Need your input, please!

  1. I put a post on asking LOTS of questions about nursing & becoming a nurse, because I'm considering a career switch. Only got 1 reply, and I'm thinking it might be 'cuz I asked soooo many q's at once. So I'm giving it another attempt, but I'm gonna try not to bombard you with so many q's at a time. Feel free to PM me if you'd prefer. But I really need your input - I'd like to get lots of opinions from a broad range of nurses. Please try to spare a moment to answer a question or two (below). And if you have any other advice to offer, bring it on! Thanks in advance!

    Kathy


    - In general, what are some of the benefits and drawbacks about being a nurse? If you could do it all over again, would you still be a nurse?

    - Are nurses really as "in demand" as the media says they are? I'm already in a very over-saturated field, and don't want to go into another one.

    - How many hours per week do you work, and how long are your shifts? (just curious, I know it will vary) Do you work (5) 8-hour shifts per week, or some other schedule?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I would try this one on the "would you recommend nursing as a career" area. You can search there and find a lot of answers, maybe some info that will stimulate more questions in your mind, also. The answers will vary wildly by nurse. No one nurse can tell you it all. And yes, nurses are in demand...there is a shortage of working nurses for many reasons. Check out the threads regarding nursing shortages to see the reasons why. They may or may NOT encourage you to become a nurse. If it's what you really want, I say, go for it. OH and WELCOME TO THE BOARD!!!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 25, '03
  4. by   purplemania
    To me the advantage of nursing is there is so much variety. There is a world of difference between L&D/cath lab/surg/ etc. I work 5- 8hr shifts in staff development. I also assist with recruiting and YES there is a shortage.
  5. by   sphinx
    Hi Kathy...I'll try and answer, don't know if I'll be of any help!

    1. well, a benefit is that there are many options available as a nurse. I mean, there's the obvious choices...hospital, homecare, nursing home, MD office. Within each there are many specialties with which to choose. There are *many* other options too, like school nursing, forensic nursing, occupational health, ETC (see the other boards here for an idea!). You can also move pretty much anywhere and still get a job in nursing. A drawback *to me*, well I think that would be the shifts.......I hated rotating shifts in the hospital. I finally got on a permenent shift-night-which I loved, but couldn't handle the physical strangeness and sleep deprivation (I had to wake up early when my kids came home, as a single mom, and never got enough sleep). Also, there's working holidays. Some people don't mind, and you often get pretty good pay to do so.....I for instance didn't mind any hoilday except Christmas......And yes, if I had to do it all over again, I would still be a nurse. I went to nursing school when I was 28 and had 2 kids, and never once regretted it.

    2. I believe that yes, nurses are in demand. But there is a reason for that. There are plenty of nurses out there, but many have left nursing to do others things in their lives. Nursing is not without it's share of problems, and if you read these boards, you'll see that. But many people will tell you that the facility they work at is short staffed and they are carrying heavy patient loads. It's really too much for me to go into in this little spcae, and I actually don't feel adequate to go into detail.....I'm sure others will chime in with responses either way.

    3. I currently working just over 40 hrs a week, but I have just gotten into a slightly different position. I am in homecare, and came to a point where I couldn't hande being in the field anymore. I was consistently working 50-60 hrs a week, plus if I was on call, even more (sometimes 12 days in a row, etc)......this is hard on most people, but I have had 2 surgeries in the past year, a bout of pretty bad depression (I have a history) and some situations at home needing my attention, rather than sitting doing paperwork all evening.....Anyhoooo......I am now in the office, and working straight days. I do go in 20-30 minutes early every daily, because I am still in a learning curve, but it is an office job and has office hours. When I was working in hospitals.......I had one job where I worked 40 hrs a week, 2 8hr shifts and 2 12hr shifts each week. Another job was 24 hours a week, which were 3 8hr shifts...plus I had to take my turn being on call (this was a maternity floor where they rely on on-call due to the nature of the biz, haha!). I never had to do "mandatory overtime", but back then our staffing was a bit better than what is seen in some hospitals these days. I would get calls asking me to come in on days off, but due to child care issues (I was a single mom at the time) I rarely could arrange for someone to watch the kids on such short notice. I'm sure I wasn't popular, but I did what I could.

