Quote from Birdie3
I have just been accepted to an LPN program. I have been thinking of attending nursing school for several years and have finally taken the first step. I am in my 40s and am a very cautious person. I like to be well prepared and do not want to harm anyone. I find myself very drawn to nursing, and love to take care of people, but find this at odds with my anxiety about making a mistake and hurting someone, particularly with medications. My thought is that working as an LPN in a doctor's office setting might be the most feasible for me considering these worries. My deposit for school is due in a few weeks and I am trying to decide if I can really be a nurse without worry consuming me. I will be very disappointed not to pursue nursing, and I don't want fear to prevent me from doing something great, but I also don't want to place myself in a situation which will make me unhappy and anxiety ridden. I had trouble sleeping last night trying to reason this out and I don't want this to be the case every night in the future. Any advice on how to proceed and does the choice of LPN in a doctor's office sound like a good one considering these worries? Did you have these worries and how have things gone for you as a nurse? Thank you very much for your help!
A few things to consider:
1. What are you doing for work now and what do you like/dislike about it?
2. How are you paying for school? If you have the cash for school and it doesn't work out, you're back to square one. If you end up deeply in debt and it doesn't work out, that's quite different.
3. What will you do if you can't find work in a clinic? The majority of "nurses" working in doctors' offices are actually medical assistants. And when actual nurses are hired, the pay is usually much less than those nurses would make elsewhere.
4. How employable are new graduate LVNs in your market? And are you willing/able to move if you need to? Are you willing/able to work any shift?
5. While you will certainly take care of people as a nurse, medical care is also big business. Your care will need to be quick and efficient in most cases. There's not a not of time for listening, hand holding and tender conversations like the nursing care we see on television. People who jump in with an overly romanticized view of nursing tend to be disappointed.
6. Some anxiety about the potential to harm people is normal, but if you're a very anxious person in general, that's something you should have under control before you start school ...and especially before you start work.
7. As much as people love to say that age is just a number, nursing can be very hard on the body, especially the types of jobs that are typically available to new graduates. I don't know what you're doing for work now, but consider that you might be doing a lot more walking, lifting, bending, pulling, etc. I've noticed a huge difference in how my body tolerates the demands from the time I started (about 8 years ago) til now. That being said, some "older" adults have no issues.