Discouraged and needing encouragement

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    I have heard mostly discouragement from going into the field of nursing. I am entering school as a freshman in 2 weeks. I plan on getting a BSN from a University after i gain my AA and get the prerequisites from the community college i am in now. My problem is I was really looking forward to being a nurse but there has been so many people telling me to choose another career that i am becoming dismayed at my decision and wondering why i am getting myself into this career. If any of you could give me some encouragement and some uplifting stories and why you like or Love nursing I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
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    Wow! The silence is deafening.

    I am a 23 year nurse. I like being a nurse and nursing has been very good to me. I would say that most days I would elect to be a nurse again.

    I think the hospital is a very challenging and difficult environment and, for me, it still defines nursing. However, because of family demands, I am no longer a hospital based nurse. Shift work is very hard on families and it just wasn't where my priorities are right now. At the same time, I would not trade the nearly decade and a half that I spent in the hospital. It is very on the edge, out there work. Now I do school-based prevention.

    My personal bias is that the BSN is the best basic education for the "many reincarnations" that it takes to have a long and interesting life (as opposed to a shorted and burned out life) in nursing.

    If you read this BB you can see that some of the most fried folks are those who feel they have no other options (R/T education, geography, financially) than to work the hospital/LTC. These are high intensity environments where what you do is viewed as a commodity and not a human service, so you are expected to do X amounts of service commodity per 10 minute period of time. That fits poorly into the framework of comforting someone or listening to an elderly person talk about their life history.

    Yes, I would recommend nursing. Get the BSN (first if possible) and always be planning your escape to the next challenge. Develop good habits of self care--stress reduction, not viewing yourself as indispensable, etc. Don't be afraid to take a cut in pay to do something else. In a world where self-worth is defined in the paycheck, this advice will grind on alot of folks. But I say, that hospital pay is high because of the weekends, the nights, the holidays and the high patient census and acuity and leaving that behind is worth a trade off. This means that you have to live in a fiscally responsible way so that you don't trap yourself in your job. My most profound apologies to single parents, who often don't actively choose their circumstances and may not feel they have a choice. And I don't know: may you do and maybe you don't.

    Plan your education to give yourself maximum mobility. Good luck.
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    Tartay021,

    Good luck in school & Congratulations!

    I was at a dinner party with my husband's company & thier spouses the other night & everyone was asking each other what they do for a living. Mostly people in the advertising industry - some said "oh, I could never do what you do, I hate the sight of blood" or "wow, you hardly ever hear of young women being nurses anymore" etc... At first I felt a little inferior. But then I thought to myself, "None of these people know what it is like to save another human's life or too bond with a child taken from an abusive home or receive a hug from a patient leaving your unit after waking from a coma." Nursing is an extroadinary profession!

    I'm going to be honest with you. I love being a nurse but, you may as well prepare yourself for some negativity! Especially in nursing school. Although you will meet nurses who truly inspire you, you will meet burned-out, bitter, menopausal old hags too! And many of them have good reason to be that way! However, if you really want to be a nurse, don't let the negative things get you down!

    So, how do you stay encouraged? Concentrate on the patients. They were a source of strength to me. So many times I heard patients say things to me like, "You are going to be a great nurse" or "Here comes an angel" It means a lot when an HIV or Cancer patient tells you that you have brightened their day! Too me, that's what nursing is all about!

    Once I had a nursing instructor tell me, "If you are ever in a place where you feel yourself getting burned out, make a change. Change up your hours, change to a different department, change to a different facility or a different type of nursing." That is so true! Granted, I haven't been an RN for very long - but my eyes have been opened to the great variety of nursing jobs out there! I have several friends in Home Health Nursing who absolutely love it! They say they have a chance to form a rapport with thier patients that they did not have in the hospital & they have a fairly flexible schedule so they can be there for their children if needed. I have another friend who did 2 yrs in hospital ICU's then entered travel nursing & loves it. She gets too see the country & never stays in one place too long. One nurse I knew from school went from working in the OR to a private Dermatologist's practice. The doctor saw her in action & hand-picked her - she gets great hours, benefits & better pay than her hospital job & she accompanies the Dr on all his surgeries as his personal nurse. One of my classmates is now working in a dialysis clinic & loves her job. The list goes on & on! Like anything else - nursing can be what you make it - a positive or negative experience! Just be open-minded & focus on the positive! Remember the patients! You are entering a field where you can really make a difference in people's lives - be proud of that!

