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Was your previous career a failed one?

I've just completed my prereqs and am about to start an ADN program. But I'm a little scared. I have a BA in Elem Education. After graduating, two years ago, despite having impeccable credentials, such as a 4.0 GPA, (and I was told men were particularly needed) I found myself unemployed in my field. I finally gave up and switched career pursuits.

So, I hear of all these nursing opportunities, just like I heard about teaching (which was true of some secondary positions), but worry that I'm doing this all for nothing, that I'll graduate with lots of debt and no job.

It is also taking a toll on my motivation to continue studying. I mean, all I hear are horror stories about how difficult this is. Can't imagine going through this for nothing.

I confess that I entered nursing because of it's legendary job security and decent income, though have now, fortunately, discovered an intense passion for it.

I'm 27 years old and feel that I've yet to get anywhere in my career pursuits. I feel like I'm starting adulthood over again by going back to school. Has anyone else here had any feelings/experiences like this?

Grace Oz

Specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/HH/Radiology-Now Retired.

Firstly, WELCOME to allnurses!

Secondly, BEST WISHES in your chosen career of nursing!

Many people experience changes in jobs throughout their lifetime. For many and varied reasons people decide to change, need to change, have no choice BUT to change. Life is, afterall, about CHANGE. It never remains the same. It's ever evolving.

Don't despair that you have your education degree and are not using it at this time. Nothing is ever really lost. I understand your concerns about the study debt, that's real and needs consideration for sure.

Try and visualise the goal you have set yourself, and the things which will accompany reaching that goal. A qualification which will guarantee you employment. Potential to take further study and therefore further your career and prospects. A career in which you can travel and work internationally. An employment field which will ALWAYS need people!! ALWAYS!

At 27 you are still YOUNG! Young enough to commence something new.

Go for it!

GOOD LUCK!

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

Hi and welcome! I'm sorry about your career path as an elementary educator not going where it's supposed to go. The buzz is that there is a huge demand for teachers. I'm surprised to hear differently.

As for your worries about will there be a job as a nurse waiting for you after graduation, I can only tell you my experiences. In our final semester, all of us in my clinical group were wined and dined by nursing administration at the hospital where we were doing our last clinical. Now in my transition preceptorship, I have been offered a job in that unit. I'm actually turning down that offer because I accepted an offer in another state. So yeah, I'd say there are jobs. There is a caveat though. There are some areas of the country where it is still hard to find a job and there are a relative few hospitals that take only BSN grads. In general though, it's a wide open door.

Good luck!

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

There are predictions for RN positions all over the country. There may be spots of lack of jobs, but for the most part there will be jobs out there.

Good luck.

ICRN2008, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infection Preventionist/ Occ Health.

If it makes you feel any better, I have two friends who moved across the country to teach because they couldn't find jobs in the Midwest. I think the job market for elementary teachers is better in some areas of the country than others.

There are nursing jobs everywhere, but some states have more of a shortage than others. From what I have been told it's not a matter of being offered a job, just how many offers you will receive before you graduate :) Good luck to you in your second career!

If it makes you feel any better, I have two friends who moved across the country to teach because they couldn't find jobs in the Midwest. I think the job market for elementary teachers is better in some areas of the country than others.

There are nursing jobs everywhere, but some states have more of a shortage than others. From what I have been told it's not a matter of being offered a job, just how many offers you will receive before you graduate :) Good luck to you in your second career!

Where are you in Midwest?

In response to your question- No, my previous career was a glowing success. I was even given the "Outstanding New Professional of the year" in the South East Region...right before I quit. I worked as a Museum Curator, which is a tight tight job market. I much prefer having the freedom to choose where I want to live

Yes, going back to school did sort of feel like starting adulthood again, especially after carrying around a briefcase, etc and then going back to jeans and backpacks...

still worth every minute. I like my job, as hard as it can be.

