I joined allnurses.com very much undecided about a career path in healthcare or whether I should just choose a career in STEM after a short stint as a pharmacy student. The latter simply was not a match and effort not withstanding, I felt farther away from actually using what is taught in class and the retail side. Many will argue that it is very much the same in nursing. While this may be true, there is an important factor that should break this impasse if one is to be unhappy in either career: DEBT! In addition, both work long hospital/retail hours. For me, clinical pharmacy was a long shot and even equivalent in years of study and cost to that of a physician.
Several searches on this forum yielded nurses/applicants for whom nursing is a second career and with a background in engineering, scientific research, teachers etc... I devoured the internal/external blogs trying to get a perspective on reasons as to a career switch to nursing or something else. There were many but ultimately it tends to be a personal choice either due to circumstances or overdue goal. As I read, I realized that perhaps I was too worried about what others would think of me for leaving a seemingly 'great career' for nursing as what others, even here, describe as being at the bottom of the healthcare chain.
There are many here who are nervous/excited about nursing entrance exam scores. Some are already living the academic dream or at least earning a good income with a certain job security that is nonexistent in many other careers. To put it simply, healthcare is a lot more stable than most industries. However, in nursing it is up to the individual to differentiate him/herself from the others as employers can afford to be selective now. Classic economics.
The nursing leaders in this country need to do a better job portraying its image to the American society. Internally, it may have started as higher scores and competitiveness are paramount. But how the public views its professionals can do wonders about career pride. There are several blogs I could share but three respectively did the following:
Gave me a nice overview of nursing practice (probably mostly floor nurses)
"I knew I wanted to be a nurse. Now, I'm more focused on what I want to be on top of that and the next degrees I want to get. Now, I want to be a nurse practitioner. [I] didn't want to become a doctor because I wanted a closer relationship with patients and the doctor's career path didn't offer as much flexibility. Nurses really get to interact with patients more than doctors, typically. I really want that human, patient interaction. Also, I want to have the ability to do lots of things. I don't want to be confined to just being a doctor, and I feel like I can do that better as a nurse practitioner. And I want to possibly spend more time with my own children, some day in the future, and I feel I'd be better able to do that as a pediatric-nurse practitioner."
Finally, cozy up with a warm cup of coffee/tea and let her "Smooth" piano keys enlighten you
Someone out there is living the dream while one of us is mired in indecision.
With that, I'm jumping right into this competitive nursing application process. And with many challenges later, the ultimate goal of following in Ms. McBurnett's (RN, CPNP) career path!