I'm a 31 year old guy, who's been trying to make up my mind about this for some time now. I am interested in the mental health field. I find it fascinating and I think it would be a great way for me to help others who suffer.
I have a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, and basically a minor in Spanish. I've been sort of on an exceedingly random career and life path since I graduated from college 9 years ago. I worked for a year and a half doing design, realized it wasn't for me, found an internship in Costa Rica for 6 1/2 months, lived with a host family and learned Spanish. Pause...then I came back to the U.S., became an elementary ESL teacher, did that for a year and a half, then taught Art and Spanish to high school students online.
I recently got married, moved to a different state and now have a completely different job working for the government. I do feel, however, that I am closer to my goal of helping people directly. I want to work with people in intimate settings, ie 1 on 1 or in small groups. Teaching didn't really allow as much of that as I wanted.
I am fascinated by psychology, and I have begun a track toward getting my MSW (master's of social work degree). I have, however, been somewhat dispelled because I am concerned about 1. can I provide for my family on the income 2. if I have to get my master's part time (because I have a dayjob), then work for 2 years before I can get my license (it's my understanding that it's very hard to get good jobs without a license or at least any that pay well) is it worth it?
I looked into the nursing field about 2 years ago, as well, and I took a couple of prerequisite courses for an ADN degree program (my thinking was that I could become a nurse and then go back and get a master's in the future should I so desire), and I did a little shadowing of an oncology nurse. I feel that a few things that are intriguing about nursing to me are 1. It's a busy job; you aren't ever really sitting behind your desk wondering why 4 hours seemed like 8...2. You have a very hands on job, where you are providing people something tangible, touch, the rewards nurses give people are manifested in very 'real' ways, which I feel would be rewarding to the nurse as well
The challenge of becoming a nurse is definitely there. Science wasn't my best class in high school, but I don't think I really tried either. I did better in college, but I was still very young. I feel I could learn what I have to and pass the tests if I made up my mind to do it; also, I am not by nature the most detail oriented person; I have to work at it...I'm an artistic person, but I also can excel when I put my mind to something.
After all of this nonsense, my question to you psych nurses is...for someone like me, what would you recommend...the MSW or going ahead and taking a 180...getting the ADN and trying to get into mental health nursing?
*I appreciate anyone's time in reading and replying to this posting