My Decision to Change Careers: Radio Announcer Turned Nurse

by on March 7th, 2015
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I wanted to be a radio announcer ever since I was 15 years old. And through hard work, determination and a few lucky breaks, I enjoyed a 13-year radio career in the NYC/NJ markets. But broadcast media is a fickle working environment. This was not the field I wanted to grow old in. So in 2008, I made my decision to change careers from radio announcer to nurse. Here’s how:

Find the color of my parachute

When I told a friend I wanted to change careers, he recommended I read What Color Is Your Parachute? Reading this book helped confirm my decision to pursue a career in nursing. It also showed how I could apply the skills I learned from one career into another. These skills included communicating, writing and prioritizing.

Make sure I really want to be a nurse

My aunt suggested I volunteer at a hospital to see if I liked the health care environment. After eight weeks of volunteering at a nurse’s station at my local hospital, I knew I enjoyed it and was ready to move on to more skilled patient care.

Find a school

After researching and visiting a few schools, I applied to the most affordable and closest nursing school to where I lived, Essex County College in Newark. This was the only nursing school I applied to, so I was lucky to be accepted.

Tighten the money belt

A few months after I made the decision to change careers, I lost my radio job. With a severance package and unemployment, I learned to live on less than half of what I used to make. That meant no new car — and lots of free meals at mom’s house.

Sacrifice and see it through!

Nursing school is intense. All the crying, stressing and missing holidays and gathering with family and friends finally paid off when I got my degree. And yes, it was worth it.

What this means to me

I am working in a hospital as a nurse’s aide and preparing to take my RN license exam in early March. Most likely, this will lead to a promotion. Because nursing is such a dynamic field, the biggest benefit from this transition is knowing my degree and license can lead to so many career opportunities anywhere in America.

Changing careers from radio announcing to nursing has impressed me and my family and friends. I didn’t think I could handle the intense schooling at my age (41). Now I’m confident in my academic abilities. But the biggest success is knowing I can make a difference in a patient’s life and that patient will never forget how I helped him.


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