Young guy in need of advice.

  1. Hello everyone. Found your nice site through word of mouth on another site.

    Let me first explain my situation.... I am 18 years old right now and am really just getting my life in some similance of order. Im working as a Caregiver at an Assisted Living Facility and I really enjoy my work. Have only been doing for a short period but everyone(Myself included) from my mother,to co workers to the head RN thinks it is my 'cup of tea'. The same people are telling me I need to pursue a career as a Nurse.

    I would like to know what should be my next step towards becoming a Nurse - OR - Is there another field, similar to nursing, that I should set my sights on, potentially? I enjoy helping people, both old and young, I would like to be in a career where I can help people but I also do not want to be stuck as a Caregiver working for under $10 all my life like some of my colleauges. My mind set is towards working as something that is not only considered a more succsesful avenue of work but the pay difference would be nice as well.

    Some different indviduals have told me I should work towards my CNA certification next but is that what really true?

    I would also like a list of positive qualitys, In YOUR opinon's, a Nurse must have to be a succsesful Nurse.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!! Any at all.

    - I certaintly apologize if this is not the place for this type of topic or if I am going out on a limb here for this info.

    Regards, Michael

    EMAIL: MJD57@mail.com
    AIM: Mayer057
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   OrthoNutter
    For any kind of nursing, I think you need to be assertive. But even if you aren't a naturally assertive person, it will MAKE you into one. This isn't necessarily a bad thing....in fact I think it's one of the most positive changes to have happened in my life since I started nursing. But without that assertiveness, people will walk all over you and you will burn out.

    Other than that, I think to know your limits is a really big thing. Know what it is you like about your present job and go from there. From what you've said, the personal contact seems like a big thing for you so I can understand why people have recommended the CNA certification as it will keep you pretty close to the patients.

    Hospitality and tourism is an area that ex-nurses seem to flourish in because there's that personal contact that you seem to enjoy.

    At 18yo you've got a long life ahead of you so there's nothing to stop you from experimenting with different lines of work to see what suits you best. A wise person once said that if you enjoy your job, it won't seem like you've ever worked a day in your life. And with an average of 45 odd years spent in the workforce, why not try and aim for that? It's too long a time to spend being miserable and feeling that you're not in the right niche.

    Best wishes to you, Michael.
  4. by   pierced-aznurse
    good question,well written.my name is michael,and very much like you i had similar thoughts at 18.i became a nurses aide at 17,although that in itself is a long story.i'm 25 now,i've been a nurse for 3 yrs now,altogether i have 8 yrs experiance in healthcare,before becoming a nurse i was an na,cna,pct,phlebotomist,ma,and an er tech.but before i go on i hate to burst your bubble,you must become a cna first or at the very least complete na training before you can even think about being a nurse.first semester of nursing school is pretty much just a very advanced na class.you can't start at the top you must pay your dues,and trust me there is a whole lotta dues to pay,besides you can't give a suppository if you don't know how to roll your patient.as for becoming a nurse rather than pursuing another medical career,look at the want ads or read a few nursing magazines,nurses have endless possibilities,hospitals,clinics,homecare, schools,camps,rehab centers,care centers,dr's office,insurance company's,lawyers offices,industrial businesses,the armed forces,prisons jails,urgent care,research facilities,cruise ships,air evac,drug companies,and thats not all.not even md's have so many options.but it takes a lot more than just wanting to help people to be a good nurse.i could go on and on,wanting to help is a good foundation but you must also be interested in the science of medicine too.you probably will not get a good idea of what being a nurse is all about or even get a glimpse of what you would be facing in school at any assisted living facility,although it is an aspect of nursing,i would suggest pursuing your cna,take a few prereqs and try to work in various settings,hospital,care center,some psych,just mix it up.you will find your answer by brodening your horizon and working side by side with a wide variety of medical professionals. good luck.
  5. by   debbyed
    Pierced-aznurse gave excellent advice. The only thing I would add is to take some entry level general college courses that will transfer into nursing should you decide to go that route. Check with your college admissions office about that. Nursing courses are very tough (they have to be as you will be responsible for other peoples lives) so you need to develop good study habits.

    Best of luck in whatever path you choose to walk.
  6. by   sixes
    Welcome to the board. The above posts are very good. At 18 you are still young and the possiblities in the health field are endless. If you truly enjoy helping people Nursing is a great field. I would like to add that there are many online, correspondance and home study courses that you could look into.
    Good Luck, deep us posted. Nursing needs compassionate people like yourself.
  7. by   Allison S.
    If you are a high school grad, I think you need to apply to nursing school. There are lots of programs: public, private, two-year, four-year, part-time, full-time. One thing that you might look into is whether your employer, or any in your area, has a program to put aids through nursing school in exchange for a commitment to work for a while.

    I don't think that anyone in my class was a NA before coming to nursing school, alhthough some did it during school. Nursing school will teach you what you need to know to start working as a nurse. Your nursing career will also benefit from any experience you bring to it. (I was a writer and a researcher, which enable my current research and documentation. A friend owned a restaurant, which certainly helped her to serve many people at the same time. You see what I'm saying?)

