What did you think Nursing was About?

  1. Ok I have been on and off her for a couple of years, and I have read the vents from the New nurses. So my question is "What did you think Nursing was about? And what have you learned since then?

    Maybe this will help some of the Nursing Students out there or the ones that are thinking about going into nursing.

    I remember that I thought I was going to be able to take care of all of my patients needs and make them feel better. We were pretty sheltered in nursing school only having one patient at a time.

    Then once I got on the floor. REALITY CHECK. Had so many patients I didn't know if I was coming or going. Some days going home feeling I hadn't accomplished anything, but some days going home feeling like I had made a difference.


    So tell us what is your story.
  2. Visit Justhere profile page

    About Justhere

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 1,554; Likes: 459
    Nursery Nurse
    Specialty: Different types

    30 Comments

  3. by   AmandaBrittainy
    I thought it was going to be very prestigious and honest and my fellow nurses would be noble and kind and just as hard working as I was. I thought I will would be following the direction of well educated and benevolent physicians. I thought that I would be respected as a nurse for making sure my patients were getting the best care possible and being in a profession that requires astute care and attention, that help could be called upon. I thought everyone would be at least my equal as I was just entering the profession. WHOOOAAAA!! not the case at all.
    However I will always be able to find a well paying job and I am not restricted into working somewhere I dont like. I can always be learning something useful, I am an asset to friends and families that are unfamiliar with the medical field. I do feel important in these regards and I dont have to put up with having a cruddy job because I can pack up and move on to the next one looking for a hard working nurse. I still find these good points to hold true, also. Not all bad.
  4. by   jmgrn65
    thanks for starting this thread. I think it will be very interesting and a good learning.
    I don't really have anything to add I had always been in and around the medical field, so I think I had a fairly good handle on it. Besides I have been doing this for over 17 years who can remember.
  5. by   MikeyJ
    Still a nursing student (not too much longer to go!) and have been working as a nurse apprentice for 6 months.

    I am not sure what I really expected, but it definitely is not what I am currently experiencing. I fortunately work with an awesome bunch of nurses, but from my experience, nurses are these callous uncaring individuals (perhaps due to the grueling working conditions). Nursing management are perhaps the worst of the bunch, and I think that adds to the crappy attitudes.

    Needless to say, I am already thinking of how quickly I can leave the field and I am not even officially in it yet. I will work for a few years to gain some experience, but I will immediately pursue my FNP (or perhaps MD.. but that field is far more malignant than nursing).
  6. by   inspire
    Quote from sistermike
    I fortunately work with an awesome bunch of nurses, but from my experience, nurses are these callous uncaring individuals (perhaps due to the grueling working conditions). Nursing management are perhaps the worst of the bunch, and I think that adds to the crappy attitudes.
    I am hoping to start rn school this year. I read a lot of the threads and surprised at how many uncaring attitudes, especially management. I would love to hear from some of the negative rn's and tell why are you so miserable. It seems most that post here are opposite from that.
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Mar 10, '08 : Reason: inserted proper quotation blocks
  7. by   SharonH, RN
    Great question. I thought my job was to give pills and help people with other needs and that all the hard work and critical thinking was done by the physician. I swear to God.....I was only 17 when I started college and 21 when I graduated so cut me slack.
  8. by   cpnegrad07
    I already had decades of medical and life experience when i went into nursing, so i had a pretty good idea of what it would be like. The biggest surprise: i thought i would be a lot more autonomous--wrong. I'm just an employee of the hospital and all that that means.
  9. by   LostNurse24
    Well, I decided to become a nurse thinking I could help people and make a difference in their lives. By nature I'm a very caring and sensitive person, and I've had a lot of experience with hospitals and illness within my own family. In nursing school, most of my experiences were positive and the highest number of patients we ever had was three and we didn't do IV meds on them! So the reality check for me has been awful, and very disheartening. Currently I'm unemployed and searching for where I might belong in nursing. So far my first year out of school has been a very stressful and emotionally draining experience. I just want to work somewhere that I leave at the end of the day feeling like I was able to do my part in making someone better, and see my patients go home feeling better.
  10. by   jjjoy
    My university nursing school recruiters emphasized that nursing was "not just" bedside care. It pointed to advanced practice, to specialists, to consultants, to researchers, and entrepreneurs (sp?) as just a few of the many possibilities. They highlighted some of the best of the best roles in nursing, but didn't give much time to what kinds of jobs the majority of nurses have. They clearly were trying to groom "future leaders of nursing."

