Is this career right for me? Sharing some thoughts!

  1. Hello everyone, I apologized ahead of time if you've been inundated with questions like this and what I am about to share.

    I have been accepted to a BSN nursing program set to begin this fall. I have always wanted a medical career since I was young, either a doctor or nurse. Over the years the desire to do something in this field has continued to call me, but I have not responded to that calling. The main reason for not responding is due my own health and experiences dealing with the healthcare system. Since I was born, I've now had about 22 surgeries, multiple insurance companies, gone without insurance, and just about anything else you can imagine. Over the years my health has continued to become more of a struggle.

    I am concerned about my pursuit of nursing in many ways. First of all, I have sought countless resources (books, articles, others in the profession) about the nursing profession and have tried to get fair feedback about it. For the most part, however, the overwhelming feeling I've received overall from these sources is that I will have to endure an extremely grueling education only to find myself in a lot of misery. I've heard it's a very physically demanding job (can I tolerate that? not sure. I have some physical limitations, like limited use of a shoulder and little stamina). I've heard about nurses badmouthing other nurses. I've heard about the difficulties dealing with doctors. The Chair of the nursing school I am accepted to has also described a tightening job market. As it is, the meeting I attended for the nursing program where the Chair was speaking felt just plain depressing.

    The negatives I've heard from so many are endless. That's very discouraging. I've also seen so much of the health care system as a patient that I thought I could be a good "in their shoes" person for any patients I care for, but in reality I've learned to really despise the way healthcare is delivered in this country. When it comes to doctors, I have taken so much garbage from them I am not sure if I can handle another moment more of it as a nurse. And the thought of being so overwhelmed by those crazy nurse-patient ratios already makes it hard for me to sleep at night.

    I cannot stand those Johnson & Johnson commercials about nursing. I think they falsely portray what really goes on in nursing; I find them downright offensive.

    But I also don't want to destroy a potentially good career. I am sorry if all of you keep hearing the same story again and again about the negatives of nursing. I am really distraught about my pursuit. I don't want to commit the time, expense and risk to my personal health for a pursuit that involves an insanely difficult education only to find myself facing potential burnout in a short time and having to make the heart-breaking decision to get out of the profession. I do appreciate the stories I've seen, however, from nurses who love their work and for this reason and others I am quite despondent over the potential loss of a great career for me if I choose not the pursue it. I am just plain torn. :innerconf

    Would any of you like to share your thoughts here? Your feedback is welcome and greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Visit EnduringFaith profile page

    About EnduringFaith

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 18; Likes: 16

    13 Comments

  3. by   luvschoolnursing
    I kinda like the J&J commerials. I hung a couple of their posters in my health office.

    I hated nursing after what seemed like a million years of med-surg, but after I found my own niche, I love my career choice.If it's your hearts desire, go for it. You have many different areas you can work in. Good luck!
  4. by   ShayRN
    As with any field, there are good and bad nurses. Yes, there are some who bad mouth other nurses. But then there are the ones who make you PROUD to be a nurse. The nurses I work with are that way, they are knowledgable, kind and compassionate. The doctors, I would say 99% are fun to work with and really apprecitate nurses. You will even get the ones who say, "I don't know, what do you think?' Problem is, you get that one percent and they make your life miserable:trout: As far as the job market tightening? Hmmm, don't know where she got that information, last I heard there was a nursing shortage. Sounds like she needs to get out of her office more, there hasn't been an abundance of nursing jobs since the late 90's. Matter of fact, they are going to other countries recruiting foreign nurses.

    The whole thing with nursing is finding your niche. I could never, ever, ever do med/surg or rehab. I would be miserable. However, there are those who cannot do Hospice, which I LOVE. As far as wear and tear on your body, there are so many different fields of nursing! I know a nurse who works for an attorney, there are nurses who work for the county health department investigating group homes, nurses who work for insurance companies reviewing claims, nurses in pharmaceutical sales, the field is wide open! I would say with your background, you would be far more compassionate than a young newbie. Would love to have you work with me!
  5. by   nurseinlimbo
    And why did you apply for a nursing program again? Sounds like you already have the answer to your own question.

