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Thinking of becoming an RN - please help

ruizl45 ruizl45 (New) New

I am 19 years old male - begining my first semester of college this January. HAd to drop out last semester because of a family situation.

I had heard lately of how good the nursing career is and how in a few years pay will increase more and the demand will as well.

I talked to a lady in the nursing field dealing with children and she loved it and said she makes 70 K a year. She said nursing was a good field because the hours and ability to work overtime. And also because of all the benefits and pay.

I then talked to my cousin who has a friend in the nursing field who hates it becuase she is on a floor that is not what she wanted and that the pay is not good at all.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the pay for a begning RN Nurse?

2) Are you able to choose the type of floor you want to work on?

3) Benefits??

4) Hours - are they usually 3 days 12 hours?

5) What mainly does a nurse do or do you have any info you could throw my way that could help me decide if this is a career for me?

Thanks

tvccrn, ASN, RN

Has 20 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care.

Well, I don't know about the pay for a beginning nurse now a days, but I have been in the field for over 10 years now and I would like to know where your friend works that she makes 70K. I work in the cath lab and when I was taking call I made about 65K with all the overtime.

The ability to decide which floor you work on is general based on your experience and/or interests. I don't know the job situation in you area of the country, but there are some places where there isn't as great a need for nurses as there are in others.

Benefits depend on the employer. I have heard of some great packages and I have heard of some not to great.

Hours--LONG!!! Here in my area it's a varied thing. There are 5-8 hour days, 4-10 hour days and the occasional lucky person who can get 3-12 hour days. It depends on the unit you work in and what they generally work.

That being said I think you should do a bit more research into nursing before you jump in. It's not all the fun and exciting things you see on TV and in the movies. There is feces, vomit, mucus, and blood being dealt with on a fairly regular basis. Even in the pediatrics (kids) area. I am NOT trying to discourage you from becoming a nurse, I am merely suggesting you look at it as more than an easy way to make good money.

Thanks

She said that 70K was with overtime. Starting RNS make about 17 an hour according to her.

I am in St. Louis Missouri. The thing that worries me is that I get stuck on a floor where I will dred. I know I cant handle to much of watching people get cut into and such. I mean maybe I can learn to cope with it but Id reather be on a floor where there is none or limited.

Any other info or opinions...

Goldenhare

Specializes in ob, med surg.

Are you interested in things medical? Do you like working with people-the nice ones and the nasty ones? Do not ever go into something you aren't interested in because you think the money is good. You will be miserable. The above poster is correct. Some parts of the country are not apparently experiencing a shortage of RN's. I live near DC and had my choice of jobs this year when I graduated. I have recently started a job working with new babies and moms and dads too! So far, it is great. I really like it. I work 3 12 hour days, which can be a bit hectic. On the other hand, I just had 6 days off in a row. My husband is an engineer for a major defense contractor and says my benefit package is better than his and his are pretty good. I also have a fully funded pension plan and tuition reimbursement and continuing education benefits ie days off and continuing education reimbursement up to $500.00 . Some down sides are that I work nights 7a-7p. This is not a downer for me as I am a night owl!! I also expect to work holidays, weekends and to be called in from time to time. None of this is an issue for me but is a TOTAL deal breaker for some. The pay here is just below $50,000 a year, but that varies. You could call the Human Resources Department of a hospital and ask some of your questions there. Also, you may want to ask whether you can sit in on some classes in a nursing department. Many nursing instructors also work so you could get their perspective on employment in your area. Do some research and keep asking questions. Good Luck :)

Aneroo, LPN

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

You seem focused on the money and the benefits of working as a nurse.

Think again. You do make money. You EARN it. We bust butt for our paychecks.

Are you interested in it for the money? If so, you won't make it out of nursing school.

If you are interested for other reasons, let us know what those are too.

NYRN05

Specializes in Med-Surg /Cardiac Step-Down/CICU/CTICU.

hi

well i just graduated and i started at 65,500-hospital...and i work part time at a nursing home occasionaly. yes you most places have the 12 hour shifts...and some still do 8 hr days. When i had my interview they asked me what i was interested in. And i honestly didn't know....so now i'm on a med-surg/tele floor....which you see so much and learn so much-a little bit of everything. When you are a new grad....they try to place you where you are interested-they want you so they'll give you what you want most of the time...i've had friends go to the ER...OR....NICU...PICU....and everywhere else, and working with me. My benefits are good...i work for the state....but that just depends on the facility. Nurses give medications...orally, intravenously, rectally, intramuscular, assess patients (like a physical), chart on their condition, and counsel, teach, treatments, and you have to deal with blood, feces, vomit. You are always with the patient, so its a hands on job most of the time. Thats a quick overview of what nurses do...but there are so many books about the role and job description of a RN. Keep researching because its not easy, and you shouldn't just do it for the money because you might not be satisfied, but if its what you think you're interested in...best of luck....:)

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

You are going to get varied opinions, so you should do more research and visit an advisor at one of the colleges.

