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<p>I'm thinking about going back to school to become a nurse.  I would love to hear about the field of nursing in general (what it's really like to be a nurse, are there a lot of jobs availible, does it pay decent, but most especially what it's like).</p>
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<p>I didn't plan on going back to school, but lately, I've been really thinking about the value of an education which leads to a solid career.  I don't have kids yet (we'll probably be having kids in 3-5 years).  Nursing seems like a fairly high demand career, that pays decently, and is needed everywhere (we're hoping to move someplace pretty rural eventually.)  It also seems pretty family friendly, if you get a job outside the hospital.  I'm not particularly passionate about nursing, however it seems interesting, and could lead to my eventual goal of becoming a midwife someday (probably not for a while). I was originally planning to become a DEM, but if nursing makes sense for now, maybe a CNM makes sense.  We plan on me staying home mostly when the kids are little, but it feels like it would be a good safety net career when I'm SAH (if something happened to DP or to his employment), and a good job when the kids get older.</p>
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<p>I was thinking about going back to school for a BSN.  (I thought about doing an ASN, but it seemed like it would end up taking a lot longer.)  Of course, it would mean doing 2 years GE and pre-req before getting into the nursing program (the BSN would).  My parents would be thrilled to pay for me to go to college (as it would mean I was going to college which they really want), though I don't know if they are willing to keep paying after we get married.</p>
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<p>I'd love to hear what nursing is like for you (the job, what it's like on your family), and advice (Would you go straight to the BSN? go for the ASN first?  Is it actually a pretty solid choice?)</p>
<p>TIA!</p>
 

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<p>I'd like to respond to your thread as a nursing student that is right in the thick of things right now with school.</p>
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<p>First, you're right, nursing is a great career choice, and it can open the door to you for becoming a midwife by giving you some field experience. </p>
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<p>I would never have thought I was capable of becoming a nurse (blood? EEW!, science? ummmm I don't think so).  But when I had my son I was totally inspired by the labor and delivery nurses that took care of me.  My labor was less-than ideal, and I could not have gotten through it so positively without their support.  So here I am, almost 3 years later, just about to finish my first semester of my nursing program and mama to a beautiful almost-3 year old.</p>
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<p>When I finally was able to start the program this fall, a lot of the "old" me returned, and with full force.  WHAT AM I DOING HERE??  came to mind more than once.  The program is intensive, takes a lot of time, the schedule is all over the place making child care mildly impossible, and I leave clinicals every day smelling like pee and feeling like I have germs from head to toe.  I cried all night after my first day of clinicals because it was so aweful, and had to force myself to go back the next day.</p>
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<p>My point?  Be prepared to fully commit yourself, or you will quit. it is just that simple.  Nursing school is like you are being hazed (at least the first semester is, I can't speak for the rest).  And please, please do it before you have your babies.  It will make your life sooooo much easier.</p>
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<p>As far as programs go, you can get your LPN in about a year to a year and a half if you are unsure about the field.  Then you have to commit to working as an LPN for 2 years before you can return to complete your RN.  If you decide to go straight for the RN, you can get a two year degree or a four year degree, as you mentioned above.  The difference is this:  with a two year you have more clinical experience, which many hospitals like, and will hire you and then pay for your continued education to get your BSN--many hospitals even have in-hospital BSN programs!  If you go for your 4 year, you will have more nursing theory and it is more conducive to research and management, and you'll be ahead of the curve in working toward your masters, or getting certified in midwifery.  With the amount of time it takes to get prereqs out of the way, there might be one year difference between the BSN and the ASN. </p>
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<p>I chose to get my ASN because I want the hands-on experience.  I already have a bachelors in another subject, so could have even opted to go into a Masters of Nursing program for people with other degrees, but opted for the two year because how could I consider myself a master in something that I have never even done for real?</p>
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<p>So good luck to you, I hope this sheds some light for you on the process of becoming a nurse.  It is tough, but I'm hopefully optimistic that the day I am pinned will be one of my proudest moments.</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
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<p>Thanks!</p>
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<p>From that, it sounds like the LPN is probably not for me (mostly for the point of getting the training done before babies.  4 more years or so is long enough, but 1.5 years for the LPN, then 2 years working, then another couple years to complete the RN would definitely mean being a student mama. I'm just not waiting THAT long for kids.</p>
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<div>The difference is this:  with a two year you have more clinical experience, which many hospitals like, and will hire you and then pay for your continued education to get your BSN--many hospitals even have in-hospital BSN programs!  If you go for your 4 year, you will have more nursing theory and it is more conducive to research and management, and you'll be ahead of the curve in working toward your masters, or getting certified in midwifery.  With the amount of time it takes to get prereqs out of the way, there might be one year difference between the BSN and the ASN.</div>
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<p>So does the having more nursing theory and being more conducive to research and management of a BSN still apply if you get your ASN and then your BSN?  Or do you get about the same amount of theory etc in the ASN to BSN?  I'm not quite sure what you mean by 1 year difference between BSN and ASN.  You mean the the BSN only takes likely a year longer than the ASN?  How long are the programs on average? 4 years? 5 years?  (what about doing a ASN to BSN?)</p>
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<p>Also, does having a long commute for nursing school sound totally insane?  The school I'm applying to at the moment is probably a 30-45 minute commute (we're moving so I'm not sure where we'll end up but I don't think we can afford to move near the school, nor do we want to (it's in the city.)</p>
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<p>Thank you very much!  Most of the time, I'm actually kind of excited about this idea. It sounds kind of interesting, I love science and math (and miss it hugely being out of school), and while blood and stuff icks me out, only outside of pregnancy/labor/post-partum/midwifery contexts, which assures me I can learn to deal with it in other contexts (When we practiced blood draws and injections in the midwifery study group I went to for a while, I was fine and actually it was pretty cool.)</p>
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<p>I'd love to hear more from other nurses here.</p>
 

