Nursing Vs Truck Driving

Topic 838 | Page 2

Page 2 of 3 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:
Woody's Comment
member avatar

My wife has been a nurse for 18 years, in ER for the last 8. She feels stuck, makes too much money to quit but is frustrated with much of the same things as Neil. The nursing field is changing, and changing fast. Do NOT even consider just getting your LPN. My wife is an RN and even though she has those 18 yrs experience soon she will either be forced out or have to go back and get her BS (no pun intended).

To me I think you already answered you own question as far as nursing goes. You said the nursing job was OK. to be a successful nurse it better be more than ok to deal with what you will go through. Good nurses are a special breed (much like good truckers). They have to love what they do or you get to a point that it is not worth it. I tell my wife all the time how much I respect her and that I could never do what she does. But even with her passion for nursing she is getting run down by many of the changes that are being made.

It's a tough choice, look long and hard at it. But if you choose nursing I will say it again. Get at least an RN degree but most of the larger and better hospitals are now wanting nothing less than a bachelors degree. I would much rather have an RN with 10 yrs plus experience than some one with a fresh bachelors, but most healthcare businesses don't see it that way anymore.

Woody

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hey Woody, that was an interesting post because almost everything you said about nursing applies to trucking also. Trucking is a really tough job that requires a ton of dedication and sacrifice. In fact, even more so than nursing, trucking is a complete lifestyle. An OTR driver doesn't punch out and go home at the end of the day...you live it for weeks at a time. If you don't love it, it's going to eat you up.

Even the part about:

I would much rather have an RN with 10 yrs plus experience than some one with a fresh bachelors, but most healthcare businesses don't see it that way anymore.

That applies to a lot of trucking companies also. They really don't value experience in the trucking industry very much. Although a lot of jobs require experience, it's really more a matter of saving money on insurance costs and finding people that have proven themselves already. But in the end, what trucking companies want are people who can move goods safely and efficiently from point A to point B. If you can do it for 25 cents per mile as a rookie then that's a lot better than a veteran making 40 cents per mile doing the same thing.

Suffice it to say, if you're going to get into trucking or nursing you have to realize it takes a ton of dedication and sacrifice. It also means putting up with a lot of challenges every day of your life. If you're not into it or not really up for the challenge, you're not going to last long.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Neil R.'s Comment
member avatar

Suffice it to say, if you're going to get into trucking or nursing you have to realize it takes a ton of dedication and sacrifice. It also means putting up with a lot of challenges every day of your life. If you're not into it or not really up for the challenge, you're not going to last long.

In reply to all here. I have my BSN. Nothing more is paid for this. I really love helping people. I have saved a lot of lives. I have comforted family of the dying. I have helped the addict who chose to get clean through some bad withdrawals. I have comforted the parents of a dead child. I have rejoiced with the young couple who find out they are pregnant. I have reminisced with the WWII veteran. I have listened while the Vietnam veteran have told me their harrowing tales of survival. I have medicated those guys returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. I have listened to the many tales of the elderly and all they have contributed to our great nation. I have dressed the wounds of the beaten wife. I have driven patients home because they couldn't afford a taxi. I have the reassured the abused teenager they don't have to be beaten and sexually abused by the people that brought them into this world any more. I have held the hand of the dying till they passed so they wouldn't be alone at the moment of their death. And I have laughed alot.

Dedication....I think I have that. Now it's time to look at the window and take each sunset, sunrise, snow storm, torrential rain, hurricane winds (driven through them), in stride. Focus on the good and hope the bullish*t passes in a timely manner. And laugh a lot. My 6 cents.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett C.'s Comment
member avatar

Neil, I am glad I read your post. I am a paramedic who is currently in school finishing up pre-reqs for the RN program. I thought long and hard about it and decided that there is no way I really want to be stuck in a building until I retire. I have worked seasonally delivering trees in a 24' bobtail and although there is really no comparison other than having to fill out a log book and the hours you are able to work/drive, I discovered that I really enjoy being out on the road. I have decided that after this semester is over and I complete the delivery season shortly after, I am going to attend a company sponsored school in Phoenix to get my CDL and begin my journey into a new career. I'm curious to see what you end up doing as well so let me know and good luck!!!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

T.W.'s Comment
member avatar

Neil,

It was interesting to read your post and examine my situation in more depth. In 2003, while I was pursuing my teaching degree I had been working in a nursing home as a CNA because of the pay and flexible hours. Nursing had its headaches but I was much younger then and could deal with the stress. One day an elderly patient came to me and told me to pursue a career in nursing because of the money and great opportunities. I ignored his suggestion, stuck to my guns and eventually became a teacher. The ironic part is after two years of being a teacher I started to dislike it. I hated dealing with unruly kids, parent-teacher conferences, backstabbing politics, pointless meetings, coaching after school, and dealing with unreasonable parents. It wasn't worth the salary. The only thing I liked about teaching was the independence of running a classroom. Ever since my lay off I have no desire to teach anymore. However, I cannot live off $10 an hour at crap jobs either. I need adult wages. If I chose nursing it would be all about the money. I don't know if I could handle a 25 yr old RN giving me orders or some arrogant doctor giving me an attitude. I have developed thin skin and as I get older helping people is starting to annoy me. Trucking seems more independent and dealing less with people. Hell, I might head out the oil fields because of the pay.

