Can't make a decision for the life of me... - page 2

I am posting this here because I am hoping to gain a wide range of perspectives and opinions. I know no one can make a decision but myself, however it is hard to choose when one cannot really know... Read More

  1. by   JustKeepSmiling
    Thanks to everyone who replied, I appreciate your advice.
    I DO understand how to use the search option, and believe me I did. I looked on sdn.net too. I wanted to hear more advice tailored to my situation.
    And who doesn't go into nursing to help people? Of course I would go into nursing to be a nurse.. to nurse people.. to better health/state of comfort.. which is helping people. Seems silly to say don't be a nurse to help people?

    I *know* only I can make MY decision, however it is difficult to say whether I want to eat an apple or eat an orange if I have never tasted either of them. Sure, I can see what they look like, smell em, hold em... but I can't tell what they taste like until I experience the taste. That is a **** poor analogy to nursing versus physician, but how in the hell else am I supposed to know?! I've shadowed, I've been in hospitals for months with sick relatives and I know to a degree what nurses and physicians do, but only what I can observe.

    Over the internet and allnurses.com, some of you may be more inclined to be more honest and open than nurses I know and have spent time around. You don't really care whether you **** me off or not because you do not know me, like the nurses I know as friends and family... who relatively care if they **** me off or are overly honest.

    Anyway...

    I also realized I could finish my BS in biology in 2 years then do an accelerated BSN program for those that already have BS in another field (like biology, or accounting etc.) LSU has this program and I think its 16 or 18 months straight through.

    The main reason I did post this is to help gain insight into what RN's really do, from various ages of nurses and various fields of nurses and how you arrived at being an RN. I know some will say "because I didn't want to be a physician".. but was it because of financial? Because you wanted more family time? What was your reason?

    I'm just trying to gain more insight into the profession. I have to send in my acceptance form and check to hold my spot for the BSN program but am able to withdraw up until the middle of June. I also need to register for summer courses to catch up on my biology degree, if I do choose that route... so I really need some insight to help make a more EDUCATED decision. That is my goal here, not for anyone to tell me/decide for me what to do...

    Again thanks for reading and responding and I would certainly love and appreciate more responses....I'm very stressed here! =/
  2. by   Jo Dirt
    It sounds like nursing would be a big step down for you.

    Forget it.
  3. by   mama_d
    When I was younger, as my kids got older, I thought seriously about med school. I have the brains, and my hubby has always been all for it. As time has passed, I have come up with many reasons why I do not regret never pursuing going to med school, if it helps you at all...

    1. I started a family at an early age. There is no way I am going to short-change my children any more than I already have to as far as time goes. They are the biggest reason why med school was never an option.

    2. I enjoy spending the time with my patients. True, we never seem to get enough time with them, but we see them more than the docs do.

    3. I do not want the responsibility of being on call. I want a job where I can go, work, and come home without worrying about being awakened repeatedly to deal with every thing from BS to life-threatening emergencies, and having to trust the judgment of the person on the other end of the phone.

    As far as learning goes, nursing gives ample opportunities for that. You just have to look for them and take advantage of them. If you are a person who enjoys learning for the sake of it, you'll find them. It's one of my favorite things about my career....the opportunities for learning new things abound. Every patient presents a little differently, or may have a disease process you've never heard of, or reacts to a med in a different way than you've seen before, etc. Then you get to sit down and google it and talk to docs to find out more about it.
  4. by   Magsulfate
    Have you considered becoming a nurse practitioner? Just because you go to nursing school doesn't mean you can't stop going to college and continue learning. There are doctorate degrees for nurses.

    The way that you describe your personality,, sounds like a nurse to me. YOu also like your time off too right? You won't get that for about 30 years if you're a doctor. When you retire is when you'll get time off.

    You can always get your BSN and go to work as an RN, then continue on in college to get your NP. Nurse practitioners work very closely with doctors, they assist doctors in diagnosis and treatment.

    Whatever you decide, you've got to be happy with it. You don't want to find yourself in residency HATING your decision and feeling that it's too late to turn back. Why don't you go ahead, since you're already accepted, and become an RN,, then you can work as a nurse and figure out if you want to go to med school or become an NP ?
  5. by   jjjoy
    I know what you mean about having to make big decisions without being able to know ahead of time if the goal will be truly satisfying to you... decisions such as deciding on a career path. There's simply no way to know what it's like to be a nurse or doctor (or whatever else) until you get through school and start doing it. So how in the world is a person supposed to decide?

