What's it really like to be a nurse? - page 3

by OhNatasha

16,786 Visits | 38 Comments

I am 34, and recently quit my job as a corporate manager. It was a job I stumbled into, and there were things about it I loved - namely the people I worked with - but I found I missed simple human kindness; at the end of the day... Read More


  1. 5
    I may be the exception to the rule here, but I have felt a calling to nurse since I was 3 years old.

    The patient ratios in my workplace allow me to spend time with my patients and develop a relationship.

    I strongly agree with those who have encouraged you to try the CNA route first. You will get to see what nurses do first hand and you will have lots of contact with patients. Shadow a nurse and try to get a feel for what we do.

    If this is something you really want, don't let the naysayers drag you down. It IS possible to enjoy what you do as a nurse, even if that appears to be against the odds on this board.
  2. 2
    I think most of the comments prior to this one are true and nursing is hard but it's an honorable and noble profession what worries me is a more pragmatic and urgent question, that is how can you become a nurse?

    Going to school is hard and expensive but is doable but all of that pales in comparison to the hardship of getting trained and being hired after you obtained your licence.

    Weather there is or there isn't a nursing shortage is debatable but hospitals are the only entity who can train you as an RN. They happen to think that is not necessary to train new nurses at this time so what will happen to you is what happened to 60% of us new grads which is basically nothing. You'll see lot's of jobs but they all say 1 year of experience. New Grad programs appears once in a while and there are about 1000 applicants for every opening, with these kinds of ratios is almost like playing the lottery. Whey will this end and they will start training new nurses? No one knows it could take many years, 10, 15...

    This to me is the real problem with becoming a nurse and not the fact that is brutal and dangerous. In your case you can add the age factor which usually is not a problem but now it is. They are most likely to hire the young.

    Good luck
    Last edit by marcos9999 on Jan 27, '13
    elprup and workingharder like this.
  3. 3
    [The nursing workplace is dreadful and abusive, there is backstabbing, cheating and laying. It's dangerous, you can make med errors and kill someone, patients and managers, doctors will scream at you. Sorry but that is the reality....]

    That is not the reality for all of nursing.
    poppycat, tokmom, and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from loriangel14
    [The nursing workplace is dreadful and abusive, there is backstabbing, cheating and laying. It's dangerous, you can make med errors and kill someone, patients and managers, doctors will scream at you. Sorry but that is the reality....]

    That is not the reality for all of nursing.
    You are right. I apologize and I have edited my post.
    poppycat likes this.
  5. 0
    I'm not one to squash anyone else's dream. However, unfortunately a lot of what has been said is true. There are so many days that I come home feeling abused by patients, other nurses and management. I start running the minute I get in the door and I don't stop for 12 hrs. I rarely get the time I thought I'd have to sit with a patient and help them on a personal level. Having Sao that though, the moments when I feel I've made a real difference to someone keep me going. They DO happen. Not as often as I'd like, but they're there. If this is something you really want to do, go ahead and shadow several different bourses in different floors, specialties and shifts before you commit. Try to shadow at different facilities too. My first memory of wanting to be an RN was when I was four years old. I finally got the courage to do it when I was 34. It is not too late and you will not be in the minority at all. Make the decision carefully and really try to understand what you're getting into because it is a VERY demanding job that you'll have to learn how to NOT take with you when you leave. Good luck to you!
  6. 2
    Quote from loriangel14
    I am shocked at the negative replies. I went back to school at 38 to become a nurse it is the best thing I ever did. I love my job ( most days) and my coworkers. I find it rewarding and i have met a lot of great people. I have seen people at the worst time of their lives deal with tragedy with grace, humor and wit. I have learned what is really important in life and to not take anything for granted. I have been there to witness recovery and the special joy that comes with that.I have also been privileged to help people on that final journey.I couldn't imagine not being a nurse.
    I think some of the negative replies might have been tempered had the OP not stated he/she would be moving far from home to go to school, leaving a place where he/she has stability, friendships, family, etc. It's one thing to decide to change careers and do something else, but with everything the OP has stated and taking into account the downsides previous posters have noted, it might be better for the OP to consider it very carefully.
    RNperdiem and tinkywinky like this.
  7. 2
    Pay is crap, patients and management treat you like crap, chance for getting a job are crap, and the schooling itself was crap. I love my job but I know I am getting taken advantage of by patients and bosses and I am underpaid and overworked. No handholding, just running your butt off to please everyone else.
    pamelalayn and tinkywinky like this.
  8. 2
    It's only a decision that you can make and I do think shadowing would be a good idea.

    Nursing is very difficult and can often be thankless. You can work your entire shift without taking a break and management can be totally clueless of what is happening on your floor.

    With that being said, I did leave nursing and went back after being out for almost 5 yrs. This time I made sure my workplace wasn't freaking toxic. Is it perfect? No, but I do get those moments to hand hold and laugh with pt's. It's it what makes nursing worthwhile.
    I work with an excellent crew. We are always there if someone needs help. We really do well as a team.

    It is possible to find the nursing job of your dreams, but you might have to start at the bottom of the ladder and work up.
    Last edit by tokmom on Jan 27, '13
    poppycat and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  9. 0
    I think one of the biggest problems with nursing is that we are under-appreciated and taken advantage of from being short-staffed and over-worked. We are also expected to cater to our pt's and their families as if they are in a 5 star resort to increase pt satifaction surveys. The reality is I do occasionally feel like I've made a difference or helped someone feel better but it's not every day. I do hate working holidays while my extended family is celebrating without me. I don't enjoy not seeing my kids for more than an hour or two the days I work. My feet and back ache the days I work. The first day off after working 12's I am so exhausted and sore I can hardly move so I don't get much caught up that day. However, it's nice to have a couple days off in the middle of the week and it's nice to just lay around one day knowing I've put enough time in to working to deserve it. It's nice to go shopping when everyone else is at work. It's nice to know that while I'm home the work is still getting done unlike office jobs where the work just waits for you. It's nice to feel challenged and get to learn every day. Everyone I work with loves their jobs-we just hate the BS we have to put up with sometimes. There is so much variety available if you get tired of one area or don't like it you can move to a different one. If you have your heart set on it then I'd say go for it. I do think the shadowing a nurse is excellent advice as well as becoming a CNA and working your way towards nursing to really know if it's for you. With your management background you might make a great nurse manager if you find bedside nursing too hard! There are many avenues...
  10. 0
    Think about working as a CNA. Seriously. It's great training for prioritization, and interactions with patients and families.
    And these days, it's one of the best ways to get a nursing job in a hospital. You will have the good chance of getting a RN job in the hospital system of your choice if you're already working there as a CNA.


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