ARE there any benefits in nursing?

  1. Hi, I start nursing school in August and have been reading these boards as a way to get somewhat of a "feel" for the career. I am really starting to worry about what seems to be a really hard job without any benefits. I don't mind working hard and I like to be kept busy - but I do need a break sometimes and having lunch is a definate must (my hands shake when I get too hungry). Not only am I worried about making a mistake but it seems that I will have to put up with nurses who are mean to each other. These things I can handle because I need to support my little boy. What I am worried about are things like sick leave, personal leave, leaving on time, and being able to attend my son's school events. Make no mistake, I am a very hard worker and I like to be kept busy (makes the day go by quicker) - but having a good "quality of life" is very important. I -maybe- get sick once a year but worry being able to take care of my son. I am a very dependable worker but my first priority is to my son. I have to worry especially after reading posts like the "sickly nurse" post and the "point" system. The point of my long post is that I am wondering what kind of benefits different places offer - hospital, Dr.'s office, hospice, home health etc. I would truly like to work with the elderly or in hospice but supporting my son the best way is my priority. I have to add that I do not have any family living nearby who could help me w/childcare etc. My nearest family member is 3 states away.
    Last edit by scubagirl on Jul 28, '03
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   earthling
    Dear scubagirl,

    I am realtively new to nursing, and to answer your question, I believe there are benefits in the nursing profession. When I first started nursing, I was working five, eight-hour shifts per week, which made me feel as though I spent most of my life at the hospital. Plus, as a new nurse, I found it difficult to leave "work at work" and tossed and turned all night worrying about the care I gave my patients. I've found that working three 12-hour shifts per week allows for a work/life balance that is so important for nurses. Nursing is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and yes, there are many days in which I have only a five minute-lunch, if any at all. It's easy to get caught up in all the negativity associated with the profession because of the ever-increasing responsibilities nurses bear. The problem is, a nurse can't just be a "nurse" these days; you will find that you have to be a waitress, a doctor, a psychologist, a social worker, a housekeeper, and a case manager, but being all these professions will make you feel as though you can do anything else in the world! There are just so many options for you to explore. If spending time with your son is a priority, maybe working an eight-hour day shift at a hospital or working at a doctor's office would be most prudent for you. Make nursing work for you and not vice versa!
  4. by   purplemania
    The hospital I work for (town of 75,000) offers health and life insurance, retirement, tuition reimbursement, regular market and merit increases and other benefits. Most small clinics cannot afford this. BUT nurses have to work every other weekend. You can arrange your schedule around kid's events but this is not easy. Pay is better in a hospital ususally. School nurses, Public health and others work M-F, but pay is not as good as in hospital. Talk to recruiters in HR depts.
  5. by   ainz
    Hospital nursing can be tough. This is the setting that you hear and read about so many negative things. However, there are numerous professional and personal satisfiers in this kind of work that many find it worth putting up with the negative things. The pay is generally better, you are exposed to so many more nursing challenges that require you to use your skills and knowledge, there is scheduling flexibility because the hospital runs 24/7 365 days per year. Other clinic settings etc., are less stressful with Monday - Friday hours but the work is more routine much of the time and the pay is less. There are trade-offs.

    I have found nursing to be a rewarding and challenging career, I love it and have experienced it in many different roles. There are many sinlge parents in nursing and they have found ways to make it work for them. I am sure some will share their experiences with you.

    Good luck and stick with it!!
  6. by   PilotJim68
    ScubaGirl,
    I have been in the medical profession off and on for about 10 years. I am on the road back into the profession again, I guess I just can't resist after all...LOL. One of the things that I have learned along the way is to try to avoid the politics that go along with this job or any other for that matter. You will run into a lot of negative people along the way because they are definately overworked and severely underpaid.
    I realize this is easier said than done, but keep your head up, just do your job to the best of your ability and leave it at the door when you go home. Try as many different areas of nursing as you can and sooner or later you will find a niche that suits your needs and people that will be there to support you when you need it.
    I ran into some of the problems that you are describing and now that I look back on it, it wasn't the people that I worked with that created the problems, it was the admin. who had no clue what nursing or medicine was about. All admin thought about was the bottom line and how everyone could, including the nurses, do more with less. They even went as far as telling the nurses that "nursing" was no longer a profession and that things were going to be run like a business...obviously this has not worked out and all they accomplished was to drive out most of the quality nursing staff. From what I have seen and heard, nursing shortages are cyclic....from time to time there are shortages for various reasons and then peopl wise up and make the job much more attractive to people, then there is an influx and places can be overstaffed and then the fun begins all over again.
    If you have any questions you can PM or email me...I am in Florida too and scuba just happens to be one of my many passions. Good luck to ya.
  7. by   redshiloh
    The VA actually has good benefits for RNs earn 8 hours annual leave and 4 hours sick leave q2weeks.
  8. by   MandyInMS
    Trying to raise kids and work is a challenge in whatever career you choose.You sound like a very determined/hard-working young woman though and that counts for a LOT. I agree that family should always always come first..trying to convince an employer of that fact is difficult sometimes.Seems like most of the time all they want is a warm body to fill a slot :/ When I started nursing my son was about 3 and had asthma..I couldn't have made it without my dear ole MOM..bless you Mom..I worked(and still do)in a rural hospital..we have sick leave/vacation/insurance..ect..but it was difficult to GET the time off when it was needed..even with advanced requests..sadly if I HAD to be off I would have to call in sick..fibbing saying "I" was sick so I'd be paid..you do what ya gotta do to survive. As far as choosing a field that suits you..you may have to try diff options until you find the one that works best for you and your son....but, YES you can make it in nursing..we are not all mean evil vipers...lol..some of us do still have a little heart left best of luck to ya (((hugzzz)))
  9. by   Nurse Shark
    Scubagirl,

    I am still a nursing student (2 semesters left!!!), but the hospital I work in as a tech offers great benifits to the nurses that are considered full time.. Keep in mind if you work Per Diem or irregular part-time, or full-time you will probably not get any perks. Why don't you call around and talk to different nurse recruiters at different hospitals in your area. See what your options will be after graduation. It seems to me that you can pretty much choose your schedule at most facilities, depending on which area you want to work in.

    Good Luck,

    Dee
  10. by   Tweety
    As has been said having a career and a child is tough. Our hospital has a barely sick unit, staffed with a nurse and an aide. If a nurse's child is too sick to go to their day care or school, but not sick enough for the nurse to stay home and take care of the child they can go there.

    Sick time for the nurse applies to the child as well, a nurse who calls in "my child is sick" is asked no questions or gets no negative feedback. His or her sick time applies to the child as well.

    I've had several non-nursing jobs and have had to put up with negativity, gossip, and mean people there. Nursing is no different that elsewhere in the working world I'm sure of that. We come here to vent, and that sometimes taints the novices view of nursing.

    If you need special consideration in your schedule for your child, then make that well known when you are interviewing, and if they can't accommodate that don't take the job. I'm working with a nurse that needs every weekend off because of baby sitting problems. She just started and never mentioned that, and knew it when she interviewed that she had no weekend coverage for her child. Now she's about to be written up for a pattern of call ins every weekend she is scheduled. She's has such self-rightous indignation "my child comes first". Well this was an every-other-weekend job when you were hired, if you can't meet the job description, don't take it. Don't make demands after you are hired.

    Nursing is a 24-hour job, the hours are strange, but there is a job out there somewhere for you that you'll be good at and that you will be happy at. Good luck.

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