Like everyone else here I need some advice.

  1. I am a 20 year-old student who's currently waiting to get accepted into the nursing program at my community college. The truth is that I first decided to go into nursing b/c of the descent pay and job availability out there only. My concern is that I might end up not liking this career and having to go back to school and start over. On a side note, I do enjoy helping people though. I would like to know some pros and cons of being a nurse. In addition, I am also curious if all nursing students work as a nursing assistance while going to school. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   MB37
    I don't have any healthcare experience either, and job availability and pay definitely figured into my choice. I do have friends who are nurses though, so I have been able to pick their brains a bit. Do you know any? Suggestions I've read on here include shadowing a nurse for a day, volunteering at a local hospital, getting paid work at a hospital or doctor's office (CNA, unit secretary, etc.), and of course reading all over allnurses. One advantage of nursing as a career is you could hate your first job - or your first three - but stil find a rewarding career as a nurse in another area. You can work in all kinds of hospital settings (med-surg vs. ICU vs. psych), doctor's offices, LTCs, insurance companies, drug companies, you can go into management or education, and I'm sure I'm leaving some things out. My mother lives in MN, and she has a close friend that worked doing phone triage for an insurance company when her kids were growing up, and now teaches in the program at the U of M. She never worked a day in a hospital. Just a few ideas for you...
  4. by   DesertRain
    I'm not a nurse yet, so I can't justify any pro's and con's but I know that in my school becoming a CNA (nurses assistant) is not mandatory--I do know that in other schools it is. Everyone I have spoken to that has taken the CNA program prior to nursing school has said it was extremely beneficial. It offers you a predisposition on the field of nursing. At my school you get extra points towards entering the nursing program if you are a CNA first. Maybe it's something you might want to look into to see if nursing is indeed for you. The way I see it is that although it seems like it will take forever for me to become an RN, it really is only 2 years. Now, the pre-req's before entering are transferrable to university and other fields/careers/degrees etc...so if after 2 years I begin nursing and absolutely hate it, I have already knocked out several pre-req's that I can use towards something else. Not only that but like you said about the job security and stability, I will always be able to work as an RN and with that income be able to support another lifestyle/education change should I feel the need in the future. Hope that helps!
  5. by   blueyesue
    From reading these forums, I do know that it is the love for nursing, not money that will help you through all those hard times, and that there will be plenty.
  6. by   blueyesue
    I found this for you to read through.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f87/need...lp-183187.html

    Oh, and the advise to shadow a nurse, or volunteer is a must for those who are unsure if nursing is for them. Please don't spend thousands of dollars first, and find out later it wasn't what you expected or wanted. :spin:

    .
    Last edit by blueyesue on Jan 12, '07
  7. by   RNsRWe
    Please, please, consider that if your only motivation toward becoming a nurse is for the decent money and employment availability, you are not likely to even make it through nursing school.

    That's not at all a judgment against those who have chosen this field in part due to the money and need to fill jobs. I'm one of those. I don't believe you have to have a "calling" to be a nurse at all. HOWEVER, without a genuine desire to DO this work, you won't survive the years of clinical time required (assuming we're talking about an RN here).

    Much of student work is nasty, dirty, sticky and smells bad. There will be patients who under normal circumstances you would never even want to be in the same room with, and yet as a student nurse you will be probing their genital region. You will be working long hours and studying things that you wonder how they even relate to nursing later on. You will have instructors who will make you feel like an idiot, and the stress of exams and skills demonstrations could put you on medication!

    I say this as someone who's been there, done that, and is still happy to be a medical/surgical nurse. But there were also classmates of mine who found out, unhappily, that the clinical setting was not for them: AFTER they spent a ton of money and time getting there.

    There's lots of ways to make good money in fields that hold genuine interest for you. I'd take a look at them.
  8. by   CiCigirl
    Hi Pink--

    Since I'm a returning student (B.S. 7+ years ago and now returning to college for an ADN) I couldn't help but to want to chime in on your post.

    Speaking from experience I would definitely recommend that you do some volunteer work with your local hospital, nursing home, doctor's office, etc. to gain some invaluable experience.

    I think the best way to decide whether or not you want to be a nurse is to work with them directly in at least a few different specialties. It just seems to me to be the best way to get a TRUE PICTURE of what they do on a daily basis so that you can see if the job is right for you.

