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Career switching advice

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by Spartan05 Spartan05 (Member) Member

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Hello all:

I am currently working full-time and taking nursing prereqs in the hopes of applying to an accelerated program this fall for admission in January 2008. I have a prior degree and after getting internship experience in my field (engineering) I decided that I did not like the office environment and needed something more fufilling and hands-on. I've been doing quite a bit of research, volunteering, shadowing and talking to as many people as I can to learn as much as I can about this field. I feel like I don't want to make the same mistake twice (getting back into school and getting a degree that I don't want to use) so my question to anyone out here who can give me some advice, wisdom, or tips is this:

Do you ever really know for sure if you want to do something until you actually get into the field? I feel like in order to really go for something sometimes you just have to jump in and get your feet wet (basically nothing will substitute for your experience) but what else can I do to figure out if this is right for me?

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 14,602 Posts; 101,612 Profile Views

i can tell you are very scientific oriented because of the way you are thinking on this. however, while assessing all the options and learning all you can about something, there comes a time when you have to put a theory to the test to know if it is going to hold up. that's part of the scientific method. i think you might have reached that part of the process but are just a bit edgy about taking the next step. just don't walk into something without a backup plan in the event that things don't work out. i don't think you can ever really know for sure if something is right for you until you take the leap to test the waters. there are too many variables that you might have missed considering. i think almost all of us felt the same trepidation and just finally took the step to go to nursing school.

you say you have been volunteering and shadowing. where? hospitals? i've seen a number of activities volunteers and assistants in the nursing homes who got a good look at what was going on with the nurses, nursing assistants and the patients (residents) and decided that nursing was for them. i don't know that you can get this kind of view of what nurses in the hospital setting do as clearly as you can in a nursing home where things are more in the open. if you can afford the time and money, take a course (or get hired in order to take the course) to become a cna (certified nursing assistant). this is a prerequisite for some nursing programs these days anyway. pick up an older used nursing textbook and read through it and see if it is what you thought nursing was going to be. nursing involves learning to give basic nursing care which we all have to start out learning. if you find that you like doing that, then you'll be closer to your answer. nursing is a service industry where you are working with all kinds of people, both patients and staff. the ability to communicate is essential. you see people at their worst. the ability to be compassionate, understanding and non-judgmental is also essential. can you see yourself doing that?

http://www.discovernursing.com/ - about nursing

http://www.discovernursing.com/nursing-careers - list of nursing specialties

http://www.collegeboard.com/student/csearch/majors_careers/45263.html - "ten questions to ask yourself" about any career and if it might be right for you

http://nursing.about.com/od/becomeanurse/bb/beforenurse.htm - "before you decide to become a nurse". things to consider about being a nurse. lots of links to information about what skills you need to become a nurse. and, what if you're really bad at math and science is discussed.

http://nursing.about.com/od/becomeanurse/a/notforeveryone.htm - "nursing is not for everyone". this is a very down to earth and honest article that broadly discusses what a nurse does and what you can expect on the job as a nurse.

http://www.hospitalsoup.com/day/archives.asp - a day in the life. . .of a critical care nurse educator, professor of nursing, operating room manager and emergency room nurse. there is another link to the description of and informatics nurse at the same site

http://www.wetfeet.com/content/real%20people/robert%20nelseon.aspx - "robert nelseon, registered staff nurse in the health care industry". read about the day in the life of an intensive care unit nurse.

http://www.wetfeet.com/content/real%20people/joan%20nikkicoda.aspx - "joan nikkicoda, nurse practitioner in the health care industry". read about the day in the life of a family nurse practitioner who specializes in cardiac care.

http://www.wetfeet.com/content/real%20people/maria%20o%e2%80%99connell.aspx - "maria o'connel, psychiatric nurse". read about the day in the life of a psychiatric nurse who works on an acute inpatient psychiatric unit.

https://allnurses.com/forums/f8/day-life-registered-nurse-185298.html - a day in the life of a registered nurse thread on general nursing discussion forum

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