Want to Be a Nurse, But Hesitations

Updated:   Published

Can A Socially Awkward Person Do Nursing?

I recently graduated from college with a degree in Psychology thinking that I wanted to be a therapist. Well, I no longer want to be a therapist. Actually, I have always wanted to do something healthcare related, but I just thought I was too dumb. I thought I was too dumb to be a nurse, so I just abandoned that. Now, I am strongly considering becoming a nurse but I have some hesitations. My first hesitation is that I am socially awkward and have been told that I'm not exactly a 'people person'. I have no problem with going up and talking to people, I'm just more on the introverted side but there are all sorts of personalities in healthcare. As long as I can do what I have to do, I don't see being an introvert or socially awkward as a deterrent.

However, I have super judgmental family members who do not picture me as a nurse and say that I am a not a people person, that it is a gross job and I will be cleaning up someone else's ***. They want me to go into the administrative side of healthcare, but that's not what I am interested in. If it was that is what I would pursue. They are just not supportive of me being a nurse and don't think it's right for me. But there are endless possibilities in nursing. I refuse to let my introversion and social awkwardness hold me back from something I want to do. And also, this isn't my family's life- this is mine. I can make any decisions I want to make. Any advice- anyone else dealt with unsupportive family members or are also socially awkward?

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 37 years experience.
1 hour ago, tortellini101 said:

 And also, this isn't my family's life- this is mine.

This is your key phrase. Your family don't have to live with your decisions - you do.

Your work is not your social life. I've known socially reserved people who were great nurses. Nursing may bring you out of yourself. Sure, you'll have to work on your communication skills but we all have something that doesn't come easy that we need to persevere at. 

I wasn't the most outgoing youngster. I spoke when spoken to, blushed easily, found talking to strangers difficult. I believe I've made a good nurse and all these years later I'm a very confident, assertive adult. I believe the experience of nursing and working with people has helpd me get there.

Basically only you have the answer. Follow your heart.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

4 Articles; 2,348 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

I was going to pick the exact same quote! It's your life, and you know you better than anyone, even your family. And really, who cares what they think. You are the person who is going to get up every day and go to work doing whatever it is you ultimately choose to do. Are there some less desirable aspects of nursing? Sure. But personally, I'd rather clean up some poop than sit in front of a computer doing taxes or the like. If you want to be a nurse, you can be a nurse. You'll meet some of the brightest people you'll ever know, and yes, some are not so bright, but that doesn't mean they can't be competent in their jobs. If you think you want it, go for it. You only live once. Good luck!

RNperdiem, RN

4,572 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Maybe it is time to put your family on a low- information diet about your school and work plans, and then do what you need to do to achieve your goals. Don't bring up the topic with them, seek validation from them, and if they try to talk about it, give dull wet blanket answers.

If you find that during your schooling, that nursing is indeed not for you, you can switch to something else. Introverts are everywhere, even in nursing. 

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

4,083 Posts

Specializes in NICU. Has 8 years experience.
4 hours ago, tortellini101 said:

My first hesitation is that I am  socially awkward and have been told that I'm not exactly a 'people person'. I have no problem with going up and talking to people, I'm just more on the introverted side but there are all sorts of personalities in healthcare.

There are plenty of us (introverts) in healthcare

RN-2023

1 Post

I recently got accepted in an RN program and I consider myself an introvert as well. In addition to that, my family would tell me the same things about being a nurse but once I got accepted, I proved I could do it and I never heard anything bad about being a nurse again. Personally, I NEVER imagined I would ever be a nurse. Growing up, I thought that health care jobs were only for cool people but you just need to gather your self-confidence and put in the effort. I could never picture myself as a nurse either, but you got this! Prove it that you can be one! 

subee, MSN, CRNA

4,407 Posts

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 51 years experience.
On 11/25/2022 at 4:32 PM, DavidFR said:

This is your key phrase. Your family don't have to live with your decisions - you do.

Your work is not your social life. I've known socially reserved people who were great nurses. Nursing may bring you out of yourself. Sure, you'll have to work on your communication skills but we all have something that doesn't come easy that we need to persevere at. 

I wasn't the most outgoing youngster. I spoke when spoken to, blushed easily, found talking to strangers difficult. I believe I've made a good nurse and all these years later I'm a very confident, assertive adult. I believe the experience of nursing and working with people has helpd me get there.

Basically only you have the answer. Follow your heart.

People can get in trouble following their hearts:)  Doesn't hurt to use your head at the same time.

Has 33 years experience.

Have you applied your degree in psychology?  Being accepted to nursing school is no easy task. Both roles would require you to be somewhat of a people person.

Tegridy

550 Posts

Specializes in Former NP now Internal medicine PGY-3.
On 11/25/2022 at 2:58 PM, tortellini101 said:

Can A Socially Awkward Person Do Nursing?

I recently graduated from college with a degree in Psychology thinking that I wanted to be a therapist. Well, I no longer want to be a therapist. Actually, I have always wanted to do something healthcare related, but I just thought I was too dumb. I thought I was too dumb to be a nurse, so I just abandoned that. Now, I am strongly considering becoming a nurse but I have some hesitations. My first hesitation is that I am socially awkward and have been told that I'm not exactly a 'people person'. I have no problem with going up and talking to people, I'm just more on the introverted side but there are all sorts of personalities in healthcare. As long as I can do what I have to do, I don't see being an introvert or socially awkward as a deterrent.

However, I have super judgmental family members who do not picture me as a nurse and say that I am a not a people person, that it is a gross job and I will be cleaning up someone else's ***. They want me to go into the administrative side of healthcare, but that's not what I am interested in. If it was that is what I would pursue. They are just not supportive of me being a nurse and don't think it's right for me. But there are endless possibilities in nursing. I refuse to let my introversion and social awkwardness hold me back from something I want to do. And also, this isn't my family's life- this is mine. I can make any decisions I want to make. Any advice- anyone else dealt with unsupportive family members or are also socially awkward?

Too dumb? I doubt it. But I would choose something not healthcare related. Nursing doesn’t pay enough to deal w patients or other nurses. 

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I have high functioning ASD. I am the poster child of social awkwardness. It has barely at all been an issue. 

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

3,729 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 21 years experience.

Ultimately whether it's nursing or a different career path you choose to pursue they key is that YOU choose to pursue it.  Assuming the goal is to achieve a long term career/job that you can support yourself with as a functioning adult and be reasonably independent of your parents and families financial support however you choose to do that is and should be entirely up to you.  

If you want to pursue nursing, go for it. Just go into it with eyes wide open. It's not an easy path by any means, but it can be a rewarding one. 

Avill, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 376 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing, Home Health. Has 8 years experience.

Although I do feel that people facing roles make it much more pleasant for the patient when you are a "people person" it doesn't mean you can't go into nursing. 

You can do OR, or other less patient centric roles. If you want to do it. Do it!