Should I be feeling a "calling?"

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    Ok, like many of you here I'm "thinking about nursing school" and have been for many years - our society teaches us that because we are free we can and should be "whatever we want to be" -problem- I cannot cheerfully say that there is ANYTHING I want to do "for the rest of my life" What I like about nursing is the science, the fact that its physical (hate sitting at a desk), the fact that its portable (can be done anywhere), the hours are reasonably flexible, there are many jobs available and that it can be done part time. I know I can be good at it because I'm smart and I'm kind most of the time but I don't think I feel "called." I am very pragmatic and I don't think I can save the human race. Are the above mentioned reasons reasons enough for becoming a nurse? I really can't imagine that every one of the 2 million nurses in this country felt and intense "calling" right? PS- my mother's a nurse, happily, and I know several others so I do know what I'm getting into
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    It's cool, Mary. We've talked about this and you are not alone in not being
    called" to the profession. Many of us just want a good stable job (helping people is a nice side benefit.) Those who aren't called to do the work still make darned fine nurses in my experience . And being pragmatic can save you from a lot of heartache in nursing.

    Welcome to the board!
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    The "why are you really going to nursing school" thread has been really informative -I'm not the only one- I just hope us "non calling" nurses don't end up being the ones that so very much hate it- I'd love to get more feed back from working nurses
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    I think the word "calling" may have a different definition, depending on the individual person.

    For me, I have always liked caring for people. I'm also fascinated with the human body, I'm glued to Discovery Health , I have always loved hospitals, and I think scrubs are cool. Practically speaking, I also have a great desire to afford rent each month and I'm a sucker for job security.

    But there was never an "a-ha!" moment, a writing-on-the-wall spiritual moment where I was just walking down the street, suddenly "knew" I was destined to be a nurse, and promptly changed direction and walked to my nearest cc. Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little, but seriously, it was the result of research, an honest assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, and practical needs that "led" me to nursing. I'm an artistic, passionate person, and for years, I was convinced I was "called" to be a singer without an honest assessment of myself. Only once I was in conservatory for graduate work did I realize there are parts of my personality - parts I'm proud of and don't wish to alter - that do not lend themselves to the lifestyle of a professional musician. After a few years of job-related "wandering", I did find that my personality is perfectly suited for nursing.

    That decision, along the way, keeps getting confirmed in lots of little and sometimes not so little ways. For instance, I suddenly kept running into all these healthcare professionals - friends I didn't even know who were at one time or are now RNs, MDs, NPs, techs, etc. People who know me best were saying, "You know, I always thought you should go into healthcare" and "You would make a great RN" after I told them I was considering going back to school for my BSN. Most of all, even after talking with a LOT of nurses and hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly about being a nurse, I still want to do it.

    Nurses are a smart, practical, wise bunch, in my opinion, and I think you would be a great addition. You're looking at nursing for very sound reasons, you know about the field from a very close source, and you don't have any romantic illusions about the career. Plus, I don't think anyone of us - especially since I've read so many intelligent, thoughtful posts from this group - are only capable of being good/happy/successful at just one profession, and if you look at statistics, people change jobs/careers many times during their lifetime! The notion of having to commit to one job, one career is long gone. Nursing is such a great field because there are so many areas you can go into, so many opportunities. If you don't like bedside care, go into administration. Want to pursue higher education? Get your NP, or maybe MSN/MBA. You could do legal nurse consulting, nursing informatics, or teach at a college/university. I've even heard of one nurse who's a consultant for a daytime soap!

    Okay... I'm rambling. Better stop now! Hope this helped a little.
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    Hi MarySpam

    I too was intimidated for many years by the feeling that you need to feel an actual calling to the profession of nursing, even though I've always loved the study of physiology, had a background in the healthcare field and wanted to be working with people. I finally enrolled in nursing school at the age of 47. I've been in practice for five years now and find it a really good fit for me. I'm so grateful I made the move and am only sorry it took me so long.
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    ... and join the ranks who are discussing some honest answers as to the "why" of choosing Nursing as a profession.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67455
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    Annabelle. its so great to hear from you, I too have been spending years attempting a music career, which really meant 3 and a half years bartending in NY and the last 2 in Nashville. Its been a lot of fun for sure, but I'm just tired- and I think I've outgrown some of the need for glamour. And I do agree that there is a bonus to not having those romantic ideas about nursing. Are you presently a nurse or in school?
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    Quote from Maryspam
    Annabelle. its so great to hear from you, I too have been spending years attempting a music career, which really meant 3 and a half years bartending in NY and the last 2 in Nashville. Its been a lot of fun for sure, but I'm just tired- and I think I've outgrown some of the need for glamour. And I do agree that there is a bonus to not having those romantic ideas about nursing. Are you presently a nurse or in school?

