how did you KNOW you were meant to be a nurse...having a conflict!

  1. Hello all, I am currently in nursing school and doing quite well. But somehow, it just doesn't feel right yet and I have been wondering lately if nursing is really for me. I thoroughly ENJOY studying the material, do well on the tests, and do fine in clinicals. But I enjoy teaching MORE. I am a tutor for some of my fellow classmates and they tell me I missed my calling- that I should have been a teacher. It makes me wonder. To make matters worse, I had changed my major three times and waited to get into this RN program for two years, now I am at the top of the class. I have thought about being a nursing instructor...but that usually takes alot of time/experience.

    I guess my question is How did you KNOW it was the right feild for you? And what are my options to incorporate teaching and nursing?
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   All_Smiles_RN
    Just a thought.... There is a shortage of nursing teachers. Maybe that would interest you once you get some experience under your belt as an RN? Good luck in your studies and your decision.

    ...Jennifer...
  4. by   uuhmaybe
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Hello all, I am currently in nursing school and doing quite well. But somehow, it just doesn't feel right yet and I have been wondering lately if nursing is really for me. I thoroughly ENJOY studying the material, do well on the tests, and do fine in clinicals. But I enjoy teaching MORE. I am a tutor for some of my fellow classmates and they tell me I missed my calling- that I should have been a teacher. It makes me wonder. To make matters worse, I had changed my major three times and waited to get into this RN program for two years, now I am at the top of the class. I have thought about being a nursing instructor...but that usually takes alot of time/experience.

    I guess my question is How did you KNOW it was the right feild for you? And what are my options to incorporate teaching and nursing?
    I honestly think it is hard to know whether it is your calling or not. Nursing is a very hard career to be in all your life. It phys hard, stressful, and patients can be hard to deal with at times. But Sometimes you have patients that make you LOVE your job. They are the dolls. I have also wanted to teach..i love to share what i know. But you CAN do that with time. I know i cant be at the bedside forever..its too much mentally. I could handle it for a few more years if i had too. I would continue with it and you have many options when you are done.
  5. by   AKAKatydid
    Hi there!
    I am still a student myself... but even I have found that teaching is huge in nursing. At every bend, you are the one that needs to impart your knowledge.

    I spent my last semester doing a rotation on the spinal unit of an orthopedic hospital, and we were forever doing patient education... on everything from proper ergonomics, to pain meds. Also, before any patient is discharged, you will need to ensure you go over any final dr instructions to clarify and ensure patient understanding.

    Although I haven't had any experience with it, I would imagine that home health care would require a great deal of teaching as well... After all there isn't someone available 24hrs, & you need to ensure that a patient understands what is & isnt normal for their condition. (Also how to comply & why it's important to comply!)

    Only you know whether or not this is the right field for you to be in, but if teaching is where your heart is, try focusing on teaching while you are going through your clinicals! See if that helps with your perspective before you drop out of a program you've invested so much into! If nothing else, your patients will thank you for it!
  6. by   PamRNC
    That's funny, because that's about how I knew. I was in school, figured I could become a nurse, earn a good salary, and eventually figure out what I really wanted to do. I tutored other students A&P, Nsg 101 and found I had a knack for it. Then I started to work and found out I had a knack for dealing with the patients, learning the technology, and explaining it to others. The absolute best part was when I learned about all the different roles/functions nurses can do, sometimes even in the same shift.

    Meant to be a nurse? who knows, but God? But you are probably going to be a great nurse since you understand the material you're learning and are able to explain it to others. Teaching is a very important aspect of our job.

    Also, remember, once you have that RN behind your name, you won't be stuck in just one job, you'll have your entire career ahead of you, and the possibilities only depend on your imagination.
  7. by   llg
    I would never say that I was MEANT to be a nurse. That implies a belief that there is 1 and only 1 acceptable life path for us. While that can be an attractive belief -- those who are lucky enough to find something that consumes our passions to such a great extent that we never have any doubts are the exception, not the rule. Most of us question our choices from time to time. That's normal.

    Life offers us many choices. We make a choice: we see the consequences: we move on to the next choice. For most people, choosing a career is no different.

    I chose to become a nurse many years ago because it seemed like a good way to use my talents and because it would give me lots of flexibility for my future -- not because I had some "Paul on the road to Damascus moment" of divine inspiration. I hated nursing school and thought about quitting many times, but was never totally turned on by any of the alternatives. So, I got my BSN and worked to developed a nursing career that would suit me. Over the years, I have made that nursing career work for me as I have tried to help others (patients and other nurses) along the way.

    That's the best I could do ... and I have no real regrets.

    If you have a passion for another field, then go for it. But as this is your 3rd major, how can you be sure you are not just jumping from major to major because you are afraid to commit to any one of them? Maybe you need to just complete the one major that seems the most right to you ... and then live with it for a while. Spend some time in the workforce and grow up a little more. Then, make whatever choices seem right to you at that time.

