Craziest jobs before becoming a nurse


Many nurses would probably agree that no other job is as crazy as nursing. But some jobs come pretty close! We asked nurses what they did to earn a living before they found their true calling. Turns out the road to nursing isn’t always so straight and narrow…

Farm Work
If you think charting is mundane, you may never have done farm work. Karen D. Wright from Waldport, Oregon, attests that picking eggs at an egg farm was awful! Michigan resident Nurse Joel Wiebenga tried his hand at being a potato picker and bagger, hay baler and cow milker.

Michael Allen from Oklahoma worked on a different kind of farm altogether: a racing greyhound breeding farm (he was on the receiving end). Nurse Jessica Hill was a “horse shit shoveler.” ‘Nuff said.

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11 Responses to Craziest jobs before becoming a nurse

  1. Rachael Rainer

    Let’s see…I have worked at a factory making computer boards for guitars, Taco Bell, sold advertising for a newspaper, even did nails at one point. Took a while to find my true calling and I never have regretted it!

  2. Ildiko

    I was a letter carrier for the USPS for 13 years. That was a labor intensive job for sure. I quit and then went back to school. While in school I worked at Cracker Barrel as a waitress, at a garden center, and as a sales associate at a department store. I love being a nurse – it is a demanding but very rewarding job – going on eight years now as an RN and working on finishing my MSN to be a clinical nurse specialist. I have also inspired my former IT husband to become an RN – he graduates in May. My youngest daughter is starting nursing school this fall!

  3. Kelly

    I used to pick lice out of clients’ hair for a homeless shelter….beat that one.

  4. Audra B.

    I worked 5 years for a traveling carnival before deciding to become a nurse… you never know which path life will take you

  5. Rebecca W.

    I worked as a over-the-road truck driver.

  6. Jaqui

    I built seats for GM

  7. Shannon

    I was a costume character at a roller skating center, and at a large amusement park. Nothing like walking around for 8-10 hours a day in 90-100 degree heat (110-120 in the suit) dressed as Elmo, children knocking you over and not being able to see where you’re going!

  8. Heather F.

    I was a board stacher at a sawmill, a dishwasher, sales clerk, census worker, worked in a sewing factory putting stickers on fabric all day with a heat transfer machine (why I went to nursing school), seamless rain gutter installer (while I was in school and even after I was a nurse). I have also helped build a house, and had some random construction jobs.

  9. cowgirlup

    I was a professional barrel racer and a novice roper-not to mention working at a local sale barn a couple days a week…it’s nice to go to work knowing you are almost always going to go home NOT smelling and looking like you rolled around in a corral all day. :)

  10. nurseanne

    I Was a machinist in a clothing factory, a mum.and a dairy farmer, then at 46 changed my life by becoming a nurse, best thing I ever did! and Hi from Australia

  11. Charles1a

    In my younger days, I was a floorguard at a Skating rink, I worked in an Aluminum foundry, a gasket manufacturing company, and I programmed a CNC laser. Then 20 years as an environment engineer (The last few years in nursing school at the same time). Glad to say that I gave all of that up to be a nurse. I did not do it for the money, I did not do it because I thought it would be easy. (certainly not for fame and fortune) I knew that it would be hard, but the residents and/or patients need competent care. I needed to know that I was making a difference in people’s lives. Still new but never discouraged. I chose wisely.