Please paint a realistic picture of nursing for me!

  1. I am considering going back to school for nursing and have been lead to this for various reasons which I won't bore you with (I was previously a teacher). I am trying to make sure this really is what I want to do...I don't want to end up AGAIN with a career that I don't enjoy & schooling down the drain. I plan to volunteer at a local hospital & hopefully shadow a nurse to get more of an idea, but would LOVE anyone's feedback on the career as a whole. I'm getting VERY MIXED messages from this forum, as well as friends & family in my life. I'm afraid I'm become more confused instead of more resolved.
    In particular what I want to know is:
    What are the hours like REALLY (i.e. Am I ever going to see my husband & son?)
    What is the pay like in Central New York for RN's? (Is it worth the cost of going back to school?)
    Why is there such a high turnover in the field? Is it that stressful & unrewarding?

    Any comments or advice would be extremely appreciated!!!
  2. Visit wannabe_sane profile page

    About wannabe_sane

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 5

    12 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Here is a realistic thread about nursing, concerning NY RNs in particular.
    I'd read it carefully.

    https://allnurses.com/forums/f195/re...ns-114410.html
  4. by   wannabe_sane
    Thanks for directing me there, very informative. I certainly have a lot of soul searching to do.
  5. by   Furoffire
    I just read a short article from Nursing 2006 "Career Choices" from Money Magazine and the RN ranked #47th on the list of 50 best professions. #1 Physician assistants #2 was Software Engineer, #3 physical therapy assistant.

    The reason RN came in towards the end was grade ratings:

    Creativity: D

    Difficulty: C

    Flexibility: B

    Stress: D

    Personally, I am not sure I would have gone down this road many years ago. What I perceived nursing to be like in the 60's and 70's was what I based my path to go on. Healthcare has changed a great deal.

    The money is good, job security for bed side nursing is great and the benefits, basically caring for patients is wonderful. BUT with the now popular 12 hour shifts and the pressure to get patients in and out as fast as one humanly can, it is VERY stressful. I do most of the clerical stuff, call the doctors, its like a one man show, not like back in the good old days where the charge nurse new what was up with all the patients in your unit, noted orders, called the doctor etc.

    My life is up at 4 AM, leave at 5 AM and back home at 8 PM 3 -4 days a week. Then the next day I can barely move and stay in bed recupping. I am grateful my children all out of the nest. I have no idea how working parents have the energy to deal with children with this type of work cycles. My hat is off to those that can!!!

    That is wonderful you can shadow a nurse, I don't understand how. But as a "guest" you really don't have the full responsibility and might not see the real picture. Don't know!!!

    Some departments are better than others and with nursing school hopefully you can do rotations and find what you like if you get the opportunity to be able to select.

    I wish you well, lots of pros and cons.

    Meow
  6. by   don_rhonda
    I have seen several people go thru nursing school with grandiose ideas of making a difference in the world. It is not all that! The best advice I could give is to become a CNA (as I did) and take it from there. After years, lots of dollars, stress and tears, many new nurses that were not previously CNA's were disappointed as their expectations were not met. I did not ever intend to go to nursing school, but I was always wanting to do and learn more as a CNA. That is when my co-workers in a small, rural hospital encouraged me to go back to school. Nursing can be very rewarding but occasionally very sad/frustrating. It's all about weights and measures!
  7. by   Maggie Mae
    Nursing is hard, stressful, scary, frustrating, wonderful, funny, smelly, sad, unfair, mismanaged, understaffed, no supplies, too many patients, too many gripes, awesome, I love it!
    Have good boundaries. A good friend you trust. Be a good friend. Mind your own business. Have compassion. Celebrate. Learn to forgive, yourself and others. Be honest. Be careful. Don't judge. Know when to help. Know when to rest. Know when to let go. Reach out. Soul search. Look inside. cry. Laugh. Stay in the moment. Pay attention, wonderful things are happening. Have faith.
    You won't change the world. You will make a difference.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    There are so many different areas of nursing that the answer to your question is there are many pictures.

    Yes, please shadow a nurse in an area you want to work.

    There are great nursing jobs out there.

    steph
  9. by   Furoffire
    P.S. Just some additional thoughts on the subject.

    Most hospitals demand nurses work every other weekend or every split weekend, like every Sat. or Sun.

    As far as holidays go, like with a regular job, one automatically figures they get the day or days off, not with nursing, its give and take. Everyone has to take turns and rotate.

