How did you know?

  1. How did you know you wanted to be a nurse? Was it something that you just had a calling for, or did you take a class that interested you?

    The reason I am asking is I am still unsure. I wanted so bad to take an Intro to Nursing class this semester that is offered at my community college to see if I liked it and really wanted to be a nurse or not, before I started school, but it is all full and there is a waitlist. It is a prereq to their nursing program and if it is full, they only let you in if it is the last class you need, then by lottery.

    I am interested in nursing, but I am just not sure I can hack it. I want to be sure (as much as I can) that this is for me before wasting time and money. I am almost 28 years old and feel like time is flying by (I want to start a family after nursing school and working a year or two, so I feel time is of the essence). I have a year of pre-prereqs, then 3 years of a direct entry (1 year gen ed/prereqs, 2 years nursing) on a nightime/weekend program. It is very expensive and I have to work, so the load will be really tough.

    Has anyone experienced this? Did you get in and know you were ok, or was it like "what have I gotten myself into?" Are there any videos or books I can read that might help my decision?

    If it was community college prices, I wouldn't be too concerned, but the only school to offer a program at night is a private school and it is mucho expensive.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ya'll!
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  2. Visit mrs.henderson profile page

    About mrs.henderson

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 16

    21 Comments

  3. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I've always known I wanted to be in the medical field. I decided to be a nurse my senior year of high school. I am 31, and am going back to school to persue my dream.

    Maybe you could volunteer in a local hospital or shadow a nurse. For myself, when I am in a hospital, I "know" I belong there.

    Good luck in your decision.
  4. by   PennyLane
    Quote from Fun2Care
    Maybe you could volunteer in a local hospital or shadow a nurse. For myself, when I am in a hospital, I "know" I belong there.
    Great advice. That's what I did. I decided to become a nurse when I was 27. Started school at 28. Graduated at 29. It wasn't something I always wanted to do. I wanted to enter the medical field, did some research, "discovered" nursing, volunteered at a hospital, and then I was hooked.
  5. by   WickedRedRN
    I started nursing school when I was right out of high school. The party life got to me, I was WAY too immature at 18 for college. I worked for several years in a LTC facility, and a psych hospital. Learned a lot and planned on one day returning to school. Then I took a job in a factory, worked my way up to manager of the lab (food science), met my husband, married, relocated, started working in an office for the phone company and realized that I HATE office work, and missed the medical arena. Time away from pt care made me realize how much I liked it and how satisfied I felt in that atmosphere. SO..here I am, 19 years out of high school ( OMG did I just say 19 years!!!!!!) and ready to start clinicals this fall. I wish I had stuck it out back then, but I guess sometimes we learn by trial and error.

    I agree with volunteer work, or check with a hospital in your area. Many large hospitals have programs where you can shadow a nurse for a day.
  6. by   cn2007rn
    Hi Mrs. Henderson! To give you some background on myself, I am currently taking the science prereq's needed for the RN program, I have applied to 2 ADN programs for the Fall of 2005.

    All of my life I was convinced I wanted to be a teacher. I got to college, changed my mind! Make a long story short, I graduated with a Bachelor's in Business in May of 2003. It was only then that I considered nursing for a career. After graduation I went on countless interview-accounting, marketing, sales, you name it I interviewed for it! But I kept be drawn back to wanting to work in healthcare-I felt it was important. In high school and part of college I worked as a Pharmacy Tech, and then the last 2 years of college, I worked for a company that collected money on behalf of hospitals from ins. companies. I was never very aggresive with collections but I did have a high interest in dx's, medical terminology, and other healthcare related information. That is when I decided to think about nursing. I was hesitant at first, didn't think I had the stomach to deal with vomit, blood, wounds, etc, etc!!! After doing some research and talking to many people I decided to take the prereq's for the program. I love Anatomy and Physiology, it's amazing what the body is capable of!! I am always reading info on nursing. I currently work in the billing dept of a home care agency, I am really hoping I get into a program for this fall, I would be so happy! So I have not always known I wanted to be a nurse, but I have worked my way up to it, and now with more maturity, I hope to be sucessful because I have truly found an area of interest!

    Good Luck!! You will do great in anything you decide!
  7. by   grgpeech
    I can't really put a finger or time frame on when or why I wanted to be a nurse, I just always knew I did. I came remember being as young as probably 3 or 4 years old driving my mom crazy to make me those little nurse's caps out of paper that I'd wear everyday while I went around pretending to have patients to take care of, my brothers, the dog, the cat, anything that was patient enough (no pun intended) to let me be their nurse. As I got older, the desire to become a nurse grew more and more. Its been a life long dream for me, more like a calling. I went to college right out of high school and was on my way, but... well, along came my first child and I put everything off to raise a family. That was 13 years ago, and now that I am 35, and my 4 children are older, I am finally achieving my dream and back in college to become a nurse. I just never let go of the dream and always said that even if I'm in my 80's when I become a nurse, I'm going to do it. I've worked as a CNA and a phlebotomist and I just love working with people and comforting them, caring for them, and helping them. I just feel it is what I was always meant to do. Its a big part of what makes me who I am. So, I can't really say why I wanted to become a nurse, I just always knew I did.
  8. by   RNKITTY04
    I remember as a kid around 8 or 9, I was always wrapping my teddy bears in bandages and "giving shots" to Mr and Mrs Bear. In the summer time when my older sister came home from college I was her shrink and actually made a little booth like Lucy in Charlie Brown and charged her 10 cents to listen to her problems!
    Not sure what started all this, no one in family was medical in any way, I am the first. Who knows, maybe I picked it up on Mr Rodgers or Seseme Street. :chuckle
  9. by   S.N. Visit
    My beloved Grandma was a nurse, so I've always been interested in becomming one too. When I was in H.S I became a CNA, I wanted to go on but didn't think I had what it took to get through nursing school, so I went to Cosmetology school instead. I worked until I became 8 months pregnant. After being a stay at home mom for about 4 or 3 years, I had this overwhelming desire to go to nursing school. It was a strong calling
    feeling. When I checked out the requirements for classes, I found that it wouldn't work with my schedule at the time, so I had to put my feelings on a low simmer. During the next couple of years and 2 more kids later, I was addicted to watching the Discovery channel "Life in the E.R., Maternity Ward ect", and my husband who was so sick of my addiction to these shows finally said "Instead of watching this crap all the time, why don't you go out and make some money doing it?" That was the moment that I said "Okay!", and called my local college the next morning. Everything has just falling into place for me. I really feel that God is leading me through, clearing the path and making things work. I've been working on co-reqs part time for the last year and a half (doing very well), and in just one week, I start my first "nursing" classes.

