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Should I be a nurse?

Hello everyone!!

I have been lurking around this site for far too long and I just need to know if I’m making the right decision. For the past 3 years I've been working in a top hospital on the administrative side of patient services but my goal was always to use my employer to pay for school and get the nursing ball rolling. The nursing horror stories havent deterred me yet and I get to speak to many of the nurses at my job so I know what to expect somewhat. Im still so unsure about spending the 60k in my savings for an ABSN and starting another career. I just cannot stay in administration any more and im already 32! Is it a good decision at this time to just do it?!

Only you can make that decision. If you're asking is nursing a good/bad career option then that's subjective as well. It depends on the person and how satisfied they are with their job that day. Nursing has good/bad days and it's not all fluff like you see on TV. Nevertheless, I don't regret it.

IMO, since you're already working in a hospital, try shadowing a nurse on a few days you have off, maybe weekends or holidays since you're in administration, and see if it's something you still want to pursue. If so, go for it!

Also know you don't necessarily have to work in a hospital setting. Nursing has many avenues, the hospital is just one of them. Let me add, check the job field in your area first, or where you're interesting in relocating, if you're willing to relocate. Some areas are more saturated than others which will make it hard to find a job post graduation.

1 hour ago, NurseBlaq said:

Only you can make that decision. If you're asking is nursing a good/bad career option then that's subjective as well. It depends on the person and how satisfied they are with their job that day. Nursing has good/bad days and it's not all fluff like you see on TV. Nevertheless, I don't regret it.

IMO, since you're already working in a hospital, try shadowing a nurse on a few days you have off, maybe weekends or holidays since you're in administration, and see if it's something you still want to pursue. If so, go for it!

Also know you don't necessarily have to work in a hospital setting. Nursing has many avenues, the hospital is just one of them. Let me add, check the job field in your area first, or where you're interesting in relocating, if you're willing to relocate. Some areas are more saturated than others which will make it hard to find a job post graduation.

Thank you so much for your reply, it rly does mean so much. Iam in NYC and my primary goal after switching careers is to leave this city behind for GOOD. It is one of the reasons I've chosen nursing. It has so many avenues!! It is a skill I will use for life.

Well, in that case, do the shadowing to see if nursing is still something you want to do. If so, go for it!

Check out the cities you're looking to relocate to and the nursing wages. Compare the wages to cost of living and see if it's adequate for your lifestyle. I would caution to check if there are also furloughs in the area due to covid. Hopefully, it won't be necessary by the time you get out of school and we'll have some type of handle on it.

Good luck to you!

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I would look for a less expensive option. $60k is crazy when there are community college options and LPN programs that can get the ball rolling for 1/4 the cost.

9 minutes ago, meanmaryjean said:

I would look for a less expensive option. $60k is crazy when there are community college options and LPN programs that can get the ball rolling for 1/4 the cost.

Thank you for replying! To be honest I looked at CC and I don't want to spend longer than I need to in school. My employer covers 20k of the 60k. Theyre already covered 14k of the pre reqs I needed to take so really, it wouldnt be the full 60k, but still a very big chunk of my savings which is scary in these unknown times!! I have a child and just want to make the right choice.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

15 minutes ago, TheSpecialist said:

Thank you for replying! To be honest I looked at CC and I don't want to spend longer than I need to in school. My employer covers 20k of the 60k. Theyre already covered 14k of the pre reqs I needed to take so really, it wouldnt be the full 60k, but still a very big chunk of my savings which is scary in these unknown times!! I have a child and just want to make the right choice.

Make the choice that keeps your hard-earned money in your pocket. Especially if you have a child. I would rather spend an extra year than an extra $45k. ASBNs often carry with them a BRUTAL pace which prohibits any outside employment and (my opinion only) contributes to dropping out/ failing out.

A consecutive semester ADN? Community college pricing too. I don't really like the idea of the pre-licensure BSN, especially the ABSN. A lot of programs have a "if you 'fail' two classes, you're kicked out" policy. 'Failing' is like under a 78% for a lot of programs!

I went through this dilemma too and decided to put off the nursing idea after missing the deadline for the only program in my rural area (it has a fall start only). Too busy jumping through all the hoops the program wanted just to apply that I didn't even notice the deadline. Then I started working, returned back 8 months later and found out my Microbiology wasn't valid anymore because it was 3 months over the 5 year limit. So frustrating and defeating, I just gave up!

My advice is, whatever your decision, do it soon while your pre-reqs are within five years. It is so much harder for me now because majority of programs have a 5 year window

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 43 years experience.

