Why are you REALLY going into nursing? Honest answers please. - page 6

Ok, I'm a bit frustrated with all of these posts telling us that we shouldn't go into nursing because we need a job and steady income. Sure, I do like to help people, but I need a steady job even... Read More

  1. by   caligirl
    I wanted to be a social worker like my mom but my husband (who has a business degree lol) figured it would not be cost effective for me to abandon my 40+k a year job in IT to go to school for 7 years to make 15 bucks an hour. Science is easy to me and I compromised with nursing. I found I am making the right decision. If it is anything like school, I know I will love it. I hate hearing about burnout. Hello.. I wanted to be a social worker.. lol.


    So, money was factor -definately. Job security is a factor. I have this need to help people.. that was a factor. I am sure there are those who are only in it for the love of it. Maybe they will donate their services to volunteering at shelters, planned parenthood, rural clinics. etc... If money is not an issue I am sure they can do a world of good making little money but doing what they love.. I hope to volunteer SOME of my time once I finish school but for the most part, I want to make $$$$.

    Ps.. My husband makes pretty good money. I don't have to work. But you know.. Call us greedy but we LIKE two incomes.
  2. by   breastfeedingRN
    Interesting thread, interesting responses. Can't quite figure out the big argument behind it, but oh well.

    Anyway are my reasons for wanting to be a nurse:

    1. I have always wanted to be a nurse. Can't remember wanting to be anything else. Being hospitalized at age 8 further cemented my dream of being a nurse.

    2. Nursing is SO versatile. There are endless possibilities for nurses, you can't say that about many other degrees. *Which is the reason that burned out nurses irritate me. Move on. Don't stay somewhere, be miserable and make everyone else miserable. Find another avenue of nursing and try it out.

    3. Nursing will allow me to be the kind of mom that I want to be. Nursing is so flexible. I simply don't want to be away from my familly 5 days a week. I won't have to as a nurse!!

    4. Job security. As many have said, there will likely always be a need for nurses. Most areas are dying for nurses. I am in a big city and there are always tons of ads for nursing jobs.

    5. I love working with people, I love feeling at the end of the day that I have made a difference in someone's life. I love caring for other people, helping other people. I love a challenge. As a nurse, I can do all that. And get paid for it too, sounds good to me.

    I think most have many reasons to be a nurse, and if money just happens to be a top priority, who cares?? As long as they provide good and safe nursing care, what does it matter? Not everybody can afford not to work. (I could, but we would forever live check to check, not my idea of fun)
  3. by   Koalablue
    I have to say that `helping people' didn't make it onto my list of reasons for becoming a nurse now or in the past when I did it before.

    I chose to go back to school and do this basically because of the job security it offered, the relatively decent wage, and the fact I can travel and work the world over with a nursing degree. I also have always loved `medical stuff'....procedures, learning about diseases etc.

    Thats not to say I am not compassionate or caring with my patients, in fact I consistently get great marks in clinicals for the way I deal with patients and staff - which is odd given that helping them is not even a factor in my being in school now

    Of course I appreciate that I get to help people, and by nature I am a `helper' I suppose, but it comes a long way down the list compared to being able to get a job anywhere anytime. Frankly if I had my way, I'd be something like a wild-life photographer, or do research into horses. But I need to eat, pay bills and put a roof over my head, and I need to do it sooner rather than later, so nursing it is!

    I wish I could say I love it, but the best I can say is I like it a lot. Which is more than many people can say about their (potential) jobs. I hope to find an area of nursing that I might come to love....but if not, then I still have a satisfying job, which pays fairly well, has much diversity and will see me always employed. Not too bad!
  4. by   susanna
    Quote from lizz
    Yeah, it's true. I have no delusions about that aspect of the profession.

    :uhoh21:
    I think I do. Can you explain? Who are the rich executives in a hospital system and how do they maintain control over our lives?
  5. by   Sheri257
    Quote from breastfeedingRN
    I think most have many reasons to be a nurse, and if money just happens to be a top priority, who cares?? As long as they provide good and safe nursing care, what does it matter? Not everybody can afford not to work. (I could, but we would forever live check to check, not my idea of fun)
    Well, actually, that's what the argument is about. Many nurses seem to feel that if you are going into this profession for the money, you're NOT going to provide good and safe patient care.

