Is Nursing for me?

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I am new to the forum and considering making a career change from corporate training to nursing. I like my job ok, but I feel unfulfilled, and want a career that will be challenging and satisfying. I have always enjoyed math and science and am fascinated by the medical field. Recently, I was laid off due to a company downsizing, and rather than plunge into another dead-end job, I have decided to follow my dreams and become a nurse.

    I have enrolled for next semester at my local community college to start taking my prereqs, but now I am starting to get really nervous. My boyfriend and I had a huge fight last night. He is convinced that if I become a nurse, I will be yelled at all day long by Drs. and that I will be forced to work 80-90 hour work weeks. He even had the nerve to tell me that he thinks I am being selfish by making this choice, that I will regret it, and that if I do become a nurse I will be miserable and our relationship will eventually suffer. He claims he does not know one nurse (or person in the medical profession, for that matter) with a happy marriage or home life.

    Now, my doubts are starting to creep in. Do nurses really work 80-90 hours a week? I am fully prepared that for the first few years of nursing, I will have to work night shifts, holidays and weekends, etc. I feel like I know what I am getting myself into, but now he's got me doubting myself.

    So, I guess my question is - am I making a huge mistake here? Will I be miserable and work long hours if I become a nurse? I am stupid to think that I can do this?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   nurz2be
    Well, you have to decide what you want for your future. I would like to tell you that for one, this decision is yours. Second, the nurses I know, which are MANY, work 3-4 days per week normally 12 hour shifts, not anywhere NEAR 80-90 hours a week. Most hospitals, I am told, have overtime limits on nurses. Most work 36 - 48 hours, if they want overtime they pick up that 4th day to work. I think your boyfriend has some misconceived notions and ideas about nursing. Maybe you should set him on here and let him look around at what nurses say. I would like to point you to a discussion I started... HERE.... it will show you just HOW MANY nurses and nursing students had previous jobs before coming into nursing. As far as being selfish, not to be rude, but it is YOUR life. You have to do what makes you happy, unless you are happy inside you can not fully enjoy life. Yes, there are unhappy nurses, but there are also unhappy people in all jobs everywhere. If you want to do this tell him to support you or he is being selfish. Life is what you make it, if you don't do this and have regrets it is on you. Join the rest of us on the journey to nursing.......
  4. by   joolia
    Nurz2be,

    Thank you for your input and words of encouragement. I think a lot of his opinions come from his mother, who is a PA, and was an RN for 20+ years. She does not have a very high opinion of the profession. I definitely feel like this is something I need to do for myself, and if I don't try it I will regret it for the rest of my life. I just get so scared of going into debt to finance my BSN, and then I read horror stories on here of people quitting after a few weeks into their first job. I feel like I understand all of the drawbacks to the profession - working nights, pts not nice to you, dr look down on you, stress, burnout, catty coworkers, bad administrators, but none of these turn me off. Maybe I am missing something, but nurisng seems to be like a profession that is a huge challange, and very difficult, but also immensely rewarding.
  5. by   lvnandmomx3
    I say if it will make you happy do it...........
  6. by   lvnandmomx3
    I think a lot of his opinions come from his mother, who is a PA, and was an RN for 20+ years. She does not have a very high opinion of the profession.
    IMO she stayed in it for an awfully long time and moved up for someone that does not have a high opinion of the proffesion.............. Maybe she is worried that you may overshadow her son..... again IMO
  7. by   swee2000
    First of all, unless your boyfriend is a nurse or in the healthcare/medical field, DO NOT listen to him &/or let him control what you decide to do with your educational and career goals. He should be supporting you, not "brainwashing" you with excuses. On the other hand, to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he's insecure and worried that nursing school will bog you down, thus leaving less time to spend with him and on your relationship. That's partly true.....nursing school does ask alot of you(and one's family, if applicable) and can test your patience to the core. But you've got to do what's best for you FIRST and boyfriend second.

    Secondly, I will not sugar-coat things: Nursing can be VERY stressful, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc,. However, alot of this depends on: what area you work in(LTC vs Acute Care vs Doctor's Office vs School Nursing, etc), the type of facility you work at(hospital vs nursing home, vs school, vs clinic/office), how many hours you work, your personality and how you view/handle stress, etc. There's so many things that factor into this. And Nursing school is no better or easier. There will be LOTS to read, study, know, etc. Lots of tests, papers to write, projects to do. Instructors will put pressure on you from left & right. At the end , most students, if not all, find it well worth the headache, stress, and time. On the flip-side, Nursing is also a VERY rewarding and fulfilling career. As a nurse, you are given an intimate and personal opportunity to be a part of a person's life. Maybe it's in labor & delivery, when you share in the start of a life by helping a woman through a tough labor on her 1st or 5th child. Or maybe it's in ER, Trauma, or ICU, when you care for someone close to death, yet able to pull through and make a full recovery. I could go on & on because there's so many positive and wonderful things about Nursing. That's one of the reasons why I love it and what I do.

