Is nursing a good career?how do i know if i will like it

  1. I am an undecided college student, wondering if i should go into the field of nursing. To be honest, i have heard nurses are typically stressed out and most times depressed my teacher even said they have one of the highest suicide rates, but im not sure about all that.I mean i would love to have a self-fullfilling job but im just not sure how to know if nursing is for me! help any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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    About natcakes

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 1


  3. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    don't do it...being a nurse is the worst job ever!

    i like to kid, sorry.
    what do you know about nursing, and why are you interested in the field? you may find that you know nothing about what a nurse does, which could be good or bad, or your reasons for wanting this career may be genuine but misguided, or right on.
    do you know any nurses, who can maybe tell you what they do or share stories with you? if you don't, play around on this site, you'll learn a ton! (welcome, by the way!)
    if you really think you're interested, perhaps you could volunteer at a hospital, or try to get a job there, even if you're not in direct "patient care" like a tech would be. techs and unit clerks need more experience or education than you probably have, but an escort (patient transporter) does not.
    i wish you the best, and i'll let some of our better spoken, wiser representatives take over...
  4. by   bill4745
    Try getting a job as an aide. You will be able to see what nurses do.
  5. by   Halinja
    From a strictly practical viewpoint...

    With nursing, you will pretty much always have a job. (as opposed to a degree in, oh, political science, or philosophy, or french literature)

    With nursing, there is a huge variety in the type of work you could actually do, from bedside nursing (huge variety in that; pediatrics, oncology, telemetry, labor and delivery, ICU) to things like public health nursing which is out in the community, or home health, or... Just take a look at all the different forums here in allnurses. That's an idea of how many different directions nursing can take you.
  6. by   justavolunteer
    Another possibility in deciding about nursing is to volunteer at a hospital, preferably on a patient unit. You won't do much direct care, but you may at least see some of what nurses do. Also, some hospitals have programs where a person can shadow a nurse for a day. Most hospitals have volunteer areas listed on their website(types of jobs, who to call, etc.)
  7. by   1casey05
    I was an RN for 8 years. The worst 8 years of my life. I worked at hospitals, clinics, home care, and management. I have been an RT for 5 years now and love it. Nurses make a little more money, but have to put up with way more crap. Co-workers will eat you alive. I am not joking. As an RN, you can't get away from them. 90% of your supervisors are ******, nasty women that don't care about you and will "throw you under the bus" every chance they get. Do your research and see the burnout rate for RN's. They are never happy because they are overworked and not appreciated. Your sup will beg you to work extra, than "crap" on you when your done. As an RT, I deal with alot of nasty nurses, but always get to bolt after a few minutes with a patient. I can go from patient to patient on my own schedule, whereas nurses have to put up with as many as 12 people at one time, and cannot get away. You will be under constant pressure to do more with less.
    As an RN, I was supposed to get breaks and lunch, but could never take it cause someone always had something going on that needed attention. Doctors will constantly jump on you for everything, including their mistakes. They can call you names, belittle you, tease you, and you just have to take it. They are "Gods" at hospitals. As an RT, doctors will always come to you first in a code situation. They respect RT's way more than nurses.
  8. by   nurseeB
    You could call some local hospitals and explain that you are thinking of majoring in nursing, but would like to shadow a nurse for a few shifts. Most places are willing to have you come in. This won't give you the total picture of nursing, but it would give you a little taste. Good luck with you decision.
  9. by   Isabelle49
    I have been an R.N. for 23+ years. Prior to becoming an R.N. I worked in the buisiness field for 13 years.

    I can honestly tell you that when I worked in the business field I was respected as a human being, as an R.N. all I have encountered is disrespect. If you can handle the stress of working when "they" want you to work, not eating, not being able to go to the bathroom, not being able to get anything to drink during your shift and always being talked down to, then nursing is for you. If you have no respect for yourself as a human being, then nursing is the best field you could go into.

    I do regret the last 23 years of my life.

  10. by   MoopleRN
    Isabelle, if you regret the last 23 years of your life as an RN, I'm sorry for that. I'm not sorry, however, that you haven't done anything to change that. I don't know your circumstances and I don't need to know. Each day of those last 23 years was an opportunity to do something about what you've regretted all this time. I hope you find happiness. You deserve it even if you're not actively looking for it.

