i had a degree in accounting and worked as a bookkeeper before making the decision to change to nursing. my mother went to nursing school shortly before i did and i think that helped me make my decision. i found that i hated working in an office. i liked the accounting work, but i felt like i wasn't doing anything useful. i thought that some of the things that the supervising accountants would get excited over were kind of ridiculous. i've learned since that accountants had a very high rate of ulcers (at that time) and many are type a personalities. i went into nursing knowing absolutely nothing about what it was like to be a nurse, other than what i heard my mother talk about. one thing i did know, however, was that i would be doing something that would affect others and be helpful. i've always been a spiritual person (read that as not religious) who learned to meditate and was learning about my "higher self", universal laws and what the meaning of "service to others" was. nursing is one of those professions where you are in service to others. most of the time you don't need all the thank yous and rewards because something within you pushes you into it. all the time you are affecting the lives of the people you come into professional contact with in ways that you often never know.
my spirit guides, god, or fate. . .whatever you want to call it, let me know that i was making a difference when i had reached a point in my nursing career when i thought i was working so hard at it with no reward, and i don't mean financial reward since nurses make good a really good wage, that i was considering quitting. a young girl came up to me in a store to say "thank you". at first, i didn't remember who she was. it turns out that on a very busy night a few years earlier i had been the nurse caring for her in the icu (where i had been floated for that shift--i hated having to work in icu) and she had just tried to commit suicide after her boyfriend dumped her. how well i recalled forcing myself to tell this distraught young person how time would change her perspective and how i maintained a professional demeanor around her although i have very strong feelings about people who attempt suicide. and, then, there she was a couple years later thanking me over and over again for being so nice to her on "that night". i cried for days after that and still do when i remember it. it was my "kick in the pants" to remind me of why i had gone into nursing in the first place--to make a difference in people's lives. not many nurses get that opportunity to experience or know the results of their efforts. i was just lucky, or maybe just a brat that needed taking down a peg or two. this chance meeting with this ex-patient, however, confirmed that i had indeed chosen the right work although i might not have always been happy at it.
my career in nursing has been so superior in many ways to what it would have been as an accountant. even though you are helping others, and sometimes you have to really stretch to find the "helping" part (!) it also is feeding your own emotional, spiritual and psychological needs.
as for being able to do the actual studying and learning of nursing, i looked at it this way. . .if thousands before me were able to go to school and become nurses, why couldn't i? i certainly wasn't dumb. i was a fair student. there is nothing secretive about learning and studying. they are skills. it will also be helpful that you have friends who are already in the profession so you have three sources to go to when you have questions or need advice. today, with the internet, you have so many supplemental resources to go to as well. i didn't have that 32 years ago when i was in nursing school. i hang out mostly on the nursing student forums. there are so many helpful weblinks posted there for students. in my free time i search for more websites for nursing students. i currently have 8 pages of anatomy links in a word file that i really need to sort through to see if all of them are still active. i do this because i was once in your position, nervous about going to nursing school and wondering if i could make it through. if you want this, you can do it.
- "ten questions to ask yourself" about nursing and if it might be right for you
- this is a career worksheet put together by college board.com (the people who write the sat and clep tests!). this is for those of you who aren't quite sure that nursing is for you and something you can do to help you make that decision.
- "before you decide to become a nurse". things to consider about being a nurse. lots of links to information about what skills you need to become a nurse. and, what if you're really bad at math and science is discussed.
- "nursing is not for everyone". this is a very down to earth and honest article that broadly discusses what a nurse does and what you can expect on the job as a nurse.
- about registered nursing from the u.s. department of labor
the nursing student forums on allnurses http://allnurses.com/forums/f196/
- a very nice information page from the association of women's health, obstetric and neonatal nurses on being a nurse, salary you can expect to make, types of nursing degrees, nursing specialties with weblinks to some of the major professional nursing organizations, the nurse reinvestment act, and some information and how to search for scholarships
and financial aid.
- strategies for success, an online primer and tutorial on how to study for students from the alamo community college. this is a pretty extensive resource with links on the right side of the page to click into the following subjects: learning styles, note taking, memory techniques, time management, overcoming procrastination, sq3r (a method for getting the most out of reading your textbooks), study tips, critical thinking, preparing for tests, and oral presentations. also, take a look at the faq's (frequently asked questions).
- this is a study skill checklist for you to go through and inventory your study habits from virginia polytechnic institute and state university. at the bottom of the form is the link to "study skills self-help information" which is all kinds of information to help you with areas you were weak on in the checklist. if you want to bypass the checklist and just go into the information section, go to this link http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html