Does this make me a bad future nurse?

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So as I prepare for this career change and hopefully start school in the fall, I have decided that NICU is where I want to be. I've done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people that have assisted with and reaffirmed my decision to enter into the nursing field. I have also realized that I have no interest or desire whatsoever to ever work in LTC nursing or hospice nursing. I know these areas take a special type of individual. I think the core of nursing is a genuine desire to help others and to be able to have compassion and empathy for those you are helping medically regardless of the situation, and removing your judgements and opinions in order to do your job and serve (I kinda equate nursing to marriage, as I believe when you marry, you have to die to self and put the union as a priority - and when I say die, no I do not mean give up or change the person you are, but more of replace selfishness with selflessness). However, I have no desire to work in these areas, yet I still believe that I possess the qualities that I just mentioned. Is that an oxymoron? Does that make me a bad person?

nyteshade, BSN

553 Posts

Specializes in Legal, Ortho, Rehab. Has 20 years experience.

No, you just know what you want to do...nothing wrong with that. I have no desire to ever work peds, and I don't think I'm bad for that...

Specializes in Med Surg, SSU, ED, P/NICU, Epilepsy. Has 9 years experience.

No, not at all.

I know alot of RN's (I'm a peds CNA) who would never do adults. I know Peds ICU RNs that are scared to death of the tiny NICU babies and vice versa. I know people who really like Hospice, I would not. Some love Onc, some cannot understand why you would want to work onc. And there are people out there who wonder why anyone would want to be a nurse period.

To each there own. There is something out there for all of us!!

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Hello there Mya

You posted and I need a break! Just soya know, many if not most of your patients will be the elderly ill. That's who make up census. That is, excepting OB and Peds rotations... those are a smaller percentage of your entire clinical experience. So suck it up girl, it's gonna take some grin and bear it. :D

mamamerlee, LPN

949 Posts

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

I don't like working neuro areas or burn units. No one ever said that we had to like everything, and some try a few areas before they find what they really want.

But keep an open mind during your clinicals, there may be something you never even considered that you may fall in love with. I was an ambulance attendant before I went to nursing school, and thought I would work in the ER; my first job out of school was Neonatal ICU! I absolutely fell in love with it while on rotation in there, and apparently the head nurse liked me, too! But I eventually worked in a variety if different areas, and learned to adapt.

Best wishes!

Hello there Mya

You posted and I need a break! Just soya know, many if not most of your patients will be the elderly ill. That's who make up census. That is, excepting OB and Peds rotations... those are a smaller percentage of your entire clinical experience. So suck it up girl, it's gonna take some grin and bear it. :D

LOL....well, I figure that much in clinical rotations. And I'm ok with that, but as a speciality area for my career, not so much. Also given the fact that I'm set on NNP, I think I should be ok.

There's just something about those areas that depresses me. I mean I've dealt with death before on a personal level - my uncle (AIDS) and my grandmother (multiple myeloma) both died within months of each other and they were my heart. And I know with NICU I will be faced with death and sad situations as well, but the hope and possiblity that things can and will turn around for many of them, makes me want to be a part of that.

Thanks guys! I was just thinking to myself "well if you want to help others, why the limitations?" But I guess it's just a personal thing.

nursemike, ASN, RN

1 Article; 2,362 Posts

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro). Has 12 years experience.

I agree with mamamerlee: keep an open mind. Where you end up may be very different from where you expect. But there's nothing wrong with having a preferred area and working toward that.

As you observe, it is a personal thing, as it should be, and has to be. I don't agree, by the way, with your "dying to yourself." Nursing is about relationships, and those relationships don't exist independently of you. Your patients don't need a walking textbook; they need a human to care for them. And that caring human necessarily has her/his own needs, gifts, strengths and issues.

The unselfish (rather than selfless) part is that you undertake a duty to give of yourself in this way to anyone who comes to you in need of it. Which is pretty darned unselfish. Still, the idea is to give all you can, not to give all you have.

