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Old 11-16-2010, 02:25 PM   #15
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One last word on nursing,
Nursing school is challenging and a hard grind, but the look on the guy's face who just came in with a crushed chest from a jack falling when you give him the morphine,

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Old 11-16-2010, 02:38 PM   #16
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Nurses are the #1 trusted profession in the world. More than doctors, teachers, clergy, lawyers...(that last one was a joke folks). Every time I enter a client's room for clinical, they instantly respond to me. Back to studying for this test on Cardiac and Musculoskeletal assessment.

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Old 11-16-2010, 02:53 PM   #17
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Make sure that you do exactly what you want to do! I explained to a lot of people in my career; that is what brings happiness and success.

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Old 11-16-2010, 03:00 PM   #18
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SE Wyoming?

Can you be more specific about where in SE Wyoming? Laramie, Cheyenne, etc. We live 8 miles from Torrington, WY. which is 90 miles NE of Cheyenne. The temperatures vary from -40 to +105. Don't get much snow, moisture totals about 14" per year. Probably 300 days of sunshine a year. Altitude varies dramatically depending on where you are. We are at 4200 feet. Are you planning on living in a travel trailer?
With the advent of the internet, getting 99% of stuff that won't be local is not a problem. Cell phone service and high speed internet services are not available in all areas of SE Wyoming.
If you're into the arts and theater and fine dining, you would have to go south to Colorado. Cheyenne is 100 miles from Denver.
Hospitals and medical facilities are very limited; except near the bigger towns. There are medical clinics is some areas; but their services are limited.
We have lived here for 14 years and like the solitude. Neither of us are big crowd people.
If you give us the name of the place you applied for a job, my wife has volunteered to check it out for you.
If you have more questions, please ask.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:10 PM   #19
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The only caution I have is to be careful if your job depends on whether or not grants are obtained or renewed.

Other than that, I'd say - pursue your interests. Things usually work out for the best.

Somebody, please, point me to the road.

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Old 11-16-2010, 03:12 PM   #20
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Bummer about job prospects in your field. A new Congress may resurrect the shuttle program, or may not. Surely everything will be done so late you'll have to make decisions beforehand.

Wyoming is very, very different. It is very conservative and the more rural the area, the more conservative. Things you are used to getting fairly easily are not easy to get unless you want to drive many, many miles. Even if you are close to Casper or Cheyenne, you may have to go to Denver for some things. You spend a lot on gas. Broadband internet may mean satellite and communications costs (TV, phone too) can be high. Cellphones may not work. The winters can be grueling and cold. But the scenery is often amazing. People can be very friendly, but the cultural differences can be so big, it may be hard to make friends. If you live in or near the two biggest cities (Laramie is pretty small) things will be easier, but neither is a major metropolis. Wyoming is the state will the least population.

If you like first run good quality movies, you will have to wait for Netflix. Food selection is limited in some places and will mostly be "comfort food", i.e., healthy food may be hard to find. Jackson is an interesting alternative, though quite expensive. If you are interested in a relationship, opportunities may be bleak. Rural areas generally have few job opportunities for young people and many leave for the cities. The population tends to be older. Incomes are low and what you need to buy is expensive. Medical care may be very limited and quality of doctors and hospitals may be low. The rural life is not for everyone.

The eastern plains are windy and the wind makes some people uneasy. If you like flat, flat is everywhere there. The mountains have hard winters, but so can the plains. Mountain areas are even more sparsely populated. Some areas (Powder River Basin, southeast part of state) are heavily developed by oil and gas companies and that has resulted in water and air pollution that is not well regulated.

After living most of lives either in cities or near them, we moved to a fairly remote rural area 10 years ago. It's been interesting and the views are spectacular. We are ready for a change.

Working with rescued animals is a very admirable aim. Best to check out Wyoming first before you make any commitments. Nursing can certainly be rewarding, and someday, more nurses will get hired because there are so many of us old people. Whether being that type of caregiver is for you is something you'll need to explore. Nursing is hard work and newbies are going to get the worst shifts for years.

Changing your life after so many years in the same place and industry is a challenge requiring much planning and a lot of flexibility when the inevitable surprises come.

And, the Airstream can be a good place to live while getting settled, unless it's winter. Winter in an Airstream in Wyoming would not be easy.

