Nursing Personality

  1. I need some help making a decision... I am 30yrs. old and recently let go from a fast paced executive career due to a corporate buy out. For years I have wondered if I would make a good nurse, but have never taken the steps toward it because I was happy with my job and making good money. I now have the chance to go back to school and I am considering nursing school, but anytime my family or friends think of me as a nurse they laugh (outloud and very hard). How do I know if I have what it takes? Do my friends know me better than I know myself? I really think I want to do this, but I don't want to get half way through and realize that I am a huge whimp or that I don't have the stomach for it. Where can I go to find out about what life is really like as a nurse? Can anyone tell me the real life challenges of being a nurse? I don't want to get my info. from "ER".
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   NICU_Nurse
    I think that you're in the right place for real life challenges. All you have to do is peruse this board and read one of the thousands of posts- we come here to vent and share, and if you're looking for challenges, you've got enough to keep you reading until you reconsider. ;>) Honestly, I hope that if you are considering this, please please PLEASE don't let other people's perceptions of nursing or OUR perceptions of nursing (which isn't pretty sometimes...) or their perceptions of YOU persuade you to give it up.

    Investigate! I would suggest that you bite the bullet and call a nursing school or local hospital (do you know anyone personally who is a nurse?) and ask them about job shadowing for half a day. Or else, volunteer at a hospital, and you'll have ample opportunity to quiz other staff about what's going on, and you'll get a firsthand view of nursing without having the responsibility of being a nurse. Maybe someone on this board who lives in your area could help you out with your questions.

    If your family and friends are laughing at you, look them straight in the eye, and with a firm but sweet tone of voice, tell them that while you appreciate their opinion, you are taking this very seriously and would prefer if they wouldn't be so negative, because you may very well end up becoming a nurse, and THEN how will they feel when they remember that instead of supporting you faithfully they instead laughed in your face and mocked you? That should set them straight. Or you could just wait until they say they want to do something, then laugh at them, and say, 'It's not helpful, is it?' and raise an eyebrow. ;>) Friends and family are supposed to support each other and encourage each other to fulfill their dreams. Ask them, sincerely, to do just this.

    You must be in a difficult position what with the huge changes that came from losing your position, and I can relate fully with the quest to find out whether or not one has what it takes to succeed in an area that seems as foreign to you as a vacation in Zimbabwe. I think all of us here can relate to this, even if some of us have forgotten a bit of the pain and anxiety it causes. I suppose what you need to ask YOURSELF, and not your friends or family or even posters on this board, is what YOU WANT, and WHY you are considering this in the first place- what brought you to this possibility? What are your experiences with nursing? Is this a new thing? Why? Is it an old idea that you've tossed around before? Why? Why didn't you do it in the first place? Take some time and really explore your own motivation.

    As far as getting halfway through and realizing you're not cut out for it- well, there are no absolutes in life, as we all know. Sometimes doing it is the only way to know. It is a HUGE committment, but so are many things, and if it's worth it to you, you should find a way to make it happen. People can help you do this, but ultimately, it's up to you to provide the fuel that will see it through to the end. Just remember that ALL OF US FELT LIKE WE WERE GOING TO FLUNK at some point, we almost all felt like we weren't going to be a good nurse, or pass the state boards, or get a job, or learn our new job...can you see where I'm going with this?

    Self-doubt is a surefire success killer. Even the most brilliant person in the world started out a blank slate. Illiterate people learn to read. Amputees learn to run marathons. Steven Segal learned to act. Okay, not that last one.

    Even the most seasoned nurse gags at the sight or smell of some of the things we see- it's natural. One need only go visit the OB/GYN nursing thread on Lochia and placenta pate to understand that this is true.

    Oh, and one last thing. Everyone here who watched 'ER' WITHOUT FAIL while they were in nursing school, not to mention 'TLC's shows like Code Blue, Maternity Ward, and Trauma: Life in the ER as if our lives depended on it raise your hand. (raising mine proudly!)

