Published May 19, 2002
I'm new on this site, and I also just started nursing school. I've been reading some of the posts about how bad nurses are treated and about the low pay, and all that sounds a bit discouraging but I still want to make the switch because becoming a nurse is something I've been thinking about for a long time.
For one thing, I know that money is not everything, and no matter where you work there's always at least one a**hole who will try to give you a hard time. I've been working as a manager for a large firm for years, and although the money is very good we're always rushing against impossible deadlines, the stress is nightmarish, and the senior management treats most people like garbage. I just don't see myself staying in a career like this and then later regretting that I didn't get out while I had the opportunity. Besides, I work much better when I'm interacting with people than I do behind a desk and in front of a computer 24/7.
I felt a bit silly going back into a college classroom in my late 20s because I thought for sure that everybody else would be 18 year-olds, fresh out of high school. Imagine the shock when I saw that most people in the classes were working adults like myself, most studying to make some type of career transition and many of them looked to be in their 30s and 40s, too.
I expect to have my BSN by next fall and I'm planning to do the grad program in Nurse Anesthesia at Florida International after that. From the research I've been doing, nursing is a great career for people who live here in south FL. Nurses are in short supply here and there's tons of jobs to choose from. Of course there are jobs that pay craps, but I've also seen ads for certain types of RNs with just 1 year of experience for $23-$25 per hour, and the experienced RNs who work through the agencies can easily make even more. Even these salaries are less than I'm making right now, but I'm still looking forward to the challenge of a nursing career. Am I crazy?
I don't think you're crazy, but some places you go to may feel like your other job. " rushing against impossible deadlines, the stress is nightmarish, and the senior management treats most people like garbage." Good luck in finding a position that makes you feel fulfilled, because I feel that this is as important as the money. (but money is nice)
David, hello my southern neighbor. You are about 3 hours south of me on 95. Well, it looks like you don't have long to go and most of your remaining classes should have more clinical than classroom time and that will give you a better idea of a working unit. I do feel that the BSN is the way to go however having had an ADN at 31 and now working on my BSN at 47 I found there was much more clinical in the ADN program hands down. The generic students at the University of Central Florida don't have clinical till their junior year. I have run into some of them when visiting friends and family in the hospital. There was a fellow in a local ER that could not figure out how to get a patient off a stretcher that has an IV on the other side of where the wheel chair was. There was not access for a chair or the IV site. He tried to move the stretcher with the breaks on and he graduates in a few days. That is scary. BSN is definitely more book work but people need to have common sense. How long do you have to wait before you can apply for the nurse anesthesist? Be sure you get a good year of either Med/Surg with tele or ICU experience. You should be able to write your own ticket with the shortage. Also, look into tuition reimbursement under the new Florida law. Also the new law provides funds for individuals to continue their education beyon their basic education. Let us know what happens. You should be able to get a job in your immediate area as well as the Miami area if you are thinking or relocating. Good Luck and let us know what happens.\
I have had a lot of jobs, in a lot of different fields, and nursing is, hands down the best job i have ever had. A lot of people where i work will complain about nursing, i complain about my job as well but for different reasons, too many to go into , but has nothing to do with the proffesion, anywho, when i ask these complainers what other jobs they have had teh answer is always the same, "nothing, been a nurse since i was 21". I always laugh because these people have no idea what a crappy job really is.
It's what you make of it, like anything else. You'll have more good days than bad as a nurse thats for sure.
kewlnurse, you got that one right girl. I have had telemarketing, working in a cleaners, babysitting as a tean at 35-50 cents an hour. I guess now it is a minimum of 5 bucks for one child. Nursing was the best not only job but profession I have ever come in contact with. Many complain about the job. You will find that everywhere. With the shortages, lack of adequate staffing, are going to make things a lot worse for the near future. Many adult learners are now looking at nursing as a career. It has so many areas to work in from ER and ICU to PEDS and teaching the nurses that will someday replace us. I had hoped to have several more years as an active nurse but it has not worked out that way. That is why I am getting the BSN in the hope to be able to return to nursing and still be an effective health care professional. Nursing is the best job I will ever have and I am proud to say there are a hellova lot of nurses out there that would do it over again.
