advice on nursing school please

  1. I have questions, and don't know what to do. Here goes.

    I have always been drawn to pregnancy, L&D, neonates and breastfeeding. I feel like L&D is where I'm drawn to the most. I shadowed a float nurse in L&D for nearly 9 hours a few months ago, and was so amazed! I saw a lot that day (about 5 births - vag & c/s) and the day flew by. I am also interested in becoming a lactation consultant. Everything I'm interested in involves becoming an RN first (at least in my area). My concern is that my desires are too limited to be a good RN or to succeed in nursing school. I don't just want to be a nurse and help people. I want to be involved in one of the areas listed above. I see myself nowhere else. I feel like I'm destined to fail because of that. So many things are disgusting to me. I really dislike sick adults. I have no interest in caring for them day in and day out. I'm not even iffy about it, I could not do med/surg nursing. What sucks is that I feel like I can't figure this out without investing time and energy (and money) and THEN realizing it's not for me I wish I could "be a nurse" for like a week and see if it's really for me, ya know?

    Second question. I have two small boys (one is two, the other is nearly four). Should I wait to go to nursing school until after they go to school? Would it make a noticeable difference if I waited? I can't see how it couldn't, but now I feel like I would be a loser if I didn't go. I've been accepted to a selective BSN program and would start clinicals in August. Or I could do prereqs over the next year, then get on one of the many ASN two-year waiting lists (no joke) and start once my youngest goes off to Kindy or first grade.

    I just sit and think about this all the time I hate it. I go back and forth. I decide I'm not going, then I feel sad that I will never be a part of L&D. The thought of checking the cervix and feeling (and seeing) the baby move down the birth canal almost makes me burst with enthusiasm. But is that enough to get me through nursing school?

    Please, please help me I truly appreciate it!
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   st4wb3rr33sh0rtc4k3
    Sorry to say the sick adults, you will see in Labor and Delivery. The mom or baby could be sick. Their could be an emergency sitation to arise. It is best to learn Med/Surg for one year before you get into a specialty. So you can know the basics of everything and be able to handle everything. Most hospitals won't hire new grads into a specialty unless they have one year Med-Surg experience. On the other hand, I worked in a hospital that taught me Labor and Delivery during the summer. So it depends on the situation...

    About your education, you need plenty of time to do homework. I didn't do much but homework during nursing school, and now when I have nothing to do I find myself so bored out of my mine. Good luck to you and don't give up on L and D. You will get there eventually.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Moved to OB/GYN forum, hopefully more will see and help you.

    I will be back and post later---after a few others have had the chance, first.
  5. by   gr8rnpjt
    You will need to be able to get through school and clinicals and based on what you have said, I think you will be very disappointed as nursing is not just babies and moms. You will need to learn the ropes and get very discouraged from what I hear from your post. Nursing school is very hard and the less distractions the better. I would wait until after kids in school full time. You will need to spend a lot of time studying.
    As far as specializing, I know a couple a girls in my nursing school class that were hired right from graduation into maternity so it does happen.
  6. by   SirJohnny
    Hi there:

    - I am starting my 4th (and final) semester of nursing school this January. I think the other nursing students on this board would agree with me that poop and pee are the least of your worries during nursing school, and eventually in this practice we call nursing. You get used to it.

    - Sick people are everywhere -- including sick babies and sick mothers...sometimes very sick mothers and very, very sick babies. All will depend on you to care for them.

    - Yes, you will need to get through nursing school. You will need 4 years of nursing school in order to be admitted into a Nurse Practitioner program -- which is what I believe you are seeking. Note: You only need 2 yrs for the RN degree -- but will eventually need 4 yrs total for the BS in nursing degree which allows you to advance to the above mentioned Nurse Practitioner program.

    - I am not sure about the Lactation Consultant educational requirements ... but I can tell you the two that I have met in our hospital both have RN degrees.

    - Regarding your children. You may need more than a year of pre-requisite classes before attempting to gain admission to a nursing school. You can certainly manage a family and kids, while taking Anatomy & Physiology. Also, when doing your pre-requisites ... just take one at a time to lighten the load. You can add more courses as your comfort and financial level dictates.

    Absolutely have your finances and emotional life together before attempting this adventure.

    - Regarding nursing school itself. What can I say? It's pure utter hell. This is comming from an invidual (myself) with a master's degree in computer science. We lost 6 more people this past semester out of a class of 30 that started the 3rd semester.

