Negative feedback about going to nursing school

  1. I am really excited about nursing school. I have been working full time and taking prereq's at night, but starting in January I will be going to school full time.

    I naively thought everyone would be really happy for me and supportive of me changing careers to become a nurse. The reactions have been quite different.

    When I told my mother, she didn't say anything for a moment and then said "That's the last thing I ever thought you would do. Why don't you become a travel agent instead?" Travel agent????

    My dad said "You never did well in science in high school. Why do you want to study something you're not good at?"

    My friends were really enthusiastic about me going back to school until they found out I was going to nursing school. They are saying things like "What about all the blood and nasty stuff you will have to touch. How gross!"

    Luckily my husband is super supportive and really wants me to do this. But I am shocked and hurt that everyone else is so negative. What's wrong with being a nurse? It's not like I'm quitting my job to become a topless dancer!

    Going back to school will be a challenge and I was hoping I would get lots of support from my friends and family. Instead, I have stopped talking about school with them because it makes me feel bad.

    Has anyone else gotten a lot of negative feedback when they told people they want to be a nurse?
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   EmeraldNYL
    I hear ya, LauraLou. I've gotten, "You're so smart, why don't you become a doctor?", or "You don't want to be a bedside nurse and put up with all that crap, no one respects nurses", and blah blah blah. Fact is, I see the current nursing shortage as an opportunity. I know so many people who are worried about their job security because of the economy right now. With the nursing shortage, I will definitely not have to worry about getting a job! Nursing is at a pivotal point in its history and there is the potential for great change, if we all work together to make it happen! Nursing has lots of problems right now, more than most professions, but it has a lot of potential. Just make sure you do all your research and go into it with your eyes wide open so you know what you are getting into. If it's what you truly want to do, go for it! Good luck!
  4. by   Momto2Boys
    You do what makes you happy!
  5. by   emily_mom
    I suspect that this isn't the first time that family has done this to you. I like to think that they are unhappy in their own life and do not want you to change careers and better yours. They are probably insanely jealous that you have a wonderfully supportive husband and are happy with your life. They will come around and if they don't, they aren't worth your time or effort. Just don't let them jeopardize your studying or success at school. Amen....

    Kristy

    p.s. I'm proud of you if that's any consolation! You've come to the right place for support!!!!!!
  6. by   sbic56
    You are going to get a lot of flack about choosing nursing. It is a hard profession and that is obvious to the ones that care for you. I bet they are just looking out for you. Your hubby must think be on the same wavelength as you, believing that you have made a choice that is right for you. Nursing does have it's good and bad points, like any profession. Only you know if it is right for you! Follow your dreams!
  7. by   colleen10
    Hi Laura,

    Welcome to the CLUB!!!!!

    Everyone, I am really thinking that when you first tell people you are going into nursing and you get a response that is anything but enthusiastic you should get a bright shiney star sticker or something so that everyone knows you have been inducted into the club.

    Really Laura, if I had a penny for every time someone was mean, rude, un-supportive, etc. when I told them I was going into nursing I wouldn't have to work anymore.

    I'm sure that just about every other poster here has a story similar to yours. Don't feel bad and don't let it get you down. I don't know what it is about people's perception of the nursing profession but very few people have been supportive and/or happy when I told them.

    I got "Nursing, you may have the personality for it now, but I'd like to see you in five years." (Still don't know what that means.)

    "Pharmacologists make so much more money"

    "But you allready have a degree, why do you need another?"

    "You'll have to put up with a lot of CR-P"

    "But you are capable of so much more"

    Yada, Yada, Yada.

    Every now and then you'll get a nice response back like "you would make a great nurse." etc., etc. and when you do get that response you will feel so great inside.

    So, try not to let it bother you too much. Find the people that are supportive and gravitate towards them and leave the rest in the dust.

    Good Luck to you and keep the faith!

    Col
  8. by   PennyLane
    I have had a lot of the same reactions from people. Almost everyone I tell tries to talk me out of it at first. Guess what? I'm still applying to nursing schools because I know that it's what I want to do, and that's all that matters!

