some questions about entering nursing

  1. Hi All,

    I'm Katie and I a soon to be 26 year old BS in management and MBA. I work as a business manager for a successful company and do really well, I've been promoted twice in the last 4 years and my next promotion would make me a category manager which is a great bonus level position. And....I really get no satisfaction from my work. I've been reading (rather obsessively) the forum. The posts on why people became nurses -- all the positive aspects and why people are frustrated with their jobs.

    I have recently applied to a night/weekend ASN program. It's not really a whim, in college during my junior year I decided I had some aspirations to look into the medical field. I took bio and chem and orgo and I worked as a nurse's aid at a local medical center on the med/surg floor. I really enjoyed my time and work there. But during my senior year the opportunity in business surfaced and I figured I should give my degree a go. When the company paid for my MBA I figured I should complete that too -- and did in June. But the enjoyment I got at the hospital never really went away and the experience I have in business pales in comparison.

    My other issue with my current role is that it's a 10 hour a day 6 days a week lifestyle. And to continue getting promotions and making more money those hours will increase. I, personally, see this as no way of life. As I enter into married life and consider starting a family in the next few years I can't imagine how we will balance 2 business work schedules and kids. Part time options in real management positions in the business world are hard to find. I see so much more flexability in nursing. Evening shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts. Am I dillusional to think nursing would offer my family a better way of life? It's not really the money, I make excellent money, but the time (and lack of satisfaction) makes my current business career seem so much less appealing than nursing.

    So for those of you who have raised families while nursing has it offered the flexability to be with your families? I realize you have holidays and those things but overall in my current role I work 50-60 hours a week 49 weeks a year with 6 additional holidays.

    Where I worked as an aid the nurses were clearly busy and some jaded and frustrated as I read but I was lucky I met a lot of really happy nurses that enjoyed Med/Surg. It was a great exposure that I felt was realistic but also positive, a hospital that seemed to do a fairly good job against the odds of too many patients and too little staff.

    Down the road after kids families and experience I would imagine my business background could mix with nursing experience well and open many doors. I just want to hear some thoughts from any of you with experience!

    Katie
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   PMFB-RN
    *** Nursing has been great for my family. I have lots of time at home with my kids and my schedual is very flexable. I think it is a much better mach for a family person that what you describe about your current job. You will likely make less money in nursing and I certainly would NOT expect your business background to open any doors for you in the nursing world unless you start your own business.
    I say go for it if you know that's what you want to do. Find your nich in nursing. For me it's trauma and cardio thorasic surgical nursing. I would go crazy working med/surg for any lenght of time. Different strokes.

    Quote from KatieM123
    Hi All,

    I'm Katie and I a soon to be 26 year old BS in management and MBA. I work as a business manager for a successful company and do really well, I've been promoted twice in the last 4 years and my next promotion would make me a category manager which is a great bonus level position. And....I really get no satisfaction from my work. I've been reading (rather obsessively) the forum. The posts on why people became nurses -- all the positive aspects and why people are frustrated with their jobs.

    I have recently applied to a night/weekend ASN program. It's not really a whim, in college during my junior year I decided I had some aspirations to look into the medical field. I took bio and chem and orgo and I worked as a nurse's aid at a local medical center on the med/surg floor. I really enjoyed my time and work there. But during my senior year the opportunity in business surfaced and I figured I should give my degree a go. When the company paid for my MBA I figured I should complete that too -- and did in June. But the enjoyment I got at the hospital never really went away and the experience I have in business pales in comparison.

    My other issue with my current role is that it's a 10 hour a day 6 days a week lifestyle. And to continue getting promotions and making more money those hours will increase. I, personally, see this as no way of life. As I enter into married life and consider starting a family in the next few years I can't imagine how we will balance 2 business work schedules and kids. Part time options in real management positions in the business world are hard to find. I see so much more flexability in nursing. Evening shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts. Am I dillusional to think nursing would offer my family a better way of life? It's not really the money, I make excellent money, but the time (and lack of satisfaction) makes my current business career seem so much less appealing than nursing.

    So for those of you who have raised families while nursing has it offered the flexability to be with your families? I realize you have holidays and those things but overall in my current role I work 50-60 hours a week 49 weeks a year with 6 additional holidays.

    Where I worked as an aid the nurses were clearly busy and some jaded and frustrated as I read but I was lucky I met a lot of really happy nurses that enjoyed Med/Surg. It was a great exposure that I felt was realistic but also positive, a hospital that seemed to do a fairly good job against the odds of too many patients and too little staff.

    Down the road after kids families and experience I would imagine my business background could mix with nursing experience well and open many doors. I just want to hear some thoughts from any of you with experience!

    Katie
  4. by   Dental Hygienist
    Hi Katie. I feel that I am in a similar situation as you are. I am a dental hgyienist and I am also 26 years old. I make great money but feel no satisfaction from my job. I've always felt drawn to nursing and now I feel like it's time to choose; do I pursue nursing or not? The idea of possibly starting a family in a few years makes me want to choose nursing where I will likely get medical benefits and retirement and maternity leave etc. and then the schedule could be somewhat flexible and compliment my husband's schedule so that WE can actually raise our children instead of paying someone else to do it.

    Anyways, I don't have any constructive advice for you as I am not a nurse yet; but I really enjoyed the tone of your post and I feel like I can identify with you; and I just thought I'd tell you that for what it's worth I agree with you that nursing seems like it would be a fulfilling career (and definitely frustrating and hard; but purposeful and satisfying)

    Good luck to you!:spin:
  5. by   Tangerine Lipgloss
    I would advise you to do volunteer work if you want to make a difference.

