applying to nursing school . . . misconceptions???

  1. I hope you all arent' tired of posts like this!

    I've been wanting to go into nursing for several years. I am a junior in a communications program. I have now decided to take a year off of school to relocated and have my baby.

    Well, I decided to pursue nursing for several reasons.
    1. I keep hearing of such a high demand and huge sign on bonuses
    2. I keep hearing about great salaries of $40+
    3. I understand there are many opportunities for advancement once you have your BSN (practitioner, midwifery, etc.)

    But, now that i've looked over this message board, it seems like this is an awful career and everyone is unhappy! I am terrified.

    I can't think of anything else I'd want to do. i've always been fascinated by the medical field and i've finally found the courage to pursue it.

    But apparently, according to the nurses on this board, there is no money, no jobs, no satisfaction, overwork, underpaid, so on, so on.

    Any remarks about this from current students????

    Thanks.

    Miya
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   JennieBSN
    Look at Tracy's response on the 'If there are so many negatives..." thread. It's good. Pretty much sums it up. Yeah, we b**** a lot here, but again...Tracy's response sums it up beautifully. Uh, one caveat...I don't know WHO you've been talking to, but the $40k salaries aren't the norm, okay? Travel nurses, agency nurses, and nurses in areas with very high cost of living make that kind of money, but not average joe RN. And about the sign-on bonuses...if you see a hospital offering one, RUN. Do NOT apply there!! If it's such a great place to work, why do they have to offer $5k sign-on bonuses? Usually the hospitals offering that kind of money are scary hellholes. I speak from experience, here. Plus, they usually require you to stay a full-time employee for 6mos. to a year to get the bonus, which uncle sam helps himself to half of, anyway. If you're going into it for the cash, you need to look at another job. That's just the cold, harsh reality. If you're looking at it for the science, because you want to make a difference (no matter how small) in someone's life, don't mind the fact that you get very intimate with nice diseases like HIV and Hepatitis, and can deal with some of the crappy parts of the job (LITERALLY and figuratively...heh heh), then go for it.

    I am personally happy with my job, as well as are many of the other folks here. HOWEVER, I don't have to worry about what I make salary wise (my spouse has a VERY well-paying job), don't have to worry about benefits, and don't have kids to raise either. There are a lot of sacrifices involved that I can make now, but once the pitter patter of little feet comes into the picture I doubt I'll be so flexible.

    Hope this gives you some food for thought.
  4. by   miya
    wow, ok, this was a true reality check. I guess it's ok, since I am taking the year off anyway to reevaluate what i want to do. But, after the response i got, and after what I've read, i dont' think this is the career i thought it was going to be. From what all the career manuals say, well, they're all lying. I thought this would be a good career to make a decent salary and have flexibility to raise my child.

    However, does it change answers when I say that I don't want to stop at just an RN? I ultimately want to get an advanced degree and hopefully work in a practice, as a midwife or a nurse practitioner. More opinions on this line of work, as opposed to hospital nursing (which I really didn't want to do forever anyway)?
  5. by   hollykate
    Lots of hospitals offer sign on bonuses these days- no reason to RUN from one, but usually they are not for the new grad- nor is the 40K salary for the new grad- unless you live in a part of the country where the cost of living is huge as well.
    The career you are describing in your second post seems to be that of a successful real estate agent or medical transcriptionist. I do not mean that in a bad way- but Nursing actually requires a great deal of sacrifice in terms of working holidays, weekends, odd shifts, exposure to bizarre diseases, violent angry people...etc things that may not help you to raise your child in the way that you want to.
    The field expands some money-wise as you get advanced degrees- but it also narrows- you can not be as flexible about a job, because there is currently in some parts of the country a glut in NP's. Some hospitals do not give midwives admitting privilidges, etc- so there are also considerations there- as well as the malpractice insurance you would need to carry. So just becoming an NP does not gaurentee you a job, like becoming an RN does.
    I absoloutely LOVE being a nurse. I have such a great opportunity to make an extreme difference in someone's life every time I go to work. But it surely is not the most flexible or lucrative career someone could choose. Good Luck with your choice.
  6. by   shelleys
    I am a nursing student, and at my school we are accepted directly into the school of nursing as a freshman. Although I have not had too many of my clinicals, I personally think nursing can be a very profession. I think you will get out of nursing what you put into it, and I think that it is a profession worth entering. I have also been told there is not much money in it; however, what other profession can you change positions in and have something new every time. Last week my nursing prof was telling us how she has been a psych, peds, ICU, nurses, administration, and now is a prof. I think it is so cool that we have so many options open.
  7. by   Ambuls
    Hi! I am replying to your question wondering if you should apply to nursing school.
    I am currently in my 4th year of nursing school. I will not graduate this May, but have one more semester after this one. It has been an extremely long and hard road to go down, but I have survived! If I can do it, trust me, anyone can.

    I went through an associate degree program first, so I am already an RN. I have been for about a year now.
    For my entire life, at least as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a nurse. Nothing else seemed "me", I just always thought of myself as a nurse and nothing else. The human body always fascinated me, and helping people was what I wanted to do for my entire life.

    Do I regret it? No. would I do it over again if I was just graduating high school? Probably not.

    There are days I wonder and have to think VERY VERY hard why I went into this. Because sometimes it's not so clear to me what my purpose as being a nurse is. It gets hard, frustrating, demanding, overwhelming, and emotionally draining. The pay isn't all that great, and the hours suck!

    However, there are days I am reminded. I will go into work, not wanting to of course, but when I get there I will have one special patient. Someone who is just overjoyed that I am there, and thanks me again and again for being such a great nurse and was so happy I was there for that time.

    It's those times that I am reminded why I went into this, and why I am going to stay into it. It's a wonderful thing, being a nurse. When someome asks me what I do, I respond very proudly "I am a nurse". It's a difficult profession to be in, but worth it. Touching peoples' lives, well that's something no amount of money is worth. Having someone thank you for being so kind, having someone tell you their time in the hospital was made better just because of you.... it's a feeling I can't even explain.

    So should you apply? If you truly want to be a nurse, love helping people, and you are compassionate and nice and have patience, then YES!!!!!!!! Do it! You will be great for the job! However realize that the hours aren't the best, the pay isn't that great for what you have to do, and sometimes your co-workers and/or Doctor's can be a pain to get along with. But going through all that is worth it, once you get that one patient that truly looks into your eyes and you can tell how thankful they are that you were there!

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