Published Jun 28, 2009
For going on 2 years I've been slowly pursuing nursing as a career path. This is a second career for me....I have a psych. degree and have done a number of things with that (unfortunately, for very little compensation). If I could make a halfway decent wage in this field I might consider staying, but the work is very hard and the pay is poor (we're talking $15/hr. being a "very good" wage). My other option was going back and getting an MSW, but I KNOW that I don't want to be a therapist, and that's what most people wind up doing with that degree.
So, nursing has really intrigued me for a number of years. I've taught CPR and First Aid for awhile now and LOVE it. I've also had experience working direct care with the MR/DD population and LOVED that too. In addition to that, my mother has been a hospice nurse for many years, so I feel like I've gotten quite a bit of exposure to the field through her. Basically, I feel like getting an RN would expand my career prospects and increase my wages.
Anyway, getting to the point: I've been taking pre-req. classes one at a time for the last 1 1/2 years. I haven't done more than that because keeping my full-time job made doing anything more than that next to impossible. Now my husband and I have moved back to our home town (which also happens to have an accelerated BSN program that I reallly want to go to) and I'm having to try to find another job. It's discouraging because finding a job that is flexible enough to allow me to take my pre-reqs. is virtually impossible, particularly in this economic climate. It looks like I'm going to have to work PT just to make sure I have the flexibility to take the last two classes I need by application time next spring. Luckily that is financially feasible for us, but it is still a sacrifice. So my concern is that I'm making these sacrifices and pursuing this path and that after all is said and done, I may not even be able to find a job. I'm in NC, where jobs are supposed to be a bit easier to find than in other places, but it is still really scarey. We don't want to have to move again. The hospital has eliminated their tuition reimbursement program, so I'll have to pay out of pocket for the nursing program. Things are not nearly as appealing as they once were.
In the back of my mind I feel like this is worth it. That I'll find a job and be content, but reading post after post about new grads unable to find work is really disheartening. Sometimes I think I should just get a full time job in my current field and forget it. I'm not getting any younger (I'm 26), and want to be "settled" already.
I guess I'm just looking for some realistic, objective perspectives on this...
Virgo_RN, BSN, RN
This too shall pass. Jobs may be scarce right now, and there is a good chance that things will get worse before they get better. But get better they will. The fact that the baby boomers are aging is unavoidable, and nurses will be in high demand.
I was about your age, during an economic downturn, where jobs were scarce, when I entered LVN school. I'm not convinced that things are tougher now. On recruitment day, three recruiters showed up. One wasn't offering jobs, she came because of a long relationship with the school. One was from a notoriously exploitative employer. The third was military. The previous semester's class had so many recruiters, not all of them could be accommodated.
I had a job soon after graduation. The strategy I used was to apply for positions at each clinical. (I was already a CNA) I think a similar strategy would work well in this environment.
Things worth having are worth sacrificing for and worth waiting for. If you feel good about the thoughts of helping others and being a nurse, then do it. If you only want a steady check, then stay where you are. It is hard right now everywhere, bur hang in there if nursing is what you really want!
Me and my hubby are 29 and although I understand about "not getting any younger and wanting to be settled" you two still have time to figure it all out. I live in Michigan where it is really rough right now, but I am determined to see this through. Nursing genuinely makes me happy in the bottom of my heart, even when I am doing things that I don't care for. But even so, we all want good jobs and good pay. I think that you need to decide what is most important to you. Good luck
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