(Closed) Calling all Nurse/Midwife bees!

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
46420 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I have always loved my job. I am an RN in Canada. The work is basically the same as it would be in the USA only nurses here don’t have to keep track of everything used by the patients as there is no extra billing for those things here.

I chose the field after I left my first husband with the kids and the furniture. I needed to pick a career that would be interesting, but that would also pay well enough for me to support the kids on my own. There are so many different types of nursing that you will never be bored.

In Canada, the entry to practice is a bachelor’s degree for RN’s. LPN’s can start work after an 18 month course (varies by province) and then later do 2 yers to upgrade to an RN if they choose.

I started work as a med-surg float, then took critical care training and worked as a critical care float. Float nurses do not have a home base ward. we worked different assignments every day, wherever they needed extra staff, or we carried a beeper and went where help was needed for short periods of time. I upgraded to work in the ER for bulk of my nursing career, including as Head Nurse. I chose ER for the variety, the same reason I worked as a float nurse.

The one thing to remember about working as an RN is that the job market is cyclical. Everytime there is a budget crunch, someone decides they can do with less RN’s and more LPN’s as their wages are lower. I have never beenpersonally affected, but I was lucky to enter the profession at a time when they were hiring.

 

 We have programs he where you can graduate as an RN after a much shorter time if you already have an undergrad degree. Check inot that type of program.

Post # 4
Member
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I’m an RN with my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, here in the United States. I *adore* my job and my patients. I love my field (Dialysis), I love that it pays good money, and I love that now that I have some experience, I’ll have a job for the rest of my life. 

I had thought about working in OB and later going the midwife route, but it just wasn’t in the cards, and I love the field I’m in currently. 

When I was doing my clinicals on the medical and surgical floors, my nurse preceptor worked in Dialysis. She talked a lot about it, and took us down there one day, and I liked the sound of it…So, for my last semester’s big “capstone” clinical, I requested to be on that floor, with her. I loved it, got my feet wet, and got hired before graduation! It’s been five months, and I can see myself being here for years and years to come. 

The amazing thing about nursing is that there are so many routes….You can work as a CNA, LPN, RN with Asssociates, RN with Bachelors, Masters (in many fields!), and advanced degrees. As far as what I would recommend…it all depends on your situation. 

I graduated highschool and went away to nursing school at 17. I was able to do school full time for 4 years without any other obligations or family commitments, and now I have this great career at 21! But, with family/other obligations, that might be a lot to take on, all at once. In that case, it may be worth it to you to do 12-18 months for a LPN and then another year for an Associates RN and then another 1 1/2 for a BSN RN….simply because of convenience, and the ability to work as you go. 

However…since you have a degree already…If you have the support to allow you to do nothing but school for a year and a half to two years, I’d strongly recommend doing an “accelerated” BSN program. They’re pretty competitive, and I would imagine very, very, intense….but how wonderful would it be to be done so soon! 

Nursing school is like nothing you’ve ever done before, though. It’s so time consuming (literally, you will do nothing but study the vast majority of the time), and it can be stressful and emotional…still, definitely worth it! If you’re looking for a nursing community, I highly recommend allnurses.com. They’re great, and there are a lot of wonderful resources there πŸ™‚ 

This is probably pretty incoherent, I have a terrible headcold and I feel as if it’s affecting my ability to formulate complete thoughts πŸ™‚ PM me if you have any other questions! 

Post # 6
Member
46420 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@zippylef:  Use this next year and a half to finish your degree online. Having a Bachelor in Education will open even more doors for you in nurinsg- Clinical Educator etc.

Apply for the accelerated degree program if you think you can manage school full time. I did my education as a single parent with 2 kids that were 5 and 1 when I started.

Even if you don’t do the accelerated program, you will get credit for all the courses you have taken that are applicable to a nursing degree, so your course load will be reduced.

Post # 7
Member
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Hi! I have been a LPN for 6 months now, but was a CNA for 4 1/2 years.

How do you like your job?  I’m torn on this one. I love being a nurse, but not too happy with my current place of employment (been there 5+ years). I also work night shift, which I don’t mind for the most part, but I know eventually I’m going to want a day time job.

Is a bachelor’s degree program worth it or is an associate’s enough?    If you’re going for your RN, I would recommend getting your bachelors. First of all, because you want to specialize, and second of all, many hospitals now won’t hire you unless you have your bachelors degree (at least in my area – I live around Boston). It will also open many more doors for you.

Are you an RN, LPN, etc? Why did you choose what you did?  I’m an LPN and I work with dementia and Alzheimer’s residents in a long term care facility. I love working with the elderly.. I actually don’t want to work in a hospital, but I do eventually want to specialize in psych, so I will be going back for my RN eventually.

Why did you choose the specialization you did? I’m passionate about working with those who have dementia and psych disorders – and I feel like the elderly is too often discredited by the general population when it comes to their medical issues.