Are you interested in studying lots of math, anatomy, physiology, Chemistry, microbiology? Do you enjoy taking care of others? etc....

Don't get engrossed in the $ aspect. Make sure this is what you want to do, and find out what you need to go through before getting there.

Nursing school is not easy, but if your heart is in it then you should have no problem.

Welcome to the site and good luck. :)

Also, here in CT starting salary is at about or over 65 grand so in some places the pay isn't too bad.

Nurse Ratched, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

Salaries vary widely according to geographic area, shifts, etc. You can bet where the starting salary is higher, the cost of living is commensurate. Ditto benefits - the cost of health insurance is the number one problem for most companies in the US now, so expect that you will see some portion of your check, in a yearly increasing amount, go towards that.

There are any number of shifts and combinations of hours and work settings available. This is not to say you will get your first choice, but that the chances are good that you will eventually find something ideal, but may well have to cope with less-than-ideal hours and situations until then.

Generally speaking, the $ side of being a nurse is decent, but not good enough to keep you coming back day after day if you hate what you do.

I don't subscribe to the "nursing as a calling" theory. I accidentally wandered into health care and stayed because it offered a steady decent paycheck and lots of flexibility. I do think you have to have a basic like of people to be a (good) nurse. Sick people can be pretty cranky, and mgt can be even worse. You have to be confident, but not arrogant to the point that you won't ask questions or you can kill someone. You have to be able to speak up for yourself without sticking your foot in your mouth.

Getting through nursing school is a trial all by itself, and even if you have hopes of staying away from the icky parts of nursing after you get out, the fact is that you have to wade through them to graduate.

Good luck with your decision.

Thankyou,

I want to get in the medical field but not sure which field and was thinking of nursing.

Does anyone know of any other health fields? I was thinking possibly Dental Hygenist.

Im in the search of a good health/medical field with good pay and decent hours.

Thanks again

(nursing is still an option)

RosesrReder, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Thankyou,

I want to get in the medical field but not sure which field and was thinking of nursing.

Does anyone know of any other health fields? I was thinking possibly Dental Hygenist.

Im in the search of a good health/medical field with good pay and decent hours.

Thanks again

(nursing is still an option)

How about Respiratory Therapy? It too is a rewarding career. Dental is good too, whatever is up to you. Good luck.

Also, try volunteering or job shadowing a professional. Getting your CNA certificate in a few short weeks is also a good idea.

HappyJaxRN

Has 9 years experience. Specializes in Transplant, homecare, hospice.

Here are my questions:

1) What is the pay for a begning RN Nurse?

2) Are you able to choose the type of floor you want to work on?

3) Benefits??

4) Hours - are they usually 3 days 12 hours?

5) What mainly does a nurse do or do you have any info you could throw my way that could help me decide if this is a career for me?

Thanks

Hi there. Well, from my experience as being an RN....it all depends on where you work...and what you're doing....when you answer all these questions...for me...

1) Your pay depends on the area you're in. I'm in the south (FL) and the pay is O-K. I'm in a big city and my pay started at just under 20 bucks an hour (higher now since raise - woo hoo), my cousin a couple of cities away started at 14 bucks an hour. OUR TECHS MAKE THAT HERE! Yikes! Once you add in all my shift differential and weekend pay, my pay is more like mid 30's an hour. I try to work as many weekends I can. :balloons:

2) You should be able to work where you want to if they are taking new grads and if there is an opening. Most specialty floors only accept a certain number of new grads because they want to make sure that on any given shift there are new people mixed with more experienced people.

3) Benefits where I work are awesome and keep me there. Medical, retirement, dental, and a bunch of other perks. Here's an example...I had to go to the ER while working...a non related work issue. After my visit, and it was just to the ER and the procedures that had to be done...I was sent an update on the expenses for that night....$4,000. He he...YIKES! My insurance ate more than 1/2 of it and the hospital I work for absorbed the rest of the cost...because I was an employee...yikes...think if I wasn't an employee!

4) Most RNs I know that work in hospitals are working 12 hour shifts. Seems to be the norm. I like working 3 in a row and getting 4 days off in a row. That's sweet....pending I don't get a heavy pt assignment for all 3 days, otherwise it'll 'bout kill ya! :chuckle

5) The question is, what DOESN'T a nurse do. We do it all. :chuckle Honestly. The obvious, pass meds, care for pts in every aspect possible. I deal with a lot of post op transplant pts and have a lot of IV meds including insulin drips...so many drains it would make your head spin...oozing incisions, yummy wound vacs....rectal tubes, foley bags....dealing with doctors...family members.....

I like being a nurse and altho it seems like we're under appreciated, I would have to say, I still wouldn't do anything else. I think being in a specialty field has helped a lot. There was very FEW abusive family members or unappreciative family members or pts. In transplant, most of these people are happy to have been given a 2nd chance on life. Someone died for them.

Hope that helps....

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