Advice from Nurses/Nursing Students

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 2
195 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

futuremrspk :  RN of 10 years here. Industry is VERY difficult to break into. Many have moved away from using nurses and now used trained sales personnel. If you want industry I do not suggest taking the RN route.

Post # 3
195 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Wait, are you talking about the healthcare industry of nursing or like medical device?

Post # 5
4539 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

futuremrspk :  RN of 10+ years. I’m assuming that your aim of retraining is to work in a clinical setting as a healthcare professional. (PPs post have me confused)

Nursing is a great career path but it definitely something you should only pursue if you are a hundred percent certain. It’s an emotionally and mentally demanding job. You need to have a strong and sound mind because some days and some cases have a real emotional toll on you. It’s really hard to not take it home with you. I’m in the O.R and I generally assist in fairly safe and routine surgery but you always get thrown a curve ball every so often.

As part of my grad program, I worked on oncology wards, in ER, cardiac wards and being a new nurse it was really hard to emotionally separate myself from situations. I’d come home more often than not, really heavy hearted. The shift work can be insane and has a huge impact on your health. 

Nursing is really rewarding but I really believe you need to have a good level head on you and good mental health before you should even think of it as a career. I’m also a believer that nursing comes with an expiration date. I’ve seen too many people nursing beyond the point where they no longer want to be there. It impacts on your patient interactions and I don’t think it’s fair to put your shitty mood or indifference onto a patient who is their to recover and needs your support to do that. 

I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer and state lots of negative stuff but it is stuff that a lot if people don’t even  know to consider when thinking about a career in nursing. I think its good to go into it knowing the negatives as well as the positives.  It really is a wonderful career path with a lot of reward but being in the know and prepared really helps navigate the less rewarding parts.

Post # 6
105 posts
Blushing bee

Any way you could do some volunteer work just to get some exposure? When I was in school I had a few people leave after a couple semesters because they learned it was not for them (after already dropping $20,000+ over the semesters) so that’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. But they never had any experience beforehand, so they just didnt know.

Do you have your bachelors? If so, you could look at the ABSN/second degree route and that would save you some time. That’s what I did and I was really happy with it. I chose one of the longer ABSN’s though, it was 20 months so it was not super accelerated at all. Some are as fast as 12 months, but I have heard questionable things about those new grads. It depends on where you are located, but its pretty impacted in my area and most hospitals won’t hire below a BSN, the hospital I am at “prefers BSN” but will hire ADN’s. However, with such big influx of applications, the spot is almost always going to someone with the BSN because of the impaction. 

I think nursing is an amazing, fulfilling career, but I would suggest getting yourself some exposure! Hospice would be a good field to go into if you are able to handle it and learn how to separate yourself from the situation without being too detached at the same time. A colleague of mine does stand in lectures at a lot of the universities in my area and basically recruits students because it can be difficult to find good hospice nurses. 

Good luck and keep us posted!

Post # 7
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ve been a nurse since 2007, best decision ever even though it was after a couple big career changes.  The flexibility is amazing, you can do just about anything.  Right now I’m working from home, in PJs.  I make $75,000 but I’d make more as a floor nurse.  It’s never ever boring.

Post # 8
2354 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

If you do decide you want to go into nursing, I have to disagree with PP and say that getting as Associates through a community college is a great way to go. Especially if you already have a bachelors in a different field and this can’t qualify for much federal financial aid.

My ex already had anothet bachelors and was debating between an associates and an accelerated bachelors in nursing. The accelerated program would have cost $40 grand and gotten him a bachelors in 2.5 years. Or he could do an Associates for like $5 grand in 2 years, start working and making good money, and continue online classes to complete the bachelors. It was the obvious option. 

Post # 9
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Being a nurse is a complicated career… sometimes you love it and sometimes you loathe it with every fibre of your being, but for some damned reason you keep going back.

You need thick skin. You need to be able to walk into a room and read it. You need to be prepared for anything and sometimes to answer with nothing. You need to be ready to give yourself to the profession – everyone will say that whilst you’re taught not to take your work home with you, sometimes you just will. Is that something you can forsee yourself doing?

Dark/black humour is a must. You’ll become so accustomed to the shit parts of life (both literally and metaphorically speaking) that you will be guaranteed to make the general public squeam with your dinner table talk. You’ll see the good, bad and ugly. You’ll have to deal with the whole spectrum of humanity… husbands, wives, children, grandparents, abusers, pedophiles, criminals, drug addiction, cheaters, prostitutes, nuns, LGBTIQ communities, the whole religious spectrum… and you need to treat them exactly the same – dignity, respect and empathy. It’s bloody tough work. Do you think you can work past your prejudices?

