Would you do it all over again?

  1. Today's the first time I've come across this site. I'm considering a major career change, and looking to possibly get into the field of nursing. I am curious as to how many people who post here would do it all over again, if given the chance?

    I have put a lot of time into what I'm currently doing (teaching) but can no longer afford to stay in it (due to pay, lack of tuition reimbursement, amount of time between required degrees). Also, my son was born with a congenital heart defect, and it has prompted me to learn as much as possible about CHD's, and the medical field in general.

    So, I'm wondering how many would go back and do it all over again?
    Thanks, in advance!
    Katie
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   bayoubelle65
    Originally posted by KatieD:
    Today's the first time I've come across this site. I'm considering a major career change, and looking to possibly get into the field of nursing. I am curious as to how many people who post here would do it all over again, if given the chance?

    I have put a lot of time into what I'm currently doing (teaching) but can no longer afford to stay in it (due to pay, lack of tuition reimbursement, amount of time between required degrees). Also, my son was born with a congenital heart defect, and it has prompted me to learn as much as possible about CHD's, and the medical field in general.

    So, I'm wondering how many would go back and do it all over again?
    Thanks, in advance!
    Katie
    Katie,

    Nursing is not the glamorous career some think it is. It is very hard and stressful work with little recognition but immense personal satisfaction. I sat here after a hard night with a cup of coffee trying to psych myself to actually get up and do it all over again and I came across your comment. My kids are running around and supper is going on the stove and I am just reflecting on why..exactly why did I become a nurse and have all of my expectations been acheived. And I remember all of the nights I left feeling like I didn't make a differnce, when I lost a patient or felt like I was bucking the system and getting nowhere. Patients depend on you, families lean on you and coworkers demand of you and when you leave sometimes your feet hurt so much you can't even feel them, your back is all hunched over and you are not quite sure if you will ever be fully erect again and your bladder is about to burst because you haven't been to the bathroom in 13 hours. (Let's not even talk about what you had for lunch..snickers should be added to the food groups) Then...I remembered all the times I actually made a difference in the lives of my patients and their families. All of the heartfelt thank yous and the big bear hugs, the cards and flowers, the feeling I get when I leave the unit in the morning knowing that a person is still alive because I was there and yes, just knowing that I offered any little comfort I could even when the outcome is not what I had hoped for. Meeting patients out in public, they don't recongize me sometimes but I know that they are there partly because of me. The big toothless grins when I sing during a bath, the frail old hand that reaches for mine, and even the kisses I sometimes get when I tuck them in for the night. Even death, it is a privilidge to be present when a life ends and as a nurse it is my duty to make sure that it is done in a respectful dignified manner and I have held many a hand while life just slipped away.
    HHmmm, well, this was my humble response of course, I could sit here for days typing..you have a hard decision to make. Thank you for helping me remember exactly why I will be doing it all again tonight...it was just what I needed today.

    And you ask, would I do it again.....In a heartbeat.
    Danna

  4. by   tschell
    I've been an LPN for 21 years and will graduate in May with my ADN(YEA!!) and I can honestly say there is nothing else I would choose to be but a nurse. I'm sure that some people would laugh but I love taking care of people and helping someone that needs me. There is just something about being a nurse!! Good luck with your decisions.
  5. by   puzzler
    Hi Katie
    Would I do it again. Absolutely.

    I came to nursing as an older adult. Had a husband and housefull of kids. I had worked in the business world for a number of years in various positions.

    I have been a nurse now for 24 years and can not see myself doing anything else. Does it have its problems? Sure. Is my pay great? Not really. Are my hours good? No. Why do I stay? Because of the patients. I receive more personal satisfaction from one shift now (even a bad one) than I ever rec'ed in the business world. Nurses, good nurses at least, touch the lives of their patients and families in a way that they will always remember.

    Good luck with making your decision.

    ------------------
    Sheryl
    If you enjoy word puzzles come visit me at www.CrosswordsForNurses.com
  6. by   KatieD
    Thank you all for answering my question. My son, 7 months old, has been in and out of hospitals/doctor's offices (because of his heart) more times than I can count.

    I always find myself thinking back to the nurses who saved his life (whom we still keep in touch with). I think about how hard it was for the one to come tell me that my first-born child had turned blue and they didn't know what was wrong. I think about how we were told by the surgeons... that if we'd been home... my son wouldn't be here.

    I think about how little people are informed about Congenital heart defects... and how I asked several times about his funny breathing and was assured that things were fine. I think... maybe ... it may take 30 or even 50 years... but I may be able to notice the signs in someone else sooner, and their child won't have near the problems my son had.

    I truly enjoy working with people (as I said earlier, I'm a teacher right now)... but the politics of teaching... and lack of tuition reimbursement, makes it impossible for me to stay in the profession. I have met so many nurses in the past 7 months... and only had ONE negative experience (which is an incredibly good thing, considering how much time we've spent in hospitals/doctor's offices).

    I guess I am thinking of turning to nursing because I became fascinated with what happened to my son, and I want to learn more. I want to help people the way that we've been helped. I admire the work, and would like to be a part of it.

