Hates Nursing School

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am 20 years old attending college for an RN-BSN degree. I am in my sophomore year (freshmen year was all prerequisite classes) and just started clinicals. Since highschool, I've been set on going into nursing. I only did this because I knew I was interested in the medical field and liked learning about health/science, but actually facing the reality of nursing...I'm not so sure I like it. I have been a nursing assistant at a nursing home for 2 years and HATE it.

    It's always been a fear that nursing would be similar to a nursing assistant (I've gotten mixed opinions). I dread going to clinicals, and I just keep hearing how so many nurses hate their jobs and how incredibly stressful it is.

    I was considering working at a clinic, but I did some research and found out that most nurses that work in doctor's offices need years of experience at a hospital before they can work there. I really don't think working in a hospital as a nurse is for me. Would it be a mistake to switch majors? I've been thinking about maybe going for a Radiation Therapist degree because it is still in working in health care but it doesn't seem so stressful (and they make more money). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    Dear Hates Nursing School,

    It is hard to understand what nurses do until you're in the setting.

    As far as working in a doctor's office, Registered Nurses rarely work in doctor's offices as doctors tend to hire medical assistants for much less pay. But there are lots of jobs for nurses outside of the hospital setting if you decide to stick it out. Working in a clinic is typically less intense than working in acute care, and the patients are not as ill. There's outpatient surgery clinics, infusion care settings, dialysis, community health, oncology clinics- many choices.

    You don't say exactly what is it you hate about clinicals, but you hate your nursing assistant job. You do really seem certain that nursing is not for you, and if so, a Radiation Therapist might be a great choice. It is less stressful, and pays well.

    Best wishes in your decision.

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,406; Likes: 4,209


  3. by   MrsK62
    What made you want to study nursing? What did you like, or think you would like, about nursing?
  4. by   riggy3
    Interesting you have worked as an nursing assistant two years while still hating it... Must be something making you want to continue as a Nurse too.... The part of the job you "HATE" you need to discover before you waste more time and money in school. You mention you do not like clinical... this is mostly hands on care..... this makes me believe you do not like direct patient contact.
    Not wanting to burst your bubble.... The RN does the exact same duties as an nursing assistant and then some... If you were my student my encouragement would be to change majors now. Nursing is a hands on career that involves a lot of hard work with direct patient contact.
  5. by   Ptntcrgvr
    When I first did my CNA program 4 years ago, my clinical was in a nursing home and I was somewhat put off by how the older people were treated. I find SNFs to be really sad. It turned me away from nursing and I ended up getting a degree in another field.

    However, last year around graduation for my Bachelors, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved healthcare. I got to teach and do undergrad research. I found that I love science, and I love helping/teaching others and it brought me back to nursing! I start nursing school in August!

    I ended up doing my capstone class in an assisted facility, and I love all the people I met there. I am now at a great hospital, and I enjoy it so much. I think if you got away from the nursing home and explored other options such as home health, hospitals, or even just volunteering in a primary care clinic, maybe you will find something you like.

    Also, most nurses I've met at the hospital I'm at love their jobs. There are fair ratios of patients to nurses and it's a teaching hospital with lots of team work.

    Don't give up on nursing until you have tried all other options!!