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I Switched From Engineering to Nursing and Love It



All throughout my childhood, I always liked engineering and still do. 

I loved electronics, so I decided that I would go into electrical and computer engineering, and that was what I did. 

School was great, even though I thought the focus was on too much low-level theory like transistor design. But nonetheless, I got through school. I received a bachelor of science (BSEE) in electrical and computer engineering from NYIT in New York.

The first job that I got as an electrical engineer was not really a pure engineering job but more like a technician job. I troubleshooted different electronic devices, did extensive testing, made company reports showing the efficiency of various company products. I was making $30,000 a year. I had my desk (more like a cubicle). I was in the same room as my engineering supervsior.After a while, I got tired of being at a desk all of the time. I got tired of staring at electronic schematics all day and troubleshooted defective components returned by customers. I got tired of being micromanaged by my supervisor. I was tired of the CEO of the company walking in, staring at my computer screen, checking my progress, etc. By year three, I was drained. I felt like I was going to rot away in my cubicle. I felt owned by the company CEO and my engineering supervisor. 

By year 3, I left.

I didn't yet know that I wanted to do nursing, but my sister was a nurse. By this time, after being in a cubicle for years and living this type of sedentary life, I got into health. After all, sitting all day is horrible and can damage your health. So to counter that, I picked up healthy eating habits, exercise, and all of that. I was really into health. Knowing that nursing is about health and seeing my sister getting paid a much higher salary than me (more than double), and knowing that nurses enjoyed great job stability, I decided to go to school for nursing. 

By this time, I was just so happy to be out of the cubicle. I felt like I was free. I was free from the cubicle. I was free from being micromanaged. I was free from the engineering supervisor and CEO checking on me every few minutes, seeing what I was doing and progress. 

I thoroughly enjoyed nursing school. I loved the medical knowledge. I loved studying. And it just felt so great to be out of the cubicle. 

Three years later, I graduated from nursing school. The next month, I was eligible to take the NCLEX and I took it and passed. I was now officially a registered nurse. 

All when I was in nursing school, I still had to earn money, so I got a job as a direct support professional taking care of mentally challenged individuals. I enjoyed it overall, definitely much better than being an engineering in the cubicle. I could drive out, take the individuals out on van trips, go out into the community; it wasn't just rotting in a cubicle. 

Because this field was a healthcare field, I was able to get a job as an RN in this company, which is what I did. This was okay. I was now making over the double the money. It wasn't a sedentary job. I could move, take care of patients. It wasn't the best company, so eventually I landed elsewhere. 

Currently, I work for a staffing agency and this is by far my best job as an RN. I work in a facility that contains several residences where youth with psychiatric disorders live. So, as a nurse, I'm out and about, going between different residential units.

What do I love now being a nurse over an engineer? 

The list is below: 

Reasons I love the Nursing Career More than the Engineering Career

1) Engineering is a More Cutthroat Environment - Engineering careers and nursing careers are totally different. Engineering is more cutthroat and rigorous. Many nursing jobs are government funded, such as the psychiatric facility for which I work. I live in New York State and it is the state that allocates the most tax money for individuals with psychiatric disorders. Government-funded places aren't strapped for cash, for the most part. Being that taxes are mandatory and almost everyone (except the few tax exempt) must pay them, money is always coming regardless. The government will always collect taxes and allocate to the resources that they do. So being government funded, it isn't cutthroat. Even if you work at a nursing home or a hospital or out doing UAS, a lot of it is government money, because patients who are on Medicare and Medicaid (even though they don't bring in the most) are seen and billed. So the government will always be around and collect taxes, so there's safety. Now with engineering, even though there are obviously government engineering jobs, the majority of engineering jobs are from private companies. Private companies aren't funded by any taxes. They're funded by products and the company's ability to efficiently sell their products and earn money. If the company isn't efficienct and well oiled, money will not come in or less of it will come. It all depends of the efficiency of the company and the workers. Therefore, it is a much more cutthroat environment. If the company isn't productive, the money will dry up. Compare this with nursing where the tax dollars are just flowing in. This is why companies like Amazon and plenty of small-tech companies you may not have heard of have rigorous work environments. If the workers aren't working hard and packaging products and shipping products, the company makes no money. Therefore, it's very cutthroat. It's very micromanaged. The CEO can get very intense and agitated when worker productivity isn't high. And that's basically the type of environment you see in many engineering companies. The company only makes money when it's highly productive. 

