How did you know you had the right stuff?

  1. .....to be a nurse? I am a SAHM who quit teaching two years ago when my third and final baby was born. At the time I knew I did not want to teach anymore but sort of blamed it on wanting to be home with my new baby.

    So, now I am sure I don't want to teach anymore. I am very interested in nursing. I am just not sure I have what it takes to be a nurse. My husband is very supportive and wants me to do something I can love and that will contribute to our family income eventually. I spoke to my dad...okay I am 34 years old but who doesn't need validation? His response was he doesn't believe in "digging more holes. Why not just use the degree you have?"

    I do think I am having a mid-life confusion. Things are so tight now with only one income. I don't want to start something that will not work out. I think I can do it. But, I have never been good at Science and Math. So, my question is ... how did you know you had the right stuff? Sorry so long!
    Angie
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from angiesc
    .....to be a nurse?
    after 27 years, i'm still not sure i have the right stuff! there are times when i'm less sure than others!

    if you have enough science and math to be a teacher, you can get through nursing school. it's a good, flexible profession. hours are flexible, there are plenty of different places to work. if you get bored with ob, try peds. or er. or the gi clinic. or forensic nursing . . . you get my drift. and you can always find a job.

    if you want to be a nurse, go for it. in two years, you'll be 34 whether you're in school or not!
  4. by   AngieSC
    Ruby,
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Unfortunately, I really didn't have to take any advanced Math and Science classes to be a teacher. I will still have to take Anatomy and Physiology, Probability and Statistics, Microbiology and possibly a few other courses. I spoke to an advisor over the phone and she sounded very encouraging about getting a seat in the program because of my prior GPA. I was pretty confident until I took a practice test for the NET exam on the internet and the math was algebraic type word problems...not my cup of tea.I didn't even try to finish it. I am going to make a trip to the university next week and see the advisor in person. I am going to be home until my baby starts kindergarten in three years so why not go back to college in the meantime....yikes!
    Angie
  5. by   NurseCard
    Hi there! I'm curious as to why you don't want to teach anymore. Not that it necessarily has anything to do with whether or not you would like nursing. =) Heck, I even dropped out of nursing school to pursue a teaching certificate instead (I already had a prior bachelors degree in art), but then decided that teaching was NOT my cup of tea and that I really wanted to go back to nursing school. =)

    Anyway... like Ruby Vee, I'm not sure that I have the right stuff either. =) My personal view of the ideal nurse is this:

    She (he) has extrordinary common sense.
    She always pays attention to her gut feeling about things.
    She genuinely cares about other people and the way they feel.
    She is energetic.
    She is firm and is able to "lay down the law" with patients, while still having a caring demeanor.
    She speaks her mind.
    She is someone who is always looking for ways to improve upon things.
    -------------------

    That is my own vision of the ideal nurse. And out of everything on the list, I think I have a good grasp of... two of those things. =) I am fairly energetic, and I do care a good deal about the way people feel. But I often feel like I have plenty of "book smarts", but lack common sense. I don't feel like I listen to my gut when I should, sometimes. I'm a shy person by nature and sometimes have trouble speaking my mind, or convincing patients to do things that they do not want to do. And so on. =)

    Anyway... I guess in summary, if you really want to be a nurse, go for it. Why not? =)
  6. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from AngieSC
    .....I do think I am having a mid-life confusion. But, I have never been good at Science and Math. So, my question is ... how did you know you had the right stuff?
    Angie
    At 34, you think you are having a "mid-life confusion"? I do not mean to belittle your choice of words here, but you are too young to be going through any type of "mid-life" anything! Wait til you hit 39, believe it or not,you will see a true difference! You are simply going through the normal doubt that any sane person who has spent years in one profession (and yes, a SAHM counts as a profession!-- plus your teaching background will leave you leaps and bounds above the rest) As for science and math, you'd be suprised at how much easier it is once you have devoted yourself to furthering your education.
    I cannot speak for everyone, but it was my experience that I actually enjoyed the science/math component of returning to school as an adult student. Give it a chance, if you really want to succeed, you will. If I could do it and come out with a 4.0 as a high school dropout who got a GED, you certainly can! Develop the "I refuse to fail" attitude, and you will be just fine. After the first test, and you discover how much easier it is as an adult and having a genuine interest in your future, you'll see what I mean. Just don't give up if you're heart is in it-- you will do fine.
    Last edit by CarolineRn on Jan 26, '05
  7. by   bellcollector
    This may not be a popular response to your question and please be patient as I try to put my thoughts into words. I am a deeply careing and compassionate person. Highly energetic when it comes to helping others, shy, easy going, trustworthy, eithcal, tenderhearted and hardworking. I also have a good deal of common sense and no trouble dealing with my patients I am kind and caring yet I can be firm when needed. I am very nonconfrontational but will fight like a mother for her cubs when it comes to my patients. All good qualities, one would think, for nursing. Here is the problems I face in nursing. Unfortunately it is a dog eat dog world among coworkers. I don't know why but probably 85% of the nurses I have met and or worked with are or have become somewhat hardened. A good many are very sharp tongued and judgemental. I have been eaten alive in more than one setting. Nursing is hard work and high stess with far too little appreciation. There is a lot of politics in health care which contributes a great deal to the stress in the field. I know this all sounds pretty negative and it is. I am not at all sure I will be staying in nursing even though I am in the midst of persuing my RN. .