    Feel free to E-mail me if you need encouragement through school!
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    oh honey~ don't let all the stories discourage you. you can be a great nurse... it's all if you want to be. you have to be the one who makes the nursing life what it is, just as those who are so blue about it, are the ones that made it that way for themselves. don't ever give up... live your dream, it's a wonderful one!!! and as far as the horror stories go, yea, some are true, but doesn't any job have horror stories? ours are just amplified because we work with blood and body fluids! just go on with what you want in life... i'll be praying for you. good luck! hugs~ julie
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    Tartay021,

    I can sympathize with you. Sometimes the negativity I'd hear on the BB really rattled me. I even contemplated changing majors, but I've been drawn to nursing for a long time. I do understand that due to the stresses a lot of nurses need to vent, but I try to stay away from the real negative posts.

    There are so many different opportunities in nursing, and although some nurses may be restricted due to their family situations, nurses need to work together more and be more supportive of each other. I don't see this as being so hard if we try not to always find fault.

    BTW, I too, live in Florida. Going to MCC in Bradenton and deciding on whether to apply for ADN or just go for the BSN at USF.

    Good luck to you.
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    Hi...this is my first time to visit this site and I just finished registering, but the first writer's post just touched my heart. Don't let ANYONE discourage you from becoming a nurse if that is what your heart calls you to do. I am wrapping up my 24th year, all in a hospital and the last 17 in a newborn ICU and I wouldn't change a thing...okay, maybe the night shifts...those are killers when you get old but otherwise it has been great. Hang in there...

    Julie
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    nrsbaby2be, hello neighbor! i start the adn program at mcc this tuesday, and i am really excited! i got all my prereqs for the bachelors, and contemplated going on to usf for my bachelors. however, tampa is a pretty long ride, so i decided to take the adn program here instead. the usf sarasota campus has an rn to msn option that directly bypasses the bsn, and i am planning on taking that once i get licensed. it really stinks that they don't offer the traditional bachelors on the sarasota campus yet, or i would have taken that. one note. whichever program you decide to take, find out the application deadlines and make sure you can meet them. i think usf's is january 1st, but mcc's is in the spring. best of luck to you!
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    I'm going into my sophomore year at URI in the BSN program. I used to volunteer in HS at a hospital where I met some nurses who were like "why are you going into nursing!" I guess you're always going to meet people who hate their jobs. Right now i work at a children's hospital and most of the nurses enjoy their work tremendously. I can't wait to be finished school and work in a pediatric hospital. I love making a difference in patient's lives, and I think thats what its all about. Don't get discouraged by what other people say, even though at times its hard. I am enjoying nursing school a great deal and can't wait to go back in the fall.
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    Please continue with your plan. You don't say what motivated you to become a nurse, but someone who is feeling downheartened at the prospect of NOT becoming a nurse must have what it takes to be a good one.
    Perserverance, above all, is probably the single most important thing about being a nurse. Of course a good attitude helps, but one who perserveres can ferret out information, keep difficult situations from becoming impossible, and see the silver lining in a gray day.
    Right now, Nursing is in a "gray" period. There is nothing like a nurse-not a patient care tech, not a computer, not a robot, and certainly not a doctor. Nurses use all of their senses, all of their education, and all of their intuition, every day. It is all so integrated that nursing becomes a way of life, not just a profession. If you have an affinity for helping people, you like a constant challenge, and are not easily intimidated, nursing is for you. A lot of it can be dull, and routine. You are rarely, if ever, appreciated by your employer. But-if you can start an IV on a neonate when nobody else can, or ease the fright and pain of an evolving MI, or provide some measure of comfort to a husband and wife who are experiencing a miscarriage, or offer a hand of comfort or relief in untold other ways, and derive satisfaction from being able to do these things, you are cut out to be a nurse. If you are looking at going into Nursing to make lots of money, work in glamorous surroundings with sexy Drs., and zoom quickly to the top of the profession, start looking now for an alternative.
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    You know, in every job there are some days that are better than others. The same is true in nursing. There are always going to be days where you feel like you've been run over by a bulldozer - and your boss was doing the driving!! The difference in nursing for me is that I can consistently look back on my day and know that I have made a difference to someone. Sometimes you don't even know it until a few days later when a family member says "Here's that sweet nurse who did such and such" One of my nurses came to me one day and told me that if she were ever sick, she'd want me for a nurse. That one kept me going for a month!! For me, it's knowing that I have a positive impact on people that really makes me love nursing.

    the nursing profession is desperately in need of good people who want to be nurses. As much as I would like a few extra RN's around, I would never encourage someone to enter this field who wasn't doing it for the right reasons. You can make good money and have a flexible schedule in other areas. If you truly want to be a nurse, I hope that you succeed. It was what I was meant to do. I don't regret it, even on those "bulldozer" days


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