Post # 1
My friend is a new grad peds nurse in Wisconsin. She HATES her job: says it is emotionally, physically, mentally exhausting. Says she has gained weight, doesn’t want to work out anymore (a former runner), and is SCARED to go to work every day.
She begs me not to start nursing school in January. She says all of her fellow classmates HATE their nursing jobs. She feels compelled to stay due to loans.
Tell me, this is what I THINK nursing is: a physical, movement based job that requires focus, knowledge, specific skills and experience. You have to be empathetic but tough, careful…what else is nursing? What personality type bodes best? She is convinced I don’t have the temperment for the job…
THANKS SO MUCH!
Post # 3
not very fair because I have met great nurses with all types of personalities and temperaments. A nurse must be all the things you mentioned andi think the rest of it comes down to where you work and who you work with. Just keep in mind that being scared in the beginning is normal. Add a matter of fact, if a new nurse isn’t at least a little scared that scares me.
Sure to be a nurse you have to have a strong stomach, if that’s the temperament she means? Why do you want to be a nurse? Sorry for brevity and misspellings I’m on my phone at work lol
Post # 4
Nursing is hard! Just getting a job is extremely difficult in many parts of the country… I feel very fortunate to be in working in a large, very good hospital. There are days that I looooove nursing and feel very satisfied and that I am making a difference. There are also days that I feel like I am – babysitting, a verbal punching bag for pts, scared!, disrespected, STRESSED, and definitely exhausted ( I get off at 0730, home at 0900 and face down in bed within 10 mins of getting home)
My current job has a lot of homeless, mentally ill, drug addicts, ETOH withdrawal, traumatic brain injuries, suicide attempts, stabbings/gsw, and newly paralyzed patients and its draining at times. BUT, I know that if in a few years if I wanted something different, I could. Or I’ll get my masters, or a number of other options.
There are tons of areas in nursing so don’t get discouraged when someone doesn’t like their job. There are a lot of personality types that make great nurses. Don’t let someone tell you that your personality isn’t right. I had a few friends tell that to me when I announced I was going to nursing school and it hurt my feelings but I know it was the right choice for me and that I wouldn’t be happy in the “corporate” world. I love that I feel like Im helping people during hard times in their life and my job gives me pride.
go for it!!
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church
Nursing is insanely hard. I have good days and horrible days. In general, I at least feel respected by the patients, but I get shit from the doctors constantly. I swing from looking for other jobs to loving my job over the course of the same week. I think that I’m more likely to say I enjoy my job than abhor it, but it’s so hard. You have to be ready to be beaten up mentally, especially if you go into one of the higher acuity fields.
Post # 6
Nursing is super hard, and as a new grad, it sounds like your friend is overwhelmed. I’m a runner, and when I started a full time nursing job, it took me awhile to get used to it- I backed off from my running for a bit because I was too tired- it comes back.
If you’re struggling with the job you have and hate it, there’s like 5000x other nursing careers to try. It’s not a one size fits all occupation 😉 I have surgical nursing friends that would hate the ER, floor nurses that would hate clinic nursing, etc.
I love my job as a geriatrics triage nurse in a clinic, and am the only nurse in our clinic, we have 3,000 patients established with our clinic. I’m moving to the hospital soon to try something else to further my experience.
Nursing is a good decision, IMO!
There’s all sorts of personality types that can handle nursing- but the one thing all nurses have in common is compassion and wanting to help other people. As long as you have that, then you’re good 🙂
(Also, people and doctors will give you shit, it takes awhile to learn that their anxiety/anger is their feelings and they’re quite often displacing their feelings onto you)
Post # 7
I’m a fairly new nurse (1 yr). And honestly? I doubt my career choice every day. I have days where I love my job, but more often then not, I think about how much easier it woud be to have a job with less responsibility. It is hard to know just what nursing encompasses until you are in it. I had no idea about some of the things I would be responsible for until I graduated.
My best advice, would be to shadow some nurses and do some volunteer work before you start. Be absolutely SURE that you know what nursing is, and that you want to do it. If I had to do it all over again…I don’t know if I would. Some days, I think about how blessed I am to be in the job that I have. And other days, I barely make it to lunch without contemplating quitting.
Post # 8
@jasn: I could have written this! So true.
