Any regrets?

  1. Hi, I'm a freshman in college studying for nursing. I've given this career a lot of thought but I still have my reservations, partially due to all the negative comments on here. I don't want to figure out that nursing isn't for me a couple years down the road after "wasting" education/money.

    Some background.. I was an above-average highschool student I guess. 4.0gpa / 1360 SAT with 3 college classes under my belt. I wouldn't say I'm exceptionally gifted or that hardworking though. Here's what I'm looking for in a career:

    -Less than 6yrs schooling
    -Preferably a federal job or in the medical field, some sort of needed service
    -Around 50k or more to start, room for advancement
    -Won't be too difficult to obtain a job
    -Minimal stress / worrying about the job outside of work
    -Stable career outlook

    These aren't hard and fast rules, but those are the basics. A job as a PRN seems to fit that pretty well and I do like the idea of a 3day work week. I have limited shadowing experience, but its not nearly enough to base a decision on. My brother is a nurse anesthetist and seems to enjoy his job. Then again, I know someone with a masters of science who became a mail carrier and couldn't be happier.

    It's an unrealistic goal to love everything about your job, but do some people here actually wish they would have taken a different path? What advice would you have liked to known back when you were 18? Anything at all helps. Thank you for reading this.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Nope, not me, I love nursing!!!
  4. by   kstec
    In all honesty if your not hooked on this website, stop reading it now. The stuff you read on this will more than likely scare you out of nursing rather than convince you to continue your education for nursing. Nursing is a not nearly as bad as most speak of and this coming from a LPN who is considered to be at the bottom of the food chain. I know I'm not but if I believed everything that is on this website about LPN's, I'd have no self respect, dignity, pride or sense of accomplishment. If nursing is your dream figure it out on your own whether it's something you like. It has so many options that you will not know which one to choose from. Good luck and try not to let this website get to you to much. I do enjoy reading the threads that are educational but other than that I'm trying not to respond anymore to negative threads because some make nursing sound like an awful job and it's not all bad, especially if your heart is set on being a nurse. I think the ones who have not found their niche make it sound worse than it is, the ones who have found their niche make nursing sound like a wonderful career choice. Again, good luck in whatever you choose.
  5. by   sweetbeet
    I agree that you might want to stop reading this site if you are hooked. Especially if you are a typical college student (i.e. young). Please don't take this the wrong way, but after you have a little life experience, you can read between the lines to see when folks are venting and complaining or are just bitter and burned out of their career. I'm currently a pre-nursing student and I'm 37 years old. This will be my second career. Everything I read here about nursing I can apply to my old position as a paralegal (doctors, lawyers, big egos and same bad handwriting!). Just follow your gut and allow for "happy accidents". You never know where you will end up.
    Last edit by sweetbeet on Oct 5, '07
  6. by   HealthyRN
    Please do research into the career. If you haven't shadowed any nurses, do so before making a decision. If you can, shadow for a full 12-hour shift. Get some experience working in healthcare by becoming a nurse's aide, working as a volunteer, or doing anything that allows you to see nurses at work and experience patient care. These are the things that I wish I would have done when I was 18-years-old and made the decision to become a nurse. Good luck.
  7. by   EmmaG
    It's an unrealistic goal to love everything about your job, but do some people here actually wish they would have taken a different path?
    In spite of all the negatives (and trust me, they DO exist)... in spite of the tears and anger and frustration... when it comes right down to it and it's just me caring for my patients, there's nothing I'd rather be doing.

    Yeah, I can see where a student or new nurse would get discouraged with some of what is posted here; but please consider this: I believe that for the majority of us, it comes from a deep love for nursing. Most of what you see as negative stems from a desire to be the best we can be, give our patients the best care possible and to elevate and maintain the profession at its highest level.

    So that is my answer...If I really didn't give a damn, I wouldn't care enough to criticize.
  8. by   diapason05
    Quote from jromano
    Hi, I'm a freshman in college studying for nursing. I've given this career a lot of thought but I still have my reservations, partially due to all the negative comments on here. I don't want to figure out that nursing isn't for me a couple years down the road after "wasting" education/money.

