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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been seriously considering nursing as a career, but I have a few questions.
1.) What were some major things that led you to nursing?
2.) If you ever wish you had choosen another career, why?
3.) What type of nurse are you (LPN, RN, etc.) and why did you choose to be that area of nursing?
4.) What are the some of the pros and cons of nursing, in your experience?
The things about it that are making it very appealing to me include the fact that there are plenty of jobs available for nurses, good pay, and somewhat flexible hours, to name a few. Being able to help people is also a major plus. I think it would be a fulfilling job. But I still am not 100% sure and just wanted to hear what some actual nurses had to say. Thank you. :)
 

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1 - I always wanted to be a nurse since I was young, and when my marriage blew up, I was finally able to become one

2 - Nope, it took me this long to get into nursing.

3- RN - LPNs work way too hard for too little pay and can do pretty much everything an RN can, but are not as in demand as RN (at least in this area). Their pay rate is much much lower and they do a heck of a lot of work

4 - pros - the people. Cons - the people. Fortunately the pros far outnumber the cons in that regard.
Its a hard job, but its a pretty reliable career in that you can have a job and rarely if ever get laid off


I became a nurse at age 46
 

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Hey bunnylover I am 2 years into my 4yr RN program :) Taking my CNA test on Saturday. (The nursing program here has that as a prereq, and I need a better paying job too) My mom is a NP and used to be a RN, I decided to follow in her footsteps because I want a job that pays well and is secure. (Overcome the economy!)
 

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Hi-
Nurse here too. Go for the RN. If you can, do the BSN. Opens many different levels of nursing. As stated before, LPNs work just as hard as RNs for less pay. I decided to do the RN when I was working as a LPN and training all the new RNs coming onto the floor.
When asked by the new RN if she could she hang TPN cold, my thoughts were;
"You're getting how much an hour, want to hang TPN ice cold and I am still clocked in? Here hold my keys, I'll be right back......":walk:
 

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Have been an LPN for 36 years...yes, we do everything RN's do and more and I've trained my share of new RN grads. They come out with plenty of book knowledge but never have actually done trach care or IV's or giant wound dressings. I wouldn't waste my time going for an LPN if you can afford the time for RN school. Otherwise, many here in the Ozarks go to LPN school and then can go to the RN bridge program or go for a degree and still can be making a decent paycheck working part-time...our facility offers tuition reinbursement and a $500 stiped monthly to those in school after you've worked for them for three years. I'm lucky to have a weekend only job where I work Fri-Sun and have all week off for the farm. Love it! Perhaps working as a CNA would give you a taste of nursing --plus you'd gain a world of experience dealing with pts/families--stuff you don't learn in nursing school. DEE
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for sharing. I am a junior in high school so it is about time for me to make a decision. Thanks again for your input and advice.
 

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RN here also. I've been licensed in the state of FL for 23yrs. My mom was an RN then became an ARNP here in FL. She is the one to encourage me to go into nursing. There has never been a time since I was licensed that RN's haven't been in demand here in FL. I did stay home for nine yrs. but have recently gone back part-time. I agree and disagree with the post about your BS in nursing. Yes it can open more doors, not always a given here in FL though. I chose a 2 yr. program mainly due to my moms suggestion. She had seen many 4yr BSN's that came out with the attitude they were trained for management only, and all but refused to empty a bedpan. Most 2 yr RN programs train you to WORK, they also seem to have a way of weeding out the ones who don't want to work. Just my 0.02 cents worth. Good luck with whatever you choose.
tyusclan momma
 

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Another nurse here, started as a nursing assistant back in '79 and got my BSN/RN in '84.

1. I chose nursing (changing direction from an earlier career path) for the flexibility, the job security, and the relative ease of the training (compared to medical school). I wanted to be able to work for a while to earn enough money to travel the world or do something else interesting, then be able to pick up another job when I ran out of money and work until I had saved enough to do it all over again. (After I got married and had a baby, though, that plan changed). It sounds naive, but I also wanted to do some kind of work that mattered, that helped the world in some way. And I didn't care for work that involved sitting in a chair for hours at a time.

2. I've never seriously wished to be in a different field. There are nurses that really don't like nursing, but I'm not one of them.

3. I'm an RN who's currently a procedure nurse. I take care of people who come in for painful procedures in my department, giving them medicine to make them sleepy and monitoring them for any problems. I used to work in Intensive Care, but the strain on my back from all the lifting got to be too much.