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Not sure why you'd have to do 2 years work before going on to RN, it's not like that here. I'm finishing up the end of 2nd semester LPN right now. Its intense, but doable. Lots of mamas with young kids in my program. This semester was 19 credits and next semester is 18. Clinicals 2 days a week. From this program I'll transition right into a RN program at a neighboring program. LPNs here can transfer right into the 2nd year of the RN program at a neighboring college. (after taking a summer bridge course) So it's the same amount of college but we have more clinical experience. Only other difference is we can work as LPNs while they can't yet. Made more sense to me, shrug.<br><br>
So I'll have my LPN this spring and assuming i get accepted for the transfer I'll have my RN asn next spring. Then I could choose to go on to do BSN and take that one online if I want.<br><br>
Like you, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of nursing but it's more of a stable career. Mostly because im not thrilled with drs in general, or hospitals. Then I started looking at it from a different angle, I can be the nurse that doesn't push families or make them feel bad for their alternative choices. I could go into public health and educate early on and offer alternatives right along with the standard mainstream stuff. I could work with special needs families and help get them the resources and support in our area. So I took nursing and found ways that I could apply my past careers (pre-k teacher) and experiences (special needs parenting) and tailor it. I can look for positions that I would enjoy that I can utilize all of that and make nursing something I could enjoy. My dh thinks I should work in maternity, I wouldn't be opposed to that either and actually may go on to become a CNM someday.<br><br>
Point is, there are so many applications and types of nurses that even if the traditional nurse isn't your thing you may find something that is. My program is good because they really put us in a variety of positions during clinicals from school nurse, to home care, to nursing home, clinic, hospital, ob, mental health and surgery. (and even some really random ones!) I picked this program bevause the RN program in our area doesn't get nearly as much variety.
 

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<p>I did a LPN then RN/ADN program, it was all that was offered here at the time. I did have two years of prereqs and then each program was a year long so I went to school for 4 years but left with an ADN. If there is a BSN program then I would certainly choose that one. ADN nurses are fine but many positions do require a BSN, management positions, or I work in public health now, some of the programs require a BSN for their nurses. </p>
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<p>Nursing school is hard, very, very hard especially with children, if this is what you want to do, you want to do it before you have any. Class time or clinicals are only a part of the picture, the prepwork and study time required is intense. We had to do nights/weekends during certain roatations you get a day off here and there during the week it varies by semester but for me, it was always spend studying my butt off. I did my program and then got pg with DD1 right away, I literally got a + test on graduation day! </p>
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<p>I always wanted to be in the medical profession, for me it was between spending years going to medical school or nursing school, I choose the cheaper of the two obviously. I love nursing, but I discovered I am not a hospital nurse, I did that for a bit and it is not my cup of tea. I prefer having more of a relationship with my patients and ended up going of a community nurse route. I now am an IBCLC and run my own program through the WIC clinic at the local health dept. My job is part time and very family friendly which is why I choose it. I could make more and work at the hospital but I also would lose my flexibility. </p>
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<p>Another thing to consider is that nursing jobs right now are not as easily found as they used to be. The is a forum for nurses online just filled with thread after thread of RNs that have been out of work for months, it is difficult for new grads to get any job in some areas because they are competing with seasoned nurses. I've heard stories of nurses in my state who graduated last May and only 2 of out the class have found jobs yet.  In other areas, jobs are still to be found. The pay varies from state to state and different types of settings. Hospitals usually pay the best, nursing homes depend, doctor offices are down there, public health nurses like myself do not make the big bucks by any means but I also don't do 12 hours shifts and holidays.... There are trade offs for any job setting. </p>
 

