I get worried about my career choice....

  1. 1
    So, I'm a nursing student, but bear with me.

    I am nervous and am wondering if I'm picking the "right" career. As a student, I have struggled with learning skills (d/t anxiety) and am having to retake a class. Hey, it happens, and some people need a second round to succeed. But that isn't what is worrying me. What is getting me scared is the fact that I hear so many new grads having a hard time finding jobs and seasoned nurses say how much they hate their profession. I work as a PCA at one hospital, so I have so relevant experience and I work as a sitter in another (still trying to apply for a PCA job there...don't know WHY I haven't gotten one). I see some unnecessary drama, but I feel that drama is everywhere, but...it seems to be amplified in the nursing profession, perhaps due to stress?

    As a nurse, do you regret going into nursing? If your daughter told her that she wanted to be a nurse, would you discourage her? Why? What other field would you recommend for her to pursue?

    If you love nursing, what field are you in? What is your favorite field of nursing? What is one you would tell new nurses to avoid like the plague?

    And will this shortage of nursing jobs ever go away? Or will it always be hard for new grads to gain that golden one year of experience?
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 22 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi there! A lot of answers to your questions depends on the market where you live. I would ask around. Do you know any nurses or recent graduates? You seem to be taking the right steps, by working as a pct and sitter! Are there any new grad nurses on your floor you can talk to? Can you talk to your manager to feel out how the hiring is? Best of luck, nursing is tough! But we all made it, so can you!
  5. 0
    The surfeit of nurses (if there really is one) won't last for long, because the population is getting older and sicker (type 2 DM). My generation is getting closer to nursing home or assisted living time, and all of you younger nurses will be the ones to care for us. Just hold on for a few more years!
  6. 15
    Not many people write on this board about how happy they are with their job, their employer or their career. I've noticed myself that I tend to write more when I'm UNhappy than when I'm happy. I think that's just human nature.

    I've been a nurse for 35 years, and I've enjoyed most of it. I've never had "the calling", but I find that I'm happier working flexible hours and not being chained to a desk. Something different happens every day, and there's always an opportunity to learn something new. Being a nurse has given me a very nice life -- nice house, dependable car, vacations and I even met my husband at work. If my child wanted to be a nurse, I'd encourage it without hesitation.

    The economy is cyclical, and this "shortage of jobs" will give way to a shortage of nurses at some point. The economy is recovering slowly, but it's like that 700 pound patient who lost 70 pounds. You can't really SEE it. If a 200 pound patient lost 70 pounds, it would be VERY noticable. That doesn't make things any easier for those who are on the job market right NOW, though.

    A favorite field of nursing is very individual. I personally would rather work on an oil rig than do home health nursing, but other people love it. I'd ABHOR long term care nursing, but I know nurses who absolutely love it and would rather work there than anywhere else. I don't think you'll necessarily know what field of nursing is for you until after you've had some experience. When I started, Community Health Nursing was all the rage and everyone wanted to go into that field. Eight weeks of clinical was enough to convince me it wasn't for me. I have an acquaintence who wanted to be an NP, and was positive that cardiology was going to be her thing. She went straight from her BSN program to graduate school and somehow landed a job as an NP in a cardiology clinic, and she absolutely hates it. After all that money and years of education, she now wants to work in L & D. She knows it will be the perfect career, but she hasn't tried it yet . . . .

    I knew I never wanted to actually take care of people when I went to nursing school, but was encouraged because "BSNs have so many different opportunities." Thirty-five years later, I'm still happy at the bedside. Go figure.
  7. 4
    Practically speaking, yes, I would still be a nurse if given the opportunity to start over again, and yes, I would encourage my kids to be nurses if that was what they wanted (but they don't). I say practically speaking because, let's just be honest here, aside from the pleasure that can be derived from helping someone less fortunate in need, what other job will pay you in the neighborhood of $30/hour with benefits and you only have to work three days (albeit loooong days) a week? There is a security to nursing that I would sorely miss if I were to choose a different occupation, plus, I truly do love helping people.
    Good Morning, Gil, appi-us, RURN2O11, and 1 other like this.
  8. 1
    Actually, I think it's very wise you are sitting and thinking about this. A relative of mine just switched majors because of the very real situation out there for nurses, she was in her 3rd year of a big ten University nursing program, and I'll add 4.0 student. If you will have loans to pay back, I'm one for you finding another careerpath, if another presents as one you are interested in. The golden year you speak of has changed to 2 years and some places 3. I don't think your edu is to waste at this point, you do have prereq classes that will transfer to something else.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  9. 6
    I highly recommend nursing as a career. I'm a second career nurse. I was 32 when I graduated from nursing school, passed NCLEX, and started working med-surg at a local hospital. I love nursing and I have no regrets about it. Being able to do something were I feel I am making a positive difference in the work, helping other people in a tangible way, and seeing the gratitude of patients and family members is a priceless experience that I wouldn't trade for any other profession. My job is also flexible, it pays well, and it can't be automated our outsourced. I don't have children but if I did, I would steer them towards a career in health care (nursing or something else), regardless of gender, throughout their childhood.

