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wish_me_luck 20,887 Views

Joined: Sep 11, '11; Posts: 1,282 (41% Liked) ; Likes: 1,285
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  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from Susan1012
    Thank you lynda, apology accepted. Would you say then, that you regret your choice to become a nurse? Do you see any possibility of things improving, or things that you could differently? Would you advise all new students to look at a different career? I am asking this in all honesty, not facetiously.

    You just had to ask. To answer your questions, I have regretted every minute of it. Why? Because it was not my decision to go to nursing school. Way back when, when I was just a tot, my dad decided I was gonna go to school to be a nurse. Back in those days, we did as we were told with no questions nor blinks of the eye. So, I applied, was accepted, and extremely giddy when my white uniform and blue-striped pinafore arrived. Boy, was I excited.....I was about to become a nurse!!!. Nursing school, as difficult as it was, was a non-issue because the clinicals provided all the joys a student nurse could hope to experience. We learned so much and did a lot, but most of all, we actually LOOKED like real nurses with our caps, white support hose, and snow-white shoes. Even the patients, each and every last one of them, we're WONDERFUL and more importantly, APPRECIATIVE! Life was good, shifts were short (8 hours), and I thought for the first time, my dad was actually on to something with career choice for his ONLY daughter.

    Fast forward to today: Reverse everything I just said!. Nurses are crying on the regular because of mean and demanding patients AND their families. Doctors are chopping you off at the knees in their appearance to side with those who are paying them (the patients), co-workers are hanging you out to dry in an effort to make life easier for them for the next twelve hours, managers are smiling in your face and nodding in agreement at your concerns while they, behind the scenes, label you as a non-team player, etc. I will let you use your imagination to add to the list as I'm sure whatever you could possibly come up with, applies.

    I'm still in nursing because it was NOTHING like this when I entered the field. So I've had time to adjust to all of the negative changes, beliefs, and attitudes. New nurses are thrown into a boiling pot and expected to float to the surface with no burns. A few years ago, there was a study done about why new grads leave the field within five years of licensure. I'm sure if you google it, you will find the article. There are even many posts on is site where new grads are saying, "this is not how it was in nursing school", or "I didn't know it would be like this", or something similar.

    I think you get the gist of what I'm saying. One of our guides have a label at the bottom of his/her post. That label says, "A Proud Member of the Crusty Old Bat Society". Although I'm not very old, I have been in nursing as an LPN, RN, and current pursuit of the BSN for a grand total of 27 years and counting and I dare say I've earned my spot in that COB Society not because I love nursing but because I endured its changes well enough to be able to say no to the patients who REALLY don't want to hear it when that is exactly what they need at the time as opposed to breaking down in tears on the job because of being pulled in more directions than you can possible imagine. Being called a crusty old bat is like being crowned with a tiara in comparison to some of the many names that you WILL be called if you stand your ground and DO your job when the patients start the manipulation game.

    Finally, NO! If asked for my honest opinion about going into nursing, I would not recommend it. My daughter failed nursing school and I was extremely happy about that. I talked my son into going and was ever-so-grateful when he listened as I told him I was mistaken. I want more and better for my kids than an opportunity to be treated with such a profound lack of respect when we know that we are doing our very best to care for others using a system that I feel has utterly failed its members.

    No matter what your decision is for being or wanting to become a nurse, you will NEVER be able to say, "nobody told me it would be like this". You, Susan1012, have just heard it from LYNDAA!

    (I know there are others with opposite views. I also know that I'm not the ONLY one with my take on it.)

  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from thenursemandy
    This was good for you to read. You need to prepare yourself early on. Make friends with people that work where u want to work. Learn about the area you're interested in. Try to be top of your class.
    Making friends is good advice. Being in the top of the class, not so much. I feel I invested way too much effort in school on getting top grades and not nearly enough on cultivating relationships and starring in my clinical rotations.

  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from Marisette
    OP, your post is very interesting. What's with all the degrees and no jobs. I wonder if the no job situation is related to the economy, degrees that don't train us to meet the demand for jobs in the market, or over saturation of students entering nursing or the medical field? I have the BSN and nursing experience, but I have not been able to change my nursing specialty. Employers are looking for experienced nurses in the specific specialty. I've had my BSN most of my nursing career, and one interviewer asked me if I did anything to further my education. Well Yes, I do complete my ceu's, attend inservices... But no, I did not pursue a masters nor am I interested in studying to be a nurse practitioner. Sorry, no certifications, either. Certifications are just becoming the trend in my state. So how much education is an RN supposed to have these days? Now the BSN is not enough. It may help, but it's no ticket to employment. I know nursing has "fast tract" nursing education leading to BSN, or MSN. Are these programs contributing to over saturation in the nursing field? It's possible that employers have found ways to limit the need for RN's. They understaff or hire one nurse and ask the nurse to be the delegator for several ancillary health care employees. I don't know the answers, but your post is an eye opener for me.

    Who wants to spend the money and invest the time to get an MSN to work at the bedside?