    - Regarding your decision to raise kids and do nursing school plus pre-requisites at the same time --- my answer is a DEFINITE DO NOT DO!!!!! You are better off enjoying watching your little ones grow up while you proceed at your own pace.

    - Definitely, don't do nursing school unless you feel like it's a calling. Seriously, you really, really, really have to want this. Nursing school consumes my entire life ... and that of my classmates. We just had finals, and the people who succeeded this past semester put in an average of 8 to 10 hours a day for two weeks in preparation. This is in addition to all of the clinical paperwork (done weekly), as well as the 4 journal articles (scrutinized by the faculty in as much detail as any English paper you'll ever write). All in all, we will have lost more than 50% of our original starting class by the time this program ends in June.

    - My advice...start your pre-requisites now. They will be helpful, even if you decide to pursue another career. Just about every college program wants 1 or 2 semesters of English, plus some Math, and who knows what else. In the meantime, talk to your local hospital about volunteering or shadowing a nurse for a day.

    - Seriously, in this game ... I don't know how you are going to escape the reality of dealing with bodily fluids and sick people. It just goes with the territory.

    Hope this helps,

    John Coxey
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Last edit by SirJohnny on Dec 5, '05
  7. by   OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Thank you for your very honest replies

    I just don't understand what I'm supposed to do with my desire to work in L&D and breastfeeding I had already realized that being an RN is really the only way to do that stuff hands on, so it seemed obvious that I needed to go to nursing school...ya know??? I completely agree that I'm not cut out for nursing school or nursing period. But I SOOOOO desperately want to be in the delivery room, and I have helped with breastfeeding and I LOOOOOVE it

    What can I do if not nursing?

    Thanks again, I appreciate it so much
  8. by   geekgolightly
    Quote from OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Thank you for your very honest replies

    I just don't understand what I'm supposed to do with my desire to work in L&D and breastfeeding I had already realized that being an RN is really the only way to do that stuff hands on, so it seemed obvious that I needed to go to nursing school...ya know??? I completely agree that I'm not cut out for nursing school or nursing period. But I SOOOOO desperately want to be in the delivery room, and I have helped with breastfeeding and I LOOOOOVE it

    What can I do if not nursing?

    Thanks again, I appreciate it so much
    my advice is if this is what you really want to do, you will learn to adapt well enough to make it through nursing school to be where you want to be, and you will be able to care for sick mommas and babies which IMHO is very different from taking care of sick geriatrics. you get used to the yucky stuff. some yucky stuff you dont get used to, but you deal with it to be able to do all the good stuff. your passion to help mommas and babies is very much needed in OB nursing. go for it and know that you will adapt.

    as far as not having much money with two kids, i know that no matter what if the desire is there you will find a way. you may not live like kings while doing it, but you can do it. i didnt have children, but i gave up going out, having cable, having a car, even having enough extra money to ride the bus to get through nursing school. there were weeks when i had to walk to school and back. three miles each way rain or shine. there are grants and loans availible. if you make good grades there are scholarships.

    dont give up.
  9. by   hospitalstaph
    Quote from OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    I have questions, and don't know what to do. Here goes.

    I have always been drawn to pregnancy, L&D, neonates and breastfeeding. I feel like L&D is where I'm drawn to the most. I shadowed a float nurse in L&D for nearly 9 hours a few months ago, and was so amazed! I saw a lot that day (about 5 births - vag & c/s) and the day flew by. I am also interested in becoming a lactation consultant. Everything I'm interested in involves becoming an RN first (at least in my area). My concern is that my desires are too limited to be a good RN or to succeed in nursing school. I don't just want to be a nurse and help people. I want to be involved in one of the areas listed above. I see myself nowhere else. I feel like I'm destined to fail because of that. So many things are disgusting to me. I really dislike sick adults. I have no interest in caring for them day in and day out. I'm not even iffy about it, I could not do med/surg nursing. What sucks is that I feel like I can't figure this out without investing time and energy (and money) and THEN realizing it's not for me I wish I could "be a nurse" for like a week and see if it's really for me, ya know?

    Second question. I have two small boys (one is two, the other is nearly four). Should I wait to go to nursing school until after they go to school? Would it make a noticeable difference if I waited? I can't see how it couldn't, but now I feel like I would be a loser if I didn't go. I've been accepted to a selective BSN program and would start clinicals in August. Or I could do prereqs over the next year, then get on one of the many ASN two-year waiting lists (no joke) and start once my youngest goes off to Kindy or first grade.

