nursing student is thinking about throwing in the towel after first semester.

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    Hi Peaceful2100!I can honestly say I never burst any one's bubble...but I feel in this case I must.First of all congratulations on returning to school after having a child,that in itself is a great accomplishment.This tells me you have the fire to be just about anything you want to be.Unfortunately with the concerns you have you'd best pass on nursing.We not only work weekends and long hours.We also work Christmas,Thanksgiving,during children's plays,first words everything...including nights.90% of our profession are parents and great ones at that because our profession allows us to see horrible things first hand and gain a greater appreciation of health and family.As well,as far as I know to be an effective pediatric practioner you have to get years of pediatric experience before even embarking on the course.You can't just walk out of school and be prepared to do community nursing...you have to work the trenches to have a baseline.Our profession is fantastic as we touch thousands of people's lives.However,it ain't easy.You have to make a decision from the heart and kick the b@#$% pickleface's opinions to the curb.Monday to Friday just is not even an option without experience.Good Luck and congrats on the reality check before getting in too deep.Perhaps you could look into a Child Care specialsit field or counsellor.I wish you all the best!
  2. 17 Comments so far...

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    Hi peaceful2100,

    I never realized how painful it would be to work weekends, 12 hr shifts (you will NOT see your kids if you work 12's except for long enough to kiss them goodnight), and holidays until I started doing it. I thought having 4 days off a week would make up for the missed plays, back-to-school night, and holidays. I found out I was wrong. I also was pretty disillusioned with bedside nursing.

    I agree with the previous poster that some of the best parents out there are hard working nurses. I just didn't feel like one.

    Luckily I found my dream job in an office. I work m-f 9-5, never a weekend, never a holiday, never a night. I love the job, it provides incredible autonomy, many skills, lots of prioritization, pt teaching, and opportunities for building warm, caring patient relationships. Of course, with the exception of school nursing and management positions, m-f positions are definitely rare, but I just wanted to make sure you have considered starting in a clinic, especially because a clinic NP is your ultimate goal. You may find you like it, and it would be a good starter for you before you embark on further eduacation. Of course, as a PNP with her own clinic, you will work an insane amt of hours at first, but that is another story!

    I will say right now though that the trade-off for such a great schedule is expensive. The money is definitely not in the office. I could make $5-6 more elsewhere but am lucky enough not to have to. Just make sure you've thought out all of your options before throwing in the towel entirely.

    Best of luck to you,
    Julie
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    Oh peaceful, DON'T QUIT YET! A lot of us do work all hours but I do know a lot of moms who have made it work. The key was they were up front when they were hired ("No, I will not work weekends or more than X number of hours per week"). With the nursing shortage as bad as it is many hospitals are allowing a more flexible schedule. There are part time jobs out there, and with a minimum amount of experience (say a year) you can always find work with an agency. There are drawbacks to it, but the biggest benefit is YOU decide when you want to work. Despite all the negative comments about the profession, good jobs DO exist.

    My neighbour works 8 hour nights (11-7), gets home in time to send her kids off to school then sleeps until they get home. It has been such a great schedule for her because she doesn't miss ANYTHING. And the night shifts are often the easiest to get.

    I know school can be frustrating and the road ahead is long, but it isn't impossible. You can do what you dream of doing or you can follow the path of least resistance, but only you can decide which is more important to you. I would just urge you to take some time to think about it and not make a decision in the midst of an emotional uproar. Talk to an instructor about this and they'll be able to give you good advice.
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    Hi everyone. I am 21 and a single mom to a three year old child. I am halfway through my first semester of nursing school. I already have my assoicate's in liberal arts and I transferred to a university for the BSN program. I started as a second semester sophomore but the nursing classes start in the sophomore year second semester. I feel like I made a wrong decision in nursing. My ultimate goal was to become a pediatrics nurse practitioner and do community/clinic nursing and open up my own clinic. I think it still is I am not for sure. I am debating wheter or not to get out. I hear so many nurses who say they love what they do but they hate all the political BS, the corparate BS right about now and nurses say they don't get enough pay. Everyone should get paid what they should and the money is not the big reason for my wanting to get out but I am afraid with all the nurses having to go beyond 12 hours shifts like 14, 16 and more that I will not be a good mommy to my little girl and I will miss out on so much of her life. I want to be a active mom in her life and her education she will start kindergarten the exact same year I graduate from nursing school if I stay which will be in 2003. I am not trying to be stingy but I can't work weekends and never really thought about that before and Nurses must work weekends. I am deciding to get out because of the hours/weekends. Nursing is in my heart but I don't think it is compatiable with being a mom. If I want to go see my little girl in one of her activites I can't just say sorry but my little girl is doing such and such I will end up getting fired. I am looking for other options right now and I don't think nursing will work out for me although it is in my heart. Am I right to think this way? If I feel this way is it best to get out now?

    This is very hard and frustrating,
    Thanks for listening
    peaceful2100@aol.com
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    Get out now while you can. I started nrsing school when I was pregnant and It was rough but I graduated from a BSN program. The stress is horrible. Everyday I go to work and hear the same thing over and over. Nurses constantly cut each other up and place blame and make excuses for not finishing what they end up leaving for the next shift........Patients don't get the care they deserve because nurses are buried in paperwork, short-staffed and expected to perform and remember 50 things at one time. Its terrible and no one wants to make it better. Most of the time you are not even treated like a professional.

