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Unsure if nursing is right for me? any advice?

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by ShannonC83 ShannonC83 (New Member) New Member

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So I've really struggled with what I want to do for a career in the past few years. I already have a degree in Physical Education however the job prospects are not all that great in that field.

I've considered teaching however I'm not sure that's going to suite me the best. I really want to be in a profession where I can help people though and am not stuck behind a computer all day.

Nursing seems like it would be a good fit for me however there are a few things I'm nervous about. Mostly my biggest concern is the shift work and long hours.

I am a very routine person by nature (like to get up the same time every morning and know when I am supposed to be at work - keep the same schedule all the time, etc). With nursing, is it possible to find positions where you are always working the same schedule? Night shifts do scare me and I'd definitely prefer days but I suppose if I was always working nights I could learn to handle it, it's more going from nights to days then to nights that I would really struggle with I think.

Also, are shifts always going to be 11 hours or longer or are there a lot of positions where you can work normal 8 hours shifts? Are there any types of nursing jobs where you work standard 'working' hours (8-5 or something of that nature).

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

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193 Posts; 2,839 Profile Views

I'm not a nurse, I'm 'justavolunteer' (on a pt. unit). I can't necessarily answer really technical questions about nursing. What I can say is that nursing in a hospital is anything but routine. People may be standing around talking during a quiet moment. Suddenly there's a patient on the floor or someone calls a code, then it's totally crazy in an instant.

If you have never been near a hospital, it may be possible for you to find a volunteer spot in your area. This may give you an idea if nursing is worth pursuing as a career.

Good luck with whatever you pick!

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6 Posts; 540 Profile Views

I'm not a nurse, I'm 'justavolunteer' (on a pt. unit). I can't necessarily answer really technical questions about nursing. What I can say is that nursing in a hospital is anything but routine. People may be standing around talking during a quiet moment. Suddenly there's a patient on the floor or someone calls a code, then it's totally crazy in an instant.

If you have never been near a hospital, it may be possible for you to find a volunteer spot in your area. This may give you an idea if nursing is worth pursuing as a career.

Good luck with whatever you pick!

Thanks for your reply. That isn't a problem at all though, actually I prefer the work to be changing daily. It's more the schedule that I'm concerned with. I don't need routine in the work, just in how the work fits my daily life...if that makes sense.

I love the fact that with nursing you are facing new challenges every day and that it requires you to keep learning new things and furthering your knowledge - definitely one of the things that's appealing to me about the profession.

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2,801 Posts; 13,318 Profile Views

There are jobs out there with set schedules and 8hr days, however, there is usually a lot of competition for them and the pay is generally lower than for hospital work. Also, the idea that there's always a demand for nurses is generally in regard to shift work, so if you want to avoid that kind of work, your options won't be as vast as for a nurse who's willing to do shiftwork. Finally, many of those desirable non-shiftwork nursing jobs prefer nurses with acute care experience.

So what you're asking is possible but expect it take a lot more persistance and focus on your part to get that type of work than the more typical nursing position, especially if you're not able or willing to "fall back" on shiftwork if you can't find what you want when you're looking for work.

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santhony44 is a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

1,703 Posts; 7,077 Profile Views

I'm not trying to discourage you from nursing, but have you considered physical therapy or occupational therapy? Those would definitely have a set schedule and set hours; having a degree in physical education might give you a head start on that, although I believe that both of them now require Masters' degrees as entry level.

As far as shift work is concerned, I wouldn't rule it out until you give it a try. You may find that a shift other than days actually suits you.

As someone else suggested, job shadowing might be very helpful to you. Good luck!

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226 Posts; 2,877 Profile Views

What about a nurse in a doctor's office or becoming a school nurse?

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2,801 Posts; 13,318 Profile Views

I_am_Julia - It's my understanding there isn't much opportunity for RNs in doctor's offices. Most staff in doctors' offices are medical assistants, not RNs. Doctors' offices that do use RNs are generally specialists' offices and prefer a nurse with previous experience in that specialty.

As for school nursing, many schools only have one nurse covering several schools or an unlicensed tech on site. Thus, there aren't many school nurse positions available. This seems to be the situation in my area. Maybe it's different elsewhere.

In other words, a nurse could possibly get a job in a doctor's office or as a school nurse, but it wouldn't seem prudent to base one's decision to become a nurse on the expectation of working exclusively in those areas.

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GadgetRN71 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Operating Room.

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I got from your post that you don't want to do a rotating schedule-you either want to work days, evenings, or nights on a consistent basis? That is possible in some hospitals and in some specialties. In the OR, for example, I work a 3-11pm position 5 days a week. Every 5th weekend, I have to take call, but otherwise my hours don't change. Some hospitals are trying to get away from the whole rotating hours thing because it can cause many stress related illnesses and such.

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6 Posts; 540 Profile Views

I got from your post that you don't want to do a rotating schedule-you either want to work days, evenings, or nights on a consistent basis? That is possible in some hospitals and in some specialties. In the OR, for example, I work a 3-11pm position 5 days a week. Every 5th weekend, I have to take call, but otherwise my hours don't change. Some hospitals are trying to get away from the whole rotating hours thing because it can cause many stress related illnesses and such.

Yah, this was more the issue. I think if I was on a steady schedule it may not be so bad, just having to adjust my sleeping habits daily or halfway through the week would be really difficult. I'm not a very good sleeper so it helps for me to keep a regular schedule.

I have considered Occupational Therapy and Physical therapy before however those programs are even more competitive than nursing in my area I believe so I'm not sure if I would get in. I'm really thinking right now though about possibly taking the schooling to be a dietician. Nutrition is a huge interest of mine and that would be a position I would think would offer me more of a set type of schedule. I'm a little worried with that one though, it's very VERY competitive apparently to get an Internship which you need to register. I'm not entirely sure what opportunities for jobs there are for people who just have the degree in Nutrition and Food science.

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614 Posts; 6,857 Profile Views

My friend and neighbor is an RN (Im a student presently) and she started in Labor and Delivery. Here you work 3-12 hr shifts a week. She started nights(which I could NOT do). The nice thing is she was off four days a week. she did this for two years and now works as an OR nurse. Her hours are 6:30am-3:30pm M-F. It works for her and seems to be very steady......

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