Considering Becoming an RN

  1. 0 Hello!

    First post here. I'm going to be giving you all a lot of information here. I have read tons of threads on this board to help me make a decision, but I figured I would try and get some advice tailored towards my individual situation. I'm a 26 year old male who is considering nursing as a career. As of right now I work at a local department store in Illinois. I know I don't want to work retail my whole life, but I have never really known what exactly I want to do with my life. Well, that's not actually true. I'm an actor and that is probably my one and only "passion", but I know I will make a poor living pursuing that as a full-time career. I want to find a career where I can make a comfortable living. I've considered nursing because of the following:

    1. I like helping others.
    2. At the end of each day, I could go home knowing I made a difference in peoples' lives.
    3. I could work 3 12-hour shifts a week, giving me 4 days a week to enjoy acting as a hobby.

    Here are a few things that have been holding me back:

    1. Worried about catching diseases. I must admit, the horror stories I have gathered from these forums, as rare as they may be, tend to freak me out a bit.
    2. I am an introvert. I am not very talkative. I pretty much only say something when I have something important to say. I'm not much for small talk. With retail I am very kind and friendly with guests. I help them find what they need and go all out to make sure they leave satisfied, but I can't really keep a conversation going with fellow employees or anything like that. I'm worried this will affect my performance as a nurse.
    3. I'm not really passionate for nursing itself. Just helping others. I see many of you say that you have wanted to be a nurse for as long as you can remember. That is not the case with me. I only want to be a nurse because of the 3 reasons I listed above.
    4. Getting sued. I'm not sure how often it happens, but that's always something to worry about.

    For the past 5 months or so, I've been spending almost all of my free time trying to figure out what career would be best for me. So far, nursing seems to be the best match. Although, as you can see, I still have doubts. Any and all advice is appreciated.

    Thank you gals and guys!

    - Jim
  2. Poll: Should I become an RN?

  3. Visit  JimboWalls profile page

    About JimboWalls

    Joined Mar '13; Posts: 5.

    24 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    2
    Welcome to Allnurses.com!

    I'm introverted, yet I've been a bedside nurse for seven years. Many competent nurses are introverts, and some patients want a nurse who is more of a listener than a constant talker.

    I also never had a burning desire to become a nurse. In fact, I did not even consider nursing until the age of 19. My childhood dream was to become a novelist and writer, but making a professional career out of that would involve risk and perhaps some starving. I work as a nurse for practical reasons such as the flexible schedule and the ability to find a sense of purpose in the work I do. Nursing is not some majestic 'higher calling' for me; rather, it is a means to an end.

    Nurses can be sued individually, and on occasion nurses are sued. However, lawsuits are far more likely to be filed against physicians (read: deep pockets) and healthcare facilities (read: deeper pockets). A nurse's malpractice insurance premium runs about $100 per year, while the doctor pays tens of thousands of dollars in premiums. The doctor pays more because he/she is more likely to be sued than the nurse.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make!
    TopazLover and poppycat like this.
  5. Visit  wish_me_luck profile page
    2
    I will be honest. I voted don't do it. The reasons you cited for doing it are not enough and the 3 12 hour shifts reason is somewhat off. Yes, nurses generally work 3 12 hour shifts; however, it can be tiring. When I teched, we worked 3 12 hour shifts and the other 4 days, I spent time recuperating from the long hours.

    If you have no passion or interest in nursing, it may miserable for you. Plus, there's loans and nursing jobs are not as plentiful as media outlets make it sound.

    You also have more cons than pros. Just pointing that out...whatever you decide, good luck.
    loriangel14 and poppycat like this.
  6. Visit  uRNmyway profile page
    1
    Quote from JimboWalls
    Hello!

    First post here. I'm going to be giving you all a lot of information here. I have read tons of threads on this board to help me make a decision, but I figured I would try and get some advice tailored towards my individual situation. I'm a 26 year old male who is considering nursing as a career. As of right now I work at a local department store in Illinois. I know I don't want to work retail my whole life, but I have never really known what exactly I want to do with my life. Well, that's not actually true. I'm an actor and that is probably my one and only "passion", but I know I will make a poor living pursuing that as a full-time career. I want to find a career where I can make a comfortable living. I've considered nursing because of the following:

    1. I like helping others.
    2. At the end of each day, I could go home knowing I made a difference in peoples' lives.
    3. I could work 3 12-hour shifts a week, giving me 4 days a week to enjoy acting as a hobby.

    Here are a few things that have been holding me back:

    1. Worried about catching diseases. I must admit, the horror stories I have gathered from these forums, as rare as they may be, tend to freak me out a bit.
    2. I am an introvert. I am not very talkative. I pretty much only say something when I have something important to say. I'm not much for small talk. With retail I am very kind and friendly with guests. I help them find what they need and go all out to make sure they leave satisfied, but I can't really keep a conversation going with fellow employees or anything like that. I'm worried this will affect my performance as a nurse.
    3. I'm not really passionate for nursing itself. Just helping others. I see many of you say that you have wanted to be a nurse for as long as you can remember. That is not the case with me. I only want to be a nurse because of the 3 reasons I listed above.
    4. Getting sued. I'm not sure how often it happens, but that's always something to worry about.