    I love, love music with all my heart. I love being on stage, performing, and the adrenaline rush that comes with it. I love being completely "in" the music, whether I'm rehearsing or performing.

    What I dislike intensely is the "music business". I've never been one for competition *or* criticism - being on American Idol would have been a nightmare for me! I am very thin-skinned and sensitive, and I hated that everyone from fellow students at the conservatory to my vocal coaches to strangers from the audience telling me that my sensitivity was a liability and a hindrance. Yes, I'm sensitive... and frankly, I'm proud of it! I found myself become hard-hearted and cynical instead of "thick-skinned", despite my best efforts, and THAT's when I chose to leave music as a profession. Plus, I got to the point where I didn't want the kind of vagabond life that being a professional singer entails - I'm a homebody, and I want a family someday.

    To answer your question: I'm in school, finishing up my prerequisite courses, paid for in part by some of my singing gigs. I'm going for an accelerated-BSN degree.

    Nashville is great! Are you a student? I've considered Vanderbilt for my MSN...
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    No, no longer a student. I studied Bio at U of Virginia before running off to NY. I SO know what you mean about the criticism, I too am quite sensitive. I got so tired of just ANYONE taking it upon themselves to give me advice on how I could improve. It is really hard to take over and over again. I've seen a lot of posts on this site about being criticized at work- I think we'll have an advantage -We've got extensive experience with criticism of our most private and personal stuff. And the business, uugh, I now work in it. Nothing has pushed me further from wanting a music career. It is sad- the thousands and thousands of desperate souls out there DYING to make it in music. I do like Nashville though, Vandy's a great school. Is your accelerated bsn qualify as a "second degree" program, I'm wondering how these programs work.
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    Quote from Maryspam
    No, no longer a student. I studied Bio at U of Virginia before running off to NY. I SO know what you mean about the criticism, I too am quite sensitive. I got so tired of just ANYONE taking it upon themselves to give me advice on how I could improve. It is really hard to take over and over again. I've seen a lot of posts on this site about being criticized at work- I think we'll have an advantage -We've got extensive experience with criticism of our most private and personal stuff. And the business, uugh, I now work in it. Nothing has pushed me further from wanting a music career. It is sad- the thousands and thousands of desperate souls out there DYING to make it in music. I do like Nashville though, Vandy's a great school. Is your accelerated bsn qualify as a "second degree" program, I'm wondering how these programs work.
    The accelerated-BSN program I'm looking at is specifically for those who have a degree already (even in music ). If you studied bio, you've probably already got a lot of the prerequisites done, if you're interested in that degree. The ones I'm looking at require Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology (1 and 2), General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Intro to Chemistry, and Statistics. It's an intense program, condensed into 15 months and strictly nursing classes. Some 2nd degree programs are as short as 11 months, some as long as two years. Considering the length and waitlist of many ADN programs, though, getting your BSN may be just as efficient as your ADN, plus it opens up doors for higher education.

    As for the music biz... watching friends of mine - phenomenally-talented ones, most of them - struggle through years and years of rejection, Ramen noodles, expensive lessons, more Ramen, waiting for their "big break", even more Ramen, only to watch prodigies half their age get huge contracts and lead roles was just too much for me. My worth as a person lies in so, so much more than my larynx, and besides, I can't stand Ramen noodles, or child prodigies, for that matter.

    I agree: I think having been in that arena gives us some advantage going into nursing. I've learned, as I mentioned above, not to invest my total identity into "what I do", whether it be singing, nursing, accounting, basket-weaving, whatever. I've gotten some pretty direct, cutting criticism, so I know how to deal with that. And as for the sensitivity... I think it will help us extend compassion and sympathy all the more to our patients.

    Best of luck to you, my friend! Feel free to PM me anytime with questions. Vandy's got a direct-entry MSN program for people who have a degree in a field other than nursing - you may want to check it out. The BSN "catchup" work year, like most direct-entry programs, requires full time, but once you're in the master's portion, you can go part-time.


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