Is a nursing career for me?

  1. I'm registered in a Nursing program next year but I'm having cold feet. I've changed my career plan so many times and have finally decided on nursing this year. I was super excited but now I'm not sure I have the personality for it. I'm prepared for the hard classes and homework but I'm really nervous about actually working with patients. I'm a shy person and worry I don't have the outgoing, friendly personality successful nurses do. I don't feel "the calling" that most future nurses say they feel. Blood, wounds, mucus, and other bodily fluids scare the hell out of me. I'm terrified of making a life or death mistake or being awkward around patients.I'm not sure if I can even make people feel at ease. I can't even pinpoint what drew me to nursing. I am so excited to start the program next year but am I going to succeed? Do I have what it takes to be a good Registered Nurse or should I consider trying something behind the scenes?
  2. Visit lilwonder profile page

    About lilwonder

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 14
    Student; from CA


  3. by   DidiRN
    Most of what you just said sounded like me....30 years ago. Try and it see. I did just fine
  4. by   hodgieRN
    Lots of nurses are shy and introverted. As long as you can connect with your pts and are communicative with your instructors and classmates, you don't have to be the life of the party.

    School will teach you how to not make life and death mistakes. There are endless protocols, guidelines, and safety nets. You will be taught all of them and you will practice them more than ever wanted.

    If you are excited to start the program, that should be enough of a call for you. To this day, I'm still scared of sputum and poo. It will keep you from getting it on your scrubs.

    It's only a matter of time before you start talking about a nasty wound during dinner or eating off a bedpan from the supply room because there were no more plates during your thanksgiving shift. Before you know it, you will see enough sputum rockets flying 6 ft out of trachs, and all you will do is duck and carry on like nothing happened.
  5. by   HouTx
    Have you looked at other healthcare professions? There are many options out there - with much less stress than nursing & better long-term career prospects.
  6. by   loriangel14
    Oh my. I have been in your shoes. It's funny now but my biggest fear was " oh my goodness, I am going to walk into a total strangers room and enquire about the nature of their bowel movements?".

    The truth is you don't need to be super outgoing and over-the-top friendly to be a nurse. I am shy with people I don't know well but I have over time learned how to deal with communicating with new people.It gets easier as you become more confident in your role as nurse as well. Also remember you learn more from hearing someone else talk. You miss things if you are too busy flapping your own lips.Sometimes if you be quiet you give your patient time to open up to you.

    Oh yeah the yuck factor will fade over time.
  7. by   NightNerd
    Being introverted and quiet can actually be an asset in nursing. I feel like introverts have a certain sensitivity that extraverted people may have to work harder at. I know that being introverted has helped me maintain calmness and composure around patients who needed that kind of presence (as opposed to someone super-chatty and friendly); I've also found that after I think through someone's situation by myself first, I can then more easily explain it to patients and their families and answer questions more effectively. So it's not necessary to be extremely extraverted in nursing; each side brings different gifts to the table.

    You'll get used to blood, vomit, poop, mucus, and everything else you can think of. Beliiiiiiiiieeeeeve me, lol. Once you're around enough of it, it really will be just another day. So don't stress about that.

    As for having a calling...that can go both ways, I think. Some people get into this because they have that need to be a nurse. Others get into it because they've got a home and a family and they need a way to support it and this seems like a good way to do that. Both are good motivations to become a nurse! Yes, it helps to know that you'll enjoy learning about different conditions and treatments, and that you like to talk to people and don't mind being physical throughout your workday. But is a calling really necessary? I don't think so.