What am I thinking?

  1. I'm starting school next month. Me and DH were just talking about it and he mentioned being concerned about me becoming a nurse and having to work odd-ball hours and not having the time to spend with him and the kids. I told him that I didn't think it would be that bad, but we had just had this big "what do you want out of life" discussion and it really got me worried. I want to be a nurse, and I don't mind a little sacrifice, but am I really going to be that abused if I go into the field?

    Then, of course, I started really worrying. I have 3 people in my family who have been nurses. 2 cousins and my BIL. NONE of them are still nursing. It makes me wonder why they left. I went to the website of the hospital where I delivered my son, and looked at the job openings for RN's. It was depressing. Lot's of strange hours, and post after post of things that read "must have 2-3 years experience". It seems like as soon as I'm a nurse, I'll have to pick a specialty, take grunt wages, and gain the experience. Then, if I can't find an opening in my specialty, I'll be screwed.

    Here is what I want out of my career: I want a job where I'm in charge, and in a position of trust because I thrive on responsibility. I want to work with people, and be able to use my head on a regular basis. I want regular hours-they don't have to be from 9-5, but I want to be able to have my family be my priority. I don't want to work radically different hours on different days, KWIM? I have to make enough money to compensate for what I'm investing in my education, and to take care of my family. I'd like to be respected.

    Am I being stupid? And most of all, are these realistic hopes/expectations? Pleeeze someone give some insight.

    :stone -Swiftee
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   LVNurse
    Swiftee, I truly wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide. Nursing is suffering a shortage right now and I don't think 'finding a job' will ever be a problem for you. You may even find one with hours that you like (though, I don't know what type of nursing you'll like,unless it's in a dr's office or outpatient clinic, the day shifts are highly prized and harder for a newcommer to get.) The really big question you're asking is the one only you can answer: "Do I have what it takes, and am I willing to do what it takes to become a nurse?"
    You should know, it is NOT easy. To sound corny, it really is the 'toughest job you'd ever love'. It will call for sacrifice, your sweat and your tears, but it gives so much more back than your paycheck! Think hard, I don't know of a single area in nursing that meets all of your expectations, at least not at first. And school alone is ROUGH sometimes! I don't want to discourage you at all!! Nursing, as well as every field need motivated young people, who 'thrive on responsibility' and actually want to take charge. Just remember that the rewards in nursing don't all come in an envelope, and the sacrifices that you make for it are shared by those you love.
    I have been in nursing for over 24 years now, and would never want to do anything else, but as far as how 'financially rewarding, or respected, or family friendly' it's been, well, you should ask around, like you are.
    Sincerest Best Wishes,
    I hope you follow your heart!
  4. by   Mkue
    good morning, it is possible to have fairly good hours and have a lot of responsibility, such as a don. i think the first step is to become the "best nurse" you can be through training and education and then experience as lvnurse stated.

    so if "nursing"is really want you want, become the best you can be and your goals will follow in place.

  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I've always thought that the kind of autonomy and basic job satisfaction that you're looking for can be found in a Nurse Practitioner role.

    That's what I'm working towards, but it will take 6 more years of part-time work to get there.

    Before I started out on this little adventure I outlined the steps required to accomplish it to my wife and got her to agree in principle since she will shoulder the responsibility of "bread-winner" until I reach the RN level of part-time work wich pays quite well.

    If I just work weekends as an LPN in my region at a LTC facility I can make $18-$20 an hour. That will get me through the RN program, with experience, then I can get $40 an hour doing the same hours while I work on BSN and my Masters.

    I don't think you will have any trouble getting work for any hours you desire if you work PRN. If your husband has benefits at his job then your all set.

    You need to both sit down and quit speculating. Get some real numbers and base your goals on information gained from nurses in your area.
    Call an agency or two and inquire. Ask them if they'll be able to accomodate your needs out of school if you can't find what you want............they pay more anyway, just no benefits.

