Hi everyone! This is my first post on here. I'm a 33 year old preschool teacher back in school for nursing. I'm planning to get my associates first and then, hopefully while working as a nurse, finish up my BSN. I'm a single mom and money is tight already, and I'm a little concerned from everything I've read about actually getting a job once I'm a nurse. It seems like every job requires at least a year experience. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do NOW to help up my chances of actually finding work? Is it as hard to find a job as it seems? Are residency programs something worth pursuing after graduating before anything else? I volunteer for hospice now (ultimately want to either work in hospice or oncology) but absolutely can not afford to give up my salaried teaching job to make $13/hour as a CNA or something similar as I have bills to pay and a child to support etc... I'm near DC and in order to officially start working as a nurse instead of a teacher would need to be making a minimum of $50k starting out. I am totally prepared to do a few years of grunt work before getting into any specialty I'm passionate about, but am honestly worried right now that I'm going to sacrifice my thirties and a lot of money when I'm already struggling to make ends meet...to enter into a field where I'm not going to be able to even find a job. Any advice or reassurance would be very much appreciated. I think I'm just very anxious about making such a bold switch, esp as a single mom, and sometimes I get scared it's not the "smart" choice as far as financial stability/career opportunties go and I'd love a little encouragement :) My huge fear is just putting in all this time and money and then not being able to find a job at the other end of it...and of course the internet is rife with horror stories from new grads who can't find work, so now I'm not sure if finding a job as a new grad is really as bad as some posts make it sound or not. Thanks!