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Nurses Career Support


I am 41 years old. This is my story. I graduated 1995 with a BS in Exercise Science- I worked in the field for a few years- and LOVED it (retreat for obese women, personal trainer, fitness club director). I got married and had three wonderful children. SO, I have been a stay at home mom for ten years. My youngest will start Kindergarten this Fall. I want desperately to go back to work, but realize after being away for so long, I need to go back to school if I want any sort of job satisfaction/money. Fitness/Health jobs are scarce and do not pay well- I found this out only after starting a Masters program in Exercise Physiology. The job prospects made me leave the program. So...I tried to figure out what I could do...I ended up at a local community college for Echocardiography- after speaking with the department head, realized the program was not accredited and didnt even know if it would continue. So, again I was left confused about which direction to go in...I thought about Physical Therapist Assistant, because of my EP background, but the market here is a bit saturated and I still keep coming back to my love of cardiac physiology. I had originally wanted to work as an EP in a cardiac rehab facility. SO after researching a bit, I came across cardiac rehab nursing. It looked as though I could specialize , still work in my area of interest, (or even go hardcore cardiac nursing, cath lab, etc.- all interest me). SO I got excited at the idea of it all. This is my problem...I am so scared about returning to school for this profession. I have taken recent masters level and undergrad. courses in Med. Physiology, re-took A&P because mine was "too old to be accepted", Medical Terminology, Exercise for SPecial POopulations, EKG interpretation... I got A's in every class. My problem is that taking these courses- one or two at a time resulted in extreme stress for me( had to get an A type person) and it was very difficult to tend to my kids and study, be a wife, etc...I was able to spit out the info in order to get a good grade, but I feel as though I didnt retain a thing!! This makes me nervous when it comes to nursing, as I know RETAINING the info is a must. What is wrong with me? Do you retain more as you work on the job? How do you remember EVERYTHING?! My next concern is that I have a family and I am not sure if as a new grad I will be forced to to 2nd or 3rd shift- this wont work for me- my kids are still young. (11,9, and 5) My husband owns a restaurant and it is a mom/pop operation. We do everything for very little money. He is gone alot in the evening as he cooks and runs the place, so I need a daytime job- one that pays well. I am also worried that since I want to specialize I will be stuck working every floor for ten years before I can work where I want. I love helping others, I have a strong interest in cardiac physiology and cardiac rehab. Is this the career for me? Can I do this and still be here for my family? After spending money and switching majors, I need to be sure this is it. My worst fear is to spend the money and get half way through and change my mind or see it isnt for me. Any advice/help/info is greatly appreciated!!:uhoh3:


13 Posts

Specializes in Cardiothoracic.

Hi I was 40 years old when I got into nursing at University. I also have 3 children a husband and at the time 2 dogs, a house to keep tidy and a mountain of washing and ironing. Now I am a qualified nurse working on a Cardiothoracic Ward which I have been so lucky to get this job, god was on my side for me to get my job. The team are so great, the manager's and all the sisters are great I just love going to work... When I first started at Uni I felt that I was out of my depth and I was never going to juggle everything, I have sat up till 3/4 in the morning crying a the computer because I have an assignment due and I do not know what to put on the first page. It is very very hard work, but I can tell you from experience it is the next best thing to having my children.

The please of working in such a specialised area is great, we have 35 beds, 1x HDU, 1x Stepdown I love my job and you will love yours once you get into it. Follow your dream, you will do it if it is what you want!!! If I can help you in any way please blog me!!

Take Care

Lesley:nurse: YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.


You have obviously analyzed your options very well. I am glad you understand the reality of nursing - working nites & weekends, lack of control over schedule, need to begin as a generalist prior to moving into a specialty area.

That being said, how flexible is your home life? Many of us have needed to "re-group" when we began nursing school. If your family obligations are not flexible, you may need to postpone nursing school until your kids are more self sufficient. Hey - my husband took on some additional tasks when I begain nursing school (laundry, grocery shopping, etc) and it worked out very well. In fact, he kept laundry even after I finished school - LOL.

As for your worry about 'retaining knowledge' that you learn in class. Nursing school curricula is designed so that you have opportunities to apply the knowledge you have learned - in your clinical practicum. This increases retention. No one expectes new grads to be all-knowing, so there is always an extensive process for transitioning into the workplace. Don't worry so much! It's like paying interest on money you haven't even borrowed yet. If you have to postpone for a couple of years, you'll still do very well - there's no expiration date on your brain.


9 Posts

Thanks for your positive words! I guess that's the scariest will I work nights and weekends with a family? (My husband works evenings as well). I think that will be the hardest part to juggle- if even possible. I have a lot of thinking to do! Thanks again! Any other input is always welcome!

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