Is Nursing a gratifying career

  1. (repost from the polling thread)


    Hi all! I have a bit of problem and a site full of nurses seems to be the best place to look for advice. I'm a 30
    year old male from Canada currently working in the law enforcement field (special constable) and I'm
    considering going back to school to get a degree in Nursing (I currently have an Advanced B.A.). I have a
    full time job making $45,000/year CDN with a great pension plan and good benefits but I would have to give
    it all up if I decided to go back to school for 3-4 years. As you can see, this is a big decision for me.

    I hear that nurses are in high demand all over the world and the pay is very good (not that I'm in it for the
    money). My mom is currently a nurse and my dad is retired from nursing (he was the first male nurse to
    graduate from his hospital and finished his career in the administration side of nursing).

    The shiftwork I am doing now is sucking the life out of me and I don't know if I want to work another job
    that involves shiftwork (although, the time off is great: 4 days on, 4 days off). How demanding of a career
    is nursing? I've been reading some of the posts here and people are talking about stress and politics and
    management not backing up their nurses, but I guess you will get politics and garbage like that in any job.

    Anyway, I just wanted to get some feedback from any of you to see if nursing is as rewarding as people say
    it is. Also, how easy/hard is it to specialize in certain fields of nursing? Is there a lot of room for lateral and
    upward mobility?

    Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for taking the time to read all of it. Feel free to drop me an email with
    any thoughts you might have. Maybe we could even chat about nursing on AIM/ICQ or MSN one day.
    Thanks and take care!

    email: spanky_mcfarland28@hotmail.com
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    I would not recommend your switching to nursing. I would recommend your reading A LOT of the threads on this forum, and other forums on this BB (such as "student nursing" and "nursing activism" and "would you recommend nursing as a career" etc.) to get a clearer idea than you presently have about the current state of affairs. It's not a pretty picture.
  4. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    Well it would depend on if its something that you want to do in your life. If you going into the Nursing area because of Money then you will be very disappointed. Its not that we dont make good money its around average of what your making now. But its what we do for that money and the lack of respect that doesnt equal out with the pay that is recieved.Basically the same as being an underpaid officer, which Im sure you feel you are.
    Nursing has its ups and downs just like any other job, and there is more politics in it than is needed, and the lack of respect is overwhelming at times. Ok alot of the times. But when I see what I have done has made a difference in someones life and the care they have recieved it wipes away all the evil for that day.
    Officers and Nurses are in the same boat. We serve, We protect, and We both get overlooked for a job well done.
    Since both of your parents are in the medical area then speak with them, they have the best knowledge of all They have been there and done that, then think about what they have said , and please feel free to read the posts here, because they are from experiences of many nurses based all over the world and workforce. You will be able to make a decision that is right for you.
    I would love to have another Nurse stand beside me that is willing to work as I am. Would be honored to have you.
    Zoe
  5. by   bluegirl
    Nursing can be gratifying career. But, as a new grad, I can say nursing school is a huge commitment and very time consuming. In addition, I don't believe I know any new graduates who have commenced their career on day shift. Days are much coveted. So, if you're looking to get out of shift work nursing is not the way to go... Your salary will not be much different than it is now.
    If nursing is what your really want to do, go for it! It is a very satisfying career. But, I would not jump into it if you're not certain.
  6. by   hapeewendy
    well , everyones opinion will be different on this one...
    I love nursing ,find it very gratifying, rewarding , and yes stressful.
    being a police officer at present you face a lot of the challenges and struggles that nurses go through - the politics, dealing with the public, ethical issues, union issues, shift work etc so in one sense you are more prepared than some for a career in nursing
    on the other hand , working in law enforcement , you are probably making more money then you would as an entry level nursing. As far as potential in the nursing profession ,well its almost endless, focus on an area of interest and go for it...
    I'm not out to squish anyones dreams , sure there are MAJOR problems and issues facing the professsion right now , but if its something you want to do then go for it...
    feel free to pm or email me if you need any help,advice, support, what have you...
    good luck, in whatever you do
  7. by   mattsmom81
    There seems to be an easy bond between cops and nurses. Particularly when I worked ER we always hung out after work, etc.
    Nurses experience similar camaraderie, team spirit and war zone mentality that police units often do! LOL!

    We also have many of the same problems. Lack of respect, dangerous working conditions, politics, lots of rules, big boys calling the shots, and limited authority. Nurses are the grunts of healthcare like cops are the grunts of law enforcement.

    I guess I would challenge you to ask yourself why you think nursing will be more rewarding to you personally... and you will find your own answers there. Talk to your folks, read our BB. If you enjoy comforting a scared hurting person and doing what you can for them, you might enjoy nursing...one could say this about police work as well.

    Good luck in your quest and let us know how you are doing! There's always room for another good nurse!
  8. by   newgamma
    I agree with what mattsmom81 said. There are alot of similarities between nursing and police work. My brother is a police officer and we frequently share similar comments and complaints about our professions. Both professions can be extremely rewarding and extremely frustrating. If you are leaving police work because you are tired of being a "public servant", then nursing might not be the way to go. On the other hand, it sounds like you have some realistic ideas about what nursing entails...and you are still considering it:-)

    I wish you luck in your decision making process and let us know what you decide.
  9. by   Nursenan0
    I think everyone has already said the most important thing....You have to do what feels right to you in particular. My son is going into law enforcement and we have discussed many issues that effect us both. Every career has its ups and downs. Even tho I love being a nurse and I cant see myself in any other profession, I have to admit I do have days when I wonder, why? The gratification doesnt come from pay, or however many years of schooling or even what position or title you hold....its the patients, and what you may recieve from one out of a thousand of them. Thats what makes the difference and keeps me going. It takes a special person to be a nurse, and I believe most nurses know that they possess that special quality before they make their decision to follow a nursing career.
    Nursenan
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Shadow some nurses and see for yourself. Only YOU can answer this for YOURSELF!
  11. by   K O'Malley
    You might be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. There will be shift work and lots of it until you get enough seniority and that could take years. You will work weekends and holidays. Salary flattens out and you might not get a raise for several years. I am making pretty much what I made 10 years ago. If you would like to work in a medical field you might want to look at physical therapy or ultrasound technology or physician assistant. Better hours, more respect, good pay.

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