36_1_55.gif hi, i had changed careers at 40. went from being a hairdressing/cosmetology/massage therapy instructor to nursing. change happend because i guess nursing was what really was in the blood. went through a few different facilities, working in geriatrics but overall i loved every minute. scarey to start new things when you are a bit older but i think if it is what you are meant to do you will not regret it.

plus, there are many job openings. you just have to be willing to try different areas.

good luck!

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S.N. Visit, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health Care.

I went from Cosmetologist, to stay at home mom, to nursing student. I use my cosmetology daily (on my husband & our 3 girls) and with the patients at clinicals, so no it wasn't a "failed" one for me. I had to get out because of my severe allergies. (perms, colors & artificial nails)

So far I've counted 9 people that I know that have switched from cosmetology to nursing :)

My current career (soon will be previous) is successful. I started from scrath, I'm doing a wonderful job with a nice company. I passed all professional license exams on first shot with all self-study (no training classes, even the tutorial books I used were old-versioned and just $5 each from ebay), and these are hard exams. I am very satisfied with what I've achieved so far. I switch career because I feel nursing is the career I like.

I'm 25 - graduated over two years ago from University of Michigan with a 4.0 GPA and great internship. Decided after two years of drifiting that I cannot and will not be a desk jockey, that I need a job that is stressful, on my feet and helping people. Like you, I fell in love with nursing unexpectedly, but I'm glad I did. I'm doing pre-reqs right now for an accelerated BSN program and crossing my fingers to get in. I do feel like I am starting all over, and that has been extremely frustrating and difficult for me. It seems that all my frriends are starting careers and getting married - and here I am back at a community college! Just keep your end goal in sight and go for it. Good luck!

Geez, I guess it IS just me. That makes me feel better.

True, I do live in the armpit of the country (Kansas City). Kansas is projected to have a surplus of nurses for as far as anyone can guess. Most of my teacing peers were unemployed too.

Maybe I should restate my question. Has anyone who graduated during the Bush Administration worked crappy jobs since (and no, I have no political affiliation)? I graduated into a recession!! And it's like, if you start out with crappy jobs out of college, you're stuck.

As far as the nursing job market, I'm still not convinced. I sent resumes to many hospitals for Patient Care Technician position and haven't as much as received a phone call. You'd think if they were so anxious about recruiting nurses, they might at least consider hiring a nursing student!

So the proof is in the pudding...and the pudding doesn't taste so good. This is all confirming my fears. I mean, I REALLY want to be a nurse, but if I fail to find a job afterwards, I'm facing bankruptcy. Seriously considering dropping out and just settling into poverty.

Oh yeah, it was all the more frustrating that the fallacy of the teaching shortage still persist. People would judge (especially my family) me because they were sooooo convinced of this. There hasn't been a shortage since the 70's!!!!! The only teaching shortage is in the secondary sciences. Who would know better than a licensed teacher!? So people would persist in telling me that I was doing something wrong. So If I may perform one last act as an educator, it would be to teach others that, "No, there isn't a teaching shortage!!"

So when I hear about this nursing demand, I am VERY skeptical. The only people who insist that there is one are people who are nurses (ie, employed, meaning their opinion is very personalized), professors (who have a vested interest in this belief, ie, their jobs!) and students (and how would they know).

I never met an unemployed teacher until I graduated with them!!!!

The Nursing Shortage is not a fallacy- you can simply look at hospital websites and see how many open jobs are posted. However, the shortage is a lot less acute than it was about say 5-6 years ago. I graduated in 2000- and had pretty much my pick of jobs at any of 8 area hospitals. Now, I see less jobs open in these hospitals. However, I am making excellent money working as a traveler- going where I decide I want to for a few months, etc. And travelers are only used when there isn't enough regular staff to "go round" (for a variety of reasons). At this point, I have solid experience under my belt, and have found that I can get hired anywhere I want to go- within reason. I don't get if you feel that Kansas is the armpit of the country why you would need to stay there initially, and why you couldn't head to somewhere where the shortage is very acute (NJ, Texas, some parts of NC).

