What is nursing like? What can you tell me about it?

  1. Hi everyone. I'm almost done with high school, which mean I have been thinking hard about what I'd like to do with my life. One career choice I have been constantly thinking about, reading about and am drawn to is nursing. I love the hands on aspect, and the excitement. I also enjoy helping others and making people smile. Plus, medical stuff is just really cool to me. So far, I like the idea of travel nursing, E.R nurse, psychiatric nurse or military nurse. But I have a lot of questions about this career before I get too excited about this dream. So I hope a kind nurse can bare with me to help me out and answer myquestions! (sorry for spelling mistakes, I typed this on an iPad)
    1) what do you love about nursing?
    2) what makes you hate nursing? I hear a lot of people hate nursing and have so many horror stories. I find this very discouraging.
    3) do you get any free time? I want to have time to write, read, go to the gym and be with family and friends. I hear nurses have little to no free time to enjoy life. I don't want to be chained to my career.
    4) will I have trouble finding a job? While i hear there is a nursing shortage, I also have been told it is hard to find a job as many people become nurses.
    5) will I really be miserable? I can't imagine being miserable as a nurse. It just seems like a great job.
    6)what kind of shifts can nurses work? I'm okay with the idea of 12 hour shifts if I'm enjoying my time as a nurse
    .7) does nursing change you? If so, how much? And for better or worse?
    Please be brutally honest!
    Please help me and share as much info as possible! Some things I hear about this career path are so different from other things I hear and I'd like to learn more about nursing.Thanks for reading!
    Last edit by Tacos on Dec 13, '12
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    About Tacos

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   Luckyyou
    I have so much free time that I'm considering going back to school for my MSN just so I have something to do on my days off. Working 3 12 hour shifts is great for having free time to do things. Unfortunately, there isn't a nursing shortage right now. New grads across the country are waiting months or longer for their first job. I would research the market in your area before making a decision.
  4. by   HouTx

    I am assuming you are a HS Senior, right? If so, you should have some idea of your academic ability. That is a very important factor if you wish to pursue a health science career such as nursing. What has been your experience with science & math? If you enjoyed these courses and did very well in them, this would be a very positive indicator of your ability to be successful in a health career. If not, this is a huge red flag, and an indicator that you may want to look in another direction. Not to say you couldn't do it, but if it does not come naturally then you may have an incredibly stressful road ahead. Keep in mind that 'just passing' would not be good enough... you'll need to ace all of your pre-requisites to have a decent shot at being accepted to a nursing program.

    It is very difficult for 'outsiders' to obtain an accurate idea of what a nursing career is like unless they have a close relative in our profession. You are correct - nurses can work in a very wide variety of settings that may seem exciting. However, the pathway to those "exciting" jobs does not have any shortcuts. It means 4.5-5 years of college (average time to obtain a BSN) and another 3 years or so of 'paying your dues' in an entry level job in order to develop the expertise needed to move into your area of choice.... IF you are lucky enough to find a job in that area.

    Make no mistake, it will be a hard slog for quite a while. Your college experience may be very different from what you have envisioned. You will be 'hard at it' from the very beginning while friends are free to have active social lives - because you have to have a GPA >3.5 on your pre-requisites in order to even get into a nursing program. Then, as a nursing student, your last 2 years of college will be even more intense as you move through your actual clinical training.

    I don't want to discourage you - but it's important to be realistic. Don't set yourself up for failure and unnecessary stress, particularly in today's environment - we have a surplus of newly graduated nurses & they are experiencing enormous difficulty finding jobs.