don't have all the homework/school activity/carpool stuff to deal with. It was more physically demanding/sleep deprivation wise, but easier to manage time wise.

Good luck on the start of this exciting journey.

I started my journey with a 1, 6 and 9 year old and it's doable as long as one spouse is working and getting health benefits.

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4,919 Visitors; 506 Posts

If you can't quit your job to work as a CNA, why not shadow an RN at a local hospital for the day? You would get great insight into the day in a life of a nurse.

Although you already have a degree in biology, most nursing programs have a deadline as to how old science and math classes can be. My school said 10 years. I'm also 30 and have a previous degree in education. I transfered all of the courses I could, which left me with 4 science classes. My community college offers science courses online, with the lab portion done in person. Also, look into part time nursing programs. Since I have all of my prerequisites done, I only go to school four days a week (16 hours total each week). Not to shabby of a schedule and I will be done with my RN program in two years.

Good luck!

--Marci

PS. Why not explore websites like http://www.discovernursing.com ?

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Msnurselaura has 4 years experience and specializes in oncology.

1,290 Visitors; 23 Posts

Im a 35 year old female starting the ADN program in July. This is also my second career. I was a grocery store checker for 19 years. and decided I needed more. I don't have hospital experience but Ive always wanted to be a nurse. I didn't have the money to go to those fancy LVN programs so I started at the community college level. I waited 2 years to get into a program but It was worth the wait. I'll have my RN in 2 years. Most the colleges around here have increased their enrollment so the wait might not be a long. Go for your dream. You can do it.

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2 Articles; 26,082 Visitors; 7,255 Posts

Nursing is my second career and I did not start till age 45. I worked full time thru ADN, BSN and MSN programs. It can be done. I worked for hospital that helped with tuition (after I got ADN).

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924 Visitors; 5 Posts

I just wanted to say that I am considering a career path change as well. I am already in the healthcare field as a registered dental hygienist. I have a bachelor's degree in Health Arts (graduated with a 4.0). I have been a hygienist for six yrs and am 31. I have a six month old baby, and know I want a second baby in a year or so. So realistically I'll probably follow my dream in about five years. However, I just thought I'd post to get some info , too about the nursing career. I am interested because I love healthcare. I know that a nursing program will be intelectually and physically demanding, and feel that in the end it will be worth the hard work. I will go for an associates degree since I have a bachelor's already. I want to know the good points and bad points about nursing, and how the payscale in central IL compares to a dental hygienist. My back cannot take sitting in the same position for hours day after day, and I am yearning for variety. I know nurses can go down different career paths as far as specialties. I just want some general info as I really feel strongly about going for the profession, but would love some insight from those who have been in the profession for awhile. Will my experience in health care in general be of any benefit to me if I enter a nursing program. Sorry this is long-winded, but I truly am interested and passionate about pursuing this career even if I may not go for it for awhile. My science courses have all expired so I may slowly retake those to get them out of the way before starting the actual program. Thanks in advance to any replies. Sorry that I didn't start a new thread for this topic. To be honest , I couldn't figure out how, and this existing topic is similar anyway. Have a great day everyone!

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