    Check websites like salary.com for salary information in your region.

    Check out all the specialties on this board and see if one doesn't just jump out at you and just inquire with those nurses.

    The unknown can be much more painful than reality.......more so for your husband.

    Do some research and both of you set goals together.
  6. by   babynursewannab
    Peeps, that was very well said.
  7. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Well, thank you Babynursewannabe!:kiss

    It's nice to see that posting a thoughtful, practical post would allow a communication to someone across cybespace.

    Sometimes I wonder if anybody reads it when it gets involved like that.

    Peeps
  8. by   hcnursesoon
    I don't think nursing should be a career one chooses for money, or lack of other options. It is a profession that one is called to do (Or so I believe). I know with all my heart that this is what I should be doing.

    Also, family support is VERY important through school and even as you work. If your husband does not think that he can provide that support, you need to sit down and have some serious discussions.

    When I started nursing school, my husband and I spent many late nights discussing how he would have to take on some extra responsibilities with the kids. He agreed (to most), because he knows that this is a goal that will help us both greatly in the long run. I could not do it with out his support.

    You must have a shoulder to cry on, some one to fight with, and some one to laugh with. Nursing is a whirlwind of emotions. Support is critical.

    Don't take the decision lightly, In my own class I saw too many people fall to the wayside and waste part of their life, and lots of their money because they realized they were not supposed to be nurses.

    Enough rambling... Just pray on it, or whatever you do to find your way in life. The answer is there, I for one will be praying that you find it.

    heather:kiss
  9. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by Peeps Mcarthur
    That will get me through the RN program, with experience, then I can get $40 an hour doing the same hours while I work on BSN and my Masters.

    Just courious, I am not saying there are not nurses that make $40. But do you think this is a realistic expectation prior to getting a BSN or even a MSN?
    Last edit by Agnus on Aug 9, '02
  10. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Angus said

    Just courious, I am not saying there are not nurses that make $40. But do you think this is a realistic expectation prior to getting a BSN or even a MSN?
    Yea, as an agency nurse here on the East coast.
  11. by   Love-A-Nurse
    hello and welcome! i wish you all the best in what ever your endeavors are.
  12. by   Swiftee
    Thanks so much for your support! I've decided to definatly go for it. I've thought about this for a very long time now, and was second guessing my decision. Finances have been rough around here lately, and I usually get on here late at night, so sleeping on it helped a bit.

    On the negative side, me and DH were getting ready to go on a date tonight to see a movie (somethign we haven't done in about 6 months) and just as we were leaving, our car quit on us. How cruddy is that??? It looks like we need a new fuel pump. :P

    Anyhoo, thanks again for all your help.
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Swiftee,

    Sorry to hear about the car, but you can be assured that vehicles will always let us down because we grow accustomed to thier convenience. They are evil spawn of satan. I just spent $1200 over 2 months getting my 1990 Prizm to pass inspection and got it tagged and the brakes are making a noise and it's hesitating now when the AC is on(that's just wonderful in the summer humidity). My tuition and books are about $1700 this semester and even if the car explodes, the apartment burns down, I contract West Nile virus, I lose my job, there is thermo-nuclear frigging war......................that money is in my bank account from months of saving for one focused purpose. I "gave it up" for tuition and books long before I ever will write the check.

    I have the bus schedule and route in my bag. I carry it with me along with the fare in a zippered pocket. I guess you could say that I struggled with my car's death for a long time now and I'm finally ready for it to take the big dirt-nap down at the junkyard. I know it will let me down, it always has, and I will not know when that day will be, but I do know I will be stuck.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that there will be alot more than financial hardship while becoming a nurse..................but there will be alot less when you prepare for it and talk about what you'll do about it before it happends.

    Prepare yourself, and get as many dates with your sweetie as you can before classes start.

    Peeps
  14. by   hcnursesoon
    Peeps, you're hilarious... but so honest!

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