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How can you tell if nursing is a good fit for you?

Pre-Nursing   (15,036 Views 30 Comments)
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Jack245 has 1 years experience and specializes in CNA, Nursing Student.

3,642 Visitors; 102 Posts

I think you could get a job of CNA just about anywhere you wanted. I know a few that work in nursing homes and I have a friend that started working in a hospital as soon as she finished the course. They told me the places around here are begging for CNAs. I talked to a hospital about working for them when I finished the class and the only thing they asked was' date=' "will you show up everyday?"[/quote']

So lucky. Where I'm at I have been looking since December and not yet found a job.

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13,298 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

I was in a similar situation. I was interested in physical therapy but that meant at least another two years to complete my undergrad, plus pre-reqs and then stiff competition for acceptance to a program. I was already volunteering at the hospital and had taken plenty of life science courses.

It turns out I already had most of the pre-reqs for junior-entry to my uni's BSN program. Why not apply? I did and was accepted. I just had to take a few more classes before the fall term started. And so many of the nurses I spoke with extolled the many avenues nurses had before them besides bedside, which really didn't look up my alley. So... 2-3 years then hope I get into PT school? Or start a 2 yr BSN/RN program in the fall?

I still can't tell you if it was a good decision or not. But now I say there's pretty much just one reason to go to nursing school, and that is to become a nurse. Not a nurse researcher, not an nurse administrator, not a nurse educator, etc. Nurses most definitely can and do make great researchers, educators, etc. I'm just saying that if one's primary interest in health care is administration, health education, public health, etc then look into pursuing those directly. The same goes for specific health care roles such as a doula (help laboring women), diabetes educator, and the like.

I'm currently working in health information management. And I have to admit that my nursing background got me in the door. I actually enjoy many aspects of patient care. It's a wonderful challenge and full of learning opportunities. But as a full-time job, five 8-hour shifts or three-four 12-hour shifts per week, month after month, it just drains me too much. Wish it weren't that way for me, but lots of people don't like what I do now and I think it's not half bad.

Again, best wishes to you!! I hope it's a fun journey!

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13,298 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

As far a nursing assistant opportunities, you'll have to find out what the market is like locally where you are. Some places, a new NA with strong references will be able to name where they'd like to work, be snapped up, and trained in auxiliary skills such as blood draws and ECGs. Other places, a new NA might need connections to land an under-paid, over-worked nursing home job of endless bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting (that is all important nursing care, but some not-so-well-run facilities are miserable places to work, but in a bad economy, even those jobs can be hard to land).

I think unit secretary is another good auxiliary role for pre-nursing students. Some places also train up monitor techs. Again, job opportunities and competition for positions vary greatly from place to place.

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2ndyearstudent is a CNA and specializes in CNA.

4,816 Visitors; 381 Posts

Hmm, okay. I am just feeling so undecided about this nursing thing. One day I will feel really excited sort of like I have found my calling and then I start having all of these doubts like can I deal with the bodily fluids, or will I be able to do the job well? I am not worried about being able to make it through school, it's sorta like what happens after I finish?

You need to start taking care of people. Now. Before school. Providing direct care to patients was the only way I could tell if nursing was for me.

Additionally, direct care experience will help you find a nursing job in a competitive economy.

Good luck!

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hari has 6 years experience.

472 Visitors; 3 Posts

The job is different than it is in the textbooks. That said, you make connections with people who need your help --- providing direct care, or teaching them how to care for themselves. You get faster at stuff like passing meds. The biggest thing is human contact. If person to person is important to you, and you are open to learning from other people, trust that it will be a good fit. It's a daunting job, but it can be a fabulous one!

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2,543 Visitors; 113 Posts

Just my advice, you don't have to take it, but don't do it. The stress and how you are treated is not worth it. (If you find a job)

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558 Visitors; 2 Posts

I was an Information Technology software analyst & Project Manager for a major financial services company in Manhattan for 111 years and changed careers for a few reasons: the pay and bonuses were great but I worked too many hours and traveled too much- they owned me! Women "age out" of the corporate world, especially finance, after 45- 50 years old unless you are very senior ranking executive (there was no long-term future) and I wanted a shorter work week and lots of flexibility. I wanted to have a baby and be home more. I happen to like hospice nursing- so I thought becoming an RN would be a good choice.