 
 

Post # 8
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@julies1949:  Not to threadjack- but excited to read your story! I am just going back for the compressed program- I already have a health sci undergrad and a masters of arts in health geography- specialization in palliative care. I am tired of desk work, only doing research, and part-time crappy contracts! I had to convince Fiance that going back to school was a good choice, one that would land me a more satisfying, stable and finacially secure job (espcially since we were education debt free, and now we’re not, and paying for the wedding the same year!). Anyways, yeah, just excited to read your story!

I love the nursing program already, and am looking forward to a career that can vary and give me lots of opportunities to move around, both geographically, as well as in terms of duty and scope of practice! Good luck deciding OP!

Post # 9
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Hi ladies,

I have a fair amount to say on this subject based on my experience.  Sorry (in advanced) for the length.

After obtaining my BA in English and a MA in bioethics, I chose to enter nursing school.  I chose a “direct entry program,” that places you directly into a MS program (Midwife, NP, or CNS).  The basic RN curriculum was about 18 months and then you enter the MS coursework.  I went to the 11th best nursing school in the country and many of the top nursing schools have a similar program (UCSF, UIC, Yale, Vanderbilt, etc).  I thought: I want to be an advanced practice nurse and the basic RN work is good, but I want to do more.  This is the fastest way to do it.  I regret this decision more than you know for a few reasons.

1. The nursing market has experienced the same economic squeeze as the rest of the country.  It is incredibly difficult to find a hospital job as a new grad.  You used to graduate, had your choice of nursing jobs, chose your speciality and moved on.  Now it’s taking 6months-2 years to get a hospital based job for most people.  This will differ on geography (of course) but there are a few other considerations.

2. I did not receive a BSN en route to my MS in this type of program.  Due to the economy, hospitals have their choice of candidates. Many hospitals are working towards Magnet status and there are requirements that a certain percentage of nurses in that hospital must hold a BSN.  A BS or BA in a different field combined with a ADN does not hold the same weight.  As one recruiter told me, when you get 100 applications within 24 hours of posting a job, you have to do an initial cut.  Most will immediately reject anyone with a BSN (as a new grad). 

3. I knew I wanted to be an advanced practice nurse (a midwife is one type of APN).  I do not regret having my MS and being certified as a pediatric CNS; however I can only find jobs as a staff RN.  That being said, being a staff nurse allows you so much more flexibility, oftentime better pay, and there are simply more jobs available.  Furthermore, as a midwife, you will be expected to cover call– do you want to be on call for the holidays or do you want to work your assigned holiday(s) and have the other one(s) off?  That’s ultimately you’re call.

I guess what I’m saying is: I love being a nurse.  I love having all my education and varied experience behind me, it’s what makes me a great nurse.  I received an excellent education and training, but with the economy being what it is and the trend from the Institute of Medicine and Magnet, do your BSN. If, in a few years, you find that you still want to be a midwife, let the hospital you’re working at pay for your MS and become a midwife.  You may find that you don’t like OB.  You may find that you love being a staff nurse and can make good money by doing it.  You may find that you want to be a midwife.  Having your BSN opens up exceedingly far more doors than an ADN or than going directly into a Midwifery program.  Finding a nurse job is tough right now and you want to be in the best position possible for a recruiter to send your name to the manager.  Just to hammer the point ever more, I have some friends from the hospital who have associate degrees are being forced to get their BSNs and if they don’t have it by X date then they will be let go because they no longer meet certain requirements.  Associate degree RNs are being pushed out of the field. 

This was all assuming you want to work in a hospital… I don’t meen to be Debbie Downer, but I feel strongly about the BSN route because not having it has screwed me so royally.  I’m even seeing positions that require the BSN even if you have the MSN (which is how you get to be a midwife). 

I hope that helps! 

 

Post # 10
Member
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Backyard

How do you like your job? I love it! Been a nurse for about two years. 

Is a bachelor’s degree program worth it or is an associate’s enough? Yes, definitely go for the BSN! Most places won’t hire you without one and it is the way of the future!

Are you an RN, LPN, etc? Why did you choose what you did? RN! LPNs can basically only get hired at clinics and nursing homes (in most areas) and generally are paid considerably less. Now, not that there’s anything wrong with working in long term care, you can learn a lot and will have loads of autonomy, but if you’re looking for hospital work an RN is your best bet. In my area, starting wage for an LPN in long-term care is about $20/hr. Starting wage for an RN at my hospital is about $31/hr (we do not hire LPNs). Now, not to say that it is all about money, and I am a firm believer that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse. However, might as well get all your education done in one go and go for the BSN-RN. 

