Nursing positions deeply embedded in science - Page 6Register Today!
- Aug 8, '12 by jekisslpnPLease do yourself and everyone else a favor, don't go into nursing! Whatever you have heard about future potential was basically a lie. A BSN will become the minimum which means you will go through school to get a start, not be at the top. You also seem to have a romantic idea of your potential contributions to the field, which will be dashed in short order. Most of your time will be spent with paperwork, in time consuming meetings that accomplish nothing, and trying to figure out how to pack 24hrs of work into 8 while short staffed. Good luck with whatever you decide, but if you don't take care of yourself, you can't help anyone else.
- Aug 8, '12 by Health&JusticeI'm in a somewhat similar situation to the OP; I'm seriously considering nursing school and am similarly excited about it but also share some of the same concerns. (I'll be applying to NS this fall. Congrats on getting in, DGabe24!). So I'm grateful for the thoughtful discussion in this thread. A lot of the advice and thoughts in this thread are well-thought-out and informed, and have been thought-provoking for me. (Can I say "thought" one more time in this paragraph?)
But I do want to point out that some of the advice regarding entering science or the downsides to entering nursing reveal a lack of understanding of academic science careers. Science is a rat race with poor pay, poor prospects, and for most people a long ramp upwards to becoming a PI -- which itself can be horrendously stressful (it seems the OP knows this). I would be wary of trying to scare someone away from nursing to send them into grad school in science ... (out of the frying pan, into the fire)
Yes, perhaps it is difficult for new grads to get their dream nursing job; there is no nursing shortage; there's ton's of paperwork; nursing salaries aren't as high as many think; etc. etc. But the fact remains that there are almost 3 million employed nurses in the US -- it's a viable career; even middle-of-the-road nursing salaries easily top most post-docs and grad students; there's tons of paperwork and grant applications constantly in science; and there are opportunities for advancement into CRNA, NP, etc., even if it takes several years -- a PhD takes years (of earning $20K+), and then you're on the post-doc circuit ...
I think a lot of people on this forum are accustomed to telling people the harsh truths about nursing, and I really appreciate that. There are a lot of myths and bubbles which need debunking and popping. But the realities of academic science are at least as harsh. The capacity for both careers to have you tearing your hair out is very, very high.
Of course, that's all a moot point if the OP can't/won't go directly into a PhD program anyways. But I felt I had to comment on this, because it might reveal part of what motivates the OP to seek out nursing as a possible career and/or stepping stone. I don't intend to demean anyone's advice, and it may very well be that the OP might be better off pursuing a career directly in science, who knows. I ain't sayin', I'm just sayin'.
[Full disclosure: I am not a nurse (only a pre-nursing student), and I've not gone through grad school myself. I do volunteer in a research lab in biochemistry, I've worked in the ER, I am an EMT, and my partner is in grad school in the hard sciences (along with a good chunk of my friends).]
- Aug 8, '12 by tokebiQuote from Health&JusticeExactly! That was the reality that dawned on me at the end of my undergrad studies and did an about-face and applied to school of nursing instead. Getting through nursing school might be a pain -- the science curriculum is often cursory and disappointing, but I think nursing career might be the best option at this point for OP, given the information so far. While bedside nursing can be mundane, it also presents many opportunities to draw on science background, such as patient teaching, understanding of mechanism of meds, etc. Besides, if you had to deal with mundanity either way, would you rather be stuck in it with a pipette or with people?Science is a rat race with poor pay, poor prospects, and for most people a long ramp upwards to becoming a PI -- which itself can be horrendously stressful (it seems the OP knows this). I would be wary of trying to scare someone away from nursing to send them into grad school in science ... (out of the frying pan, into the fire)
Here's a hilarious video illustrating how science research isn't all it's cracked up to be:
Also, I met professors who were RNs and pharmacologists, RNs and epidemiologists. I looked up to them because their nursing experience enriched their research in ways that pure science could not fulfill alone.Last edit by tokebi on Aug 8, '12
- Aug 8, '12 by wannabecnlI was once in your shoes; I have a physics degree and then went through a masters in epidemiology and biostatistics. I loved it but didn't know what to do with it. I considered nursing school then, figuring it would help me get a more clinical research job than just the masters alone. A wise and experienced nurse told me this: "Don't go to nursing school unless you actually want to be a nurse." Sounds simplistic, but it's very true. I waited, and a few years later things happened that made me actually want to pursue nursing for itself. I just graduated and am interviewing for a job tomorrow morning! I know nursing is where I belong, but I didn't know that for sure until I was in school and actually started taking care of real people with real problems.
Lab work can be mundane. Nursing can be mundane. Heck, open heart surgery can be mundane (at least on the good days!). Work is like that. Do what you LOVE. Do what gets you going, what makes you happy to get up and go to work. You won't love it every day, no matter what you are doing, so make sure you start with something you actually like. Shadow, shadow, shadow. Watch what the nurses actually DO. I thought I loved the OR until I spent a day there and watched what the circulator did--NO WAY. There's plenty of other stuff to do in healthcare if it's not really your thing.
- Aug 8, '12 by AkeosJust from reading you're post, my inital thought was you seem to have a lot more passion for working in a lab. I think nursing might be frustrating for you, not being able to go deeper into the science of it. In nursing school I was the one asking my preceptors why, and what does that do, hoping for more scientific answers, and get more knowledge about disease processes, cause and effect of processes and medication effects, most the time the only answer I got was "I don't know." Other than studying on your own for your own curiosity I can't think of a specialty in nursing, especially patient care that would quench your thirst for knowledge. Maybe something to do with pathology would be a good match.
- Aug 9, '12 by somekindofstrangeIf you think Nursing sucks then try Medical Technologist. You have to endure pre-med science classes which results in an abysmal salary. If you really want to utilize your science education and get a monetary reward consider going straight to medical school. Don't waste you time with nursing unless you plan to go to NP or CRNA because most of the time you will be completely bored. Contrary to what many say nursing is not an overly intellectual field. Its not so much the nursing work that soul draining but being around extremely aggressive co-workers and demeaning doctors.
- Aug 10, '12 by FranemtnurseQuote from somekindofstrangeOh are you ever wrong! In order to earn your BSN, you have to attend at least 4 years of college level courses, and they aren't easy.If you think Nursing sucks then try Medical Technologist. You have to endure pre-med science classes which results in an abysmal salary. If you really want to utilize your science education and get a monetary reward consider going straight to medical school. Don't waste you time with nursing unless you plan to go to NP or CRNA because most of the time you will be completely bored. Contrary to what many say nursing is not an overly intellectual field. Its not so much the nursing work that soul draining but being around extremely aggressive co-workers and demeaning doctors.
- Aug 10, '12 by annoyingmomNursing is a wonderful profession but from your post I feel it might not give you what you are looking for in a career. My son is currently an MD/PHD student who wants to do medical research and this might be something you should look into. Pam
- Aug 10, '12 by somekindofstrangeFran, I am not trying to minimize the study that nurses have to go to but its not as hard as either pre-med or pre-pharmacy. I took all the pre-nursing classes and aced them all because I naturally love the biological sciences. Infact, my Biology 1101 was more difficult than most of my pre-nursing science classes. Nursing is a good profession and deserves respect but to say its as difficult as pre-med or pharmacy is inaccurate.
What makes nursing school difficult is the tedious grading system, large work load, and hostility of the nursing school instructors.