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I am planning to quit my job as a teacher and return to school to get my BSN. I was wondering how hard it currently is to get a RN position in central PA. I would be willing to relocate, but would prefer to avoid Philly and Pittsburgh as I am moving to PA to get away from NYC. :-) Thanks for your input -

I am planning to quit my job as a teacher and return to school to get my BSN. I was wondering how hard it currently is to get a RN position in central PA. I would be willing to relocate, but would prefer to avoid Philly and Pittsburgh as I am moving to PA to get away from NYC. :-) Thanks for your input -

My advice is to be certain that you want to be a nurse before leaving your present job. It may be worthwhile for you to volunteer at a local hospital to get a feel for what the job is like. Another suggestion would be to get your EMT-B certificate and volunteer with your local fireco and get to know what the ED is like.

Carefully consider all of the factors involved. For example, the working conditions of most nurses are less hospitable than you find in the classroom. Ditto for the hours - if you are in a hospital, you almost certainly will be on shift, meaning some nights & weekends. Nursing salaries are not likely to be significantly greater than those of teachers and the medical and retirement benefits (assuming you go into the private sector) are almost guaranteed to be inferior to what you presently enjoy. Finally, there is the issue of finding a job. Except in some small, mostly rural pockets of the commonwealth, there is a glut of nurses in Pennsylvania. As a result, competition for open positions is fierce, especially for new grads. You should expect to spend a considerable amount of time - perhaps many months - to find a job, so consider the financial implications.

I don't want to discourage you from nursing but to leave the relatively secure position you presently enjoy as a schoolteacher for the decidedly insecure world of nursing, a few months of careful consideration to make sure that this is really what you want is time very well spent.

Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, teaching isn't as secure as it used to be. I am currently teaching in NJ and with recent budget cuts, schools have significantly cut teacher positions, leaving the rest of us with very large classes. I spend 9+ hours in the school building daily, and easily another 4+ hours weekdays and 6+ hours/day on weekends on school work. My first wish when I graduated from high school was to be a nurse, but the loss of student loans at the last minute (due to no fault of mine) forced me into a different university (and a different major.)

Can you give me an idea of what areas you are referring to as rural? Rural doesn't phase me - it'll be nice to get away from the hustle & bustle of the city!

I am planning to quit my job as a teacher and return to school to get my BSN. I was wondering how hard it currently is to get a RN position in central PA. I would be willing to relocate, but would prefer to avoid Philly and Pittsburgh as I am moving to PA to get away from NYC. :-) Thanks for your input -

Hi, tscharf. To actually answer your question, if you're looking into areas away from the bigger cities in Pa, some options you have would be Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg, Good Samaritan in Lebanon, Penn State/Hershey Med in Hershey (my "dream" hospital :)), Schuylkill Health in Pottsville, Geisinger in Danville and Lancaster General in..well..Lancaster.

I can tell you that both Pinnacle Health and Lebanon Good Samaritan currently have "Become a Nurse" programs where if you work as tech/aides for them, they will pay for your nursing classes (more info can be found at their respective websites). Both Lancaster General and Schuylkill Health have their own nursing schools as well.

I've lived in rural, central Pa all my life and I've researched area hospitals up and down and backwards and forwards over the last few months. Good luck to you :)

Oops, almost forgot to mention, as far as hiring currently, I know that Hershey is looking for RN's with at least 6 mo. experience for alot of their positions. I have a neighbor that just graduated in 2010 from Schuylkill Health nursing school and 99.999% of her class have jobs (alot got hired on at the hospital), only one lady didn't get a job, and that is only because she decided to take some time off to spend with her kids before pursuing employment.

Also, Hershey offers a GN program, I would think that would be a great way to get your foot in the door with them.

For what it is worth, I went to Lancaster General Hospital's school of nursing (class 96) and it was a great education. I worked at LGH as a traveler and enjoyed it. Hershey is a great teaching hospital, never worked there, but we did clinicals there. I worked for Pinnacle for several years, no complaints. Good Luck!

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