4. The pros and cons vary with the particular nursing job. As Shygal said, the people can be the best part and the worst part. I don't like working with people who just go through the motions and don't really care about doing a good, professional job. I don't like the climate that develops when working with gossiping, judgmental people. I don't like it when I feel that my time and/or the valuable time of patients, doctors, or coworkers is stupidly wasted. (A good manager really helps here). I get seriously annoyed with the mounds of paperwork that just seems to grow every year. I have to be careful about exposure to germs and other hazards in the workplace. I still have to worry a bit about protecting my back. And yes, occasionally there are bedpans.
That said, I like being good at my job and having the respect of the nurses, doctors, and others with whom I work. I like caring for someone and knowing that because of me, there was less pain, confusion, and fear in that person's life that day. I like that I work in an area that is developing cutting-edge techniques, allowing us to do things that were completely impossible not long ago. I like knowing that as a group, we have helped many people, some of whom are terribly, desperately ill. That's really the only thing that keeps me from being ill-tempered when the beeper goes off in the middle of the night.
On the practical side, I get a good paycheck and have a recession-proof job. My schedule and personal life finally allow me to work until I have enough saved, then take that bicycle trip in Quebec or hiking trip in California (still hypothetical at this point, but I'm hopeful about next year). I no longer have to take call or work weekends or nights. I know that if I want to switch from working in my current department, there are any number of other jobs I could take, from critical care to clinical educator to hospice.

A lot of nurses get burned out, but I never did, though I'm not sure why. I suspect that if a nurse feels resentful and disrespected day after day, it will take too much of a toll on her to keep her satisfied with her career. I have worked on a unit that had such an angry, unhappy feeling that I quit after 6 months to find a job with more self-assured, positive people. It made a huge difference.
 

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After high school I went to LPN school (because my mother wanted me to go).
I worked in surgery, handing instruments to the docs. LOVED it!

Got married and had 5 babies in 6 1/2 years and didn't even think about working until they reached school age.

Then I looked into going back to school for RN---just for the better paycheck.

Instead I went back to school to become a Medical Lab Technician.
I also, LOVED that work.

The downfalls on both jobs was needing to take "Call".
Hated the unpredicability of "Call".
Needing to get out of bed, sometimes 4 or 5 times a night, going out in ice and snow and rushing to the hospital.
And then get back there by 7 a.m. to work a full day.

The medical field is a great choice for a carreer, but, keep in mind it is usuallya 24/7 job.

Now----I wish I could have been a furniture maker, but back then, woodworking was not an option for females.
 

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Hi-
Nurse here too. Go for the RN. If you can, do the BSN. Opens many different levels of nursing. As stated before, LPNs work just as hard as RNs for less pay. I decided to do the RN when I was working as a LPN and training all the new RNs coming onto the floor.
When asked by the new RN if she could she hang TPN cold, my thoughts were;
"You're getting how much an hour, want to hang TPN ice cold and I am still clocked in? Here hold my keys, I'll be right back......":walk:
Agreed. Got the BSRN. When I burned out on hospital nursing I went to clinic managing & then to lab sales & then to pharmacuetical sales. The opportunities are endless.

I think I went into nursing b/c of medical curiosity & desire to assist.

One big downside for me was working everyother weekend. :(
Another is some jobs you have to punch a time clock and that doesn't seem too "professional". Other hand-if you are 'managment' and DON'T punch in then they take advantage & work you to death. :(

Good profession, IMHO, and always in demand.

Good luck-Patty
 

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Well its a good job/career but it can take its toll on you. I have been a nurse since 1978, I was an LPN in 1978 and then rec. my RN degree in 1983. I always knew that if something happened to my husband I would be able to support the kids (he was in the airforce when I completed nursing school). I have always had a job in nursing somewhere. When hubby was out of work and went back to college I worked full time. After I had baby # 4 I went to part time. The past 19 years I have been working part time..................my position is 24 hours a week but I can count on 2 hands how many times I actually only worked 24 hours in a week!! But this job leaves me flexability to pick up shifts or not depending on family needs. I have worked in the emergency department for the past 21 years, I love to work with "some" people and "hate" others. Usually though the good people are outweighed by the bad ones. Nursing is a hard job physically moving people...........always take care of yourself protect your back......no one will protect it for you! Mentally it can take its toll at times but don't be afraid to seek out someone else to talk to, find a way to decompress your self (my family knows if I come home change to chore clothes and go straight to the barn with out talking, to leave me alone, thats usually my stress relief time.)
Would I become a nurse again.......yes...........its been a good job/career. I really like caring for some people and some well I am a professional I don't have to like them but I can still care for them! Best advice I can give though is get the highest degree you can now, over the long run your retirement will look much better financially. Good Luck
 

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Another RN here! I was always interested in medicine and healing - thought I wanted to be a vet, a nurse, a doctor, a nurse.....finally decided I wanted to have a life and didn't want to be a doctor. I settled on (on, not for) nursing as a career. I do not regret that decision, but do wish I'd spent less time working ECFs and more time at the hospital. Better pay, better benefits, lighter work load, more experience in a greater variety of procedures and patients.