    Like I said, I got my B.S. several years ago and have explored a few different fields since I graduated. However I could never find a field that was as enjoyable and fulfilling as the healthcare field. When I was in college I worked as a phlebotomist in nursing homes and also volunteered in the local county hospital in the OB/GYN section of the ER. I worked with and assisted nurses directly and finally came to realize that that was the career I wanted to pursue. No other job that I've ever had could hold a candle to the fulfillment I got from that one-on-one patient interaction and knowing I made a difference in someone's quality of treatment.

    That's the reason I'm encouraging you to volunteer. So you get to know what it's really like to be a nurse and you won't be like me---going back to school later on in life b/c you decided after the fact that the 1st career you'd chosen wasn't for you.

    BTW--I would also recommend that you volunteer for more than just a day or a couple of days. I would recommend more like 6+ months to get a really good overall view. For example, when I was in college I volunteered once a week, every Saturday for like 2-4 hours, depending on my school schedule. Talk to the volunteer coordinator at your local hospital if you want to do that. I think you'll find that they're so excited to have additional hands on deck that they're happy to work with your schedule.

    I see that other people are recommending you do a CNA route and although I do not disagree with the fact that it could be a great way to go, if you don't want to spend the time and money to go to CNA school I don't think you necessarily have to in order the get the answers you want.

    But if you volunteer and then decide that nursing is not for you, you will have saved yourself some time, money and frustration.

    I hope that makes sense. And please don't take that the wrong way---I am NOT AT ALL trying to discourage you. Not at all! I wouldn't want to do that. But I'm just saying if you choose to volunteer you are choosing to get more real-life info about the career b/f you leap into it.

    When we have more information we make better decisions.:spin:

    Take Care!
  9. by   iamcool
    Quote from pink_princess
    I am a 20 year-old student who's currently waiting to get accepted into the nursing program at my community college. The truth is that I first decided to go into nursing b/c of the descent pay and job availability out there only. My concern is that I might end up not liking this career and having to go back to school and start over. On a side note, I do enjoy helping people though. I would like to know some pros and cons of being a nurse. In addition, I am also curious if all nursing students work as a nursing assistance while going to school. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
    i totally feel the same way as you! i've been reading all these posts about how people just have this passion for being a nurse or they've wanted to be nurses all their lives and whatever else, and then i feel scared for myself because i really don't have those same feelings. pretty much like you i decided to go into nursing just because i really had no idea what else i wanted to do. however, i'm still a pre-nursing student, and after talking to people i know in nursing school, i'm sure you'll know after the first semester of nursing school if its something you want to do. to tell you the truth, i just feel kind of relieved that there are other people out there that are my age and thinking the same things i am about nursing!
  10. by   Nursonegreat
    funny thing here...when i was 18 and deciding what to do with myself my dad said, go into nursing...the pay is good and they always have a job. im like...cool! my mom said if i wanted to do that, id better get a job in the field first. so i did, and went into nursing...but during my prerequisists (?sp) i got a c in A&P. and i knew alot...i was like: i cant be a nurse if i get a c in A&P. so i went into business, all the while working in a nursinghome for nuns. one day i had my head down below cleaning and loose BM everywhere, carrying on a conversation and realized "wow this doesnt bother me, why am i in business school" so i finished my business degree and then got my nursing degree. so, now u know how i feel about getting a little taste is your original idea of of nursing is money and job security. sure the pay is good, but heck if its enough for how hard we really work! GL

    PS when i went to nursing school, the first semester bedbaths are the big topic and task, and i of course did that on a regular basis and i knew how to talk to patients during all this which i saw other nurses who were so nervous and didnt know how to talk/treat pts. i felt i had some extra benefit for already knowing this and it helped me focus on the new part of nursing skills and knowledge i didnt know about.
    Last edit by Nursonegreat on Jan 19, '07
  11. by   wonderbee
    The money sounds good in relation to other jobs in an abstract theoretical way. The truth is, the money is a mere pittance to compensate nurses for the work we do. When you're faced with a patient (or 6 or more patients) who has something coming out of every orifice at the same time needing YOUR expert help and your able hands and aching back while the family is breathing down your neck and meds have to be given timely with orders taken off and you're on your 13th hour, the money is the last thing on your mind.

    Be prepared for reality. It bites, especially in the first year when expectations are tested and illusions go down the toilet. The pros are that nursing is a wide open field with a variety of areas of practice. The difficulty is getting through that first year or two when many, if not most of those areas are closed to the novice nurse. To make it past that first year or two, you'd better be in it for more than just the money.

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