Would I recommend nursing? - page 2

I read many of the previous responses and, sadly, I have to agree with most of them. I have been an RN for 17 yrs. The majority of that time has been as an NICU nurse. I love the babies and I LOVE... Read More

  1. by   NurseDennie
    Hi. I think like most of the nurses here (and everywhere) I'd have to say yes *and* no to that question. There is nothing else in the world that is even anywhere near nursing. If you have a calling, then you have to be a nurse, if you're an experience or adrenaline junkey, then you should be a nurse. If you're not willing to work very very hard, then you'll never be a good nurse. If you're not going to be a good nurse, then don't bother.

    The pay is unremittingly bad. I resent it. I was a computer systems manager before I went back to school to be a nurse. I took about a 50% cut in pay my first year in nursing from my last years in computers. Okay, I expected that. But a few years later, I was STILL making $30,000 a year and the people who had been making $60,000 a year with me were NOW making more like $150,000. That is hard to swallow, and it's difficult to justify to your family, too.

    I think that safety is a bigger problem than is being recognized, as well. It's an inherently dangerous occupation, and if you work on certain floors long enough, you WILL be hurt. No matter how careful you are. But when you ARE injured, it's your practice that is being scrutinized, not the system.

    BUT - the rewards for nursing are so totally incredible. I was very lucky that my bedside nursing years were in a very remarkable hospital with a fantastic team spirit. And I tried as hard as I could to add to that spirit and keep things good. For one thing, you always see people on teams in sports telling each other how good they're doing. So I started doing that in the halls. High fives with the other nurses - "Hey, good nursing!" Yeah, it's silly, but it lightens stuff up and you're more likely to seek backup from somebody you've just been silly with.

    I'm still a nurse. I'm in research right now, and it's not the same. Some days I feel like the further I get from patient care, the better I like it. Some days I miss it terribly. So...

    Like I said. Yes and no.


  2. by   PudneyA
    Hi everyone

    I have read the replies to this thread with interest.

    I am currently a second year New Zealand nursing student. And it seems that often I find myself questioning why am I enduring the many hardships of student life only to finish my studies and enter a profession that is undervalued and whose members receive poor remuneration for their vital work. How is it that as an office person in this country with no significant qualifications, I could easily earn upwards of $20/hr and our new graduate nurses earn much less.

    I know money is not everything. However, often in many careers, level of remuneration reflects the importance and difficulty of the task involved. It is disappointing that nursing, it seems the world over is not valued as it should be. From what I have read on this bulletin board many longtime nurses are frustrated and disappointed. New Zealand is one country that has lost many of its fine nurses to overseas countries where the pay and working conditions are supposedly better.

    Nursing is a caring profession and the work of a nurse is something I have always wanted to do. Money was never really an issue for me, although now, with a student loan mounting it would be good to finish my degree and earn enough to pay off the loan as well as enjoy life a little.

    I suppose what really worries me about my future career as a nurse is the poor working conditions that I hear many nurses describe. Not being able to give the nursing care they would like due to staff shortages - concern for patient safety and loss of job safisfaction. I am a bit of a perfectionist and really want to be the best nurse that I can be. I love working with people and caring for them and find this extremely rewarding. However, I wonder if I will cope and how long I will last out there in the real nursing world?! I can only hope that conditions improve. They have to!

    Thanks for reading my personal thoughts and concerns.
  3. by   Irishys
    I am truly sorry to say that. I have been a nurse for 20 years. I had the "calling" when I started...but that has been beaten out of me. I started on a med-surg floor...my first night I had 15 patients + no Med. nurse. It was a disaster. After a year I switched to OB nursing. I loved it. Loved the babies, loved teaching new mothers. Now, however, things have changed. When I became a nurse...Patient care was the priority. Now, money is the bottom line. Staffing is terrible...not because we don't have enough nurses...we have plenty...it's bad because they don't want to pay a nurse to come in. No overtime. So our unit suffers and so do the patients. We can have 38 babies in the nursery with 2-3 nurses...DANGEROUS. I went part-time when my children were born. Managers came and went...and things have gone steadily downhill. The managers worry about money, the administrators worry about money and no -one worries about patient care. I'm sick of weekends, holidays, co-workers who are on medication (anti-depressants), managers who don't give a hoot about patients. I have a daughter...I have already told her to steer clear of nursing. It is a thankless job. I'm looking to get out...which is a shame. I'm a good nurse, experienced, caring and a hard worker. I just can't take the stress anymore. All the money in the world is not worth the liability and garbage we have to take. Nursing a "calling"....maybe...but in my work environment (and I don't think it is at all unusual) that calling isn't going to take you far when you're not given the tools you need to do a good job.
  4. by   debbyed
    I'm planning on retiring in ten years and there needs to be people to take my place. I will eventually need nurses to care for me as a patient.