    I talked to many nurses before I went to school who said they would never do it again. I didn't listen. Now I am one of them. Enough Said....
  6. by   HealthyRN
    I commend you for taking the time to research the career throughly before jumping into it. I wish that I would have done that prior to pursing nursing. I have to agree with you on some of the J&J commercials. Why not expose some of the problems of nursing to the public instead of making nurses sound like angels?

    I would not describe nursing school as "insanely difficult". It was sometimes challenging and grueling (as in, "Is this ever going to end??"), but it is possible to make it through and to do quite well.

    Most areas of acute care nursing are physically demanding. Twelve hours shifts are the norm. I am young, work-out and do aerobics 6 days a week, and I still felt like I had been hit by a truck by the time that I made it home. Nurses are at high risk for back injuries and other injuries from moving and lifting patients. I don't know the extent of your physical limitations and you may have no problem, I just want you to know that there are risks. As another poster stated, there are lots of opportunities in the nursing field. However, most of these positions require at least some acute care experience. I suppose that it really depends on the areas of nursing that you believe you may enjoy though. I know new grads who have went directly into pysch, home care, and office settings, but this is not the norm.

    Depending on what area of the country you are in, the job market really may be tightening. Different areas of the country are experiencing less shortages than others. Personally, I don't believe that there is a true shortage of nurses in this country at all, but that is for another discussion.

    I would recommend shadowing a nurse for a few 12-hour shifts. You could contact your school and see if they could set something up. What areas of nursing are you interested in? I would try to get in on a general med-surg unit and then maybe a specialty in which you are interested. There really may be a good fit in nursing for you. I did notice that you said that you always wanted a "medical" career. Have you looked into other areas of healthcare? There are lots of options in which workers may have better working conditions- radiology techs, respiratory therapy, PT, OT, speech therapy, pharmacy, etc. Good luck with your decision!
  7. by   futurecnm
    Only you can determine the correct path for yourself. If you are starting out not sure, then maybe you already know it isn't for you. I would not start a nursing program if you are unsure or if you are feeling down about the career. nursing school is hard enough when you have a positive outlook. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but really sit down and think about what you want for your life and whether going through the difficulty of nursing school is what you really want. Even when I read about the negatives of nursing I know that it is what I want to do. I sometimes get down about it, but nothing has made me want to change my mind. I have to say my first year of nursing school has been the hardest thing I've ever done. It was good in many ways but also very very challenging. I can totally see how people start out and then drop out after realizing how much work it really is. Plus, if a person has no medical experience at all (like me) it is a real shock to get thrown into it so quickly. We had a few drop out just because it wasn't what they wanted to do and hated clinicals. nursing school is pretty physically demanding, but like someone else said, there are many areas of nursing you can go into and they all aren't physically as bad. I would say if you have some physical problems, it will be challenging but not impossible. I found that my back suffers the most, just because I'm not used to being on my feet all day as well as moving patients all day. Anyway, follow your heart and do what feels right because if it doesn't feel right then maybe you are going down the wrong path. Good luck to you!!!
  8. by   angel337
    you sound like you already made your mind up to me. there is no perfect career. work/career is what you make it. yes, nursing can be hard work, but there are some plenty areas of nursing that don't require patient care. maybe that's more your league. no matter what you choose to do, people will have opinions about it, so don't let that discourage you. good luck in your decision.
  9. by   user9876
    nursing is a great career which will offer you a lot of options, but the truth is, you will never really know if it's for you until you try it. i suggest do observation first, though, to see if it's something you could see yourself doing. for me personally, after a lot of stress, prayer, and observation, i quit the program to pursue my DPT (doctorate of physical therapy).. it was just the right thing for me. in the end, if there's nothing else you see yourself doing (practically speaking), i'd go for it. good luck to you!
  10. by   RNDreamer
    Quote from luvschoolnursing
    I kinda like the J&J commerials. I hung a couple of their posters in my health office.

    I, too, like the commercials. I have posters, pins, CD's, etc from J & J...I'm using them as encouragement as I go through nursing school
  11. by   RNDreamer
    People are people...people complain about their jobs, whether they are nurses, doctors, lawyers, customer service reps, janitors...do you get it? If you are REALLY doubting it, then why commit yourself to a BSN program and take the place of someone who KNOWS that this is something that they want? (Sorry if it sounds mean. Please don't attack me, people.) I see the negatives aspects of nursing as an eye opener...I'm glad people are being honest about the negatives of nursing. But at the end of the day if I have to chooses between being a customer service rep 3 years from now or being a nurse, I choose being a nurse


    Why not apply to an LPN program, which is about a year long nursing program...if you find that nursing is your calling, then great, you can go from there! If you do not like it then at least it only took a year to realize it.