    I have never had a problem with any of my patients/clients/residents and have always gotten on well with ancillary staff my patients and their familys. No problem with performing job skills either. On the few occassions where a patient asks if they can hug you and tells you they are praying a special blessing for you for the kindness you showed them when noone else did, it is worth it. When a family member crys on your shoulder at the death of a loved one and then sends you a card of thanks for your compassion and the good care you gave their loved one, it is worth it. When you recieve a basket of flowers with a simple note saying thanks for being you, it is worth it.

    Ultimately it takes a lot of soul searching and you have to look at it with your eyes wide open. Nursing can be an awesome career for a lot of people but there are also numerous other career options that are just as rewarding.
    I guess what I am saying is if you posess all of the qualities needed to be a good, compassionate and competent nurse to your patients and DO NOT wear your heart on your sleeves and are able to stand up for yourself then yes nursing is for you. We need you. If however you are tenderhearted and have trouble with wearing your heart on your sleeves RUN
  8. by   AngieSC
    RNW - I taught for six years. I made the decision to be a teacher straight out of high school and knew I would be a good teacher. I felt comfortable being a teacher. I also love love love working with children and being in the "helping/nurturing" role. I just found that teaching was about so much more than the teaching aspect. And, I felt very locked into my one track for the rest of my career. I could get my master's but really the only difference would be a pay raise.

    Now, from reading many posts on this forum I do see that there are many non-nursing aspects of nursing such as the paper work/computer work. However, I feel like maybe nursing may be a more flexible career. I also like the non traditional hours and days I could possibly work.

    CarolineRN, I am glad you consider me too young to be going through a mid-life anything because I truly do feel old right now. I do have lots of doubt about careers right now....like you said. That really does make sense to me. I am not sure I would have ever considered this had I not become a SAHM and started thinking about all the options that are available. Also, even though it may not sound like it (since I am questioning having the right stuff) I think I have gained more confidence now that I have gotten older.

    I appreciate all of your responses. I feel sort of silly for the OP. How does anyone really know until they try, right?

    Thanks,
    Angie
  9. by   hypnotic_nurse
    If you are really worried about your ability to handle the classes, why not take just one that you will need and see how you do? If you do well and like it, then think about joining the program.
  10. by   11:11
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    If you are really worried about your ability to handle the classes, why not take just one that you will need and see how you do? If you do well and like it, then think about joining the program.

    I like this idea.

    When I began to entertain nursing I went to a local college and enrolled into a basic chem class. I got a C.

    Then I enrolled full time and took all the required classes that werent core nursing proram courses (A/P, general chem, microbiology etc etc, psychology, english, sociology blah blah..). I made the Deans list.

    Then I entered their program.

    I cant necessarily recommend nursing either. I find it to be a difficult environment to work in. Ive not experienced the infighting, backstabbing, and pettiness in any other field of work including the military and construction.

    But Ive not had as rewarding a job either, nor have I ever been more proud, or able to affect lives to the extent I can today.

    Maybe you should try volunteering at a local hospital. See how things really are. Then make a descision.

    You could always try EMT-P also. That is a very rewarding job although they dont make near as much as they should.

    I dont agree with your father (respectfully). I went to nursing school at age 35. It is my third career. I'll probably have at least one more.

    As far as having what it takes, you'll have to take a look at the profession, then inwards and ask those questions of yourself. You already have one education in a difficult career field. I believe you could handle another. The most important quality is the refusal to quit. Thats how people get through nursing school. Ive seen poor, single mothers make it.


    Good luck

    11
  11. by   AngieSC
    Thanks again guys...actually I am planning to do the pre-reqs at the local cc. Those are the math and sciences I mentioned above. I feel like if I can make it through those I will be fine. Then I would have two years left at the university for my BSN.

    You mention that nursing is competitive. I found that teaching was also. You were looked down on if you do too much like you are showing off. On the other hand, I saw people looked down on because they were perceived as lazy as well....lots and lots of gossip and cliques.
  12. by   zenman
    I've been a nurse for 30 years and I had the right stuff but now I can't remember where I put it! My wife is a special education teacher and I would not want her job. You are permitted to have many "mid-life" crisis in your life. Just remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side or the other profession. Here's a book you might try..nurses and teachers both need to read it: "Work as a Spiritual Practice" by Lewis Richmond.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I eased into nursing....taking the pre-req's showed me I had the brains. Nursing school showed me I had the compassion and mettle to handle it. Believe me you will see in nursing school "if" you have the "right stuff" or not. Best wishes to you!

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