    I honestly enjoy what I do and feel adequately rewarded (pay wise) and more that adequately rewarded by the smiles I get from patient's I have helped.

    Nursing is evolving and that is a painful process. We need to recruite strong, self-confident young people to not only continue a tradition of caring, but to also fight for those thing necessary for the growth of our profession. But scaring them away, by badmouthing the profession we weaken ourselves when we should be finding ways to strenghten ourselves. And as most know...strenght comes in numbers.
  5. by   ahappyicurn
    Would I still recommend nursing?

    You bet I would! Especially someone who feels they have the calling. I have been in nursing for 24 yrs and I still know I wouldn't do anything else. I will admit, when I first went into nursing I thought I'd made a mistake but that was because I hadn't found my niche. I have and have been doing ICU nursing for the last 22 yrs. I learn something new all the time. I am also one of those rare individuals who loves night shift. And if you think some MD's are tough dealing with during the day try dealing with them at night!
    I really think we need to encourage and nuture new nurses to show them the passion of nursing so that we have someone to take care of us when we need them.
  6. by   LadyNASDAQ
    I agree with happyicurn.

    I have been a Nurse for 23 years and work ICU 20 years out of that 23 years. I love Nursing and I was lucky to leave a full time job I hated for a Travel Nurse job I love. Beter pay with recognition. Who could ask for more??

    I have a renewed love for Nursing because I am happy, looking forward to work days and all the depression has lifted from a really horrible job that I should have left years before which I thought that the grass couldn't be greener on the other side but how wrong I truly was!
  7. by   Whisper
    I am only a first year nursing student, and have been well and trully been bitten by the bug.

    I love my course, especially my time on the ward, being a student doesn't mean we get it any easier, if my mentor didn't eat I didn't eat, if they pulled a double I did a double, even four in a row! (which nearly killed me) I got home 7 hours before I needed to leave again...

    But I would still recomend my course to anyone, I love it, I miss not doing the normal student things such as daytime TV and having free time,or having the time or money to go out around the nightclubs but the feeling you get when you know you have helped another human being is just amazing.

    I may not make it through the rest of my course, but I am going to try my hardest, and I won't let any small obstacles get in my way. The hardests things I have had to overcome so far are unhelpfull qualified nurses who look at students like they are insane, and getting no sleep before or after a night shift!!!!!
  8. by   sawhitehead
    Absolutely! I would recommend nursing as a career. I realize the nursing concept, images, and responsibilities have changed, but I think as the largest group in the health care arena, we should stop bashing the profession and lobby for effective change. There are too many of us not to effect positive change. I am staying positive and welcome new members to the nursing profession.
  9. by   SoniaNurseRep
    Right on sawhitehead. If we can't recommend the most honorable profession, we're all in trouble. Yes, there are a lot of problems, but we need to effect change by getting involved.
  10. by   prn nurse
    I would NEVER recommend nursing as a career to anyone I cared about. And what is honorable about it ? Decent , yes. It is a lot of things , but honorable... IMO does not describe a nursing career. It is something we do to make money. Honorable. No. IMO Honor and sacrifice go together. I've met some honorable mothers. No honorable nurses. Honest, dependable, committed, and caring, yes.
  11. by   eagleRN
    I have been a nurse since 1978. 6 years ago I became very ill, and had to quit both part time jobs, (1 in the hospital, the other in Occupational Health at a Chemical Plant.) I missed being a nurse. Anytime I'd visit anyone in the hospital, I had to find something to do for them. When I saw a nurse come in to take a temperature or hang an IV, that longing was there to go back to work. After my 6 year illness/absense I returned to Nursing at a convalescent center and having the time of my life with the dementia pt's. Me ever change my career, that's a no brainer question, ABSOLUTELY NOT! God bless!
  12. by   Flynurse
    I would absolutely recommend nursing as a lifetime career. Just look at all the wonderful possibilities we are given in this field. If you don't fit in cardiac you could find pediatrics to be your cup of tea. Plus, what better way to be around people than to be a nurse who tries to provide wholistic care! I love it, and I'll never quit doing what I love.