Being told a nursing career is a pipe dream

  1. Okay, so I have a few obstacles. I'm 43, hate math, and have to work full time. I've had sedentary jobs for twenty years and though I'm not overweight or have any known problems, I'm not in the best shape. I have anxiety issues and was treated for depression twelve years ago, but only because I had several reasons for being depressed. I have worked so hard on myself! I took a basic math class, I've had counseling, took antidepressants for half a year, took a whole semester of General Psychology so I could understand myself...resolved past issues...I took myself apart like an engine, cleaned everything and put it all back....see...good as new! I don't look at all of this as permanent barriers...but most of my family and friends do...they won't let me live any of this down. Plus, they say it's too hard to get into a program. I'm guessing I'm just going to have to show them I can do it...but I was wondering if anyone else has obstacle-busting they'd like to share so I know I'm not alone?
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    About heartbeep

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 47; Likes: 11
    Administrative Assistant; from US


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Go for it and prove them wrong. Only YOU can make this decision.
  4. by   mustbecrazy
    This sounds like a classic case of others not wanting you to try because you just might succeed, and if you do succeed, you will make them feel worse about themselves and the fact that they are not trying to better themselves in any way....

    If you don't try now, you will regret it later, plug your ears (and nose!) and jump in to nursing.

    Good Luck!
  5. by   heartbeep
    Thank you Trauma! -You're right.

    You have a good point, Mustbecrazy...I've never thought of that....thank you!!
  6. by   SoundofMusic
    Ha. I could have written your post. I graduated from nursing school at 44, and now have been working in it for about 2 years. I was also a bit pudgy, but just couldn't stand the thought of working in a cubicle anymore, so I went into nursing. I also had experienced a few bouts of depression before I got into nursing -- and to that, I say -- well, SORRY -- I'm a WOMAN -- and we gals sometimes have a lot to deal with.

    Now the past experiences only make me a better nurse. I can relate to patients! Wow!

    Don't let ANYBODY put you down, or discourage you. Just show up -- do what you can to get into school and just do it. Don't waste time or energy wondering, or doubting, or second guessing. Just do it and before you know it, you'll be taking the NCLEX. Learn boundaries.
  7. by   heartbeep
    Well you do sound a lot like me, SoundofMusic, and by the way...I love that movie and I am also a musician. How did you know about all the the wondering, doubting, and second-guessing? You're absolutely right...I've been doing that for years; volunteering and then pulling out of the program, entering CNA class and then dropping it, buying flashcards and then letting them gather dust...and all the while I can't stop smothering all of my friends and family and watching Discovery Health, ER, and Gray's Anatomy. I, like you, have been through a lot and haven't met too many people I can't relate to or even help as a layman. My most satisfying job in my career was my first job at a retirement home when I was 16. I never want to stare at another desk with a phone and a stapler on it from 9 to 5 and wonder who I could have helped that day, besides a company's bottom line or helping them earn a trip to Hawaii! Thank you for that shot in the arm...uh, no pun intended... I'm glad you made it through!
  8. by   rdsxfnrn
    I guess it boils down to what you are willing to accept from "these people". If these same people were telling you that you are the QUEEN of England, you would not accept that, correct? It is not true and you know it. So why accept whatever else they say................? Its up TO YOU to decide, not them! I graduated from nsg school at 45, SO GO FOR IT!
  9. by   heartbeep
    Right, you don't have to wear the labels people give you. My mom, who worked as a CNA in ER and trauma in the early 70's thinks she's saving me from be traumatized. She is a lot more affected by things than I am; I have the ability to numb myself a bit. Not to say I won't be traumatized sometimes, at least during school, but I can't let that rob me of the rest of it. When I worked in that retirement home at 16 one of my favorite residents committed suicide and we all saw him being worked on by EMTs...I ran from health care as far as I could until now.
  10. by   mustbecrazy
    I really hope that you give yourself a chance to go to school and succeed. I am 42 now and will be starting nursing school in about 7 weeks, I figure I will be one of the oldest in my classes, but I just know I have to try this. I am scared to death and wondering what I have gotten myself into, but I have a ton of life experience behind me and honestly, sometimes you just have to suck it up, face the fear and try. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

    good luck.
  11. by   heartbeep
    I love that, Mustbecrazy....

    I feel the exact same I'm going to be older (heck, I was in the CNA class, why not?) and I have to try this because I can't stop coming back to the idea, and I keep seeing myself in nursing school wondering what have I done?? lol Good to know I'm not the only one. You've done so well; you got to the front door and that was more than half the battle! Your life experience is going to give you the advantage over the younger classmates when you all start dealing with actual patients. Congratulations and I know you're going to be great!!
  12. by   all_over_again
    A pipe dream? Hardly. I never found the coursework very difficult. But... And its a big one... Nursing was the most emotionally draining experience of my life. I have four children and have been widowed and it was being a nurse that just about killed me. And you solved all your issues after one semester of general psychology? Are you sure? I only ask because you shouldn't be so concerned about other peoples' assessments of your abilities if you had really worked things out.

    Playing Devil's Advocate, obviously.

  13. by   heartbeep
    I appreciate that, AllOverAgain...It's important to have someone play the devil's advocate, it brings out the raw truth.

    First of all, I am so very sorry about your heart-breaking loss. I am also sorry that your nursing experience was not a good one, and I admire you for raising your four children essentially alone; my little sister is also raising for children alone after their father died. Those three things must have really taken their toll, bless your heart, and I wish you healing and peace.

    Good question, and the answer is no; not in one semester; my process actually took ten years total. I am still working at some of it, including feelings of inadequacy, which you have astutely picked up on! That's my one remaining struggle, and yes, I am hoping that achieving skills through nursing will give me some of that confidence back. Thank you again and I wish you all the best.
  14. by   rn-jane
    If you have the desire the "@$%% with everyone and just "do it"! Look 14 years ago when I told my family I wanted to be a nurse I was laughed at by my family, dh's family but I had the desire and a supportive husband that said "Go for it" I was a bit younger 34 but lived as a sahm and lived moderatley in ease. I now am working on my masters, we would not be able to afford the lifestyle we have now, we own a horsebreeding farm. Dh has been laid off a few times and you know I really don't know how we would have survived without my nursing job. Dh's family always complained of me not working and raising the kids and thought i should get a waitress job. Last year I cleared 0ver $70,000 with overtime(we get paid double time) I certainly could not have done that with a job at dennnys. Don't let anyone tell you it's a pipe dream, they are envious or maybe scared you will leave your sedentary job. Just do it! It won't be easy but it can be done!