I'm considering going back to nursing school in Eastern PA for the Fall semester to get my ADN. I already have a Bachelors Degree.
There are several reasons why I'm heavily considering Nursing. I'm male and age 40 and would really like to make decent $ while having job satisfaction. So instead of me trying to fit into a field, I've decided to try to find a field that fits me.
I recently did some vocational counseling and it turns out that I'm very Social / Helpful, Investigative / Organized, and Creative. I guess I've always known that but the testing really confirmed it. I haven't really worked in fields where my skills were used to there full potential and my creativity just doesn't pay the bills (although I'll always have it as an outlet outside of work).
Counseling and Teaching are good job fits for me also but when I compare the high cost of education (MA / PhD) vs. prospects for employment vs. the salary that I would earn, they just don't make that much sense, hence Nursing.
I have a couple of interests but I'm not sure what direction to head. I'll post my interests (and then you can laugh...) and maybe someone can give some suggestions?
I'm very interested in getting an Addictions Certification once I get some experience. I've been involved in Recovery for over 15 years and would really like to understand the 'nuts and bolts' of how the disease works and work with people going through detox. The science behind it sounds fascinating!
I'm also a very organized person (and I like organizing things) so it sounds like a Circulator Nurse or Perioperative Nurse might be a direction to head as well.
I thought about being some sort of Patient Educator as I really like helping, communicate well, and since I'll be in the nursing field...
Finally, I thought about Hospice care. Sounds tough but death and dying really don't bother me. Strangely, I can handle the gruesome stuff. It's the smells that I'm worried about.
Your interests are not laughable. We all have had desires to do other things at one point or another. The joy about nursing is you can do it all and never have to change careers. If you like counseling and teaching, perhaps going into psychiatric nursing is another option. You will certainly get the opportunity to work with the drug and alocholics. I was a psychiatric nurse for the first two years out of college, and bounced around on different floors. My favorite floor was the acutely psychotic. Loved it. But Psych Nursing is not for everyone. If you have the heart to counsel, however, it may be very rewarding.
As far as patient teaching is concerned, you will do that almost everyday regardless of where you work. Well, I don't know how much teaching a circulator nurse will do. Never having worked in the OR, I have an affinity for it. So I can understand you desire for wanting to work there. On the other hand, your sense of organization may well serve you as a Clinical Research Coordinator. That was one of my other jobs. Loved it, too. I had the opportunity to visit every floor in the hospital, especially the OR as one of our study drugs required my presence there to ensure that the medication or the placebo was properly hung and infused within the alloted time. This kind of job calls for the nurse to be very meticulous. You will have to comb through every test, procedure, meds, literally everything in the patients' chart. You will need to record every adverse reaction, whether it's related to the study drug or not. There are times you will be an ambulance chaser. Signing patients up for non-approved and approved FDA drugs and devices will be your life, but rewarding because you will know so much about the drug, and you will have the chance to travel to conferences. Lots of documentation, though. That's where the organization comes into play.
Lots of options in nursing, but I strongly advice you to do your first two years on a Med/Surg floor. It gives you the foundation that will help you when you are ready to branch out. Among my many jobs (I'm military spouse, and we travel a lot) I enjoyed being a float nurse the most. But that kind of nurse has to have a strong foundation in order to function independently.
I'm 40 as well...soon to be 41. Nursing has been my only career, and at this point in my life, I can't see myself doing anything else. It is a unique career. Offers flexibility, but you can get burned out easily. To avoid the burn out, don't limit yourself to just one type of nursing. Moving around. Plus, it helps you to appreciate the uniqueness of nursing. But get your start in med/surg first. Good luck to you.
Thanks for your reply, it was very helpful! Can you talk a little more about Med/Surg nursing? I'm going to shadow a Med/Surg nurse on Thursday and I'm not exactly sure what it is (outside of what I've read on the internet).
It also sounds like it's very difficult to get a job right now in nursing. That worries me as maybe it's not the right time to try to get into it? Although, schooling for me will take another year and a half starting in the fall so maybe during that time the economy will continue to recover.
I would like to suggest you to first do some work in your profession then after getting experience you may pursue your certification or go for Master’s degree in Nursing. This is the best option for you at this time. To get more information you may check this link http://www.thedegreeexperts.com/online-degree.aspx
It's funny, I was one of the respondents to the med-surg question in another forum. Essentially, you do a lot of patient care, from minimal to total care. You become very familiar with different diseases and more skilled at what you do. Nursing assessment is a crutial skill, and med-surg will certainly help you to sharpen it. The long timers call med-surg nursing trench nursing because of what you do. You are caring for chronicly and acutely ill patients (patients who don't require specialty nursing like the ICU), and pre/post-operatives after they've left the recovery room. Some hospitals require all nurses to have some telemetry knowledge as a certain number of beds, regardless of the floor, will have patients on heart monitors. You will utilize all of the skills you've learned in school and then some, such as medication administration, hanging IVs, possibly inserting IVs (depending on the hospital), trach care, wound care, inserting foley catheters, to name a few. All of this increase your confidence level and knowledge.
Med-surg nursing really teaches you time management because you are juggling several tasks and patients. By the end of your first year you will be surprised at how efficient you've become. Sometimes you are wearing several hats...social worker, case manager, OT, PT, housekeeping, you name it. Don't want to scare you, but that's the reality of it.
For you to get a real understanding of what med-surg invloves, it's best to shadow a nurse as you planned.
I don't recall you mentioning going for your master's in your original post, but may I suggest that you wait until you've got a good couple years of experience as the last member suggested? It will help you to decide on what area of nursing you really want to focus. Again, good luck to you.
While nursing is a great career option for someone with your interests, I thought Iíd also suggest you look into other fields within the healthcare industry. Say for instance, respiratory therapy, healthcare administration, health information management etc. Iíve been keen on pursuing a degree in healthcare administration and have recently read a review of California College San Diego - sounds like a good college.. Itís definitely on my list but I would need to do some more research before I zero in on my choice of college. Good luck with your career!