    For me, I have to work on changing my mindset and lifeview such that regret doesn't fit in. It can be overwhelming to me to realize that by choosing one direction, I may very well be closing several doors that I may never have the opportunity to cross again. It can be easy to get caught up in "what if's" and imagine how much more wonderful the road not taken would've been, especially at times when the road taken isn't turning out as hoped.

    So I do well to take to heart the saying that "for every door that closes, another opens." I ultimately chose not to complete my biology degree and follow the herd I was in on the quest for med school and to enter nursing school. Despite shadowing, volunteering, informational interviews, etc prior to making my choice, as I went through school, I was finding nursing to be an uncomfortable fit. I was also finding that being a doctor probably wouldn't have been a good fit for me either.

    As a licensed nurse, I tried to do my time as a floor nurse. I hated trying to juggle all those various competing demands, having to constantly re-prioritize when as a newbie I wasn't sure HOW to prioritize. As I considered my options and reflected on my experiences, I realized that while there WERE many wonderful options in nursing, that given the pros and cons and my own personal preferences, strengths and weaknesses (many of which I discovered along the way), they weren't options that I was motivated to make happen.

    The learning curve in many nursing roles is very steep - "on-the-job training"- and I'm just not comfortable being in the position of clinical expert when I really don't know what's what yet. I figured if I stuck with something long enough, I'd get past the hump and do okay, but if I ever needed or wanted to change jobs or areas, I'd have to go back through the fire again. It just didn't seem worth *to me* so I started looking at work on the administrative side of health care and am now quite happy with where I am.

    A steep learning curve seems to be the nature of the beast in many nursing (and physician) roles ("see one, do one, teach one"). That totally stresses me out when the task relates to someone's immediate physical well-being! But I never would've known that without actually working in the field. Sometimes, there's just no way to substitute to the investment of years of one's life in learning these types of things.

    So... I just have to allow myself to make the best decision I can given what information I have at the time and have it be okay if the results aren't what I hoped. I'll learn a lot along the way which will inform my future decision (and not be used as fodder for "should've" thinking).
  6. by   JustKeepSmiling
    I have considered the NP, as well as PA. LSU has wonderful master's degree programs and I was immediately attracted to the neonatal NP, that seems like it would be a good fit for me.
    I'm weighing down to...
    1. BSN and completing courses over the summer.
    2. BS in Biology and doing an accelerated program if I decide to do nursing.

    You guys have given me some wonderful responses, I really do appreciate it.
    It's going to require a great deal of thinking and contemplating to decide.
    Another factor is, I have a state scholarship that will pay my tuition for the next 2 years at any state school (LSU or UNO, etc.) (not including summer semesters)
    I would like to use that wisely to save money.
  7. by   jjjoy
    Personally, I really enjoyed my bio classes but I hated the pre-med cutthroat attitude that pervaded the major at my uni. If I could do it again, I'd take o chem and biochem at the community college where the class sizes are small and I could spend lots of time with the prof asking questions and discussing the interesting stuff. I transferred from the CC to the uni prior to taking those two classes and found the large class sizes very distracting and the impersonal nature of the classes no fun at all.

    However, I still don't know how useful a bio degree in and of itself would've been to me. I may very well have ended up in something similar to what I'm doing now... data management for health services. I did enjoy the small class size of nursing school. And I enjoyed getting to learn about health care from the inside. Still, I think I would've enjoyed the upper division bio classes more than I enjoyed the upper division nursing classes.

    But for the most part, coming from a strong biology pre-med background, I found the content of nursing school frustrating shallow yet overwhelming in terms of quantity of material covered. You cover hundreds of pages of text on dozens of conditions per week along with many other projects and clinical time that fill your week; there's no way to digest it all; you just plow through best you can and hope enough sticks to pass the tests and give you a basic foundation to build upon after you graduate.

    Anyway, just reminiscing here. You've got your own future ahead of you!! Best wishes as you navigate the uncharted waters!
  8. by   Sleepless In Canada
    I am not a nurse but I have lived and worked in the medical field for a long time as a doctors "assistant" for my dad who is an MD and also doing research for him at the medical library where my life was nothing but medical literature so here is my thoughts on the matter and I will tell you some things about myself too.

