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Something's pulling me away from my path.


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I'm 19, have a two year old girl, and I'm about to enter the nursing program at my CC. My parents are fully supporting me and are standing behind me with my decisions. They're happy I chose nursing and I am too. It's a quick two years of full focus, then I'll have my RN and can stand on my own feet and I know they'll be so proud of me. However, I've been taking a microbiology class as a prereq and I'm in love with everything about this subject. I'm making high A's on everything I turn in and on my tests and labs. I have something pulling at me telling me to go into this field. I'm scared to tell my parents that this might be what I want. If I go forward with my nursing, is there a deviation career that mixes nursing and biology? I dont really think there is, maybe a clinical microbiologist..

 

Please give me your thoughts, I'm really torn here.

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Jenny:

 

It is YOUR life and your career. Nursing is an excellent career in any case (and you are only 19!). You can perhaps follow on and study a university career in microbiology. Or you may decide on something entirely different. Who knows!

 

Take care

Hermes

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You could always add in a bio-sciences related course here and there while still finishing your RN. Once you're done, continue on the bio track.

 

If you were completely self-sufficient, I'd say go do whatever you want without regard. But there are certain chess maneuvers involved when you're still under your parents' support. If you can find a way to appease both them and you in a compromise that's not too daunting, then it's a good idea to do so.

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Are your parents willing to support you for 4 years rather than two? That is the primary problem here. You will require tuition for 2 more years, plus you wlil require living expenses for yourself and your child.

 

Also, have you investigated the career paths for microbiology, i.e., where would you get a job, how much would it pay, how hard to get a job is it, where do you have to live? An RN can get a job anywhere, but microbiology is more specialized, and you might need a degree as a med tech or something else like that if you want a career that doesn't involved going to PhD in order to get an academic job

 

Also, do you like working with people, or strictly working in a lab? If you prefer working in a lab, then perhaps you would do better as a med tech. But keep in mind you are not interacting with people in that job, and your day will be looking at slides and running tests, day in and day out.

 

So you might be having fun with this class, but how does it translate into a career? I think since you have a child and are financially dependent on your parents, your best bet is to talk to them and see whether they'd even consider assisting for another 2 years, but make sure you have all your information lined up in terms of what careers that would translate into, how hard/easy to get a job in that field etc.

 

There is nothing stopping you from getting the RN to support yourself, then continuing to go to college online and/or part time in microbiology or anything else. That might be the path to pursue if your parents can't pay for an additional 2 years of college, or you need more time in school than 4 years to actually get a job in microbiology.

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LD's post is the reason I suggested finding a compromise with your parents. You may need some leverage in your argument to convince your parents to help you with a four year track. I would approach it something like this:

 

"I'm really interested in microbiology, but since I have a daughter, I know it's important I finish the RN. If I stick with the RN and complete it, would you mind helping me out afterwards to finish a four year degree in microbiology?"

 

There are a lot of options once you have your RN. If your parents are fully accommodating, they may completely support you through your four year degree. If they're slightly less inclined, perhaps you could find part-time work and still live with them while you finish the four year track. And worst case, as LD said, you could support yourself on an RN salary and still continue school in your off hours.

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It's great that you discovered another subject which you enjoy. That's one of the benefits of post-secondary education--to discover more about yourself and what drives passion in you. My only recommendation would be to make sure you understand why you enjoy the course; just make sure it is not because the professor is particularly good, etc. You want to make sure it's the material that is driving your interest. Otherwise you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.

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All I would say is, I went into teaching with the thought, it's always there as a back up. And I think the same is true of nursing - you can always get work as a nurse to earn the bread and butter, whereas that wouldn't be true of microbiology. So personally I'd continue with Plan A and keep microbiology as a strong Plan B.

 

You need a qualification which will always allow you to earn, as a single Mum especially. And well done you! You sound really focused, hard-working and sensible!

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I completely agree with all of this. This was incredible advice and I really appreciate it. I know I will finish my RN, then continue my studies in biology and see where that takes me. I like having that as a fall back career. No matter what, nursing will always be needed and I'll have a great amount of stability in that. Thanks so much for the encouragement everyone!

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