My mom is an RN and advises me not to become one

  1. I am a sophomore going into my junior year of high school this year, and I have been wanting to be a RN for a few years. I have read this blog for months, and I've read the good and bad in nursing. My mom has been an RN for over 25 years and advises against me becoming one. She tells me to 'run the other way from nursing and never look back' and laughs. She got her BSN in her early 20s and her first job was in cardiac step down unit, which she worked in for about 5 years, which she actually liked. She moved and happened to get a job in a med-surg Unit and worked there for almost 2 years, which she hated. She would hate going to work and having so many patients and a million things to do all the time and got burnout. I can name a million more reasons why she didn't like it, but I'm sure those of you who work in med-surg understand. She did this all before I was born. Now, she is currently a nurse auditor. She is ok with me being a nurse since it is my life, but she advises me against it. I would like to work in critical or intensive care, preferably in the PICU, but I'd probably also like working in the NICU, an adult ICU, or a cardiac unit. My concern is that it would be hard to get a job in either of the units I desire to work in and I would get stuck working in a med-surg unit and be miserable like my mom was. She is the kind of person that you'd expect to be a nurse because of her personality and compassion, and even she wishes she didn't become a nurse. She has told me that when she used to work in a hospital, she wanted to do labor and delivery, but the positions wanted experience. Sometimes I think that maybe if she was able to do labor and delivery and did it, she would feel different about nursing today. Anyways, what do you guys think about landing a job in ICU or Critical Care as a new grad? Also, what do you guys think about how my mom feels about nursing? Would you do it all over again? I'd also appreciate any of your stories about what unit you work in or have worked in and what was or is like. This is my first post and I have been pondering on these questions for months, so I thought I should reach out to other nurses besides my mom, especially others RNs. I appreciate any of you reading this and I have so much respect for what you guys do
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    About Jen385

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 7; Likes: 1
    from FL , US

    18 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Jen385
    I am a sophomore going into my junior year of high school this year, and I have been wanting to be a RN for a few years. I have read this blog for months, and I've read the good and bad in nursing. My mom has been an RN for over 25 years and advises against me becoming one. She tells me to 'run the other way from nursing and never look back' and laughs. She got her BSN in her early 20s and her first job was in cardiac step down unit, which she worked in for about 5 years, which she actually liked. She moved and happened to get a job in a med-surg Unit and worked there for almost 2 years, which she hated. She would hate going to work and having so many patients and a million things to do all the time and got burnout. I can name a million more reasons why she didn't like it, but I'm sure those of you who work in med-surg understand. She did this all before I was born. Now, she is currently a nurse auditor. She is ok with me being a nurse since it is my life, but she advises me against it. I would like to work in critical or intensive care, preferably in the PICU, but I'd probably also like working in the NICU, an adult ICU, or a cardiac unit. My concern is that it would be hard to get a job in either of the units I desire to work in and I would get stuck working in a med-surg unit and be miserable like my mom was. She is the kind of person that you'd expect to be a nurse because of her personality and compassion, and even she wishes she didn't become a nurse. She has told me that when she used to work in a hospital, she wanted to do labor and delivery, but the positions wanted experience. Sometimes I think that maybe if she was able to do labor and delivery and did it, she would feel different about nursing today. Anyways, what do you guys think about landing a job in ICU or Critical Care as a new grad? Also, what do you guys think about how my mom feels about nursing? Would you do it all over again? I'd also appreciate any of your stories about what unit you work in or have worked in and what was or is like. This is my first post and I have been pondering on these questions for months, so I thought I should reach out to other nurses besides my mom, especially others RNs. I appreciate any of you reading this and I have so much respect for what you guys do
    With respect to your mom, her story is not necessarily your story.

    If I had it to do all over, I'd probably do the exact, same thing. I'm older than your mom, and I've been a nurse for 40 years. I've worked in Med/Surg, Heme/Bone Marrow Transplant and critical care. I found my niche in critical care.

    I've had an interesting, challenging career that has afforded me a solid, middle class income and benefits. Unlike my parents, I had a nice home (not fancy, but it did have things my parents' home lacked when I was growing up -- plumbing and electricity for starters), reliable transportation, health and dental insurance and the occaisional nice vacation. I had flexible scheduling and the chance to do something that I felt proud to say contributed to society as a whole. I've met interesting people and have really great friendships. Nursing has definitely been a plus in my life!

    There are negative aspects to every job and to every workplace. The key to being happy isn't in getting what you want; it's in wanting what you have. Happiness is a choice you make.
  4. by   Jen385
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    With respect to your mom, her story is not necessarily your story.

