This board has me worried...

  1. I am 32 years old, and until I came to this board, I was seriously considering going to nursing school to be an RN.

    Is there anyone out there who is satisfied with their nursing job? All careers have advantages and disadvantages, and I am sure nursing is no different. But why are people so unhappy?

    Many of my friends and family are trying to discourage me from nursing. I am starting to think they are right.

    Can someone give me a more even handed idea of what nursing is like, with the good and the bad included?
  2. Visit GraceM profile page

    About GraceM

    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 21


  3. by   Fgr8Out
    Hey Grace,

    I understand your confusion. My first question to you would be, "why are you considering the Profession of Nursing?" My second question would be "what are the reasons your family object to when they try and talk you out of entering Nursing?"

    You have a unique opportunity here, Grace, in that you get to hear ALL sides of Nursings stories... good and bad. You are already aware that at this time, Nurses face overwhelming challenges and frustrations from both their employers, patients and public opinion. You hear the horror stories of Nurses overburdened with too many patients and not enough time to properly care for them. You read the posts of Nurses who are faced with coworkers who are uncooperative, angry and unwilling to see outside the proverbial "box."

    But I would hope you also see in these posts all of us who DO love our work and who are PROUD to be in this Profession and would choose no other.

    I can't even begin to imagine how difficult a decision it is in these times to choose Nursing. But I can't imagine myself being in any other Profession, because Nursing is what I enjoy. The many frustrations I have from time to time I can put aside when I reflect on all the GOOD I do for my Community. I'm sure these feelings are shared by many others on this Board who also love their work... hate the politics... and choose to stay in Nursing and do their part to make a difference in spite of it all.

    Whatever you decide, Grace... decide it because it is what YOU choose... And not because someone else tells you differently. Best of luck to you

  4. by   Cindy_A
    Nursing is a hard job, but I think a very rewarding one. This is a place for nurses to vent their frustrations, because nobody understands a nurse like another nurse! In every profession, you will find people who don't like their jobs. I'm an LPN who will be graduating this May with my RN, and I wouldn't change a thing!
    Of course I still have to pass the NCLEX!
    I would advise you to get some experience, like a CNA to see if you like it. You could also volunteer in a hospital or find out if you could "shadow" a nurse for a day.
    Good Luck!
  5. by   amdrn
    Hi Grace,
    Believe you me, there are times when I plan on going to Wal-Mart for an application to be a greeter at the door. Most times, especially when I see a patient get better and know I played a part in that, I know nursing is great. I'm not going to blow smoke up your butt and tell you nursing isn't difficult, demanding, frustrating at times. On the other side of the coin, over the course of my 23yrs., it has been enriching, rewarding etc....
    When I started, nurses received respect. That certainly has been lost some where.
    Someone else asked you why you want to be a nurse? I pose the same question.
    Good Luck in your decision.
  6. by   l.rae
    Grace, Only you can answer this question, honest, 22 years ago I thought the white uniforms and caps looked neat. haha. But once I was in I was hooked. So many people say to me "I could never do what you do." IMHO, nursing is a calling. Sometimes I still ask myself why I want to be a nurse, and I still don't have a clear answer. There is a deep gratification in this career in spite of the crisis that has defined nursing lately. The gratification comes from touching others lives in meaningful ways that no other profession can offer. Gratification comes from the physical and mental challanges we face each shift. If this excites you then go for it. Don't worry if you can't articulate to others exactly why you want to be a nurse. Good luck
  7. by   BeeStrong

    Congratulations, it takes a brave and strong person to even think about being a nurse; it is true that you should think long and hard about your reasons for going into the profession, it is certainly not for wimps!! I love it and have been in nursing for over 25 years. Tried other jobs and just didn't get the satisfaction that comes from knowing you actually helped someone who really needed it. There is respect from those who experience what you actually do for them; there is respect for those who deserve it. Just wearing the uniform will not automatically guarantee really do have to earn it; and you can go home knowing that you did your level best to help people who were suffering. There are times you will be in tears from frustration, and times you will be angry, but if you always treat your co-workers and patients with respect and sensitivity, the rewards are tremendous. Best wishes to you, whatever you decide,

  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    My mother was an artist, in addition to being an excellent caretaker for the family, with its multitude of physical maladies.