    I have the same feeling as you about the Med School vs Nursing School and my thoughts would be for you to go for the BSN and do your biology courses during the summer because to me anyway it sounds like nursing is where your heart is and Nursing Practitioners actually do some diagnosis work and they are also allowed to order some tests so being an NP you are in the middle road of being a nurse and being a doctor, you are also very young so if you do your BSN and decided that nursing wasn't for you then you will have your biology courses done and could continue on to medical school, I believe that with your biology courses you might be able to get credits for the courses you have already taken so you would possibly be done sooner or not have as many courses to study then if you were coming to nursing school totally fresh.

    I am disabled with Tourette's Syndrome and ADHD, I was put into "special schools" in my home country of Sweden because they couldn't assist me with my education needs and now that I am living in Canada I have decided that I have to redo all of my High School education and I am turning 30, I am a lot like you though, I thirst for knowledge so I have decided to as I said before redo my whole High School education to learn what I was supposed to back in Sweden and then apply to Nursing School and also Respiratory Therapist School at Community College and then at University for my fast-track BSN degree and then I am planning on also doing my degree for RT and when that is done I am gonna do a online Masters Degree to become an NP and after all that I am also contemplating on going to Med School too, I can assure you that I am not a nutcase, I will possibly be in school for the next 20 yrs but I do all this because I love to learn and I want to be able to study and do anything and everything that I can learn.

    My friends call me The Samaritan from the bible story about the merciful samaritan so I have a feeling that I will become a good Nurse but if I feel that it isn't something I enjoy in the long run then I have also my Respiratory Therapist degree to fall back on and if I don't enjoy that then I can always work as a doctor in North America or in Europe.

    One thing I don't understand though which maybe you can help me with, why is it that when people are 20 yrs old and about to study or are studying at University that they want to focus on something immediately, maybe that is prevalent here in North America, that young people decided on a job and focus everything on that job and how to gain it, I am of the belief that if you love several different things then study all of them and don't let anything hold you back.

    As I stated before, I have also wrestled with the Nursing vs Medicine question and my decision is that I will do both because I love to learn and also because medicine is in my blood, so my advise to you is to get your BSN and during the summers work to get your Biology degree too because you can never have too much knowledge.

    I hope everything goes you well and I also hope that you will continue to post in here and let us know how everything is going and what you decided on but most of all, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR HEART!!!!! =o)

    Good luck and God Bless.

    John
    Last edit by Sleepless In Canada on Apr 15, '09 : Reason: My brain is a fluffy pumpkin. =oP
  9. by   surgicalbum
    If I were 20yo I would go into the BSN. Your clinicals will help you figure if you really want to become a MD/NP. With 2 "free" yrs paid for, why not use it to get a job as an RN and you could pay for more education if you so choose. Best of luck!!!!
  10. by   JustKeepSmiling
    John,
    I do believe that is just way we are brought up in the states, to focus on one thing. The US education system is in serious, dire, need of a reform.
    One thing I do love about nursing is the stream lined education. Neonatal NP's are basically doctor's of the NICU. What is the point in going though med school, taking rotations on opthal, radiology, etc. if you're just going to be a neonatal specialist? I truly believe med school should be more centralized for those who know what they want to do. And I believe that would help cut down the physician shortage. Some universities have adopted a BS/MD program that can be 6-7 years to obtain a BS degree and your MD. I wish I could move near one of those universities!

    I am thinking I am going to do the BSN at LSU and study the other courses in the mean time. It will be hell, and it won't be easy, but it seems the most logical decision.

    I don't see nursing as a step down from medicine, I just see them both as something I am interested in doing.

    The thing about NP's is that they have to hand off the "big" "hard" cases to the MDs... and those are the cases I want to deal with! So, NP doesn't seem to completely appeal to me.
    I hope as a RN, I will develop very good observational skills and be able to work closely with doctors to assess my patients and to make recommendations. I hope there are more than less physicians who see nurses as colleagues and not "assistants" so to speak... I also hope I am not being naive or wishful thinking. :/

    I very well could wind up in nursing school and loving it and scratching med school off my list of possible careers. I am really digging the neonatal NP though. I hear a lot of folks talking about the CRNA, but I don't find myself passionate about that, seems interesting though.
    A RN in my chemistry lecture is going back for her BSN to go to NP school and works in the ICU. She said its really a different beast because you only have 1 or 2 patients at a time and it requires a lot of advanced critical thinking, she suggested I weigh my options carefully.
    I know for sure the BSN is better for me than the ASN because I would be interested in furthering my education down the road, nothing against ASNs! I was accepted to an ASN program as well.

    Anyone else.... please put your 2 cents in!

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