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Nursing Career Advice

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    So, I got laid off yesterday. For the second time in two years. I was upset yesterday when it happened because it was a small company and I felt that the other women in the office "shut me out". They were horrible towards me. I'm sad I am laid off but I am glad I'm not going back there on Monday.

    I have been frustrated with the type of work (Finance/Accounting) I was doing because, well, I don't really like it. Since I graduated from college 11 years ago, I have thought that I should have pursued a medical career. I enjoy working with (yes, ALL KINDS of) people and touching people and bodily fluids don't really bother me. I think I pursued a business career because I was scared of going into health career "just like me mom did".

    Now I am thinking this is the time to go back to school and get my RN license. But I have a bachelor's in business and an MBA. So should I go for a BSN program or should I go for an AAS program? Would not having a bachelor's in nursing hurt me if I have advanced degrees in something else? I am concerned about it taking so long to become a nurse.

    I realize I have some time before I commit to anything. I do have a decent amount of savings, thankfully.
  2. Kasey

    Kasey Correcting President Trump's grammar on Twitter :)

    Not sure if you are in the U.S. or not; but there is (has been, really, but now is picking up a push) a nation-wide trend towards many companies, especially hospitals, only hiring BSN nurses, as opposed to AAS/ADN nurses. Now, technically, all nurses, regardless of level of education or amount of time invested, take the same state boards to get their license, so the Associate's nurses who pass are equally qualified as the BSNs to be staff nurses; the BSN really only helps to get into lower or middle management, or as a stepping stone to Master's of some type. But with this increasing desire to have only BSNs by many companies and hospitals, I think if you are going to take the time and effort to go back to school, you may as well get the BSN. Your job options otherwise could be limited. (Thus the reason I'm back in school now after being a nurse for 17 1/2 years).

    Good luck!
  3. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    My mom is a charge nurse, and her advice is similar to Kasey's, to get the BSN, and to get it from an accredited school, which likely means a waiting list. My mom's hospital will no longer allow Kaplan or Phoenix students to even precept, much less get a job after graduation.

    Maybe get a CNA certification while you are waiting? I always see help wanted ads for CNAs.
  4. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    I was just looking at nursing job listings for a nurse friend who was also laid off, and every position available at my hospital (which, to be fair, is quite prominent) required a BSN. My friend only has an ASN, but she is an RN with decades of experience so she thinks she can get a position at a small community hospital.
  5. Catherine M

    Catherine M Well-Known Member

    I work at a hospital (but not in nursing) but am aware of hiring trends and I would concur to get into a four year program for a BSN. Nursing school is extremely competitive so ask around and see what your best bet is to get in. That might mean taking science courses at a community college, etc before applying. Once in nursing school, check around at the local hospitals and see if they have a Nurse Tech program. We hire dozens of nursing students each year to be nurse techs and these techs have first dibs on staff positions after graduation.
  6. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    IME, A BSN is an entry level position for a hospital job as a new grad - if you have been working as a nurse for sometime, you might be hired with a diploma or AD degree, but new hires BSN or even MSN. If you have a BS degree, it is possible to do an accelerated nursing degree. But be aware that those programs are extremely intense and as my niece says - gives you little time for a social life. They take about 18 months to complete.

    Princess is correct - Kaplan, ITT tech, some community college programs do not have a clinical site to do the clinical component. That is a question to ask when researching any programs: Where do you have clinical sites at? who is my clinical instructor - nursing facility are aging (I think the median age is 49) and often are no longer the most technically proficient practicing nurse, most colleges in my area are contracting with the hospital that provides clinical experiences to use their own staff as the clinical preceptor.

    If possible find someone at the clinical practice site to ask how they perceive students/instructors from that particular program. Ask the state board the passing boards on first application percentages from the college that you are considering.

    If you want a taste of the nursing world, you might enroll in the LVN or LPN program. It is generally an 16-18 month course completion. You pass boards to practice, but you also get a taste of what nursing can be with less investment up front. Many BSN enrolled students will complete the LVN/LPN degree so that they can work and go to school. Most LPNs will be hired in a skilled nursing facility (aka nursing homes).
  7. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    If you really are interested in this, I'd just go straight for the BSN degree rather than spend time and money on an LPN or CNA. I think you'd be ahead in the long run. I would, however, recommend you get your science course requirements (anatomy, micro, physiology, chemistry) out of the way before enrolling in the nursing program. Many will let you do them concurrently, but many, many students struggle. An alternative option is looking for a degree in health administration which would tie in very well with your MBA. Or even a public health program.
  8. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    Like I said earlier, I thinking about a lot of things. I have been trying to get a job in Finance/Administration at a hospital or in healthcare and I have the experience, but I think they want experience in health care. Not sure how I can break in unless I get lucky.
  9. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Others have already discussed the reasons why you should enter a Bachelors degree program, so I won't belabour those points. Instead, I'll focus on how to do that.

    Because you already have a bachelors, you'll enter a nursing BS program as a second degree student. All your gen ed classes will be waived, and it could take you as little as 18-24 months to get your Bachelors in Nursing, especially if you can find an accelerated program designed for people who already have a bachelors in another subject. Many colleges offer specific nursing programs just for people who already have a bachelors in another field. Check what's available near you.

