Please help! I'm eager to hear from YOU!

Nurses General Nursing


I am a 27 year old, SAHM with a degree in biology education getting ready to rearrange my life for nursing school (Starting this Fall!)! I'm truly excited about my decision; however, I'm tired of reading second hand information on this subject. Please give me your first hand comments and advice by answering my questions - please feel free to add any comments or address issues that I have not addressed.

My main interest in the nursing field is OB (as you may know if you checked out my username). smile.gif My questions... What steps do I take to realize this dream? What hurdles will I run into? What can I do to prepare for an OB career? What steps do I take to become a CNM (certified nurse midwife)? What kind of control do OB nurses have (I want responsibility)? Finally, for those with experience is this area, would you tell me about your experiences?

I am also interested in trauma. How do I go about this? Hurdles? Preparation? Responsibility? Your experiences.

I am certain that I have what it takes to complete nursing school; however, I do not know what to expect. How hard is it and why is it hard? (I already have a degree in biology - I'm good at math and science.) What are the challenges, rewards, sacrifices, etc. of nursing school? What are the main things I should look for in a good nursing school?

I truly appreciate the time you've taken to help me with my questions. Thank you for your help!!!



88 Posts


I am a 29 y/o nursing student, due to graduate in May 2001. Congrats on your courage to go back to school and pursue nursing.

I won't lie...Nursing school is tough, but with dedication, time management, and a few sacrifices you can make it.

I attend a community college and what tends to make the program rough for many is the time commitment involved. Many students work, have children, and have to maintain a household. Many women feel they have to be superwoman and their school work suffers because they try to take on too much without help. Don't get me wrong...these women succeed, and some of them do better than the younger students. If you have a support system, you'll be fine. If at all possible, try to limit work hours, have your basics done before you take nursing classes (sounds like you do), and don't worry about keeping the house clean!

My personal experience: Nursing school seemed overwhelming at first. There was a lot of reading and we had lecture exams weekly as well as weekly skill examinations and clinicals. The tests are applied knowledge in which you need to know what nursing action is priority. Just knowing the facts is not enough. My teachers seemed to do their best at weeding out weak links. My class is down to 37 from a starting number of 80. The biggest sacrifice I made was my social life and quality time with my hubby. It seems I'm either working, at school, or in my room studying...but I'm sure it will all be worth it.

On the positive side, now that I am almost finished, school has gotten easier and the instructors are more relaxed. All the information is falling into place and I am glad I stuck with it. I too hope to go into ob. Good luck with your schooling. You'll do fine, just remember your goals and keep your priorities straight. You sound like a good student so you will have success. PS... a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh will do you wonders!

As someone who has been nursing for 10 years, I have experienced many areas of this wonderful career! I have worked in OB, Peds,ER, Home Health and Institutional nursing. I would strongly suggest that you get a feel of these various nursing areas before you make any decisions about which one may be for you. What you see as something you may like before you start school may really change once you have really experienced it!


6,620 Posts

OB is definitely a popular choice these days. And a lot of the nurses who go to OB wind up staying there for 20+ years. If you find that's the spot for you try to get sa much experience in that area during your clinical rotations. Let your instructors know right away that you may want to be an OB nurse.

In my province an OB nurse has to take a specialty course after graduating as an RN. Without this you can not get a job in OB, but I know some hospitals in the States provide on the job training to new grads.

As for responsibility: we have a lot! The doctor relies on us to know when to even show up. At our hospital they don't usually come until the mother is ready to start pushing. It's up to you to catch any complications before then and take appropriate action. There's a reason why OB has the largest number of lawsuits! Personally though, I love my job and wouldn't switch for anything.

Midwifery can be taken after you get your degree in nursing and usually takes between a year and a half and three years to complete. Good luck with school!


135 Posts

I agree with the above post from nightingale-- (I'm in my last semester of nursing school.) I went into nursing school specifically to be an LD nurse, but as I went through the program, I found that it wasn't what I liked the best after all. You get to experience a lot of different areas throughout school and will learn from all of them. (Of course, there are students who know what they want to do before school and stick to it!) I guess my point is to just keep an open mind about where you want to work!

I think the hardest thing about nursing school is the incredible amount of information given to you! Before I went into school, I can say now that I really had no clue as to what a nurse really does and how much she/he is responsible for. You learn so much, but still feel that you are really just hitting the tip of the iceburg!

