Undecided whether to become a letter Carrier or R.N?

Nurses General Nursing


Last week I received a letter from the mail regarding to go for an interview to work for the USPS. I'am about to start nursing school this month and I forgot about the postal exam i took 2 years ago. Now that Im going to start school this comes up. Should I go for the Postal or continue to pursue my nursing dream? I really want to become a Nurse but now I'm stuck with this major decision. What all of you think I should do go for the postal job or continue on with college?:confused: :o


211 Posts

Specializes in PACU/Cardiac/Nrsg. Mgmt./M/S.

want better working conditions?

want stability in your job?

want all the excellent bennies that civil service has to offer?

want holidays off?

want to lower your risk of contagious diseases?

want to work serving the public without risk of being called any derogatory name under the sun by those you serve?

be a letter carrier

Why did you want to be a postal worker and why a nurse?

Take a few moments to think about what you want in your life and maybe even draw up a side by side list of comparisons (pros v. cons for each). To bide some time, you can always go for the postal interview, and later withdraw if you decide it's not for you. Maybe you could ask to shadow a postal worker, and you could also arrange to shadow a nurse as well? (maybe not on short notice). Will the USPS allow you to work part time while in nursing school? (Just a thought). Perhaps you could explore both areas. Take some time to think of what you really want- in your heart of hearts. But also consider which field would make you happier.

Good luck in whatever you decide!



160 Posts

kona has some good advice. I'm in the same position as you. I am working in the banking industry, thinking of getting into a medical field, like nursing. But undecided on what I should do. I really need to look at what I would like to do with my life and pros and cons. I'm a single woman with no kids and a semi-serious boyfriend, but I need to do things for me at teh age of 23, so I'm in the process of deciding what I should do. USPS is a great organization to work for, good pay, hrs, holidays (yet you can get diseases ... PAPERCUTS! ANTHRAX! j/k), but you need to do what YOU want. I'm liking the part time job while nursing school ... it might help you financially! Best of luck!

nimbex, RN

387 Posts

Nursing is like serving in any of the armed forces...

It's the toughest job you'll ever love

quoted poorly I'm sure.... but you work your arse off and the rewards are not monetary, pats on the back.. plaques on the wall... yet I remember each of the faces that have made a great impact on my life. I'm honored for the chance to make one in theirs....... as you read on this board.... never easy or without consequences to come by.

If I could "do it all over again"... I'd sit longer at each bedside talking instead of rushing out to chart, I'm only 8 yrs. in and loving it, for the most part


2,709 Posts

Do you have to make a one-or-the-other choice? Why not do both?? Work the 10 years in the post office for your federal pension. You can always go to nursing school after that.... or even go part time while youre working as a letter carrier. You'll have to take pre-requisites before your nursing courses & they are not hard to find as evening courses that can be taken after work. Take it slow but steady & by the time you retire from the post office, you can already have your RN license, along with the benefits of a federal govt job.

And as the laws we are working on today come to pass, and a real shortage in numbers of nurses takes hold in the next few years, there will be more financial assistance available to you to finance your nursing education.

When you finally retire from nursing, and have your gov't pension from the post office, you'll be in a much better financial position than those of us who only worked as nurses all these years & have no real pensions at all.

mother/babyRN, RN

11 Articles; 1,587 Posts

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN.

My dad was a career postal worker, as are two of my brothers..They work with several nurses who traded in nursing for the post office and who say they will never go back. Not an easy test to work at the post office, by the way, but they have a strong union, unlike most connected to nursing. Good luck in either or any area you choose..


89 Posts

I had a friend who had her Masters in Education who quit to be a letter carrier. I don't talk to her anymore, but she loved it. She had a walking route, and said her job was so low stress compared to teaching, plus she got paid to exercise every day.

Also, good benefits, good retirement, no holidays...

Anagray, BSN

335 Posts

Specializes in ER,Neurology, Endocrinology, Pulmonology.

I knew that I wanted to be an MD since I was 14 years old and I was just about to enroll into medical school, when my life has taken an unexpected turn.

I had one steady job and many different side jobs. After 12 years of doing anything and everything I finally decided to go back to my original plan, but this time I am not in med school, but in nursing school and even though I know how hard it will be to be an RN, I know I belong in this field.

I think that you should not go to nursing school, unless you are absolutely sure that this is what you should be doing. There is nothing wrong with going after other jobs. My main point is that if u have to pay for your education, make sure it is worth it.

I had time to explore other options, I also worked in healthcare fefore, so i know what i was getting into.

Whatever you decide, I hope u will be happy and successful!!

good luck

Specializes in Telemetry, Case Management.


I have tried for years to get on at the post office!

My mother in law worked there. She retired at nearly full pay after twenty five years (age 52 for her), plus she can now draw her social security. As a matter of fact, they wanted to reduce the postal work force at the area she was in and she got a 17K bonus to retire, plus all her saved up sick/vacation time in cash in full at the time she left. The postal service still pays part of her health insurance too. If you go for nursing, most places have a crappy little 401k, and you will have to work until whatever the freaking retirement age is.

Based on the stories I heard from her, postal work has a lot of politics in it too, but not nearly so stressful as nursing.


If you really really really want to go to nursing school, put it off for a couple of years and go to night school. That's what I would do, and this is based on my 18 years as a nurse.

Being a lettter carrier in New York during the month of January can't be easy. Or August for that matter. My two cents

Specializes in Med-Surg.

I was a walking carrier for 3 months. I absolutely hated it. It may have just been the postmaster at my post office, or it may have just been that the job and I weren't compatible. I *thought* the pay was great, but looking back, it really wasn't that great. I was a PTF or part-time flexible carrier. When you interview they tell you wonderful things like "you'll work about 20 hours/week" etc. I was putting in 60+ hours every week. My postmaster talked to me like I was a DOG. This was in another state that during the 3 months I was there had snow storms, flooding, ice storms, and temps over 90. You absolutely do have irate customers in the PO. I had a lady call up and complain that I had thrown up on her shrub. I had another call and say that I had torn the door off their mailbox. It was endless. Worst job ever. The benefits were superb, but that didn't make up for the rest of it.

Oh--also, espeically if you are the lowman on the totem pole...don't count on having Sundays and holidays off. People do work them. I did.

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