Undecided if I should go into nursing. Advice please.

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


So I have been a member on allnurses for a while. I am a native Texan and have been contemplating what it is I want to do with my life for a long time now. I have owned a couple of business (small and not very lucrative) and learned a lot, but there is something inside me that wants to hold a title to my name. I want to feel accomplished and make some money. After a job loss my husband went through, a bankruptcy, the loss of our home, a move, the loss of my Grandmother (mother really) and the birth of my second daughter I am finally ready to start thinking about what it is I want to do with my life.

So here is where my heart lies. I want to have a career where I can have somewhat job security (don't' we all) make a good wage to help support my family, and feel good about contributing to my profession. I have always been a dancer (ballet, jazz, hip hop etc) and I have taught it but there is no money in that. I figured I could become a teacher and get certified in dance and teach at the junior high level since it is still considered a P.E. credit. I figured that is the way to go since I have experience teaching somewhat. Since the economy it seems that it is pretty tough to get a job teaching and the dance teacher/drill team opportunities are difficult to come by, not to mention the length of time it takes to get a degree in education. On the other hand there is always something in me that wanted to be a nurse. I guess I have never felt smart enough or interested in the field enough to really go for it. I have always been afraid. I feel overwhelmed when I think of it because of how tough I hear school is and if I will really be happy in the profession. However, I have known people who are nurses that say it is very rewarding, it is great money and that there are many other opportunities in nursing besides working in the hospital environment. This turns me on.

Another concern is if I do go to school, and graduate, will I hate working with other nurses. Will it be catty and will it be a constant fight and dread when I go into work dealing with employees. What is the work environment like. Will I be treated like an idiot because I am a new nurse learning really and will I be constantly having to watch my back so not to be set up to lose my license because the doctor screwed up orders or what not. These are very scary things to consider. Can anyone out there tell me why I should consider nursing? Or maybe it is just not for me.



Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

You didn't indicate whether you have any college hours yet so I am assuming you don't. If this is the case, I would advise you to begin taking nursing pre-requisite courses and see how it goes. Many of them would also 'count' for a teaching degree, so you wouldn't have to make a career path commitment right away. It is not unusual for nurse wanna-be's to hit the wall and decide not to go into nursing when they encounter chemistry, algebra, microbiology, etc. -- especially since GPA is such a very important factor for acceptance in a nursing program. You might also want to explore LVN programs if you are looking for a quicker transition into healthcare.

I a a bit troubled about the fact that you are concerned about "the length of time it takes to get a degree in education". The investment of time and effort it will take to become a nurse is pretty much going to be the same, if not more, than a teaching degree... unless you opt for an LVN program. I don't know what part of the state you are in, but in most larger cities, employers are looking for BSN grads rather than AD graduates - we don't have any diploma pgms in Texas.

Best of luck on your decision

Thanks for responding. I do have a few college credits. I will be beginning a few pre-reqs in the spring. There is a school down the road from me that offers an ADN program. If I go the education route I would be looking at 4 to 5 years and then a masters on top of that eventually. If I do the ADN program I would want to go for my BSN later while I am working. That is what I hear a lot of RN's are doing. I am in the DFW area.



Why don't you get CNA certified first and see how you handle that kind of job? It will give you insight into how you feel about a profession in healthcare. It would also be pretty easy to work as a CNA while in ADN/BSN school. Speaking of which, if you already know that you want to get your BSN, then why not go for it now?

You're right about there being many other opportunities in nursing other than bedside care. There are literally hundreds. Most/all of those require at least a BSN, though, and generally an MSN. If you are set on starting out with an ADN, one thing to consider in the future is an RN-to-MSN program (which allows you to skip the BSN). Having an MSN would open up the fields of management, training, and specializing.

As far as whether or not it will be catty...to some extent it probably will. But isn't everything like that? I know that there is just as much gossip etc. among teachers as there is among nurses--there might even be more. Just something to consider.

Good luck on making your decision! -NR

Specializes in NICU.

DFW is pretty competitive right now - there are many nursing schools churning out new graduate nurses, as well as people coming from out of state to try and get a nursing job where they can. Getting your ADN first could prove to be difficult when you are competing with all the other grads (esp. as more hospitals look to getting their magnet status) - it wasn't this bad always, but with the economy the way it is and hiring of new grads being pretty spotty, it can be hard to land a new job with just your ADN.

It may still take 4-5 years to get your nursing degree, depending on how the schools you choose to apply to handle acceptance, as well as how many people apply. I'm not wanting to discourage you, but it's good to prepare for the reality of how hard it can be to get into nursing school. Applying to more than one school is always a good idea when you are ready for that step - just be aware that prereqs can vary depending on schools, which can alter the amount of time you will be in school for.

It's a great career, though not for everyone. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

earthcrosser, thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate it. Nursing is not my passion teaching is, but that is in a dance team setting. I need to make some money so I have a lot to think about.

Thanks again!


Speaking as a nursing student, I would say that if nursing is something that you think you want to pursue, I would suggest getting you CNA first, or working as an un-certified nursing assistant if you can find a job doing that. The benefits of this type of route include learning some basic elements of patient care (bed baths, vital signs, etc.); and, you could potentially find work as a CNA while either waiting to get into nursing school or while going to school.

Of course, there is the fact that was mentioned before, the waiting to get into school, and if you can financially wait to get you new career going.

I actually have a few suggestions about school, if I may. My main suggestion is to not put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak, basically research the different programs you would consider attending and find out what the pre-reqs are for each. Take these classes, get the highest grades you can in them, and then apply to those programs.

Good Luck! :)

Miss Julie,

thanks for you reply. I talked to TVCC nursing program adviser and I brought up some interesting questions. I told him it looks like employers are wanting to hire BSN instead of ADNs and he said he agreed with me. He also said that if anyone that graduated didn't get a job right away it was usually do to them being to picky. Meaning there are jobs out there, but maybe not in the area you want or necessarily in the hospital setting. I am unsure what I should do at this point. I wanted to go to TVCC ADN program because it is close to me, but I am unsure. Any thoughts?

He also said that if anyone that graduated didn't get a job right away it was usually do to them being to picky. Meaning there are jobs out there, but maybe not in the area you want or necessarily in the hospital setting.

Depends on the job market where you are. In some places, there just aren't many opportunities for inexperienced nurses (new grads, BSN or ADN) even if they apply to every RN position out there, including at a nursing homes. Any hospital that is turning away new grad ADNs because they require BSNs probably are turning away most BSN new grads as well. In other words, while BSN may be preferred, that by no means translates to much better odds at landing a job right out of school. Right now, employers can be the picky ones. It will likely change as things settle down.

Bottom line, if you want to be a nurse, you'll find a way to do it. BSN would be great, but if after exploring your options, ADN seems the best option for your circumstances (eg cost, location, timing), then go for it. If you're not sure you want to be a nurse, get out there and get more first-hand exposure... volunteer, become a CNA, ask any nursing acquaintances if you can 'shadow' them at work sometime.

Best wishes in your pursuits!

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