My observations and biggest surprises were: unprofessionalism (in corporate/business, you can't walk around yelling, screaming acting crazy, etc or you can lose your credibility and possibly your job) it can be mundane- sometimes you feel like a robot (meds, assess, meds, assess, routine paperwork) and I missed the high level analytical thinking required when working with teams of MBA holding, accomplished business people. In corporate, I always felt challenged to think harder to solve complex business problems.

The culture was a huge change- I was used to a men's game: its about getting the work done, completing a product. end of story. Nursing is a women's game: smile alot, stroke them, gossip a little, talk about kids alot. Women look you up and down, your make up, hair, dress, jewelry. Men absolutely do, but its very different. Women can be a bit nosey: they ask direct personal questions where men would never, especially at work. Women can hold grudges for years for the smallest thing. Men don't give a crap and keep it moving. In nursing, nearly every statement is surrounded by opinion, eye rolling, subjectivity. Men don't care enough to interject their emotions into everything they do all day. In nursing it is an emotionally driven environment where yelling, co-worker verbal aggression, slamming things on tables, is frequently seen. (PS. I am a woman) The hospital culture seems to allow "its not my job" "I'm leaving, someone else will do it", and employes disappearing or sitting around and straight out telling you they will get to it when they feel like it. Non-performers in corporate are not tolerated.

Families and patients are usually good to you but some are terribly abusive. Did you put away your $300 business suits and $50K MBA education for someone to yell at you demanding you warm their tea, pick up their feces soiled underwear they so nicely dumped on the floor (and your aide refuses, looking at you like you're crazy to even ask them and you can't do anything because their is little or no performance accountability) !!

Yes, the statements above are generalizations and do not occur everywhere. They are my opinion. In 3 years as a new RN, I have worked at 2 hospitals (urban and suburb) and per Diem at another (home care). I base the above on what I have seen and observed many floors and several institutions.

I am doing well and have found my comfort zone in anesthesia service. I don't regret my move but I see myself going into the business side of medicine eventually.

Before you spend the time and money, talk to more people with your background.

GOOD LUCK!!!

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1,461 Visitors; 16 Posts

I had a job at a large company (700+ employees) for 10 years and was also used to the business world of total professionalism, business casual dress, hour long lunches, weekends and paid holidays, great pay, etc. I did a lot of charity work on the side and found more satisfaction doing the charity work than in my job. I started pre-reqs, applied for nursing school and I am currently finishing my second semester, first year. I had NO previous experience in healthcare--I had no idea how to use a blood pressure cuff, etc. I loved the learning/school side but honestly, did not enjoy clinicals the first semester because it was just something sooo different. My second semester, I grew tremendously in confidence and learned to relax a bit. Yes, the culture is VERY different because there is a HUGE emphasis on the touchy-feely side of reading emotions and providing support--but I LOVED that part. If you can try to work as a nurse tech/aid to get some experience, it may help since you feel more informed about what you will eventually be getting into. But, many of my fellow students had no experience and we learned together about the ups and downs of nursing. You will get plenty of experience during clinicals too, so you may learn if you just love working with children, with the elderly, with cancer patients, etc. Some of my fellow students also had 5-10 years experience in various other aspects of the health profession, but honestly, they do not automatically do better (gradewise or in clinicals). Yes, some people have the calling early...some get the calling once in school, and others get the calling later. You don't have to love every single aspect of nursing school or clinicals to end up as a great nurse. And you will learn that your background in business may help you land a job in administration after you have gained experience as a nurse, maybe in quality assurance, etc. Don't sell yourself short--just go for it!

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learner1108 specializes in none yet.

2,703 Visitors; 41 Posts

Definitely go for the CNA training. Then get a tech job in a hospital so you can see what hospital nursing is like. Don't know what your area of the country is like, but where I am, a year's experience in a hospital clinical setting is minimum requirement for most nursing jobs, even LTC and home health care.

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DC Collins has 7 years experience as a ASN and specializes in ED.

4,583 Visitors; 268 Posts

I am with those who recommend volunteering. Even more than taking a CNA job. While you need to know how to do what a CNA does, and be willing to help the CNAs when you have the time (so that they will help you in return), most of your work will *not* be what the CNAs do.

Most of your time as an RN, at least in a hospital setting, is not doing routine chores. Most of it will actually be critical thinking, assessment, re-assessment, etc.

By volunteering, you can change departments when you want (to some degree). But let me recommend that you not volunteer for just a few weeks and either stop or change departments. Give them good service, and it can serve you well. Give them bad service and it can come back to bite you big time.

Best of luck!

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benr98 has 3 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics & luvin it.

