I'm disabled, is nursing for me?


I suffer from anxiety and depression in addition to (and likely caused by) a "benign" (non cancerous) tumor. I tend to get vertigo and other some physical symptoms such as heat intolerance and easy exhaustion. I am probably going to be recieving disability, but that's not nearly enough to live the full life I want. I can complete homework assignments (often in bed) and will likely receive four "As" this semester: should I attempt nursing school?

I have attempted low-wage jobs such as barista and kennel worker, which were ultimately too physically tasking for me and I quit out of exhaustion and anxiety about my ability to complete the work.

I have been admitted to a psychiatric ward for panic attacks and it seemed to me like I would be able to do what the nurses there do, as long as I am on the right medications. They seemed to be sitting a lot of the time and not forced to clean the way I have been in previous jobs. I am also very empathetic and I trust my ability to be patient with others who are in need. 

Do you think I'm being overly optimistic, or does nursing seem like a feasible answer to my needs? To be honest,  I can stay in school full-time as long as my 59-year-old mother is alive as she will let me live with her and finance some of my supplies. If I get a masters or higher I'm thinking that even less will be required of me physically and maybe I can work part-time. By the end of Summer '23 I should be eligible to receive my Associates of Arts for CSU transfer. 

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 8 years experience.

Nursing school will be, at times, physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. The classroom stuff isn't typically all that difficult but the challenge is being able to put various pieces of information together. The exams aren't going to be simple rote-memory stuff, they push for application answers from what you've already learned, thus if you haven't done your homework (so to speak) you won't be able to easily provide the correct answer because the answer requires the foundation from your homework to be able to apply it to a given situation. Compared to what you're used to now, nursing school and early nursing career will push you out of your comfort zone. You'll have to learn to deal with being uncomfortable, basically becoming comfortable being uncomfortable. It's not impossible but it will be stressful.

If you're able to get through nursing school and pass the NCLEX, there's a HUGE variation in ways to be a nurse and many of them aren't physically taxing at all but you do have to know your material/job very well so those jobs are often mentally taxing. 

If you're looking for a job that pays well and is part-time, well, those are few and far-between. In nursing, those jobs usually require experience, and thus aren't often open to new grads. 

Psych nursing isn't a bad gig at all. While it's not for me, most of my classmates that went into psych really do like it. If you are able to get through nursing school, that might actually be a decent gig for you and it's one of the jobs that are fairly open to new grads. I'm an ED RN and that's very much a specialty that's not open to new grads... I'm lucky to have gotten an ED job as a new grad. Very lucky.