You’ll work with some great professionals, and there are the others who make dangerous choices. YOU are the conduit between life and death. You are the advocate. You need to make some tough calls and some difficult statements, sometimes against a workmate or a friend… and it’s heartbreaking and terrifying, but you walk away feeling like you did the right thing.

Most of all, nursing is a beast of its own but it suckers you in, in a way that cannot be explained. It’s a rewarding and wonderful career path, full of different situations and seeing people at their most vulnerable. I often say I will leave nursing, but I never bloody will because it’s so ingrained in who I am… it’s really not just a job, it’s a part of you 🙂

Post # 10
2492 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

It honestly depends so much on where you will be working. Hospice is very emotionally challenging but also pretty rewarding, I assume (never worked hospice). I actually am the opposite- I am an L&D nurse. I used to work in the ED, which was a nightmare. Your coworkers are a huge part, too. I love my team, I have made lifelong friends at my job.

My job is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding every single day. I am basically tired all the time and my back usually hurts. You must have a certain drive, excellent critical thinking skills, and of course, compassion. There are great patients and there are also horrible patients that just make you question humanity. Nursing school is tough.

I chose nursing because it is so flexible, you can easily change to a different field if you are bored, stressed, or just want to try something different. The money is ok, not great in my area, but could be much worse. It’s nice only working 3 days a week so I can run errands and go to appointments during the week when I have off. I don’t mind working weekends- they are usually pretty laid back without management there and it’s not as busy. Holidays can be annoying, especially working Christmas.

Honestly, if I had to do it all over again, I probably would have chosen something different. Something I was more passionate about that related more to my hobbies. Don’t pick a job just because it’s flexible and reliable, pick something that inspires you. But, it really has changed me as a person, not just the knowledge base but also how I approach problems and think through things. Like a PP said, it becomes ingrained in you.

Post # 11
2169 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I suggest you get some exposure to nursing before you commit to it. You could volunteer at a hospital or get some kind of job there. I changed careers to nursing. I started as a clerk on a unit which was a step down from my previous career. However, it got me exposed to the healthcare world. It also led to my nursing job because I ended up getting a nursing job in the unit where I started as a clerk. 

Be aware that you might not start your nursing career in your dream job. Many start in nursing homes or on med surg units. That is really hard, backbreaking work. 

My job is extremely stressful. I love it in many ways. It can be rewarding to see a patient make huge improvements. I work with a great team of people. However, not every patient improves. Some things that I see are very heartbreaking. 

Some of my nursing school classmates did not enjoy nursing once they got into it. It was not as they expected. They saw the salaries and the demand for nurses, so thought it would be a perfect career move. It is really important that you get a feel for it and really realize what you are getting into before you take the leap. 

I have no regrets changing my career to nursing, but I know plenty who regret it. They are bitter and burned out—some of them still very early in their career. 

A previous poster thought it was a mistake for you to get your associate’s. It depends on where you live, the demand for nurses, and your financial situation. I started with an associate’s because it was all I could afford. (I already had loans from my previous degree.) I was able to get my BSN and am working on my MSN because my employer has paid for it. 

Post # 13
99 posts
Worker bee

It is a solid career that pays well and has many options for where you can work. But it is a demanding job and there are sacrifices you may have to make, such as work schedule having to work weekends, holidays, long shifts. You may get yelled at, have to deal with difficult supervisors and coworkers, and bossy patients. 

Bachelor’s is the better choice but if AS is what you can do now, you can always go back and get the bachelor’s and beyond. There are nurses who constantly add to their education and go for nurse practitioner in time. 

I would like to do something simple like paperwork in an office wearing a cute suit all day and having nice nails, makeup, wearing jewelry, etc. I am very stressed at my job and don’t like working odd hours compared to my husband. But the challenge of the work and the good pay and benefits is what keeps me there.

Post # 14
7030 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

To me nursing is like teaching, you need to go into it for the right reasons….becaues you really feel called to do it.

If you really feel like nursing is something you want to do, I would say do your research and go for it. I have a friend who worked in restaurants/event catering management for YEARS….until she had her daughter and in her early 40’s went back to school for nursing. It wasn’t easy, but she did it and doesn’t regret it at all.

Post # 15
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

lulubelle2017 :  Thanks <3 As you can probably tell, I hate a love-hate day with my job when I posted haha!

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