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    Only you can make the ultimate decision.
    Other people have given their reasons for you not to go on. Most are valid. Some sound like the typical whining of a person who should not have chosen nursing as a profession to start with. Lynn had some great alternatives for you, counseling is a way to have your own practice, help those who are in need, and perhaps eventually be able to work hours that allow you the time you need to be a mom. Another option is to extend your goals a bit, wait until your child is older (in school) to become a nurse, it is possible to find that 8-4:30
    shift mon-fri if you look hard enough. The field of nursing is so diverse and has so many options for employment for you to not follow your dream may cause you to become bitter at any other job you may choose. You could always look into school nursing, work the same days and hours as teachers, summers and holidays off with your child. The positions are not that great anymore but they do exist. So, before you decide to quit nursing all together, look into the many options it may afford you. Whatever you decide, do not drop out before the end of the semester. No sense in repeating them if you decide to postpone the rest of your nursing school for a while and then come back.

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    Haji

    We live in an age that if you order a pizza delivered to your house and call 911 at the same time to report a life or death situation....my money is on the pizza arriving first! Learn to protect yourself, become a wolf among the sheep!
  8. 0
    Originally posted by haji:
    Only you can make the ultimate decision.
    Other people have given their reasons for you not to go on. Most are valid. Some sound like the typical whining of a person who should not have chosen nursing as a profession to start with. Lynn had some great alternatives for you, counseling is a way to have your own practice, help those who are in need, and perhaps eventually be able to work hours that allow you the time you need to be a mom. Another option is to extend your goals a bit, wait until your child is older (in school) to become a nurse, it is possible to find that 8-4:30
    shift mon-fri if you look hard enough. The field of nursing is so diverse and has so many options for employment for you to not follow your dream may cause you to become bitter at any other job you may choose. You could always look into school nursing, work the same days and hours as teachers, summers and holidays off with your child. The positions are not that great anymore but they do exist. So, before you decide to quit nursing all together, look into the many options it may afford you. Whatever you decide, do not drop out before the end of the semester. No sense in repeating them if you decide to postpone the rest of your nursing school for a while and then come back.

    I agree with this post. Excellent suggestions for you! I was a mom of two, one five, and one two, with a trach, when I graudated. But, I worked nites, and was home in time to get my five yr old off to kindergarden, and my two year old was cared by a in home sitter for 3hrs while I slept. Picked up the five yr old from his bus stop, while they had their nap, I did the housework, and went back for a nap when their father came home from work. When I need to be up in the evening, I would have the sitter stay longer, and pick my son up from the bus stop. She would also do the light housework when needed.
    You can do anything, if you really want to. Where there is a will, there is a way.
    As the previous posts have said, with the shortage, there are all kinds of openings, that maybe even more available by the time you graduate. My advice, is don't put off doing what you feel you love. Take it one day at a time, and deal with what comes up, and not what might happen. I pray you will seek advice, think long and hard, before making any decisions.

    Good Luck
    Brownie
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    I say get out now so you can work towards a degree in something else instead of investing more time in Nursing. You say you are a single Mom, so you are not going to have anyone else to pick up the slack for you. If you work nights, who will be with your child while you work? We work every other holiday, rotate to nights 50% of our time and the lower on the seniority scale you are the harder it is to get some time off. And then there's mandatory overtime. What happens to your child when they tell you you are mandated to work 8 more hours when you thought you were about to leave and pick her up at kindergarten? You could work per diem, but our hospital doesn't give per diems benefits, so how do you get health insurance for you and your child. I don't want to discourage you, but unless you have a terrific backup system for your day care problems, I say cut your losses now.
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    I feel compelled to reply to this post. I am in my 3rd semester of a BSN program and I have a 3yr old child and have experienced many of the frustrations you have concerns about however, I know that you can accomplish your goals with good planning and determination. School is very demanding and takes up alot of your time, but if you utilize your time wisely, e.g., doing homework while your child is at daycare, you can manage the juggling act of going to school. A good backup system is extremely helpful, but there is another woman in my class that is a single mom and she manages just fine on her own.
    Additionally, I think that the grass always seems greener on the other side but other occupations will not necessarily guarantee that you can work the hours you want, get great pay and spend lots of time at home with your kids. For example, I chose to go to nursing school instead of getting my master's in psychology. I worked as a research asst. in a large community mental health agency. The master's level employees had to have an MS in psych, SW, LMFT, etc., and had to have 3yrs. experience. The starting salary was between $10-$14/hr. To be in practice independently, you almost have to have a PhD or tons of experience. Another good friend of mine is an attorney and she has two young children. Her salary is somewhat better than the starting nurse's salary, however, her working hours are terrible. She has to work at least 60hrs a week and cannot use sick time to take her kids to the Doctor.
    The reason I chose nursing is the flexibility. My oldest sister is an NP and she is currently running her own business and doing very well. She has been able to do so many different things with nursing that she could not have done with other degrees and has managed to raise three terrific kids in the meantime.
    I guess my point is, we all have to jump through some hoops to get where we want to be and I think you should follow your dream of becoming a PNP.
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    Elenaster,
    I think you summed the flexibility of nursing up beautifully. It was also nice to hear encouraging words directed toward the original poster. Peaceful2100, it can most definitely be done. I will graduate this May and have a very active son. My hubby is gone throughout the week (goes to school and works as well) therefore I function essentially as a single parent throughout the week. One of the great things about nursing is the flexibility that accompanies the job. I mean, there are so few professions that offer as broad an array of working environments. I've seen many happy nurses in my clinicals thus far working in health departments and schools as well as clinics and hospitals. They found areas of nursing to suit their needs and I'm confident that you can, too. Hang in there. I felt like the first semester was the worst and that it has gotten progressively better from that point on. Chances are that there are many areas of nursing that you may not have been exposed to yet. I wish you the best of luck. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
    Take care,
    Shannon

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    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin


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