Lawyer considering nursing - page 2

hello, I just wanted to get some thoughts from RNs and CRNAs. I am a lawyer now working part time. I have small kids. I could either work part time with a family member as a lawyer and try to... Read More

  1. by   alaur74
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I wish I could trade you mine for yours, I could then get famous hopefully, get on CNN with Nancy Grace and tell her how bad she gets on my nerves, and how freaking rude she is!!!!!! That is the BEST thing about my wife packing up and moving out, NO MORE Nancy Grace, Yay!!!!!! Hip Hip HURRAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

    But, Good Luck Whatever You Decide to Do!!!!
    Thank you for this- it made me laugh out loud
  2. by   wooh
    How much in student loans are you currently paying off? How much would you have to borrow to get the necessary education? How long will that take to pay off if you're only wanting to work part-time?

    Added thought, as long as the economy is in the crapper, it's going to be really hard to get a hospital to hire you and give you the necessary new grad training in exchange for you only wanting to work part-time. Especially if you want to get into an ICU (which you'll have to do if you want to get into CRNA school.)
  3. by   bratmobile
    My Fiance is an attorney,, He has a full time job in the army as a JAG but he has a small civilliam practice too ay which nmakes his own schedule,, you can "tinker" in law a lot easier than getting through nursing school, and you can do it wall from a home office too..he has a legal assistant who works from her home too.., your kids won't be little anymore by the time you are done and you will be away from them alot for school and clinicals,, did you find law is not really your cup of tea?
  4. by   koi310
    Stick with being an attorney. You can spend the 5+ years it will take to get your foot in the door as a CRNA to grow your legal practice, and be that much ahead.If you want to go into medicine, though, you may as well go to med school and become an anesthesiologist.
  5. by   Robublind
    Well I have a JD and RN after my name. It depends if you like being an attorney or not. I couldn't stand it. I have run into a few of my fellow JD classmates in the ED, none of them are happy, they work long hrs, pay about the same. I have a smile on my face. As for the CRNA, I thought about going that route but honestly I would get bored. Long hrs sitting behind a sleeping pt zzzzzzzzzz.

    Question: Most lawyers I know went the legal route because they sucked at math. Is this you? Nursing has a lot of math, I wish I could teach algebra because I have answer to the question "will I ever use it". Yes, I use it every day.

    If you are just looking for different hrs, stay with ESQ. If you are not happy with what you do... You can always go back to being an attorney, nursing exp will open a lot of doors. Life is short, be happy with what you do.
  6. by   Stevenyzwife
    Quote from Been there,done that
    You could not possibly imagine how many nurse wish they were a lawyer!
    Too true! If I had the brains to be a lawyer, I wouldn't be a nurse but a Doctor.
    I can't possibly see how nurses and lawyers can earn the same amount of $.
    Speaking of which, I could do with a free lawyer right now, not the $300 per hour ones here!

    Good luck with your decision.
  7. by   PacoUSA
    I am a lawyer, 15 days shy from graduating with my BSN degree. Time and time again during nursing school (one accelerated yet insanely fast year), I have validated my decision to switch careers as the best decision ever. I don't want to bore people here with the details of my 10+ year law experience prior to nursing school, but it suffices to say that I would clearly trade standing 14 hours a day to work with patients over the 12 hours a day sitting on my ass doing some of the mundane things lawyers do. There is also a sense of pride in the work I have done so far in nursing, as compared to the ones that I did as a lawyer. This is probably why there is a Nurses Appreciation Week and there is no Lawyers Appreciation Week (not as far as I know). I am more proud to say I am a nurse than I ever was to say I am a lawyer, and that is a shame. Most nurses who tell lawyers not to leave their profession to be a nurse don't realize how emotionally taxing a legal career can be, and that in many respects the grass is greener as an RN. I can speak to both now, and FOR ME the nursing route is best. This is not to say I regret becoming a lawyer, funny to admit. I enjoyed law school and cherish the education I received, but the career path I followed thereafter was not conducive to my happiness, ultimately ending up in a dead-end direction. I also felt a large void in my career, and now I realize it was about recapturing my interest in working as a health care provider (as a child I always wanted to become a doctor, but somehow diverted weirdly). Law school helped me become the person I am today, more confident and mature to enter the original profession I should have pursued in the first place.

    I was ALWAYS a math whiz and lousy at reading comp and writing, so in hindsight law school was so out of character for me. It was a struggle but I managed to graduate and pass the New York bar, which is historically one of the toughest in the nation. I am proud of that accomplishment, and proud of the fact that I am a much better reader and writer after the fact. And nursing school showed me that I still love math! Yes, I could have gone to medical school ... but I am in my early 40's, and 1 year in a nursing school degree program was an ideal option for me as opposed to 4+ years to become an MD. Besides, I now see (as opposed to when I was 18) how nursing is far better suited for me than being a doctor.

