Please Help Me Remove Some Roadblocks

  1. Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for a while and I have found the discussions on this forum to be extremely helpful; however, I have hit a brick wall. Some advice specifically tailored to my situation would be greatly appreciated!

    There have been plenty of hurdles already, but I am determined to become a nurse. I'll just briefly state that I am a vegetarian, rather squeamish, and the thought of having to dissect something is quite unnerving. I don't even tolerate cartoon violence well nor horror movies. I've read that it is something that can be overcome, and I feel I have the strength of character to put it aside to give my best to those that will need me. I know I can manage day-to-day as a nurse as long as I'm not exposed to decapitation, gun shot wounds, and the like.

    Probably the most troublesome issue for me at the moment is choosing a school. I already have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and it seems like my best plan of action would be to pursue an accelerated BSN after taking care of some prerequisites. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a program near me (Huntsville, AL area). I could get the associates degree and then pursue the BSN if necessary. I'm just wondering what the best course of action is. I don't want to waste time and money, but I'll do what I have to do to make this happen.

    Some of the schools I am considering do not offer classes at night. I have mulled over the possibility of getting a CNA certificate and finding a 2nd or 3rd shift job that would allow me to attend night classes. Any feedback on whether or not that would be a good idea?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!
  2. Visit cyberia81 profile page

    About cyberia81

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 13; Likes: 1


  3. by   jessi1106
    It's so unfortunate that there is not an accelerated BSN program near you.

    I work at a major level one hospital, and currently (at least my unit) does not even interview ADN's.
    However, there are lots of smaller hospitals in the area who certainly hire ADN's.

    Can you find out how marketable you would be with an ADN? Look at the job postings for local hospitals and talk to nurse recruitment?

    Becomming a CNA would certainly give you some experience in pt care, and perhaps get your foot in the door for future employment. But I would get your nursing lisence asap.

    Also, in school, I only had to dissect once--it was a fetal pig in anatomy and physiology.
    I wanted to be an RN since the age of 17--but thought that I was too squemmish, so went into another field. I ended up going back to school for my BSN, and am so happy I did.

    Also, in school, I only had to dissect once--it was a fetal pig in anatomy and physiology.

    Thankfully, nursing is not usually violent--but there are a fair amount of body "substances" to deal with.

    For me that part has become super easy.

    Best to you!
  4. by   KelRN215
    I don't know about programs in that area, but I agree with the previous poster that ABSN would be your best route so it's unfortunate you can't find a program. In my area (major metropolitan area in the Northeast), hospitals will not hire ADN prepared nurses unless they have years of experience.

    As far as disecting goes, I never disected anything in nursing school. In middle and high school, I disected everything from an owl pellet to a crayfish to a frog to a cat. I was never squeamish, the smell of formaldehyde is pretty bad though. If you're that sqeamish, I would stay away from vascular floors... those patients have some of the nastiest wounds I've ever seen. Though the possibility exists in any and all specialties.
  5. by   1968cowgirl
    From Alabama also. As far as I have seen most all the hospitals in Alabama interview and HIRE ADNs. You could always get your BSN/MSN online while you work as an ADN. Alabama, UAB, Troy, USA all have the BSN/MSN online programs. Just saying...
  6. by   cyberia81
    Thank you everyone for the help!

    @jessi - I checked the local hospitals and it seems like there are plenty of openings. Luckily I live in a very small town and there seems to be a bit of a shortage here (but not for teachers, we have far too many teachers). I don't think I'd have too much trouble finding a job upon graduation, hopefully. Wow, what a change that would be! When I moved back to Florida about a year ago the only reason I even got an interview was because I had worked for that particular principal before. He told me over 500 applicants had applied for that one position!