    Good luck in your quest. ;>)
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 26, '02
  4. by   Brownms46
    You know...I was going to get long winded on this...but I decided...I would just say this. Call a hospital in your area...and ask could you shadow a nurse. Many hospitals have done so...from what I have learned...and with the shortage...I'm sure there is a hospital, that would see the benefit in helping you make this career decision. Best of luck to you. And you know what....you may just surprise your friends. ...and yourself...
  5. by   Brownms46
    KristiWhite2377,


    Get out of my head ...pleezeee...:chuckle...
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    Brilliant minds think alike. ;>) I DID get long-winded; sorry 'bout that!
  7. by   Scavenger'sWife
    People did the same thing to me. I was working as an ophthalmology tech in a very nice office with people I loved. The two docs I worked for were wonderful. So why did I leave? And submit myself to RN school at the age of 45? I wanted challenge, excitement, a job where I could always learn something new, a job I felt I was making a difference in the world. And nursing gave me all that and much more. My family felt I was nuts. My bosses thought I was crazy. But everyone really (in the end) supported me. Especially Hubby, who NEVER DOUBTED I COULD DO IT. He was my life preserver in the sea of craziness that nursing school could be.

    Do you have at least one good support person in your life? Lean on THAT person!

    And pray for guidance. God will tell you if this is a choice He wants you to make. Good luck to you.
  8. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Kristi2377
    Brilliant minds think alike. ;>) I DID get long-winded; sorry 'bout that!
    I didn't mean to say anythng about your getting long winded...I was typing...and when I posted..I looked up and saw your post and though dang...she has already said what I was going to say...:chuckle. So don't mind me...your response was dead on the money...
  9. by   KarafromPhilly
    IMHO, almost nobody starts out with an iron stomach. The ability to tolerate really yucky stuff is a skill that you will learn along the way.
  10. by   BC3 Stud Nurse
    Hello Nursing4me!
    When I read your posting I knew I had to write back to you.
    I was in your shoes two years ago. I was 34, in a job that felt so unsatisfying but paid good money. I sat in that meaningless job for 9 years just because the pay was good. During my 7th year in this position I realized that I just couldn't do it another 30 some years (until I retired). I knew I had to change my career.
    I thought about many different options. One of which was nursing. My family and friends told me, "Noway, I could never be a nurse. I didn't have the personality or the stomach for it". It was their comments to me that told me to show them that they were wrong. I decided right then and there to enroll in school, take all the core classes that I would need and to save all the money I could so that when it came time to do my clinical work I could quit my job and finish school.

    Now, two years later, I have gotten all my core classes out of the way, I have saved my money and I have quit my job. My clinical work began just last week.... I am a nervous reck, but I am loving every part of this so far. I would not turn around and change anything that I've done over the last two years. IT IS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE.

    I had a nurse tell me last year that every nurse has something that grosses them out and it is not abnormal, that I would not be alone. There is a great support system among nurses and you will always have someone there to assist you with those things.
    As far as people go, I am ashamed to admit I have not always been a big fan of the human race. I think we are self-destructed and selfish. But I also believe that we are all here for a reason and that everyone has goodness in them if you show them compassion and it is those things that I will be looking for in people when I become a nurse.

    Good luck.
  11. by   Casey7
    Follow your heart.
  12. by   flowerchild
    Dear Nursing4me,
    I laughed when I read your post b/c I too was laughed at when I told everyone I wanted to be a nurse.
    My Mom laughed so hard..I didn't know what to say to her! Then my brother laughed, aunts, uncles, friends, my father was very skeptical.
    More than a decade later......I'm still a nurse and they are so proud of it too! My friends and family always mention that, she's a nurse. They give me warm fuzzys now and will never laugh at me being a nurse again. Go For It!
  13. by   Love-A-Nurse
    here's wishing you the best in what ever you decide.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Nursing is a 2nd career for me.....I, too had doubts. But I have now been doing this for 5 years and am very happy w/nursing. I got into the area of my choice (maternal/newborn) and love it. I agree w/the simple post most:

    Follow your heart.

    Succinct but well-applied to any area of your life, including one's career.

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