But more than ever if I am broke, I love my independence.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Hello all, I am glad I found this post. After reading it twice it has hit home with me and my own life situation and helped me with some things. Todd I know where you are at with this decision. I'll share a bit of my own experiences. I spent 30 years as a cop in central california. I was with a small dept. that grew during those years (more than doubled in size). I loved the job, for all the reasons you loved teaching. I promoted and was a supervisor for 17 years. The higher I went and the longer I stayed the more of the politics, and BS that I had to deal with. After going through a couple of divorces, and my kids growing up and moving out on their own, and of course getting older in the process, I got to thinking about my real priorities. I loved the job, for all the reasons you described. Helping those in need who at that time can't help themselves. I was even a member of a local school board for 8 years. We had a great district, however it only took one superentandant to make life a living h**l for parents and staff. I never wanted to be in that position but was asked by a lot of folks that knew me to do it. I was also a stakeholder because my kids were in that school. So I did it to try and make a difference. I was blessed enough I was able to help turn it around. I have never been afraid of hard work, been doing it all my life. But after looking at my life once my primary responsibity was accomplished (my kids raised and able to be self sufficient) I started asking myself, why am I doing this. I am very proud of what I have done in my life, and would do it again but, I have travelled on my motorcycle a lot, and rode cross country a few times. I loved the peace more than anything else. No meetings, other people that don't care about you at all, (I cleaned that one up) no agenda's, just me, the bike, and the road. It was my own self administered mental health therapy. I was able to retire, so I did. I moved closer to my brother and sister, that I have never had the ability to visit with much due to distance. I thought I would enjoy being retired. Many of my friends warned me about the emotional responses I would go through with such a dramatic change. I thought no problem I can do this, and be happy. The first couple of months was cool, I was still decompressing I guess, the next several were full of things going on in life, including several trips for various reasons, and yes I took my bike. But after 11 months of my new lifestyle I started getting restless and needed something more in my life to do. I was bored. I have always been very active, healthy, and don't like being in doors. I like you don't mind dealing with some folks, but that as a dailey issue I didn't want anymore. My best friend in life for over 30 years was a truck driver. His dad owned a trucking company for over 40 years. I had heard all the stories good and bad over the years. This site is also so informative from A-Z with the real truths about the profession. So after doing a lot of soul searching, researching, and internal debating with myself, I decided to get into this business. Nothing is perfect, but you strive to find what you can to make you happy. I'm not high strung anymore, I have learned patience finally, and overall I think this lifestyle will mesh with mine nicely. So far I'm very excited about my choices, and as each day has passed I have found first hand information to reinforce I made the right choice for me. I learned along time ago not to worry about those things you can't control, it will just drive you insane. Worry about those things you can control, and make informed decisions how to best handle those situations that work best for you. Folks can provide you all in information to help make those decisions, but at the end of the day your the only one that can translate that information into your personal situation. The chronicles Old School and Daniel B. are posting about their days are excellent at seeing how life is. several of us have done the same in the other thread for some of the various schools. So I'm in CDL school with a company I think I can believe in. In fact I take my cdl exam in a few hours. I wish you the best in your career path and life, no matter which you choose.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

PJ, good luck on that exam. You are a very wise man, it was a pleasure to chat with you in person!

T.W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi PJ,

You have achieved a lot. Congrads on your accomplishments! It is much appreciated that you shared your experiences and I am glad to know someone has the same reservations as I do -- especially someone who was in the public sector.

As I get older I tolerate less of the BS and more downtime myself. I love travelling around the country and the peace of mind of being on the open road.

You had mentioned some great points about knowing your priorities and having peace of mind. I agree wholeheartedly, life is too short for the aggravations and BS. Nursing was as much a headache as teaching --- and it would be all about the money if I ever went back to it. However, those are not the right reasons to pursue a career. "Sometimes money costs too much." I am not willing to give up my peace of mind. I'm learning late in life that I find more happiness being by myself, working with things rather than with people. Not saying I want to be a hermit, but the daily grind of working with people everyday leads to exhaustion. It feels great to go camping in the desert, listening to the coyotes howl, hiking down a mountainside, or seeing the sun go down and come up. I let things go in which I cannot control. I just click my heels, turn around and walk away. The only thing that really matters is a persons total well-being. If getting on a motorcycle and traveling across country is happiness -- enjoy it! If jumping into a big rig like I plan on doing in the future--then heck I am going to do it. Don't care if I am under qualified or over qualified for the job.