    Pardon my ignorance please, but can you tell me more about clinicals? What can I expect to see? I realize all programs are different but I'm almost scared to get through all of the courses and then realize later that I can't handle it. I tried to volunteer at the local hospital but they only want volunteers from 8-5 M-F and that doesn't work for me currently. I thought I'd at least get to network with nurses and ask them for advice. :/

    @KelRN - Ah, if only I could be that lucky! I have downloaded the syllabus and course descriptions from each college I am considering and each one mentions dissection. Unfortunately they don't mention what will be dissected. I plan on emailing the instructors to find out. I just hope they don't judge me for asking in advance. I genuinely want to be a nurse with every fiber of my being, but realize I have limitations especially when it comes to seeing open wounds and bones poking through flesh. It's stupid but I see this as my opportunity to grow up at 30 (lol), and get over my fears so that I can do something I am passionate about.

    @1968cowgirl - I will definitely check out those online programs. I had found a few out of state but they didn't offer clinical rotations in Alabama.

    Thank you all again for reading and commenting, it is greatly appreciated!
  7. by   Meriwhen
    OP: In nursing school, we didn't have to dissect anything.

    Also, in A&P class, which is a required pre-req for nursing school, we didn't have to dissect anything. We either used plastic models, slides or the cadaver. I think most work that way since we're focusing on human A&P, not animal A&P

    In standard biology, which you may or may not need to apply, you will probably have to dissect. Your choices there are to dissect, not dissect and take the hit to your grade (and you wouldn't be the first student to do that), or perhaps talk to your teacher and see if something can be worked out (long shot but you never know).

    I fully understand and respect your beliefs; however, given that nursing school is highly competitive and a C or even a B in a pre-req class may be the kiss of doom--or at least a big hurdle--to your application, I'd try talking to the teacher first and if nothing could be worked out, accept the fact that I may have to dissect. But ultimately you have to choose whatever action you feel is best for YOU.

    If you are enrolling in a BSN where the bio class is included, then it won't matter so much if you refuse dissection, as long as you still get the passing grade, because you are already in the nursing program. If you apply to a ADN or ABSN program, that grade could have an impact on your application.

    Best of luck whatever you decide.
  8. by   Esme12
    Do you want to be a nurse? There's more to it than a calling. Here are some questions to consider.

    There may be areas of nursing that you won't be exposed a lot...but you will still be exposed. Humans are messy. Medicine is messy. Surgery can be messy. wounds are messy. You need to weigh what becoming a nurse is worth to you. You will see wounds, you will have to clean up human excrement. People will vomit, wounds will drain and open. some surgical wounds aren't closed right away.

    A word of caution. There may be posted jobs but that doesn't mean they are hiring. Nursing is NOT recession proof...many new grads are not finding employment.

    Nurses Are Talking About: Jobs for New Grads

    The Big Lie?
    Without a doubt, the main source of frustration experienced by recently graduated and licensed but still unemployed nurses is what could be called "the big lie."In other words, the television commercials that encourage young people to become nurses -- and then abandon them for months (or years) without employment; and the educators who tell them that the associate's degree is perfectly adequate to guarantee employment, that they will have their pick of jobs when they graduate, and that there is plenty of time to get a BSN later on. Who knows whether it is greed, ignorance, or wishful thinking that underlies the fairy tales told to nursing students about their future job prospects? Whatever the motivation, the disillusionment of our new grads is palpable. The jobs they expected after all of their hard work just haven't materialized, and some grads are getting pretty desperate.
    Medscape: Medscape Access you need to register but it is free.

    Has the Nursing Shortage Disappeared?

    It's that time of year again. Graduating nursing students are preparing to take the NCLEX and are looking for their first jobs. This year, many are finding those first jobs in short supply.
    Reports are rampant of new graduates being unable to find open positions in their specialty of choice, and even more shockingly, many are finding it tough to find any openings at all.
    These new RNs entered school with the promise that nursing is a recession-proof career. They were told the nursing shortage would guarantee them employment whenever and wherever they wanted.
    So what happened? Has the nursing shortage—that we've heard about incessantly for years—suddenly gone away?