    For the past 5 months or so, I've been spending almost all of my free time trying to figure out what career would be best for me. So far, nursing seems to be the best match. Although, as you can see, I still have doubts. Any and all advice is appreciated.

    Thank you gals and guys!

    - Jim
    To be honest, if you have no passion for nursing and want to do it for a stable job and income, I dont think you have been paying much attention here on AN. There is no nurse shortage. Experienced nurses are having difficulty finding work, and new grads are often desperate. You might have more job security as an actor at this point lol.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  7. Visit  JimboWalls profile page
    0
    Quote from wish_me_luck
    I will be honest. I voted don't do it. The reasons you cited for doing it are not enough and the 3 12 hour shifts reason is somewhat off. Yes, nurses generally work 3 12 hour shifts; however, it can be tiring. When I teched, we worked 3 12 hour shifts and the other 4 days, I spent time recuperating from the long hours.

    If you have no passion or interest in nursing, it may miserable for you. Plus, there's loans and nursing jobs are not as plentiful as media outlets make it sound.

    You also have more cons than pros. Just pointing that out...whatever you decide, good luck.
    If I were to list pros and cons for any job, I am positive there would always be more cons. Even with acting. But since not working isn't an option, I need to pick something. I am having an extremely hard time doing so. I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent the past 5 months of my free time trying to figure out what career is right for me. I literally have just sat in front of the computer doing research and have had no luck thus far. Nursing has come closest. Really, I don't know where to go from here if not nursing. I research other careers and just get frustrated, because I have no interest in them and can't see myself doing those jobs all my life. Nursing on the other hand, doesn't feel that way. That's because I would love to help others for a living. I feel like I could fight through all the stress of each if I just remind myself when I get home that I am doing a good thing. The option for 3 day work weeks is also a huge attraction for me. The idea of spending the majority of my years at work sickens me. As a nurse, I would be able to spend the majority of my days outside of work. But you make it sound like those days are essentially just recuperation days, so that's something I will have to think about.
  8. Visit  JimboWalls profile page
    0
    Quote from Jeweles26
    To be honest, if you have no passion for nursing and want to do it for a stable job and income, I dont think you have been paying much attention here on AN. There is no nurse shortage. Experienced nurses are having difficulty finding work, and new grads are often desperate. You might have more job security as an actor at this point lol.
    I am not doing it for the job security. Income is definitely a factor though. But honestly, I would be comfortable on less than the average salary. $45K is probably all I really need. And when I look at jobs with that salary or higher, the one that most attracts me is nursing.
  9. Visit  Tait profile page
    0
  10. Visit  pmabraham profile page
    0
    Hi Jim:

    Nursing salary varies from location to location. I've seen as low as $15.00 per hour ($31,200 / year) on up; this was for AD RN's with at least one year experience. Also, some geographic areas are saturated with nurses looking for jobs.

    Only you and God know your motivations. If it is just the money, then it like any other job would get old.

    I do believe on can gain passion in the walk through prayer. I also believe being an introvert has benefits as one tends to listen more than one talks.

    You can get any illness or disease at home as easy as a hospital. Unfortunately, in the U.S. you can get sued for anything no matter what you do. So I would not let either of these be a reason.

    Thank you.
  11. Visit  kaydensmom01 profile page
    0
    I had no passion for nursing, and honestly just chose it over teaching due to the schedule and income. Now that I am in nursing I love it, but it did take time. I'm glad that others just knew what they wanted to do, but I didn't so I came upon it in my own way. Won't make me any less of a nurse either!
  12. Visit  JimboWalls profile page
    0
    Quote from pmabraham
    Hi Jim:

    Nursing salary varies from location to location. I've seen as low as $15.00 per hour ($31,200 / year) on up; this was for AD RN's with at least one year experience. Also, some geographic areas are saturated with nurses looking for jobs.

    Only you and God know your motivations. If it is just the money, then it like any other job would get old.

    I do believe on can gain passion in the walk through prayer. I also believe being an introvert has benefits as one tends to listen more than one talks.

    You can get any illness or disease at home as easy as a hospital. Unfortunately, in the U.S. you can get sued for anything no matter what you do. So I would not let either of these be a reason.

    Thank you.
    I can assure you I would not be doing it for the money. I would mainly be doing it for the 4 days off a week, and also because I am the kind of person who needs to have a job I can be proud of. Even though I didn't grow up with a passion for nursing, knowing that I am helping others would help me to sleep well at night (or day, since this is nursing we're talking about).
  13. Visit  mclennan profile page
    2
    Nursing is not the sure thing it once was. You cannot predict the future; you seem to think you will absolutely, positively land a job that guarantees 3 12 hour shifts, and these days that doesn't always happen. And, I'd suggest you shadow a busy nurse on a med surg floor for 12 hours so you have an understanding just how long 12 hours really is. You pull 3 of those in a row (with no lunch, holding your bladder and under the gun to finish charting with no OT) and you might reconsider.