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Old 11-16-2010, 05:20 PM   #21
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leaving your field for a 'break' will leave you behind a lot of competition in your field.

while doing what you love is nice, a higher paying salary lets you have a lot of freedom you won't have with a reduced income. save the reduced income jobs for when you get older.

sign up for nursing courses now unless it will keep you from getting retraining later.
while i have seen the nursing shortage shrink in some areas, you can apply what you learn almost anywhere. duties formerly done by nurses are now being farmed out to lesser positions.

i agree that the space program needs to and will come back. the extent of the return is yet to be seen. since many are leaving for different jobs, the return might be easier for those remaining.

i can see you combining your present experience with the nursing. robotic doctors are here! dual shingles can be a plus when shopping for work. the nursing can also be applied to the animal field.

those winters sound really cold!
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:58 PM   #22
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My ex wife went to Nursing School (I paid her tuition as part of the settlement) at 42. She entered a degree program and all of her humanities courses from her earlier college days transferred, it took her 21/2 years plus clinical to finish, she went right to work and a year later went on to get her masters and now is a cardiac nurse practitioner. Loves her job, loves her patients, loves the cardiologists she works for.She runs a small weekly clinic a 100 miles from the hospital (the practice flies her out) and she makes 100k plus a year and every time she goes to a seminar she gets job offers for more $$. Go for the nursing career. The ex is in her late 50's and plans to work forever because she loves her work! I wish she had been this happy when we were married!
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:51 PM   #23
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Follow your heart! Adios, John
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:32 PM   #24
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Don't want to be a downer but although there may be a nursing shortage, many places aren't hiring new grads without experience. I would look closely at the hiring in the area you are planning to settle in. Call nurse recruiters at hospitals and see what they say. I have been an RN for 30+ years with excellent skills and experience and am currently looking for a different job within nursing-it's taking some time because places aren't hiring. I used to apply for a job and the recruiter would call and the second question after "Do you have a license?" would be "when can you start?" Things are different now.

I'm not saying don't do it, just proceed with caution and with your eyes wide open. And yes, the landscape could look very different in 2 years. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:59 PM   #25
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Sounds like you have the right attitude and I think this will make sure that you land on your feet.

Our best couple friend (female) sold her florist business about 5 years ago and went back to school to get a nursing degree. She is now 50, employed, and trying to find out which opportunities are best for her.

I say follow your heart and do what you think will make you fulfilled. Trust me, it won't be the money. I used to make a lot more money than I do now, but I am much happier now because I like what I am doing. I could never go back. Anyhow, we all only have one life to live, so live it your way. If you try it and it does not work out, you can always go back, or try something else. When you are old and gray, you don't want to say "gee, I wish I had tried that". I for one have no regrets.

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Old 11-17-2010, 03:41 AM   #26
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I think the most telling part of your post is, "Over 40". Don't throw a rock at me but, you are not at an age to be messing around. The clock is ticking. The next 20 years will go by-by a lot faster than the last 20, and you have to be ready. Go to the ADN program. Now, not later. Assume that the ADN program rooster is already fixed for Jan'11, the next start date may be Sept '11. Thats darn near a year. Don't waste the time. In Jan you can register for Anatomy and Physiology, get these 2 out of the way by summer, as they are tough and best taken before you actually start the program. Hit the summer semester hard, with Biology and Micro. Be ready to start the program in the fall of 2011. If you don't start now, the whole point becomes moot, as you can waste a year in the blink of an eye. Job prospects for RN's: The big name hospitals may not be taking on a lot of newbee's but, there are bunches of nursing homes, dr's office, etc looking every day for anyone with RN behind their name. But thats only the start. At your age, you have to get on the fast track to building a retirement. Today, you may be jumping out of bed ready to kick butt all day long, but the day is soon coming, trust me, when this passes. Eyes, ears, knees, and gi track are all going to start showing their age. When they do, you need to have a program in place that gives you the luxury of enjoying life. My opinion only, your mileage may vary.
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:49 AM   #27
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Laura, I've read your posts over and over and the one thing you wrote that has stuck with me is that you're "burned out". So do something else that interests you and is challenging. I have a friend that at 53 went to nursing school (was in finance for 20+yrs) and loves it! She did take a sabatical from Wuesthoff in Melbourne to take a travelling nurse job in Seattle, found she loved Seattle and now lives there. ALso, you can consider a travelling nurse job anywhere you want to go. My hubby took the early layoff (retirement) from KSC last Oct. He loves retirement! Its scary to make life altering decisions like the one you're about to make, but you'll be fine. Listen to your heart. Feel like getting together? We're not to far...PM me!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:02 AM   #28
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I worked on a NASA contract for 6 years with RCA (best job I ever had) I was in management and when the contract was up I was in the same situation and decided to go back in the field as a customer engineer I had no way of knowing but it turned out to be a great decision you just can't see the future so best of luck whatever you decide.

I met a fellow camper who's wife was a traveling nurse they lived in a 5th wheel and loved it. She had been there (Oklahoma) 6 months and they were heading to New Orleans in 2 weeks for on a new assignment. For me that sounded like a great way to live.

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