    To the OP, nursing may or may not be right for you. You may find it's right for you now, get burned out, quit and find something else... or you may enter the field later on in your life. Why do you think nursing is right for you? What do you know about it? I agree with previous posts that working as a PCT or CNA will give you a taste of what a nurse actually does.
  11. by   MarieAngel
    Nursing is what you make it. Period. If you don't like the environment/people you work with there are so many options to choose from that there is no reason to stay in that situation. I have been a nurse for 7 years. 2 years M/S Tele, 2 years ICU and 3 years travel nursing in various positions (PCU/ICU/Cath/EP). Most nurses go through a time of uncertainty when they are new. You will ask yourself; Did I choose the right carreer? Is the work to stressful? Will I always be underappreciated? This isn't what I signed up for! Yes, I have had those moments. But it is a very rewarding carreer. And if you have the right attitude and are good at your job, you will be respected. I think when nurses say they aren't respected, do nothing to be respected for. They just do their job and go home. If you love your job and go above and beyond staff and patients notice. For example, I had a travel assigment on a crazy busy floor. I never got lunch, breaks or even got to go to the bathroom. Nurses did not help each other and even would refuse me if I asked for help. Doctors yelled and threw things on the unit and were downright nasty if you called them. So, I made an effort to help the nurses who did not help me, stayed a few minutes extra to put in an IV, help with chart checks and then spoke to the more receptive nurses about why their unit was so stressful. Turned out that they weren't helping each other because they were too overwhelmed themselves to be worried about helping anyone else. When they realized helping eachother would benefit them all, they started to become a team and I saw the difference. As far as the doctors were concerned when one of them would yell I would simply state, "I will not apologize for calling you. I am in essence, helping you because I am calling to tell you of a concern/problem with one of your patients. I will not tolerate you speaking to me in any manner other than a professional one, because we are both on the same team." I had doctors hang up on me, and I would just call them right back. You have to have confidence in your scope of practice to know you are doing the right thing. And as far as the doctors throwing things on the unit, I just would look at them with distain and they got the picture. That should NOT be tolerated. A hospital is a professional enviroment and should be treated as such. It amazes me what some nurses 'take." They do not realize their value and therein lies the problem. Know what you are worth, and if you feel underappreciated/stressed out, move on. There are so many wonderful units where the nurses work together as a team that there is no reason to stay somewhere that you are unhappy. By the way, that travel position offered me a core position before I left...I didn't take it, but made me feel wonderful that my efforts did not go unnoticed.
  12. by   brownbook
    No one knows if you will like it. I have met many patients who said, "I always wanted to be a nurse but didn't pursue it." Maybe your gut is saying it is for you. I went into nursing, several years after dropping out of college, only because my husband said "give nursing a try." I hated the idea of working in a 24/7 environment, and I hadn't been a very good student. When I returned to school as an adult learner I discovered that preparing for class produced good grades. I was accepted into the nursing program and HATED nursing. I was scared to death, sure I would kill a patient. I dropped out my 3rd semester, but fortunately was accepted back. I know I forget how hard and scary the first few years were. But I didn't kill anyone (it really is NOT that easy to do) and today I love nursing with all my heart and soul.
  13. by   mitzio
    I don't usually sign up for these blogs, etc....but I just had to comment on this post. I have been an RN for over 25 years and I absolutely LOVE it! I've worked in management, home health, med/surg and ICU in name it, and I've probably done it. I have never been sorry that I went into this field, and it was a spur of the moment thing when I was 18 and didn't know what I wanted to do with my life...not like I had this lifelong desire to be a nurse or anything. I did it for practical reasons 25 yrs ago and those practical reasons still apply even in today's economy. Yes, I've had a doctor or two be rude to me...cried in the beginning because the older nurses were mean to me...I've had the occasional hateful family member, and even rarer the ungrateful patient. But those instances don't take away all the great days I've had... I've also come back to work a few days later (after finishing up a 3-12hr work week) and found anonymous gifts left for me from a patient I'd taken care of the week before. That's happened more than once in my 25 yr reign! I didn't love the bed pan thing, but I sure loved the look of relief on my poor patient's face when their pain was gone because their bowels had finally moved. I loved patient care! I'm older now, and can't run the floors for 12 straight hours like I used to, so I work in a clinic now and stay busier than ever...and feel like I am more of a nurse seeing these patients in clinic than I was when I used to do bedside care on them! And I work with a very large cardiology practice...over 50 docs, and with one or two exceptions, I love all of them! Potential nursing students...if you care about people and genuinely have a desire to help people, you will love nursing. And even if you just want a good, reliable, recession-proof can get that with nursing. The flexibility has been one of my fav things about this field. When I would get tired of wiping bottoms, I'd change to school nursing...when I got sick of dealing with not-usually-sick-but want to get sent home-kids, I'd go to the rehab area. Seriously..there are so many options. Get a BSN and switch over to pharmaceutical sales if you start feeling burned out. But please don't listen to some of these's a great life, being a nurse.
  14. by   bethaj17
    Thanks for your input!!! Geesh I am having one of those times..questioning my career choice and if I made the right decision or not...all because of a bad turn out with my first nursing job...It was in a LTC facility...they gave me a 4 day orientation...2 halls 40 residents...and because I wasn't up to speed with everything as they expected..they let me go..I thought I was doing fairly well being a new nurse. But I think it had to do with more than that though...But the thing was..everyone (other nurses) was going behind my back talking about me to the managers about all this stuff I was supposedly doing wrong and to my face these nurses didn't have anything bad to say or any type of feedback...I just didn't get it...anyhow this relates to your statement about "throwing you under a bus" That's how I really felt they did me here..I'm just hoping I can find some place where people actually do work together and are not always out to get someone.