Help! Considering a career switch to nursing...

  1. Hi everyone! My name is Kathy, and I'm new to the list. I live in northern NY and am considering a career switch into nursing (RN). I have about 1,000 questions, and am hoping that some of you can/will take a few minutes to help me out with some answers.

    I'm listing some of my questions below. Any help/advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance!


    Thanks again for your help

    - In general, what are some of the benefits and drawbacks about being a nurse? If you could do it all over again, would you still be a nurse?

    - How many hours per week do you work, and how long are your shifts? (just curious, I know it will vary)

    - Are nurses really as "in demand" as the media says they are? I'm already in a very over-saturated field, and don't want to go into another one.

    - Are any of you school nurses? How is the pay, what certification is required, are you expected to attend school sporting events?

    - How often (if at all) do you have to get re-certified, and what is expected as far as continuing education?

    - Do you work (5) 8-hour shifts per week, or some other schedule? Again, I know this will vary for everyone, but I'm curious.

    - Can you explain "per diem" to me?

    - Are there advantages of a 4 year degree rather than 2 year?

    - How much of your day is spent doing paperwork, vs. "hands on" work?

    - Do some employers allow for benefits negotiation when they offer you a job, or is everything set in stone by a union?

    - Is there one national certification that carries over from state to state, or do you have to become registered in every state you move to?

    Thanks again for your help!!!
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    About RedKat

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 96; Likes: 1


  3. by   bargainhound
    Wow, so many questions really would best be answered in a conversation.
    National certification is on the way. Several states have passed laws to recognize other states' licensing.
    Ceus differ state to state.
    Certifications are a completely different matter and are something you do after beginning work.
    As to whether I personally would be a nurse again....I would hope I would have a different is a hard not think it is easy....if you have your eyes open and are aware of all the pros and cons of your choice.....go with your heart.
    God bless you and I wish you the best in your decisions.
    Yes, nursing is always in demand. No it is not saturated. There are many ways of being a nurse and there are always avenues for growth and change when you find you want a change. The trick is to not overspecialize yourself out of a job...stay in tune with current issues and skills.
    Nursing 2003 is very good magazine to keep you current...I recommend keeping up with it as you go through school and also afterwards...the info and tests in it will keep you ready for any competencies you have to take.
    Yes, benefits and salary are usally always have to learn politics and how to play the game...and be able to speak up for an assertive, not offensive manner.
    Per diem means working as a temporary employee with pay for the day...not obligation to ever return, etc...usually through agency, but some hospitals and other organizations now also do this.
    Paperwork depends on what area you are in....more in some than others. Generally documentation is very important and crucial to protecting yourself also.
    2 year degree will get you started anywhere. Some say they require 4 year degree, but will usually take 2 year RN anway...always remember that ads are shooting for the moon...and they will usually accept must be able to sell yourself and your experience and potential value to the organization. This also depends on your area of the country...some areas have lots of upper degree nurses with competition for better jobs..... and some are desperate for any level of education.
    School nurses have been eliminated in this area (Oklahoma) due to money factor. Salaries were poor prior to that. States are in budget crunch right now.
    People who teach in nursing schools often say pay is poor and they have to keep other jobs to survive. That is the case with several nursing have to decide if you want to work for the money or the experience or for some other reason....if you can afford to take the cut in money.