Child nursing or primary teaching?

(22 Posts)
Sunnydays19 Fri 17-Apr-20 17:26:56

Really unsure what I really want to do. I currently already have a degree so would be able to just do my PGCE. However, I have always wanted to be a nurse, just never thought I’d academically get there. I have just been accepted onto a child nursing degree but would get no help from student finance as I’ve already got a degree. Really in two minds about what I should do?! Any people out there in the same boat?
Am I crazy to give up my part time, low salary job with no scope to go higher, to go train as a nurse for 3 years with little income and 2 young children. Or should I go to my PGCE which is a 1 year course and then I’m a qualified teacher.

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Sat 18-Apr-20 00:45:35

Are you sure that you won't get funding? According to

All undergraduate and postgraduate nursing, midwifery and many of the allied health profession students can access support of between £5,000 and £8,000 per year from September 2020. And the good news is, you don't have to pay it back.

In addition to these payments, you can also take out a student loan from the Student Loans Company, even if this is your second degree. Please note that if you are studying paramedicine as a second degree, you are not currently eligible to access loans from the Student Loans Company.

Children's nursing is definitely on the list of eligible degrees.

(I am assuming that you are in England , though?).

LalalalalaLlama Sat 18-Apr-20 00:59:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sunnydays19 Sat 18-Apr-20 10:19:17

Thanks for the info. I’m in Wales. I will give student finance a ring and find out. All I know is I am passionate about working with children. I’m drawn to nursing, but teaching is always in the back of my mind as it was what I had always wanted to do until I started working in a school when my view changed.

OP’s posts: |
Celeriacacaca Sat 18-Apr-20 10:56:34

I’m drawn to nursing, but teaching is always in the back of my mind as it was what I had always wanted to do until I started working in a school when my view changed.

I think your answer is there.

LalalalalaLlama Sat 18-Apr-20 18:34:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PurpleDaisies Sat 18-Apr-20 18:37:15

it was what I had always wanted to do until I started working in a school when my view changed.

You’d be mad to train as a teacher unless you really love it. It’s bloody hard work but very rewarding...if it’s your thing. What is it that’s changed about your view of teaching?


Appuskidu Sat 18-Apr-20 18:39:09

teaching is always in the back of my mind as it was what I had always wanted to do until I started working in a school when my view changed.

Hmmm!!! What happened to change your mind?

What made you think you weren’t academic enough to do nursing but you could do a degree?

CrossFreelancer Sat 18-Apr-20 18:45:10

My first degree was radiography. Then I did a pgce and taught for a year.
The PGCE was fine itself. A lot of work, but I didn't have children at the time and know I would find this difficult to do so now. However actually teaching... That was tough. Very long days, working at weekends and 'holidays'.

I've gone back to healthcare and working as a radiographer works much better with family life. Lots of shift work yes, but when I leave work, I leave work. It's done. However with teaching, I found I could never switch off and always felt guilty when I wasn't working. Teachers get a set salary per month, regardless of how many hours you put in (I think the average primary teacher spends 55.5hrs per week?)

CrossFreelancer Sat 18-Apr-20 18:46:08

Also for nursing. You might find you can do the 2 year MSc nursing if your previous degree is a science or healthcare related degree.

user3274826 Sat 18-Apr-20 18:50:56

Just wanted to follow this as I am considering either a degree in social work or children's nursing. Social work would likely have more manageable work hours but the nearest university is quite far and really inconvenient with school runs to deal with too. Children's nursing I've recently become very interested in (after spending a lot of time in hospital with youngest DC).

I however dropped out of university first time round half way through year 2 (due to failed contraception and unplanned pregnancy) and so would have to self fund the first year, which adds a lot of pressure to get it right as it is a lot of money as well as loss of income. I had read about the nurses grant so I thought that could help offset it. I had no idea I may be able to apply for another loan though? That would be amazing!

I think children's nursing OP, my original degree was in teaching, and I too was disillusioned whilst doing it and at placements.

user3274826 Sat 18-Apr-20 19:00:22

One of my other thoughts was, with social work I have the relevant level 3 related quals, but with children's nursing, I expect I'd have to re-do an access to HE in health/social or a science subject? Is your degree science related OP? Have you looked in to this?

Cornishmumofone Sat 18-Apr-20 19:13:29

Could you do a PG Dip in Nursing: It's just a year

RifRafia Sat 18-Apr-20 19:21:06

I have worked in both NHS and education sectors, in a new sector now so feel can give an unbiased view.

Teachers think their workload is very high, but from my experience you'll work far longer hours in nursing for less pay and far less holiday. Salary can also improve rapidly in teaching as you can take on additional responsibility early in your career.

Pentium85 Sat 18-Apr-20 19:27:21

I would say teaching is 'easier' with children, simply because of the holidays and you aren't doing night shifts.

But either career you need to be passionate about. Both are tough and you won't cope unless you love it

Sunnydays19 Sat 18-Apr-20 19:49:35

@PurpleDaisies @Appuskidu the workload put me off, but also a lot of the teachers I work with don’t actually get that much time to actually teach, and spend the time with the children.

Also @Appuskidu I didn’t do science at A levels as it wasn't if interest to me, and when in school there wasn’t much support when choosing your subjects and the career path they would lead too.

My degree is not science related but some aspects were. It’s a BA degree, and I also have a level 3 in CCLD.

The university I would travel too is 1.5 hours away from home. So a lot of travelling, but know from previous students that lectures aren’t 5 days a week and as the years go on the lecture time reduces. I could also pick placements close to my home.

OP’s posts: |
lorisparkle Sat 18-Apr-20 19:56:40

Have you thought about teaching in special school, especially with pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties. It is very different to mainstream teaching and nursing but has aspects of both.

willieversleep Sat 18-Apr-20 20:02:24

I'm a teacher and my mil has just retired from nursing. She has said even after a long tough career in nursing she would say it's easier and less time consuming than teaching. The one thing nursing has over teaching I believe is flexibility. You may have more 'holidays' is teaching (which you will work but not with the children) but the inflexibility is not easy. You never get to take your own children to/from school as you are in school, school plays during school time are out, no rota to allow for children's or your own appointments. Teaching isn't very family friendly for much of the year.

Good luck either way

DominaShantotto Sun 19-Apr-20 21:12:00

If it's an allied health profession course you get student funding for a second degree (or did last year when I started) - I've got a first degree and a PGCE (seriously - don't do it) and am now doing speech and language therapy which I adore - and am getting funding for it. NHS bursaries are coming back at £5k for September as well - but they've not opened applications for those yet.

Throwing that one out there as an other possibility as well - has the potential to work with children if you go into paediatrics, and a lot of the child development and psychology knowledge that I covered doing a primary PGCE - but also less of the stuff that can destroy you in teaching - and more flexibility to go into other areas as well as working with children. I'm loving the course content - loved my child placement this year but also enjoyed my placement working with dementia sufferers more than I thought I would do.

Sunnydays19 Sun 19-Apr-20 21:33:57

@DominaShantotta thanks for your insight. I’m going to go for it! I have nothing to lose. And 3 years is a short time to possibly struggle a bit financially in comparison to living the rest of my life wishing I had done something with it.

Thanks for all your replies!

OP’s posts: |
ArriettyJones Sun 19-Apr-20 21:36:09

Go with nursing. The long term options are broader and you seem more pulled in that direction anyway.

ArriettyJones Sun 19-Apr-20 21:37:10

Sorry! Should have read to the end blush

Good luck with it. smile

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