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Ok, so by 1 year difference I mean that the BSN would only take 1 year longer than the ASN, although don't hold me on that.. you'll need to do research on that for your area.  And if you get your associates and then work toward your bachelors, when you go for your bachelor's you'll be doing a lot of curriculum based on theory, just as you would if you went for your bachelor's initially.</p>
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<p>My commute to school is about 30 minutes, but it is the best program in the state and well worth it to me.  there are a lot of students that commute longer than that.  you just budget it with your time schedule and make it work.</p>
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<p>Another poster commented on the LPN to RN, and how in her area she does not need to work for 2 years before getting her RN.  I was unaware that there are areas of the country like this, and I think it is awesome!  Check in your area what rules apply.</p>
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<p>If I were you, I'd go to an orientation at your potential nursing school(s), or meet with an advisor to try to decide which program works best for you.  It is the only real way you'll get the information you need that applies to your area.  kwim?</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Magelet</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278519/talk-to-me-about-nursing#post_16038151"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>So does the having more nursing theory and being more conducive to research and management of a BSN still apply if you get your ASN and then your BSN?  Or do you get about the same amount of theory etc in the ASN to BSN?  I'm not quite sure what you mean by 1 year difference between BSN and ASN.  You mean the the BSN only takes likely a year longer than the ASN?  How long are the programs on average? 4 years? 5 years?  (what about doing a ASN to BSN?)</p>
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<p>Also, does having a long commute for nursing school sound totally insane?  The school I'm applying to at the moment is probably a 30-45 minute commute (we're moving so I'm not sure where we'll end up but I don't think we can afford to move near the school, nor do we want to (it's in the city.)</p>
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<p>If you haven't already, read over at allnurses.com.  Lots of info there on the field and getting into programs. </p>
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<p>I was all set to start nursing school next fall (finishing pre-req's this semester), and have decided that nursing is not for me.  Among other reasons, the fact that new grads aren't able to find jobs in a lot of areas was a big part of it.  I also have four children, and nursing school is intense, to say the least.  It's just not worth it to me, at this point.</p>
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<p>I would suggest taking a CNA course even if it's not required so you can get clinical experience and an introduction to nursing.  I actually really love my CNA training, and will probably work very part-time as a CNA at some point in the future.  I just don't want to be a RN anymore. </p>
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<p>I don't mean to be negative.  My mom was an nurse for over 30 years, and is now a midwife and she loves it.  I can't say her schedule was all that conducive to raising children, yet it worked out and we got used to her having to work every-other Christmas and such.  Now, of course, she is on-call a lot, since babies come when they come - but it's different when your kids are all grown. </p>
 

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<p>I graduated from nursing school (ADN) last April.</p>
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<p>Personally, I'd say it's not something to do unless it's what you really want, either as the goal itself or as a step towards a goal. As others have said, at the moment it's not all that stable a job market, especially for new graduates, and both the schooling and the work itself are an awful lot of work if it isn't something you really want.</p>
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<p>I see you're in the SF Bay Area. That's really probably the worst area in the country as far as competition, both for places in nursing school and jobs.</p>
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<p>I went to school in Sacramento, which is slightly better, but still pretty competitive. I decided to go with the ADN because, around here (California in general), you apply everywhere you're possibly willing to go and go where you're accepted first. It's very common for people to go through several years of applying after finishing prerequisites. I was able to apply for ADN programs before BSN (needed one more semester of chemistry for BSN programs), and was lucky enough to get into the ADN program my first round of applications, so that decided that issue.</p>
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<p>Another consideration is that ADN programs are generally less expensive, get you out and working that much faster, and employers may pay for continued education (less common these days, but my class apparently has one person already whose employer is sending him back to school for his BSN).</p>
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<p>Sacramento hospitals have a preference for BSNs - usually not so much because they have a higher degree but because they go through a preceptorship, which ADN programs don't generally have time for. My class doesn't seem to be having ridiculous trouble finding jobs - I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but it seems to me that probably about half have mentioned something on Facebook about having a job (I don't, but I don't count, due to various life circumstances). However, we're probably the best respected ADN program in the area (as well as the one with the earliest graduation date, and therefore a jump on the job market), so I'm not sure our results are typical.</p>
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<p>Rural areas do have demand, but we moved to a rural area, and there just isn't a huge demand. Opportunities for new grads are relatively few and far between, because the local hospital just doesn't have the resources of the large urban hospitals. It's very likely that I'll end up having at least an hour commute for the first few years, and I'm not sure how we'll handle that.</p>
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<p>As far as kids go... at least half of my class had kids. It's tough, and hard on the family, but I have to say... I think all the students who didn't make it did NOT have young children. I know that, for me, having kids gave me a focus and sense of responsibility that I didn't have previously. While it's easy for me to look back and say I wish I'd done school before I had kids, I doubt I would have made it into the program, let alone through it, without that added motivation. So, doing it with kids isn't impossible, and not necessarily a bad thing.</p>
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<p>I agree that getting a CNA, working as a patient tech, or some other entry-level job is probably a good idea since you're starting early. See if it looks like what you really want to do, network, and get experience that will help you get into some programs and get a job afterwards.</p>
 

