Talked out of nursing by others and myself....

  1. 5
    I need some encouragement and maybe a kick in the pants....

    Back in 1999, I was a 3.9 gpa pre-nursing/pre-med major and loving it. I dreamed of being a doctor or a nurse practitioner working in primary care someday. In 2000 I left to become a stay at home mom. As early as 2003 the urge to go back was creeping back in. Over the years I've talked myself out of/and been talked out of nursing with so many reasons.... among them, fear that the sacrifice of nursing school wouldn't be worth it; fear I would not have enough spoons (energy) to make it as a new nurse on the floor; fear I would not get a job in the post 2008 economy and the glut of new grads.

    I was dead set on going back in 2011 when I once again was talked out of it by people telling me that I was too old to work night shifts and there was no way I was getting hired in this economy without starting on nights. I told myself that I just couldnít do it. I've tried every avenue I could think of to circumvent nursing and still do what I want to do. But the reality is that nothing can replace the medical/clinical training of nursing (short of medical school); no career will allow me to do the things I could as a Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner. I need to view that time as a new nurse on the floor, maybe working nights, like an internship/residency that will give me the background I need to reach my goals. I need to stop letting fear dictate my decisions. I need to find ways to overcome the challenges, like the difficulty of working nights at my age (I'm 37 now). I need to stop doubting myself.

    I've recently started talking to my husband about finally going back for my ADN/BSN (and ultimately FNP) and he is somewhat supportive but still trying to talk me out of it. He doesn't think the sacrifice will be worth it in terms of time away from him and the family (our kids are 10 and 12 years old and we homeschool). He tells me that he is happy to support me financially and I donít need to work. But I want to work? Is that crazy?

    Friends who are nurses are telling me that a nursing career just isn't worth it with the grim realities of working as a nurse on the floor these days. Other friends who are nurses are telling me to go for it. It is hard work, but rewarding.

    Will I finally do it? Iím not getting any younger. If Iím ever going to do it, now is as good a time as any. Nurse Practitioner or Bust? I could use some support and encouragement, share your stories with me, etc. My husband just doesnít understand my drive to do this. I know when the going gets tough, I will need support. There will be days when I doubt what Iím doing. I need a support network to remind me of my goals and why Iím doing this. Also, I would like to offer support to others who may be in similar situations. We can do this.

    "Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." -Jack Canfield
    Last edit by radicalsenseofhope on Sep 30, '12
    PurplePRN, Rfrog, aknottedyarn, and 2 others like this.

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  2. 82 Comments...

  3. 7
    I'm older than you.............and I'm just finishing up my prereqs and applied to start nursing school in January. The kids will be gone living their own lives one day. And we'll need someone to nurture. Why not the sick? Yes, it will be hard. But so rewarding too. I'm sorry I don't have more time to post. I have to get back to studying A&P.

    I think you should do it! My husband isn't encouraging either. I won't get into it, but his reasons are purely selfish and in HIS best interest, not mine. Plus, having that extra income when our children are starting their adult lives will be nice. They'll have college, new homes, new babies..........so much they will need help with.

    Go for it!
    Ednach, joanna73, SeaH20RN, and 4 others like this.
  4. 4
    Quote from radicalsenseofhope
    I need some encouragement and maybe a kick in the pants....

    Back in 1999, I was a 3.9 gpa pre-nursing/pre-med major and loving it. I dreamed of being a doctor or a nurse practitioner working in primary care someday. In 2000 I left to become a stay at home mom. As early as 2003 the urge to go back was creeping back in. Over the years I've talked myself out of/and been talked out of nursing with so many reasons.... among them, fear that the sacrifice of nursing school wouldn't be worth it; fear I would not have enough spoons (energy) to make it as a new nurse on the floor; fear I would not get a job in the post 2008 economy and the glut of new grads.