    I know people hate working the weekends, but I'm actually looking forward to that, because that means I will have more days during the week to spend with my son, and my hubby will be with him on the weekends.

    For now, I am still looking into what program to take... I'm thinking MSN through OSU. I am also going to apply at the local hospital for a PCT position. I know it's not glamorous... but it's a foot in the door, and in the direction I hope to be going to.

    SO, again, thank you for your encouraging words. I'm glad to hear that even though the stress and the wear-n-tear can get to you... you'd still do it again! I look forward to hearing from more people.
  7. by   iamme457
    I have been a nurse for 10 years now and would do it over again in a minute. There are so many areas you can work in as a nurse. I started in medicine as an EMT, became a paramedic and worked for an ambulance service while I went to nursing school. I have worked in med/surg, psych, ICU, CCU, Trauma, Neuro, geriatrics, critical care transport, airambulance and now am a clinical coordinator. I learn something new each day.
    Deanna
  8. by   Navy Nurse
    Without hesitation.
  9. by   KatieD
    I have another question.... for those who've worked in several different areas... which was your favorite? I think, right now, that I'd like to work in the OB... and a lot of that feeling comes from the fact that my son's life was saved there. I've spoken with the people in the OB locally, and they all LOVE it in the OB.

    Since I'm going to need to get my foot in the door while I go to school... I'm looking at PCT jobs for part-time while I finish my teaching contract. There are openings in med/surg (which I've seen mentioned fairly often on here), telemetry, and emergency. I don't know where I will ultimately end up, once I have my license... so I'm just wondering how people like it in different areas?

    Thanks again to all who've responded so far!
  10. by   ShannonB25
    All I can say is WOW! These posts are wonderful! It was truly inspiring to read them, and gave me great comfort in assuring me that I am entering the right profession. Thanks so much for sharing everyone.
    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
  11. by   goldilocksrn
    I love being a nurse. It is very rewarding for the mostpart. However, I have read that you are leaving teaching due to low pay, and politics. I must warn you that nurses are now fighting over these very things. Our pay isn't very good, and the politics that go on at most facilities is terrible. I am sure that taking care of a child with CHD is very hard, and coming home from work after a 12 or 16 without dinner or use of a bathroom may make that more difficult. On the flipside-hospital nursing is not necessarily what you have to do. You could be a school nurse, home care, work in a doctor's office. All I am saying is that I am sure you went into teaching with altruistic intentions, as did I into nursing. I just wanted you to know that maybe what you saw in all those hospitals and offices was a frustrated nurse putting on a happy face for her patients, because that is what they deserve. I want you to be well informed before making a major change. Good luck in whatever you decide.
  12. by   Tiara
    Hi! I can certainly understand your wanting to go into nursing because of what happened with your baby. Working as a nurse's aide is a good way to find out if it's what you really want; I would recommend that kind of exposure. As Goldilocks said, times are not good in nursing now. There are all kinds of problems with healthcare that have made it difficult for nurses. Please profit from my experiences! I loved nursing and working in the hospital. I was dedicated and loyal and soon became consumed by my job! I worked very hard when I was there and I brought concerns home with me. I had two children. I got sucked into the system and felt responsible for everything! Believe me, when you have young children and you want to go this route, it's not easy. I would never work full time as a nurse again; I became exhausted and I feel I could have spent more time with my children. I will never be sorry that I'm a nurse but I will never get the time back that I spent in the hospital (extra shifts; extra days, etc.) So, my point is if nursing is what you want, give it your best shot. But you will never be sorry for all the time you give your family and you just might regret giving the hospital everything you have.
  13. by   sunnybrook83
    I assume you are a teacher with summers off.
    Take that time and work as a nursing assistant in an acute care facility prior to making a career change. Nursing can be rewarding, but the day to day headaches and politics are driving nurses out of the field left and right. Investigate the field and get some first hand experience before you go the time, and expense involved in nursing school. After that experience, if it still is appealing- go for it. Good Luck!
    PS- Would I go into nursing again- I don't know- its very difficult to give of yourself all day and then have patience left over to give to your loved ones when you get home. Not to mention the missed holidays, school events,etc.. with your children.it has it's pros and cons just like any other profession.
  14. by   Enright
    I identify with your dilemma. I became an RN/BSN at 32 after a successful career in criminal justice. I needed a skill that would enable me to move more easily from state to state with my husband.

    Let me first say that nursing education is an experience unto itself. It is unlike any other discipline and not terribly "user friendly" to the non-nurse. I already had a BS degree, took a lot of nursing classes at night. I finally realized that I had to plunge in and do the BSN full time. I choose an accelerated program. The nursing world will not fall over itself acknowledging your non-nursing expertise. That was the hardest thing for me to get used to, being a beginner all over again. It is a profession with infinite variety and options. In terms of benefits, nursing is uneven. I now work for a state agency and get great benefits and pension but I found the benefits packages at hospitals average.
    Long answer to the post---I would become a nurse again in a heart beat. I went from transplant to pediatrics to rehabilitation to community health on the same license. I'll never get wealthy but I'll always have work. When I needed to be able to up and move, I could do so very easily as an RN. Good luck in your choice.

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