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<p>I have been a nurse for about 4 years.  I went through school during a time when I was dealing with Bipolar disorder and I am grateful I made it through.  The pay is good, especially to start.  I find that out of school very little other professions make quite so much, though they do start catching up.  I make enough money that I am now having my second baby and my DP is able to stay home while I work full time.</p>
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<p>I am now working nights, but I will be going back to days next month.  I thought nights would give my schedule more flexibility, but it is difficult shift.  No one with a mood disorder should do it.  But, I think most people would suffer. </p>
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<p>I work in the ICU, which is stressful.  Nursing is a hard job, physically demanding with lots of responsiblity.  Staffing is such that I worry about being able to give safe care on a daily basis.  I say all of this because if you don't really want to be a nurse, that might make all of this even harder.</p>
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<p>When I graduated, every one of my classmates found a job in a hospital.  That is no longer the case here.  The hospitals in my area are also laying people off lately.  That being said, I think the overall outlook is  still good.  They will always need nurses, you know?</p>
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<p>The most wonderful part of being a nurse are all of the types of nursing.  I have worked inpatient psych, cardiology, and ICU.  I would love to get in to Labor and Delivery and go to graduate school...  NP, CNM.  I feel lucky to have those opportunities.  Many of those  graduate programs are set up for working professionals.</p>
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<p>Many of my classmates in school had children, though of course that makes it harder.  Clinicals are a big time commitment.  I found the course work to be very doable.  The associates programs around here have long waiting lists, so sometimes it can be quicker to get into a BSN program (that is what it came down to for me).  The BSN is 4 years total, the ASN is two years AFTER you get in which involves completing significant pre-reqs and maybe being put on a wait list.  Although, if most of your non-nursing requirements are done, the load is lighter once you actually enter the program.</p>
<p> In terms of ASN-BSN, that will be seen a equal to a BSN by employers.  Around here, employers say that prefer BSN, but there are MANY ASN's working and getting jobs and that won't be changing any time soon.</p>
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<p>A nurses aide course isn't a terrible idea. Some people enter nursing school with no idea what we actually do, which includes dirty diapers and such..</p>
<p>Maybe shadow a nurse?</p>
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<p>HTH</p>
 

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<p>If you can do the BSN program, I'd recommend it.  The ASN is fine, but if your goals include eventually getting the BSN, why not just go ahead and get the BSN?</p>
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<p>I was an LPN for 6 years and have been an RN for 4.  I'm slowly getting my BSN.</p>
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<p>I absolutely love being a nurse.  I disagree with your statement that it is a family friendly job, if you don't get a hospital job.  Working in the hospital is great with a family.  I work nights.  Three 12 hours shifts a week.  No matter what, I am *always* home during the day.  If a kid needs to come home from school ill, I'm here.  If there is a school activity that needs parental involvement, most of the time I can tweak my work or sleep schedule to be there.  I love it.  I love working on the medical floor of my hospital, and I love love love night shift.</p>
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<p>Nursing school graduates no longer have their pick of 12 different positions when they graduate.  Big deal...what profession does?  The job market is still very good for nurses, and that will not change.</p>
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<p>Sorry for the disjointed post.  I'm up with a sick kid after a full night of work, and I probably need more sleep, not more caffeine.  But I wholeheartedly recommend nursing.  It's a great career, with so much lateral movement opportunities (dont' like the hospital?  Go to an office.  Don't like the office?  Go to public health.  Don't like public health? Go to home health.  Don't like adults?  Do pediatrics.  you get the picture), a lot of flexibility, and solid income.  Go for it.</p>
 
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