to be or not to be, a nurse that is!!

Nurses General Nursing


couple of questions!!

1. How did you know that you really wanted/ would be good at nursing?

2. I have seen alot of posts/threads about nurses with anxiety/ depression. Did you have this before school or after nursing?

I think i have had anxiety since childhood and just didn't know it and through out the years have gone from mild anxiety to not leaving my house and not wanting to be alone. I had no idea what was going on when i had my first panic attack and over the next 10 years "suffered silently" till i couldn't take it anymore decided suicide or get better and luckily sought help. Counseling wasn't great but i kept looking and found a program called attacking anxiety and started taking paxil and started to get my life back! Now i am 35, take my paxil daily and rarely ever think about anxiety/ panic/ depression. Every 3 or 4 months when i cycle i think i get a little worked up- but no big deal.

I have thought about nursing for a long time but just have never figured out what i want to be when i grow up!! I just wonder if I can do it! I don't want to waste the time and money and then find out i can't handle it. Are there points in school that definately define it for you that you made the right decision or did you see peaople leave school for the same reasons??? Anything you have to say would be great thanks for taking the time to read this!!


Well, there are no guarantees in life as you know. I went into nursing with only a few minor doubts. I knew then it was what I wanted to do. I was pretty confident that I could handle it. And I can. And I don't regret that choice. Though, sad to say I am now at a point where I am fed up and disillusioned with "healthcare" in general. I am making plans to get out of nursing & transition into another career. I had no idea I would be feeling this way when I started out, of course.

Before I went into nursing school I did some volunteer work at a rehab hospital. I would suggest you try to shadow a nurse and also volunteer or work as a nurse's aid. This may help you decide if nursing is what you want to do.

Interview a few nurses, too if you can. Read some books (Echo Heron's are good). Browse this bulletin board. Keep in mind you see alot of negative comments here, as we nurses need a place to vent and let off steam.

As for anxiety- yes, there are plenty of pressures in nursing. You can learn techniques & ways to cope and manage these stressors.

Good luck to you. Nursing can be a very interesting & rewarding profession.


414 Posts

You are going to think that this is funny, but I wanted to be a nurse since I was about 5 years old. I begged for a nurses or doctors bag and got one. I would play nurse with all of my dolls and would get my mom to give me old towels, sheets or pillowcases to rip up for bandages. I had a vivid imagination and when I did not have a stethoscope, I would take a little lincoln log and tie a string around it for a stethoscope. I have had anxiety and depression since I was a youngster, nursing did not cause it, did not help it some of the time, but I would not trade it for nothing in the world.


106 Posts

I suffer from panic attacks. Have since I was a child. Get an attack without knowing what it was and my body faints to stop the panic. This seems to happen when I am overly tired or stressed. I faint in the subways, while getting my blood drawn. Sometimes I cannot think about the subway or I'll get dizzy or going to a certain place, being late, being alone and I have had the one about not leaving the house also. I have taught myself to count and concentrate on my breathing. See, if you clear your mind to count your breaths, you stop thinking about all the other things that are bothering you. Sometimes I don't even know why I start to panic. There is also hypnosis for this and always think that you are confident and you can get through this point.

I have breathed and counted to the point that I forget where I am at and when I open my eyes I think "see, nothing to worry about"

I decided to be a nurse (haven't gone through any classes yet) because I wanted to have a career in helping and caring for people. I also worry about the needles, blood and all the other things nurses encounter everyday. I think that I will be fine because I will be prepared for what I do, everyone is in the same boat and I will not be alone.

I think that confidence is a major factor in panic attacks.


603 Posts

I didn't go to nursing school until I was 40. In fact, I was determined to NEVER be a nurse (too many in the family!). :) So, here I am, a nurse.

How did I know I'd be good at it? Well, I know there are some areas that just don't suit me. I would never shine as a Med-Surg nurse and I truly admire those who do. But I'm good at teaching. I interact well with others and am good at eliciting information. I can juggle lots of details and I like paperwork -- research is a good fit for me.

I suffered from depression for many years (some difficult things happened when I was a teenager that took years for me to come to grips with).

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