Need Advice On Nursing Career!!!

  1. Hi! I'm new to this forum, because I am new to nursing. I'm not a nurse yet, but I have the passion and desire to persue a nursing career. Here's the problem: I am 25, and have attended 3 colleges in 8 years trying to persue a bachelors degree in journalism. I have worked as a reporter on TV, spokesmodel, retail person etc. Basically all my past experience and jobs have leaned towards the hospitality/entertainment industry. The only thing that I really loved about these jobs, especially the reporter, was my ability to help people. It wasn't the glamour or spotlight I loved, it was my ability to help in different ways, thats what fulfilled me! So, here I am in the big city of chicago, Still struggling to get a degree in writing, that will basically be useless when I graduate in 2 years. I am not happy in this city or school(i'm from a small town in ohio), so I have done alot of research and decided that I'd like to get a 2 year diploma in nursing. My reasons are because I am a very compassionte woman with a huge need to help others especially the elderly and I feel that this degree would satisfy me and others. What I have decided to do is to volunteer in different medical/people settings, get a full-time job in the field (any suggestions would be awesome) and then move back to ohio at the end on this year and get that nursing diploma. Another thing I worry about though is that I have major math anxiety! I am very right brained (writing, reading, creative) but I love watching tv shows about science etc. Do you think that persuing a career as a nurse would be too difficult for someone who hasn't attempted algebra since highschool? I just don't want to set myself up for failure, but I am so interested in this field. I am also not easily grossed out. Also, what is the exact difference between an LPN, and an RN? Would I be able to be an LPN now or do I need certified for this too? I know this is a lot, but I need to make some life decisions! Thanks so much for reading this!!
  2. Visit Louisepug profile page

    About Louisepug

    Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 169; Likes: 5
    RN/case manager
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Geri and adult psych, hospice


  3. by   kimmathis14
    Hi there, I too am a fellow 30 year old Chicagoan looking to get into nursing. I have been overwhelmed with advice/opinions about nursing schools and the job itself. I am a little overwhelmed and confused about things but my advice to you is start small, or focus on short term planning. Figure out what prereq.'s you need, and the application deadlines of the schools you want to attend. Don't worry about the math part of it! I had such a hard time in high school with math, I barely skated by with D's in general algebra. I have learned that the trick is to overcoming a hard subject like math is to A) Find a good professor,(90% of the battle, amkes such a diff) B) Make a buddy study system and C) Don't get so overwhelemed if you aren't getting A's etc. I don't like to follow the saying C's get Degrees, but seriously, nonbody will care if you had a C in math, it's passing right? and it gets you that diploma!!!! In business school I followed this plan and made it through Calculus II, me the girl who couldn't pass high school alegebra. If you want something badly nothing can get in your way.

    I think your decisions to volunteer @ a hospital is great, when I was younger I worked in a medical clinic in records, I had exposure to the nurses, patients & doctors. So even if you take a administrative support position, or got your CNA license, and worked in a hospital that would be great exposure.

    Oh and don't give up on Chicago! I was, I lived in Lakeview and moved to a new neighborhood and I am loving it again. Just needed some new scenery I have compiled a spreadsheet of over 14 nursing programs in the Chicagoland area, and have a pro con list, there are a ton of great programs here etc., especially if you live in the city itself. A few of these programs are accelerated and some will even pay your tuition if you work for them after graduation. If you need any help, send me shout out. Good luck!

  4. by   Louisepug
    Hi Kim! Thanks so much for your reply. Any positive advice like yours really really helps! It's also great to know that I'm not alone in the math anxiety thing, I also barely got by with D's in algebra as well, and haven't even taken a math class since high school. I don't think pharm. math will be too awful because you know WHY your using it, as opposed to algebra which just seems non-sensical to me. As far as Chicago goes...well, I'm happy for you that you found a place you like, but I've been here 3 years and just am not a big city girl, plus the school I'm applying to is in cincinnati. But I'm not moving till summer so I agree with the whole short term planning and keeping my options open. Best of luck to you Kim! Oh, do you know of any programs in chicago that do CNA training? I'm having a hard time finding that. Thanks! Lonna
  5. by   S.N. Visit
    Originally posted by Louisepug
    . Also, what is the exact difference between an LPN, and an RN? Would I be able to be an LPN now or do I need certified for this too? D
    Hi! To answer your question. LPN= Licensed Practical Nurse which is the same thing as a LVN=Licensed Vocational Nurse. Usually the course of study is around 18 months. You must pass the state N-Clex exam to be licensed. The LPN /LVN is under the supervision of the R.N.

    The R.N is a registered nurse. You can take a 2yr Associates Degree in nursing @ a Community college, or go 3-4 yrs for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing @ a university.

    The C.N.A is A cerified nurses aide. A CNA is under the supervision of the LPN & R.N You must take a 6-12 week course, and pass a state certification exam.

    I think it would be great for you to become a CNA to see, if this is your niche!
  6. by   kimmathis14

    I would try Truman College (One of the city colleges) in Uptown. The only other colleges in the city that might have the CNA classes are Malcolm X (1900 W. Van Buren) or Daley College near midway airport. I am planning on taking my prereqs @ Harold Washington in the Loop, but they don't have any nursing classes that would host a CNA course. Hope this helps!.

  7. by   S.N. Visit
    Your local nursing homes, or hospitals will also be able to guide you on where to get your C.N.A training
  8. by   Havin' A Party!
    Another suggestion: start working on your algebra. You'll be needing it later.

    One other point of interest: here in PA some of the nursing aide courses are only three and four weeks.

    Good luck!
  9. by   MICU RN
    If just helping others is your biggest motivater, I would suggest shadowing some RNs to see what nursing is really about. You will probably find that going into social work would probably allow you a lot more quality time to spend with people. As a RN, unless you get lucky, you will probably work harder than you ever imagined and find that because of the often times overewhelming assignments that you have very little one on one time with the patients. Nursing can be rewarding, but often your so busy just trying to catch up that you are not given the luxury of spending much quality time witht the patient or family member. SAD but true for the most part and I think that is why so many get out after a couple of years, the work conditions can be terrible at times. You just have to actually pull a 12 hour shift on a busy floor, ER, or ICU as a RN and you will understand where I am coming from. Good luck!!
    Last edit by MICU RN on Nov 11, '03
  10. by   TiaLusa
    Louise - Go for it!

    I trained as a RN in 1973-1976 in Merseyside (England). I always wanted to be nurse - I practiced for @20 years until I had to give up due to chronic back pain. I loved every minute, the wages were just a bonus. I suppose I am an 'old school type' I got so much job satisfaction from caring for patients, knowing that I had done my best to make sure they were comfortable, clean and painfree at the end of my shift. They had all been talked to as well, I worked night duty a lot and people tend share their fears in the nightime.

    I would love to be able to do it all again! Its all probably too high tech for me now. But I always imagined that every patient could have been my mum or dad, and I treated them with the respect and love I would have given my parents.

    (Bit sickly sweet that , but OMG we had a great laugh as well!