The essence of happiness is just doing what excites you and gives you peace at the same time.

Good talking with you.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Daniel, I've got a PHD from the school of hard knocks my friend.....And I passed.....Turn my paperwork in Monday morning in exchange for a brand new CDL....Todd you got the right attitude sir, takes some people along time to figure it out, and some never do....I wish you all the best.... I'm glad I was able to help some...Sometimes we just need a sounding board, and this site is the perfect venue....There is a very diverse group of very dedicated, honorable folks here and chances are very high no matter what someone is facing at the moment, someone here has also...Daniel and I had the pleasure of meeting for breakfast in North Little Rock AR a few weeks ago and this young man is truly an old soul.....Much wiser than his years.....

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
FuzzyBuda's Comment
member avatar

Due to the length I have to submit in 2 posts.

I just did a google search for nursing vs trucking and the 1st click brought me right to this post. Todd H, you pose a question I have been wrestling with for a while now. Thanks to you for putting it out there and to Brett for having the website to post it. I will be spending more time on this site.

I have been an ICU RN for 5 years and Med/Surg for 2 years before that, and have completed my BSN during that time. I was a local driver in construction on and off for almost 10 years before that, though never went OTR. Back in the mid 90s, my kids were 8-10 and still a young enough family were I knew I didn’t want to leave for extended periods of time so I did what I could to stay close to home. Besides, it was nice to park the truck at the end of the day and utilize my days off with other things besides laundry catch-up and such even though the last year was 13+hrs 6 days/wk.

There were many times that I considered how I was stuck driving so as to pay bills and not able to utilize my brains and talents and was essentially on the path to nowhere without a means that I could see to change. 2004 I decided to join an RN program and make a change to improve my situation i.e. better pay, better hours, marketable skills I could go anywhere in the country, learn something new; a career, not just a job (insurance, 401K, path to success). My initial plan was to position myself as a Nurse Anesthetist and make some real money. 2 years later, I graduated and passed the boards and got my license.

I have never let my CDL expire because licenses are too hard to come by just to give them back and I figured it’s good to always have a fallback. I never had to use my CDL as I have been in healthcare since.

When I entered the healthcare industry, I had zero experience. I bet I hadn’t been in a hospital for more than 5 hrs in my life and ½ of that for myself. The learning curve as an RN was very, very steep, but eventually found my stride and leveled out. It was a challenge to say the least. I too enjoyed the sciences and this mixed in some art (practicing medicine) as well.

I completed my RN program in 06. Back then the economy was still good and the outlook was forecast to maintain a nursing shortage through at least 2020. When the economy turned many retired and semi-retired nurses came back full-time. Coupled with all the new grads the system ridiculously pumps into the market, the industry has become saturated. Also, the demands for new nurses have increased to include 1yr CNA as a prereq before starting a nursing program. When I was at that stage, it was recommended but not required. My view on this is yes, it can be helpful experience so the RN curve is less steep. But I wasn’t interested in being a CNA and that would have been a deal breaker for me. As I see it, the industry figured out how to mandate a low pay grunge job for a high skill career oriented person.

I have been evaluating whether nursing is a good fit anymore. Is there life after nursing? It has been a steady job and would continue to be for as long as I stayed there, but I am here to tell you that there is NOT much ability to move around. Sure when the hospital needs to fill a hole for their benefit then it is expected that you be a team player, but never the other way around when you need something; typical corporate attitude. Some people do get opportunities to reposition into a non-direct patient care position, but I submit this is the exception. For instance, several in my department have MSN and one a PhD. Yeah, they make more money than I do, but not a lot more and they are still wiping ass just the same. Now, in the ICU that is just part of the job. In one room you are changing linens and in the next you are t******* on someone’s chest to save their life. Makes for a well-rounded skill set, I guess. It’s what it is. The industry could make it better, but they don’t. For instance, where are all the pregrad CNAs, etc… Many RNs wish to get away from direct patient care.

Anyway, I digress. You don’t go into nursing for the money. Some teachers and the marketing of nursing suggest that the world for an RN is wide open and this plays on one’s ignorance and naïveté. Seriously, look at any travel nursing website and observe (one of your biggest nursing skills, BTW). Beaches, relaxation, foxy lady enjoying life to its fullest. Yeah, right. Now go read the travel nursing blogs.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Page 2 of 3 Previous Page Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Attending Truck Driving School Becoming A Truck Driver The Economy And Politics Truck Driving Lifestyle
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More