    During school, they emphasized how nursing was "not just" carrying out orders, passing meds, etc. They emphasized holistic care, autonomy, professionalism, patient education, research, etc. While what they said is true & important, they forgot to mention that bedside care makes up a majority of nursing jobs in many areas, especially those available to new grads, and that carrying out orders (taking orders off, contacting MDs for new orders, etc) and passing meds (setting up IVs, pain assessment, etc) and documenting care can often make up the bulk of a nurse's workload.

    They forgot to mention that in many settings nurses have little opportunity to do more than just the basics because necessary prioritization will mean that those things that keep a patient alive and not getting physiologically worse will get done over other more holistic, educational, therapeutic, supportive nursing care.

    They forgot to mention until the last term in school that it would be a good idea to work for at least a year in acute care before branching out to all of the those tempting jobs that they held out before potential nursing students as career goals. It's not obvious that a specialist nurses should have to earn their stripes as a generalist first. That's not always the case for specializing in one's profession of choice.
  11. by   nyapa
    I confess that I had my eyes wide open by the time I started my registered nursing.

    Starting my enrolled nursing was a different story. I thought my job was going to be caring for people, in a gentle sort of way, and that people would be grateful for it. Seriously! Other nurses, families, doctors, and others involved in the process never came into my 'vision'.

    Well!!!!! How naive was I? I had never been near a hospital since I was 8 years old. Except for perhaps one ED experience, and I was out for the count for that one.

    I did my Enrolled Nurse training in a hospital setting. So 'whacko' I was in there straight away! My 'vision' disappeared within a few weeks!

  12. by   tnrose
    I don' usually post, but after all the negative comments I thought I'd put my 2 cents in. I just keep thinking about all the students reading these post and cringing! Yes, it's stressful, scary, all that stuff. But I think the main point is to keep trying until you find the position that is right for you. I work med-surg in a small hospital, yes it's very hard mentally and physically, but the doctor's there do respect the nurses, (the one's that they have trust in). I know that we are underpaid, underappreciated, but I also feel that we have many options available and have to find just the right spot for us as individuals. We can still do what we thought we were going to do in the first place if we stay true to ourselves, and don't let the negativity get us down.
  13. by   BearWayne
    Quote from SharonH
    I thought my job was to give pills and help people with other needs and that all the hard work and critical thinking was done by the physician.
    That's what I thought nursing was about. I'm a little older than SharonH and I wonder if it has something to do with how nurses were portrayed in the media when we were kids....

    I sure got straightened out my first semester of nursing school.... Nursing process??? Nursing diagnosis?? health assessment? Where did all this "stuff" come from?

    During my health assessment class I kept thinking "Why do I need to know this, this is what doctors do".... well, I found out in clinicals!

    I am just starting out my career as an RN so I haven't yet personally found out how nursing school is totally different from the "real" world... but I know that it is.

    --BearWayne, RN, BSN
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Mar 10, '08 : Reason: inserted proper quote blocks
  14. by   MrsCaseyRN
    I've been a nurse for 2 years, and I would say before becoming a nurse I lived in a world where I thought if I tried hard enough I could be next to perfect! I though if I worked hard enough, I'd be able to please my pts and their family....:icon_roll
    The hardest thing for me to swallow has been that the public has no clue what nursing as actually like and even if I work my butt off, their will always be pts and family that think I do nothing. I'm not looking for a thank you, but simply refraining from complaining about a profession they can't even begin to understand, that would do just fine!!:spin:

close