hey dave...welcome and good luck. a lot of good advice in the previous posts.. as for your former job...well.."sounds like dejavou all over again." when you find a carreer that gives something back that validates what you do..it kind of keeps you going....most of the time....peace....lr
I.rae Ditto, Ditto I could not agree with you more Disabled
Thanks to everyone for the advice. To answer Disabled's question about the Nurse Anethesia program, that is at least a couple years away for me because you have to have to be an RN with at least a year of full-time ER/Med surg/ICU-type experience before they will even consider letting you into the program. Also, the program isn't cheap, even as a florida resident I'll be paying about $20,000 a year in tuition/fees/books and that's at a public university (FIU).
The program lasts 6-7 semesters and it looks to be very difficult. Like med school you have to commit to it on a full-time basis, which means you won't have much of a life for a few years. It isn't very competitive to get into the program once you meet the basic prequisites because the cost and the amount of time it takes I guess discourages a lot of people. But, the payoff is worth it, considering that even NA's fresh out of grad school are making more money than some family practice MDs.
I've been checking into some of the financial aid you mentioned. Most of the loan forgiveness programs apply only to people who are majoring in education and who plan to teach after they graduate. I don't qualify for any federal or state grant money because I already received that aid when I did my first bachelor's degree. Most of what I qualify for is loans, and I'm trying to save as much as possible to pay as much as I can out of pocket. I also checked into some of the scholarship programs that the hospitals are offering, but their deal is a bit shady: they're mostly interested in RNs (because they can't find any to hire) and they'll pay for your tuition, books, etc. for the generic RN program but rarely anything above that level (not even a BSN), then they want you to sign a contract that says you will come work for them for at least 3 years for entry level wages after you finish the program. This may look attractive to some people because it's free money. But, it really is a waste of time. Anyone would do better to take a student loan at 6% interest, because it costs about $7,000 to complete the generic RN program at most community colleges, and that can be paid off in less than 3 years. At least, you won't have to spend 3 years giving your labor away for low wages.
I agree with you that a lot of people are entering the nursing profession, but according to the Dept. of Labor stats a far greater number are retiring or transitioning to other professions, and nursing school enrolment is down 20%. That's kinda scary, because I've been in clinicals with people who are making some silly and very serious mistakes while handling the patients...and these are the nurses of tomorrow!!! Hopefully we'll still be able to afford Prof liab insurance when all the malpractice lawsuits start coming.
It sounds like you are in the same boat as me!
After 5 years in a high tech Dilbert universe, I have decided to toss in the towel, go back to school to get prerequisites, then apply to a BSN program this December. My long term goal is to get a master's degree, but I haven't decided on the exact advanced nursing degree I want yet. Hopefully I will get into the BSN program and just take it from there!
I have been reading a lot of posts on this website too, and I agree that no matter what field you are in, people always find something wrong with the job.
I realize that many of the same headaches come with nursing. But the pull for me is that after the nightmarish stress, management issues, and impossible schedules, the fact is that you will have helped at least ONE person. In my current job, I sit in front of a computer to meet these impossible deadlines that, in the big picture of the world, don't really matter.
What matters to me is the interaction and the occasional (I realize it won't be every day/every patient) satisfaction you can get from knowing you really helped another person.
I'm excited to go into nursing. It seems to me (forgive me if I'm being naive) that there are so many different avenues you can take that you should be able to find one where you are mostly happy with the day-to-day working conditions.
Sorry for the length - this is my first post and I was excited to see so many positive responses!!! Good luck to you!
"but I'm still looking forward to the challenge of a nursing career. Am I crazy?"
Nooooo...of course not...come on in...and join the rest of us nuts...umm I mean nurses...
Nursing is what you make of it. Yes, it can be difficult but so can other professions.
I was talking to my spouse just the other day about changing careers and he asked what I would do if I did not work somewhere in the field of nursing.
I said I could either go back to school to get a different degree or memorize the phrase "You want fries with that?"
I must admit..I have thought about the phrase..."Welcome to WalMart...
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