    As for you wanting to be a CRNA, my first instinct in reading that in your post is that you want to recapture the same earning power as an attorney because CRNA's have the highest starting salaries. I hope this is NOT why you have earmarked a new career as a CRNA, and I apologize in advance if I made this assumption erroneously. Yes, that kind of money is nice, but you have to be dedicated to your craft to enter nursing, irrespective of pay. Yes, pay is important and nurses deserve to be compensated nicely for what they do. But it should not be the #1 reason to enter the profession. On average, I will make about $40,000 less a year as a nurse than I would as an attorney, but I could not care less, because I would be happier in the long run. I desperately needed a balance of happiness and decent pay in my life, and this has somehow made the cut.

    Later on, I may combine my law and nursing degrees into a more distinctive career path, but there is time to cultivate that. For now, I just want to get the work experience I need to be the best nurse I can be.

    Good luck deciding on your career path ... and don't let ANYONE deter you in your dreams! Other people's bad experiences won't necessarily be yours!
  8. by   merlee
    Hahahahaha!!!! This was toooooo funny. Stay with the lawyering a few more years.

    Try some different specialities. Take on a variety of cases.

    Best Wishes!!!
  9. by   wooh
    Quote from Paco69
    Most nurses who tell lawyers not to leave their profession to be a nurse don't realize how emotionally taxing a legal career can be, and that in many respects the grass is greener as an RN. I can speak to both now,
    Can't really speak to both yet. Until you actually have worked those 12 hour shifts on your feet all day, which are really 13 hours on a good day, you don't really know what it's like. I mean, did you really know what it was like to be an attorney all day/every day in law school?
  10. by   MattNurse
    CRNA's make so much money because they have to work their glutes off to get where they are. As an RN in my area I clear over $100,000 annually & easily w/ a little modest overtime, many of the 2 year degree nurses make similar money.
  11. by   chuckster
    One other thing to consider is that working part-time as new nursing grad may be difficult. That was my plan as second degree RN (actually third degree in my case since I also have an MBA) but it has not worked out.

    In most, but not all, parts of the country, new grads are finding a difficult job market and this particularly true for ADN's. Getting a nursing job will certainly be difficult, finding a part-time position as an inexperienced RN may be close to impossible.
  12. by   legaleagle30
    I REALLY appreciate all your insight!! It is a difficult decision but I do think that in these economic times, it is easy to think of the other career options as the grass is greener over there.
    Please keep the info coming! it is so valuable to making this big decision!
  13. by   PacoUSA
    Quote from wooh
    Can't really speak to both yet. Until you actually have worked those 12 hour shifts on your feet all day, which are really 13 hours on a good day, you don't really know what it's like. I mean, did you really know what it was like to be an attorney all day/every day in law school?
    No, I did not "really know what it was like to be an attorney all day/every day in law school," because unfortunately law school does not give one many opportunities to be in "clinical" (equivalent thereof) situations while in school as one has in nursing school. Additionally, I did not do my due diligence before law school by sitting with lawyers and shadowing them to determine if that was the career path for me. Had I done that, I am sure I would have not gone. However, I DID do this for nursing school, quite thoroughly in fact, and I have had a more positive outcome as a result.

    If I had to design my own law school, I would make it 2 years of lecture instead of 3, and the third year would incorporate some sort of internship in a law firm or an environment conducive to learning the craft one intends to practice. What one needs to know to pass a bar exam is plenty addressed within two years; the 3rd year is full of electives and does not enhance lawyering any more in a classroom as it would practicing in the trenches with real clients and real situations. In fact, most law grads enter the law firms not knowing how to do a real estate closing. Roughly compare this to a nurse, who by graduation has learned how to back-prime a piggyback and can do this from day one at work (I am not going to sit here and argue the merits of this analogy, I am just illustrating a general point).

    My med-surg clinical and capstone experience has been on the same med-surg floor of our university hospital, on a 1:1 basis the entire time since I am part of a dedicated education unit (DEU). At this point halfway through capstone, I am taking care of 3 patients on my own (half of my preceptor's patients) from beginning to end of shift reports, including vitals and ADLs if time allows. My preceptor supervision continues until I graduate, but right now it's minimal in skills I have done over and over (I no longer need to be watched to fingerstick and administer appropriate lispro; the preceptor checks off my entries on the MAR -- but of course I don't push meds or hang blood as a student). On this floor, I am not a stranger to 14 hour days, they have occurred (with my net pay being $0). This floor also houses some of the sickest in the hospital and frequently get transferred to and from MICU. They are needy, they whine, they demand meds, they will crap on you once you make the final clean wipe. I am the first to admit this is not easy work! But in the end, I confidently say am not as exhausted as I used to be leaving a law firm after an equally long day. And that's interesting to say considering I am 15 years older now.

    So I may not know right now what it's like to be a nurse several years into his career, but I do have a better window into what my nursing career will be like as opposed to when I graduated from law school without a mandatory law firm internship under my belt (and competitive paid summer internships just don't cut it because it's luck of the draw to get one and the tasks summer clerks do are not anywhere near what a real lawyer does). The experience is enough for me to know that I prefer pure nursing than pure law practice ... so to some extent, I think I CAN speak to both.
    Last edit by PacoUSA on May 2, '12