    If I had it to do all over, I'd probably do the exact, same thing. I'm older than your mom, and I've been a nurse for 40 years. I've worked in Med/Surg, Heme/Bone Marrow Transplant and critical care. I found my niche in critical care.

    I've had an interesting, challenging career that has afforded me a solid, middle class income and benefits. Unlike my parents, I had a nice home (not fancy, but it did have things my parents' home lacked when I was growing up -- plumbing and electricity for starters), reliable transportation, health and dental insurance and the occaisional nice vacation. I had flexible scheduling and the chance to do something that I felt proud to say contributed to society as a whole. I've met interesting people and have really great friendships. Nursing has definitely been a plus in my life!

    There are negative aspects to every job and to every workplace. The key to being happy isn't in getting what you want; it's in wanting what you have. Happiness is a choice you make.
    Ruby Vee, thank you so much for your response! It meant a lot to me to hear that you are glad you became a nurse. My mom and I definitely see things differently, as I am more of an optimist, and I agree that it's all a matter of perspective. Your post has definitely helped me feel more confident about going into nursing. Your post and perspective meant more to me then words can describe
  5. by   Susie2310
    I would never recommend that anyone considering becoming a nurse is only willing to consider working as a new graduate in specialties that typically require significant periods of training/investment by one's employer and much support from one's manager and co-workers, when there is an oversupply of nurses. New graduate nurses often find it very hard to find any nursing job, let alone a job in a highly desirable specialty. I think that to only be willing to work in certain specialties right from the beginning is setting oneself up for a lot of disappointment. I think it is much more realistic for someone considering nursing as a career to be flexible and to recognize that in order to obtain their first position as a nurse they may need to accept a position in an area they are not attracted to, such as long term care, and move on from there. Many new graduates consider themselves very fortunate to start their first job in med-surg.
  6. by   Jen385
    Quote from Susie2310
    I would never recommend that anyone considering becoming a nurse is only willing to consider working as a new graduate in specialties that typically require significant periods of training/investment by one's employer and much support from one's manager and co-workers, when there is an oversupply of nurses. New graduate nurses often find it very hard to find any nursing job, let alone a job in a highly desirable specialty. I think that to only be willing to work in certain specialties right from the beginning is setting oneself up for a lot of disappointment. I think it is much more realistic for someone considering nursing as a career to be flexible and to recognize that in order to obtain their first position as a nurse they may need to accept a position in an area they are not attracted to, such as long term care, and move on from there. Many new graduates consider themselves very fortunate to start their first job in med-surg.
    Suzie2310, thank you for your response. I appreciate your honesty and I will take what you have said very seriously into considering nursing as my future career. Also to clarify, I would be fine with starting out in med-surg, and I was only just wondering if it's possible to start out in critical care. I just wouldn't want to do med-surg my whole nursing career. I see what you are trying to say and I appreciate you taking your time responding and your advice.
  7. by   gordonfreeman
    I'm an RN, a Dad, & prayed my girl would not become a nurse. I sent her to a Maritime Academy, she got a degree in Facilities Engineering. She also became an Ensign in the Coast Guard Reserve ...Now a Lt.JG, runs an engine room on a CG reserve cutter.

    She has a full time building engineer's job at $90,000 a year. A job for life because she holds an Operating Engineer's union card. A fabulous pension, great career advancement and tons of respect.

    Oh, and here is the most important reason why daughter is, & will remain happy ...get ready for it ...There are no H1B workers imported from foreign countries to run buildings. There I said it.

    H1B workers are imported to cut your wages, overwork you, & make you submissive. If US Hospitals could not import nurses, every grad would have a job tomorrow, terrorist/RNs working in hospitals would be fired, and nursing unions would disappear. Then, I would say, be a Nurse. But, H1B immigration has killed American nurses.

    So, stay far away from Nursing. And any employer that recruits & trains H1B workers. BTW: nurses should vote against every politician that promotes the H1B visa program.
    Last edit by gordonfreeman on Apr 20
  8. by   Avill
    One of the many reasons I chose nursing was because I didn't want to go to school and major in something I couldn't get a job in later on. With that said, once you are an RN you can do WHATEVER you like. If you chose you don't like ICU you could do home health, pediatrics, telephone triage ect.

    Honey, you can do whatever you want. I'm glad your mom's experiences haven't scared you away from wanting to be a nurse. I have to say though, that like the other nurse said, there are certain specialties you can't go into with little experience right away, but you can definitely work up to it. Once you are in nursing school you will be exposed to different areas of nursing.