I started right after high school as a nurse aide, and I would recommend that anyone who is considering nursing as a career, try out being an aide first. The experience is invaluable.

I have an Associates Degree RN, and my hospital offers education assistance up to $2000 toward tuition for my BSN and higher, so I am getting busy with my prereq's and then should have my BSN in under a year, on-line. I took a board exam in Feb to become a certified med-surg nurse - that increased my hourly pay and I was reimbursed for the testing fee by my facility. I'll get another raise when I get my BSN. I would definately encourage you to get your RN - don't stop at LPN level. At our hospital, they no longer even hire LPNs. CNAs and RNs only.

I have the good fortune to work with a really great group of nurses - we work as a team, help each other out, and make nurses floating to the floor welcome so they want to come work with us again. Of course, we all know it's not just good fortune - we actively try to make our work environment as pleasant as possible. It is no fun to work with sour grouchy people! We also have a lot of great docs that we work closely with. They know us well enough to trust our judgement and take our suggestions when we see a need with a patient, and that really helps.

Positives with the job include good pay, fairly recession-proof employment, work that is interesting and teaches you something new every day, and knowing you make a difference in peoples' lives when they most need it. I really like people and enjoy visiting with them while I care for them.

Negatives are bedpans and commodes, vomit, BM and blood, nasty wounds and occasionally stinky (or rude) patients -and of course, some patients die.

Be very honest with yourself as to why you want to be a nurse. It doesn't matter how good the money is if you just don't like the work!
 

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Thanks for sharing. I am a junior in high school so it is about time for me to make a decision. Thanks again for your input and advice.
Bunnylover, check out your local larger hospital. My daughter has a friend that has been volunteering at the hospital since she was 16 (great way to see if you like working in a hospital). She is now graduating from homeschool at 18 this spring. The hospital is going to be paying for her education. She will need to sign on for two years after she graduates to get total reimbursement for her schooling (I believe she is getting her BSRN). Something to look into, free schooling is always a good deal!

My mom started as a CNA 30 years ago, went to school and got her LPN, went back to school for her RN. She's now been an RN for 25 years, never regretted it. Talk about job security!
 

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I have been seriously considering nursing as a career, but I have a few questions.
1.) What were some major things that led you to nursing?
2.) If you ever wish you had choosen another career, why?
3.) What type of nurse are you (LPN, RN, etc.) and why did you choose to be that area of nursing?
4.) What are the some of the pros and cons of nursing, in your experience?
The things about it that are making it very appealing to me include the fact that there are plenty of jobs available for nurses, good pay, and somewhat flexible hours, to name a few. Being able to help people is also a major plus. I think it would be a fulfilling job.
1) My husband is self employed and I needed to get a job that was dependable and flexible.
2) In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to work at all.
3) I'm a Disease Management Registered Nurse. I have a BSN. I have a BS in Zoology and used to be a high school biology teacher. I worked at the hospital for a year and a half. Then I did hospice and worked as a pediatric trach/vent nurse. I now work at home in my sunroom on phone and computer. Its a great job.
4) Much of nursing is like being the little Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dam. Nursing is physically taxing and, while in school, they tell you you'll teach and advocate for patients, you rarely get to do that. Mostly you're putting out fires.

With my current job, I work on phone at home. I call people and I actually teach patients and advocate for them. It's great. I get paid well. I have been a nurse only five years. In that time, my pay has increased by $12/hour. Not too bad! I'd recommend starting your career as a hospital nurse. I think working a hospital for about two years will give you a good basis for your career. I'd also recommend getting a BSN because that gives you the most opportunity. With that degree you can do floor nursing or become a manager.

My current job is quite fulfilling. There are opportunities in nursing even for those with physical disabilities.
 

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1)
4) Much of nursing is like being the little Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dam. Nursing is physically taxing and, while in school, they tell you you'll teach and advocate for patients, you rarely get to do that. Mostly you're putting out fires.

My experience with this is different. I worked in the ICU for 18 years (RN) and I did a great deal of advocating for patients and families, heading problems off at the pass by recognizing what was going on and communicating with the docs. I now work in the Emergency Department and I *do* do a lot of teaching. I really enjoy it very much.

In answer to your other questions:

1. I always wanted to go into healthcare. I originally wanted to be a vet, then decided on nursing, not sure why exactly. I'd have a terrible time putting pets down though.

2. I never wished I had chosen another career. And there is so much opportunity and flexibility to move around *within* nursing itself, that I wouldn't need to change careers anyway.