    Good luck with whatever you decide,
    llg
  8. by   nurse4theplanet
    I think that may be my problem...the commitment thing. I came straight out of highschool into college with no real plan of what I wanted to study. Started out general college, switched to psychology then found out how long I would have to commit to school (8 yrs+ is too long for me), accounting after that because I wanted something quick and easy....

    Then the frustration hit me. And I took some time off to figure out what I liked doing, and what I could picture myself doing in the future. I loved studying about anything that had to do with medicine, the body, nursing etc. But I had always said, "I could never be a nurse, I can't do the whole blood and guts thing..." So I was shocked to find I really did have such a passionate interest.

    But I am noticing that my passion is gearing more towards all the teaching related aspects of nursing, which is starting to make me doubt if I really chose the right field to showcase that talent. I am afraid to change majors because I HAVE put so much time and effort into this and I HAVE changed so many times in the past.

    I am only 22, and I feel like I am in the process of "finding myself" so to speak. I just want to make sure I can fuse both passions into something I really enjoy doing and not have any regrets and end up hating nursing.
  9. by   KatieBell
    Have you got a professor you like and trust to ask about this? Probably it would be good to get some perspective from someone who knows you in the flesh so to speak. But I tend to agree with the others, nursing is a lot of teaching. When I worked in the hospital of course I did a lot of skills and meds and stuff, but I also spent a lot of time teaching parents how to safely medicate kids, or explaining about monitors or IV pumps.
    Big and small hospitals also hire Nurses to be Nurse educators for big units, or for the whole hospital if it is a small hospital. Those nurses sometimes have an MSN, sometimes not, but they spend all day teaching other nurses things about new protocols, procedures etc.
    So I can not imagine that you could spend a day as a nurse and not do quite a lot of teaching.

    I agree with llg, I do not know about "meant to be a nurse". At the time, I knew it was a way to make money and a stepping stone for a lot of other opportunities. But meant to be a nurse, who knows. Maybe I was really meant to be a jet pilot, but I don't spend to much time worrying about that!
  10. by   SarasotaRN2b
    Jennifer said it earlier...go for nursing education...this way you are already on path. You can continue to help students in nursing school and as I'm sure a lot of us nursing students and soon-to-be nursing students, we want instructors who want to teach us and enjoy it. I also think that teaching adults in a nursing school is a lot different than teaching children.

    So best of luck and I'm hoping that you continue with nursing school.

    Kris
  11. by   llg
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    I think that may be my problem...the commitment thing. .
    That's OK. You're young. Give it time. One of the nice things about nursing -- and one of the reasons I chose it to begin with -- is that there are so many different types of work to do within nursing. You can teach patients. You can teach nurses by being in nursing staff development. You can teach nursing by being a faculty member. You can be an administrator. You can be a sales rep. etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Finishing your degree in nursing degree does not "chain" you to a specific type of job forever. After you get a year of two of clinical experience, you can move on to the type of nursing career that appeals most to you at that time ... and a little while after that you can choose to move towards what appeals to you most at that new time of your life. Your career can be a succession of choices that you make every year or two. Each time, you can assess yourself and your situation and make the decision the seems best to you at that time -- knowing that you can always choose something else if it doesn't work out the way you hoped it would.

    If we spend out lives waiting to be "certain" of everything before we made a decision -- nothing would ever get done. You don't move forward until you make a decision and give something a try.

    Take care,
    llg
  12. by   nurseygrrl
    There is plenty of teaching to do as a nurse. You teach the newbies, you teach your patients, sometimes there are student nurses at your facility whom you can teach. I love the teaching part of nursing. Maybe you can go for a specialty that puts a lot of focus on teaching...Good luck!!
  13. by   live4today
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    Hello all, I am currently in nursing school and doing quite well. But somehow, it just doesn't feel right yet and I have been wondering lately if nursing is really for me.....................I enjoy teaching MORE............

    I guess my question is How did you KNOW it was the right feild for you? And what are my options to incorporate teaching and nursing?
    Have you ever taken a self-interest test? Many colleges offer them for free. Talk to your academic counselor about taking one.

    I took one before I entered nursing. Nursing was at the bottom of the list (the list was pages long, too). My highest interests were politics, math, and religion.

    Eighteen years and a few months later, I wish I had taken a different path because my passion is also in teaching. I taught CNAs before, and enjoyed that, but still think about teaching kids in a school setting.

    You won't know what you really like if you don't try something. Finish your nursing, get your feet wet in it, go talk to some nurse educators, do some research or job shadowing with educators to see if it's a good fit for you. You are young, so you have time to dabble in this or that before finding your true passion. I wish you well.
  14. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from mccnrs2b
    I also think that teaching adults in a nursing school is a lot different than teaching children.

    Kris
    I KNOW that I do not want to teach small children or even high school age...not for me....the college setting interests me most, and I think I will start talking more to my instructors like many of you have said.

    thanks so much for everyone's responses. You have really helped to reinforce and encourage my decisions.

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