Please read...Why I am considering nursing. (and NP..?)

  1. I'm sorry if this is kind of long.. if you could read this and give me thoughts if nursings right for me.. or mention any other areas I should look into?


    I had Hodgkin's disease when I was 15. There is one nurse that I still remember. She was so kind to me. My doctor was pretty awesome, too.
    That made me interested in medicine and my body- but a big reason I am getting into medicine is also because over the course of the probably four years it took for ME to figure out my thyroid was messed up, I was given anti-depressents and birth control that just "covered up" my symtoms and didn't address the cause. I had to do so much research and get my ACTUAL lab values to figure out that my thyroid --(TSH) -- level, had been above the newer standards of "normal" for a few years. (kaisers not up to date for this lab test)
    I finally was able to request all the labs I needed and then got a dx when my TSH went up to 8.56.
    (I've been really harsh on the doctors who missed my problem.. but I am now realizing that perhaps with all of the more life-threatening diseases out there, a chronic underactive thyroid may slip under the radar and not exactly be a topic of much concern for doctors when they have to stay up to date on so many other diseases.)

    All the research I did on my own problems had made me really interested in anything having to do with health/the human body. I LOVE learning new things about it.

    In my other post, I mentioned that I might consider going the NP route someday, so that I can have a chance to maybe help people get a diagnosis. I found that my doctors failed in asking me about my past medical history. A few of my doctor's wouldn't even LISTEN to me at all. They didn't put all my symptoms together to get the obvious answer. If I were an Np, I sure would like to sit down and LISTEN to the patients and get a full history and look at the whole person.. and not one symptom. I know its probably more complicated than that- and these days I know MDs at least are really limited in the amount of time they are allowed to spend with patients-- but does being an NP sound like something that could fulfill what I want to do a bit? My quality of life was on a pretty low end there for a while.. all I needed was a tiny pill of thyroid hormone. I was sooo depressed without it (almost suicidal at times), I had no period-- my hair was turning white- I got SHINGLES~! on my scalp.. and I slept all day long and had no motivation. (as a side note: I was singing in a girl group in L.A. at the time. I ended up losing my spot because of my stupid "foggy brain", my fatigue, and my inability to lose 8 more lbs- because of my thyroid!- There went my life-long dream of becoming a singer..)


    An MD for me is out of the question as I want to start making an income sooner than medical school will allow.. I also hope to have a somewhat flexible job where I can work full-time or part-time.. or overtime if I want. I like how there are a lot of different areas nurses can work. My main concern is that I am somewhat of a "germaphobe" at times and don't always like doing "yucky" stuff.. but I'm 23 years old and I figure that if I want to do this I will just have to suck it up and learn to do some things I dont necessarily want to be doing.

    What do you guys think? I know nursing isnt for everyone...
    Let me know if I am being unrealistic about anything too!
    thanks!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    i'm not an np.
    but becoming one, will give you the autonomy you seek.
    you will be able to listen and diagnose your pts.

    becoming an rn, will take you a minimum of 2-3 yrs.
    once you graduate, many suggest starting off on a med-surg floor to get the most well-rounded experience.
    if you work med-surg, you probably will not have the time w/your pts that you would like.
    the first year, your focus will be on prioritizing, time-mgmt and organization.
    professionally, it's a highly stressful job.
    but on a personal level, it's extremely rewarding to most.
    if you aren't in a hurry, i personally would suggest going for your bsn, which will be 4 yrs of schooling.
    many rn positions are seeking the bsn nurse.

    you will find many nurses on this board, who have started out as lpn, then went for their rn, bsn, msn.
    there are nursing student forums whether it's for lpn, rn or grad school.
    take the time to explore this board.
    you will find a wealth of information as well as support.

    best of everything to you.

    and, i think you would be an awesome nurse.

    leslie
  4. by   HealthyRN
    I became a nurse to become an FNP and I am finally enrolled in the first year of my program. I had a similar experience when I was much younger. I diagnosed myself with a rare disorder when I was 13 years-old. It is not a life-threatening disorder, but it is a very frustrating one that I continue to deal with on a daily basis. I began experiencing symptoms that doctor after doctor brushed off and chalked up to "hormones". I did the research and finally brought my suspicions to yet another specialist. I can still remember the look on that physician's face when he excused himself from the exam room and came back several minutes later to confirm that a diagnosis made by a 13-year-old was correct!

    I also thought about attending medical school, but I decided that it is not the lifestyle that I desire. I don't want my world to revolve around my job and I think that being an NP will be a good fit for what I desire in a career. However, don't decide not to attend medical school simply because it will take too long.

