What did you do before nursing?


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A&Ox6, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 572 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics/Developmental Pediatrics/Research/psych. Has 14 years experience.

I was a school teacher, Hebrew reading specialist, hair and wig stylist, and writer.

Specializes in Medical-Surgial, Cardiac, Pediatrics. Has 3 years experience.

I actually was a music major before I got into nursing. Wanted to be a music teacher, but changed my mind two years into that. I taught martial arts for a few years, worked retail, then worked as a CNA, and realized that nursing was just in my blood. Had a baby by surprise, took a year off before going back to school, and am so glad that I did. Graduated at 27, with a four year old. Best feeling ever.

loriangel14, RN

6,927 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I worked as a horse trainer, in retail, housekeeping at a residential school, I babysat, worked in the kitchen in a fancy restaurant and did home care as a PSW.


1 Article; 942 Posts

Literally yesterday, I was thinking of starting a thread with the same exact question!

Anyway I did retail, as a visual associate and worked my way up in management. Would've stayed but had a baby and young family and retail visual management just do not mix well (lots of overnight shifts, irregular schedule)

Unemployment, did some office work, became a doula, medical office work, then finally moved and was able to start nursing prerequisites.

Start my program on the 31st, my intention is to become a CNM, but I'm keeping my options open.


34 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

I was a server at a popular wing restaurant (haha) for five years and then a veterinary technician for three years until I finished an LPN program at twenty-four. I'll be thirty next month and I've been an RN for three weeks. I have always enjoyed all of my jobs, and I especially miss working with animals! So far, I do enjoy nursing the best. Fun thread!

I worked as a horse trainer, in retail, housekeeping at a residential school, I babysat, worked in the kitchen in a fancy restaurant and did home are as a PSW.

I used to be a groom. I don't know if this is just my experience, but I'm finding the healthcare world to be oddly similar to the equestrian world

I used to feel like I was always in breeches, now I'm always in scrubs

I had to groom, bathe, tack, and clean up after 14 horses, now I groom, bathe, dress and clean up after 11 people

I got bitten/kicked/stepped on at work every now and then. I still get bitten and kicked at work but it's at least once a shift

Do you feel that way?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

Before I became a nurse, I was a factory worker at a paper products plant in southern California. I had worked there for three years.

Prior to the stint at the factory, I had worked a string of other dead-end jobs: McDonald's, Wienerschnitzel, short term temp agency jobs, the 99 Cent Store, Target, two grocery stores, and two group homes.

I entered nursing because I wanted a career rather than a job.


130 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac and OR.

Degree in Theatre- Musical Theatre concentration. I used to be a triple threat, now I'm just a mild annoyance. I worked previously in customer service positions, one for a large telecommunications corp., and later for an insurance corporation. Luckily, I did ok financially, but the jobs had zero job security or growth pathways.

Specializes in Palliative, Onc, Med-Surg, Home Hospice. Has 6 years experience.

I was a Rad Tech before nursing. I just didn't enjoy the assembly line feel of it. So, after my children started school (I retired from RT® when I started having children) to get my nursing degree. I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. And here I am. I have also been a Tour Guide (both on foot and on a carriage) and worked retail. I will NEVER work retail again

Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele,.

Quote: "I've met more than a few people that have made or are pursuing nursing as a second career. What did you do before? What are the ups and downs in comparison"

Directly before choosing nursing, I owned a small real estate brokerage, which I ran from my home.

Re the ups and downs in comparison: I didn't want to be responsible for payroll, accounting, etc. plus I didn't earn health or retirement benefits. Plus I was on call 24/7. I wanted a decent paying j.o.b. I could get off from that provided benefits.

Prior to that, I owned my own business as a home preschool/ licensed child care.

Prior to that I was in h.s./college and worked various customer service jobs.

I think all of my jobs prepared me for working as a nurse.

Sometimes, I miss being able to "fire" rude/undesirable pts and co workers. When I worked for myself, I was truly able to say no to rude, picky people.

Thankfully, my other jobs did prepare me for working positively with people from all walks of life with all sorts of strange preferences and odd behaviors.

Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

Veterinary Technologist. It's my real passion but the benefits were non-existent and the pay was crap.


3 Articles; 2,107 Posts

I was in home repair, answered phones, was a plumb-trician helper, worked for a carpet cleaning company, was a cashier, then proofreader, typesetter, graphic designer, sales rep assistant, and a waitress and a CNA, now a nurse.

I like nursing the least, at the moment, but I suspect that is because I work for morons.