I Did Not Succeed As a Nurse. So What? Part 2

By Sarah Aterrado - May 23, 2017

When people ask me about my current job, I tell them one thing. When asked about what my college course was, I tell them another. And then everybody would give me a second look in awe or most likely in utter disbelief and blurts out, "As in?! Ang layo!"  Kung sa Bisaya pa, "atik?! layua ui!"

I participated in a survey from students who are conducting a study about people who changed career paths after graduating in college. I thought of posting it online because it just might inspire other people who figured out their college course isn't all they want after graduating. So here goes.

And oh, what you will read below are not the exact words I wrote on the questionnaire.

BSN 3C. First duty at Delivery Room, DRH

What is your course and where did you study?
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (major in Dancing. Haha, Kidding!), Ateneo de Davao University.

Why did you choose this course? 
I wanted to take Medicine. Since my folks wanted me to study in AdDU, I only have two choices for my pre-Med course, B.S. Nursing and B.S. Biology. I chose the former because nurses were so in demand abroad at that time (actually, that was my deciding factor). Plus, I would still be able to land a job to greener pastures in case I don't pursue Medicine. Unlike the latter, there's not much I can do with a Biology degree if I didn't make it to Medicine. Where do Biologists in the Philippines work anyway?

Tell us bout your college education
When you're in college, you're asked to pick two from the three given options: sleep, good grades, and social life. In Nursing, you can only pick one.

I was a soccer varsity, a member of Ateneo Dance Troupe, and I was a Panthers cheerleader. I guess, you have figured out what I picked then. Academically, I wasn't an achiever. But I learned a lot of things, like how the human body is a living petri dish or how awkward tepid sponge baths can be. I was definitely interested in Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and Medical-Surgical Nursing. I detested any subject that has something to do with numbers, including Physics, Algebraic Statistics (our only Math subject), and even Pharmacology. And I still don't get why were we asked to compute drug doses manually when we could have just done it PRACTICALLY with a calculator instead. Looy pud ming mga bugo ug Math. Ge lang, at least, pareho mi ni Inday Sara #brightsapagsulatbugosamath. Hahaha!

I love most of my subjects in Nursing. However, I simply didn't like the work itself - which is reflected by the number of pink slips I got and the Failure Debarred (FD) remark I earned. Pink slips are equivalent to tardiness and absences, while an FD is given to any student who exceeded the number of absences allowed in a semester. Add to that, losing all my DR and OR cases sealed my fate. Hindi madali ang kumuha ng slots for OR and DR, let alone maghabol ng pirma ng mga RNs na ayaw magpakita. It was when I decided to just survive Nursing but not pursue it.

What is your current job? 
I am a Front-end Website Developer and Designer.

Are you using what you learned in college?
Although I was able to trace the pathophysiology of Ischemic heart disease back then, I still rely on Google and WebMD for diagnosing the signs and symptoms whenever I feel something is off with my body. So, go figure.

In terms of my career, the only computer subject we have in college was EDP 111 - Fundamentals of Software and Applications. I only learned basic (and obsolete) HTML. Everything else... nil, zip, nada!

Did you regret taking the course?
No and yes.

No, because I had fun. I have grown up a lot from being a wimpy kid who can't stand and would cringe upon hearing the word penis to mastering how to keep a straight face when you see something that's already beyond nasty. Penis doesn't bother me anymore. Actually, nothing can shock a nurse anymore. We've seen everything. Penis, blood, death. It is also in Nursing school where I earned a doctorate degree in the Art and Science of Grace Under Pressure.

Yes, because I think about what I have achieved today. I learned how to code with very little to no background at all and I can say that I'm pretty good at it. How much more if I took Computer Science? I might be a six-digit-earner Software Developer today. But then, I hate Math and Math hates me back.

