Anyone here switch careers into nursing?

alecvg

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My wife is an RN. I would never want to go that route.
She had a hard time getting a job in a location she wanted right out of school, ended up in a less than desirable area and position until she got the experience needed. Even when moving, she had a hard time getting another job. Fell into one at a clinic attached the the hospital, working 8-5.
Pay as said is decent, but not great, and benefits are shit. Even at the clinic, they are perpetually understaffed, she never gets a chance to eat throughout that day, and usually works late. Because of the low staff, she can’t get time off unless she requests it 9 months out, even if it’s for a Friday to make a long weekend. If she wants to go to the doctor, there are times she just has to call in sick.
She cares too much about her job, and is perpetually stressed and behind. She is going back to school part time to get her masters and hopefully get out of the position she is in.
Too sum it up- no, I would never go that route.
 

AntlerFever

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Aug 26, 2021
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I’m a physician

My 2 cents is… if you are passionate about healthcare, helping people less fortunate then go for it.

Pros: money is pretty good… won’t be this way forever but due to covid 19 traveling nurses are making about $6000 a week right now for 36 hours of shifts. Most places it’s 3-12s with the ability to pick up more if desired. Can potentially do Locums/traveling and work your butt off in the off-season then take time off to hunt between contracts. I work with some pretty Bad-Ace ER and ICU nurses and we have a good time starting crash lines, starting meds to bring people back from the brink, dealing with crazy people, etc

Cons: You are under appreciated by nursing admin who hounds you from the ivory tower. You are under appreciated by about 80% of patients and families. You see a lot of sad stuff. Burnout is a real thing . Healthcare workers often aren’t the nicest to each other (shouldn’t be this way but unfortunately can be)
 

Fatcamp

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Reading some of these replies makes me really thankful for where I work. We self schedule every six weeks, I will have numerous 6-8 days stretches off this Fall. Make decent money with lots of opportunity for overtime. Work with a pretty fantastic group of people. Benefits are acceptable I suppose.

Downside is we have a large population of patients who are on our floor due to noncompliance or self abuse. They also tend to be the ones who demand a lot and give little. Without a thick skin and a longer vision personal philosophy it would probably eat you up. My background lends itself well to the situation, but be prepared to witness some horrible stuff. Someone has to be there and I'm capable, still makes for some rough days.
 

Peerless

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Sep 14, 2021
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First post here but this thread caught my eye!

I've been a nurse for over 10 years now. I have worked on many different units - Med/surg, Peds, Cardiac IMC, Cardiac ICU, and now I work in the PACU.

Being a male RN isn't the "joke" that it was back then... Actually, it really never was. I have given respect to my co-workers who have lower and higher scopes of practice than I do. I have also received respect from the same.

I have worked 3 12's (plus call) my entire adult life - and it is great for family life (and HUNTING!!!)

It is also a hard job as well. I have gone many hours without eating, peeing, stressed with difficult and sick patients. The last few years with COVID has also made things quite stressful at work....

But it pays well, has a good schedule, and your co-workers become your best friends.

You are never too old to become an RN. Being on a hunting forum, I take it you are in decent shape and can keep up with the pace.

Good luck.
 

Rich M

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Buddy of mine did a nursing thing - he's big, 6-2/6-3 maybe 275#. Tells a story about a lady passing out when he was taking blood from her and held her in the chair until help could arrive.

Anyway - they changed the rules during his training - he went thru nursing school, the jobs at the hospital and still works there. Missed the nursing exam and they told him if he wanted to take it again, he needed a bachelor's degree. That's how I understood it anyway.

Just had my wife at hospital for a few days - the folks were great, excellent attitudes and very compassionate. Word in the hospital was that a lot of nurses quit with the covid vax thing or just cause of covid. Anyway - they were offering OT to anyone who wanted to pull an extra 12 hr shift or two.

If you want to do it and have a servant's heart - then make the switch. Plenty of job opps, and you've got enough of your working career left.
 

beerbucksducks

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Spokane, WA
My wife is pediatric oncology nurse and this thread largely reflects what she tells me almost weekly. Peds oncology was/is her dream job and she loves the job. As has been stated, hospital management is what has her losing love for her job and profession. It isn’t having to watch and care for terminally ill children. It’s the hospital understaffing, floating nurses to other floors when they are already understaffed, and lopsided patient assignments. One nurse trying to care for 4 critical care patients due to being understaffed seems pretty insane to me. 12 hour shifts with out a lunch break or even time to use the restroom is pretty standard it seems. She self schedules which is nice, benefits are pretty good and the pay is solid. I could never handle what she does, but if you have the passion to care for and help people, go for it. It is pretty unfortunate that mismanagement is causing a lot of incredible nurses to burn out and I do t see that changing anytime soon. Loving the job itself and the people you care for is the only way I see it being worth the weekly frustration of being over worked and under appreciated.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ramsdude47

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Feb 20, 2020
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CO
I switched careers and graduated nursing school at age 30. I’m 2.5 years in and have no regrets. The work/life balance, job security and meaningful contribution to society are hard to match when comparing to other career options. The pay is good enough for a comfortable living, and can be extremely lucrative in certain instances such as travel nursing/crisis contracts.