3,535 Visitors; 53 Posts

I actually had a friend tell me when I was out of work that I would make a good nurse. I love helping people in all ways and that is what he told me nursing really needs to have. After taking my Anatomy classes at school I decided to take a CNA course offered through a local hospital mainly so I did not forget anything that I had just learned. I was actually able to use what I had learned in my anatomy classes toward my CNA course. During my clinicals for my CNA course my clinical instructor told us many times that CNA is the hardest work in the hospital and she knows that there will be some at the end of the clinicals that will decide that being a CNA is not for them. I also am using this course as a stepping stone for my BSN degree and I have had patients ask me if I had every thought about becoming a nurse and they are all happy when I tell them that I am taking courses now. By taking the CNA class this has done two things for me: 1) it has confirmed to me that I would make a good nurse and that I would like the job. I will be honest I hate getting up early but I love going to work My patient load is usually higher than most other CNA's have because I work the pediatric floor and most parents or patients prefer to take care of themselves. 2) The other thing, by becoming a CNA and getting a job at the hospital, this has done for me is it has litteraly locked in a position for me at the hospital when I graduate. So the problem others are having finding jobs I have side stepped by becoming a CNA and attaining a job at the hospital. I will say one thing Pediatrics is not for everyone but I love it.

Also how to know if you will like Nursing? A lot of hospitals have job shadowing which allows you to follow around a nurse to see if you would like it or not. I would suggest following a nurse around on a few different days and if possible on a few different floors to see the differences between what areas you might like and what areas you might not like.

Edited by benr98
added more

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2,543 Visitors; 113 Posts

I was an Information Technology software analyst & Project Manager for a major financial services company in Manhattan for 111 years and changed careers for a few reasons: the pay and bonuses were great but I worked too many hours and traveled too much- they owned me! Women "age out" of the corporate world, especially finance, after 45- 50 years old unless you are very senior ranking executive (there was no long-term future) and I wanted a shorter work week and lots of flexibility. I wanted to have a baby and be home more. I happen to like hospice nursing- so I thought becoming an RN would be a good choice.

My observations and biggest surprises were: unprofessionalism (in corporate/business, you can't walk around yelling, screaming acting crazy, etc or you can lose your credibility and possibly your job) it can be mundane- sometimes you feel like a robot (meds, assess, meds, assess, routine paperwork) and I missed the high level analytical thinking required when working with teams of MBA holding, accomplished business people. In corporate, I always felt challenged to think harder to solve complex business problems.

The culture was a huge change- I was used to a men's game: its about getting the work done, completing a product. end of story. Nursing is a women's game: smile alot, stroke them, gossip a little, talk about kids alot. Women look you up and down, your make up, hair, dress, jewelry. Men absolutely do, but its very different. Women can be a bit nosey: they ask direct personal questions where men would never, especially at work. Women can hold grudges for years for the smallest thing. Men don't give a crap and keep it moving. In nursing, nearly every statement is surrounded by opinion, eye rolling, subjectivity. Men don't care enough to interject their emotions into everything they do all day. In nursing it is an emotionally driven environment where yelling, co-worker verbal aggression, slamming things on tables, is frequently seen. (PS. I am a woman) The hospital culture seems to allow "its not my job" "I'm leaving, someone else will do it", and employes disappearing or sitting around and straight out telling you they will get to it when they feel like it. Non-performers in corporate are not tolerated.

Families and patients are usually good to you but some are terribly abusive. Did you put away your $300 business suits and $50K MBA education for someone to yell at you demanding you warm their tea, pick up their feces soiled underwear they so nicely dumped on the floor (and your aide refuses, looking at you like you're crazy to even ask them and you can't do anything because their is little or no performance accountability) !!

Yes, the statements above are generalizations and do not occur everywhere. They are my opinion. In 3 years as a new RN, I have worked at 2 hospitals (urban and suburb) and per Diem at another (home care). I base the above on what I have seen and observed many floors and several institutions.

I am doing well and have found my comfort zone in anesthesia service. I don't regret my move but I see myself going into the business side of medicine eventually.

Before you spend the time and money, talk to more people with your background.

GOOD LUCK!!!

What's anesthesia service? How did you get that job? (And, you are right about the CNAs and other nurses acting inappropriately. There are clicks. There are people who can get away with murder, and others who can't. It's not a fair system or logical in any way, but the managers enforce bad behavior if they like the nurse for some reason. I've seen charge nurses swear, goof off, act superior, while I'm working my _ _ _ off. They never offer to help. The managers don't seem to see what is right infront of them.

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