About Me

My photo
Nashville, TN, United States
I am a mom to amazing twin girls, a wife, and I work full time. I battled infertility for 2 years and over the course of treatments, a twin pregnancy, and raising twins I managed to gain about 80 lbs. I’ve lost about 50 lbs so far and would like to lose another 50 in my quest to become a hot mama.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big life choices.

Why can’t life be simple?  When your biggest decision for the day was whether to wear the light up sneakers or the sparkle sneakers or to go to the prom in a limo or a stretch limo. Life was easy then…in hindsight that is.  I won’t pretend that those decisions weren’t monumental when I was a kid.

High school came and went in the blink of an eye as did college.  And here I sit with a bachelor’s degree that is worthless on its own-psychology.  And a quarter of a Master’s program is behind me as a nurse practitioner.

I am currently working as a research compliance analyst.  In a nutshell my job is research ethics. It consists of working with Doctors, Nurses, Pharmaceutical Companies and Federal agencies to create comprehensive research protocols that meet all of the federal, state, etc guidelines. Basically-I read research protocols and consents all day and send my feedback back to the study staff with what I think they need to change in order to get their study approved.  Then I take it to a panel of doctors and nurses who review it and vote on it.

I’ve been doing this job (or some form of this job) for 5 years now. I really isn’t a bad gig at all.  I make very good money , work from home 2 days a week, and for the most part have a pretty stress-free job.  But there is something inside of me that is screaming that this isn’t enough. That I am not happy.  That this job doesn’t make a difference in the world.
2 years ago I went back to school for my Masters part time to become a nurse practitioner.  I finished my first year and then they told me that they could no longer accommodate my work schedule with their clinical rotation schedule.  So I dropped out.  Taking care of my family’s needs will always come first and foremost.  In those 2 years I had the twins.  Now that life is beginning to resemble something normal again, I am finding this drive to go back to school.

A few weeks ago I applied to a different master’s program.  It is a distance program at Loyola in Health Law. It would set me up to continue my work in research ethics.  It is a rather general degree I suppose.  DH and I assessed the finances and decided that it was not in the cards this year so I asked for a 1 year deferral which was granted.
In the mean time I started to feel that pull again drawing me back towards medicine and patient care.  Yesterday I finally found a program that offers the rest of the classes I need to obtain my BSN at night and on weekends.  It is 5 semesters long (if they don’t accept any of the classes I have already taken in the other Master’s program for Nurse Practitioners. )  Classes are 2-3 nights a week from 6-9 pm with Saturday clinicals.  This would allow me to become a BSN and work as a nurse and then finish out my last year to obtain my NP degree.
Now here is where the decision part comes in. I have done a good amount of research on salaries for BSN and NPs.  I know I shouldn’t make a big life decision on whether to pursue this degree based on how much money I will make…but let’s face it, I have a lot of mouths to feed and I haven’t worked this hard to take steps backwards.  Based on the info I have found I will likely take around a 10k paycut to become an RN. And then after 1 more year of schooling I will probably make a bit more than I make in my current career as an NP.  

I feel like I would be so much happier working with actual patients than working in research.  But I also feel like there is a lot more potential for me to climb the career ladder in my current job.  I am grappling with what is more important to me.  What is more important to my family?  What will give me the most satisfaction with my career?
The other piece I am considering is that as a nurse I can work 3 12 hour shifts a week at night and nix daycare.  I know the stress that would put on my me, but it is also time I would get to spend with my girls.

So what are your thoughts?  What would you do in this position?  If you are a nurse or a nurse practitioner what advice can you offer? What are realistic salary expectations for a new nurse?

So many questions.

 Finally-you can’t have a infertility/baby blog without picture of babies….  

1 comment:

  1. This is my take on it (I am not a nurse, nor would I ever be, yucky, lol)- you are going to be working most of your life. You will spend more waking hours at work than at home when you work full time so you really should do something that makes you excited. I know that is much easier said than done if there is a certain income level that you need to attain and your job is a must in attaining. We just made a big decision too, that in the new year I will be a SAHM. Once daycare is factored in, this is a $15K loss per year in our home, but it is what will make us all happier. I am happier at my job just thinking it is almost over and i can do the job of my dreams, stay with my munchkins!! Good luck deciding, I know it's a huge decision when it comes to taking a money cut. It took us 16 months to decide in out house!