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….