Like almost every male nursing student I planned to become a flight nurse. That is not really something that interests me 2.5 years in. At this point I’m tentatively planning to get my Psych NP.
 

kpk

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Sep 25, 2014
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MN
Wife is a nurse and I'll echo what many others have already stated. One of the biggest pros that I see (at least where we are located) is that she can have a new job doing something entirely different whenever she chooses (there's a 1 year commitment to the job though).

She started as a floor nurse - trauma I believe. No lunch, no break, short handed, all the negatives.
She then went into Interventional and Vascular radiology with the intention of becoming a nurse anesthetist. A few things changed in the department she didn't care for and she moved on.
She's now a specialty WOC nurse and so far is happy. She's making considerably more than what google tells me is the average, with almost unlimited potential as they're currently paying double time to pick up shifts due to nursing shortages.

I work at the same place and deal with nurses daily - The wife says that she feels nursing is her "calling" and that seems pretty true across the board from what I see. Most of the nurses care more about the patients than they do themselves.....
 

socoalt

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Aug 28, 2018
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I’m 16 years in and have daily thoughts about finding a different career. Nursing in the last several years, not counting the year and a half of CoVID , has changed so much that it has lost its thrill. I have worked ED for the past 13 years, traveled for the past 6, and it’s changed from Emergency medicine to urgent care/PCP medicine. Dealing with drug seekers and drug overdoses, meth induced psychosis is not fun. We try and save their lives and get nothing but ridicule and treated like total garbage by the patients when they don’t get their drugs or their high taken away by saving their lives. Then add Administration on top off that complaining about overtime and bad survey results. It sucks!!!

The only positives about it are the pay is above average and working three shifts a week leaves plenty of time to hunt.
This ^^ and Nursing aside the healthcare field has signifcantly changed in the last 10 years. With the rule changes after 2008 Dr's autonomy has been taken away and replaced with algorithms for care that were put in place by medicare and insurance companies. This resulted in generic treatment for the patient no matter where they go and no ability for a doc to change their course of treatment depending on what they see after assessing the patient. If they do then there is red tape and hurdles to cross for them to justify their treatment so they can get reimbursed. The hospital reimbursement (if they are a medicare/medicaid facility) weighs heavily on patient satisfaction scores, those scores are ultimately what the facility administration cares about no matter how it gets done. The patient outcome and health is not the top priority for these places when compared to reimbursement and money. There is a constant nagging coming from department heads and administration and if certain numbers aren't met then Doc's, RN's, even housekeepers will be subjected to a meeting and a training to learn how to better follow the algorithm. Kind of a long winded way to say that what you have to deal with from the facility that employs you takes a significant amount of your time away from patient care and is the source of the majority of RN stress. Taking care of pt.'s is not overly stressful trying not to be nagged is. Then when you do take care of a patient in a meth induced psychosis and they leave the facility and are contacted for a medicare patient satisfaction survey and the results are a bad review...well I think you can see where I am going. Nursing rocks but healthcare is a cesspool.
 

540-Virginian

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Shenandoah Valley
My response will speak more to the HR aspects of taking this career path. I'm not a nurse, but my mother-in-law, aunt, and several friends have been nurses over many years in many different areas, and my company consults HR problems with health care, including nurses at large hospitals.

From my experience and listening to my relatives and friends who are nurses, they have some pretty bad leaders, and it's a widespread problem. Therefore, they can have the worst work/engagement satisfaction in healthcare. And I've concluded it's due to both the insurance companies and the nurse leaders themselves...

Almost all the major hospitals I have worked with have their org structures set up with 1 nurse manager having 80-100+ direct reports - it is a shitshow. The cost to reduce the span of control by hiring more managers would be huge, and the bills would increase to cover it. Insurance won't pay for increases when you can instead hire techs.

I observe that among all the different medical specialities, nurses seem to be more hard on their peers and upcoming cohorts. The 'suck it up I had to suffer' mentality is what I'm trying to describe. Nurses have told me it is hazing.

Then, the more 'ruthless' of the group end up being managers who stay managers. The sane and nicer nurses who become managers go back to practising vs managing, or to another speciality, pretty quick to manage 100+ people is insane and not worth the salary. So there are a lot of inferior nurse managers and nurse executives out there.

There is, of course, more to engagement and nurses strife than what I shared. But when it comes to the root cause, I will argue from data, and research my company has done along with many other firms is that the span of control is a major problem teamed up with the BS of insurance companies. There is also doctor-nurse interactions that can go bad.

But don't let that deter you; more so, be aware of what you're walking into. People can handle rough situations so long as they aren't lied to or glossed over the truth. Hospitals aren't going to market how great their place is to receive care despite their nurses hate working there.... be ready for the shocker.