    Nursing is getting worse and I wouldn't recommend it as a career to anyone.
  6. by   Riseupandnurse
    I did not find nursing that helpful to me when my kids were small. I missed all but one of their school Christmas pageants. I also missed my grandfather's, my grandmother's, and both my uncles' funerals. My children did not get to spend Christmases with their grandparents and cousins because we all had to work either Christmas eve or Christmas every year and my family lives five hours away. I could not take off for my daughter's dental surgery when she was 7, nor stay home to take care of my son when he had asthma attacks (luckily my husband could). Of course I worked a med-surg floor. I'm sure other nursing positions are more flexible. Maybe.
  7. by   Tangerine Lipgloss
    Nursing isn't that flexible. You don't always get the days off you request, you are stuck in the hospital the entire shift and cannot leave early/arrive late. If you work 12.5 hour shifts your day is long and you are tired. On your days off you are tired. Working every other weekend and most holidays causes nurses to miss many family/friend events.
  8. by   bill4745
    I work 11am-11pm three days a week in the ER. I have the flexibility to (almost) always attend school events during the day or evening. I have four days a week completely free instead of the traditional two - I can get a lot done around the house!. I can do my shopping on quiet weekdays. I can easily work a 4th shift each week and make overtime.
    I love what I do and love my co-workers. My time at work is social time, not to mention very rewarding.
    Will you have all of this in the business world?
  9. by   snowfreeze
    There are many jobs in nursing that are either flexible or can offer the hours you want so you can be with your family also. It is up to you to do the research and find what works best for you with what is available locally. Your first two years working are going to involve getting the experience you need.
    The unit I currently work on offers a lot of flexibility and the staff generally supports each other on last minute changes in schedule.
    Some facilities offer job sharing.
    I have had to work holidays during my career and I started out with 2 kids and was pregnant with my 3rd during my 1st year of nursing school. My kids are much more flexible in life due to Christmas not always being on the 25th and Thanksgiving happening at grandmas one day and at home on another. Trick or treat night for halloween didn't always happen but on those years I had to work we had a really awesome party for them and their friends.
    I do enjoy being a nurse and am glad I made that change in my career. I graduated from nursing school when I was 35. I had my own business prior to that and it took up too much of my time.
    I hope this helps you in your transition to nursing.
  10. by   KatieM123
    I appreciate everyone's thoughts! The holidays/school plays etc would be difficult. It's good to think about those things. The option of working three 12s or weekends or even being able to go part time after a few years of learning is very appealing though.

    And beyond that I enjoyed my work at the hospital. And I was just the people clean-er upper! But for me that kind of work was more enjoyable and rewarding than 10+ hours a day on the computer! I just want to be sure life as a nurse is more family friendly than life in mid to upper management! I can always come back to the business gig....
  11. by   StrwbryblndRN
    One thing I find appealing with being a nurse/mom is (as mentioned previously) I have 4 days off instead of 2. You can't bring work home. Except for the emotional stress.
    I currently work overnight fri, sat, sun. I am home when my kindergartener gets off the bus. I have lots of time to myself.
    Unfortunately I do miss weekend time with my kids but it gives my hubby a chance to connect without my mommy interference. If I do want time with them it is easy to schedule in advance a couple of days. Or my hubby schedules a day off so he and I have time together.
    We do not go on vacations (not yet at least) but we definitely find the time to be together and have fun.
    It works for me for now.
  12. by   ICRN2008
    I wouldn't say that nursing offers more flexibility. My husband works 50-60 hours a week in the business world and brings work home with him, but he is also able to work when he wants for the most part. There are a few meetings a week that he is required to attend, but other than that he is free to do as he wishes.

    By contrast, I am only able to request off for two days each schedule (4 weeks at a time). Any vacation requests have to be submitted months in advance and can easily be rejected. I work every other weekend, and I am only allowed to ask off for one of my scheduled weekends each year. Other than that, I have to find someone to trade shifts with me. I had to work on Friday night because I wasn't able to trade- and I subsequently missed dinner with my husband on our wedding anniversary.

    I will miss out on family events for the sixth year in a row, ever since I graduated from college. This year I have off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but I work the weekend before Christmas as well as the day after. My sister has been in town three times in the past 6 months and I have missed part of her visit each time.

    As a new graduate both in Clinical Laboratory Science and nursing, I had to work night shift when I was hired because there weren't any other shifts available. This meant that I was sleeping at times when my family and friends were awake and vise versa.

    If you want to feel satisfied that you are making a difference, consider volunteering.
  13. by   3rdcareerRN
    I was in similar circumstances -- product manager, master's in business, unfulfilled,wanting flexible hours -- when I decided on nursing. I too worked as a CNA to check it out first.
    An RN is to a CNA what a brand manager is to a receptionist. Unlike the business world, the pay lags the responsibility, and the work is infinitely harder both mentally and physically. I didn't realize all this until too late. My experience echoes another poster's thought, that the nursing field will not care about your business or infotech creds.
    Please read the many other career-changer threads and the pros/cons of nursing. Think about finding ways to stay in business as a consultant, if you mostly want flexible hours. Find fulfillment as a volunteer or part-time job.
  14. by   KatieM123
    Actually I was thinking more the other way around, there are businesses out there that would care about the RN status. Pharmacutical companies, health care companies -- there are a variety. I actually knew some nurses in my MBA program and their combo was appealing in the BUSINESS world. Not the nursing world wanting a business degree.

    Consulting as flexability? I know many consultants that work from their home -- if they ever see it. They are road warriors, no thanks! They make $150,000/yr but it wouldn't be worth it for me. Maybe if I lived in a larger city -- but to work for one of the big consulting firms would not be appealing to me, personally. Many of my friends did it out of college though, some have stuck with it and the travel.

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