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Can I Make it in Today's Nursing?

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foxlover foxlover (New) New

Without giving away too much personal info: I already hold one degree, I'm *almost* over-the-hil, and I'm finally fulfilling my dream of going to nursing school.

I am smart. I am a problem solver. I am compassionate. I am at my best in the middle of chaos. I am strong. I am a survivor.

My concern is that I hear sooooo much negativity (especially on allnurses.com) about the profession, how messed up the system is, how hard the shifts are, etc. I don't want to end up like many others, burnt out, frustrated, etc. I wonder if my older body can handle the 12 hour shifts. I wonder how long it will take before I too, become frustrated with the system.

I know about weekends and holidays. Fine. I know about doctor uncivility. Dealt with it. Fine. I know about dealing with nasty patients and families. Done that too (in education). I know it's hard work. I want hard work. I don't want a fluff job or I would be sitting behind a desk right now.

I understand setting boundaries. I understand about the need to care of yourself. I'm not just looking for something to "run to" after my first year on the floor. I want to be at bedside (right now I'm thinking ER, or other high acuity.)

What I want is some realistic feedback on how it feels for the 40something (and older) to cope in this field. I'm not looking for those who just want to be rude and bash me personally without knowing me. I would LOVE some positive stories from those of you who still love what you do.

How can I get my body in shape to deal with the days ahead?

How can I get my mind ready for the frustrations that lie ahead?

How can I be compassionate, yet not spend sleepless nights in sadness?

How do you NOT "take it home with you?"

Thanks in advance. Peace to all

Cross fit? í ½í¸„

I would get with a personal trainer for a few sessions to learn the basics of core and general strengthening plus work on aerobic fitness. Or yoga, swimming.. Really whether you go into nursing or not.

And an orthotic fitting.

Thanks Libby. I think that's a great idea. I have always been very active. I have been a runner, have a red belt in TKD, and played volleyball for years. I have a good BMI (a little too low, actually) for my tall frame, so I'm not a complete mess, ha ha! However, just need to rebuild my strength and endurance.

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I graduated from nursing school at age 43 and my first job was at a busy pediatric emergency room. In retrospect I believe, through life experience, I was a better rounded person to deal with patients and parents and certainly more compassionate at that age than I was when I was 20. What you say about yourself seems to indicate you'd be quite capable of becoming a successful nurse. I don't know what shape you're in physically but it sounds like you have a grasp of what it would take to be on your feet for the majority of a 12 hour shift; regardless of age! As far as "taking it home with you" - everyone deals with that in their own way. As far as the negatives on this site....you'd hear the same stuff from any professional site - it's human nature. Good Luck!!

Thanks OldDude! I appreciate your perspective and kind words!

You sound a lot like me :). I have a prior 4-year degree, I was successfully establishing myself in another field, and I found it very boring and unsatisfying to sit behind a desk and be cozy all day. I'm not quite over the hill, but from the sounds of it, you're in better physical shape than I am!!

I think if you want it, you should do it. It'll be challenging, it'll be heartbreaking some days, and it'll probably be one of the most rewarding things you'll do. Just for the love of God make sure you can realistically have some reassurance of obtaining employment at a hospital that isn't dangerous when you graduate. As much as I felt called to be a nurse, I would not have touched it with a ten foot pole if I'd had any doubts about my hospital being a good one and also being willing to hire new grads.

I worked with a nurse who was on her way to 80. You can do it if you put your mind to it. It's not like other jobs are all perfect, either.

The body doesn't really matter. I've worked around tons of nurses who couldn't run to the end of the hall, or do a push-up/pull-up, or stand for long periods of time, etc.

The mind? I strongly suggest waiting tables in a bad part of town or at a "low class" restaurant. A lot of my friends were shocked when they started nursing, but I was not. Working for a resturant prepared me well, I think, and if you can wait tables and manage time, you will be ahead of the game.

I strongly suggest waiting tables in a bad part of town or at a "low class" restaurant. A lot of my friends were shocked when they started nursing, but I was not. Working for a resturant prepared me well, I think, and if you can wait tables and manage time, you will be ahead of the game.

Haha! I have waited tables too, at a very busy city restaurant that was usually on an hour-plus wait. I loved when customers tried to be rude and demanding, and I made them smile with my wit and by exceeding their expectations. I would go back to it if it paid more, just because I loved the fast pace, and the ability to make people's day!

so, waitress....CHECK!

Just for the love of God make sure you can realistically have some reassurance of obtaining employment at a hospital that isn't dangerous when you graduate. As much as I felt called to be a nurse, I would not have touched it with a ten foot pole if I'd had any doubts about my hospital being a good one and also being willing to hire new grads.

Thank you. Fortunately, I'm in one of the best/largest medical centers in the world. I have plenty of top-notch facilities to choose from. (Hopefully, that is....) :) Good Advice! Where you work can truly make the difference!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 40 years experience.

I think the reality of nursing is harsh. Many have gone into the profession young believing in all the hype that the path in nursing is paved with gold and you can write your ticket. Well.....it isn't and you can't.

The shifts are long and it is hard work. But it is about what you WANT.

I have been a nurse for 35 years and while there are frustrations..... I have loved every minute of it.