Post # 9
On good days I love it but the bad days outweigh the good most of the time. Jobs are so hard to come by (took me 7 months to get hired after I graduated) and even after your one year of experience are still hard to obtain. Census at my job constantly fluctuates with other nurses being called off and a huge caseload being thrown on my lap. Its stressful and night shift is horrible on my body and emotions. Even though nursing has always been my passion, I question my career choice all the time.
With all that said, its different for everyone. It just depends on what type of nursing you get into. I still love my patients and taking care of them, its just the shift and increasing case load that makes you want to pull your hair out and the end of your day.
Post # 10
I think the atmospere where you work is a big component of it. Nursing is definitely hard, and having a good team to work with (other nurses, doctors, therapists, pharmacists, etc etc) makes a HUGE difference. I have been a nurse for almost 2 years. I was in the med-surg float pool for 1.5 years and was finally able to transfer to pediatrics (where I wanted to be from the beginning) recently, and felt like every floor was challenging in its own way, but that the people I was working with often made a huge difference. That didn’t mean I didn’t still have crap days with the best of coworkers, but it helped me get through them.
I also think for me it helped that a) my mom was a nurse, so I had an inside scoop on nursing, and b) I worked as a HUC (unit secretary) on a general surgery floor for 2 years before nursing school, so my coworkers were nurses before I even started nursing school. I may not have understood everything they did, but I knew what would be expected of me in a general way and what the job of nursing entails. I agree with PP who suggested seeing the insides of nursing. It helps to know what’s coming!
For me personally? Nursing is mostly exhausting AND fulfilling. I get home and crash, but much more often than not feel like I’m making a difference. Good luck!
Post # 11
Bees, thank you SO much for your responses. Many have suggested I shadow before commiting to school; I’ve tried to shadow and apparently it breaks FAFSA laws, so they don’t allow it…is this universal? Does anybody have any ideas on the best way to seek shadowing opportunities? The volunteer positions are very competitive (at least here in AZ) but it is a great idea and I will continue to pursue it.
I appreciate your honesty. I think a lot of people expect one thing about nursing and get another. The general consensus is that it is hard:
1. Physically (on your feet for hours, and moving heavy patients)
2. Mentally because Drs, patients, I’ve even heard other nurses yell at you : (
3. because of the hours. I believe the myth is that nurses have three on, four off schedules that seem okay from the outside–is this not the case?
Anything else that’s particularly challenging?
Thank you SO much. I’m really trying to not go into this blindly.
Post # 12
@Nurse_Bee: Hello! Thank you for your answer. i want to be a nurse because I want a meaningful job that is a service to the greater good. I CAN’T sit behind a desk all day. I want to work with people. It seems like every day would be different, engaging, challenging…and eventually I would become very good at my job, and I would take pride in that. It just seems like it would be very mentally and physically engaging.
I don’t LOVE poop and vomit, but no one does, you just get used to it, I think. I’m good with blood (I mean, again I don’t LOVE it, but it doesn’t have a huge effect on me). Is this something somebody would say whose calling is NOT nursing?
I am a little sensitive. I have no problem with patients, kids, students, people in pain ‘yelling at me’ but it would probably bother me if a co-worker was very mean, or a boss unhappy with my performance. I would def. need to work on that.
Post # 13
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and regardles of how I’m feeling I really wouldn’t pick another profession. My biggest issue is that patients and their families now act/feel like they’re so entitled. I find that most people (not all, there are quite a few lovely people out there that this does not pertain to) feel like we’re there to be kicked around, the other day I actually had a patient snap their fingers at me and expect me to come like a dog. I’m sorry, that’s NOT why I got into this profession.
I wish that more people out there realized that nurses work days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays to look after sick people. Yes, this is the job we chose, however, we also have families of our own and have to miss out on a lot of big things to do our jobs. I go home with an aching back and feet cause I haven’t been able to sit down all day or have been lifting patients all day.
With that all said, there are those days where I go to work and find a thank you card or hear a patient or one of their family members comment on the excellent care they have received and state how we really made a difference in their life. THAT is why I do what I do.
Post # 14
I’m not a nurse but I do work in health Care. I hate it. I regret this decision more every miserable soul crushing shift I work.
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church
We have interns who shadow nurses at our clinic, so I guess it’s okay in Tennessee. It must be different from state to state.
Post # 16
Wonderful information I to am starting nursing classes soon and really appreciate all the info here.