    All BS RN (and AS RN) programs have pre-requisite courses you must take before you'd apply, usually specific science and math classes. Check what classes are needed to enter the BS RN programs you find near you.

    Because you already have a bachelors, certain types of financial aid won't be available to you. However, other types will be, including certain types of loans. You can ask the program what's available.
  10. Kasey

    Kasey Correcting President Trump's grammar on Twitter :)

    For those who suggested getting a CNA or LPN license first, I would agree (probably CNA, which is usually only a few month program, rather than an LPN, which can be over a year, and other than extended-care facilities, most places around here at least don't hire LPNs). As a CNA, you get valuable experience doing the skut work, and trust me, there is a lot of it! But, there is a lot of it in nursing as well. In the ICU, we don't have CNAs doing our baths or potty-patrols for us, we deal with the code browns more often than the code blues. So working as a CNA can give you a taste of nursing, as well as valuable experience with some assessment skills, vital signs, recognizing "just not ok" (usually a sign of pending death), one to one dealing with patient families and patients, etc. I was a CNA just before turning 16 (Nevada law allowed it at the time; not anymore), and found it to be extremely valuable experience that has helped me throughout my nursing career.
  11. brina

    brina Well-Known Member

    I finished nursing school last August and am now working in a level 1 trauma surgical intensive care unit. I, like you, already had a degree in something else (Chemistry), so I applied for the second-degree accelerated BSN program at my state school after taking the prerequisites... I do have to say, it was pretty competitive in terms of admission GPA (>3.7), but it was worth it because I finished the bachelors in 15 months instead of four years. I got a job pretty easily right out of school.

    On my unit, only BSN-prepared RNs have been hired recently, but there are a couple of cases where CNAs got hired on as ADN-prepared RNs after working while in nursing school. However, those nurses are required to complete their BSN coursework within two years of hire. Honestly, the classes that differentiate ADN and BSN are pretty awful, just fluff classes like Global Health and Nursing Research. The BSN is probably not going to make you a better nurse in my opinion, but it will open up a lot more options for you.
  12. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    I think that most accelerated programs require a BS, not a BA. Keep that in mind if your degree does not include sciences like Chem, Biology, etc.

    brina - congratulations! I remember when you were considering what course/professional avenue to pursue.
  13. Kasey

    Kasey Correcting President Trump's grammar on Twitter :)

    I have absolutely no doubt that the BSN will not make you a better nurse; merely a more marketable one. I refuse to think that I will be a better bedside nurse (which is all I want and intend to do) simply because I can put together a powerpoint presentation on Healthcare communications ;)
  14. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    In my region, that's not the case, but you have to do certain science and math classes as pre-reqs.
  15. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

    ITA with the above regarding getting your CNA license. I work in a telemetry unit and of the new grads we have, it is very obvious who had CNA experience and who didn't. :watch:

    Like Kasey, I got my CNA license when I was in my teens and even worked in a nursing home as a CNA. The experience was invaluable for all the above stated reasons and then some. Getting up 7+ patients(half of which are total care) in the morning with 2-3 showers and assist with meals and ADL's on a daily basis did wonders for my time management skills as a nurse. :lol::yikes:

    I'm not sure what state you live in, but in southern California nursing jobs are ridiculously competitive for new graduates. You often hear about nursing shortages, but if you are a new grad with zero experience then good luck finding a job. Having a BSN vs. ADN is a big advantage in today's market. I was talking to one of our new graduate educators this week and they often have 200+ applicants for their new graduate program and typically accept only a dozen or so nurses. :eek: Unless you are currently employed at the hospital, know someone who works there and/or made a tremendous impression on one of the unit managers, they are taking BSN's over ADN's.

    Having said that, the advantage of nursing is that you can do so many things with your license beyond working in a hospital. You can work in an urgent care/clinic, a doctor's office, home health, public health, case manager etc. Even within the hospital environment there are many different specialities you can choose from. It's hard work, but also very rewarding.

    Good luck! :)
  16. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    You only had 7+ patients as a CNA? I routinely had 12. Did NOT last long at that (granted, I *was* only 18 at the time). CNA is a really difficult job, though I imagine it would depend on your patient load and work environment. I couldn't get over my inability to get everything done for everyone. . . seeing so many helpless people all day long was, for me, beyond depressing, and I wanted to feel like I was actually doing something to help (ADL? forgettaboutit. ROM exercises? Ha. It was all I could do to keep up with the constant sheet-changing from the incontinent bedridden patients, plus getting up those who could get up in the morning and getting them to meals).

    The last couple of years I've been ruminating on the idea of going back to school to become an RN. It was something I considered years ago, but dismissed, probably in error, due to my awful CNA experience. I don't think I would do geriatrics, although obviously that's a BOOMING area. . .
  17. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    What about Massage therapy? If you really like all kinds of people, it might be a good fit, and since you are a finance expert, you would find it easy to run your own business eventually.

    Not to burst your bubble, but nurses tend to get treated pretty poorly by their peers, too.