    That being said, I am not sure if your post reflects doubts about nursing or doubts about life choices and becoming an adult in general. Maybe I am wrong, but your post reads as if you're young, late teens or early 20's. It is normal to have a lot of anxiety at that age and feel confused about who you are, what you want to do with your life, etc. Emerging adulthood is a really hard period in life, and that difficulty is what resulted for me in a useless liberal arts degree and string of low-skilled, miserable jobs as receptionist and later a human resources recruiter. It took time and maturity for me to figure out who I was and that I wanted to be a nurse. So I think your first step is to think about how much of your anxiety is related to nursing and how much is about emerging adulthood.
  10. 1
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Not many people write on this board about how happy they are with their job, their employer or their career. I've noticed myself that I tend to write more when I'm UNhappy than when I'm happy. I think that's just human nature.

    I've been a nurse for 35 years, and I've enjoyed most of it. I've never had "the calling", but I find that I'm happier working flexible hours and not being chained to a desk. Something different happens every day, and there's always an opportunity to learn something new. Being a nurse has given me a very nice life -- nice house, dependable car, vacations and I even met my husband at work. If my child wanted to be a nurse, I'd encourage it without hesitation.

    The economy is cyclical, and this "shortage of jobs" will give way to a shortage of nurses at some point. The economy is recovering slowly, but it's like that 700 pound patient who lost 70 pounds. You can't really SEE it. If a 200 pound patient lost 70 pounds, it would be VERY noticable. That doesn't make things any easier for those who are on the job market right NOW, though.

    A favorite field of nursing is very individual. I personally would rather work on an oil rig than do home health nursing, but other people love it. I'd ABHOR long term care nursing, but I know nurses who absolutely love it and would rather work there than anywhere else. I don't think you'll necessarily know what field of nursing is for you until after you've had some experience. When I started, Community Health Nursing was all the rage and everyone wanted to go into that field. Eight weeks of clinical was enough to convince me it wasn't for me. I have an acquaintence who wanted to be an NP, and was positive that cardiology was going to be her thing. She went straight from her BSN program to graduate school and somehow landed a job as an NP in a cardiology clinic, and she absolutely hates it. After all that money and years of education, she now wants to work in L & D. She knows it will be the perfect career, but she hasn't tried it yet . . . .

    I knew I never wanted to actually take care of people when I went to nursing school, but was encouraged because "BSNs have so many different opportunities." Thirty-five years later, I'm still happy at the bedside. Go figure.
    Thank you for sharing this! I have contemplated going to grad school right after my BSN because I "know" I don't want to do bedside. However, the more I think about it the more I think I may really like bedside. I guess you never know until you try! It is nice to hear that your friend hated it; although I am terribly sorry for her/him! It is also nice to hear that you didn't think you'd enjoy beside but you are still there thirty-five years later and love it.
    Liamsmama likes this.
  11. 3
    Bedside isn't easy - it's hard and it can be very stressful. But anything worth doing in life is going to be hard. The rewards of being a bedside nurse far outweigh the difficulty and stress, IMO.
    RURN2O11, Fiona59, and SHGR like this.
  12. 7
    I'm also a second-career nurse; graduating from school at 36. I left a Supervisor position at a major hospital here, to attend school. Second year into school, I went back to that hospital and worked as a nursing assistant, and when I completed my first Med/Surg rotation I got promoted to nurse tech.

    I did not stay on my floor when I graduated, simply because I didn't like the management!! It was a miserable place to work. I relocated to a smaller campus, same hospital system and LOVE my unit. I work on an Ortho unit and I don't have those new grad horror stories about seasoned nurses "eating their young", being left alone to fend for myself, or not being able to take a coffee break, pee or eat my dinner. I just came off of my 11 week orientation and go it alone starting Tuesday. I feel TOTALLY ready and know I have support if I get stuck or if a patient goes bad..

    You have half the battle won already as far as finding a job. You already work in 2 hospitals!! Meaning ample opportunity to make connetions and you get access to their "inside" job postings! You're VERY likely to find a job after graduation. The majority of the folks I graduated with that have jobs now, already worked in the hospital while in school. Those that didn't are either still searching (we graduated in April) or they're working in nursing homes. Speaking of nursing homes...that's the field that I would NEVER work in. I love the old folks, but it drives me nuts when my patients don't know who they are or where they are. It's sad and frustrating as a nurse.

    I have 2 daughters I would definitely encourage them to work in the medical field. If they were truly interested in hands-on, nurturing type of work, I would encourage them to be nurses. If they wanted to go into medicine because they liked the science of it all and weren't as inclined to do bedside care, I would encourage them to go the PA or MD route. Nursing is HARD. It can be chaotic and stressful. That's the truth. But on the right unit, with the right coworkers, it's an interesting job and can be lots of fun interacting with patients. You really DO make a difference!

    I am VERY proud to wear my blue scrubs and have RN on my badge. It always makes me chuckle that when I'm out shopping after work and have my scrubs on, random people that I don't know always talk to me. They tell me personal stuff, or they just start chatting. Nurses are the NUMBER ONE trusted profession in the US. I'm proud to be a member of this profession!!! You will be too!! Good luck to you!
    Red35, JMBnurse, ElSea, and 4 others like this.


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