Nursing or Teaching?!?!


Right now I am in a early childhood education program. I have always loved children but ever since I had my first son three years ago I'm slowly losing interest in working with children. I am 22 a single mom of two boys ages 2 1/2 and 7 months. Nursing has always been in the back of my mind and I love the flexibility, stability, and opportunities with a nursing career. Right now I'm struggling between the two. I've maxed out the amount of student loans I can take out as a undergraduate (I was being stupid about school). My only option is community college. I have already registered to start pre-reqs for nursing at my local community college. Everyone talks about how hard nursing school is and I can imagine because nothing in life is easy. Right now I have a job working nights and a day job that's extremely flexible. Right now I am tired of messing around and want to build a life for me and my boys. While the money is good for nursing I assume its not what draws me to it. I love to help people and find medicine interesting. I just don't know if I would be good at because my mom has always told me she doesn't think I would make a good nurse. Anyone already in the process of going to nursing school that can give me some insight?!?!? Thanks!



207 Posts

I was a teacher for 10 years and can only give that perspective. I would take the time to shadow a nurse for as long as you can. I would also shadow a teacher if they will let you. If not, I would interview several teachers and hear how they feel about teaching. I have not enjoyed teaching since "No Child Left Behind". Read about the Atlanta cheating situation, especially the teachers' comments and you will have a little understanding.

I know that teaching and nursing are a lot a like in some ways. You are going to have to learn how to deal with people who may not appreciate what you are trying to do. Bosses may only focus on the bottom line and not what is best for the child/patient. Both industries will hang you out to dry if their is a complaint. Just like a nurse, it is always the teacher's fault if something goes wrong. No matter what.

Having said all that doom and gloom, I know teachers and nurses that are over all very happy with their career choices and love what they do. I think these people do a great job and are the ones keeping these industries running so well. I hope that you find that you will be one of these people in one of these fields. They both need kind patient people that can do a tough job day in and day out.

Oh, don't let the summers and holidays sway you too much. You will work 188 days for a full school year. If you work 3 12's you only work 150 days a year. The hours for nursing are actually can be less because you do your time and then go home. I never left the school without work to do at home.(off the clock) I also worked Saturdays half of the school year to tutor children.


Specializes in Student. Has 5 years experience. 78 Posts

Yes u do get good pay in nursing, but u can't listen to what your mother say its your life. Nursing takes a lot of heart and hard work, and if u are not willing to do those two then its no need for u to be a nurse. This is something u have to fill out for yourself. Whatever career path u chose, I know u will b successful in it. GOOD LUCK!!!!!! :redbeathe



Has 2 years experience. 210 Posts

I've heard from other teachers that they don't like teaching since No Child Left Behind as well (also in the Atlanta area- my teacher friends in other states still love it). The pay in nursing really isn't that great. Also, nursing school will be difficult with your boys unless you have an AWESOME support system. My friend was 27 with 3 kids under 7 and made the same grades I did, but she had her parent's and her husband's parents watching her kids on an almost daily basis. I think if it's what you want to do, then do it. Just make sure you have your support system and finances set up before you start so that you're not struggling while in school.

Iridescent Orchid, CNA, LPN

Specializes in CNA/LPN. Has 1 years experience. 597 Posts

I was in the ECE program for 2 semesters and I just got burned out on it all. I'm 20, my mom had my siblings when I was 16-19. I think that played a part, just as it did for you when you had a child. I have a 4-year old brother and a 1.5-year old sister, and I just lost interest in the whole teaching thing that I thought was the only thing I could ever see myself doing. I was always told I couldn't be a nurse because I couldn't handle needles, blood, I know where you're coming from with your mom saying that. If you feel deep down in your heart it is what you are here on this earth to do, you will be able to overcome anything and anyone that tries to stand in your way. I always had the dream of nursing, but just recently found my inner strength to travel into this field with my head high knowing I can do anything I set my sights on. In fact, I've started giving my grandma her insulin shots. Since then, I've also changed a dressing she had from an infection in her head from the shingles, in which I had to pack it with gauze. You can overcome any obstacle that stands in your way, it just makes you want it that much more. Go for your pre-reqs and see how you feel! I'm in my last set of pre-reqs now and I'm just loving the whole aspect more and more, oh and it helps to spend as much time as you can on here to. You learn so much, the upsides, downsides, stories from others! I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide to do! If nursing is where you see your heart, by all means, go for it girl! :redpinkhe



16 Posts

Yes I am definitely feeling burnt out from working with children and having my own children! I am definitely trying to spend more and more time on this site to get an insight to the profession. I am registered for one class this fall until I talk with a nursing advisor.



233 Posts

Nobody has mentioned this but nursing is expensive. Once you've completed the pre reqs the TEAS test costs $25, Books are $600 the first semester along with $400 in uniforms and supplies. I'm just getting started so I don't know what it will be continuing semesters.

And I second that you will need a lot of support.

sandan rnstudent

ps- take the prereqs seriously, especially A & P because you will build off thay information!



21 Posts


I really agree with the above poster who suggested shadowing both a nurse and a teacher. Both professions require a special person. I've know a lot of people to get to nursing school without any health care experience and realize nursing isn't for them and is very hard, thus failing grades or dropping out. Shadowing a nurse would be real insight into the profession, and always ask about the best day for a nurse and the worst day. Both careers could be very rewarding. Pay should be a consideration, but not the deciding factor. There would be pro's and con's for each. Nurses work long hours generally 12 hour shifts (that can turn into 13, 14, or 15 hour shifts depending on the floor) Which means that down time will be spent first on resting. A lot of nurses also are required to do over-time when needed. So making sure your children have a stable support group would be very important. However, nursing gives the option of exploring many different types of medicine and specialties and the option to work with children if you wanted. I only know one teacher and she absolutely loves it, but their are some negatives. Firstly, she's home everyday after school with her child and is always there for homework, meals, bedtime, sports, etc. But I do know she can be up late grading or planning classes and isn't paid for this extra time. She has the same vacation times as her child, and so rarely needs additional daycare.

It's all on how you view the negative, and if the positive outweighs that negative.

Good Luck!



6 Posts

Through all of highschool I planned on being a teacher, then a week before I graduated I had a change of heart, and suddenly more than anything I wanted to be a nurse! I'm getting ready to start my second year of community college, I've taken Biology, Microbiology, and will be taking Anatomy this fall. I've had really great professors at the school and have learned A LOT!!! I always wanted to work with children as well, so teaching seemed the best option, but I've realized since then that I also really love science and medicine! I don't have any experience with school loans, but I know that you can get a large amount of money just through FASFA, and sometimes through pell grants, usually more than enough to pay for your classes, gas, textbooks ect. Going through community college has been a huge help financially, at my school it's only $26 per unit, and you can transfer easily to a University's nursing program to get your BSN. I've had only a good experience at my CC, I've always enjoyed the professors, and haven't ever felt that I was getting a "lesser" class than somebody else at a university. Good luck!!