    Nursing is a career that offers a lot of variety in terms of the nature of the work, variety of settings, hours, and the fact that you are always a nurse, even if you do something else for a few years. It is also an excellent springboard to a veriety of other careers, as the work of nursing is so diverse.

    Finally, a few of the characteristics that a nurse needs are honesty, dedication, physical strength and endurance, smarts, quick decision making ability, writing skills, verbal communication ability, compassion, patience, . . . . I could go on and on.
  8. by   Disablednurse
    Michael, I think becoming a CNA would aid you with income while you make up your mind as to what you want to do with your life. This way you would also be able to determine if you wanted to be a nurse or not.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Michael . . . lots of different perspectives here and that is the great thing about this BB.

    For myself, if I had it to do all over again I would have gone straight into college with my goal a Bachelor's in Nursing. Getting your CNA is an individual thing . . .you learn all that your first semester in nursing school anyway so I didn't get my CNA before starting nursing school. The key is to be a team player when you start working . . . don't say "that's not my job" when you see a full urinal or a patient needs help getting up out of bed. Help your CNA's. Teamwork!!

    Along with nursing skills, you need to be articulate and able to write well.

    Assertiveness is necessary in any field - not agressiveness. And there is a difference. If you find yourself having to be obnoxious in order to make a point, you're being agressive. And aggressive is not fun.

    You are young, no children yet, your future before you. I'd go for the whole enchilada!

    Good luck.

    steph
  10. by   colleen10
    Hi Michael,

    I think it's great that you have found a possible career that interests you so much.

    The great thing about nursing is there are a number of different career avenues you could follow. ie. home health, hospital, etc.

    I think the best thing for you to do would be to take a look around at some schools in your area that offer a degree in Nursing, whether they be private, public, 2 year or 4 year schools.

    Talk to an advisor about their Nursing program and also other programs related to medicine/health that they offer. In the beginning, most programs (nursing or other) require the same types of pre-requisites so, if you at least get started you can make a final decision about which road you want to take later.

    This will also give you an opportunity to think about what type of education you want and can afford. I don't know about your situation but think about how much money you can afford for tuition, books, etc. and if or how much you may need to take out in school loans. Also think about if you want to go to school full-time or part-time and work while in school. Check out local hospitals that may offer free tuition in lieu of you working for them once you get licensed.

    There are some programs that do require you to have a CNA license before you can start the RN program but this is dependent on the school and location. Here in Pittsburgh no one has to have a CNA license to get in. That would definately be something to ask about when you are looking at schools.

    If you are planning on working while going to school then you may want to consider getting a CNA just because you will get more experience and probably make more$$ per hour. But, like another poster said, most everything covered in your first semester is what you learn in CNA class. Sometimes, once you complete your first semester of the nursing program you can sit for the CNA exam. Ask about this also, it may not make sense to pay for a CNA class if you will be able to sit for the exam after 1 semester anyway.

    Good Luck and I wish you much success!

    Col
  11. by   kimmicoobug
    Congrats on getting your stuff together and being concerned about your future. You are certainly in a better place at 18, than I was. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders regarding what your options are. I am sending you a PM, so check your box.
  12. by   LaVorneRN
    Michael you have gotten plenty of good advice.
    I was a nurses aide, phlebotomist, and unit secretary before becoming a nurse. I've worked in this field for almost 17 years and I am 35. I wish when I was your age I had the focus you do. I applaud you. I think that while it is not a requirement to be a CNA before becoming a nurse or going to school, the experience serves you in a few ways. In your first semester, yes you learn the CNA stuff, but you appreciate the role when you have filled it yourself. You learn over time about prioritizing, organizing your time, high pressure situations, and conflict resolution. These skills come in handy when you begin school. Not to mention feeling comfortable with walking into a patient's room for the first time. These are some things my classmates expressed issues with (I am not speculating) but overcame. Granted, not everyone had these issues and some who were never CNA's did just fine and have made awesome nurses. It's an individual decision. Also, it's true you may start a program that offers the CNA test after the first semester like mine did. That is a great offer. Usually cheaper too than doing the whole CNA program then redoing it first semester.
    At your age it would be to your advantage, if you can, to go for your BSN(4yr). Many get the ADN alone or go on and later get the BSN but our age and circumstances (children, started school later in life, second career, etc.) tend to be the reasons. You can do either and work in the field (great learning tool!resourses in co-workers and experiences to draw on) simultaneously.
    Whatever you decide Michael pray on it first and have faith that you have the strength to do what you put your mind to. It took me too long to realize what you already have. People tend to see in you strengths and capabilities you may not have the objective to see because you're just doing your thing being you. Trust that and do what you love.
    Peace and blessings
  13. by   FutureRNMichael
    Excellent information! Just what I was looking for.

    Thanks alot!! I will be contacting those of you who sent me emails & PM's.
  14. by   nrw350
    Talk with your co-workers and with your local hospitals and see if you can shadow a few nurses and see what you think of what they do. That way you may be able to find out what area of nursing you want to get into. Hope this little bit helps.

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