For you new grads and those thinking of nursing...

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    When I first started to debate whether to become a nurse or look into another field, I was very curious about pay, benefits, and other people experiences. So this is my own personal experience so far.

    I graduated in 2009 with my ADN. I started in a community hospital on a 37 bed medical/telemetry unit. I was started at 20.20/hr. My medical was around $350/month for the family plan. I was slapped in the face with all the responsibilties that nurses have lol. I did my clinicals at this same facility, but it is nothing like when those patients are yours! I had a lot of support with friends and family.

    There were days when i would cry and just hated my career choice and I ended up on lexapro to help with depression and anxiety. I worked a track schedule ... 3 days one week and 4 days the next ... but the way the pay period was I really worked 4 days one and 5 the next (sunday counts as the new week).

    I loved my friends and I started to become comfortable in my role after 2 years, but found myself turning bitter (I was absolutely never rude to my patients or co-workers) so I knew it was time to move on.

    I began working in radiology nursing in 2011. I really liked it. It was really nice to learn new things and be in a specialty area. But even though I liked my job, I did not like the facility. I worked there for 3 years and I only accumulated $1 in raises (2% each yr across the board) with no bonuses. I made 22.20/hr and that included $1.10 of critcal care pay for working in radiology ... weekend diff was 3.50/hr.

    So I decided it was time to move on to a better facility even if that meant giving up my nice position. I will be starting at a magnet hospital doing float pool. I will be making $38/hr with NO benefits ... weekend diff is 10/hr.

    I will be floating on all the med/surg floors. This facility has a good reputation of treating their employees well and that means a lot to me. I am also currently working towards my BSN and will finish spring 2013. I hope to apply to grad school next year as well. I would like to become a FNP.

    Now, do I regret becoming a nurse?? No. I honestly don't. It was very very hard in the beginning, but I got through it. If you find yourself becoming bitter or depressed, change your situation!! If the facility treats you poor, move on to a hopefully better one lol!

    I do enjoy being apart of healthcare and I am grateful I have a career and I will always have a job. This economy isnt at its best, I am fortunate to be a nurse. I worked hard through school and worked harder after graduation. It is NOT for everyone. You have to be compassionate and willing to roll with what is thrown at you! Good Luck to anyone thinking of this field and to those new grads wondering, "what was I thinking??" I will keep you posted on my nursing journey : )
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 30, '12 : Reason: spacing
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    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 19; Likes: 22

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  3. by   Brannray
    Thank you so much for your testimony of your experiences! I am currently working towards becoming a nurse, tomorrow is my last CNA class *a requirement where I'm going to school* and will be certified after May 8th *hopefully lol* and clinicals where a bit rough, no one was lying when they talked about how rough clincials would be and I do dread it when I get into nursing school and have to do clincials, because I heard that the nurses are even worse to them... I really hope that I can handle that!!! But, when I think I can't go anymore, I have my 3 year old little girl there to keep me going. She's my motivation *I'm a single mom* I want to do well for her, so I can be able to take care of here financially better than I can now. I can get what she HAS to have, but that's all I can do. I go without so she doesn't have to. I also hope that she's proud of me one day when she looks back at all I've done for her. I have my family to back me up in my choices, though the nurses in my family have asked me why in the world I chose the field I have LOL!
  4. by   ange09RN
    Thats great and congrats on all your accomplishments thus far! Dont give up and keep going no matter how long it takes you. It took me 7 years to complete my prereqs and graduate with my ADN. I had several friends that were single moms and it can be done! Your family and your daughter will be so proud of you and even more important you will be proud of yourself : ) Not all nurses "eat their young" my preceptor was awesome and I had the privledge of precepting a nursing student for her required 120hrs., we had a blast and it was a learning experience for the both of us. Best wishes!
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    What a great thread! It's so nice to see this when there is so much negativity in the world.......keep the good stuff coming, please!
  6. by   RNewbie
    Nursing is such an open field. It may take a while to find your niche and a lot of variables factor into that. I think there is a perfect nursing job out there for everyone, you just have to find it.
  7. by   RedRaiderStudent
    Thanks for the info. I start nursing school in the fall and it was nice to see some feedback.
  8. by   duckyluck111
    Great post! I think you paint a very realistic picture of the joys and hardships of this career.
  9. by   xiaobear007
    that is an interesting read. I wonder your pay rate jumped really high, from about 22 to 38 in about 3 years? That is so much increase! I am so happy for you. About the floating pool , do you think how many years of med/surg is sufficent? Also in your area, do NH/LTC/Rehab pays the same as hospital? My final point is to do sth I like PRN (I can get great benefits from my husband) so that I can get higher pay and have flexible time with my family and kids.