needing advice about nursing school

  1. i am a 23 year old mother of two children, a 4 month old and a two year old. my two year old son was born premature at 32 weeks gestation which resulted in him having to stay in the nicu for a little over a month - that was when i decided i wanted to be an rn. however i already am well aware that the only areas of nursing i want to work in are l & d or a nicu, or infant nursery. i am very passionate about wanting to work inside a nicu, ever since my son was hospitalized i knew that's what i wanted to do, i felt it was my "calling". ive never felt this way about anything else. i would watch the show NICU on tlc and it just moved me, like i would seriously cry because i just wanted to help!!

    i am currently a student at TWU finishing up pre-reqs for the nursing program, i am already so discouraged and dissapointed because of things i have heard from my professors. i am starting to think that i am not smart enough to accomplish nursing school, despite the fact that i know its something i want to ive started considering going into dental hygiene instead...however that is not really something im passionate i am about working inside a nicu. i have previously gone to school for dental assisting and i am certified in that area, but chose to go back to school because i didnt enjoy it, so now i feel like i am stuck in a rut! also, my professor was telling our class about a story about an 18 month old infant who was seriously burned because of an incident, and it just made me so upset - once again i was about to cry - am i too emotional to be able to work inside the nicu field, or am i emotional because i am passionate about doing it?

    i have heard many girls tell me you will never achieve nursing school if it is not your passion or if you are only going to nursing school for one reason, is my reasoning FOR wanting to be a nurse a good enough reason to be in nursing school? or should i choose another path.

    also right now i am at TWU - which is a four year university, and i am considering transferring to a community college next semester to get my associates FIRST..then take the RN to BSN path, since it is all online and i have two small children, i figure with an associates i can finish sooner, and start working while working on my bachelors!!!

    i am just so confused, and discouraged & any advice would be greatly appreciated, good or bad - i feel like i need help making this decision, and what better way than to hear from other nurses & nursing students.
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    About cammienicurn

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   Luckyyou
    NICU jobs are exceptionally competitive. What will you do if you graduate and cannot find a job in the specialty you want? New grads are going months or more with no job offers. Will you take a med/surg or LTC job? With regards to being too emotional for NICU, you absolutely have to be able to hold yourself together. I recently coded a 400 gram 23 weeker. It didn't end well. Is that something you will be able to handle? This applies to L&D as well. Is a full term fetal demise something you are prepared to encounter? Not trying to be a buzzkill, just a reality check.
  4. by   ProfRN4
    Hi, without really knowing you personally or academically, it's hard to formulate an opinion on what you should do. The previous poster made some very valid points; I know new grads who would take ANY job, hospital or otherwise. Even in the hospital, they would take ANY unit. Unless you have an "in" to a specific NICU, you need to realistically consider the fact that this will not be your starting point. And once in there, you need to ask yourself why you are doing this. As stated, it is an incredibly delicate environment. You ate blessed to have been part of a positive experience (not saying it was a cake walk for you and your child, but the fact that he is alive is a wonderful thing). So many of those babies do not survive, or do with many lifelong complications and struggles.

    As a professor, I honestly say I am turned off by students who snub their noses at the other clinical units and specialties (yes, M/S is a specialty). I am not saying every nurse has to want a career in med surg (I did it for 2 years, then moved to Peds). I also love to hear what students true desires are. But what I'm trying to say to you is, of you do continue on, is advise you to at least pretend to have an open mind about your future.

    As far as your calling and your desire: yes, you need more than that to make this happen. I feel like we live in a "reality show" mentality now. If someone says "I want this more than anyone here", they feel like they should get it. It takes tons of hard work. And you have to like what you do, and in nursing school, that means liking elderly, psych, critically ill adults, children (not neonates) women in labor, cardiac, respiratory, renal and oncology patients. In my school, our students never see a NICU patient. They see normal newborns, but that's usually it. And you have to pass those classes, even if you have no desire to be a psych or Peds nurse.

    I can't tell you if you are doing the right thing. But you are going to have to make a lot of sacrifices, including time with your small children (I hope you have the support), whether you are in class on campus or online. You can't just show up to succeed.