Quote from samadams8
Why should you listen to other, experienced nurses? I don't know. Maybe b/c they have decades of experience, and they have pretty much seen it all.
I will tell you this, and then I am done here. God bless you and the best to you; but listen. Only go into nursing if you cannot see yourself doing ANYTHING, and I do mean, ANYTHING ELSE. It's a similar question to what pre-meds need to ask themselves, except that the upfront money and time commitment are NO WHERE near the same; thus this is a much bigger question for pre-meds.
Having said that, please, if you move forward with nursing, know that with the good sides of things, there are a TON of not-so-good things--chiefly, the lack of adminstrative support, overall--and in general--and more backstabbing and subtle infighting and sabatoge that you might ever consider possible. YOU MAY luck out, or at least you may not see it initially. But b/c there is so much underhanded nonsense, on top of other natural stressors to the work, you MUST protect yourself. Therefore, I STRONGLY recommend that you get experience after school and have more than one nursing position. This is better protection IMHO than simply working in a unionized hospital.
I want you to go in with your eyes wide open, but I know that is only possible to the degree one gets experience in the field. Yes, some nurses ****** just to ******. Some people don't like the essential nature of being a nurse, thus, anywhere they work will be crap to them. But I am NOT talking about those people. I am talking about people that actually LOVED what they did/do as professional nurses. Sadly, the way things are run, that get sucked out of even the best, most enthusiastic of nurses--or those nurses simply become bullies themselves. The important thing is to always be able to work, but regardless of what you think or what others say--even Nurse Mgers or HR people, guess what? Many if not most nurses get eliminated, terminated, fired from positions, even though they were good nurses or at the least, has the potential to be. This is worse now that it ever has been, and it has always been an issues for as long as I have been a nurse (2 decades).
Protect yourself. The reality is, you can't protect your patients if you can't protect yourself. It doesn't take much to get screwed in this field, and I am NOT kidding. I have seen soooooooooo many good and great nurses get screwed over in this field. So if you really love and can't see yourself doing anything else, go for it. But make sure you protect your ability to work--and that begins with your practicuums/clinicals in school. You can get top grades, if you somehow get screwed during a clinical, you can find that you may not make it through the program, or you may need a reference, and find that some instructor wasn't as positive about you as you thought. This wasn't an issue for me, b/c my mom was a nurse, and she sort of clued me into things before I started. Some students are whiney, don't take initiative, or they are either too passive or the other extreme, ridiculously overbearing, or just plain not careful. But since you have been around the block, you will not be as easily intimidated, and you should be going in with more wisdom about how the real world works.
Good luck and Blessings and the Best to you.
It's just not fair IMHO to give people a head's up about what they are going into. ONLY YOU can decide if this is right for you, and if you can or can't see yourself doing anything else.
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom and experience with me. All of the above, (and my own fears), have kept me out of nursing for over 10 years now. My mom is an LPN, and has been for over 20 years, and recently lost her job when her employer "threw her under the bus" for something she had no control over. She was fired. I've certainly seen the ugly side of nursing up close and personal. That said, she now has the nursing job of her dreams. So I've also seen the happy side of nursing.
No matter what, I just keep coming back to the idea of nursing. I've known that I wanted to be a nurse since my first week working as a nurse aid. A resident starting puking. Helping her was one of those moments where I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. I also "specialized" in dealing with all the "difficult" residents. The "cranky" ones, the "angry" ones, the "ugly" ones, the actively dying ones.....the ones that no one else wanted to deal with or talk to. Those experiences taught me about the worth and value of all human life and I discovered that I had a depth of compassion that would serve me well in the field of nursing.
I have a strong love of science coupled with an intense desire to work directly with people, in one on one type situations, helping them to learn about their own bodies. I really would like to work as a family nurse practitioner in primary care someday, bringing more affordable health care to my inner-city neighborhoods.
I truly can't imagine myself in any other career although I sure have tried to talk myself into alternatives over the years. I thought maybe I would do social work, and while I loved the personal interactions there wasn't enough science of the human body involved. For example, if someone complained of a stomachache keeping them up at night because of a medication change, I found myself wanting to be more involved in helping them directly with that. I thought maybe I could do occupational therapy, but again, too far removed from the science of the body. I'm too interested in medicine and the whole person to just focus on occupational therapy or mental health or any one specific thing. I want to teach people how to live healthier lives, whatever that means for each individual person and their own personal goals of health and wellness. I want to walk alongside them on their journey as a guide and an aid.
I thought maybe I would just become an accountant and forgo all the problems in health care altogether, but I had no passion for it. There was no meaning. I'm an INFJ personality type and my career has to fit my passion and vision for how I'm supposed to serve the world.
I know my calling is public health in some fashion. Most recently I thought I could make that work as a biological anthropologist discovering some mysteries behind what determines health and wellness as a species. But looking ahead I can't see myself in research alone without some type of "patient" contact in a one-on-one teaching/helping type of relationship, and much of what I'm looking at doing as an anthropologist still lacks the medical/clinical background that I want. Every avenue I look down, I see myself lacking that clinical understanding of the human body and lacking that human interaction that I seek.
I can't deny that I have a strong desire to promote health and wellness in my community in a fashion that has me intimately relating with and serving people; and intimately working with and exploring the science of the human body in its vast entirety (and then using that knowledge to teach others and improve lives). I keep trying to find a way to work in health care without working in health care and I keep coming up short, and ending up right where I started-nursing. So I find myself stuck a nurse at heart, knowing that the reality of the field is far from what it should be.
What else can I do but give it a try and see what I can make happen?
Wow, I hadn't intended to type so much. I tend to think "out loud" through writing and I want to thank you so very much for being the spark that led me to do this "thinking." I've obviously got much on my mind and much more to ponder. It is no easy decision to be sure. I'm taking the rest of this school year to decide for sure what my next move is.