How long did it take to find a job after graduation? 
It didn't take long before I was able to find a job. Online jobs were pretty prolific at that time. I landed on my first job as a ghost writer at Essays.ph. Then from there, I started venturing to other career because a writer's meager pay can't make the ends meet. So I became a graphics and web designer (I was already into arts way before so it wasn't that hard for me to shift). And eventually, when competition became stiff for website designers, I had to learn how to code and develop websites to stand out.

I think this is the thing about people who took up Nursing, they are fast learners, flexible, and can take on any other job. Perhaps all those daily drug studies and NCPs, case studies, comprehensive exams, and all the physical, mental, and emotional pressure you get as a student nurse make any other job much easier (please take this with a grain of salt). That's why it's no wonder you see anybody who took up Nursing can be everywhere in any industry.

Are you satisfied with your job (in terms of salary and compensation)?
My salary is relatively low in the IT industry. Yet, I still get a higher and better pay than most jobs, especially nurses, here in our country (that's why I look up to nurses because their job isn't just about earning big but their services are for humanity).

Am I satisfied with my job? Yes, because I absolutely love what I'm doing.

Advice to people who are thinking of changing career paths: 
Honestly, there is no deadline in life for deciding what career you want. However, shifting from one career to another is not easy, it never was, and never will be. Otherwise, everyone will be doing it. I might be a lawyer by now if that's the case. But nobody also said it can't be done. The risks are high. But I'd rather take the risk and lose a lot along the way than do nothing and suck on a job I don't want for the rest of my life.

If you feel the need to change careers, don't let money be your deciding factor. If it is your PASSION, then by all means just go for it.

P.S. Actually, I said the same thing on I Did Not Succeed As a Nurse. So What? but I am not yet a Web Developer at that time.

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  1. Thank you for this Sar!

  2. HRM to call center :( I want to get out of the cubicle and practice what I graduated. Nainspire ako but can I do it?

    1. Hi. Yes, you can! My boyfriend worked in the BPO industry for more than 4 years before. Now, he's a full-fledged Software Developer. :)

  3. This is a very interesting post ate Sarah :) I'll be graduating this summer with a Biology degree. And I just realized it's hard to get a job with this degree if I won't proceed to medicine or masterals (karon pajud ko ning mata sa kamatuoran haha). I'm now planning to go to med and hoping to get accepted with a low NMAT score (ugh challenges in life) But, I'm happy you're doing good right now :)


    1. If that is what you really want, then go for it. Don't let the society or anybody dictate your career. Good luck! :)

  4. Thumbs up! Amazing career change! I have same predicament with anon 11:39 from BSBA Marketing to being just a CSR. :( Ayaw ko maliitin ang call center agents pero kahit high school graduate pwede maging call center agent. I really want to shift and level up but it's hard lalo na kung 8 years ka na sa ganitong industry.

    1. I know I don't have the right to dictate what you should do with your career. But if you feel that your job is no longer making you grow, then why stay? I know you have your own reasons, but sometimes in life you have to take risks. You just have to weigh your priorities.

  5. From nurse to cca to nurse. Dli nko choice mag agent pero la ko choice kay lisud agkangita ug trabaho. Tuod lang mas lisud ang agkaagian sa student nurse kaysa sa cca. Walay dali na trabaho pero gamay ako paglantaw sa mga cca kay maski kinsa ra pwede dawaton. Sa kaluoy sa ginoo nakahawa gyud ko sa call center kag nagprivate nurse ko bahalag gamay ang sweldo. Karon nurse 1 nako sa pinakadakong ospital sa pilipinas. Kung agpadayon ko sa call center maski pa maabot ko 10 years kay agent gyapon ko. Ayaw mo kahadlok hawa sa call center. Pero pasalamat ra pod ko call center nagbuhi sa ako tong wa koy trabaho.

    1. That's really good to hear. I'm glad your found your way back to being a nurse! ^_^

  6. i will graduate next s.y. i hope to be successful like you.

    1. Ikaw ang may hawak sa sarili mong success. Good luck on your career! :)