    Some background.. I was an above-average highschool student I guess. 4.0gpa / 1360 SAT with 3 college classes under my belt. I wouldn't say I'm exceptionally gifted or that hardworking though. Here's what I'm looking for in a career:

    -Less than 6yrs schooling
    -Preferably a federal job or in the medical field, some sort of needed service
    -Around 50k or more to start, room for advancement
    -Won't be too difficult to obtain a job
    -Minimal stress / worrying about the job outside of work
    -Stable career outlook

    .
    You sound very much like me. Only a bit younger. My first dream was to be a singer and I got further than a lot of people have the opportunity to get- but it just didnt work out. I just turned 23 and I met my husband and knew that I wanted to settle down and get a career going. I want all the same things as you listed actually. You sound like you are a pretty smart kid.. I also have really good grades (in college anyway) and I did pretty good on my SATs as well.. After four years away from school I found I LOVE college and the classes that are actually a bit challenging. (rare, so far ;( .. but from what I've been looking at, it seems like nursing classes might be challenging..) I am looking for a career route that will challenge me a bit academically, but that has all that stuff you listed...and you probably would benefit from something a bit challenging as well. I am shying away from any "bachelor of arts" degree because of how BORING I find the classes. I do not feel challenged or engaged in the classes that are mostly pre-reqs for BAs. If it wasnt so damn long, I'd do med school. but oh well. I see nursing as something realistic for my future- it fulfills all of the requirements you listed and diagnosing patients really appeals to me and nursing gives me the option of becoming a nurse practitioner and doing that.

    ok.. That was a bit long-winded, but you get my point. I think nursing is a good choice for the both of us. (I also can't think of anything more boring than working in an office job that doesn't provide room for much change- accounting or banking or something) I also want to do something that actually MEANS something. Even if people are ungrateful, helping save lives or helping someone to have a better QUALITY of life is more meaningful to me than preparing tax returns or making advertisements so people buy more useless junk.
  9. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from jromano
    Some background.. I was an above-average highschool student I guess. 4.0gpa / 1360 SAT with 3 college classes under my belt. I wouldn't say I'm exceptionally gifted or that hardworking though.
    Well, if you graduated from HS with a 4.0 and pulled a 1360 on the SAT then you're either gifted or hardworking, or probably both. False modesty earns you nothing.

    Quote from jromano
    Here's what I'm looking for in a career:

    -Less than 6yrs schooling
    -Preferably a federal job or in the medical field, some sort of needed service
    -Around 50k or more to start, room for advancement
    -Won't be too difficult to obtain a job
    -Minimal stress / worrying about the job outside of work
    -Stable career outlook
    Well, I can't think of anything better than nursing to fulfill these goals. Of course, I doubt any nurse would say that their job causes "minimal stress." On the other hand, from what I've seen of my nursing friends, their work is pretty much confined to the paid hours that they're on the job. This is quite distinct from all of the salaried professions.

    If I were you and I knew enough about nursing to think that I could stand making a career out of it, I would. Of course, I would... I have made that same decision for myself.

    The only other careers I can think of that might stack up pretty well using your criteria:

    1) Become an auditor (accounting). I know somebody who works at the CA State Board of Equalization and it's about as kick back a job as I've seen and pays pretty well and is stable as all get out. Lots of 'em work for the big firms and work like dogs, though.

    2) Become a cop. Here in California, they get paid very well. Pretty stressful, though, and you're always dealing with stinky arm pit of society.

    3) Become a firefighter. They also get paid very, very well and have public-service benefits and pensions. The downside is that it's probably the most competitive hiring process that I've ever seen. They get thousands of applicants for single openings.

    4) Become a civil engineer working for state government. Again, I can only reference California but they get paid very well here and are basically 40-hour folks. They're about as entrenched as you can get and there's an ever-increasing need for their services as the infrastructure continues to age.

    5) Become a prison guard. Here they pull down about $80k per year to start and with OT typically earn better than $125k per year. Very high on the stress level, I think, and it's about the crappiest job I know of (literally).

    6) Become an air traffic controller. Very stressful for some but otherwise fits the bill to a tee.

    Personally, I'd become a nurse. Oh yeah, I already said that.
  10. by   cmo421
    Quote from jromano
    Hi, I'm a freshman in college studying for nursing. I've given this career a lot of thought but I still have my reservations, partially due to all the negative comments on here. I don't want to figure out that nursing isn't for me a couple years down the road after "wasting" education/money.

