Seeking advice about Nursing Career

Nurses General Nursing


Hey guys, I know its long, but any advice would be really appreciated! I am currently on the tail end of my sophomore year of undergraduate studies pursuing a major in Biological Sciences.

A while back I decided to start working as an ICU tech, because at the time I thought it would be good for my med school application. I came into college being set on medical school because I shadowed a doc my senior year of High school and really liked what he did. Fast forward to today, my experience in the ICU has really opened my eyes to the medical field and my personal goals and I have fallen in love with the Nursing career. One of the biggest reasons is, because I have found nursing to be what I originally thought medicine was if that makes since. For example I wanted to go into medicine to be there for patients on a medical level as well as on an emotional level, be on the front lines of medical treatment, and generally to advocate for what the patients need for a successful recovery. All of these qualities are those that I have seen in all of the great nurses on my unit, more so than the docs, who do more along the lines of ordering what the nurses request, consulting the nurses when questions are issues arise, or coming to the room only when the nurse IDs abnormalities with the patients condition (other than rounds). I have found the nurses role to be the true impact on a patients stay in the hospital and thats what I would like to do for my patients one day.

I take these observations that I have seen and learned from my time in the ICU and am really considering the switch. I will have to finish my BS in Bio and go onto an ABSN program, so I am basically knocking out prereqs for those programs at the moment. I am aware that you don't get financial aid for a second bachelors, but I am fortunate to be in a position where I will not be needing student loans for my BS in bio, so the cost for the ABSN will be what I would need to absorb. I am too far into my bio degree to switch to the BSN program at my university, because of the upper/ lower division that the program is divided in and the different type of science classes they take.

My biggest issue however, are my parents. They are in no way the determining factor here, but I really care about their opinions and want them to be proud of what I choose. They are both having to work super hard because of financial mistakes they made earlier in life so they are really focused on the money aspects of things. I have dropped hints at maybe switching my goals from MD to RN and they are very against the idea that anyone (especially a male) would want to be anyone in the healthcare field other than an MD. "Why wouldn't you want to be in charge?, why would you choose the pay cut?" are common questions they ask. They have the traditional nursing picture in their head and not the role they play in todays medical field.

I am scared of not taking the right path, and having to take start over later, so I have spent a lot of restless nights laying awake thinking of my future plans, how to tell my parents that this is something I want to do. They see it as I want to take the easy path and go RN over MD (very false belief about the two fields!). Its not that I can't become a doctor, my gpa is very good and I have no issues with working hard in school, its just not something I want after seeing first hand each of their roles in healthcare.

Sorry for this sort of rant, but I can't really talk to anyone close to me about these because they all seem to think if you don't go MD you can't be successful. Its all getting me bogged down, and the only thing keeping me going is my time spent in the ICU with the most amazing nurses who are more supportive than I could have ever asked for and are proving to me every time I go to the hospital that this is what I want to do.

In summary the biggest issues I'm facing now is am I wanting to go into nursing for the right resons, do I have a solid plan, and how does one go about letting their loved ones know about their plans/ goals if they are likely to be supportive and offer encouragement? If anyone has been in this situation or has any advice, I would gladly take it. Thanks for reading through this!!

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

Paragraphs please- this is very difficult to read without them.

Sorry, I typed this in word and copied it and the format changed. It should be fixed.

You liked the doctor you shadowed and you like the nurses you work with now. The questions you anticipate your family asking are legitimate ones, especially if you have parental support and the academic capability to become an MD. So, what's the rest of the story?

Thanks for your response! I definitely understand the legitimacy of the questions being asked, but for me just because I may be capable of med school, does it mean that's the path I should take? The more time I spend observing the roles of the two careers I find that I really enjoy the role of the RN in terms of work/ life balance, face time with patients, how they are the ones actually working to heal the patient, and how they truly Get to know the patient as a whole rather than just another case which is more of what I see the MDs in my unit do. My parents pushed me to investigate medicine which is what lead me to go that path. I had no idea about the contemporary roles of the nurses until these past few years. I just want to go into the right career for the right reasons, not for the money, prestige, or because ones easier or harder.

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