    Also: http://m.washingtonpost.com/national...b9d_story.html

    I'm in Public Health Nursing and Case Management and work M-F, 9-5. I went this direction for many reasons, mostly because I tried floor nursing for 3 12's and saw waaaaay too many nurses burnt out, physically destroyed, unhappy, bitter and mistreated by money hungry hospital management. I ran the other way and have a desk job where my patient contact is minimal. I manage and coordinate care for post-op patients and arrange their treatment, working with them, their families, their docs, and all kinds of entities like medical equipment companies, home health agencies, specialists, etc. It pays well, I'm not lifting and running and holding my bladder, I help people, have a great team and cool boss. But it took me 4 years of BSN, and 6 years in the trenches to get here. It has not been easy, and now I'm also in full time school for my Master's because that's what nurses my age in this specialty are pretty much expected to do. So once again, full time work and no life, no free time, because that's how you stay competitive in any business.

    Two things: the "majority of your life" WILL be spent at work, you better realize that RIGHT NOW. Unless you are born into money or win the lottery - sorry Charlie, you will spend most of your time working. That's life. 5 8s or 3 12s, doesn't matter. 30-50 hours a week of work is standard for most in the real world. And usually doing something you might be good at or like, but rarely something you truly love. That is the REALITY. Don't let the rainbow-pooping unicorns tell you different.

    Also, remember you're not just gonna snap your fingers and have a 3 12s nursing job. Most companies are requiring BSN so let's see: you're 26. You get on a BSN program waiting list that's 1 to 3 years long. Then 4 years of hellish stress, and crushing debt after graduation. Then you will probably work in a nursing home or HH, where most new grads are only able to find work and get experience, for a year or two. Then MAYBE a hospital will hire you to a floor job. And because you'd be new, your schedule might be 4 12s and rotating weekends, or night shift every other night. You'll eat that misery for another year or two until you finally have enough experience and seniority to get that coveted 3 12s you seem to think all nurses just land after school. So you will be around 35 years old and already crispy around the edges, your back and feet shot, by the time you have the degree and experience to have what you dream of.

    Sorry to bring the anvil of reality down on you so hard but someone had to say it. If you want to help people and have stable income, go into dentistry, or find another vocation and volunteer in your spare time. Unless what I described above is something you're able to commit to 100% and sounds like your dream come true.
    sbostonRN and uRNmyway like this.
  14. Visit  uRNmyway profile page
    1
    Quote from JimboWalls
    I can assure you I would not be doing it for the money. I would mainly be doing it for the 4 days off a week, and also because I am the kind of person who needs to have a job I can be proud of. Even though I didn't grow up with a passion for nursing, knowing that I am helping others would help me to sleep well at night (or day, since this is nursing we're talking about).

    Ok, let me rephrase what I said yesterday. I was typing on my phone and didn't feel like going into detail. The point I was trying to make was more about actually FINDING A JOB and not about salary. Sure, depending on what part of the country you are in, salary is decent. The issue is with actually finding work. When you have experienced nurses desperately job hunting, a new grad is a lot less likely to be given a chance. Many places will only hire new grads under the residency programs, and I've seen maybe 2-4 positions opened up per YEAR for any department. Factor in that all the applicants for those coveted positions. See what I'm getting at now?

    Also, on top of the recovery time needed after working a few 12 hour shifts (personally I don't need all 4, I probably need more recovery from working 8 hour shifts early in the morning lol), there is also the fact that you are assuming you would get 3 12hr shifts back to back, then 4 days off. Not always going to work that way. Look up other threads on here about nurses being mandated to stay beyond their scheduled hours. About being penalized if they don't answer their phone to come in when they aren't scheduled.

    It just seems to me that if you are wanting to do this for money until you break out as an actor, you can find something else that will not destroy you physically and mentally, has better guarantee of finding work to help pay off the student debt you will accumulate, and ALSO help people out.
    Last edit by uRNmyway on Mar 6, '13
    Designer NP likes this.
  15. Visit  FSUNurse2b profile page
    0
    I'll say one thing...there is a perfectly good reason why there is a website (allnurses.com) solely dedicated to the nursing profession...many of which are seeking career changes to the profession, which includes myself. Leave the money aspect out of your decision. I seriously contemplated a career change a year ago and ultimately decided against it. One year later, I am moving forward. I hear many stories from the life of an RN...my wife and sisters are all RNs. You can always work in that direction...start taking pre-reqs, write a pros and cons list, etc. It shouldn't be an overnight decision. It's taken me about a year to finally decide to go for it. I've been working in the banking industry for the past 7 years. I have an MBA in finance. One thing I despise about my industry is the "sales" aspect. It's something that will never go away. I too am a little more reserved and people like me, usually have a more bumpy path in my profession. The aspect/thought that kept pulling me away from my decision over the past year was the "money". I make about $80k a year. But it's all relative my friend. Who knows, I may totally hate being an RN, but how will I know unless I've experienced it myself. Be careful about putting out polls or relying to heavily on what others say. You know yourself best. BTW, I voted "go for it", because you mentioned that you really want to make a difference in people' lives and care for them. Whether an RN has a string of narcotic patients that treat you like crap, the majority of people DO appreciate being cared for.


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