Nurse pay is really, really good and can be lucrative when you start getting OT, on-call pay, weekend, shift diffs, etc. And it is a great career path to become an NP, which is an excellent job.

If you enjoy caring for people, get a BSN and consider working toward an NP. They make over six figures and can run their own place in most states now. I've also heard School Nurse is an awesome gig, and if you're adventurous, a flight nurse on a critical care medivac's is too!

We need more good people becoming nurses, so I'm hoping you'll join the ranks. I hope that helps!
 

Zbot

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Feb 28, 2015
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ER RN here, left midway through an Air Force career to do it. It’s not an glamours as it seems and covid definitely threw a huge wrench in things. I’m more than happy to answer questions. 😂
 

ADower

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Sep 7, 2021
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I know several people who went into nursing and found out it wasn't for them. Felt bad for them as they quit their job and spent several years in school. They say that a lot of dr/surgeons have a god complex and its a PIA To deal with them.
 

Wags

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May 31, 2021
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California
I was a Medic in the Army, the most rewarding job I ever had. I miss medicine. If I were able to give up my current career and go back to school for my RN I'd do it in a heart beat. Unfortunately I have a family and giving up my current income/benefits and retirement 15 years in isn't practical.
 

bnsafe

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Feb 24, 2012
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Ive been a male RN for 28 years. Ive got to see and do and hear some amazing things from my patients, mainly world war 2 era and what they went thru. With that said if I had any other skills I would get out now, today. Currently I am a OR director and I am so sick of admin, Drs, and staff complaining about everything. I am burned out and tired of it. Its not what it was 25 years ago so do not think you are gonna get into it just to help people. Its business and money and honestly politically driven now days. We spend more time on a computer than we do taking care of people. Most, not all, but most, Drs are assholes. Patients think you owe them the world now, not like it was 25 years ago. And now the feds are mandating you have to do things against your will. I may walk because of it.
Its not a bad career despite my previous comments, just dont think its all about helping people and everyone will appreciate it. Most dont.
 

AntlerFever

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Ive been a male RN for 28 years. Ive got to see and do and hear some amazing things from my patients, mainly world war 2 era and what they went thru. With that said if I had any other skills I would get out now, today. Currently I am a OR director and I am so sick of admin, Drs, and staff complaining about everything. I am burned out and tired of it. Its not what it was 25 years ago so do not think you are gonna get into it just to help people. Its business and money and honestly politically driven now days. We spend more time on a computer than we do taking care of people. Most, not all, but most, Drs are assholes. Patients think you owe them the world now, not like it was 25 years ago. And now the feds are mandating you have to do things against your will. I may walk because of it.
Its not a bad career despite my previous comments, just dont think its all about helping people and everyone will appreciate it. Most dont.

hey don’t lump us all in with your surgeons
 

bnsafe

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sorry, no offense, i said most, not all. I actually have some very good surgeons. and some prima donnas. I apologize. some of my docs are great people, some, well, not so much
 

AntlerFever

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sorry, no offense, i said most, not all. I actually have some very good surgeons. and some prima donnas. I apologize. some of my docs are great people, some, well, not so much

meh I don’t take it personally. Lots of jerks in medicine, more on the specialist/surgical side but they have some in all of the fields.
 

timekiller13

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Dec 28, 2015
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I switched careers and went to nursing school at 30. I got into nursing because I love the medical field and education and nursing offered a wide array of opportunities for both.

I’ve worked as a full time ER nurse for 5 years now. I have also taught part time at a local community college. I also did some part time work in occupational health for a short period. I’ve also worked part time on CCU, IMCU. So, as you can see there are tons of different opportunities.

I love the ER. It’s the hardest job I have ever had, though. I come home so exhausted after every shift all I do is eat and go to sleep. The mental strain is rough as well. It’s not just the pandemic. The ER I work in was one of the busiest in the region prior to the pandemic. Now it’s just insane. Throw in all the staffing issues we are having now and our workload has tripled.

Still love it though. It’s a very rewarding career.
 

hobbes

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Jun 6, 2012
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I don't have any first-hand experience, but my nieces husband just finished up and is now an RN. He is mid 30s now and changed from working as a cable guy. They had kids really early and made it work but he couldn't fit school in while trying to raise young kids. They finally took the plunge and did it. He seems really happy with it and is continuing his education to some next level while working. He gave me the details on his next steps a couple weeks ago but I don't recall the specifics.

It seems like he just started school and is now finished but I live across the country and wasn't there to see all the hard work.
Good luck in your studies.
 

ChrisA

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Apr 7, 2014
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Belle Plaine, IA
Full disclosure here, I didn't read the entire thread but I thought I'd add that my wife is in her 21st year as a BSN at a major university hospital. She has forbidden our children from entering the health care industry.

But...somebody has to do and I'm damn appreciative of them.

Chris
 

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