Is nursing a career for me?

  1. AS you can tell from my name, I am undecided as to whether or not to pursue nursing. The BB here have me turned off but i realize that it is a venting board for all you nurses to release your frustrations.

    A little bit about myself first; I am 36, married, with three children ages 11, 8 , 4. This will be a secong career for me. I have a BA and worked in the insurance industry as an adjuster and litigation consultant fo many years.

    WHy am I considering nursing? I love medicine. I love learning about it . I love the dynamics of being/working in a hospital. It is a whole world unto itself. I have been a patient in a hospital many times and I found it fascinating. I want a job were I will never be bored and will continue to stimulate my intellect. I would also like to feel good about myself at the end of the day knowing that I may have helped someone in even a very small way.

    I have been exploring various medical careers since I left my full time employment in 1996. At first, I was intent on Physical Therapy since that combines my love of fitness and medicine. For various reasons , I decided not to pursue that field.

    I applied to the nursing program at the local comminuty colledge. the program is a two year evening program that starts this Jan. I am now completing all my science prerequesits. I think my chances of getting in are very good but I am not sure if I will accept a seat.

    Why am I hesitant? To tell you the truth, I am sure how good I would be dealing with all types of people. I am somewhat of an introvert. I hate making small talk. I make friends easily but it takes me a while to feel really comfortable with some one. I think I appear a little stanoffish. I don't mean to . I can be a bit shy and it takes me some time to warm up to new people. In a professional enviroment, it may be different since I would be forced to talk to patients. Still, though I may feel compassion for the patients, I am not sure if I would be able to show it. I am definately not a touchy , feely sort of person.

    I am attracted to nursing because of all the different areas that one can go into. I really do not want to do bedside nursing . I am not sure if I can deal with all the day to day disguisting things that nurses have to do.

    I was wondering if there was a place for me in nursing? I was thinking of going straight for nurse practitioner of physician assistant. That is ultimately what I would like to do. Not so much hand holding and caring for basic everyday needs. I would like a job where I could educate people on how to take better care of themselves and avoid illness. I would like to be able to make diagnosises and prescribe treatments. Maybe Pubic health? I was also looking into occupational nurse or nursing informatics. I love learning about illnesses and medicine and I love doing research.

    Are there any areas of nursing were I would fit in? Could you graduate from nursing school and go directly into these areas without any bedside nursing experience?

    Thanks for your input.

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    About undecided

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 39
    student, mother


  3. by   karenG
    well you have posed some good questions but in way only you can answer them.

    we all ( I think) go into nursing not sure about our ability to cope with some to the stuff that is thrown at us- thats where this BB comes in! I started nursing when I was 19 and had a very rude awakeing!! I was very shy and never spoke to anyone! now I never shut up!!

    I am a nurse practitioner, though I think the role is slightly different here, but I still do the hands on stuff- and get hurt by patients and filled with joy when something goes right! holding hands and getting to know your patient is part of the game, at least where I work.

    would I change jobs- no, never but wouldnt mind a pay rise!

    maybe youre thinking too hard..........

  4. by   fulwood
    Undecided - only you can really answer that question but have you tried working as a CNA or PCT in hospital? That's a good way of gaining experience and if you can handle all the c rap (pardon the pun) that comes your way whilst being a CNA then I would say nursing if for you. The folks on this board and other nursing websites have been helpful to me as I have been undecided as well for long time but have decided to give it a shot. Also peruse the archives here and this topic has been addressed before. Good luck but I would say give it a shot then you will at least know...
  5. by   sjoe
    What was wrong with the insurance industry? Isn't there room in that field, like in claims, to utilize medical knowledge and interests?
    In all likelihood, at least your first few years in nursing would be exactly what you don't like: "handholding and caring for basic everyday needs." The NP or PA positions you are talking about require a lot more training and education and time and money than RN positions and the advantage of a PA program is that you could enter directly into it, instead of doing an RN program first.
    Last edit by sjoe on Sep 26, '02
  6. by   whipping girl in 07
    If you have no desire to do bedside nursing, why are you considering going to nursing school? I mean, I don't plan to stay at the bedside forever, and I certainly can't see myself working on a floor (I work in ICU), but I do want to work with patients. I am not a touchy-feely type person either, although I do sometimes hug patients and/or family members if they've been with us for awhile and we've developed a relationship. However, the fact of the matter is, the patients where I work just don't stay there too long and we're not really expected to be that touchy-feely. There are several nurses that I work with that just aren't like that, and that's OK. I believe there is room in this profession for most personality types (although antisocial psychomaniacs might have trouble finding their niche )

    You don't have to walk around hand holding and hugging to show you care. Just being there providing care shows you care, in my opinion.

    I don't know of any areas of nursing where you don't need at least some bedside experience to advance. But gaining bedside experience doesn't mean you have to work med-surg. If every new nurse started out in med-surg like some people suggest, med-surg would be the only adequately staffed floor in the hospital. I started in ICU straight out of school, as did about 15 other people I graduated with. I graduated with two friends who went straight to oncology, one who went straight to L&D, and one who went straight to surgery. It takes a commitment from yourself to put forward the extra effort to learn as much about the area you are working in as you can. The hospital is not going to hand it to you, and if you are not willing to put forth the extra effort, don't bother. We new grads went into specialty areas at a disadvantage because we didn't have years of general nursing experience to draw from. Therefore we must put forth extra effort to not only learn how to be nurses but how to be specialty nurses at the same time. It's not for everyone. I've spent a lot of extra time away from work studying and taking CEUs to learn what I need to know for my job.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
  7. by   MICU RN
    It sounds to me that you would be better looking into a PA school, most are four years as opposed to six for a NP. Especially if you don't want to do the grunt work that is associated with bedside nursing, which you will have to do as a student and A bedside RN until you could get into NP school. Most of my friends who have a interest in medicine are not happy with nursing and wish they would have went to PA or MED school. And if you are bright enough and hard working enough to make it through a BSN program I def. think you can handle a PA program. Nurses play a valuable role in healthcare, however, they often get stuck with plenty of grunt work and bad working conditions. This has alot to do with the current nursing shortage, many potential nursing student are realizing that there are easier professions which pay better.