    Hope that helped a little. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!!
  6. by   nimbex
    kathy, hey welcome


    - in general, what are some of the benefits and drawbacks about being a nurse? if you could do it all over again, would you still be a nurse?
    i think this varries with each nurse but for me, a benefit is being in charge of patient care requires thinking on your feet. you must learn to prioritize, reprioritize and then throw out the whole new plan to try to accomplish all the tasks that must be done..... it's so challenging and even fun

    the above also makes it a huge draw back because every shift is different and you just keep adapting and learning... can be very frustrating, too often not enough time to do basic care... let alone sit and talk and teach and care, all while being ridden by management, doctors, families and patients... no they are not all appreciative (the ones who are make up for the others)

    - are nurses really as "in demand" as the media says they are? i'm already in a very over-saturated field, and don't want to go into another one.


    nursing is cyclic. in 95 when i graduated, in ny... there were noooooo jobs for a new nurse, not in a nursing home, clinic, anywhere. so i worked geriatric psyc for 18 months, and had sent out resume's every week for 18 months. now we hire new grads into the icu's . we will again, go back to no jobs in the saturated nurse areas... but many states have always had shortages. nursing is the most versatile of jobs, you can work clinic, outpatient, surgery, ortho, oncology, peds. labor delivery, management, iv team... on and on and on.... it is endless!


    - how many hours per week do you work, and how long are your shifts? (just curious, i know it will vary) do you work (5) 8-hour shifts per week, or some other schedule?

    i work 3 12 hr. shifts and do a 12 hr. mandatory call shift every 2 weeks.

    its also a very tough and seldom rewarding job... you have to pat yourself and your peers on the back each shift, no-one else will do it. but then you learn to find the little rewards which add up to so much more, i love and hate it in varrying degrees each day,

    but what i think is not important.....follow a nurse for a day, and see what you think.

    good luck
  7. by   mastiff38
    Deb, thanks for the suggestion... I hadn't previously seen the "Would you recommend nursing as a career" section - I'm new here & still finding my way around! :-) And thanks to you others who gave me your input! There's so much great info on this site, I'm very glad I found it. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again soon with dozens more questions!

    Kathy
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Kathy if there is anything else I can do to help please PM me. I am glad to do what I can. Again, welcome.
  9. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by mastiff38
    I put a post on asking LOTS of questions about nursing & becoming a nurse, because I'm considering a career switch. Only got 1 reply, and I'm thinking it might be 'cuz I asked soooo many q's at once. So I'm giving it another attempt, but I'm gonna try not to bombard you with so many q's at a time. Feel free to PM me if you'd prefer. But I really need your input - I'd like to get lots of opinions from a broad range of nurses. Please try to spare a moment to answer a question or two (below). And if you have any other advice to offer, bring it on! Thanks in advance!

    Kathy


    - In general, what are some of the benefits and drawbacks about being a nurse? If you could do it all over again, would you still be a nurse?

    - Are nurses really as "in demand" as the media says they are? I'm already in a very over-saturated field, and don't want to go into another one.

    - How many hours per week do you work, and how long are your shifts? (just curious, I know it will vary) Do you work (5) 8-hour shifts per week, or some other schedule?
    benefits. wide open field. There is a lot of different things you can do.
    draw backs, VERY demanding and exhausting.

    In demand up to a point. Some sepcialities more than others some geo areas more than others. some facilities more than others. In spite of "demand" you still must be professional you can't afford to be sloppy because in general they are not necesairly hiring anyone that walks in the door nor handing out anyting you want in hours benefits pay etc.
    I work three 12 hour shifts a week.

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