Nursing Career Change

Moving Into a Career in Nursing: my Wife’s Career Change Story
April 23, 2021 – 07:19 pm

That prompted a 20somethingfinance reader, Telly, to write in with the following question:

“I saw your post today about Education Tax Credits, and was a little intrigued by you mentioning your wife going to an accelerated nursing program. My wife has from time to time mentioned she wishes she had become a nurse. So I was a little curious to hear a little bit more about the type of program your wife was in and what type of plan you guys had come up with.”

I liked the idea and thought it would be beneficial to follow up with a post on the blog, not only for those considering going into nursing, but to highlight an example of a well-paying career that does not require an expensive education, and an example of the thought process that went in to her re-inventing her career.

Long-time readers will note that I’ve been critical of graduate degrees (and you could really lump in non in-state bachelor’s too), and the costs associated with them because of their likelihood to put students on a perpetual student loan debt treadmill.

This, however, does not mean that I am against a college education. I don’t know where I’d be without one. There are still ways to successfully leverage an education towards financial success and personal betterment – it just becomes a whole lot harder when that education results in $150k in new student loan debt, income opportunity costs, less real-world experience, and marginally better job prospects, if at all. There are always exceptions, of course, but I digress.

So, here’s my wife’s story on how she is transitioning from a landscape architect (which required a five-year bachelor degree) to a nurse via an accelerated associate degree in nursing, and the thought process and planning that went into it.

Going Back to School For Nursing

nursing career change In September of 2008, the economy had been slowly declining and and so was my faith in keeping my job as a Landscape Architect. Many in my office were nervously trying to find work and keep themselves busy, but there was no work to be had.

Eventually about a third of the office was laid off, and I was one of them because I had no seniority. I found a new job three months later but I still had that nervous feeling that there may not be work tomorrow or next week. My career prospects as a landscape architect seemed very limited. I started considering other job options.

I do not share an entrepreneurial spirit like my husband so I was not interested in starting my own business.

I was hearing from numerous sources that there was a nursing shortage, and nursing has one of the lowest unemployment rates by job, at 2.1%, despite the recession. Given the aging boomer population and the need for nurses everywhere in the country, it seemed to be a profession that would have a high level of job security for many years to come. And benefits were great, even for part-time nurses.

Interesting facts
The ONS Foundation is a national nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable organization in the United States, established on November 27, 1981, by the Oncology Nursing Society. The Pittsburgh-based organization is dedicated to sustaining and advancing oncology nursing and funded by corporate and private donations. Among its activities, it supports the...
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