Pharmacist to become a nurse

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I see a lot of nurses went back to school to become a Pharm. D. Just curious. Has any Pharm D. considered going back to school to become a nurse. I am an unemployed pharmacists (Pharm. D. from top 10 school, 7+ yrs of retail experience). I was let go from a big box retailer after I was in a non-job related accident. I need more than 1 month of LOA to recover, but retailer only offer 1 month of LOA max. I have been searching for a job for 2 yrs, but no luck. Can't move to remote areas because I do have a family. Are you a pharmacist who became a nurse or started nursing school? Any regrets for doing it? Is your life as a nurse better than when you were a pharmacist? Has your job prospect improve? Do you see a nursing saturation in a couple of years?

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I don't know of any PharmDs who have become nurses but I do know a couple who teach and then work as pharmacists on the side. Do you realize that new RNs make about $60,000 a year for what I would describe in most cases as physical labor? I'm not thinking a few extra years of school to start a lower paying job really makes sense but wish you the best.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

Also, there is already a "nursing saturation" in much of the country. Many new grads are having difficulty finding jobs. I agree that I'm not sure I see the sense in spending significant time and money to move into a lower-paying career doing stressful, hard physical labor.

Best wishes for your journey!

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

I spent a great deal of time and money to enter nursing when I wasn't even aware that nursing is not the path to employment that the media has always portrayed. From my personal experience, especially since you have a family, it would be better to be an unemployed or under-employed pharmacist, than to start down the nursing road. Yes, there are exceptions, but you have stated that you are not open to relocation, so it is best to be pragmatic now, while your investment is low.

Everline

901 Posts

Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

I do not advise it in your situation. I see a lot of money going out to then do a physically and mentally draining job without a reasonable return on such investments. If you decide to go this route, i wish you the best. But I would seriously explore and consider all other options first.

I seriously agree with elkpark. Nursing starts off as a concentration camp of learning while in nursing school. Then it turns to 12-15 hour shifts in which you are hungry, dehydrated, mentally & physically drained. Lunch breaks, breaks, and restroom breaks are a luxury. If I would have known how hard it was on the body, I would have chose a different profession.

Specializes in Critical Care.
I seriously agree with elkpark. Nursing starts off as a concentration camp of learning while in nursing school. Then it turns to 12-15 hour shifts in which you are hungry, dehydrated, mentally & physically drained. Lunch breaks, breaks, and restroom breaks are a luxury. If I would have known how hard it was on the body, I would have chose a different profession.

I agree with most of your statements, but don't think nursing school is really that hard if you do the readying and study. Truthfully school was a piece of cake compared to actually working as a floor nurse is!

Specializes in Critical Care.

Why didn't you speak to the EEOC when they fired you instead of allowing you to have the maximum 3 months of family/medical leave? Or was the accident somehow involved in your firing was it for cause and is there a mark on your license. If something is on your license that could interfere with getting your license to practice as an RN if you went back to school. The board of nursing reserves the right to withhold the license or restrict if they find anything that bothers them such as evidence of psyche or etoh problems, etc, etc. How strict they are appears to vary by state. I think it's crazy that a person would have to get their RN and then after they spent all the time and money still have to wait to see if the board would let them have their license to practice.

I have heard that there is a pharmacist glut due to the increase in pharmacy schools as well as system automation where in some states they don't need a pharmacist staffed in remote locations. I bet the recent buyout of Rite Aid by Walgreens is going to lead to more layoffs.

Can you speak to friends, fellow pharmacists to have them help you get a job. Get in touch with old classmates, maybe some have become managers and could help you out. Nowadays its who you know that helps get a person a job.

I have read blogs about fellow pharmacists laid off and some have considered going back to school for PA or NP to hopefully make a halfway decent salary. I'm reluctant to encourage you to go back to schools because student loans are generally not dischargable in bankruptcy. I imagine you still have student loans from pharmacy school.

If you do go back to school PA and NP do similar work, in some states NP's have an edge because they have prescribing rights, but every state is different. There are many more NP schools than PA schools. If you could find an accelerated direct entry RN to NP program you might consider that but I'm sure it will be pricey! Be aware you will be charged grad school tuition from the beginning and grad school student loans have higher interest currently 6.8% I believe and there is no longer any grace period so interest accrues from day one. You can't default on your loans or you won't be able to bill medicare etc for your service!

elkpark

14,633 Posts

Why didn't you speak to the EEOC when they fired you instead of allowing you to have the maximum 3 months of family/medical leave?

There are specific criteria that must be met in order to be covered under the FMLA. Not everyone qualifies.

ambr46

219 Posts

Well at least you will ACE pharmacology. Seriously though I think it would be a huge pay cut for you.

bjr0311

1 Post

I am a pharmacist who decided to pursue my RN degree after 6 months of looking for work. It is the best decision I could have made. I don't think the job market will recover for pharmacists in my life time and a nursing job is a wonderful job! I graduated in May, got my CDE along the way (with my pharmacist experience) and I have just accepted my first RN position. I was able to find a part time pharmacist job, but it is not enough hours to live on (12/week). I accepted a part time RN job in LTC because the RN job market is tough to break into in my area. I will be proud to work as an RN and my pharmacy degree got me many job interviews. School was tough, but I did well and the education was wonderful. I will get my RN experience and then see where my future lies in the profession. If I was a little younger I would pursue my NP degree in a second. Nurses are everywhere and the potential is unlimited. I do not know what the pharmacy profession was thinking when they opened up all these new schools. Working for a chain pharmacy can be exhausting so I wouldn't think that nursing is harder than that. It is probably the same understaffed situations. If you have been looking for a pharmacist job for 2 years(!) with no luck, I would get into nursing school as fast as you can. It is a big pay cut, but what difference does it make what you COULD get paid when there are no jobs to pay you anything? I wish you all the best of luck with your new career!!

Specializes in Public Health. Has 4 years experience.
I am a pharmacist who decided to pursue my RN degree after 6 months of looking for work. It is the best decision I could have made. I don't think the job market will recover for pharmacists in my life time and a nursing job is a wonderful job! I graduated in May, got my CDE along the way (with my pharmacist experience) and I have just accepted my first RN position. I was able to find a part time pharmacist job, but it is not enough hours to live on (12/week). I accepted a part time RN job in LTC because the RN job market is tough to break into in my area. I will be proud to work as an RN and my pharmacy degree got me many job interviews. School was tough, but I did well and the education was wonderful. I will get my RN experience and then see where my future lies in the profession. If I was a little younger I would pursue my NP degree in a second. Nurses are everywhere and the potential is unlimited. I do not know what the pharmacy profession was thinking when they opened up all these new schools. Working for a chain pharmacy can be exhausting so I wouldn't think that nursing is harder than that. It is probably the same understaffed situations. If you have been looking for a pharmacist job for 2 years(!) with no luck, I would get into nursing school as fast as you can. It is a big pay cut, but what difference does it make what you COULD get paid when there are no jobs to pay you anything? I wish you all the best of luck with your new career!!

I hope your experience is everything you are looking for but I think your rose colored glasses are on right now.

Your attitude will largely determine how you feel about clinical nursing but I'm afraid you may become disillusioned once you begin practicing nursing in the real world.