Why did you choose the specialization you did? I started off as a medical/surgical nurse and through some moving around on a bigger scale have found myself now in Oncology. I love oncology patients, learning about the complexities of cancer that affect literally every body system, the psychospiritual aspect of caring for this unique population and their families…being an oncology nurse makes me feel that I am a part of something much bigger than myself. Honestly could not imagine doing any other job. And starting off in med/surg is a great idea for building a well-rounded nursing foundation. Good luck with whatever you choose! πŸ™‚

Post # 11
Member
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

Hello! I can’t really give too much advice regarding your question because I am a fresh new grad and haven’t had much experence yet!

But what I CAN tell you is that the field of Nursing is very fulfilling. For one, Nursing is so dynamic. You will never be bored. There are many different areas of Nursing, such as Pediatrics, Psychiatrics, Medical/Surgical, Dermatology, Operating Room, Labor & Delivery, etc. That’s one reason why I went into Nursing. I got accepted into nursing school and went straight into it from high school. 

I am going to be honest and say that obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree is much better and is worth it. I am an RN, BSN. Where I am from, hospitals and most outpatient centers REQUIRE Bachelor’s Degrees. I have known others who had to go back to school to obtain their Bachelor’s, even if they had been working for them for over 15+ years as an LPN (Associate’s). In addition, with a Bachelor’s Degree, of course you will have a better educational background on nursing, as well as higher pay. One reason why LPN’s are still being hired, is because they get paid lower salary.

It is a little sad and unfair when institutions simply hire RNs rather than LPNs, especially when LPNs have more experience. You are better off working towards a Bachelor’s degree. I knew a few LPNs who went and got many certifications under their belt, but still have difficulty trying to get a job, simply because they did not have the educational background of a Bachelor’s Degree.

I chose to work in the Pediatrics field, I love kids! πŸ™‚ Either that or Med/Surg. I agree with PP, that starting out in the Medical/Surgical field is best. That way, you can build and strengthen your skills and you have “seen everything.” Med/Surg is a great stepping stone to build your nursing foundation. After about a year or so working there, you can move into a different field! πŸ™‚

Hope this helped a bit! Good Luck to you! I’m sure you will be a great nurse!

Post # 12
Member
3773 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

@NYCkindaBee:  FYI – a LPN is NOT the same as an ADN:)

I have been an RN with an associates degree for 6.5 years. I have worked on a general med floor, oncology for 4 years, and now I work in a cardiac ICU for a year and a half, all at a Magnet and nationally known hospital.

For me the ADN program has worked great as I have kids and have been able to make the same as a BSN prepared nurse.  And most employers will reimburse you to continue your education.   My employer covers 80% of your degree, one of the other local hospitals associated with a local University reimburses 100% if you go to that school. So it might make more financial sense to go this route for some people.

 

Post # 13
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’ve been a nurse since July and I absolutely love it. It’s not an easy job, and it can take a lot out of you. But it’s so worth it. I have an associate degree now and where I am that’s all I really NEED. There is no difference where I live in pay for ADN or BSN. But I do plan to go back eventually to get my bachelors in case I decide I don’t want to be a floor nurse later on down the road. I had no problem getting a job at all. I graduated in May and had a job lined up before I was even done with school or had passed my boards. I also recommend starting on a med/surg unit first. I’m on a medical floor and even though it’s busy, I’m getting a lot of experience. And I am really glad I started off on night shifts because it’s a lot calmer at night (I’ve worked nights and days). Good luck to you!

Post # 14
Member
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

@ieatunicorns:  Yes, you’re right! Totally forgot about the ADN. Sorry about that!

Post # 15
Member
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Backyard

Ya, the BSN vs ADN really depends on where you live. For example, in my state, above a certain point on the map you absolutely must have a BSN to be considered for a hospital job. It’s starting to trickle down to the rest of us, and many of my ADN coworkers are now going back to school. But, with the financial cuts many hospitals are taking, education reimbursement will vary. My hospital will allow $2500 per nurse, per year for tuition reimbursement. Not quite enough to cover tuition. So it really depends on where you are, and how much your local hospitals need to cut. And when it comes down to it, you’ll spend either 1 to 2 years on pre-reqs, and 2 more years for an ADN, or just 4 years for a BSN. Tuition might be more for a BSN, but you’re getting more bang for your time. And then you can be done with it and never have to go back! 

Post # 16
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@zippylef:  

I pretty much feel the same as most people here and love what I do!  I’ve been a nurse in Californiafor over 10 years and absolutely love what I do or I wouldn’t be in this field and doing it this long.  Why do I do it?  It’s a very rewarding occupation and I love helping my patients and that’s the only reason why I do it.

Where do I work?  I work at a hospital but my ultimate goal is to be in case management for home health care after I get my bachelors.   I started back for my BSN a year ago so have some experience with online colleges too.  I’m going to unitek college and like universityof maryland, it’s an accredited highly regarded school.   I would warn against some online schools, really examine them and make sure they offer what they say they offer. I heard some ladies at work discussing some of their friends and the issues they are going through.  What a mess, I feel so bad for them which is why I warn to examine every school with a fine-toothed comb

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