As far as sending resumes out for PCT- you will not get much response unless you CALL the recruiters and ask if they have gotten your information, generally it is only after a phone call and personal contact that they start to really pay attention.

Thanks for the info Katie. I do see the positions posted, but I thought there might have been 10 applicants for every 1 posted position. I'd love to move, but can't for family reasons. Having experience is everything...that's why I want to get the PCT position so bad.

About contacting them. I got the recruiters email address from a nurse friend at the hospital, who refered me to them. HR had a general address to send resumes and no contact number. That makes it seem like they don't want to be bothered. Sent the resume three weeks ago. Hadn't heard anything, so emailed her. Should I be calling or do you think an email suffices?

I always call. It is very easy to ignore email, but very hard to ignore someone on the telephone. Are you certified as a Nurses Aide? It really is easy to get this certification (takes maybe 6-8 weeks) if you have not already and it will definitely get you employed. I think we are always more short of good Nurses aides than even good nurses...

mom2michael, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Rural Health.

Thanks for the info Katie. I do see the positions posted, but I thought there might have been 10 applicants for every 1 posted position. I'd love to move, but can't for family reasons. Having experience is everything...that's why I want to get the PCT position so bad.

About contacting them. I got the recruiters email address from a nurse friend at the hospital, who refered me to them. HR had a general address to send resumes and no contact number. That makes it seem like they don't want to be bothered. Sent the resume three weeks ago. Hadn't heard anything, so emailed her. Should I be calling or do you think an email suffices?

How many semesters have you completed of NS? Some places will require at least 1 semester of school to be completed, some places you have to complete 1 full year of NS or have your PCA license or they won't even let you in the door. So with that being said, have you thought about a Unit Secretary position? Great way to get in the door, learn all about the hospital and usually there are no requirements such as having your PCA or CNA license.

Don't give up on the PCT, Dec. is here and some of the PCT may be graduating from programs and HR is just not ready yet to fill their positions but will here in the next 2-3 weeks. I got my 1st job in a hospital Dec. 15th of last year and I applied in October. If KC is like all the hospitals further south, they tend to hire in large groups 2-3 times a year rather than several times a month or orientation reasons.

As far as it being a failed career for you in KC, that is so not true. There are so many hospitals in that area and any time I check out any of their websites I can find 10-20 GN positions available in so many different fields (Children's Mercy is one). You'll have some great opportunities when you graduate from school.

Start calling HR in places you've applied, find out what you need to do to get your foot in the door. In most hospitals, HR is just a challenge to overcome and get past, but once you do, it's worth it!!!

Good luck!!!

Was my previous career a failed one?

My username says it all.

(Bittersweet smile. Places hand over face, slightly dejected. Slowly reaches forward to shut off computer. Leans back in chair, stares stage right. CUE LIGHTS).

Hello and congrats on your journey,

I started out as a CNA, I'm coming up on 10 years experience next year. I got certified while in high school and had initial plans of continuing on to nursing school. Well, my plans didn't go that way instead I went into Cosmetology. I got my Master Cosmetology license and thought it was the best career choice for me. I was wrong, cause what I really wanted to do was be a nurse and I longed for it. Cosmetology just didn't do it for me. So now, I'm once again in college trying to complete the LPN program. I plan next year to enter into the RN program. What can I say, all I know is healthcare.

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

PCTs are often directly recruited from nursing programs who are rotating their students through that facility. I got a job as a PCT before my first semester was completed without so much as making a phone call. The facilities want SOME experience for their PCTs... usually completion of one semester of NS that prepares students for PCT duties. It's not a job that you just walk in off the street and start doing so don't let your experience with trying to get a job as a PCT sway you. That aside, I have heard from these boards that the there are some areas in the midwest may not be experiencing a nursing shortage. If you are willing to relocate, I can assure you, you will not have a problem. I'm turning down job offers right and left. I'm in south Florida.

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