Pros and Cons of nursing

  1. I'm trying to decide between nursing and another career. Nursing was a recent decision of mine (I'm about a quarter-way through my pre-reqs; was supposed to start A&P next quarter but have all the gen-eds done) - I gave it far less thought then I should have and stuck with it for about five months now. However...a bunch of insecurities I have had about this career surfaced a few days ago and I'm giving it serious thought to switching back to something else. I'm kind of making a list of "pros" and "cons" about the CAREER - not the education, not how tough it will be - the end result. I've never shadowed a nurse (had a few experiences with them in the hospital), and hope to see if I can sometime in the next two weeks.

    I've came up with some pros and cons of my own - feel free to correct me about them, or whatever.

    Pros - you get to help people, you do lots of science, you make a difference.

    Cons - bad staffing, bad management, arrogant doctors, "nurses eat their own" attitude.

    I don't have much beyond that. Can anyone help, or give helpful links? I have to decide by November 24th.
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    About nohika

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 521; Likes: 520


  3. by   lou12
    You have listed some very good pros which are very true for nurses. The cons can be true but I have been a nurse for 20+ years and have worked with some wonderful managers, doctors and other nurses; in other words, there are alot of good co-workers out there. I would highly recommend you shadow a nurse to get a better picture of nursing, in fact several different nurses in different working situations.
  4. by   Dottie, RN
    I agree with your pros and cons, but the cons can be in any profession, not just in nursing. I'm not a nurse yet either, but I'll be starting nursing school this coming Spring. I've worked in an office for over 11 years, and have experienced the catty attitudes of coworkers, arrogant managers, etc.

    Any job will have their pros and cons, but I think you've made a great decision to go into nursing! There are many pros in nursing:

    1) You are up and about most of the day...not just sitting on your behind
    2) Help people
    3) Interesting job
    4) Meet and see all kinds of people...not just the same ones day in and day out
    5) Never stop learning
    6) Most days are never the same
    7) Inspiring - I would like to inspire someone to become a nurse, like the way I was
    8) Last but not least, very rewarding knowing you have made a difference in someone's life!

    Good luck!
  5. by   texcollex
    As far as "Nurses eat their own" I have no experience. I work in an ICU unit where we all try to support each other and everyone is willing to help out or talk over difficult cases. I guess its a matter of what kind of facility, what department and maybe even what area of the country you are working in. I feel like I influence my peers by choosing to set up a different culture of my own. I initiate change by doing it.

    Arrogant Doctors: Some are and some aren't. Many that I work with are just fine once they get to know you. If you show yourself to be competent and occasionally ask them a question or two to make them think they know more than you , you can actually have a positive influence on the care of the patient. This even can work with MDs whose competence you may question. I do work with some very fine docs, and have learned quite a bit from some of them. There is growing influence in the nursing community that there will be NO abusive behavior from doctors, managers or anyone else. Abusive behavior from doctors has been proven to affect patient outcome negatively.

    Honestly, I haven't really seen any cons to my nursing job beyond that which I have seen in jobs in any other field I have worked in. Every job has interpersonal relationships that may start sour and go south from there. You could be in the "greatest job in the world" and have the worst manager that you could ever imagine.

    Great things about nursing: portability and importance. There are nursing jobs in pretty much every city in the USA. Our respected elders are becoming a larger and larger portion of the population, and most of them have Medicare to pay for the services of nurses. Nurses are the front-line of healthcare. We are at the bedside of 100% of the patients in hospitals for 24 hours of every day. The doctor is there maybe 15 minutes out of the day. We are the prime drivers of Customer Service. There is not one issue in patient care that does not fall under a nurse's influence. Nurses make all the difference.

    Good luck with your decision.

  6. by   Angeljho
    Nursing is a great career.. and I agree with your pros and cons. Also, realize that your cons can be for any career. Also, be prepared to spend 5 to 6 months looking for your first job because no one wants to hire new nurses. Of course, it can be different for you; you may end up finding a job right after school, but still be prepared for the worst.
  7. by   Amiller0313
    Well I am not a seasoned nurse.I have been practicing with my RN for about 2 months. The Pros are correct for sure and the cons CAN be correct. But if nursing is a true passion then you work through those cons and let the pros overshadow them. If someone came to me in nursing school and gave me that list of cons I would have said oh well, that is sometimes how it goes no matter where in the USA you are a nurse or really any other profession. There are certainly times you question your profession as a nurse. Me for example my first day I was like " What the heck am I doing" but if it is your passion and you live it and breathe it everyday then keep it up, if you are not feeling it right now, shadow someone. I beleive you need to love the thought of helping someone at their worst time in their life or the best time in their life. Not only patients but, families and friends, you do alot of teaching to families and alot of support and communication skills come out when speaking to a family member. Give yourself some time to think it over, and really try to shadow someone.

    Goodluck, Alyce
  8. by   nyteshade
    Some pros: The ability to pick from sooo many specialities, and work settings depending on what path you take. The ability to travel...
  9. by   bill4745
    I work in an ER and we are like a large family. I've never had such enjoyment in my job or such a great relationship with my colleagues. It is the most difficult thing I've ever done and also the most rewarding.
  10. by   katerina8282
    Do NOT do it. Go become a Physician Assistant okay? Believe me when I say this, I am graduating with my ADN this December and I have already had numerous panic attacks, my life is completely upside down, I have discovered my first 3 white hair about 3 months ago (I am 27), I hate every minute of it, I wish I had stopped before I entered. Now it is too late for me. I have invested a lot of effort and money into this. You will hate it and it will burn you out even before you actually START working.
    Stop it now.
  11. by   Kabin
    If nursing gives panic attacks, a PA will give heart attacks. Those poor PAs have to be the most overworked and underpaid provider there is.
  12. by   Kabin
    If nursing gives panic attacks, a PA will give heart attacks. Those poor PAs have to be the single most overworked and underpaid provider.
  13. by   mcknis
    PLEASE!!!!!!!!! IGNORE THIS ABOVE COMMENT. There are many out there who want to degrade nursing who have no true experience with it. Notice this above individual only has 3 posts, just 3. And also see that she is only a student. If you are asking for real life, professional advice, remember you are taking it from real life, professional nurses.

    Why do so many nurses return to school for higher education? Because they enjoy their career and want to further their knowledge levels. I am also returning to school for my BSN, because after only 1 year of being a nurse, I want to learn more about my profession.

    Pros: Independence, integrity, ingenuity, advancement opportunities, etc.

    Cons: Long hours (but 4 days off if you work 3 days a week), not much else.

    Please understand that if nurses truly hated and despised their job, they would have an incredible nursing shortage, and wouldn't have websites devoted to nursing, such as! The nurses who complain about their jobs, are doing simply that, a job. They don't have the love and passion that comes from working in a Profession, and yes, all of us have said sometime that we dislike/hate something when it come to the job, but on the whole, most nurses you ask will tell you how much they love this Profession!
  14. by   Nurse_Diane
    Pros: working 3 days a week (I LOVE my 12-hour shifts), making new friends, meeting new people, seeing people at their best, helping them when they are at their worst, hearing "thank you" (but it doesn't happen very often), stimulating environment, change- medicine is always evolving, making a decent (not rich) living, going home and knowing you made a difference with that "one special patient"

    Cons: High nurse-patient ratios, high acuity levels, poor economy (hospitals cutting corners in staffing, etc), working 12 hours without a break and having to stay past your scheduled time to chart, abusive patients AND family members, administrative/management nonsense, and working nights, holidays, and weekends.