confused and need advice please

  1. I am interested in becoming an RN, specifically pediatric oncology. However I guess I am just at that point in my life where I am having doubts. I am struggling right now between pursuing a nursing career or a teaching career. What is turning me off to nursing is the hours. I would really like to be able to go places with my husband on weekends and be home in the evening with him. So I guess my question is, are those hours even possible in nursing? What turns me on to being a teacher is the hours and time off. I would never have to worry about working holidays or having time to spend with my husband. My brother had bone cancer when he was 16. He is now 25 and has lost his leg due to the cancer. I believe that is why I feel a calling. But I am scared that I will work so hard to get the degree and then not like it because the hours will be the hours I don't want. Or maybe I won't like it. I know almost everyone struggles in life with figuring out what they want to do. I have about 6 months to figure out which direction I want to go.
    Really, I would appreciate if any oncology nurses could tell me how they feel about their job. For example, if it is depressing seeing children die.....to a point that it affects their lives in a negative way. Also if anyone can give me information about nursing hours available I would greatly appreciate it. Any advice you can give would help. I am so confused on what is more important in life, having time off to spend with your family, or pursuing something you feel you may be great at. I think I would like teaching as well and I would still be making a difference in the life of a child.
    I am just so confused, please help!
    Jamie
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   SCRN1
    I haven't worked in oncology, but I did do clinicals on both adult and pediatric oncology floors when I was in school. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle it, but was surprised at how I actually enjoyed working with these patients as heartbreaking as it could be.

    There are so many avenues you can take in the nursing field and they aren't all those long hours that include nights, weekends & holidays. I enjoy working my 12-hr shifts at the hospital, but I work PRN so that I can choose the days I'm available to work. Of course I don't get PTO, insurance, etc but I don't need the insurance anyway because I'm covered under my husband's policy. The hospitals I know of require you to have at least a year or two experience before letting you work PRN, but if you can stick it out for that short amount of time, it may be worth it for you.
  4. by   lakRN2008
    I began nursing school this fall after being a teacher for almost 10 years, so I guess I have experience on the other side of the coin. While I liked being a teacher for a while, it was a lot of work. Sure, the hours are good and you get time off, but you spend a lot of time outside of work doing lesson plans, grading papers, etc. I am so glad that I made a change and should have done it long ago. Nursing school is tough and time consuming and you get a lot of experience in different areas, so you may find you will be interested in other areas. Unfortunately, most nursing programs give you general clinical experiences, so you probably won't get much experience with pediatric oncology. Like SCRN1 said, there are so many avenues to go in nursing. Go with your instincts and you will make the right choice. Just don't go into a profession because of the hours or the time off because you may find that you are not happy.
  5. by   nurse4theplanet
    I'm going to be completely honest here...

    As a soon to be new grad (tomorrow is my final yay!), I have spent the last semester pouring over various avenues of nursing and the positive/negatives involved with each: pay, insurance, retirement, proximity to home, sign on bonuses, required contracts, student loan repayment, scheduling and hours, shift diffs, experience for specialties, etc.

    In my experience (and I can only speak for myself and small niche in the world)...As a new grad with no experience you typically end up in the hospital on a med-surg floor or select specialty units where you will be required to work 12hr shifts 3 days a week FT for at least a year.

    Yes, there are diverse areas in nursing that offer incredible flexibility, but I have found many barriers as a new graduate to those types of jobs: they require experience, they are highly sought after positions and go to a more qualified/experienced applicant, they do not offer student loan repayment which is important to me as a new grad with student loans, they pay less, etc. Even at most of the hospitals I have checked into...PRN/weekend shifts aren't usually given to new grads until they have 6mos-year's experience.

    I am not trying to discourage you. Are there jobs out there that you can find as a new grad that you can work 8hr shifts and PRN...Yes. There is a psych hospital and numerous clinics in my area that offer that, but like I said... They are hard to find and they have their disadvantages. Just important things for you to consider, which I have stumbled across in my personal experience.

    I encourage you to no end to explore nursing. It is such an incredible feild! And you do sooooo much pt teaching that it should be right inline with your other desire. You can also advance and become a nurse educator or nursing/clinical instructor (one of my personal goals). Just be very prepared and flexible as to what shifts/hours you may be expected to work in your early nursing career.
  6. by   Wendy_RN
    I understand what you are saying about the hours and the holidays. Working holidays is not one of the most appealing aspects of nursing for me, but it is a reality in the hospital setting. There are many opportunities in nursing to pursue. One thing to consider about the 12 hour shifts is the 4 days you have off a week compared working bankers hours.

    You said that you are considering teaching because of the scheduling. In my opinion, you need to choose the career that will make you happy. There is a difference in a job and a career. If you are not doing what you really want to do, you may feel like you are just working a job to earn a paycheck.

    Both nursing and teaching are honorable careers. You just need to decide what will be best in your life. I wish you the best!
  7. by   augigi
    As a soldierswife05 said, you'd have to plan to work shifts probably for a year. The good news is that if you do 12 hr shifts, it's only 6 days on/8 days off per fortnight, which is GREAT! I am currently in a M-F 8-5 job and I hate the hours, after the flexibility of nursing hours! You also have the opportunity to do night shifts (12 hrs) if you have a supportive hubby at home to look after the family - then you can have most nights and weekends at home.

    I would hate the teaching hours, but it's totally a personal decision. The great thing with nursing is that once you complete your grad year, the hours you do are totally up to you.
  8. by   lisal11
    Quote from INLUVINAZ
    What turns me on to being a teacher is the hours and time off.
    Jamie
    You should really choose your career based on what you think you'll love doing, not on the hours. I would suggest interviewing teachers and nurses to try and find out which career is right for you.

    Speaking from personal experience, I am a teacher who is just now trying to get into an RN program. Teachers hours are never what people think they are, especially in your first year. Your evenings/weekends will be spent planning, grading and figuring out curriculum. This may get easier in your second year, if you teach the same grade/subject, but some schools rotate subjects/teachers and tweak curriculum every year. As a teacher, work definately comes home with you.

    Also, you don't get the same amount of time off as the kids. Plenty of days (yes, in your summer break too) will be spent meeting with co-workers/administration or doing some kind of training. You may also get "asked" to help out with after school activities (you will do this if you want tenure at your school) and summer school.

    Realistically, I got into work by 7am and out of work by 7pm if I was doing an after school activity. If there was no after school activity I would get out by 4-5pm. I spent at least the majority of one day on my weekend grading, planning, etc.

    Not trying to put a damper on teaching for you. If it is your calling then I'm sure it will be very rewarding for you. I just wanted to give you a more realistic picture about the hours.

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