Advice about becoming a nurse

  1. I need advice. I am in the process of making a mid-life career change, and becoming an RN. I was attracted to the profession because of the flexibility, pay--and the fact that I will be helping people and I will be busy.

    Lately, I have begun to have some doubts. Frankly, I don't know if I have the stomach for it. Will I be grossed out by procedures, and make the patients uncomfortable.

    Maybe it's just the changes I'm going through. change is never easy.

    What does anyone advise/think?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   SophieMae
    Take a CNA course first. You will hear that it is not what nurses do in the real world, true..........sorry, but many RN's (new grads) dont know how to give bed baths, change an occupied bed, etc. We know I will get a lot of responses to that but some refuse to do the work required, if you are not that kind of a nurse, please dont defend those who are.
    A CNA course really is the best way to get your feet wet without too much committment, money, time not to mention the change that it will make to your life and those around you.
    My advice is just the same as others, you can keep it or discard but you will find at the end of this course what exactly you can tolerate and what you cant.
    I will tell you as a CNA (oncology) it was not pretty. The sight toleration issue is not the only area to consider, there is also smell and sound. Questions to ask yourself........have you seen a dead body, will you be capable of holding the hand of the dying until its over, will you beable to place this person in a body bag and zip it shut, will you beable to wash/prepare the dead body, would you beable to be alone with the body, (some are afraid of death, not able to be alone with the body), will you beable to handle the screams of pain coming from a pt., will you beable stomach the junk that comes from open wounds, can you duck fast enough to avoid the spew from a trach........I could go on but these are just a few.
    I am point A to B person, so I will tell you straight out......if you cant stomach what you see, hear and smell at the CNA level, nursing at least bedside will not be for you.
  4. by   jerseynurse04
    I thoroughly agree with what SophieMae has said! I'm currently an LPN in a long term care/rehab facility. I started off as an Aide and did that for two years before making the commitment to LPN classes. I will eventually go on for my RN, but in the mean time the lessons I have learned as an Aide have been priceless. Yes, as an Aide you will quickly learn if you can handle all that nursing has to offer, that includes all the bodily fluids that get splashed on you (it does happen), death, combative patients and difficult family members to name just a few. Another important thing is that if you start out as an Aide first you will have a better understanding of how the nursing team truly works and will appreciate your Aides. I would be lost without my team of Aides and thank them at the end of every shift for all their hard work!
    This much is true...if you can cut it as an Aide for a year, you can handle just about anything the nursing field might throw at you!
    Good luck to you!
  5. by   SophieMae
    Quote from jerseynurse04
    I thoroughly agree with what SophieMae has said! I'm currently an LPN in a long term care/rehab facility. I started off as an Aide and did that for two years before making the commitment to LPN classes. I will eventually go on for my RN, but in the mean time the lessons I have learned as an Aide have been priceless. Yes, as an Aide you will quickly learn if you can handle all that nursing has to offer, that includes all the bodily fluids that get splashed on you (it does happen), death, combative patients and difficult family members to name just a few. Another important thing is that if you start out as an Aide first you will have a better understanding of how the nursing team truly works and will appreciate your Aides. I would be lost without my team of Aides and thank them at the end of every shift for all their hard work!
    This much is true...if you can cut it as an Aide for a year, you can handle just about anything the nursing field might throw at you!
    Good luck to you!



    AMEN!!!!!!!!!
  6. by   loriern
    Hi All
    I Am An Lpn And Have Been For 9 Years I Too Started Out As An Aide And Made Sure I Could Do It And Also Took A Math Class To Make Sure I Could Do The Math Face All Your Demons Up Front And You Will Go In With A Positive Attitude. Also Just A Footnote I Have An 18 Year Old Daughter About To Finish Her Lpn And I Greatly Encouraged Her Ok I Made Her Haha Work As An Aide Through Her Schooling Because I Believe The Best Nurses Remember What It Was Like As An Aide. I Want Her To Be The Kind Of Nurse That Puts The Patient And Fellow Workers First Not Her Title. It All Is Everyones Job From The Poo To The Paperwork It Takes A Team.
    Can I Get An Amen.
  7. by   SophieMae
    Quote from loriern
    Hi All
    I Am An Lpn And Have Been For 9 Years I Too Started Out As An Aide And Made Sure I Could Do It And Also Took A Math Class To Make Sure I Could Do The Math Face All Your Demons Up Front And You Will Go In With A Positive Attitude. Also Just A Footnote I Have An 18 Year Old Daughter About To Finish Her Lpn And I Greatly Encouraged Her Ok I Made Her Haha Work As An Aide Through Her Schooling Because I Believe The Best Nurses Remember What It Was Like As An Aide. I Want Her To Be The Kind Of Nurse That Puts The Patient And Fellow Workers First Not Her Title. It All Is Everyones Job From The Poo To The Paperwork It Takes A Team.
    Can I Get An Amen.

    AMEN,AMEN,AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. by   jerseynurse04
    Yes, the best nurses I've worked with have been Aides first! I pray everyday that I'll never forget what it was like being an Aide! I just hope that my team members know how much I appreciate and value them!

    Quote from loriern
    Hi All
    I Am An Lpn And Have Been For 9 Years I Too Started Out As An Aide And Made Sure I Could Do It And Also Took A Math Class To Make Sure I Could Do The Math Face All Your Demons Up Front And You Will Go In With A Positive Attitude. Also Just A Footnote I Have An 18 Year Old Daughter About To Finish Her Lpn And I Greatly Encouraged Her Ok I Made Her Haha Work As An Aide Through Her Schooling Because I Believe The Best Nurses Remember What It Was Like As An Aide. I Want Her To Be The Kind Of Nurse That Puts The Patient And Fellow Workers First Not Her Title. It All Is Everyones Job From The Poo To The Paperwork It Takes A Team.
    Can I Get An Amen.
  9. by   JoyR
    Quote from nurse2b?
    I need advice. I am in the process of making a mid-life career change, and becoming an RN. I was attracted to the profession because of the flexibility, pay--and the fact that I will be helping people and I will be busy.

    Lately, I have begun to have some doubts. Frankly, I don't know if I have the stomach for it. Will I be grossed out by procedures, and make the patients uncomfortable.

    Maybe it's just the changes I'm going through. change is never easy.

    What does anyone advise/think?

    I read all the replies and oh so true. I have been a nurse for 11 years and the others have just skimmed the top. I didn't start out as a CNA but I sure wish I had. I would have gone through school knowing a bit more.
    CNA training should be a requiremnet for ALL nurses. I too know nurses who are afraid to work and touch patients. It's sad and most frustrating and madning to work with nurses like that. If it were not for aides our job would be true #@^^. CNA training I believe would be the smart thing for you to do. Think about it.

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