    I just sit and think about this all the time I hate it. I go back and forth. I decide I'm not going, then I feel sad that I will never be a part of L&D. The thought of checking the cervix and feeling (and seeing) the baby move down the birth canal almost makes me burst with enthusiasm. But is that enough to get me through nursing school?

    Please, please help me I truly appreciate it!
    Oh, you and I must be long lost sisters! I honestly went into this with the idea that I would be IBCLC in the end. I have three little ones and am part time working on ADN (ages 3, 6, and 8).

    In the past four months I have experienced trauma, ER, ICU, CICU, telemetry, and med/surg. And all before I started clinicals! I also know more about pain management than I ever though I would at this point. My husband has Crohn's and has been "living" in the hospital recently. My experience in these other areas has made me rethink my previous choices. I still truly support lactation, but I also see the value of life like never before.

    You will likely get over your reservations about caring for those outside of the fields that you mentioned. The aspect of nursing that draws you to lactation and L&D is present everywhere! However, you can also be such a wonderfull L&D nurse or IBCLC, or both!

    Best of luck to you!

    T
  10. by   geekgolightly
    alos there are some states that do lay midwifery. i dont know if yours does or not. you bypass getting your RN and work with a midwife, mostly doing home deliveries. you should find out what midwives do in your area and ask to follow one to a home delivery and see what that is like for you.

    to be a lactation consultant takes an immense amount of work after your RN
  11. by   bbrown1
    OB or NICU Hopeful,
    I am right there with you. I feel that I need to do something with babies or labor and delivery. I have been very interested with this area since I was a little girl. I think I will struggle in nursing school because I will not be as willing to learn the things that I am not interested in. Although I know my weakness I am going to ty to open my mind to other things than just babies and LD. I love witnessing a baby being born or babies in the NICU who need every little bit of help you can give them. I feel that the NICU or LD are my true callings, does anyone else feel like that?
    bbrown1
  12. by   mommy2BCD
    I am a nursing student. I too do not enjoy med/surg nursing, it does not interest me at all and I know that I would like to work in Peds or NICU. You have a calling to labor and delivery and I think this is great because you have a goal. It is also not true that you have to have one year of med/surg nursing to work in a specialty. If you go to the forums on here you will see that SO many new grads get hired in the area that they want to specialize in, which i think is so awesome! Why waste a year of your life doing a job in an area that you hate? Don't get discouraged. There is always a process to achieve your goals and in nursing school you will have to see many areas, but that is what is so great about nursing-there are SO many areas. In the end, when you graduate the choice is yours! In regards to starting school, I would get your prereqs out of the way a.s.a.p. I personally wouldn't wait until your children go to school, because they are at the age where if you send them to daycare for the day you aren't going to miss them roll over or say their first word, etc. After all think to yourself that what you are doing will benefit them in just a few years! You are going to school to give a better life to your family. That is how I have to think about it some days when I leave my 1 year old. They would benefit from spending time with other children. I hope this helps. I say go for it! Good Luck









    Quote from OB_or_NICU_hopeful
    Thank you for your very honest replies

    I just don't understand what I'm supposed to do with my desire to work in L&D and breastfeeding I had already realized that being an RN is really the only way to do that stuff hands on, so it seemed obvious that I needed to go to nursing school...ya know??? I completely agree that I'm not cut out for nursing school or nursing period. But I SOOOOO desperately want to be in the delivery room, and I have helped with breastfeeding and I LOOOOOVE it

    What can I do if not nursing?

    Thanks again, I appreciate it so much
  13. by   xxAmyxx
    As far as prereq's definitely get them out of the way first, clinical and studying for nursing classes will take all of your time.

    You really need a well rounded nursing experience to become a good labor and delivery first. You are going to have moms that have chronic disease, hypertension,colostomy bags, UTI's, arrhythmias, STD's and everything else you can think of. To be good in any field you need to have spent time in clinical learning how to care for these patients because they are everywhere, even labor and delivery.
  14. by   bbrown1
    HI!
    I also believe you should not spend your time working somewhere where you hate it. I hope that I never have to work somewhere like that. I have a passion for the NICU and I am going to go for it. If it doesn't work out for me then I will try something else. I hope everyone can find something that they are as passionate as I am about this, they will have a happier life. I do realize that not all jobs are great. Each and everything has its drawbacks, it is just the job. As far as the prereps go I am busting my butt to get them finished and get a good grade out of them. I see everyday that there are many girls who would rather party and go out than study. I don't think they are going to make very far in nursing. I do not have a child yet, but I give you and many others respect for raising a family and going to school, not everyone can. Good luck in everything!
    bbrown1

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