  • Jul 28 '13

    Pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from Susan1012
    I am a newbie. Like I said in a previous post, I am at the wiggly puppy stage; just about to embark on my schooling as a nurse. I have been drawn to this forum lately and have been reading like a sponge (okay, finishing statistics is boring too...), but the stories I am reading are amazing. Struggles to get in, to find a job, to keep a job, to balance all that life throws at everyone here. I can't help to think how proud (and daunted) I am to join this unique group of individuals. I am humbled to think of what you all have done to make it through and to make it work. I can't wait to get started.

    Congratulations on passing your very first stage of nursing! I hope you have someone who can record your excitement at this moment

    Good luck to you!

  • Jul 28 '13

    Proud? Of myself? No - while I felt a certain amount of pride of accomplishment when I earned my CNA certification, and having made the cut for LVN, I'm not too terribly proud of that - I've done better.

    Of my co-workers? Some; perhaps most. The majority of them do a stunning job taking care of the residents under arduous conditions - a few I'm genuinely ashamed to share a species with them.

    Of my residents? Always - even when they'd like to stick me through a wall, I'm always proud of them. Especially the ones who try to function despite the continued failing of their bodies; especially the ones with dementia who fight so hard for normalcy when everything is stacked against them.

    The very best of luck to you, Susan1012 - I hope you enjoy your journey through the world of nursing. Peace.

    ----- Dave

  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from mmcc26
    All these people who go into nursing for money or job stability will absolutely hate their choice with the 12 hour shifts, or the dirty aspects of the job.
    Strong words... but ignorant.

    I am in nursing primarily for money and job stability. I have no calling nor passion for the job. In my mid-40's I found myself looking for a career which offered much more stability than the one I was in and chose nursing.

    Four years in and I still have no calling nor passion for the job. It is... only my job. That said, I won't be leaving for at least another 20 years so my position won't open up for you.

  • Jul 28 '13

    Just because jobs are listed...does not mean they are actually hiring. Many hospitals are "actively interviewing" but have hiring freezes in place. Yes .....there is a "NEED" for experienced nurses ...however the does NOT mean there is a shortage of nurses over all......and yes there is something to say for location.

  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from wish_me_luck
    I think a touch of my negativity comes from nursing becoming a dime a dozen profession. I think would have had more pride if it was special...if it was a profession not many did or could do. But, that is not the case. Everyone and their grandma is becoming a nurse, now. It's not anything special. It's a job.
    But only the tough survive.

  • Jul 28 '13

    Quote from Smiley06
    And to say that you are negative about the job because because more people are becoming a nurse is crazy! Jealous much?!
    It has nothing to do with jealousy, although I am not the one who originally made the comment about so many people getting into the nursing profession.

    Working conditions, pay, and general prestige decrease when too many people flood into one career pathway. For example, too many people have become attorneys in the past 10 years. Now we have masses of young lawyers with $100k in student loan debt are unemployed. The ones who land jobs contend with crappy wages and slavish working conditions.

    Being a lawyer used to carry prestige and the guarantee of financial security, but those days are long gone due to so many people graduating from tier 3 and tier 4 law schools.

    Nursing has been undergoing a similar transformation since the financial meltdown of 2008. Many people lost their jobs, became unemployed overnight, and jumped onto the nursing bandwagon because they heard that there was a 'nursing shortage' and that nursing is a 'recession-proof' career.

    Now that we have a glut of people in nursing, wage deflation is a reality, new grad nursing unemployment exceeds 40 percent in some states, working conditions for experienced nurses are eroding, and other bad things are happening.

    It has nothing to do with jealousy, at least for me. Your success does not diminish mine. However, there is the concept of too much of a good thing.

  • Jul 28 '13

    I'm not swelling with pride or anything like that. However, I am fortunate to be a nurse. After having worked in the fast food industry, low end retail, the grocery business, and other menial jobs, I am thankful for the income, flexibility and work/life balance that nursing bestows upon me.

    I've posted about this issue previously, but I'll post again. As a bedside nurse, it is the explosive families, visitors and external 'customers' that make my job overwhelmingly hard.

    For instance, the customer who harasses the pilot on a major airline will be forced by the air marshal to exit the airplane. The customer who takes cell phone pictures of the cashiers at McDonald's will be asked to leave by the manager, especially if this person is getting into peoples' personal space.

    However, hospital management wants nurses to accept the public's disgusting behaviors because our so-called 'customers' are stressed. They want us to kiss up to abusive families and coddle threatening visitors because peoples' coping skills supposedly disappear when loved ones are ill.

    I personally think workers in other occupations get a great deal more respect from society than your average bedside nurse.

    I wouldn't ever dream of showing up to another person's workplace to tell him/her how to do the job, hover over the staff all day, and make threats when people aren't moving fast enough for me. This appalling level of personal disrespect is shown to bedside nurses on an almost daily basis and it makes me mentally sick.

