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Old 06-30-2005, 02:25 PM   #1
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amaranthine HB User
Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

I'd really appreciate help from nurses or nursing students...

I have a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature, and I'm about to complete a Master's Degree in Women's Studies. I am looking at either law school or nursing school next. There just isn't a lot of job security in the non-profit sector, which is where I originally wanted to work.

I'm thinking about getting an Associates to be a Registered Nurse. Is the pay that much below someone with a Bachelor's in nursing? The level of responsibility? The level of respect? I just don't want to spend another 4 years in college since I already have a Bachelor's & Master's in different fields.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-30-2005, 03:42 PM   #2
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nsmatch HB User
Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

I'm not a nurse, so I can't answer the peer-to-peer respect issue, but there are plenty of nurses in the field that have switched from previous careers to nursing and found it rewarding.

I tend to think the best nurses are not based upon what degree they have, but their understanding of the patient's condition and how hard they try to help the healthcare team keep the patient on the road to recovery. I'll take that nurse anytime over a BSN-PhD nurse that sits and does the minimum each day and counts the minutes until the shift is over.

Old 06-30-2005, 06:42 PM   #3
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last1 HB User
Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

A BA in English Lit and you want to become a nurse!? I majored in Irish Lit with a second major in Biblical Hebrew. Kicked around for a while teaching in a private school and then on the faculty of a small, midwestern college while editing the town newspaper. WHile working on MA in Fine Arts, I need some money to supplement and took a job working as an orderly in a nursing home and found my niche. What a great job and opportunity! From there I went to nursing school and then into social work (having the medical background as a social worker has given me a phenomenol background). I've been a medical social worker in a trauma center now for ten yrs and love it. I'm not sure about the difference in pay scales between a BSN and AA in Nursing. However, I do know that with a BSN it can open more doors for you in nurse management or administration. Good luck....chris

Old 07-01-2005, 07:47 PM   #4
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Cool Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

A nurse who has baccalaureate and a nurse who has Associate's degree would have relatively the same salary when the work on the floor, based on time as a nurse and time in service. Obviously, higher positions like managerial (hospital) usually require higher level of education. The tricky part is a staff "floor" nurse can make more money than a salaried nurse. As a matter of fact, I occasionally see nurse practitioners working as staff nurses because they can make more money that way.

Level of respect? You gotta earn it baby! No staff nurse will dive on a grenade for a sloppy boss.

As for me, I'm done with floor nursing for now. I want Monday to Friday, bankers hours shift (then work at Six Flags on my weekends telling people to secure their cell phones before loading ). Yes, there is such a thing in nursing. It is not necessarily lesser pay.

Old 07-05-2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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BarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB User
Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

Hi -

One other option is that some colleges offer a 2 year nursing course for those who already have a degree, no matter what the field of study. That was true about 15 years ago, but I haven't checked recently.

Where I've worked there was a distinct difference in pay between RNs and BSNs and in some parts of the country, there was a large difference.

The great thing about nursing is that nurses are needed in all sorts of settings, from schools, to industry, to cruise ships and ski areas, 6 Flags, and many, many places in between!! Plus, you can become a traveling nurse if you choose to and work in different parts of the country for a scheduled period of time, expences paid and residence provided, then move on.

I worked a floor for 6 months and that was plenty - applause for those who love it! I worked ER for 5 years and loved it until I had a child and the hours didn't fit. Then I went to surgery and stayed until I retired.

Wishing you well - Barbara

Old 07-05-2005, 05:19 PM   #6
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Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated


I thought about getting a job on a cruise ship but one of the requirements are years experience in CC or ER. With CC under my belt, I could do that. I hope that there will be cute single women who need some male nurse caring.


Old 07-05-2005, 05:38 PM   #7
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mana278324 HB User
Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

Hi amaranthine -

Well, I am not a nurse, but my fiancee just graduated from Nursing school. When starting out, there are no differences btwn an AA or a BA in nursing.(we are in NJ-not really sure about other places. ) But, in order to teach or be a manager you do need a BA. As far as not having a background.. I don't think that matters too much. As long as you care about your patients you'll be fine.

Good luck in whatever you choose!

Old 08-14-2005, 07:12 PM   #8
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ladivapr02 HB User
Re: Considering A Career In Nursing But My Background Is Unrelated

I'm considering nursing school sometime in my life...I'm a biology graduate (with a master in information systems) and i know there is programs of 14 months for people with my degree to get the BSN. I work as volunteer in the hospital and I just love it so much. It's so rewarding.

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