    Now, as far as working 80-90 hours, that's not something I can specifically say happens everywhere, or anywhere. At my hospital, it's a "common" issue, vs a constant one, to have employees working more than their "normal" hours, especially in the fall, winter, & spring months. However, it is not a requirement; nor is it allowed to get that out-of-hand that one nurse is putting in 80hrs/week. That's insane!! On the other hand, there are positive benefits for those who work extra, money being the most common. Plus, it can help out at yearly eval time becuase managers & co-workers take notice of those willing to be flexible with their schedules or work on a scheduled day off. Personally, I've picked up many extra shifts, switched shifts, and worked many, many, many hours of overtime as needed and available.

    If you're still unsure about nursing & whether it's the right decision for you(and not because of the boyfriend), why not look into shadowing a nurse somewhere? Maybe even check into shadowing at a couple different places, facilities, or specialties, if possible. That way, you can get a firsthand, although not all-encompassing, idea of what "reality" nursing is all about and how "A Day in the Life of a Nurse" is spent. I'd also suggest that you do this before you start nursing school or get too deep in it.

    Lastly, and more importantly, live your life the way you want to, and not the way your boyfriend sees fit!
    Last edit by swee2000 on Dec 7, '07
  8. by   fmrnicumom
    I just want to wish you the best of luck. I also wanted to say that whether or not nursing is for you, if you live your life the way others want you to, you will regret it. I speak from experience. You only get one chance, and time passes so quickly. If you're not sure, as has been said, you could see about shadowing, and I would definitely agree to try a few different places and specialties. Each unit has its own feel, and you might love working on one but not like working on another.

    As for your boyfriend, it may be insecurity, but if he loves you, he will support you.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
    Tiffany
  9. by   weirdRN
    I work about 60 hours a week sometimes when we are shortest.
  10. by   Dinith88
    Quote from joolia
    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to the forum and considering making a career change from corporate training to nursing. I like my job ok, but I feel unfulfilled, and want a career that will be challenging and satisfying. I have always enjoyed math and science and am fascinated by the medical field. Recently, I was laid off due to a company downsizing, and rather than plunge into another dead-end job, I have decided to follow my dreams and become a nurse.

    I have enrolled for next semester at my local community college to start taking my prereqs, but now I am starting to get really nervous. My boyfriend and I had a huge fight last night. He is convinced that if I become a nurse, I will be yelled at all day long by Drs. and that I will be forced to work 80-90 hour work weeks. He even had the nerve to tell me that he thinks I am being selfish by making this choice, that I will regret it, and that if I do become a nurse I will be miserable and our relationship will eventually suffer. He claims he does not know one nurse (or person in the medical profession, for that matter) with a happy marriage or home life.

    Now, my doubts are starting to creep in. Do nurses really work 80-90 hours a week? I am fully prepared that for the first few years of nursing, I will have to work night shifts, holidays and weekends, etc. I feel like I know what I am getting myself into, but now he's got me doubting myself.

    So, I guess my question is - am I making a huge mistake here? Will I be miserable and work long hours if I become a nurse? I am stupid to think that I can do this?

    I wouldnt be worried about nursing, i'd be worried about your boyfriend.
    You got in a 'fight' over it? You're 'being selfish'? Your relationship will 'suffer'? He doesnt know a single happily married nurse?

    Your issues are deeper than you're letting on...

    You need to lose the negative, controlling, insecure boyfriend-who-wants-to-stunt-your-growth-and-independance and obviously hasnt a clue about nursing.

    *is he REALLY worried you'll run off with a Doctor (or stunningly handsome male nurse) just like on TV?*

    Dont let him talk you out of chasing a dream.

    Mark my words... you may regret it some day.
  11. by   Faeriewand
    :yeahthat:
  12. by   User123456
    it sounds like hes really insecure, and in trying to control you, feels like he can keep his power over you (which if you listen to only him and not your heart he is). you have to live your life for you not others. who knows if he will be in your life in a few years. will you regreat not going to nursing school then? if the answer is yes then you know what to do. and if the relationship wont last simply because you are trying to further your education then i dont think it would last in the long run anyway. and why be in a relationship with a bully. sounds like every decision he dosent like will be another bulling session till he gets his way. immature much? insecure much? you deserve someone who supports you, and encourages your decisions. best of luck.
  13. by   del2009
    being that you like the scientific things and the learning aspect, but not the hands on activity of actually being a nurse; why dont you consider trying to become a nursing instructor?
  14. by   joolia
    Quote from delvenia
    being that you like the scientific things and the learning aspect, but not the hands on activity of actually being a nurse; why dont you consider trying to become a nursing instructor?
    I think that is what I would like to do eventually, is become a nurse educator. But, as far as I know I would need to become licensed as an RN first, and then get a few years of clinical experience under my belt before I go on for an advanced degree.

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