On 8/3/2020 at 12:27 PM, TheSpecialist said:

My employer covers 20k of the 60k. Theyre already covered 14k of the pre reqs I needed to take so really, it wouldnt be the full 60k,

Does that come with a requirement to work for x number years?

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Don't deplete your savings to go back to school! As a single mom you need an ER savings in case of job loss or other emergency. Do you have student loans from a prior degree that need to be paid off?

Don't think nursing is rosier than admin since its the corporate admin that makes the rules, cuts the staff to the bone making it difficult to do a safe job. A large part of the reason for high staff turnover, low morale and burnout is 100% a result of corporate mismanagement and layoffs of essential staff, putting more and more on the few left.

Also corona really brings to the fore the risks inherent in the nursing field. Do you have any health problems that would predispose you to a serious infection such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma or immune problem just to name a few. You have to think of your health and your child and even who would take care of your child if something happened to you from corona or other illness. I'm not fearmongering, I'm just being realistic. Also make sure you have disablity insurance.

Lots of things you need to think about. I concur with the others to avoid the high priced ASBN and look for a cheaper route if you do pursue this. Nursing is nothing like administration!

Edited by brandy1017

DCtoRN, ASN

Specializes in Intensive Care. Has 2 years experience.

I could be way off, but my gut says that if you’ve worked around nurses for years and still aren’t sure it’s what you want to do- keep looking. Society brainwashed us to make choices based on security and consumption. Most people don’t like their jobs, but see the dissatisfaction as a necessary evil. What brings you joy? You’re still young! What do you dream about? Take the time to make connections with people doing things that excite you. Pick their brains. Shadow them. Life is short! Some compromise is necessary. Don’t give too much of yourself away. Your kids will learn an important lesson seeing you work hard to achieve your dream.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

great advice. What are your long term goals? You did mention you are in your 30s. I've read many 30s are working toward retiring early. work stress is no joke. all that follow your passion talk for this group is leading to having a passion to retire early and have enough to take care of yourself and aged parents in the future. if thats the case go into AI and work your way to retiring within ten yrs including living within your means , but if nursing is your thing go for it ☺ either way no regrets

DCtoRN, ASN

Specializes in Intensive Care. Has 2 years experience.

Good points Natasha. I didn’t even consider the scrape for early retirement option. It seems sad to think that many people think of their job as a means to an end but that may well be the safest bet in today’s rat race. I’m not going to lie- the thought of going per diem in early retirement sounds good to me. But that will be sooner than when I was 32.

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

@DCtoRN

right. early retirement is something you don't hear about, but it does exist like people retiring in there 30s and 40s with $1million saved. we have been brainwashed into believing so many things just as you mentioned earlier in your post. time is a currency we don't get back

On 8/7/2020 at 12:37 PM, londonflo said:

Does that come with a requirement to work for x number years?

It actually doesnt which im so relieved about.

On 8/7/2020 at 10:58 PM, brandy1017 said:

Don't deplete your savings to go back to school! As a single mom you need an ER savings in case of job loss or other emergency. Do you have student loans from a prior degree that need to be paid off?

Don't think nursing is rosier than admin since its the corporate admin that makes the rules, cuts the staff to the bone making it difficult to do a safe job. A large part of the reason for high staff turnover, low morale and burnout is 100% a result of corporate mismanagement and layoffs of essential staff, putting more and more on the few left.

Also corona really brings to the fore the risks inherent in the nursing field. Do you have any health problems that would predispose you to a serious infection such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma or immune problem just to name a few. You have to think of your health and your child and even who would take care of your child if something happened to you from corona or other illness. I'm not fearmongering, I'm just being realistic. Also make sure you have disablity insurance.

Lots of things you need to think about. I concur with the others to avoid the high priced ASBN and look for a cheaper route if you do pursue this. Nursing is nothing like administration!

I really appreciate your reply and thank you for taking the time to read my post! I'm actually not a single mom, sorry if that wasn't clear. My husband and I also have $0 debt -- no student loans, no CC cards, no car payment ---which I know is what makes a huge difference in the situation. I do work work in administration but not on the clinical side. I do see the burnout in many of the nurses but they also tell me how much they love their jobs. I guess you cannot be 100% happy every single day in any job. My reason in choosing nursing is because I believe it to be such a versatile career with so many other avenues to get into. You also learn real life skills that you can use to help family and friends. I guess at the end of the day I just feel like why not take advantage of the tuition my company is going to pay for? I'm in NYC and you don't come across this opportunity too many times and my goal is to take this RN license and move somewhere else. I do not want to move states and not have a particular career with me, if you know what I mean. It's hard to explain sometimes. There are a lot of things for me to think about for sure.