    I was dead set on going back in 2011 when I once again was talked out of it by people telling me that I was too old to work night shifts and there was no way I was getting hired in this economy without starting on nights. I told myself that I just couldnít do it. I've tried every avenue I could think of to circumvent nursing and still do what I want to do. But the reality is that nothing can replace the medical/clinical training of nursing (short of medical school); no career will allow me to do the things I could as a Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner. I need to view that time as a new nurse on the floor, maybe working nights, like an internship/residency that will give me the background I need to reach my goals. I need to stop letting fear dictate my decisions. I need to find ways to overcome the challenges, like the difficulty of working nights at my age (I'm 37 now). I need to stop doubting myself.

    I've recently started talking to my husband about finally going back for my ADN/BSN (and ultimately FNP) and he is somewhat supportive but still trying to talk me out of it. He doesn't think the sacrifice will be worth it in terms of time away from him and the family (our kids are 10 and 12 years old and we homeschool). He tells me that he is happy to support me financially and I donít need to work. But I want to work? Is that crazy?

    Friends who are nurses are telling me that a nursing career just isn't worth it with the grim realities of working as a nurse on the floor these days. Other friends who are nurses are telling me to go for it. It is hard work, but rewarding.

    Will I finally do it? Iím not getting any younger. If Iím ever going to do it, now is as good a time as any. Nurse Practitioner or Bust? I could use some support and encouragement, share your stories with me, etc. My husband just doesnít understand my drive to do this. I know when the going gets tough, I will need support. There will be days when I doubt what Iím doing. I need a support network to remind me of my goals and why Iím doing this. Also, I would like to offer support to others who may be in similar situations. We can do this.

    "Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." -Jack Canfield
    In 2009 I went back to school to do my prereqs. I already had a BA and a MBA. I had worked in healthcare for 13 years in various positions; Drug rep, Pharm tech, Marketing and admissions for a nursing home, but always felt like I could do more to help my fellow man. So I understand your inate need to go back to school. I was 42 when I started my prereqs.

    Age was not an issue for me. My classmates treated me as if I was one of them. It wasn't easy going back to the classroom after a 20 year hiatus, but I found I had brains I didn't know I had. I actually did better in school then I did the first time around, and even raised my GPA from my first degrees. (I went to the same institution as my first two degrees.)

    I graduated this past May. Interviewing has been interesting. I have played to the fact that while I was a new nurse, I had an advantage of being more experienced at life! This experience could translate to a quicker fit into a team than many of my younger, less experienced classmate. I am actually the age of most of the nurse managers that have interviewing me, and also have a lot in common with them.

    Will you need a lot of family support? Yes. However, it sounds like your children are old enough to understand what it means to you to go back to school. They can become your greatest cheerleaders. Perhaps you could incorporate some of your nursing studies into your homeschooling, and all of you learn together. Just a thought.

    I think your should obviously go for it!!! There is only a "glut" of nursing in certain areas. As the babyboomers age, I feel that the demand will only become greater.
    joanna73, dsb_fam, Rfrog, and 1 other like this.
  5. 4
    OP, I suggest you read this viewpoint on why people discourage others from joining their profession (it isn't particular to nursing, I found it on a biology website but the principles are still the same.) It has helped me stay positive. I have gotten discouragement from nurses--not every nurse that I have met--about being a nurse. But in every line of work from farming to architecture, there will be people who live and breathe their job and others who rag on it at every opportunity.
    It sounds like YOU are sure of your path, but you want the thumbs-up of others and that is stopping you from achieving your goals. Your husband is unsupportive, but will he still be in a few years when you have a great new job that you love along with the paycheck it brings? You have the fire to be a nurse, and I don't think you'll be satisfied until you have "RN" after your name and practicing, so you should go for it!
    On the practical side, if it's been a while since you took science classes, you may have to retake them for a nursing program. Or not. So get cracking and live your dream!
    joanna73, Merced, Rfrog, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    If you have wanted to do this for so many years, you definitely should go back and do it. Think of the example you can be to your kids regarding what you can accomplish with hard work and a strong will.

    There is no doubt that nursing is difficult. It requires us to constantly be learning, constantly juggling and coordinating a million things, constantly assessing and reassessing our patients to make sure they are doing ok. All while giving compassionate care to our patients, supporting our coworkers, dealing with administration and management, and trying to work with the MDs managing our patients. It is a lot, but managing all of that successfully does so much for us. I am a better person in all aspects of my life, since becoming a nurse. I am more patient, have better communication skills, more understanding of the people around me, a better friend and daughter.

