how many would not continue on to nursing school if..

Nurses General Nursing


If you had the opportunity to shadow a nurse on the floor to see what it's really like , before entering nursing school..would you have continued on with school or chosen a different profession?

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I was a volunteer ("candy striper") as a high school student. Knowing that I was planning to go to nursing school, several of the nurses would talk with me, give me advice, let me help/observe a lot of things, etc. Also, my father was a physician.

I knew what I was getting into. I recommend that anyone interested in nursing investigate first and spend some time in a hopsital environment before making the big committment of school. Sometimes, shadowing is not possible ... and a couple of hours in only one setting with only 1 nurse may not give you a true comprehensive picture of life within the profession. I recommend volunteer work or working as CNA or talking with lots of people in lots of different environments if you can. You might shadow on a particularly bad day and get too negative an impression ... or you might shadow on a great day and get too positive an impression.

I recommend a broader investigation before making such an important life choice. A single episode of shadowing is insufficient.... But if that's all you can do, that's better than nothing.

My hospital does not permit shadowing experiences ... but we have an active volunteer program and encourage prospective nursing students to participate in that way. I agree with the basic premise behind the OP ... that some people enter nursing school with totally unrealistic expectations and that's a stupid mistake to make on such an important life decision.


1,905 Posts

Worked as an EMT and CNA for a couple of years before going to nursing school. I knew what I was getting into. However, I have yet to work a day outside of transport, ER, or ICU. If you can find your niche, nursing can be rewarding...sometimes.

I shadowed before...still went on :)


658 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN.

I did not shadow or worked in a hospital before school. I do not regret it.

One of the best decisions I made.

Otessa, BSN, RN

1,601 Posts

I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and hospital and had my eyes wide open while going to nursing school---it is a requirement in my state to be a CNA prior to applying to nursing school-ADN or BSN. This probably weeds out the people that are clueless.



40 Posts

Specializes in neonatal intensive care.

I worked as an NA during my last 2 years of nursing school. I knew exactly what I was getting in to and still went on to graduate and worked for well over 25 years in the field.

HeartsOpenWide, RN

1 Article; 2,889 Posts

Specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

Yes. I have known I wanted to be a nurse for awhile now. I was an MA for a few years, and although that is nothing like nursing I got a good idea of what it is like to work with people in the medical field. I want to eventually become a nurse midwife more than anything. When I did 300 extra hours in OB during a preceptorship this last winter and last summer it only further convinced me that nursing is where I belong. Although I hope that I will not be a floor nurse forever, I think working in my dream job of labor and delivery is going to make it not bad at all while I wait to become a midwife....I could not say the same if I had to work on Med/Surg. My friend who works on Med/surg tells me "well I have to go now, have to get ready to go back to h*ll"...I don't blame her, I know some of my friends like med/surg but I would be miserable. I will be floating on slow nights to med/surg, ER, ICU, ect as a L&D nurse in my rural hospital, but at least OB is home base!


30 Posts

Specializes in ER (PCT 2years).

I start pre-clinical phase in the fall, and I've been an ER tech for two years, and an EMT for a a year before that. I've seen and interacted with various types of nurses, including ER, ICU, med/surg, and OBGYN, and am really attracted to ICU and ER. I was considering med school, however I'm just really more attracted to nursing and advocating for the profession.


129 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Operating Room.

I worked as a unit secretary and an MA before going to nursing school... I had plenty of opportunity to follow nurses around and ask questions.. I also saw the "behind the scenes" environment and I still knew I wanted to be a nurse...

Specializes in Cardiac, ER.

I had a pretty accurate grasp of what I was getting into before I started school. I love my job and yes I would do it again.


5 Posts

I have had a behind the scenes look since I am an MA and I am still going for my BSN.

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