    The short term answer is clearly yes, although in the long term, unfortunately, the shortage will still be there.
    The recession has brought a temporary reprieve to the shortage. Nurses who were close to retirement have seen their 401(k) portfolios plummet and their potential retirement income decline. They are postponing retirement a few more years until the economy—and their portfolios—pick up.
    Many nurses have seen their spouses and partners lose their jobs and have increased their hours to make ends meet for their families. Some who left the profession to care for children or for other reasons have rejoined the workforce for similar reasons.
    In addition, many hospitals are not hiring. The recession brought hiring freezes to healthcare facilities across the country, and many are still in effect.
    Has the Nursing Shortage Disappeared?##

    If nursing is your dream welcome to the chaos....if ti is a substitute for your dream consider if all the hard work is worth it. I wish you well in all your endeavours.
  9. by   cyberia81
    @Meriwhen - Thank you for the info. I'm still struggling to find an acceptable accelerated BSN program near me. I'm wondering if I should just get the prerequisites out of the way and find an online program.

    @Esme12 - Thank you. I appreciate that you can share both the pros and cons. I've been utterly obsessed with becoming a nurse after mulling it over for quite a while. I had thought about social work and even cyber security, but one of my musts when it comes to new career shopping is flexibility in where I can live. There are NO social work positions even remotely close to me. Cyber security intrigues me because I am an all-out computer geek, but I am tired of staring at computer monitors day in and day out. Plus, although I'm helping people in a sense, it wouldn't give me the satisfaction of coming to the aid of someone.

    I did discover nursing informatics during one of my searches. I figure that if I get into nursing and absolutely abhor it because of my weak stomach I can go in that direction. I'm sure that is an even tougher job market though and that there are very few informatics positions...

    No matter what, I appreciate everyone's time and input on the subject. Thank you! :heartbeat
  10. by   Been there,done that
    My clinical labs require cat dissection. I signed in and LEFT THE BUILDING .
    Read the objectives and studied the anatomy charts. Passed with flying colors.

    Just MY way of getting around it.. hope it helped.
  11. by   cyberia81
    Hi been there done that. Wow, that option never crossed my mind, but it does seem like a great idea to stow away in a worst case scenario situation.

    Thank you! I'm feeling much better about everything after reading thread after thread from other people with weak stomachs.

    If there is one thing I have learned in life it is that I'd rather give it a go and find it isn't right for me as opposed to never try it and always wonder.

  12. by   cyberia81
    Thank you, that makes me feel better. Not that I'll get to experience those lovely smells, but that you can get used to it.
  13. by   FORTHELOVEOF!!!!
    You can get used to most bodily smells after time, and you can pick an area of nursing that doesn't involve trauma (like gunshot wounds). There are ways around some of the gross stuff, but not usually in clinical. You may see stuff you don't like but everytime it happened to me, I all of a sudden had to pee, lol. I can handle a lot but my fear was seeing a stillbirth or a infant die, so when I was faced with this I asked my instructor to excuse me and that I didn't feel well and she was fine with it. I did have to disect a fetal pig in A & P tho, but if you are a good student you could probably pass just fine even skipping that day of class. Not sure about Florida but in Missouri we have a pretty good market for ADN's but most of our hospitals have adopted the "BSN in 10" clause, just have to have your BSN within 10 years, no biggie.

    Good luck, I hope you find what you are looking for!
  14. by   cyberia81
    Thank you for sharing your experience fortheloveof. Love the avatar by the way!

    I'm so glad I found this forum and started posting. I sometimes regret that I never considered nursing when I was younger because I just assumed I couldn't handle it. My high school was a magnet school and offered a health academy but I steered clear because of my lack of confidence. My heart is in the right place and I have a deep seated interest in helping people maintain and improve their health, but I didn't think I could possibly deal with it because I can be so squeamish.

    I've decided to stop focusing on the "what ifs" and just get on with it. I have a tendency to get myself worked up as I research things and start to project too far into the future. I'm sure the best thing for me to do is to find the most suitable program, apply, and then start freaking out about dissection. If there's a will there's a way, right? lol

    Thank you for the shot of confidence! I hope to be back soon to share a success story and I will have everyone here to thank for that.