Rn doesn't know what to do!


Hey everyone, I'm super stressed out! Here's the deal... I live in Michigan and I have finished school in October 2007 and have an associates degree of nursing. I sat for my NCLEX in January and passed (Woohoo!) So now I've been working for a little over a month on my own and off of orientation. I'm working in a step-down ICU which is usually quite hectic! I'm 22 years old, single, no children. I do have a boyfriend we're going to be getting engaged around this time next year... SO NOW ON TO THE QUESTIONS!...

What do I do now? I'm thinking about getting into anesthesia or even NP... but I can't really decide. I know I have to get my Bachelor's degree... but I would love to travel too. I don't really know much about travel nursing or if it's the right thing for me. But I've also been thinking about nursing in Australia for a few years. I mean, should I stay home for the next 2 years while I get my Bachelor's, then nurse in Australia for a few years? All I do know is that I want all my school done before I try having kids.

I'm so lost! I guess all I need is some good advice. Should I stay home? Travel around the US while I do an online BSN program? Then maybe move to Australia? I don't want to stay in Australia forever either though. I want to have my family right here in Michigan, but I'm young now and I want to travel! Ahhhhh!!! :bugeyes: Please help, maybe I just need some insight from some seasoned nurses with way more experience!:bow:

Thank you everyone in advance for any advise!


14,633 Posts

Congratulations on all you've accomplished so far and welcome to nursing (as a licensed RN rather than a student, I mean :))!

One month is just getting your feet wet -- IMHO (since you asked for advice), the best thing you can do is stay where you are and focus on becoming more comfortable in your new role and environment and developing your skills and knowledge. For at least a full year (two would be better), which gives you plenty of time to decide what you want to do next. Adjusting to being a "real" nurse instead of a student and settling in to a job as a new grad is plenty stressful enough without also putting pressure on yourself to decide about what's "next."

If you know you're interested, you could certainly begin a BSN completion program and be doing that now. Take time to get more familiar with the "world" of nursing (it's a big one, and there's a lot to find out about!) before deciding about pursuing an advanced practice role -- that requires a large commitment of time, $$$, and effort, and it's wise to make sure you're making a decision you'll be happy with over time.

There are plenty of older threads here about the pros and cons of travel nursing, as well as info about practicing in Australia, that would be well worth reviewing -- lots of useful information about others' experiences. Don't even think (again, IMHO) about travel nursing until you are a seasoned, experienced pro -- so, a few years down the road ...

Best wishes for your journey. What an exciting time in your life -- try to relax and enjoy it! :balloons:

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

I agree whole-heartedly with everything elkpark wrote. You're "next step" is to develop competence as a nurse and to "get to know yourself" as a nurse before you make decisions that will determine your long term career path.

My one question: Where does you future fiancee fit into all of this? What does he think? If you are planning to live your life together, certainly his wishes must be considered as equal to your own? Does he want to live in Austrailia for a while? What will traveling do to his career? etc.


10 Posts

Thank you for the advice. I understand what you guys are saying, it's just really hard for me to settle with one thing without thinking about the next step. I've been like that my entire life and it's driving me crazy not knowing. You made a really good point about making sure that what I plan on doing is completely worth it and something I'll be happy doing. I just wish I knew what that was right now. :o I know everything will happen the way it's supposed to happen, I just like being in control of that. But I guess I don't really know much about anything yet and that I can't really decide because I don't really know the different roles that well.

My future fiance would love to travel... his job on the other hand won't be there for him if we move around. So that's another thing we need to discuss. Some people tell me I should just do what I have to do now and not really think about "us" right now since technically we're not married and we're not a 100% sure thing in this point in time. But I can't travel alone, I don't want to.

What I really want is to travel and finish school before I have kids. Marraige I can do while working and doing the whole school thing... but children...no. I feel like my time is ticking away which is ridiculous because I'm on 22!


75 Posts

We have a very similar story. The only diff. is I graduated in dec. w/my associates and already am working on finishing up my bachelors. I have had the same bf since highschool and we have also talked about marriage. I really want to go to grad school after I finish my bachelors (I have 3 semesters left), but if that for some reason doesn't work out I want to be a traveling nurse. I know that most agencys require atleast 1 year of experience before considering you for traveling. I have accpted a postion at a childrens hosp. but haven't started yet. Though I love my bf very much, I've made it clear to him that the decisions I make in my life have to be made w/o considering how it will affect him/us. I don't want to look back and regret passing something up for any reason. I don't know you so this is my own personal opinion and this is just something that I have decided for myself. But if you want to do something I would consider doing it while you are young and unattached so to speak. There is so much time left being only 22. I feel like society has pressed upon us a females that if we are in our twenties we should be thinking about marriage and kids. Most of my friends are already married and can't believe that me at 22 is not ready to get married even tho me and x have been together for 6 yrs. I would like to take a few years to actually figure out what I want to do w/my life b/c my life actually is just beginning since I will be starting my first real( I call it real b/c it comes w/benefits and full time hrs) job. I'm kind of rambling, but my point is I too am going thru something similar as you and the decision I have made is to put myself first. If it is meant to be it will be. I live by that.

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