Unsure about Nursing as a career

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    It is my second year of Nursing and I have just completed the first term. Now I'm not sure if this is the right career for me. I get stressed out easily and now I'm starting to realize that is a physically, psychologically and emotionally demanding field.

    I hear all these positive comments made by my profesors of how it's such a wonderful and rewarding field to get into with a variety of opportunities. On the otherhand I watched a CNN report about the Nursing shortage, burnout and nurses leaving the profession altogether.

    Would you choose the field again and why? Any other advice you could give me? Thanks
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  4. 6 Comments so far...

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    Sorry to hear you're having doubts about continuing, but better to find out now than end up in a career you're miserable in.

    I went to an orientation this Summer for anyone wanting to apply to a local Nursing Program. The Director of Nursing was very blunt - told everyone how physically/mentally demanding a career it is. She actually said - this is not like on the Soap Operas - don't get any ideas about spending your days hanging out at the Nurses Station chatting with the Doctors (really hope nobody actually thinks that's the way it is - but you never know).

    She also talked about the hair & nails regulations - she said anyone that was in love with their long false nails better decide whether they'll be willing to live without them - because they required your nails to be short and polish free. I saw a girl in front of me suddenly look down at her nails - they were those really long fake ones. Guess she wasn't about to part with them because she left before orientation was over.

    With the huge number of applicants per school - it really seems like during the initial orientations they should talk about the really hard parts of the job so potential students would know what they're in for. A lot of people probably don't realize a Nurse is on her feet for hours (especially if she works the Wards). You should be told everything you'll have to deal with - life, death, distraught family members, angry patients, blood, guts - a little bit of everything that can really stress you out quickly if you aren't prepared for it all.

    During the same orientation the Head of Admissions said it never fails each year that a few people they admit into the program don't realize they can't keep their 9-5 job and also be in the Nursing Program and they end up leaving the first week. He said it's people like that, that take spots that someone who is truly dedicated to this should have had. So for those of us willing to do almost anything to get in - I wish they'd do a better job at screening potential students.

    I've worked in the medical field before and know how hard it is. To me anyways - this is something I've felt a calling to do for the last 20 years and finally have the time to devote to it. SusanNC
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    I agree with the CNN view. I've been a nurse for 12 years. I have pain 24 hrs a day from the physical demands of nursing. To be a nurse, you must really want to to it, because it is very rough. No, I would not do it again, if I could turn the clock back.
  7. 0
    I have been in nursing school for a year and I don't like it, so I decided not to continue with it. If you like the nursing profession I believe you should stick with it because I know a lot of people who hate it and some who love it. Some people in my class are sticking with it just because of the money, but I would say do something that you love. I'am going into to radiology because I still like the medical field and being able to interact with the patients. Good luck to you and whatever you choose.
  8. 0
    If you're not enjoying school and have serious doubts about whether this is the right choice for you, get out now! You'll save yourself a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and $$$, and you'll free up a space in the program for someone who really wants it.

    I don't mean that AT ALL as a criticism of you for not being interested in nursing -- it's certainly not for everyone. Best wishes
  9. 0
    If you are having doubts now, you may want to investigate career paths that are more appealing to you. If you get into a career field just because there is a shortage of people in that field, and NOT because you have a genuine interest in that type of work, you will feel trapped and unfulfilled in your work. If you are paying for your nursing education yourself, you will be reminded of what may not be a good decision for you, personally, on a monthly basis. You should definitely try to work in a field that you find interesting or exciting.

    Nursing is HARD WORK. Some people feel called to the profession, love the work, and find great satisfaction in it. The down side is that there is not always a great deal of respect for the sacrifices you can end up making in helping others. Compensation and the number of hours you may be asked to work may be unsatisfactory - especially as a new nurse. The patient load can be difficult to manage and still provide high quality care. Despite universal precautions, there is the risk that you can become infected with different illnesses by the people under your care. In some employment settings, you are also more likely to be abused by your own patients (dementia and psych patients come to mind). Nurses also are reputed to "eat their young." As a new nurse, you may not get as much support as you would like. These are just a few considerations. You really should determine if nursing would be "just a job" or a labor of love for you. If the former, you would be better off seeking something that you would enjoy doing even if you didn't get paid for it. You would then be able to work at something that you looked forward to doing, and you would probably find yourself very well-compensated in the long run.

    If you like working in and around the healthcare professions, you might look into some of the allied health professions (radiology, occupational or physical therapy, speech therapy, audiology).

    Good luck to you in your decision and in all of your endeavors!
  10. 0
    i agree with all the responses to why/why not to choose nursing as a career. unfortuantely,our unstable economy forces people to choose careers that they don't have to worry about getting laid off or not getting paid enough. i know in some parts of the country Rn's don't get paid much, but overall, especially in big cities nurses do pretty well. most nurses that i know said that if nursing did not pay what it did they absolutely would NOT do it for a living. i agree that people should not pick a profession based solely on its compensation/stability, but lets face it....who wants to be without a paycheck. the fact that nursing offers so many options also pulls people into the profession. i graduated with girls that knew that they would not do hospital nursing. they immediately went for the office jobs, home care or sales. although most nursing specilaties require at least a year minimum of hospital experience, you will be surprised how many will hire without any. good luck with whatever you decide


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