Hi, everyone! I just got accepted last week into a 1 year accelerated BSN program for this fall and can't wait to get started. I've been reading through the posts on these forums for a little while now, eagerly taking in the wide range of perspectives from those already working in the profession. It seems to me that just like any field, nursing has its ups and downs. Overall though, I have yet to hear anything that makes me want to turn and run in the opposite direction.
I've worked in the IT field for 19 years and have often thought I might switch to nursing as a second career at some point. For most of those years it was a rather lucrative, high opportunity profession, but not any more (largely due to offshore outsourcing of jobs and the government's H1B visa program). For me, although I had an aptitude for it, I can't say I ever found anything intrinsically rewarding about it. So as wages fell flat and opportunities dried up, there was nothing about it to keep me interested in continuing on in the field.
Here's what I will NOT miss about the profession I'm leaving behind:
1. Employers who no longer want their own employees. Where I live, a significant number of IT jobs are on a contract basis. You're really only sure about having a job for the duration of a company's contract with a client. Those things dry up for all sorts of reasons, and when they do, your employer basically tells you adios if they can't put your skills to use on any other contacts they're trying to staff.
2. Being at the mercy of having to commute to wherever your employer's client happens to be located. So many IT companies try to control costs by getting their clients to provide the workspace for their contractors. This means you could end up having to commute a total of 3 or more hours a day (AM and PM combined) just to get to and from work!
3. Being expected to be available as needed 24x7x365...because I'm "a professional!" And not getting ANY additional pay (since I'm a salaried employee)...even when it means working all day Saturday and Sunday for several weeks in a row. (What...you want a day OFF? Well....you're not committed to your job!!!)
4. Being expected to put in at least
40 billable client hours a week (although your employer pressures you to try to make that at least 45-50...and YOU don't get any of that extra money they bill the client for)...AND do all the other activities your employer wants you to do as THEIR employee...on your OWN time!
5. Taking hours and hours and hours of computer-related coursework...all on my OWN time...just to stay current in the field....and then having the skills I master become practically obsolete every three years or so!
I'm sure I could come up with more, but those are the biggies for me!
As I said, nursing, as with any profession, seems to have it's ups and downs. But after years of dealing with the frustrations I've mentioned, I would just be thrilled to have an employer with reasonably stable staffing needs in a location that won't constantly be changing (and that won't take me 1 1/2 hours to drive to each way). I'll look forward to actually being paid if I'm ever going to be required to put in overtime and being in a profession with such a wide variety of working situations.
Just so y'all don't think I have NO idea what I'm in for...I wanted to mention that I volunteered as an EMT for many years at a very busy station (so I've had the 'pleasure' of doing such things as cleaning projectile vomit off the inside roof of an ambulance). I had always really enjoyed doing patient care and have many reasons to believe that I'm well-suited temperamentally for the nursing profession.
Anyway...had just been wanting to post this as additional food for thought that people can digest as they ponder going into/ staying with / leaving nursing. Would love to hear what other people have to say about the careers they're leaving or have left behind!