Realistic career change?

by Jaspersen Jaspersen (New) New

Hello Everyone,

After several days anxiously perusing these forums for successful stories of a mid-life (I am 34) career change to nursing, I am more perplexed then ever if becoming an RN is a realistic option for me.

A bit of background: I am a CPA and loathe my job in public accounting; the thought of doing this for the next 30 years puts me on the verge of tears. The isolation, boredom, tediousness...for a time I find solace in it but now it tortures me as I mature as a person.

I want to quit my job in August and enroll full-time at one of the area CC for nursing prerequisites. Then sit for the teas exam next summer and apply to nursing schools. In the meantime, I thought I would attend CNA school and try to find a job in a hospital or nursing home.

IF I can maintain a 4.0 GPA and have high Teas scores, do I have a good chance of getting in to Massbay, Quincy, etc? My prior college experience is an associates in accounting and a bachelors in accounting/minor economics with some graduate school work. Solid GPA (3.7 if I can, but I believe I have an F in biology (was going through a personal mess at the time and could not drop the class) from ages ago. I also have a GED (I was a mess from 17-21 until I went back to college the second time).

I will attend an information session, but I thought I'd post for some feedback.

Thank you for all of your replies!!

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I am not familiar with the particular schools in your area. So, I won't comment on that aspect. However....

I am always concerned for people who view nursing as a career "escape from a job they hate." How many different types of accounting jobs have you tried? My sister-in-law is a CPA. She didn't like her first job at all -- just another accountant in a big firm. But enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of her 2nd job working for a small company where she was really part of an integrated team, growing the company. She worked there for several years -- up until the company was sold to a big conglomerate. Now she works for another small, family-owned company with a similar "cozy" atmosphere. She is "over-qualified" for her new job -- just as she was, at first, for her previous one. But she liked the smaller, more friendly atmosphere and she was able to have more flexibility with her work hours, which really helped with raising her kids.

I've also talked with some people whose careers are based in finance who have told me how much more satisfied they are working for non-profit organizations, charities, etc. rather than the more cut-throat businesses.

I'm not saying you should not become a nurse -- IF (and only if) the work of nursing and all it's stresses and strains are what you really want to do. But if nursing seems attractive to you because it is a way out of a job you currently hate, then maybe you should explore looking for more satisfying career options that build on the expertise you already have -- working for a company whose "cause" is meaningful for you -- or something that requires that you take only a couple of classes, or a Master's Degree in a related field.

You'll probably need a Bachelor's Degree in nursing to get a decent entry-level job in Massachusetts. And you may well need a graduate degree for the kind of job you will eventually want. That's a long, hard road to invest in when you don't even know if you will like actual nursing work or not. Build on what you have already developed. Look for a better job now ... and get some experience in health care (volunteer?) before you make the big leap.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Edited by llg

I would suggest before you quit your high paying job (?) and enroll in a Community College for your prerequisites, why not enroll in Anatomy I and the Anatomy I Lab for the fall semester, either in the evenings or on Saturday. In my area, I know they have Saturday Classes for these two courses that meet once a week. This will outcome (grade) will gauge your readiness for a Nursing Program with minimal financial investment and very little disruption to your schedule. If you do well on this course, you could then enroll full time to finish up your prerequisite and do an accelerated BSN program (or ADN Program if you so desire)

BTW, I know a lot of people who eventually became RNs who were once Engineers, Computer Science Professionals and did it much later in life.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.


You can PM me if you can. I was in a similar boat a few years ago, but I let that idea sit for quite a few years and explored other options before I made the change.

I think your plan is good (getting your pre-reqs done while working as a CNA) if you have the financial means to pull it off. For most people, I would strongly suggest doing pre-reqs while you're working, but I know how bad the hours can get in public accounting, so taking pre-reqs while working probably isn't realistic.

I don't know much about Massbay, but if you can maintain 3.5+ GPA in your pre-reqs and have a good TEAS score, you will have no problem getting into Quincy. The "F" in Biology wouldn't matter...just retake and get an "A". However, you should seriously consider a BSN if at all possible.

hopefulRN'17, ASN, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

Where do you live if you don't mind? I began my pre reqs at your age and now at 36, just got accepted to Massasoit for their pt evening program. I scored 82% on teas and had a 3.3 gpa. If I did it, you can too. Just make sure this is what you really want. :)

I was in the same boat as you in 2011.I am CPA too and my job used to give me bad anxiety attacks. I thought about a career change to nursing and everybody thought I was crazy. Needless to say,I volunteered in a local hospital( Maryland) for two weekends and I realized that I enjoyed the hospital environment more. I quit my job in 2012 and moved to the south. I am married and my husband financially supported me while doing the preliquisites which I finished with a 4.0. I have been admitted to two nursing programs. A BSN and an ADN program. I do not qualify for Pell grant, however I have applied for WIA grant. If it goes through , I will attend the BSN program. If it does not , I will attend the ADN program. (because of cost).In the beginning it was very hard for me and it felt as though I was taking 10 steps back career wise but I have made peace with my decision and moved on.I am doing my CNA certification test on August 1 and am hoping to land an hospital job thereafter. Hopefully I will be an RN in 2016. Good luck to you in your career change.