    Nursing is an amazing profession to be a part of and I completely understand your desire to want to be a nurse. My friends and family were all against me becoming a nurse, but I knew it was right for me, so I didn't listen to them. I've been a nurse for almost 3 years now, and now they see how happy it makes me, so they are supportive and glad I did what I did. Sometimes, you just have to listen to your heart and do what you know is right for you. Good luck!
    Last edit by Annaiya on Sep 30, '12 : Reason: Spelling
    luvu12dtown and Rfrog like this.
  7. 2
    To the OP, I am 20, have no kids, and am a traditional college student (went to college straight after high school) so can not help in terms of you going back to school. But I can say you should definitely go to nursing school regardless. I am a big believer in having some sort of formal training/education & am assuming you did not get any degree after you left to be a stay at home mom. We don't know what the future holds; what if something happens and you can no longer be provided financial support? Your husband may not want you to work, but having independence is so important! Do not allow others to talk to out of something because by doing this, they are just delaying you in bettering yourself. Good luck!!
    duckyluck111 and Rfrog like this.
  8. 3
    I have wanted to be a nurse since I was in my early 20's. Never got the chance. At age 45 I decided to go for it! I'm so happy I did. At times the workload can seem overwhelming, but your kids are old enough and will probably be a great support for you too (my son is 14 and a wonderful support for me). Don't worry about the future and whether or not you will find a job other than nights. Live in the present moment! You don't know what wonderful opportunities may be waiting for you when you graduate. I personally had every excuse in the book for over 20 years. Finally I took the plunge and I'm so happy I did! I wish you the best of luck with your decision. I'm sure you will be an amazing nurse and even nurse practitioner!
  9. 2
    I am a traditional student with no kids and no financial responsibilities (because of able parents and scholarships). I took interest in your post because you said you are homeschooling your kids. My mom did not finish college and did not work in order to homeschool me, and I have never been more grateful for her decision. But as an emerging adult I realize the strong drive within you to do something, to get out of your hole and make something of yourself and make a difference. (Though as a mother you are already doing all of that.) So, since I'm not in the same position, I cannot say definitively what you should do.

    But, please, don't underestimate your kids' need for you. Sure, kids go to school everyday and turn out just fine. But when you have the ability to directly influence them every day, don't take it for granted. It's going to be a huge change for your kids if you decide to go back to school. And at this point you only have 8 years left of homeschooling. Time flies.

    Whatever you choose, I think following your dream of becoming an NP is awesome and you should definitely make it happen.
    vintagemother and Rfrog like this.
  10. 2
    I'm 42 years old and in my last six months of Nursing school, for our family this has been a financial burden to lose my income, but we know that in the end it will be worth it. I believe that you should always put 100% into your dreams and goals and always remember that our children learn just as much from our actions as they do from our words (if not more). What example are you setting for your children if you choose to not follow your dreams? Where is the future of nursing going to take us? That is something that all of my classmates concern themselves with, but for me this is just a journey I need to complete because I started it and it's my dream. I know the rest will work itself out when the time comes. Because this is my passion I am one of the top students in my class, and you will be too. As for your husband, when you talk about nursing school with him, take the focus off the job part and emphasize the need to finish what you started and accomplish your dreams. Some men want to be the bread winners and the have that mind set, but I'm sure there is a way to get him to support you in following your dreams, just try a different approach. I wish you the best of luck!
    Rfrog and ygonzales like this.
  11. 0
    If you waited on your fear to diminish you'd be waiting forever. Don't listen to those who tell you you're in over your head. Go after what makes you happy, and don't be concerned with those who tell you this is too much for you. I say firmly, before I received any degree there were thousands who told me I couldn't make it and less than a handful who told me I could make it. I could tell you from personal experience, I have two degrees and I am working towards my MSN/JD!
    Go for it!!!!! Don't look back on the times you have not gone for what you want. This should give you incentive for succeeding beyond their scope of you!

    Best of Luck!


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