Is nursing really that bad of a career choice?

  1. 2
    Hey everyone! So I'm 18, I'll be attending college next fall, and I was planning on majoring in nursing. I've always been interested in medicine, I'm very much a people-person, I want a meaningful career, and I also want something with a lot of excitement and change. Nursing seemed like a really good choice for me ... but then I discovered this site. It seems like a lot of nurses are on here are tired, miserable, trapped, and just don't like their jobs. It scares me because I don't want to end up like that! I mean, I know that every job has its bad days, and obviously nothing is going to be perfect. I just want to make the right decision.

    So I guess my question is this: is being a nurse really that bad? Should I stay as far away from it as possible? And if you're a nurse, would you pick a different career if you could do it all over again? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Joe V and NF_eyenurse like this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 51 Comments...

  3. 21
    No it's not that bad. No I wouldn't pick a different career. A lot of people don't like their jobs--no matter what their career path is.

    I think a lot of people come here to complain bc we understand each other. Complaining to our friends, family, or significant others just isn't the same because they don't truly understand nursing and everything that comes with it.

    Rather than looking at the venting here as a bad thing, try to appreciate the strong community that nurses have set up here together.
    Nola009, JesusKeepMe, CHAVNY, and 18 others like this.
  4. 12
    I wouldn't advise someone to go into nursing based on being a "people person" because there isn't much of that in nursing these days. You'd be surprised how much of your job takes you OUT of the patient's rooms! It is very task oriented. You will be too busy to spend much time with patients outside of giving them meds and then running out.

    I would recommend nursing to people who have an intense interest in human disease processes and medications as a pathway toward pharmacist, nurse practitioner, medical doctor, dentist, you get the idea. Nursing used to be a career you could retire from but it isn't currently the way it is going. It is too high stress and too difficult physically to do for any length of time or for nurses of advanced age.

    Edited to add- this is probably dependent on where you live. I live in a big city with very high patient to nurse ratios. I have a friend in California with mandatory 4:1 ratios and I would LOVE to work there. That said, I like being a nurse but I am obsessed with pathophysiology and I am working towards becoming an FNP.
    JesusKeepMe, sueall, Marsha238612, and 9 others like this.
  5. 10
    I believe schnookims summed it up very nicely.

    This is a second career for me. I started nursing school at 32 years old. I love what I do and wouldn't change it for the world. Well....maybe if I was a taste tester for a chocolate company...I might entertain the idea.......Ok, what was I saying?

    I love this community and have done my share of venting on bad days. I have also celebrated the good days here and had lots of laughs with some great nurse friends I have found on this site. As written in the previous post all careers have their good and bad points and people will vent or complain in whatever they do (maybe even the chocolate taste testers). Remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

    One thing I love (among many) about nursing:The nursing field is so vast and there are many types of nursing jobs that people have. For instance, I work for eye surgeons. How specialized is that, you know?

    Yes, you will read about many different things positive and negative about nursing but if it is something you desire, then go for it. We will be there with you to root you on through your journey. Keep us posted.
    hungrygirl, ktenor, antania31, and 7 others like this.
  6. 6
    I think it would be a good idea for you to get your CNA first to see if you like it. My daughter wanted to be a nurse at first and took all the prerequisites for nursing her first two years of college. Then she went thru the CNA program and decided it wasn't for her. She is now in the Respiratory Therapist program--luckily most of the prereqs transfer over for RT.

    I was a CNA for 16 years before I finally decided to go back to school for my RN. I absolutely love my job and would not ever think of doing something else. I was also happy as a CNA, but my hospital decided to get rid of all CNAs and have what is called "RN total patient care."
    chevyv, MBARNBSN, elprup, and 3 others like this.
  7. 4
    I don't know what's available in your area, but I know there are a few hospitals that offer high school senior/undergrad nursing externships or similar programs. They are designed many different ways, but will give you a perspective that you just can't research, no matter how many people you ask. I did the same think when I was considering nursing, but working in a hospital really gave me a better idea. If you can get into a program like this, or get a CNA job where you can float to different units (or even facilities within a large system) it might really help you to decide if it's for you- no one can really tell you how it will be for you.
    chevyv, elprup, Lev <3, and 1 other like this.
  8. 1
    This is a horrible site to learn about nursing.
    rlev likes this.
  9. 4
    If I had it to do over (and I am!) I would not choose nursing. Nursing is not as respected as it used to be. It is hard physically and emotionally. It is true there are so many areas of nursing. Some are better than others. I am amazed that there are nurses who love nursing. AMAZED. You may end up being one of them. I would take the others' advice. Become a CNA and see what it's all like. I wish you the best.
    rlev, 0.adamantite, elprup, and 1 other like this.
  10. 2
    I started as CNA in Fall 1973, LPN 77, RN 82....still love what I'm doing as RN affecting over 25,000 persons lives a year as Central Intake Manager in Home Health Agency. Planning to work 14 more years for 50year career.

    Anything you want to know about nursing is found within our websites threads and posts. Our peer and student nursing support is unparalleled on the internet. Almost daily, I learn some new drug, technique, procedure or aspect of the nursing profession at AN.

    Our U.S. link on gold toolbar leads to state specific discussions. Check out the market saturation of new grads and amount of programs in your area. Attend nursing schools open house, interview students in the nursing program to get real scoop.

    Best wishes in your career exploration journey
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 1, '13
    NF_eyenurse and antania31 like this.
  11. 1
    I like my job, it's not a horrible career choice if it's what you want to do! This site is full of people who are bitter, burnt out, etc, but not all nursing is like that. I even work in Florida where right now I have seven patients, and I find a way to enjoy my job. Sure, I am flying from room to room to room passing meds and charting on the computer for hours, but I find a way to connect with my patients and make a difference. Good luck
    Lev <3 likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top