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Heavsens no! I could no more do NICU than fly to the moon. I actually enjoy Med/Surg and Geriatrics. We all balance each other out.

Having said that, keep an open mind as you finish Nursing School and work your clinicals. I have yet to meet an RN who is actually working where she thought she wanted to specialize. Sometimes, life changes your preconceived notions.

I agree with mamamerlee: keep an open mind. Where you end up may be very different from where you expect. But there's nothing wrong with having a preferred area and working toward that.

As you observe, it is a personal thing, as it should be, and has to be. I don't agree, by the way, with your "dying to yourself." Nursing is about relationships, and those relationships don't exist independently of you. Your patients don't need a walking textbook; they need a human to care for them. And that caring human necessarily has her/his own needs, gifts, strengths and issues.

The unselfish (rather than selfless) part is that you undertake a duty to give of yourself in this way to anyone who comes to you in need of it. Which is pretty darned unselfish. Still, the idea is to give all you can, not to give all you have.

I totally understand where you are coming from. I think you are misinterpreting what I wrote (or maybe my interpretation was scrappy), either way - what I meant is that nursing, IMHO, and in order to be good at it, again my opinion, is a profession that calls for sacrifice, compassion, empathy, smarts (book and streets, imo), unselfishness, and yes, a little bit of selflessness. Not many professions require this, or even for you to be unselfish or selfless at times. So when I say "dying to self" it doesn't mean doing away with who you are as a person, but incorporating that into a situation that is no longer just about you - but for the greater good and in the best interest of those that are now the priority. I've worked in the entertainment industry for years, and for the last several, in the public healthcare sector, and believe me especially with the latter, it's a dog eat dog type of world - you either screw or you get screwed! LOL

So that's all I meant.

I am an open minded person and will continue to keep one; however, this is just a personal preference.

Specializes in Med Surg, SSU, ED, P/NICU, Epilepsy. Has 9 years experience.

You make a good point. One thing I am worried about is the "Nursing is the only profession where they eat their young" statement I hear all the time... Even working as a CNA, I see nurses walk over eachother, and throw eachother under the bus all the time. Thae best I can do is promise my self that I will NEVER be like that.

You make a good point. One thing I am worried about is the "Nursing is the only profession where they eat their young" statement I hear all the time... Even working as a CNA, I see nurses walk over eachother, and throw eachother under the bus all the time. Thae best I can do is promise my self that I will NEVER be like that.

Heard this as well, and believe there is some truth to it. That's just not who I am. I don't have time or energy to be a ***** just because I can! I may get some heat for this one, but oh well.......but, in my opinion, any profession that is heavily employed and led (men don't shoot me down) by women, it is inevitable to avoid this. Not saying that ALL nurses are this way, but I'm sure you will run across the "mean girls" BS at least once. There's just this innate competitiveness (and a tad bit jealousy) that women display toward each other - and sometimes not even on purpose. And then you throw PMS and emotions in on top of this - uh, can you say CAT FIGHT! LOL

Fortunately for me, I've worked with every type and I fear no one but God. And I have a rule - NO CATTINESS AROUND MYA. My bite is way bigger than my bark (which is typically silent, because who has the time for all that mess talking and cattiness anyway). But if I have to bite you, boy oh boy, it ain't gonna be pretty - I leave teeth marks! :D............. I'm joking (sorta).

In a long-winded way, I totally agree inpatientlywaiting. :p

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Mya, this is a different kind of deal, though. In nursing it's not a heated intellectual discussion in which you can surface with gains made. It's more the "tricky-******" kind of deal. Like I've mentioned before, it'll first strike you funny. You'll have flashbacks to junior high... but it's dangerous when lives are at stake. A huge adjustment for me to make. I suspect it will be for you as well. I don't do the back and forth fussy stuff. Most of this bad behavior would get someone laughed right out of a job where you and I come from. These people if under my management wouldn't make it to the end of the day. But in nursing, these people stay employed. This is the biggest "brain ****" in the world to me. :eek: