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What should I do?

Pre-Nursing   (2,265 Views 19 Comments)
by jballa34 jballa34 (Member)

1,164 Visitors; 19 Posts

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Okay so I'm a student at a junior college and playing basketball at the same time. I'm working on my pre reqs to enter into the school's nursing program. The problem is I cannot play basketball and be in the nursing program at the same time so I would have to choose between the two. I talked to a school councilor and she said that if I was set on playing basketball then maybe I should spend my two years at this school and then transfer and work on becoming a physicians assistant. I'm fairly set on working in the medical field and an RN really appeals to me because of the flexible schedule I could have as a traveling nurse. It's been my dream to work as an RN in the winters and then in the summers work as a fishing guide. I've heard of people being able to do that in certain situations but how realistic do you think that is really? Also if anyone has any information on whether or not a PA would have the same flexibility in schedule then that would be much appreciated. If you have a suggestion or any advice I would love to hear it! Thanks!

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GHGoonette works as a PACU RN.

2 Likes; 24,324 Visitors; 1,249 Posts

Becoming a nurse involves a lot of hard work, dedication and determination. You will have to make sacrifices, and if it's an either/or situation you must decide which is currently more important, to push ahead now in order to acheive your ultimate goal, or carry on with your basketball and shelve nursing for a few years.

Many people enter nursing when they are older, and the rewards of success are greater for those who take on this extremely challenging field of study when they have other responsibilities, such as homes and children to support, as many members of Allnurses can testify. They will also tell you how exhausting it is, juggling finances, husbands or wives, children, nursing school and studies; if you do decide to put it off until later, you may well find yourself in this situation.

If I put myself into your shoes, and were playing basketball with a view to becoming a professional player, I would regard it as a toss-up between two professions. But if I were doing it for the pleasure alone, I would look to the future and go into the field that will eventually support me financially.

As for your ultimate goal, it sounds like the best of both worlds! Hopefully you will get some responses from travel nurses who will be able to advise you as to its feasibility. Speaking from my own observations, those who are most in demand are those who have specialized in particular fields, such as ICU and OR, but this may not be true in your neck of the woods.

If you really can't make up your mind, talk to a career advisor. Good luck! :)

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232 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,207 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

If you don't see your basketball career going beyond community college, then play for two years while you take prerequisites to a nursing program. At the end of two years, when you apply to nursing programs, basketball comes to a logical end. Go to either a community college or a four year university for your nursing education. However, do not expect to be able to play basketball while you are taking nursing classes or PA classes. You would need to devote your full attention to school and basketball would take up too much time. Good luck with your education.

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DizzyLizzyNurse has 12 years experience.

19,461 Visitors; 1,024 Posts

Didn't you already ask this?

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1,164 Visitors; 19 Posts

Didn't you already ask this?

Yes but I wanted to add a new concept to my question and expand the likelihood of a fulfilling answer.

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9,807 Visitors; 1,350 Posts

I think you should play for a few years until you are more able to switch your focus to a new profession. Get some life experience, then go into the medical field. It doesn't sound like you're ready to commit yet, so if you don't have to and can wing it, keep playing basketball until you have to commit, while taking pre-reqs that will help you go further later when you're ready.

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merlee has 36 years experience and works as a nursing.

2 Likes; 13,255 Visitors; 1,246 Posts

Play basketball. Enjoy yourself. You are not mature enough yet to tackle the health care professions.

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berean4ever works as a Medic.

585 Visitors; 6 Posts

Dear jballa34,

It sounds like you are extremely busy, like me. I may not have all the answers but maybe I can bring to light some things you hadn't thought of before. I am a nursing student working on my bachelors.

First, please be aware that travel nursing usually requires that you have one to two years of nursing experience before a company will hire you at a minimum. This is because of contract demands that could place you in a contracted position from med-surg to oncology just as an example.

Second, is nursing something you are passionate about? The reason I ask is because there are many nursing students that start the program but drop out or fail out. Sometimes it is due to the rigorous studying or testing but many times it is because they realize nursing is just not for them. And it isn't for everyone.