    I too chose to be a nurse during my Junior year of HS
  9. by   necrosus
    I wish I would have known what I wanted to do with my life when I was your age. If nursing is what you want to do, give it all you've got. I'm not sure what experiences gordonfreeman has had to make him feel the way he does, but as a travel nurse, I can tell you that there simply aren't enough critical care nurses to fill the demand. If I did critical care I could work anywhere I wanted to go, so apparently H1B's are not taking all of those jobs.

    As far as going into critical care as a new grad, that depends on your aptitude, but more importantly, on your drive. I know many hospitals that have intern programs that take new grads because they want to train them their way before they get into other habits. Usually, those internships go to nurses who also precepted there as students since they get a chance to train them and evaluate them in advance. If you have the determination to work hard and you KNOW that this is what you want, then you would be a far better critical care nurse than many I have encountered who are just doing it for other reasons.

    Sorry if this offends any critical care nurses, but I have worked with some who are total idiots in some ways, yet they learned how to do the particulars of the job well enough to be useful to their units, though I find them scary. Same goes for the ED. Every area of nursing is a high-skilled specialty, and you have people's lives in your hands no matter what, so there's no reason to think that only "good nurses" should go into higher skilled specialties. Every graduate is assumed to be a good nurse, even though that is, sadly, not the fact. The worst nurse I ever worked with was at the top of her class, but when she hit the floor, despite more training and retraining than I have ever seen offered, she was flat out dangerous.

    I have seen new grads who need to get more experience before they can handle acute care, but many more who make me feel stupid by comparison, and who quickly go into other specialties. Apply yourself and if you feel you are meant to be a nurse, go into nursing school. Chances are, by the time finish you might have discovered you like a different area than critical care, or you may be reaffirmed in your goal. Either way, I, as a potential future coworker, expect you to be the best nurse you can be wherever you practice.
  10. by   Jen385
    Gordon Freeman, I've never thought of that perspective, so thanks for sharing and thanks for your time responding. It's nice to hear that your daughter is doing something she loves.

    Avill, your post was so inspirational! Thank you so much for responding, and it's so nice to hear nursing was a positive experience for you! It's awesome that you also knew you wanted to be a nurse at my age and became one. Thanks for the encouragement

    Necrosus, your post was very inspirational as well! I am the type who is very driven to succeed and be the best I can be. I am very sure I want to be a nurse, but I posted on this blog because I wanted some reassurance since I've heard a lot of mixed things. Hearing you and everyone else's comments, especially positive ones, have been so helpful! Thanks so much for your encouragement!

    I will let you all know in 2 years (2020 is when I graduate high school) if I do decide I want to do nursing, but so far, I am very sure I won't change my mind. Thanks everyone for the comments so far! Your time responding means a lot to me
    Last edit by Jen385 on Apr 20
  11. by   MJ Reid
    I'm not a nurse yet but I could give you some advice.
    There are SO MANY different directions you could go with nursing. You don't need to work in a hospital or with patients at all. You could be a college professor teaching nursing, an administrative professional/manager, or even travel to other countries.
    You could go on to be a Nurse Practitioner or PA, even a job in research. A Master degree can be done online now, making even more opportunities for you.
    You wouldn't necessarily have the same situation as your mom did.

    A career is what you make of it and nursing offers more options that many others.
  12. by   Jen385
    MJ Reid, thanks so much for your response! I do agree that there are many different routes in nursing, which is why I have greatly considered it above other medical professions. Thanks for the ideas
  13. by   nalie2
    It sounds like your mom is just unhappy with some of the units she was in and bitter that she didn't pursue L&D. If nursing is what you want to do then do it. Your mom's story is her story and you will create your own. As a new grad I have received official job offers at a SNF, homeless shelter, pediatric clinic, and given the option to interview for ER, ICU and med-surg at another agency. There are many opportunities out there so don't settle for something you will be unhappy with.
  14. by   nursinglove30
    I shadowed a nurse once during clinicals and she told me if I was her daughter, she would advice me to give up on nursing and pursue something else completely. In fact she said she is pushing her daughter to pursue pharmacy instead if the healthcare industry is of interest to her. However, she believes that nursing is rewarding if you find a specialty you like and work with good nurses for a good employer. So a lot of factors there to consider. I think your mom is giving you good advice of what to do if you do decide to become a nurse. That is to work in a specialty you will like and advance your education so that you are respected and valued by your potential employer.

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