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Seeking career advice

Career   (453 Views | 5 Replies)
by lostandadrift lostandadrift (New) New Student

lostandadrift specializes in student.

76 Profile Views; 3 Posts

I'm a nursing student about to finish school who is seeking guidance. A little background on where I'm coming from.

I never wanted to do nursing but my parents forced me to as I was unable to specify something else I wanted to do and had no passions for anything. My parents' biggest criticism was "if you don't want to do this then what will you do?" and when I told them I liked literature and reading and writing essays they told me I wouldn't make any money that way and they could not financially support me if I was going to do something that wouldn't bring me financial stability in the future.

I also realized I'm not overly passionate about anything but I had areas that I at least had some skills in and some enjoyment from (English lit and foreign languages) but could see myself being disenchanted by those too and the opportunities they led to. Essentially they'd heard that nursing was one of the best ways to obtain financial stability and that because of the shortage I would never be out of work.

While I do want financial stability and appreciate that in nursing there's a much clearer career trajectory than in other domains I hated nursing with a passion and with the heat of a thousand blazing suns. I would have fights with my parents (the same one over and over again) at least every few weeks since the beginning of undergrad and actually before that too when the discussion of my future major/career began. I hated all of my classes (prereqs and actual nursing ones) so much and I was always looking at dropping out and alternatives but I could never go through with it for fear of failure if I tried something else (and not being able to blame my parents anymore if I went down my own chosen path), and for fear of losing "a good thing".

I'd already gotten into the program that was highly competitive and coveted and then I felt guilty for taking up a spot so I felt stuck. I felt that now that I was already in it I couldn't quit because I didn't know what else to do and was afraid of spending thousands of dollars on a degree that would be useless and one that my parents would no longer help me pay for because they didn't think it would be worth it if it wasn't nursing. So I stuck with it.

The frequency of mental break downs slowed to 0 by senior year (which means that by this point I'd been miserable for 5-6 years since before I started college and would spontaneously break down every two/three months like clockwork) and was coming to accept my reality. I mean it was way too late to do anything about it now and some days were even OK like maybe I could see myself tolerating this as a career path. However, here enters the greatest hurdle.

I spent so much time being angry and miserable I just studied enough to pass my courses and didn't really retain anything. I don't really know assessments all that well and I really don't know my meds at all. I had no motivation to study and now that I have to take the NCLEX I really feel like I'm screwed. I feel incompetent and I don't know any disease processes. Everyone around me is much more competent and knows more theory and skills than I do. I know that once I enter the workforce it's going to bite me in the ***. I'm going to get yelled at/embarrassed because I still don't know how to properly do a blood draw or get ABGs for example.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm looking for a way to salvage this situation. What specialties or just jobs that I can do with this degree have the least amount of clinical skills/knowledge involved and is there any job I can start in that doesn't require many years of bedside nursing to qualify? I know there's non-bedside non-clinical jobs like legal nurse consultant but you still need years of nursing experience before you can do it because you technically need a background in nursing in order to then do that job. What I'm asking about is one where I can get away with having 1-2 years of experience or even less (maybe even directly out of school and bypass clinical experience all together) that I can do now/soon after graduating. Or even Nursing Jobs where you can wear street clothes as I imagine if they don't make you wear scrubs it's not as clinically oriented.

If anyone can help me I'd greatly appreciate it!

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barcode120x has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Telemetry.

561 Posts; 10,529 Profile Views

I'm not sure what you mean when you say you are trying to "salvage" your situation. It just seems like you're grudgingly finishing up your nursing program and are looking for an easy nursing job to pay the bills. It sucks doing a job you despise or hate, then again you have yet to actually enter the real world of nursing. All nursing positions require some sot of "clinical skill" and "knowledge."

On a more helpful note, I would look into public health nursing (working for the community, schools, etc) or home health might be a good start. I have no clue on the minimum requirement of "experience" you may need, but if you can get at least a year of bedside/acute care nursing under your belt you can go anywhere.

Edited by barcode120x

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

7 Followers; 6,358 Posts; 49,572 Profile Views

Yeah, sadly a nursing degree is pretty much only good for nursing and the more preferable Nursing Jobs require you to do your time.

If you hate this "with a thousand blazing suns", you have made a HUGE mistake and you need to rectify it immediately, not only for the sake of your patients but for your own sense of well being and happiness.

Not everyone has a "calling". If you hate nursing this much, then giving it up won't hurt any worse than doing it. Your parents meant well but erred in pushing you too hard. You erred in not being honest with yourself or them and are now at this unfortunate crossroads.

I would suggest you get honest with everyone and then start looking at survival without being a nurse and figuring out what you really want. You may not make a huge living with literature, writing, etc but it sounds like you might be okay with that if you at least don't dread every day. Lots of people survive on a teacher's salary.

Good luck and I am sorry you are going through this. Ultimately you are going to be okay, but you definitely need to square your shoulders and start telling the truth. Until you do that, nothing will get better.

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7 Posts; 152 Profile Views

I was going to suggest LTC/SNF for areas of nursing that work with (generally) lower acuity patients and which accept a lot of new grads but based on your post those environments would be way too stressful for you. There is a bigger issue IMO.

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1 Post; 3 Profile Views

It sounds like Nurse Researcher is a great possibility for you (since you enjoy literature). Find your passion and know that this is your life; you must love your contribution to the world that provides self-satisfaction that isn't aimed at satisfying others. Good luck in your future endeavors!

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Enarra has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care.

119 Posts; 183 Profile Views

There’s plenty options 

  • pharmaceutical rep
  • vendor rep
  • nursing informatics MSN
  • nurse educator MSN
  • certified diabetes educator CDE
  • Research nurse
  • nurse paralegal
  • Nurse legal consultant
  • nurse attorney JD
  • telehealth
  • case management 
  • health coach

these are ones I can think Of that aren’t physically taxing.   I’m sure there is more.  Some you’d need to go back to school for higher degrees.  

Ultimately you have to figure out what you want to do and what makes you happy.  I took a year off and explored 4-6 careers tried each one for a month or two.  Volunteered a bunch of different types too.

best of luck 

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