Many of the students in our program also work as nurse interns throughout the program to really get a feel for the areas they may be interested in.

The schooling is hard, but you get so involved in it--you WANT to learn everything you can to be the best nurse that you can be--I have really had a great time in nursing school.

Good luck to you!


11 Posts

Hello there Michele,

ALL of the advise from above postings is VERY accurate. I am a new grad (december) and before I went to nursing school, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be delivering babies!!!!!!! Reality check! Although I wanted to be (in control) much like you said you wanted to be I did not feel like that was the place for me. Instead I am now in a Trauma III Surigal ICU. Talk about some control, it is almost overwhelming but I LOVE IT!!

My point is this... During nursing school you will realize what you want to do. It will just about slap you upside the head and it may be something that you have never though about.

Be prepared for nursing school... It IS NOT easy. I have heard people with degrees already that have said that this degree was much harder. I wish you luck!!

P.S. I have to take my state boards in 4 days so wish me luck too!!



3 Posts

Hi Born 2 B In OB,

I'm also 27 years old and returning to school in the Fall to obtain an BSN in nursing (I also have a BSc in Biology). I also have the same concerns about the profession. But, I believe I have made the right choice and I am going to do my best when I start in tha Fall. Good luck in school and keep posting on this board. There are always a lot of great post on this board (I check it daily). Also, try they also are some great posts. Good luck and much success.


PS, I'm also from Richmond (Richmond, VA)

[This message has been edited by klgreen73 (edited February 03, 2001).]


68 Posts

Nursing school, in retrospect, is a cake-walk in comparison to heading out to work under your own license, not your instructors' or preceptors' license. I, along with about 80% it seems, of nurses-to-be, thought I wanted OB. Why? I am a healthy young woman: my only experiences with nursing were in OB. I suspect most others in my boat associate the warm fuzzies we experience when thinking of our children or the children of friends/families with OB nursing. I've been Med/Surg since I graduated and only recently (within the last 3 months) began floating to OB, caring for mother/baby and getting in on L&D as I can. In 3 weeks, keeping in mind that I'm the newbie and generally get the nicer/easier pts, I've cared for a woman who lost twins at 7 months, had 2 moms who were discharged without their babies because of HRS holds, and just today stood by the bedside of a woman while the Doc told her that her amniotic fluid is leaking as she will almost certainly lose this baby at 15 weeks. This will be her 4th consecutive miscarriage, no live births.

I don't write this to discourage or make little of your ambitions. Our profession needs folks who are gung-ho for what they do. Just don't limit yourself to OB or Trauma. Those are the "romantic" units that are glorified on TV and in literature. Real nursing isn't romantic but it can be rewarding beyond belief. Don't label yourself before you even begin school: keep an open mind and heart and you'll find your niche.


11 Posts

Just don't limit yourself to OB or Trauma. Those are the "romantic" units that are glorified on TV and in literature

I would like to modify this statement if I could... "I dont think that either one of these units are "romantic". Please, lets face it nursing is not the best job for romantics. As a matter of fact you lose just as much as you preserve life at least that is what I have seen in my unit. By no means do I think that the TRAUMA is glorified on TV. Even though ER tries to mimic real life I believe the real thing can be harder on you emotionally and physically. I just wanted to put my two cents in, no harm done, but I do not think that ANY unit wether it be OB, ER or trauma to go overlooked because there is no perfect unit that is easier than another...

Born 2 B In OB

22 Posts

Thank you so much for your words of advice and encouragement! ~Michele

Born 2 B In OB

22 Posts

Wow! First, I want to thank all of you for ALL of your advice and encouragement! It really means a lot to me that so many people are interested in me - a stranger on the web.

Second, I want all of you to know that I have spent countless hours soul-searching to help me decide if a nursing career is right for me. I truly believe that it IS the right thing for me and I'm SO excited to get started! smile.gif By the way, I think medicine is in my family - my father is a physician and my mother is a nurse!

Finally, yes, I agree that OB (and trauma) have been "glorified" in the media; however, I believe that OB is in my future - it is a PASSION of mine! Not only is welcoming a new life to this world a big upper, but helping a family through a crisis is a calling for me. I promise to keep an open mind though! wink.gif

Thanks again to all of you! Good luck on boards too! I'll be around - hope to see you too!


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