    Good luck on your decision!
  10. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    Quote from Tanzanite
    My beloved Grandma was a nurse, so I've always been interested in becomming one too.

    My grandmother, her sister, and one of my grandmother's daughters was a nurse. (LVN's) I also have another aunt who is a retired RN, and a step aunt that is a current RN.
  11. by   mrs.henderson
    Thanks ladies for your replies. I really needed to hear some success stories. I just get overwhelmed sometimes thinking that it's too much, I'm running out of time, etc. I just have to take it step by step.

    I just started a Chemistry class this semester, the first time I've been back to school in like 9 years. It is slowly starting to come back to me.

    I think I will try to shadow at a local hospital. Tanzanite - like you I am addicted to those shows on Discovery Health channel, especially Babies: Special Delivery. I really want to work in L&D. I feel that God is pushing me that way, too. To have a job that makes a difference, even if a small one, instead of sitting behind a desk and computer for the next 40+ years.

    Thanks for all of the encouragement and support. I'm glad I found this board.
  12. by   PhoenixGirl
    Quote from Tanzanite
    During the next couple of years and 2 more kids later, I was addicted to watching the Discovery channel "Life in the E.R., Maternity Ward ect", and my husband who was so sick of my addiction to these shows finally said "Instead of watching this crap all the time, why don't you go out and make some money doing it?" That was the moment that I said "Okay!", and called my local college the next morning.
    This post made me laugh because it's similar to how I decided to go back to school. I got pg at 18, and got married, had another baby 3 years later. To make a long story short, I knew through those years of being a sahm I wanted to go to college and get a degree, I'm always obsessed with healthcare stuff, medical stuff and diseases. I find it all so very interesting. I also don't mind the grunt work, or the nasty things. My husband kept saying to me I should become a nurse but I never took it seriously. Finally one day a lightbulb went off and I'm like "hello?! Why DON'T I become a nurse?" I always look up to them, and think their jobs seem amazing, so why *don't* I??

    I signed up for one of my local CC's program. They let you do the first year of the ADN program with no prereqs and then you can take the test to become an LPN. During this year wait, I've been getting all my prereqs out of the way (because I can't finish the second year of the ADN program without them). To make a long story short, I only have 2 prereqs left after this semester, and my program starts on Tuesday. I can't beleive it's already time. With some luck and some drive, this time next year I will be able to call myself LPN.

    Rebecca
  13. by   purplemania
    I think it was hard at any age to say "this is the job I want to do the rest of my life". I chose nursing for the flexibility. With an RN you can work in a hospital, long term care, school nursing---all sorts of things. Even in a hospital there are lots of variations of nurse work. There is a certain amount of security in that, too. I chose it also for the money. It was the fastest way, education-wise, to get a career started. I went from ADN, to BSN to MSN. But many ADN nurses love what they are doing and want to keep doing it. At least I have choices.
  14. by   twinmommy+2
    I had a calling that I tryed in some ways not to listen to. I was always expected to never enter college (graduated high school with a 0.9 GPA, no kidding!!!) so why would I ever go to nursing school right? Well, I took a class at the VO-Tech school during high school and even worked for a small time in LTC but hated it. I was so depressed (not to mention depressed before I ever went in there) coming out of there. It felt like a warehouse for the elderly (of course you all in LTC are great, just not for me ya know).

    So I entered the military and did some training as a combat lifesaver. Then got the opportunity to take EMT classes. I loved all of that but I was afraid to actually work as an EMT after the ARMY cause I had some social phobias, low self esteem and was afraid I would hurt someone.

    After divorcing my ex and realizing I had potential, I talked to my now husband about school. I had also been diagnosed as having hypothyroidism so after starting treatment it helped my entire mentality about myself and my mood. We had three children who were ages 1 and under (a 14 month old at the time with newborn twins) and looked at it like this. Either I could work full time and have just enough money to put them in day care so I could work some more or, I could go to school with only him working and get my ADN and we would be so much better off after the suffering of finances and studying.

    Let me tell you, school has changed me soooooo much! I have confidence in myself that I never knew I had before. I started getting A's, then got invited into the honors program, became Secretary of the Honors society, President of Phi Theta Kappa (Honors soceity for Two Year Colleges), in the nursing program and now President of our Nursing Club.

    Now, I can't wait to get in and get my hands dirty and sure, I'll make mistakes. Thats expected but I hope not many. One more year now... look out... here I come!!!

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