Tell me the Pros and Cons of Nursing

  1. I'm a teacher thinking of leaving the profession for Nursing School/new career. We live in Florida and it seems like there is some great pay and work/benfits here, like sign-on bonuses, work 3 -12hr shifts and get 4 days off... etc. The pay seems nice, too- starting at $50,000?. Compared to teaching, almost anything is better. :icon_roll So, I just want to know from professionals, what do you feel are the pros and cons of nursing? What would you tell someone they need to know before they get into the profession? THANKS!!! :bowingpur
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    About NurseBanana

    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 178; Likes: 29
    from US


  3. by   cherilee
    pros, you stay busy , money can be good, opportunity to help people and feel good about that, theres a schedule for everyone, there are many different fields of nursing/ many job opportunities, it is a respected profession, opportunities for personal / spiritual growth, you are always learning, you meet alot of different people from all walks, opportunity to develop relationships

    CONS: You are too busy, burnout rate is high for medical surgical nurses,the schedule can be daunting,you have towork weekends in many jobs, coworkers can be horrible, easy to make errors when under extreme stress, working with understaffed hospitals is difficult, It takes a long time to develop strong skills, It is mentally emotionally and physically draining,\
    sometimes you are the secretary,aide, family counselor, pee on, etc .
    feeling like you are spending minimal time with pts,
    Thats my
  4. by   Jessiedog
    If you enjoy helping people, enjoy a challenge, and want a change, then nursing could be for you. I've nursed for 15 years, with a two-year break due to ill--health. I can't say I have loved every minute, but I am a better person for the experiences I've had. I love being a part of sombody's recovery. I love making someone feel more comfortable physically. I love being able to make somebody laugh in the middle of their pain and fear. I love connecting with people when they are vulnerable, and being able to lift their spirits, speak a truth to them, or pray with them. If I go home and know that one person is better off for my being at work, that's a good day. I love being able to advocate for somebody and get them the pain relief or treatment they need. As the saying goes, with knowledge comes responsibility. I have knowledge and experience, and will use this to help my patients who may not understand what is happening, or be frightened to ask their doctor the hard questions.

    The difficult side of nursing is inevitably linked to the good side. If you want to spend time with somebody, you usually have to do it after your shift, because you are flat-out too busy to do anything more than the basics. I hate running into a patient's room, and the first words out of my mouth are: "I'm sorry, but..." this could be "...but my other patient just came back from surgery", or "....I couldn't get your medications to you sooner because Mrs Smith needed the toilet", or any one of a million other reasons that delay me. I hate the pressured feeling that comes so often when you just HAVE to be in three places at once, and you then make the decision which of your patients gets attentio first. I hate the feeling that comes when I realise I haven't given my best, and a patient has been in pain or afraid.

    Pay is good, yes, but not fantastic. (At least in Australia.) I get good wages, but not in relation to my knowledge, and experience. I have 15 years experience, an under-graduate diploma, a post-graduate degree, and a post-graduate certificate, all in nursing. The decisions I make while working can have an immediate effect on a person's life, not to mention their family's. A labourer gets the same rate of pay per hour as I do. No, he doesn't get shift penalties or weekend loading, but then he does get the choice of spending this time with his family.

    Shift work is a necessary part of nursing, at least for the first years when you get experience in a hospital. Yes, shift-work is difficult, and plays havoc with your personal and family-life. But then you do get the odd day off in the middle of the week to go shopping.

    If you are prepared to dedicate several years of your life to study, education and a total life-change, then nursing is immensely rewarding.

    Best of luck with your decision.
  5. by   ravenlpn
    Do Not do it! Skip the nursing just go into medical field. There are many areas that pay more than nursing does, plus you never have to worry about someone trying to take what you worked hard for away. X-ray tech's make more than nurses and are always in demand. Just do your homework and please check out another area of medical.
  6. by   Marisette
    I have to agree with ravenlpn. Nurses will usually get a job, but not always in the area you want to work at. Sometimes, health care providers, will not employ a OB nurse in the cardiac area or vise versa so it's really not so easy to change jobs. Nurses are valued for experience rather than degrees so education will only take you so far. Many nurses work days, pm or night ***** and are obligated to rotate shifts. Twelve hour shifts sound applealing when you consider that you have 4 days off, but if your having a tough 8 hrs, making it through to the 12th hour will not be easy. Many nurses work weekends and holidays or must take on call. There is a high degree of accountability demanded of nurses because nurses deal with peoples lives. There is very little wiggle room for errors. Talk about pressure!

    Having said this, I have come across some excellent nurses who really enjoy their jobs. If you have a desire to help people and not easily overwhelmed or stressed, this may be someting you may want to pursue. After nursing for 25 years, I often wonder what if I had gone in another direction....
  7. by   samirish
    Quote from ravenlpn
    Do Not do it! Skip the nursing just go into medical field. There are many areas that pay more than nursing does, plus you never have to worry about someone trying to take what you worked hard for away. X-ray tech's make more than nurses and are always in demand. Just do your homework and please check out another area of medical.
    Just wondering, what part of the country are you in that xray techs are in demand and making more than nurses?
  8. by   westieluv
    You need to really, really think it over in terms of your schedule. Teachers get two weeks off for Christmas and New Year's Day, nurses work Christmas or New Year's or both (along with Thanksgiving, Easter, the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.). Teachers get the entire summer off, nurses work year round. Nurses may only work three days a week, but those 12 hr. shifts are absolutely killer, and you usually need the day after your shift to recover from working it, since the 12 hrs. usually turns into at least 13. On your feet. Having to be constantly alert, because lives are in your hands. If you get the three 12 hr. shifts/week schedule, you will work 12 hrs. both Saturday and Sunday probably every other weekend, every third if you're really lucky. On those weekends, you will have absolutely zero family life, in fact, you will barely see your family, as opposed to a teacher having every weekend off.

    Really give all of that a lot of thought, because it is tough! I can handle nursing only because I don't have to work full time and therefore work on a contingent basis and can set my own schedule. If I had to work full time, no way would I do it, because from what I can see after 21 years as an RN, those nurses don't seem to have a life away from work, because work is constantly interfering and causing them to miss out on things that are scheduled to accommodate people who work a nine to five/Monday through Friday schedule. Nursing can consume you.