    My boyfriend is supportive, but he was a bit shocked at first. I think he wanted me to go to med school and become a doctor. In fact, that's what most people seem to see me doing, too.
  9. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Lauralou,
    Similar reactions from my peers and family. The fact that I'm a male just made the scutiny more intense. I got alot of "why not just go to medical school?" comments because of my GPA and probably my gender. I feel your pain.

    The way I overcame that feeling was to reconcile why I wanted to do it with the possible motivation that my social circle had for trying to discourage me. I think the general public's perception of what a nurse does and the training they recieve is still holding on to the nurse as hand-maiden to the MD, so I reconciled that thier comments carried no qualified advice.

    Now, if you search your heart after examining the actual job description and training requirements to see if it qualifies as a worthy profession with your own qualified opinnion, then you cannot be wrong, and niether can nursing for you.

    Now don't delay, the holidays are here and you'll have more contact with your family. Wouldn't it be nice to make counter-points with facts vs thier misconceptions.

    Good luck to you.
  10. by   MidwifeWannaB
    I don't think I got any really negative feedback when I changed majors from Mass Communication to nursing, but everyone asked me "What made you decide to be a nurse?" My aunt on my mother's side was ecstatic: she has her BSN, loves nursing, and is ready to have someone to talk to about medical stuff that no one else in the family understands.

    The only comment I received that I took as being negative was from an aunt on my father's side. She said, "So you're not going to finish college?"

    What?!?

    My boyfriend went through an ADN program for a year before he decided it wasn't what he wanted, and I remember him telling me about 2 years ago (before I decided to change my major), "Don't ever be a nurse. All those bedpans..." Of course, now he's totally supportive of my decision, especially since my job will probably be supporting both of us until he finishes school.

    Anyway, I have realized that this kind of negative thinking is still common among family and friends who have no idea that nursing has changed since Florence Nightingale. You just follow your heart and trust that God has led you to this career change for a reason. You'll be a wonderful nurse, and eventually everyone around you will realize that, too. Especially if they come into the hospital during your shift.

    Best of luck from a fellow Texan.


    aimee
  11. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by LauraLou

    Going back to school will be a challenge and I was hoping I would get lots of support from my friends and family. Instead, I have stopped talking about school with them because it makes me feel bad.

    Has anyone else gotten a lot of negative feedback when they told people they want to be a nurse?
    Boy, do I hear you LauraLou...I actually put off telling my mom until I absolutely had to (we live in the same town, and are pretty close, so it is not something you can hide...i.e., she'll wonder why I haven't continued with my earlier major - accounting!) I told her and she gave me that exasperated look but has come around.

    I haven't yet told my sister and father who live up north, I'll wait for a while.

    My friends however have been quite supportive which is great. And the best thing of all???? It is this allnurses BB. Who hear it all, but the support is great and these are all nurses or nurses to be going through the same thing.

    Good Luck to you and do what YOU WANT TO DO!

    Kris
  12. by   babynursewannab
    Originally posted by Peeps Mcarthur


    Now, if you search your heart after examining the actual job description and training requirements to see if it qualifies as a worthy profession with your own qualified opinnion, then you cannot be wrong, and niether can nursing for you.
    Peeps-
    You're so cute! Nothing like relevant insight!!!
  13. by   ams02
    i feel ya!! i get the "squinty eyes, head nod" ... "" i hear it's really hard" duh???? i know its hard, does everyone think im not smart enough? i know now (maybe cuz im 26 and not 18) that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT. honestly i sucked in math and algebra and biology in highschool, but i WANT this and i know i can do it. sure its gonna be hard, sure im gonna see alot of crap (real crap) and blood and stuff, but the reason i am doing this is because i want to help people and i want to make a difference in people's lives. i dont see that happeing in Accounts payable (my current field). who cares what people say, they dont have to be a nurse. you just follow your heart, thats the best advice i can give and also, dont forget that anything is possible if you really want it (thats my new mantra) good luck! amie
  14. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    By Babynurse
    Peeps-You're so cute! Nothing like relevant insight!!!
    Uh-oh:imbar :uhoh21:

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