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- by MaxFitTrainer Jan 25, '12Hi All,
Sorry if this is a redundant post, as I'm sure this question has been asked before, but for some reason (not sure why honestly) the thought of becoming an RN has been playing over and over again in my mind. I've always been health conscious (that's why I've been a fitness instructor and personal trainer) but now - at 46 - I've hit a bit of a wall. Its called my knees, elbows and shoulders, lol. Guess it was all those years of jumping around. I know you are going to then say that I shouldn't be a nurse as it can be a lot of running around. But that's exactly what I want! I can't STAND inactive, sitting behind a desk jobs.
BUT .... I've heard from several nurses NOT to go into the field, that the hours are crazy (and I like a normal sleep schedule) and that you're underappreciated and more like a slave/errand boy than a respected professional. NOT INTENDING TO INSULT ANYONE SO PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT THAT WAY! I respect nurses a lot! Its just what I've heard from several working nurses.
So I had decided to drop the idea, but I'm 46, my career has sort of stopped. I don't know what I'm doing with my life and I need to start fresh. I had intended to be a Registered Dietician (in keeping more with the health/fitness element) but it is a longer commitment than the RN degree and I don't know if there is much call for RDs - and I'd almost feel like a glorified nutritionist (and I don't want to put in 6 years to be thought of as a nutritionist). Hmm, sorry again, I guess a nutritionist wouldn't be too happy with that comment, but the RD licensing does require a lot more knowledge and years of training.
SO ........ to get to the point, would you please help me out and tell me about your experience (pros AND cons) of being an RN AND about the process? My local community college offers a 2 year RN program. I do not have any degree at this time, sad to say, but I was a mom at a very young age.
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- Jan 25, '12 by beckster_01Not to sound discouraging, but I see a couple red-flags after reading your post. First of all, I am thinking mainly of in-patient nursing as that seems to be what you are considering. Being a nurse can be pretty physically demanding, and I am not just talking about "running around." I'm talking about lifting, bending, pulling, etc. I am 23 and I come home physically exhausted. Thankfully I have no sports injuries from when I was a teenager, but my knees are already bothering me. I should probably invest in some better shoes.
On the plus side, as someone who has pre-existing injuries you might be a little more adamant about using the proper man-power/equipment than a young (stupid?) person like me. You might also be able to work in a field that doesn't involve as much lifting (peds, ob, psych?), but it all depends on the job market.
Which brings me to the next consideration. Look into the job market in your area, and try to get a feel for what it is going to be in 4 years (depending on the degree you pursue). Spend about 20 minutes on the board, type "job market" into the search box, and you will see that nursing isn't the holy grail of the current job market. You aren't guaranteed a job, it isn't "recession proof," and you can't work wherever you want. I am lucky enough to live in a city which had its "depression" about 5 years before everything else hit the fan, so right now we are doing pretty well. I'm not saying you shouldn't go into nursing, just do some serious research before you go into debt for it at this point in your career.
As far as nurses being "errand boys," that certainly can hold true, but it depends on your personality. I was pretty much the easiest person to walk-over/manipulate before nursing school, but between nursing school, a job as a tech, and a year and a half in the field, I'm developing thick enough skin to stand up for myself. When I was a tech I let a doctor come out of an isolation room, find me on the other side of the unit, and ask me to take a patient's temperature because they looked feverish (the thermometer was at the patient's bedside, and they didn't have a fever). If that happened now I would kindly bring the doctor into the room, show them where the thermometer was, and possibly ask if they needed help with anything else. If you are professional, most people will treat you professionally. If not, it is their problem
I can't really shed any light on the RD vs. nutritionist question, but I wish you luck as you decide where life will take you next!
- Jan 25, '12 by pomlover08It's never too late. I graduated from a BSN program along with a 52 year old woman making a career change! You have to want to do this. It's not glamourous the way it may be depicted on television. As far as being unappreciated, I find that to be not true. To me, it makes my heart warm when I have a 90-year old woman give me a hug for the care I gave her or a 52-year old male who just suffered a heart attack and is now on the other side of it thank me for keeping him calm. That for me is why I'm a nurse. I absolutely LOVE that!
If you're already experiencing issues with joints and such, though, this may not be the best field. We do very heavy work, it may only make what you're having worse.
At the end of the day, make sure if you go into nursing it's for the right reasons! Wish you the best of luck in life and your endeavors!
- Jan 25, '12 by AnonRNCWhy don't you see if you can get CNA/PCT (nursing asst/patient care tech) certification and a job in whatever area interests you? Observe the nurses and see what you think. CNA/PCT is not all heavy lifting, but it could also be a "disposable" job if you find you dislike it - because you haven't invested much in training for it.
- Jan 28, '12 by MaxFitTrainerThank you very much! I appreciate all the insight. I some days think nursing would be perfect for me - even at my, lol, advanced age of 46 and my bad knees (and now, elbows, too <--- but that's from exercising 5 days a week since I was 15!) I am actually - after going through a nearly THREE MONTH LONG process - going to start a volunteer position (as a courier) at my local hospital. So I figure, well now I've got all the tests, etc, done. Anyway, I think the only thing that really worries me are the hours. I WANT to have a life (not that I've had much of one at this point, sadly). But I don't want 7 am to 7 pm one day and then 7 pm to 7 am the next day. I'm not adverse to hard work but I have dogs, family. I know how detrimental not getting proper sleep can be (more so at my age). Is there any way at all to get regular hours? Or do you get what you get?