I just read a short article from Nursing 2006 "Career Choices" from Money Magazine and the RN ranked #47th on the list of 50 best professions. #1 Physician assistants #2 was Software Engineer, #3 physical therapy assistant.
The reason RN came in towards the end was grade ratings:
Personally, I am not sure I would have gone down this road many years ago. What I perceived nursing to be like in the 60's and 70's was what I based my path to go on. Healthcare has changed a great deal.
The money is good, job security for bed side nursing is great and the benefits, basically caring for patients is wonderful. BUT with the now popular 12 hour shifts and the pressure to get patients in and out as fast as one humanly can, it is VERY stressful. I do most of the clerical stuff, call the doctors, its like a one man show, not like back in the good old days where the charge nurse new what was up with all the patients in your unit, noted orders, called the doctor etc.
My life is up at 4 AM, leave at 5 AM and back home at 8 PM 3 -4 days a week. Then the next day I can barely move and stay in bed recupping. I am grateful my children all out of the nest. I have no idea how working parents have the energy to deal with children with this type of work cycles. My hat is off to those that can!!!
That is wonderful you can shadow a nurse, I don't understand how. But as a "guest" you really don't have the full responsibility and might not see the real picture. Don't know!!!
Some departments are better than others and with nursing school
hopefully you can do rotations and find what you like if you get the opportunity to be able to select.
I wish you well, lots of pros and cons.