    Even with working 12 hour shifts, you will get only 30 minutes to eat if you are lucky to do so, breaks, what a joke!!! At the grocery stores I always hear the clerks telling thier manager their break is coming up and it seems to be necessary and serious. In a hospital, as a staff nurse, you eat and pee only when you can, you cannot leave a sick patient or assume your co-worker or charge nurse will help. I remember once I had a tough day, it was 8 hour shift, we would give report to the charge nurse and I reported that I did not have time to do the dressing change on Mr. Smith in room 1823, passing the torch to the next shift. My charge nurse looked at me and asked, "well did you have time to take lunch?" Meaning, I should of forsaken a meal break and work then yet called on over time and what is wrong with my productivity.

    Yes, test it out and pray that your eyes are open to the truth and not the glamourization of the career, this is not Hollywood.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    I've mentioned this before but a good compromise for nurses with families is a free-standing day surgery center. No weekends. No holidays. Great pay and benefits usually.

    steph
  11. by   traumaRUs
    There are many different nursing positions - you can usually find something that will match your needs. I went into nursing school in 1990 and even in that short of a time, things have changed.

    However, there are options:

    1. More education - get an advanced degree.

    2. Go into management.

    3. Case management.

    4. Try another career where nursing is a plus.
  12. by   wannabe_sane
    Quote from Maggie Mae
    Nursing is hard, stressful, scary, frustrating, wonderful, funny, smelly, sad, unfair, mismanaged, understaffed, no supplies, too many patients, too many gripes, awesome, I love it!
    Have good boundaries. A good friend you trust. Be a good friend. Mind your own business. Have compassion. Celebrate. Learn to forgive, yourself and others. Be honest. Be careful. Don't judge. Know when to help. Know when to rest. Know when to let go. Reach out. Soul search. Look inside. cry. Laugh. Stay in the moment. Pay attention, wonderful things are happening. Have faith.
    You won't change the world. You will make a difference.
    Very poetic! Thanks! :wink2:
  13. by   wannabe_sane
    Quote from Furoffire
    I just read a short article from Nursing 2006 "Career Choices" from Money Magazine and the RN ranked #47th on the list of 50 best professions. #1 Physician assistants #2 was Software Engineer, #3 physical therapy assistant.

    The reason RN came in towards the end was grade ratings:

    Creativity: D

    Difficulty: C

    Flexibility: B

    Stress: D

    Personally, I am not sure I would have gone down this road many years ago. What I perceived nursing to be like in the 60's and 70's was what I based my path to go on. Healthcare has changed a great deal.

    The money is good, job security for bed side nursing is great and the benefits, basically caring for patients is wonderful. BUT with the now popular 12 hour shifts and the pressure to get patients in and out as fast as one humanly can, it is VERY stressful. I do most of the clerical stuff, call the doctors, its like a one man show, not like back in the good old days where the charge nurse new what was up with all the patients in your unit, noted orders, called the doctor etc.

    My life is up at 4 AM, leave at 5 AM and back home at 8 PM 3 -4 days a week. Then the next day I can barely move and stay in bed recupping. I am grateful my children all out of the nest. I have no idea how working parents have the energy to deal with children with this type of work cycles. My hat is off to those that can!!!

    That is wonderful you can shadow a nurse, I don't understand how. But as a "guest" you really don't have the full responsibility and might not see the real picture. Don't know!!!

    Some departments are better than others and with nursing school hopefully you can do rotations and find what you like if you get the opportunity to be able to select.

    I wish you well, lots of pros and cons.

    Meow

    Thank you for taking the time to give so much detail! That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. A lot of the issues you bring up sound uncannily familiar to the issues I dealt with as a teacher (being a "one man show"). I went into teaching because I wanted to "teach", but I had to play so many different roles, that actually spending time with the kids was the thing I had the least time to do! I became very dissillusioned, very quickly. I also suffered personally (physically & mentally) from the unrealistic demands on my time. Why is it in our society that these professions that make the most direct impact on people get the least respect? I am continuously baffled by this!
    I am beginning to see that to go into nursing would be to put myself right back where I was, only in a different setting. Much to ponder....thanks!
  14. by   Furoffire
    I don't know. Today was hard. The CN said that we might be really all dead and in hell. I'm really tired tonight, getting ready for day 3 of 12's. No offense. : )

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