  • Jul 27 '13

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    Hello, I'm a 25 yr old male, soon to be 26, currently a project coordinator with a large financial institution, and I am considering switching to the medical field and pursuing nursing. I would like to become a nurse anesthetist, and in the mean time learn and grow as an ICU/ER RN. My current job is simply too boring. The business end does nothing for me, and I feel I am tied to a desk all day. I love helping others, and get great gratification out of this. However, I do have my concerns which I will list below.

    *To those who are thinking they see this all the time and this thread is pointless, it's my understanding that the field is constantly changing and I am seeking advice from those who are aware, not those with an ungrounded opinion*

    Is the field becoming overpopulated? Will I have issue finding something? Is 26 too old to begin a new career in this?
    In my area nursing IS overpopulated and new grads are having an incredibly hard time finding something. Especially new grads who say that their goal is to be a CRNA... no one is going to want to take on someone who they know will be leaving in a year or two, especially not in this job market where there are dozens of nurses for every open job.

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    Is it worth the hard work and dedication to studying? I will be broke, and very busy, from now until I land an RN job...
    Only you can decide if it will be worth it. If you want to be a nurse, it's worth it. If you are just looking for a career that you think will be recession proof and give you a decent salary, it probably won't be.

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    Are there any benefits to being a male in this profession? Will I catch a lot of crap from females?
    I don't think being male alone will bring you any benefits. You may encounter many patients who will refuse a male nurse... and the majority of the time this request will be accommodated. I don't think you'll "catch a lot of crap" from your female coworkers solely because you are a man but you will be around a lot of estrogen. Sometimes when you work closely enough with other women, your periods sync up... this is called "menstrual synchrony"... my whole weekend group when I worked in the hospital experienced this. Some of our male colleagues found it to be a rather unpleasant weekend to work if it was our time of the month.

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    How is the stress factor? I heard the reason there are tons of out of shape nurses is because they wear themselves out at work and have no energy when their shift is over.
    Who says there are "tons of out of shape nurses"? If you wake up at 5am, leave your house at 6am, spend your day running up and down the halls without so much as a pee break and don't get home until 9pm, when do you imagine going to the gym?

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    How is the pay? I've heard decent, however I've also heard starting off it can be rather disappointing.
    This largely depends on your geographic location. In my area, the starting salary is around $26-$30/hr but new grads are also largely unemployed up here.

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    I understand becoming a CRNA is like going through med school for nurses, and this excites me as I know I am an intelligent person. I am anxiously looking forward to the challenge. With that said, is this a realistic goal?
    CRNA school is not "medical school for nurses". Everyone and their mother wants to get into nursing nowadays to become a CRNA. Few nurses will ever become CRNAs.

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    Esme12 you make it sound pretty rough. I know it won't be easy, so I appreciate your words of wisdom. Wouldn't CNAs do more menial tasks? I want to be in an ICU/ER, so hopefully the tasks won't be too insignificant : )
    1. Many ICUs do not employ CNAs. If nurse only have 1-2 patients each they are expected to do full patient care.
    2. What do you mean by "menial" and "insignificant" tasks? ICU patients poop and pee and vomit too and as a nurse, you would not be above cleaning them. And actually, ICU patients are probably more likely to be total care, especially if they are vented/sedated. Those patients aren't going to be ambulating or using the bathroom.
    3. Getting a job in an ICU or an ER right out of nursing school is extremely difficult. You may have to take whatever you can get as a new grad... and that may be LTC or Med/Surg.

  • Jul 27 '13

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    Esme12 you make it sound pretty rough. I know it won't be easy, so I appreciate your words of wisdom. Wouldn't CNAs do more menial tasks? I want to be in an ICU/ER, so hopefully the tasks won't be too insignificant : )
    You are going to be a nurse. If you think you are going to have a CNA to act as your handmaiden you may be surprised.Nurses provide patient care. As another poster pointed out, a lot of ICUs have no CNAs and you will responsible for all aspects of care. ER nurses also have to deal with bodily fluids.

    There is nothing "menial" or insignificant" about taking care of your patients needs. If your patient is covered in liquid stool you will not getting someone else to do the clean up, being in the ICU or the ER won't change that.

  • Jul 27 '13

    Quote from RjSmithTec
    Esme12 you make it sound pretty rough. I know it won't be easy, so I appreciate your words of wisdom. Wouldn't CNAs do more menial tasks? I want to be in an ICU/ER, so hopefully the tasks won't be too insignificant : )
    Menial? Insignificant?


  • Jul 27 '13

    When I see people wanting to become CRNAs, it usually is about the money. Do you know what they do and the sheer amount of responsibility they have? CRNA schools are extremely competitive with most wanting at least three to five years in ICU. In addition, many nurse managers won't look at new grads in the icu and suggest a year or two of experience in med-surg. If you are willing to spend at least seven years of your life to become a crna, then by all means go for it. But the new grad nursing market is extremely flooded so expect it to take even longer to achieve your goal.

    And I also want to add that CRNA school is not like "medical school for nurses." Not in the slightest. I don't mean to be rude, but it seems you could seriously benefit from more research before dedicating yourself to this endeavor.

    Good luck.