    She always tried to discourage me from nursing because it was not a true "profession," in her opinion. "You're smarter than that," she'd insist. I always leaned toward it because it is a calling; just couldn't articulate why I felt that pull, and worse, I couldn't give her a rational answer.

    Finally, after years of being a CNA and really needing her support before I tackled the ADN program, she moaned again about "Why I had to pick nursing."

    I got so exasperated that I found myself blurting, "Geez Ma, healing is an ART. And just like you're good at your kind of art, I'm good at this kind of art. So we're both artists, ok????"

    The little light bulb went on. She giggled and said, "OK," and has never uttered another negative word about nursing. She has been very supportive, in fact. :kiss

    In fact, now that I've turned into the health care consultant for the entire family, she seems....proud. e
  9. by   micro
    what a beautiful name,
    don't let any persuade you or dissuade you,
    if i had my druthers i would be on top of a mountain contemplatin life......but bills have to be paid.......
    I wouldn't trade nursing for any other career, because it is where I fit in this workaday world.............
    in health care, it is totally a unique experience and not one that can be put into words succinctly, you just have to want to do it and have to really want to do it to stay with it.........
    you will be a great nurse, should you so choose
  10. by   neuroRN
    Nursing can be frustrating and hard at times, but it is so rewarding. For me the satisfaction comes from knowing that I have made a difference in so many peoples lives. And I always remember what my instructor in nursing school would say, "What other job could you have where you get a hug at the end of the day and know that it is all worth it?"
  11. by   nursedawn67
    I love being a nurse....I just don't like the burden of so many residents to one nurse and how they can be overworked....I don't get how the state and government can leave nurse to patient/resident ratio so bad. I feel I could do better nursing if I didn't have so many residents to look after.
  12. by   Genista
    Hi Grace-
    Oh, what a can of worms! LOL!
    I never understood why people where so negative about nursing. I knew I was a hard worker & I couldn't imagine what was so bad. Well, four years post graduation, I see it a little differently ;-). Bear in mind, I LOVE being an RN! I work on med/tele in a hospital, and I ADORE my dayshift coworkers. I find my work interesting, challenging & rewarding. I like all that I do as an RN from the assessments, critical thinking, teaching, support & even basic hands on care.

    BUT... there are certain problems that have made me feel like I want to leave either the hospital environment, or even nursing altogether! What is burning me out, is that we are always staffed by # of patients per nurse.Well, guess what- some patients need frequent nurse attention, and we call this high acuity!

    So, for example, my assignment from today was a measly 4 patients.You would think this was easy; it's only 4 people. Well,we had one nurse aid for 20 patients. SO, that means of my 4 patients, and 3 were very heavy...I am incharge of every bedpan call, every missed lunch tray, every pain med, every bed bath, every nuance in health status change, every family member that wants an update, every medication to be given in a timely fashion, every lab that the MD didn't bother to look up when he rounded, every IV that goes bad, every medication that pharmacy didn't send, etc. It is exhausting!

    I am also there to lend support for my patients who needed a shoulder to cry on...and the job itself is nearly impossible for one single person. I felt today like my pts needed at least 2 of me. I had to change on pt's bed (entirely) twice, do his dressing changes, empty his commode at least 6 times; clean up my other lady and medicate her every time she vomited (4 times), wound care & specialty bed change for another patient, etc. including drawings & descriptions in the progress notes of his chart.

    It's so hard to describe unless you are a nurse, what it is like to have a "heavy" assignment. "Heavy" is when your patients call for you every 5 minutes and you have to change their entire beds 3-4 times, they pull out the IV it took 4 attempts to get in, they don't like the "pancakes" the kitchen sent & want to order up some yummy eggs (2 miles walk to the far end of the hospital to get, and nobody had time to get it but you!), monitor labs, physical status, meds, response, 3 person assist to transfer to the chair (weighs 240 pounds) and call the MD at least 3 times for new orders, etc.