  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from susanna
    I think I do. Can you explain? Who are the rich executives in a hospital system and how do they maintain control over our lives?
    Anytime you're working for a major corporation, you're going to have problems with management. I think that's true of any job. Just read all of the posts from working nurses on this board. The list goes on and on. Probably the biggest complaint would be high nurse patient ratios, where nurses have to juggle too many patients.

    But Christina (Hellllllo Nurse) is much more of an expert than I am. She could answer this question much better than me.

    The solution, IMHO, is a strong nurses union which, luckily we have here with the California Nurses Association. And, CNA successfully lobbied for the first nurse ratio law, which limits the ratio to a more manageable six patients per nurse, in most cases.

    I'll probably work for a CNA hospital, if I work for any hospitals at all.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 22, '04
  7. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Tony35NYC
    BUT, I love other things, too... such as gold, silver, cash, Mercedez Benz, Kenneth Cole, Gucci, and Prada. Which is why I plan to transition to the ARNP/CRNA program after I finish my BSN. With the very modest salary CRNAs make, I'm hoping I'll be able to afford at least some of the things on my list. Nothing at all wrong with being ambitious.
    I wouldn't count those dollars yet. I don't know if you've been following the AA discussions on the CRNA board but, AA competition with CRNAs might put a dent in that Mercedes, long term, that is. It's not much of a threat now, but it could be in five to ten years. It's difficult to predict, and something I'll certainly watch before I decide on CRNA school.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 22, '04
  8. by   Altra
    Interesting thread, to read the stories of how we all got here ...

    IMO, the threads that have cautioned against going into nursing for the money have not been so much about having a "higher calling" as they have been a reality check: you don't have to be Mother Theresa Nurse, but as a nurse you will be required to give of yourself in ways that most other professions don't require. Patients will depend on you, even if you don't work in an acute care setting, and you will have a level of intimacy with them that you will never have with the person sitting in the cubicle next to you in an office. And by intimacy I mean emotional intimacy, not peri care.

    So why am I going into nursing? I have always wanted to be a nurse. I talked myself out of it several times for various reasons. Oh, and my mother talked me out of it at least once, on the grounds that it would be *icky*. Sorry Mom, but once I became a mother myself I got over icky in a big hurry. I just spent two days in the O.R. clinical rotation and LOVED it - so much for *icky* :chuckle

    I've been a stay-at-home mom for several years. As my daughter got older I realized I wanted/needed to do something more meaningful than analyzing budgets as I had before. I need to do something that contributes, and nursing fits that bill. It also requires me to use my intelligence. I love that combination: one minute I'm analyzing a patient's lab results and thinking about the potential side effects of their meds, and the next minute I'm comforting another human being by simply being there for them.

    I have a strong interest in working in the ER, and I may eventually wind down my nursing career by doing some kind of teaching - either a patient education position or being a clinical instructor.

    Good luck to all.
  9. by   angel337
    the bureau of labor statistics had an article on line two days ago about the average earnings in the US. the mean salary is just a little over 36k and if you search the salary by what state you live in, it averages about 28k. RN's came in second as being the highest paid. general managers were first. keep in mind that this article was not referring to MD's or entertainers or lawyers. they were referring to everyday 9-5 jobs like secretaries, industrial work, teachers... you get the idea. i was really surprised because the average income for RN's is 45k (after taxes). i think that says alot about why people chose this profession.
    i agree with the OP that one of the main reasons people become nurses is to have a steady job. when i was in nursing school i used to laugh at the nurses that tried to discourage me form nursing but THEY were punching in everyday and coming to work. i love being a nurse. i love the autonomy of my job. i love the responsiblity. i was a 9-5ver making crappy money (10/hr) with no prospect of making more. i KNEW i could do better and i did. i don't have to work two jobs now and i look forward to going to work everyday. when you are compensated well for what you do you can focus on your job instead of worrying about how the bills will get paid.
  10. by   Altra
    Quote from Star Trek Nerd
    3) Also, another defining moment was when we had our infamous Northridge earthquake in 1994, I found it astounding that I was the only person on the entire block that kept my cool and didn't run around like a headless chicken. I was the one knocking down doors and going in to search for people in their apartments to make sure everyone was okay. I was the one gathering up their cats and dogs and taking them to safety. Everyone else, all 100 of them or so, didn't know what to do, even the doctor down the street was panicking. They were all asking me what to do, and counting on me to keep them safe during the aftershocks. Later, I was commended by the local fire station for my actions.

    I was only 16 years old at the time.