Third, try to get a feel for what you like better. No sense in wasting time taking courses that won't get you to where you ultimately want to be. Talk to a couple of nurses, and PA's. Ask them questions, see if you can shadow them. I have shadowed a family DO and that was extremely beneficial in helping me to make the best healthcare career decision.

It also helps to get some experience in the healthcare industry. For example getting your EMT which can take as little as 4-6 months for school and then sitting for your test. I am a medic, and this has helped me know for sure that I wanted to continue in my medical endeavors. Also I know of a PA who is a SWAT medic and only works part-time at his hospital and part time as a medic, he loves it because he has freedom to do whatever, whenever. So it can be done.

Ultimately, nursing is a rewarding but very hard and time consuming occupation. It is not for the faint of heart. I hope this helps you in any regard.

Sincerely, Neka-Elsevier Student Ambassador

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1,164 Visitors; 19 Posts

Play basketball. Enjoy yourself. You are not mature enough yet to tackle the health care professions.

Yes, thank you for blessing my post with your all knowing powers, oh mystic mind reader. I had no idea that your magic could reach over the far expanses of the internet! I now feel compelled to do EXACTLY what you say, especially after that remarkable comment. So thank you for forewarning me of my immaturity. Much appreciated!

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582 Visitors; 9 Posts

I agree with Berean4ever.

Dig deep and find out where your passion really lies. You can definitely go back to school for nursing a little later in life if you must (and right about now, with the new graduate job situation being what it is, I can see why someone would do that!). But as someone stated earlier, you may at that point have other obligations which makes school just that much more difficult (speaking from experience)... not impossible though.

I'd say if basketball is a once in a lifetime thing, do that and see where it goes, even if for a semester. If it doesn't work out, you'll be one muscle-chiseled nurse!

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15,270 Visitors; 1,723 Posts

Do the basketball thing. Enjoy yourself. Take the time you're playing BB to think and explore your career options. Shadow a nurse, an NP, a PA, maybe a doctor. See what appeals to you. You have plenty of time to decide, and I think older nursing students, with their life experience, have an advantage over younger students, but that's just my personal bias, as I am a 2nd career nurse. The poster that said travel nursing requires a certain amount of experience was correct. So tuck that away in your mind as a future goal. Whatever you do, don't let other people pressure you into make one decision or another. Take your time. Good luck!

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canesdukegirl has 14 years experience and works as a OR nursing.

8 Articles; 36,783 Visitors; 2,543 Posts

OP, congratulations to you for realizing that education is the key to opening doors. I wish there were more teens like you, and I commend you for recognizing that there are sacrifices. It says a lot about you that you are posting on this site with your questions.

It is so interesting that your goals are very much in line with what I am doing. I don't play basketball, but I can toss up a few bricks for laughs! I used to be a travel nurse, and a previous poster stated that you would have to have at least two years of experience first in order to travel, and further stated that a specialization would be best. I agree with both of those points. I traveled as an OR nurse. I made about 90 grand. I did not travel long enough to bank all of my earnings, but had I traveled for about 3 years, I could have saved enough to be able to take a season off to fish.

I am VERY into deep sea fishing. It is my ultimate goal to be able to take a season off in order to do this full time. I am unsure as to whether you would be able to do this if you are a PA. The docs rely heavily on their PA's, and I have worked in a number of hospitals where the PA's actually cannot go on vacation unless they take the same time off that their docs do. It doesn't really make sense to me, but this is only what I have observed. I think it would be difficult for you to be able to have the flexibility in your schedule that you seek if you become a PA.

Travel nursing is another ball of wax. You accept assignments when YOU want to. They can be for 3 months, 6 months or even a year in some cases. The market was pretty crappy about a year ago and hospitals were not hiring travelers, but I have seen that trend change only in the past month, and I am seeing travelers again. If you are a travel nurse and you are really good, the hospital will want to keep you and will offer you a perm position. This has happened to me twice. I took the perm position this last time because my hubby is in the same hospital that I am working now.

I hope that you find what you seek. It is an enormous decision. You can't go wrong with education. That is only my opinion. What do your parents think?

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