    From 7am when I hit the floor till 5 pm I didn't get a single break...oh, I fib there, as I took 5 whole minutes to scarf down my sandwich, but no break other than that. Then at 1600 (4 pm) I started my "charting" where I have to write down everything I did, including measurements of every wound, bump, owie & bruise, all pain meds given (pre and post response), write summary of progress, update careplan, do chart audit, graph all vital signs, blood sugars and intake, outputs.

    The problem is we need more help. Honestly, I wish they'd hire a few more nurse aids, to help out. I don't mind putting people on commodes, or running to Timbuktu to get some item of food that someone wants, but every extra 15 minutes I spend, it puts me behind on the "timely administration" of the med pass, or dressing change, or whatever. Missing my breaks & staying overtime is the norm lately rather than the exception.

    Often I come on duty in the am, and labs are not drawn, and treatments haven't been done, and the docs are yelling "Why wasn't this done?" and I say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I don't know, but I'll do it." It gets OLD!!!! ;-( We have high turnover & inconsiderate nurses who leave you with IVs about to run dry, IVs infiltrated (pt says "I told her it was burning last night"), commodes brimming with urine, and patients all in severe pain at start of shift! ;-(

    I stay over every day & miss the feeling of going home relaxed & fulfilled. I am charge nurse somedays, and sometimes on those days none of my staff RNs & LVNs have had a darned break and nobody can act like a "team" or help out the other because we are all drowning! I am MAD that the hospital can't provide some more staff if nursing care depends on it. I don't care if it's 4 patients or 8. I have cared for up to 8 pts sometimes it's no sweat... it all boils down to acuity. Some people need frequent nursing care.

    ON the bright side, at least with my degree I know I have options. I am currently giving serious thought to getting out of acute care. It's a shame, really, as I think I am a conscientious nurse, and I LOVE my coworkers, love my floor & love what I do. Why can't they get me some help! I am drowning every day. I have tried going to rallies for legislation, attend meeting & committees in the hospital, and I feel like nobody gives a dam*.

    PS- Today I had this delightful patient, a 50-something year old emaciated man who has probable terminal cancer, and when I walked into his room this morning, he said,"Yay! I'm glad you're my nurse today." I sit home right now, thinking back on it & know that not only did I look out for his best interest in regard to health, but perhaps made him feel cared for & respected (we shared a few laughs too), and made a positive difference in his life for those few hours. It's a great feeling. ;-) So, if after hearing the good & the bad, you have it in your heart to become a nurse...welcome!
    Last edit by Genista on Jun 9, '02
  13. by   live4today
    Hello Grace

    Every job has its downside, and its upside. The real question to ponder when considering what you want to do with your life "jobwise or careerwise" is "What job (or career choice) will make me (you) the most content?"

    Why do you want to become a nurse? Jot down the reasons you want to be a nurse on paper so you can look those reasons over. There are many fields where a person can be a helper to people besides nursing, so just wanting to help people would not be reason enough to choose nursing. It's good to want to help people, but it takes a real burning desire to be a nurse. If you feel it in your gut, then it's probably for you. If the field only looks glamourous to you, then forget about it because it's far from being glamourous. Nursing is serious business, and it takes real guts of steel to be a damn good nurse. THINK ABOUT IT SOME MORE BEFORE YOU DECIDE!
  14. by   teamrn
    If the thoughts above about the 'reasons' to enter the PROFESSION, and make it yours ring true and hit home, I'd have no qualms about entering nursing, unless you MUST have certain things that nursnig can't provide.

    I do feel that going in, or here for many years, ALL nurses need to do everything they can to make their home turf 'THE BEST IT CAN BE'. Talk it up/gain respect/teach the pulic, discuss reforms with managers/administrators, write letters to editors/congressmen or Senators; whatever, but DO SOMETHING. (We've seen what doing nothing has done)