Second career choice - making the right move?

Nurses General Nursing



i just joined the allnurses forum after perusing for two months. i must say this forum has a great diversity of people and information. i really do enjoy reading others input into patient, staff and management issues and most seem very level headed - so i have decided to ask for some guidance/input from anyone inclined to help me survive, emotionally, my decision to return to school for an adn.

first of all, i'm a guy, 43 with a bs degree and 15 years experience in it. a few thoughts run through my head about approaching nursing after what i have been through in the past 5 months and i could really use a dose of reality, or correction of my naivety about human nature!

i decided to change careers into nursing 2 months before meeting my now 'ex-fiancée' whom is a rn with 18 years experience in a university nicu with a mostly exemplary work record. what i don't understand, and cannot comprehend, is why someone that i respected so much and is in a well respected position at work do the following:

met online september 2008, she said she was divorced. found out 3 weeks ago she is still legally married. secondly, after finding this out i did a background check and found 4 fifth degree thefts on her record - one from 2008. these were bad checks, but made it all the way to the court to be deemed 'criminal offenses'. i proposed marriage to her not knowing any of this information and she said yes!

i am telling this story because i am having a very difficult time accepting that a person that works with the most complicated neonates - bay 1, would act with this type of behavior. am i being naïve here? maybe it doesn't matter your position in healthcare - anyone can be really messed up in their personal life and keep it separate? i don't know, but for me a person's values and morals are within themselves no matter where they are in life - at work, home or the grocery store! would you be worried to have a nurse caring for your family member that acted in such a deceitful manner? this has pretty much rocked the foundation of my life and makes me wonder if she is a rarity in the profession or are there other very mean people in nursing i.e. nurses that eat their young or otherwise act in such a way that just ruin your day, week, year or career!

there - please offer some hope or positive outlook here. i begin my adn program in a few weeks and really need to clear my head of the how and why this happened - i will probably never know!


264 Posts

Specializes in Pulmonary, MICU.

It is well documented that nurses do horrible things in their personal lives. Nurses are an extremely high risk profession...high risk for smoking, drinking, illicit drug abuse, unhealthy eating, avoiding exercise, etc. So it's really not that surprising. I think the issue is that nurses spend so much energy caring for the lives of others that they forget or refuse to take care of themselves.

The positive is that while we are exceptionally high risk with very high rates of the above mentioned behaviors, it is still a minority of the population that indulges in said behaviors.


24 Posts


Couple of thoughts, first I am about to embark on mysecond career with 20 years in the IT industry. I was lucky enough to have had a BS and MS in the biological sciences so I can do one of the accelerated BSN programs. I wish you luck on the education. In terms of your relationship issues. Those issues would have cropped up regardless of career choice. I have been in dire straights before while have not really done anything illegal, I know that desperate people do desperate things and when character is tested, it sometimes shows the crack in the armor. the ony way you are going to absolutely get past this is to discuss it with your fiance and get to a place of peace on the circumstances and her current strength of her character. Try not to judge but to listen and forgive.

All the best,


llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Nurses are people, too. We are not "saints" or "angels." We are people with all the complexity that being human involves. Some have high moral standards: others do not. Some are hard workers: some are not. Some are terrific: some are not. etc. etc. etc.

The same is true of our patients.

We are not separate from our patients. It is not "we, the nurses" and "them, the patients" all the time. We are made of the same stuff as the patients. We are part of the general public -- of the same body of humanity that can be so glorious and so in-glorious.

Perhaps, somewhere along your path as a nursing student and then nurse ... you will come to terms with what it really means to be "human" ... and be at peace with knowing that those upon whom society depends to care for others (such as nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, etc.) are just as human and can be just as flawed as anyone else.

Take care.


84 Posts

It seems you met a jerk who happens to be a nurse. There are jerks in every profession. Maybe you're now viewing the whole area of Nursing with negativity due to this experience. It happens - I was once mad at an Australian guy & hated the entire country of Australia for a week. A most irrational emotion.

Also, the things she allegedly did, while deplorable, do not directly relate to patient care. Now if it were drugs, drinking problems or history of violence, that would be different.

When I was sick the nurses were wonderful. I couldn't care less if they cheated on their partners, posted false online profile, or flashed their breasts at Mardi Gras in their non-nursing personal life. Don't have anything to do with nursing as a profession.

Good luck with your career choice.

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