    Some background.. I was an above-average highschool student I guess. 4.0gpa / 1360 SAT with 3 college classes under my belt. I wouldn't say I'm exceptionally gifted or that hardworking though. Here's what I'm looking for in a career:

    -Less than 6yrs schooling
    -Preferably a federal job or in the medical field, some sort of needed service
    -Around 50k or more to start, room for advancement
    -Won't be too difficult to obtain a job
    -Minimal stress / worrying about the job outside of work
    -Stable career outlook

    These aren't hard and fast rules, but those are the basics. A job as a PRN seems to fit that pretty well and I do like the idea of a 3day work week. I have limited shadowing experience, but its not nearly enough to base a decision on. My brother is a nurse anesthetist and seems to enjoy his job. Then again, I know someone with a masters of science who became a mail carrier and couldn't be happier.

    It's an unrealistic goal to love everything about your job, but do some people here actually wish they would have taken a different path? What advice would you have liked to known back when you were 18? Anything at all helps. Thank you for reading this.


    Isn't there a song about regrets,,,,,,lol. I was an RN when I was 18. Who knows anything at 18, we think we do,but so much ahead to learn. I do not think anyone would say that they have no regrets in life. But that said:
    Nurses: flexable hours
    job security
    numerous paths to follow
    direct effect on the outcome of peoples lives
    continually changing,never boring
    pay continues to improve(i made 5.25hr back then,,lol)
    the ability to put a smile on someones face by walking in the room
    a fountain of humorous,outragious stories always on hand
    going home and being able to thank ur lucky starts for what u have compared to some poor souls
    continuous learning and intellectual stimulation
    I could go on and on,,,,,the things I may regret in life are few.Never marry a pt,,,lol(but I got some great kids,,,) stay in school when u r young,harder as u get older,but doable. I was nieve and so young that I believed everything one was wonderful and cared as passionately as I did,,,,I am getting wiser,,,it only took 28 yrs,,,lol
    Can ya tell, I really am a nurse,in heart,soul and career. Lucky I guess!
  11. by   BBFRN
    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥

    4) Become a civil engineer working for state government. Again, I can only reference California but they get paid very well here and are basically 40-hour folks. They're about as entrenched as you can get and there's an ever-increasing need for their services as the infrastructure continues to age.
    Not in my state- the state employed CEs make $30k/yr with experience. (DH is a CE student).

    I personally have never regretted becoming a nurse. Nursing has been very good to me.
  12. by   santhony44
    Comparing salaries for whatever job in California with most of the rest of the country is comparing apples and oranges. Pay in California is much higher, but from what I've read, so is the cost of living.

    Prison guards start at $80K? Here in Texas, starting pay is a fraction of that. (My son is one). Of course, cost of living here is considerably lower, too.

    Back to the OP's question: the only thing that really doesn't jive much with nursing is the minimal stress part. I don't think I've seen a really low-stress nursing job yet. Some much lower than others, but nothing really low-stress.
  13. by   jromano
    I thank all of you for your replies. After a lot of thought, and a revelation so to speak, I have decided not to become a nurse. I felt uneasy about the profession because at the root, i really wouldn't love to be a nurse. I might love the job stability, the pay, and the shift work but I could never honestly see myself as a nurse. It's just not me.

    It's tiring always trying to pick the most absolute practical decision. I'd be a lot happier pursuing something I really wanted than living with a career I settled with. The chase is half the fun for me. It's like a cat that's only interested in playing with a string if it's just out of reach.

    I know that if I want something badly enough and I put my mind to it, then I'll be able to accomplish it. Not to sound cocky, but also not to fake modesty, I know I'm "smarter" than most people out there. I can get by without trying, but the machine really starts to kick up when there's motivation behind it. It'd be nothing less than a crime not to use it to it's full potential.

    As for what I want to do instead of nursing, I have the general idea that's always been with me. I envision myself with a federal or government backed job, most likely in law enforcement. Ideally after a few years of police work, I'll join the ranks of the FBI or other high agency. Whether it takes 5, 10, or 20 years to reach this position if ever, so be it. I could at the very least go into work happy each day. I'll start pursuing a degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology as a step in this direction. The bottom line is that I'm only 18 and have a minimum of at least 4 more years to figure out the specifics.

    Up until this point, nearly every big decision I've made was with my brain. I need to trust the heart of this one, I know it. The brain over-thinks things too much. The worst feeling in the world is the "what if" question that pops into your head after not making the move you wanted. There's plenty of time to be conservative when I'm in my 60's....and leader of the world (the sad thing is, i was only half-joking there)

    This was not in any way meant to belittle the nursing profession. I have tremendous respect for people who are in it for the right reasons. It's just not for me.
    Last edit by jromano on Oct 8, '07
  14. by   EmmaG
    A G-man (woman?) huh?

    Cool!

    Good luck to you

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