Quote from MarieRWilliams
Prior to posting or even registering I've been a big fan of this forum and have come here to get a real inside look into nursing and what many of you have had to say. It's helped me understand the field but also has put in some concerns about what to expect.
I am 37 years old, single parent with 2 kids (16 & 9)..and about a year and a half ago I came back to school to finally pursue my passion of becoming a nurse, something that I've always aspired to be. I lost my son Cameron at 2 years old in 2008 and it drove me even more so to pursue this career, as all I wanted to do was help people in any way I could. However, because I know the process of becoming a nurse requires years of commitment..I'm so afraid that I will commit to all those long years (since I'm starting off in a community college currently) I have 1 year left of pre-reqs before applying to nursing school) and once I graduate I'm not only afraid of not finding a job (I live in Los Angeles where it's competitive) but I'm worried more so about the work environment, the bullying, the stress, and burnout that can come with hospital jobs. I know most new graduates get hospital work and as much as I know it's hard to avoid I wish I could avoid it and work in a more specialized field or smaller setting. I've heard many nurses say that good hearted nurses get chewed up and spit out on the job and have read many stories of nurses wanting to leave. Because I'm 37 I'm so worried that I won't be able to just decide to re-do a new career in this case and I'm stressed out trying to decide whether I should just keep going and hope that I am successful regardless of the situation. I've also been interested in working as a Sonographer doing breast scans for Cancer patients, I know it's less stress but also more of a per diem job without stable hours and also can be a hard job to find being that there aren't many jobs available for this. But I hear the work environment is ofcourse much easier to handle. Which leads me to be stressed on what to do?!!
Please forgive this novel of a post lol I know this was A LOT to read but I would TRULY appreciate any advice on here...you guys seem to always give wonderful advice and I would love to hear your ideas and opinions on my current situation and maybe help me to make a clearer decision!! Thanks so much!
A few thoughts: Not many of us have been a nurse and a sonographer, so not many of us are able to compare the two.
If you want to be a nurse to "help people", please understand that medical care is BIG business- first and foremost.
LA is a tough market for new grads, particularly without a BSN. When I worked in Texas, I worked with a lot of new graduates from Southern California who couldn't find work in their home state. After a year or two of experience, it's easy enough to find work, though ...you may still be shut out of some larger facilities and some desirable specialties without a BSN, though.
Hospital work is where you'll earn new grad, RN wages. If you want to work in a small, friendly clinic (and one willing to hire a new grad) the pay offered will certainly reflect that.
You have one year to apply to nursing school, but not everyone who applies actually gets accepted. People tend to underestimate how competitive community college nursing programs can be.
Nurses in California have it good. Really good. We're the only state that currently has legal ratios, at least in acute care.
I went to nursing school (ASN) in my 30's ,and at eight years in, I'm very happy with my decision.