2) Engineering is More Micromanaged- For the same reason above, engineers tend to be more micromanaged by far than nurses. The company only makes money with high worker productivity. Therefore, managers, supervisors, CEOs tend to be on their workers more greatly, monitoring what they're doing every few moments. If you work for a government-funded place such as a psychiatric facility, there is no one checking on you every 10 minutes to see if you're being productive. And nurses are licensed healthcare professionals. They tend to have more autonomy.

3) Engineering Is More Likely to Be in a Cubicle- I realize that this isn't always the case. There are field workers in engineering. There's different fields of engineering, such as dealing with trains and railroads and all of that. But the majority of jobs in engineering will require you to stay stuck in a cubicle pretty much all day. This goes for product designers. This goes for technicians. This goes for plenty of engineering jobs. You will be in a cubicle for the most part. Nursing, on the other hand, is mostly hands on (unless you're a case manager but that, too, requires you to see your patients). As a nurse, you're seeing your patients from room to room. You're on your feet. You're at a desk the whole shift. So you're not bound to a cube. 

4) Easier to Land a Job in Nursing- Engineering is notoriously difficult to land jobs. If you're ever checked jobs on sites like indeed.com, every engineering job is different and has different requirements. So you've mastered one job, it doesn't mean you can easily get another job. For example, you may have mastered autoCAD or pSpice, but that other job that is very similar may require you to know C++ or C, so you may not get it. You may mastered digital circuits, but the other job also requires mastery of analog circuits. So almost every job is different. You cannot master engineering in the same way as nursing. If you're a nurse with extensive dialysis experience, you can pretty much get RN dialysis job in the country. If you're an engineer that knows programming languages, you cannot know every programming language that every job. It's impossible. You cannot know every type of hardware that every company may want you to know. Even more than that, another thing, engineering jobs tend to look for the right or perfect candidate. So for every engineering job, they interview at least 5-10 other candidates. Because engineering companies only get paid well when there's a high level of productively, there's such a thing as hiring and looking for a perfect candidate. This is why jobs will interview and interview and interview for one position. In nursing, this is like unheard of. There really is no perfect candidate. There's just nurses. As long as you're licensed and a decent nurse, each nurse is going to generate the same exact revenue for a company. There's no such thing as a perfect candidate for a nursing job. A nurse is a nurse. With engineering, an engineer is not a an engineer. If a company hires a more skilled, knowledgeable engineer, that engineer can design superior products, design more efficient products, etc.; thus, the company sells more, their products have more appeal, and they make more money. This is why engineering jobs almost always look for the perfect candidate. They know better engineers will produce better products and the company grows. A nurse is a nurse. If a job description for a nurse is to take care of 10 patients, each nurse will take care of the 10 patients. If a nurse is slightly better and more efficient, it really doesn't matter, because the company is going to get the same revenue, regardless. So what does this entail? This is why it takes months for engineering jobs to hire an engineer, this quest for the best candidate, that doesn't exist in nursing. An engineer, many times, it takes them months to land a new job if they get laid off or if they move. A nurse can find a job easily within a month of needing a new job. As you have your license and it's in good standing and you're decent, any job will pretty much take you. This is a big reason why I favor nursing. There's no perfect candidate. It's so much easier to land jobs in nursing. Nurses are badly needed in many places. Because there's so many jobs, they can't be picky and there's no reason to be, because there's no such thing as a perfect nursing candidate. 

 

Overall, I just loved the switch. I feel like nurses are more autonomous, the environment is more relaxed, and we're not bound to cubicles, in the same way as many fields, and jobs are more plentiful and easier and quicker to land. I love my decision and I'm moving up by going back to school to be a nurse practitioner. 

Of course, I still love engineering, but not as a career. I love it as a hobby. It's something I do on the side, but to go back to a cubicle and be micromanaged no longer appeals to me. I do engineering hard on the side. I created this website with an engineering stack of Python, Django, Javascript, jQuery, AJAX, and postgreSQL. So my engineering skills are still sharp and I put them into use. But I only would go back  maybe only for consulting purposes and not to be an employee.

So, yeah, I absolutely loved the switch I made from engineering to nursing. Cheers. 



Tags of Post: engineering to nursing, love it, easier to land jobs, no micromanagement, no cubicle

Author: dlhylton

Published on June 14, 2018

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