Potential Nurse, but scared to do it?

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    I am a 17 y/o female. A senior in highschool from CA. I am applying to colleges with BSN nursing as my intended major, but I don't know if I truly can handle it as a career.
    I am terrified, to be honest, of the job. I am afraid of making a med error, I'm afraid my patient will code or aspirate, I am afraid I will make a mistake that will cost someone his or her life. I am also afraid of contracting a disease or accidentally sticking myself. I am also afraid of the bullying and disrespect that goes on among hospital professionals. Last summer, I interned in MedSurg (I mostly hung out with the Unit Secretary) but I saw everything - palliative care patients, oncology, combative patients, psych patients, etc. But I also saw how much the nurses cared and loves their jobs. And I know that "anything worth having never comes easy"
    So, in short, I don't want to go to work each day with crippling fears. How can I make it past this/ does anyone have advice for me? Thanks!

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  3. 13 Comments...

  4. 3
    I had a lot of people try to push me into nursing when I was younger, but I never wanted to do it because I didn't think I could handle the "blood and guts" of it. I hate to see people in pain. I cover my ears when I'm watching TV and someone is getting stabbed. Basically, if I see someone hurt then I hurt.

    Fast forward ten years later, two kids, and an unfulfilling career...I decided to give nursing a try. It is NOTHING like I thought it would be and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

    In my experience, other than the ER or the OR, there is very little "blood and guts." Furthermore, we need more nurses who hate to see others hurt aka empathize.

    I say go for it. If you don't like it, you can always change paths. Most people only regret the things they DIDN'T do.
    LadyPink12, CLoGreenEyes, and LexRaven like this.
  5. 1
    Wow. Both of these stories sound hauntingly familiar! I am 30 years old & a mother/nurturer of 4. I have always been afraid of the responsibility of being an RN, and I still am. But I, very recently, decided that nursing is the job that I will be happiest doing. I just want to help. I hope to work in oncology. The last post was so helpful & reassuring to me!!
    LexRaven likes this.
  6. 0
    At 17, it's really hard to know for sure that you will be making the right choice. Trust me, I'm 42 and just now getting into nursing. My past career was personal training and I hated it. But, your fears are normal. It is a scary thought that someone's life depends on you. I am almost done with my first semester of nursing school and feel so much more confident now than I did at the beginning of this journey. If it's something you feel passionate about, you will be able to overcome those fears. They are normal, don't worry!
  7. 2
    Shadowing is a great idea. If you know a nurse personally, you might try to shadow them in their job for the day, following as they do their routine; try to shadow in a few different departments if possible. I would highly suggest becoming a CNA first as well; in my area, it is a short & relatively inexpensive program. It will give you a basic foundation & should help you decide if continuing on to RN is something you would like to do.
    CLoGreenEyes and MrsCuoco like this.
  8. 0
    At your age I was afraid too. I took CNA training in high school and even got my CNA certificate but never used it because of my fears...now I am 32 years old,. married with 3 kids with a career I am unhappy with (I work for DSS as a supervisor) and am thinking of going back to school for a second bachelors in nursing (either that or my MSW but nurses make more and have more career options ). I hope to start taking my pre reqs in the Spring and maybe 2-3 years I will enter an accelerated BSN program. I am still scared but if I just went straight into nursing in the first place, I would be about 9-10 years in and still young, as opposed to becoming a nurse in my late 30s. I say if you want to do nursing, just go for it because it wil probably be harder to enter the field when you are older and have a lot more responsibility.
  9. 0
    I am exactly in your shoes. I'm currently debating whether I should transfer to a school with pre-nursing. Don't let fear push you away from what it is your heart desires. But in the meantime, truly consider whether this is the right fit for you.

    Good luck in your decision! (:
  10. 0
    I think being afraid of the responsibility is very healthy. Never be afraid to chase your dreams, the world is your oyster maybe spend some time volunteering in a hospital? Good luck!!
  11. 0
    My first year of college was wasted because I was in a different major & didn't think I could do it. I was so unhappy and ended up switching schools to get into pre reqs. I am so happy I did it. Don't talk yourself out of it.
  12. 1
    Hi there. First of all, I would say that the fears you have are all legitimate fears and not uncommon. But every nurse makes a mistake at some point, truly. Just because we are nurses does not mean we are perfect. We are all human. I have only been a nurse for a year and a half, but I had a lot of the same fears while in nursing school and I still have fears. Even though I haven't been a nurse for very long and I'm sure more experienced nurses can give you better advice, I would say to start out taking your general ed courses in college...can not go wrong there. Then get your CNA license and start working in a hospital or long term care facility. You will see a lot more and get more comfortable in the healthcare setting. It will be a great experience and it will definitely help you relax a little bit more. You will see if you love it or not. Even though being a nurse is different than being a CNA, it's a good idea to start with the basics and foundation -- patient care and comfort. I wish I would have had a better experience in healthcare before becoming a nurse. I haven't had a code yet or even assisted with one and it scares me to think about.

    This site is also a great resource! I became a member during nursing school and everyone on this forum is so wonderful and encouraging!

    Good luck to you
    CLoGreenEyes likes this.

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