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LoadingMedic's avatar

Feeling stuck and not sure what I want...

Asked by LoadingMedic (113points) May 15th, 2019

What’s up everyone,

Thank you in advance to anyone who took the time to read my thread and respond. I’ll be honest when I say this; I am not really sure how to start so bare with me. Let me first start off by introducing myself and explaining how I got to where I am at. I am a 25-year-old male who moved from New York to the state of Georgia about 6–7 years ago. When I graduated high school in the year 2012 I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew at that time was my father retired from the NYPD and we ended up deciding to move to Georgia to take care of my Grandparents who are my father’s mother and dad. When we moved to Georgia I landed a job as a mechanic and god bless it, I hated every second of it and I mean that will all respect. That career was just not for me. This led me to land another job at a grocery store as a grocery stocker. When I landed this job at the age of 22, I was not planning on stay there and I was constantly looking up careers that appealed to me and I have to say this next choice was the “wisest” of them all. I came across Firefighter and say that they work 24 on and 48 off. When I say that I jumped on it so quickly. I was looking at it as a good career with plenty of time to be off and see family if needed. The requirement for me to get on with a department was to attain my fire certifications and achieve an EMT license. Well, I did such that. I enrolled in a community college and attained my Fire/Hazmat certifications and then shortly after my EMT license. I was still 22 at the time and I applied to a few Fire departments. After about maybe less than a month I landed a job with one makes roughly 33–34,000 annually. I thought at the time I hit the jackpot because I was young, dumb and naive. Well, I did not take long until I realized that salary was nothing to brag about and I need to make more money to live comfortably and maybe one day supply for a family without having to work some much that I barely see them. I decided about one year into working at the Fire Department that I wanted to get my nursing because I was actually enjoying the medical side working as an EMT more than I did as a firefighter. Well halfway through knocking out some of my Pre-Reqs the fire department found out I was attending college for nursing and decided to fire me. I lost the fire department job and ended up failing microbiology with a D that semester due to me losing the job and my Grandpa also dying of Alzheimer’s. I am not trying to make excuses but that semester was not good to me and I ended up showing it with a D. All my other classes like A&P 1 & 2 ended up getting a B in and a few A’s in other courses.

Shortly after prior to being getting ready to retake micro my parents decided they wanted to move to PA which I had no issues with at all. I had to put my nursing on hold and find a full-time job since I was working part-time. I landed a job back on with the fire department and shortly after I enrolled in a paramedic program. I am still in the program and we do not graduate until February 2020. I will be 26. Even though I love the paramedic and medical side. I am honestly getting tired of working 48’s just to make ends meet. I am 26 years old and I do not want to be working like a dog when I am in my 40’s. I want to be successful but I just do not know where to go. There is a paramedic to RN bridge programs but I am worried due to my failing micro I will not be accepted into many programs. On top of that when I attained my ADN, my goal was to enroll straight into a BSN program and then NP. With me being 26 when I graduate paramedic school and having to retake my science courses because they lapse after five years, I might not get into a nursing program until I am maybe 30 and then I might not get into an NP program until I am close to 40 which to me seems like I wasted a lot of my life and time doing stupid crap when I was younger. I wish I could slap my old self and know when I turned eighteen to start focusing on my future.

The issue I am running into now is not sure what I really want… Do I still want to bridge to my RN which is still a very tough route and then get my NP or maybe look into other career fields that may be a bit easier to attain while having the ability to work full-time? Here is a list I was looking at.

1. Biomedical Engineering
2. Software Developers
3. Aerospace Engineers
4. Electrical Engineers
5. Physician Assistant (Love this career but hate how much debt it will cost for schooling)
6. Medical Lab Techs
7. Nuclear Medicine Techs
8. Dietitians & Nutritionists
9. Hydrologists

I know these careers seem all over the place but I am kinda at a loss, to be honest with you all. I would love to be able to find a career that I can work while attaining through online programs but the majority nowadays do not allow which I can understand why. The reason for this thread is because I was wondering if anyone else was in a similar position as me and maybe had any advice? Again thank you in advance for taking the time!

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11 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

So you want to make a lot of money for a potential family/being comfortable and NOT work like a dog? All I’m going to tell you is that it sounds like you’re overthinking it and not doing yourself any favors by jumping lanes all the time.

LostInParadise's avatar

There must be a way of using your experience and education. For the courses that have expired, is it possible to take an exam for the courses without having to retake the courses? Is there someone in your field who you can speak to about your options?

LoadingMedic's avatar


I can understand why you came to the conclusion that I want to make a lot of money but that’s not exactly true. I am by no means looking to be “rich” but rather I am looking for a career that I am going to love and enjoy doing while making an income that I am comfortable to live on. Let’s say an income of $50,000–75,000. I would not consider that being rich but rather a middle-class income.

May I ask why I am overthinking it?


Well, I wouldn’t say I have the “best” experience but I do have it. It’s more like look at my mistakes and please do not be an idiot like me. Sadly the courses that have lapsed are not allowed to be challenged. It’s mandatory that the classes are to be taken over completely which is just a way for the college to make money. It’s frustrating but it is what it is.