3. I'm an RN. The pay is better, the opportunities are better.

4. Pros: I can work whenever I want to. I schedule my own hours, always have for the most part. When I worked FT or PT I had a designated weekend to work, but we could work every 4th weekend if we wanted to. As a Per Diem nurse, I work one 8 hour shift on weekend time/month. And weekends for Per Diem nurses start on Fridays at 3pm instead of Sat at 7am.

Flexible hours in general: I had a very hyperactive little boy so I worked 7p-3a for years. That way we didn't need daycare.

Agency nursing: If you want, you can subcontract as an agency nurse and work whatever hours you want (provided the hours you want are available).

Bonus Pay: Where I work we have a high turnover of staff, which leaves us with a lot of open shifts. They pay us between $10-20/hour over and above our regular pay to sign up for these shifts. Its great money, especially if you sign up on a holiday with overtime AND bonus!!

Employer pays tuition: Even if you start out as an LPN, your employer will likely help pay tuition for you to go back to school to be an RN. And when you're an RN, if you want to go on and get a master's degree, they may pay for that as well.

Job security is almost guaranteed. I have no worries that I will be able to land a job in this economy.

You can teach: Colleges are hurting for clinical instructors, and that job pays pretty darn well too, with GREAT hours. I worked T/Th from 6am to 2pm and got paid for an additional 5 hours of paperwork time. I was on my own for the most part, which gave me a lot of autonomy. And there were no weekends, no holidays and 5 weeks of Christmas break with summers off if you wanted. Can't ask for better than that!!

Travel opportunities: You can work full time as a traveler, taking 13 week contracts with all expenses paid, including housing. And you can travel all over the country working this way. The only cons to this are trying to learn the ropes in different institutions.

Your Kids go to camp for FREE: If you volunteer at summer camps, even for a week, your kids can attend that week for free! And camp nursing is a great experience all by itself. I did camp nursing at Woodward Camp, PA and Camp Half Moon, in MA. I loved it. Woodward was a fantastic experience as it is an extreme sports camp and we dealt with some pretty significant injuries, dehydration, etc.

Cons??? I really can't think of any. Groups of women who work together can be catty. But if you have a good group, its not so bad. Some patients come in in hygenic arrest, or they are drunk, stoned, and disrespectful. Sometimes they kick, hit, and spit at you. And then there are those who are sincerely ill who throw up on you, or have diarrhea. Thats always fun. But the pros so outweigh the cons that I don't care about these kinds of cons. Besides, there are other nursing jobs that don't involve this kind of stuff.

I just can't think of the more perfect job than being a nurse. But it is definitely true that if you don't like the work, the pros aren't going to matter much!:benice:
 

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RN here also. I agree and disagree with the post about your BS in nursing. Yes it can open more doors, not always a given here in FL though. I chose a 2 yr. program mainly due to my moms suggestion. She had seen many 4yr BSN's that came out with the attitude they were trained for management only, and all but refused to empty a bedpan. Most 2 yr RN programs train you to WORK, they also seem to have a way of weeding out the ones who don't want to work. Just my 0.02 cents worth. Good luck with whatever you choose.
tyusclan momma

I gotta agree here. I went to school at a hospital school (sheesh, I don't know if any even exist anymore). I went year round for 3 years and I earned a hospital diploma and an Assoc deg in Science. I went back and got my BSN. The BSN made absolutely no difference in what kind of work was available to me, or what my pay was.

But going to a hospital school was by far a much better education than what I see in BSN students. The last 2 years of nursing school I was on the floor 3 days a week, 8 hours/day taking care of pts. and by the time I was a senior, I was doing everything the RNs were doing, with full patient loads, carrying 6 or more patients at a time. I knew how to do proceedures, I knew how to organize, and I was confident in my proceedure skills and assessment skills.

The nurses that I see coming through the BSN programs very often haven't even given a single IM injection, and have never inserted a Foley catheter. Their idea of Vital Signs in the ICU don't include urine output. Its really kind of scary if you ask me. And they don't completely understand pathophysiology, which is the heart and soul of hospital nursing.

Its true that BSN prepared graduate nurses often think they are entitled to the management jobs with zero clinical experience. Their hands on experiences in school are next to nill, and they've never carried a full patient load.

Having been a clinical instructor in a good 2 year program, I can tell you that unlike the students I've precepted in the Emergency Room and ICU, whose instructors are nowhere to be found for the vast majority of the shift, my students were never left unattended on the floor alone. I stayed on the floor with them. I had senior level students who were graduating in a few months, and I still had to supervise them pouring medications because they were still making mistakes!

Some instructors have students on multiple floors, which is why they are not always with their students, but I think thats wrong too.

Anyway....thats my 2 cents :eek:).
 
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