    **
    Hats off to you.
  11. by   Tony35NYC
    Quote from lizz
    I wouldn't count those dollars yet. I don't know if you've been following the AA discussions on the CRNA board but, AA competition with CRNAs might put a dent in that Mercedes, long term, that is. It's not much of a threat now, but it could be in five to ten years. It's difficult to predict, and something I'll certainly watch before I decide on CRNA school.

    Lizz,

    I've been following the discussions about AAs and CRNAs, and although its still an explosive political issue, I really don't think AAs will ever become serious competition for CRNAs. The universities that offer AA programs are trying very hard to make it seem that AAs are exactly on par with CRNAs, but state laws clearly show that they are not. I've checked out the AA program websites, and their curricula is very specific to anesthesia and doesn't present much about total patient care. Somehow, I suspect that RNs know a whole lot more about total patient care than these AAs, and that's potentially the most important difference between CRNAs and AAs. Another important difference is that an AA must be directly supervised by an anesthesiologist, while a CRNA can work with any surgeon.

    Anesthesiology is a dying physician specialty, and the MDs seem to blame the increasing number of CRNAs for that. AAs often make less money than CRNAs do, but even that financial advantage may not benefit the physicians in the long run. The physicians pushed very hard to get licensure for AAs, but that effort could backfire. "Licensure" brings AAs to a whole different level of professional practice which pushes the physician specialists further towards obsolescence. Already, there are a handful of states with laws that permit CRNAs to practice independently, and this was done to cut medicare/medicaid DRG reimbursement costs for surgical patients. It won't be a surprise if other states eventually do the same, and if that happens the physicians are the ones who will feel the pinch.

    In any case, why would any of this stop you from going to CRNA school? CRNA and AA programs are all competitive, expensive, and turn out only a tiny few graduates each year. Whichever one you choose, the DOL predicts very good employment prospects for both CRNAs and AAs for many, many years to come.
  12. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Tony35NYC
    In any case, why would any of this stop you from going to CRNA school? CRNA and AA programs are all competitive, expensive, and turn out only a tiny few graduates each year. Whichever one you choose, the DOL predicts very good employment prospects for both CRNAs and AAs for many, many years to come.
    I really didn't mean to get off track with an AA discussion. But let's just say that at my age, I can't afford to go into a whole lot of debt (and it would be a lot) until I see where this is going. You may be right, but I'm not that certain.

  13. by   JennInColumbus
    I find it funny that my teachers are always saying if you are here for the money you should go home now. I don't think the money in nursing is really that great, it isn't bad but it certainly isn't mind blowing.

    When I was growing up everyone always asked me, "are you going to be a nurse like your mom or a doctor like your stepdad?"... it was expected that I would go into healthcare. I always turned my nose up and said neither, mostly because I wanted to be different than everyone else in the family. It seems like everyone in my family is in medicine... my extended family could populate a small hospital, doctors, nurses, dialysis techs, aids, office managers, etc. I swore I wasn't going to go into the family business. Flash forward 15 years and a lot of soul searching and I'm in my second quarter of an ADN program and my sister starts hers in chattanooga next semester.

    I started out going after the money... I have a degree in economics and what I realized was that I didn't like it. The financial rewards in the business world are a lot greater than those that I am looking at in the nursing world, but I don't care. I hated my jobs in "business". I hated the way people higher up thought they could verbally abuse anyone they chose, I hated that a call on a Saturday morning meant I was spending the weekend at the office whether I liked it or not. I hated the hours and wearing nylons and being unappreciated and knowing that I could look forward to many more years of the same in the rat race. It doesn't matter what you make if you are miserable making it.

    I chose nursing because:

    +I want a job I can be proud of
    +I want to have a life (3-12's is very appealing after working 60-70 thankless hours a week on salary)
    +I want a job where caring about the welfare of others isn't a career killing state of mind, which it is in some companies
    +I want to contribute something to the world that matters... I want to leave each day a better one because I contributed.
    +I want my kids (if I have them) to be as proud of me as I am of my parents... my Mom runs a hospice and if I was any more proud of her I would burst.
    +Job stability
    +Never a dull moment... if I'm bored it is my own fault.
    +Continuous learning
    +I can wear pajamas to work (haha) No nylons woohoo!!
    +An exit from the rat race
    +Opportunities to advance my skills in a variety of ways... ACLS, PALS, etc.

    I can honestly say I chose nursing in spite of the pay and I am thrilled to have done so. Now I just need to work on not being so long winded!

    Jenn

close