Inspired by the thread on the realities of nursing/healthcare vs. what people expect...
If you are having second thoughts about nursing school
and/or entering the nursing profession, listen to your intuition. YOU know yourself better than anyone else - including well-meaning friends and family- and you know what is best for you.
People are fond of saying "it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse" and "not everyone is cut out for it" and while the often-condescending attitude implied in that is wrong, the premise is right. It takes a particular set of talents, interests, personality traits, and passion to be successful AND happy as a nurse- just like it takes a certain unique combination of attributes to be a chef, lawyer, au pair, day trader, plumber, cinematographer, computer programmer, or any other job you can possibly think of. Take an honest look at your talents, interests, and personality traits before you go to nursing school if you are having any doubts at all. If you feel you are better suited to something else, pursue that instead!
Also think about WHY you want to go into nursing. If nursing honestly doesn't appeal to you, don't go into it just for the money or the job security. (Healthcare is always changing and there is NO guarantee your job and/or salary won't be cut on a whim. It's happened before and it can happen again.)
Don't go into it to please other people. (YOU will be the one getting up at 5 am, holding your pee for hours, paying back your student loans, etc.)
Don't go into it thinking it's an easy way to fund your real passions and/or side business, or that it's a "fallback plan" to rely on while you try to make a living doing what you love. (If that's your line of thinking, imho you're more likely to be successful if you channel all the time, effort, money, and energy you would have spent getting a nursing degree and direct it toward what you really want. Nursing is a full-time job and then some, and they expect to be your #1 priority.)
I majored in violin performance in undergrad. After graduating I started teaching private students and playing local professional gigs - I was not rich obviously, but I was supporting myself independently and making it work.
My family, otoh, thought I was a failure and a disappointment because I didn't have a 9-5 career. "when are you going to grow up?", "XYZ's daughter is applying for law schools
, and I have to tell people you teach violin lessons", "no one makes a living at music", "you're going to end up living in a box on the street with nothing if you don't go back to school and get a real job", etc.
When the recession hit in 2008, several of my students had to cut back or stop lessons because they couldn't afford as much, and I had two performance contracts cancelled because the organizations weren't getting their money either. I panicked and decided they were right and I had to go back to school for something "secure" and "professional". According to everyone, healthcare was the only sure thing left.
My intuition was saying "don't do it", and logically there was never anything to suggest that I would make a decent nurse (I'm not a nurturing person, I'm crap at science, I don't like working with sick people or old people, and I hated working as a CNA).
When I received an acceptance letter my first thought was "I could just shred the letter and tell everyone I was rejected".
When I started struggling with severe depression in nursing school, it scared me - I've always been a happy, generally positive person. If that's not a red flag that you're on the wrong path, I don't know what is. I've been working for a year, and I finally have to admit this isn't for me and I need to make a change.
So right now I'm working PRN and actively working on getting back into teaching and performing violin. I have so much regret about the time and money I spent doing something I never wanted to do- I can never get those 5 years back, and I will probably be on income-based student loan repayment until I'm 50, and going back to working for myself is scary because unlike nursing, there is no guaranteed weekly paycheck. But I also feel SO relieved. I'm starting to feel like myself again.
I just found this forum, and I've read several posts where people are either questioning if it's right for them, or regretting their decision and asking for advice on how to get out. Sorry for the excessively lengthy post, but I wish that even one person would have taken me aside while I was preparing to go to nursing school and said "you don't want to do this and you're not good at it; why are you doing this?"
And the scary thing is that I've met other people at work whose stories are much the same. The guy shadowing me who looked bored out of his mind all day and came alive when he talked about how he wanted to start a car detailing business and planned on using his nursing income to do that. (Wouldn't it make more sense to get a small business loan NOW and focus all your energy on that, than to spend four years doing something you don't care about and then try to divide your energy between nursing and starting your business?) The student who wanted to be a massage therapist but felt pressured by her family into getting a BSN and then an MSN because only a master's degree was prestigious enough for them. Anyway. If you recognize yourself in any of this, think really hard about whether nursing is right for you.