There are a few in my field that just bridged from there paramedic to there RN but they also are married and had the safety net of the significant other bringing in another source of income while they attend school to finish. I sadly do not have that luxury.

chyna's avatar

In my area of the US, which is near you, most NP’s I know have gone online to get their degree. If I’m not mistaken, it would take two years to get your RN, then 18 months online to get your NP. You should be in your early 30’s and in a good paying job.
Can you talk to your dad about living with him and him taking care of your bills for 2 years until you get your RN? It would be difficult to work and go to nursing school at the same time. Also, NP’s make around the same as PAs without the the same years of school and without the big student loans. I work in a doctors office in a hospital, so I know their salaries.

LoadingMedic's avatar


Yes NP gives you the ability to do it online which is nice. The downside of it is you have to most likely schedule your own clinical days but that can be done.

Actually, since I am in paramedic school right now and I do not graduate until Feb 2020. I will still need to take my Prereqs and ill be close to 30 when I finish that. Then I need to hopefully get into a program my first shot or have to wait another year. So let’s say I get into the bridge program. That is a 1.5-year program. Next after completing that I will need to enroll in an RN-BSN which will take another 2 years and then enroll in a BSN-NP program which will be another 2 years. So let’s say everything worked out to the tee. I would have it all completed in 5–6 years. I could be between 32–36 years old or worse case be 40 years old. It really all comes down to the cards and how they play out. Also, my concern is being a single male. The bridge programs still require me to come into school for the majority of the day to attend class. So that worries me because I am not sure if I will be able to do it while working to pay my bills.

NP’s do make pretty similar wages to PA.

TheVaal's avatar

Sometimes just knowing what we don’t want is enough.
For each career path list the Pro’s and Con’s. Eliminate what you don’t want and see what is left.

LoadingMedic's avatar


How do you recommend going about making this list?

Mimishu1995's avatar

Have you done enough research on the jobs you want yet? And have you also considered if you have enough skills for each of the job?

And also I agree with @KNOWITALL about the first sentence she said. Even when you finally find a job you love you still have to work for it. It’s called “work” for a reason.

gorillapaws's avatar

I didn’t read the whole question, but I would consider taking a look at a Registered Vascular Ultrasound Technologist specializing in leg veins (RVS). The school requirements are not that crazy and a talented tech can be very well paid. Techs don’t have stressful hours and could in theory be a stepping stone to becoming a PA in a vein practice—if that has any appeal.

TheVaal's avatar

First let’s make sure we are talking about career paths.
Careers are not straight lines. What you study may not be where you end up working. I once new a man with a bachelor’s degree in astronomy who was the Maintenance Officer in an Infantry Battalion. So study what you enjoy studying, a degree or a diploma opens up many different doors. A career path may not be in your field of study.

So for each field of study try this: Write it on the top of a blank piece of paper. One field per page. Divide the page into two columns, label them ‘Pro’ and ‘Con’
In the Pro column write down what the benefits are for that field of study. How much you enjoy it, what the careers are in that field that interest you. Where and who you could work for, etc. In the Con column write down the disadvantages to the field of study. Some of the cons may even be the same as the Pros, like where you will have to work in that field.
Do that for each field of study. Do that for each career path as it becomes available to you.

Writing this all down is important. Writing it down forces us to organize our thoughts and feelings on each one. Quite often we have all these things bouncing around in our heads without really knowing what exactly they are. That “Feeling stuck and not sure what I want…” feeling may come from that.

seawulf575's avatar

My stepson was an RN and wanted to become an NP. He took classes on remote learning from some school in Nebraska, but was living in South Carolina at the time. He ended up working at an ER for a while (which he hated) and then found a job at a Cardiac Rehab facility. He like that very much.
His schooling started a bit earlier than yours…I think he went into nursing in his early 20’s. But your time line for your education seems a bit skewed. He worked at night with a cleaning company when he was in school for RN which allowed him to have days for classes. I don’t think he went more than 4 years for his degree. He did some different jobs as an RN for a few years before he decided to become an NP. He completed his NP schooling/licensing when he was 29. If you were starting off fresh today you could be an NP in about 6 years.
It really comes down to you. What you like to do. Are you choosing a career path because you like the work or because you like the money? Both are fine, but there are trade offs. If you are choosing a career because you like the work, you may not be in a field where you will make tons of money but you will enjoy what you do. If you are choosing because you think it will be a career that makes you lots of money, you may not like the job, but will have more money for your off time. I looked at your list of job suggestions you are considering and thought they were kinda all over the place. Engineering (of the various sorts) would usually put you in a job where you work for a company on projects, doing calculations and evaluations. The medical field jobs seem to be in line with your desire to be an NP, and would be working with people and in the medical field. The hydrologist is sort of an outlier. That job usually entails a lot of outdoor work (I worked closely with hydrologists in my life). So I guess if I were you, I would ask myself some questions. Do I like working with people? Do I like working at a desk using my brain? Do I like being outdoors? Do I like to work with my hands or my brain or both? Questions like this can help you narrow down your choices. Start with general questions and move to more detailed ones. But be honest with yourself otherwise you will find yourself doing this exercise all over again in a few years.

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