    I am also a bit of a "germophobic" and I was uncomfortable working in acute care (for more than just that reason, LOL). However, you do get used to it as time goes on and practicing good hand-washing is the most important thing. I left acute care for a desk job, but I am about to return to a med-surg position, because I believe it will be better experience for FNP. Even though I don't enjoy working in acute care, I am trying to keep focused on my goals.

    I would recommend that you start out by getting your BSN. Good luck in your decision.
  5. by   dg05
    There are many RN programs that take 12-16 months if you already have a bachelor's degree. These are often combined with advanced practice programs where you start your specialty work immediately after you take the NCLEX. It's a much quicker route than traditional methods and it sounds like that's something you might be interested in.

    best,
    dg
  6. by   jjjoy
    If you're interested in pursuing nursing, see if you can get some floor experience, whether shadowing, volunteering or working as a nursing assistant. While NP may be your goal, the bedside nursing experience is where nurses really apply what they learned in school and the majority of NPs (thought not all) have at least a few years experience working on the floor. Nursing school clinical rotations are just an introduction. If you hate floor nursing, you'll be very limited if direct NP plans get sidetracked for any reason. Just some thoughts.
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    Wonderful reasons to become a nurse. I wish I had listened to my muse at 23 instead of waiting until I was 42 to pursue my dreams.

    Check out Direct entry MSN programs also. I don't know if you have a bachelors degree but an accelerated BSN program is becoming increasingly popular.

    All the Best.

    12/15/2007-My pinning
  8. by   diapason05
    Wow!! Thanks for all the replies! I am more and more sure that this is what I want. I had "nursing dreams" last night after reading these boards for so long. They were good, though.. but I have no idea what they were about lol
    I don't have a bachelor's yet.. but I have about 40 credits towards an AA .. some of which I hope will count toward the BSN program I am going to be attending at Hawaii Pacific University. My husband may get transferred next (in 2011).. back to Jacksonville, Florida (or we might stay in HI). I found a CRNA program at University of North Florida that would be great.. but it seems highly competitive and It seems to be fairly easy to get into the nurse practioner program here at HPU...I wouldnt want to count on that CRNA program and then not ever get to do it.. And if I spend 30k on graduate school to become an NP, I'm not going to spend another 3 years and 30k to be a CRNA!!!

    NP and CRNA both seem like jobs I might really enjoy. So much schooling, though! I almost feel a little guilty that my husband will be supporting me for sooo long..(8 years of schooling almost-- with maybe 2-3 years of me working as an RN in between to help pay back the first RN loans?) but he retires in 13 years with a pension, so maybe he'll end up a stay at home (or part-time working) daddy and I'll bring home the income!
  9. by   HealthyRN
    I would also suggest job shadowing some nurses before you jump right into this. You should make sure that it is something you think you will enjoy. Shadow a few staff nurses in different specialities and also shadow an NP and CRNA if you can. The jobs are very different.

    Call and ask some local hospitals if they allow this or check with the university you will be applying to.
  10. by   diapason05
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    I became a nurse to become an FNP and I am finally enrolled in the first year of my program. I had a similar experience when I was much younger. I diagnosed myself with a rare disorder when I was 13 years-old. It is not a life-threatening disorder, but it is a very frustrating one that I continue to deal with on a daily basis. I began experiencing symptoms that doctor after doctor brushed off and chalked up to "hormones". I did the research and finally brought my suspicions to yet another specialist. I can still remember the look on that physician's face when he excused himself from the exam room and came back several minutes later to confirm that a diagnosis made by a 13-year-old was correct!

    I also thought about attending medical school, but I decided that it is not the lifestyle that I desire. I don't want my world to revolve around my job and I think that being an NP will be a good fit for what I desire in a career. However, don't decide not to attend medical school simply because it will take too long.

    I am also a bit of a "germophobic" and I was uncomfortable working in acute care (for more than just that reason, LOL). However, you do get used to it as time goes on and practicing good hand-washing is the most important thing. I left acute care for a desk job, but I am about to return to a med-surg position, because I believe it will be better experience for FNP. Even though I don't enjoy working in acute care, I am trying to keep focused on my goals.

    I would recommend that you start out by getting your BSN. Good luck in your decision.

    you sound kind of like me, actually... So you did get used to some of the more yucky stuff that nurses do?? I think some nurses might get offended if I look at being the RN as my stepping stone to being an Rn who is an NP-- but I do want to be an RN first because I'm sure that will make me a much better NP (I have been reading those posts about people wanting to just skip to being an np)

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