    As far as your health, I'm very sorry to hear of the things you are going through and hope things get better.


    Quote from EnduringFaith
    Hello everyone, I apologized ahead of time if you've been inundated with questions like this and what I am about to share.

    I have been accepted to a BSN nursing program set to begin this fall. I have always wanted a medical career since I was young, either a doctor or nurse. Over the years the desire to do something in this field has continued to call me, but I have not responded to that calling. The main reason for not responding is due my own health and experiences dealing with the healthcare system. Since I was born, I've now had about 22 surgeries, multiple insurance companies, gone without insurance, and just about anything else you can imagine. Over the years my health has continued to become more of a struggle.

    I am concerned about my pursuit of nursing in many ways. First of all, I have sought countless resources (books, articles, others in the profession) about the nursing profession and have tried to get fair feedback about it. For the most part, however, the overwhelming feeling I've received overall from these sources is that I will have to endure an extremely grueling education only to find myself in a lot of misery. I've heard it's a very physically demanding job (can I tolerate that? not sure. I have some physical limitations, like limited use of a shoulder and little stamina). I've heard about nurses badmouthing other nurses. I've heard about the difficulties dealing with doctors. The Chair of the nursing school I am accepted to has also described a tightening job market. As it is, the meeting I attended for the nursing program where the Chair was speaking felt just plain depressing.

    The negatives I've heard from so many are endless. That's very discouraging. I've also seen so much of the health care system as a patient that I thought I could be a good "in their shoes" person for any patients I care for, but in reality I've learned to really despise the way healthcare is delivered in this country. When it comes to doctors, I have taken so much garbage from them I am not sure if I can handle another moment more of it as a nurse. And the thought of being so overwhelmed by those crazy nurse-patient ratios already makes it hard for me to sleep at night.

    I cannot stand those Johnson & Johnson commercials about nursing. I think they falsely portray what really goes on in nursing; I find them downright offensive.

    But I also don't want to destroy a potentially good career. I am sorry if all of you keep hearing the same story again and again about the negatives of nursing. I am really distraught about my pursuit. I don't want to commit the time, expense and risk to my personal health for a pursuit that involves an insanely difficult education only to find myself facing potential burnout in a short time and having to make the heart-breaking decision to get out of the profession. I do appreciate the stories I've seen, however, from nurses who love their work and for this reason and others I am quite despondent over the potential loss of a great career for me if I choose not the pursue it. I am just plain torn. :innerconf

    Would any of you like to share your thoughts here? Your feedback is welcome and greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    Last edit by RNDreamer on May 30, '07
  12. by   subee
    Quote from EnduringFaith
    Hello everyone, I apologized ahead of time if you've been inundated with questions like this and what I am about to share.

    I have been accepted to a BSN nursing program set to begin this fall. I have always wanted a medical career since I was young, either a doctor or nurse. Over the years the desire to do something in this field has continued to call me, but I have not responded to that calling. The main reason for not responding is due my own health and experiences dealing with the healthcare system. Since I was born, I've now had about 22 surgeries, multiple insurance companies, gone without insurance, and just about anything else you can imagine. Over the years my health has continued to become more of a struggle.

    I am concerned about my pursuit of nursing in many ways. First of all, I have sought countless resources (books, articles, others in the profession) about the nursing profession and have tried to get fair feedback about it. For the most part, however, the overwhelming feeling I've received overall from these sources is that I will have to endure an extremely grueling education only to find myself in a lot of misery. I've heard it's a very physically demanding job (can I tolerate that? not sure. I have some physical limitations, like limited use of a shoulder and little stamina). I've heard about nurses badmouthing other nurses. I've heard about the difficulties dealing with doctors. The Chair of the nursing school I am accepted to has also described a tightening job market. As it is, the meeting I attended for the nursing program where the Chair was speaking felt just plain depressing.

