The right career?

  1. I'm about to start school for nursing. I've wanted to do this for a long time, but there have been a few detours. Here's my question...

    Every time I talk to nurses I know about a career in nursing the answer is always a variation on the following (except my mom, she's behind me, if somewhat reluctantly):

    "Are you Crazy?!? Hasn't your mother taught you anything about nursing? You're bright, smart, caring, compassionate (insert any adjective here). You can do anything you want, why nursing? You should be an administrator, or if you want to take care of people, a P.A. Nursing is horrible. Horrible conditions. You're too idealistic, you'll never get to spend the time you want with patients, and there isn't enough time to care for them like you want to." etc.

    I end up defending nursing to nurses! I just want to care for people. I'd love to volunteer with severely underserved communities or the Red Cross, or maybe work overseas or with Native American tribes/Appalachian mountain communities, etc. Am I nuts? I'm starting to get a little concerned!
  2. Visit kukitty profile page

    About kukitty

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 30
    medical records specialist


  3. by   llg
    In general, people don't like to go to work -- in any career. That's why they insist on getting paid for it and don't do it for free. They would rather be "off" and have unlimited free time to have fun. They don't like the fact that while they are at work, they have to do what the boss wants and are not free to whatever they want. If you take a survey of most professions, you will find a large number of people who say bad things about their employer and/or their profession.

    Now ... the nursing profession is going through a difficult time right now. The reasons for the nursing shortage and for stressful conditions are too complicated to explain here, but they are real -- making nursing tougher in some ways than it used to be. So, a lot more people are complaining. Some of them have good reasons for complaining: others are just complainers who need to take responsibility for their own situations and do something about it.

    Other nurses are happy in their work. They have gotten the degree that qualifies them for the job they want. They have found a resonable employer (perhaps having to be flexible enough and strong enough to move or switch specialties or go back to school or whatever) and have found or made a niche that works for them.

    It's up to you what kind of nurse you want to be. If a nurse is what you want to be in your heart -- then be a nurse. Understand that it is a challenging profession and that it can be tough and stressful at times. But also understand that you can have a lot of control over your career if you choose to take it. With the right attitude, it can be a great career. With the wrong attitude, you can be miserable. But then, with the wrong attitude, you would probably be miserable in most careers.

    Take care and good luck,
  4. by   roytoy
    Just yesterday I was watching Dr. Phill, there was this woman, mother of 5 that had this idea that she could become an actress.
    Supposedly she wanted to be an actress as a lifelong dream.

    Then she got totally disarmed when Dr. Phill asked; Do you want to be an actress or do you want to be famous?

    She inmediatedly responded "An Actress"

    But then again she insisted on that she needed to move to California with all her 5 kids and hubby regarless of their well being.

    Phill said; "If you want to be an actress it wouldn't matter if you act for 100 or 10,000 wouldn't it?"

    Now after all this story, yes that is the question.... can you see yourself working in the worse conditions, maybe low pay, maybe overworked and still feel proud of what you do doing the best to improve every day to make your life, that of your patients and the whole nursing career better?


    GO, dont think for a second more and dont care for what anyone else has to say, they'll get their lesson when they see how happy you are with your life.


    STOP and reconsider seriously.

    But for what I can read in your will become someday in the kind of nurse I wish I can become someday.
    Last edit by roytoy on Dec 1, '04
  5. by   ittybittyrn
    There's a saying I heard in nursing school more than once: "Nurses eat their young." Some of the most negative comments about the nursing profession can come from nurses. While it is true that some nursing jobs just suck, there are many that don't. The key is finding your niche. You see, what one person may think is an awful job, another may find very fulfilling and wonderful.

    I hated nursing school. Every day I wondered if I had made a mistake in my chosen career. What kept me going was finding nurses in fields that appealed to me and asking them about their jobs. Most told me the same thing: "I hated school, but I love my job." The real world is very different from school.

    I say go for it! While you are in school, look for opportunities to explore different areas. Find a nurse who works in an area you are interested in and shadow her/him for a couple of days to get a better idea of what the reality of it is. Don't be afraid to try out different areas after you graduate.

    I have been a nurse for six years. I have worked Neonatal ICU, Post-partum, Labor & Delivery, Newborn Nursery, Pediatrics, PICU, GYN. I am currently back in the NICU and thinking about going back to school for my master's in anesthesia. There aren't many degrees out there that give you the kind of options that a nursing degree will give you.

    My advice to you is to get at least a BSN. (I'm beginning to think a master's would be better - it just depends on what you want to do with it) It will allow you the most flexibility and get you back into school should you choose to go further.

    Don't give up & Good Luck !!!
  6. by   kukitty
    Thanks for the words of advice and encouragement! I took a trip to New Mexico recently, and found that what I really want to do is help people. I saw so many pueblos with extremely poor people, and I want to nurse there. I've done some research, and know how to get into this, I think. It feels so wonderful to finally KNOW that this is right for me! And yes, I've heard of nurses "eating their young." My mom is a nurse, and has warned me of this. She used it in the context of experienced nurses being mean, or refusing to help/be patient with new, fresh-out-of-school coworkers. She also assured me that there are a lot of experienced nurses who are helpful and can become mentors and friends. Thanks again for the help!
  7. by   robin29860
    Thank you to the op and to all of you who wrote back encouragement. I have a few friends that are nurses and they are so positive about encouraging me that I will love it. BUT-I have one or two relatives and aquaintainces that totally discourage it and tell me how bad and hard it is. I think the relative that bothers me most is my younger cousin. Not that any of this matters but she is 34yr old, never married, no children and has been a critial care travel nurse in California for about 5yrs. I am 36yr old, been married umpteen years have a teenager, a toddler and a one year old. I have worked about three jobs at minimum of 5-6yrs a piece. I started working in HS and never went to college before ever. I have always wanted to to this, but not until now has it become a reality for me. I think nurses (or people of any other profession) that discourage people should be shot. It is my time, my money and if it is so bad, why do they continue. Thank you ALL for the positive thoughts!!!!!! Robin