18 hours ago, DCtoRN said:

I could be way off, but my gut says that if you’ve worked around nurses for years and still aren’t sure it’s what you want to do- keep looking. Society brainwashed us to make choices based on security and consumption. Most people don’t like their jobs, but see the dissatisfaction as a necessary evil. What brings you joy? You’re still young! What do you dream about? Take the time to make connections with people doing things that excite you. Pick their brains. Shadow them. Life is short! Some compromise is necessary. Don’t give too much of yourself away. Your kids will learn an important lesson seeing you work hard to achieve your dream.

Thank you for replying! I do see your point about security and consumption. Im at a point in my life where there is $0 debt in my marriage and we just want learn new things and acquire new skills which is really what life is about. Unfortunately as a mom though, security is my priority, I don't want to burden my baby girl in the future with taking care of her parents. my goal is to work hard and save and be set as much as possible so she can just enjoy being an adult. Life doesnt always work out so neatly but I really feel that I have to try since nursing is something that I have been interested in for a while

CVT2RN, BSN

Specializes in Cardiovascular, med-surg, quality management. Has 2 years experience.

On 8/3/2020 at 2:58 AM, TheSpecialist said:

Hello everyone!!

I have been lurking around this site for far too long and I just need to know if I’m making the right decision. For the past 3 years I've been working in a top hospital on the administrative side of patient services but my goal was always to use my employer to pay for school and get the nursing ball rolling. The nursing horror stories havent deterred me yet and I get to speak to many of the nurses at my job so I know what to expect somewhat. Im still so unsure about spending the 60k in my savings for an ABSN and starting another career. I just cannot stay in administration any more and im already 32! Is it a good decision at this time to just do it?!

Hello,

This might not mean much but I had a very similar situation to yours. I had been in the health care field as a technologist/CNA/LVN (I was active duty military and now civilian side) for about 16+ years. I have both experienced the hospital setting and outpatient setting as a tech/CNA/LVN. In those 16+ years I saw how nurses ran the floor and wanted to be one, but at the same time running the floor doesn't mean glitz and glamour! In fact, what deterred me from being a nurse was the amount of nastiness they were to each other. Fast forward to the 17th year of my career as a technologist, I decided to go into nursing because I knew it was right for me despite what I saw and cultures do change. I agree with everyone who said, if you can, shadow a few nurses since you're already working in a hospital. Really see their day to day and learn what they're responsible for. Taking care of someone's life is not for the faint of heart even though there are protocols in place.

I have experienced labor and delivery, ambulatory procedures units (PACU), cardiology/internal medicine, medical-surgical, and now I am an admin nurse. That is a whole new ball game. And so far being a nurse, I was proven both right and wrong regarding the attitudes towards each other but ultimately it depends on how I handle those situations.

I got my BSN in 2018 when I was 38 and this is my third career. So at 32, you're still young but I get why you feel you need to make a positive career change for the long haul.

I am excited for you and I wish you all the best.

2 hours ago, CVT2RN said:

Hello,

This might not mean much but I had a very similar situation to yours. I had been in the health care field as a technologist/CNA/LVN (I was active duty military and now civilian side) for about 16+ years. I have both experienced the hospital setting and outpatient setting as a tech/CNA/LVN. In those 16+ years I saw how nurses ran the floor and wanted to be one, but at the same time running the floor doesn't mean glitz and glamour! In fact, what deterred me from being a nurse was the amount of nastiness they were to each other. Fast forward to the 17th year of my career as a technologist, I decided to go into nursing because I knew it was right for me despite what I saw and cultures do change. I agree with everyone who said, if you can, shadow a few nurses since you're already working in a hospital. Really see their day to day and learn what they're responsible for. Taking care of someone's life is not for the faint of heart even though there are protocols in place.

I have experienced labor and delivery, ambulatory procedures units (PACU), cardiology/internal medicine, medical-surgical, and now I am an admin nurse. That is a whole new ball game. And so far being a nurse, I was proven both right and wrong regarding the attitudes towards each other but ultimately it depends on how I handle those situations.

I got my BSN in 2018 when I was 38 and this is my third career. So at 32, you're still young but I get why you feel you need to make a positive career change for the long haul.

I am excited for you and I wish you all the best.

This actually made me cry. It's been a tough day with some bad news but you taking the time out to respond has really meant a lot. You going for a third career just shows its never too late to learn and go for the goals youve set. I know I need to take this path even if I have to sacrifice a so much. Thank you and I also hope you keep succeeding!!

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