    The negatives I've heard from so many are endless. That's very discouraging. I've also seen so much of the health care system as a patient that I thought I could be a good "in their shoes" person for any patients I care for, but in reality I've learned to really despise the way healthcare is delivered in this country. When it comes to doctors, I have taken so much garbage from them I am not sure if I can handle another moment more of it as a nurse. And the thought of being so overwhelmed by those crazy nurse-patient ratios already makes it hard for me to sleep at night.

    I cannot stand those Johnson & Johnson commercials about nursing. I think they falsely portray what really goes on in nursing; I find them downright offensive.

    But I also don't want to destroy a potentially good career. I am sorry if all of you keep hearing the same story again and again about the negatives of nursing. I am really distraught about my pursuit. I don't want to commit the time, expense and risk to my personal health for a pursuit that involves an insanely difficult education only to find myself facing potential burnout in a short time and having to make the heart-breaking decision to get out of the profession. I do appreciate the stories I've seen, however, from nurses who love their work and for this reason and others I am quite despondent over the potential loss of a great career for me if I choose not the pursue it. I am just plain torn. :innerconf

    Would any of you like to share your thoughts here? Your feedback is welcome and greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    I've been a nurse for about 35 years. The last 25 have been as CRNA, but have done med-surg, oncology and administration. Yes, my feet hurt at night (as CRNA, you lift heifers all day long) and its often exasperating, but it sure beats all the office jobs I ever did. I could never be tied to a desk in an office again. There's plenty of options for you to choose. I would not, however, go for theLPN thing because its a waste of your time if you want to be BSN - hardly anything transferrable. Thumbs down on the J & J ads - we're nurses, not nuns (in case your just want to dare to care!). What is this "greater" career you're worried about losing and why aren't you doing that instead? If you're just looking for steady income, do something else. But don't spend a lot of money on something you don't really want to do because after all the schooling, you feel obligated to follow through and then you just spend a lot of time being in an unhappy cycle.
  13. by   nursingisworkRN
    GOOD LUCK WITH SCHOOL!

    I think that it can be easy to focus on complaints like hard work, staffing ratios, idiot mds, aching feet, sore backs, etc. I also know that all of the above make working hard and that as a nurse you are likely to encounter it. But to be fair, I know plenty of non nurses that complain of working too hard, being underpaid, being short staffed at work, sore feet, and backaches.

    I also think that there is a conspiracy to tell nursing students how hard nursing school is, especially by those who have not gone through nursing school. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I could buy tickets to Hawaii. Seriously. If you do complete your BSN, all of that will change to "take a look at my bladder suspension" or "does this look infected to you?" or "do you know any single doctors?" Nobody has told me how hard nursing is since I have been a nurse. I would like the recoginition. For me, being a nurse is a lot of work (physically, mentally) with a lot of responsibility. I love it, but my job is not easy.

    All of the nurses I know graduated from nursing school, and I know a lot of nurses. They all have different views on nursing. Some do it because they love it and all (see J&J commercial for this view), some for the money, some for the scheduling, some for the health benefits, some for the experience to do other things, some because they don't know what else they would do, and many for a variety of the above depending on the day you ask.

    You will be able to find a job in nursing where you sit all day, half a day, or none of the day. You will find areas where the heaviest thing you lift is a phone, or a 400 lb man. There are high stress and low stress areas. Rate of pay is not usually related to stress or physical exertion.

    Only you can decide if nursing is for you. You have been interested for some time. Give it a try and see what it is like. You may be surprised to see how much you have to offer, and how much it can offer you.
  14. by   Rizpah
    Have you considered trying CNA in LTC? Good way to get your feet wet, see if you like being a caregiver, and move on from there....Our elders can always use kind, caring, empathetic nurses. It's where I started out, mainly because I "needed a job". I found I could do it and wanted to go further and be in a position to make a difference. The facility I was hired at trained and tested me so it was no expense out of my pocket for CNA training. Then I went on for my LPN so I could continue to work while going to school, then went on for RN while working as LPN. I now TEACH the CNA program at the same facility where I was hired. I've been at the same facility for 16 years and have no desire for hospital work. I was lucky I guess and found my niche right away. BTW, I started as CNA at age of 30. Good luck in your decision.

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