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ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (50,352)
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10/9/13 11:23 P

I have been a nurse for over 35 years. I can't think of anyone who wakes up WANTING to go to work -- even those who are satisfied with their careers. It's hard work that is often very stressful. If you are hoping to find nirvana in a nursing career, you are setting yourself up to experience significant "reality shock." If you want to be successful as a nurse, you need to set realistic goals and expectation.

Most new nurses feel scared to go to work because of their stress about the degree of responsibility they have for other people's welfare. Many nurses have been assaulted by their patients and abused/bullied by their co-workers. Be realistic and maybe you will survive school and your first few years of practice.

-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/9/13 3:32 P

That is what I want. To get up in the morning and WANT to go to work. Not get up and have a knot in my stomach and feel sick

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (239,269)
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10/8/13 5:46 P

I would do what makes me happier!!! It's good to get up in the morning and look forward to your day because you LOVE what you do!!!!

EWL978 Posts: 2,021
10/8/13 3:39 P

Whatever you do, good luck!! Nursing and medicine in any form is a great field and there's plenty of work...I believe that many nurses out there are teaching the doctors every day. Been involved in the human resource aspect and met many nurses I admired.

-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/8/13 3:23 P

I would much rather be told the truth, than sugar coated!!

JOHNNYLSAND SparkPoints: (1,033)
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10/8/13 3:15 P

Worked long term, helped open one of the first "skilled" units. Long term care has a ton of other issues. One of the most, supervising CNA's you can't find, who are lazy, or who are plain incompetent. Family members who blame you because mom, who is 96 and has Alzheimer's is loosing weight! What are you doing about it!? Don't forget the constant state inspections, finding all kinds of piddly things, and as a the nurse, it's you it all comes down on.

Mandatory care plans that no one will follow or understand, but must be done to satisfy the state. Oh and my, the skin issues. God forbid someone gets a bedsore. Now you're done for! You didn't get the CNA's to turn that patient enough and now they have a bedsore.. you are to blame.

Constant UTI's (urinary tract infections). I got to where I could straight cath any female with nearly having my eyes closed. The long term care facility will always have an odor. Always.... There's nothing you can do.. the odor is with you all day long. Many times in long term care, it's you, the nurse, who will pass a quadrillion pills during the course of a shift. You might have an LPN do that for you, or a CMA, but don't count on it. You get used to working short and hearing call bells that never, ever, stop ringing.

All areas of nursing state you can't leave a patient until you are replaced with someone competent to take your place. That can mean being on duty for up to 24 hours or more if there is an emergency. You are not allowed to "abandon" your patients under any circumstances. During a weather emergency, I was on duty for 3 days with little naps, because no one could come in and replace me.

I'm going to stop any more replies to this thread. I'm sorry for all the negative. I wish someone would have told me when I was younger what it was really like. You get caught up in it, thinking something better will come along, then you turn around and you're too old to change anything. Once you're a nurse, it's hard to get any other kind of employment. If you want to leave nursing and work at Starbucks, they won't hire you because you are over-qualified, and/or they think something is wrong with you to not want to work as nurse. Not to mention the huge pay cut.

My current job was cushy and fantastic, finally thought I found my niche (pre-op prep). Then, lo and behold, we're changing to much more acute patients..
I wish you well, I'm signing off.... :)

Edited by: JOHNNYLSAND at: 10/9/2013 (10:08)
NANCYTHO Posts: 2
10/8/13 1:59 P

I have never been on a message board before,but decided to today. How ironic that I would see your post. I was a nurse for 40 years and loved most of it. I read through the other posts and agree with everything everyone said. It is difficult beyond belief, physically and emotionally,and yet it enriched my life and my person. My family made many sacrifices along the way, holidays and weekends, and summers. I regret lost time with my husband. If you are feeling led, I encourage you to meditate or pray about it. Long term care is the growth area, besides disease prevention. You have been exposed to a long term care situation, so you must have some idea what that involves. I always felt well compensated financially and was always able to find work. All the best to you.

Edited by: NANCYTHO at: 10/8/2013 (13:59)
DMJAKES Posts: 1,605
10/8/13 1:29 P

Dyet - I agree with some of the others about looking for a new position in the same field...something more aligned with your values and outlook. Check out healthcare facilities and nonprofits. The money might not be quite what you're used to, but the value of what you do every day might rise above that.

I work at a hospital in the nursing education department (no, I'm not a nurse). I've seen a LOT of what's already been mentioned about the downside. From what I've seen, I would give these pieces of advice if you decide to go for it: Try to work somewhere that has a good tuition program. Coworkers here who play their cards right can get their education for a really reasonable amount out of pocket. There will be, of course, a work commitment after graduation. Be sure to look into different schools---everything from tuition rates, nursing exam pass rates, accreditation, waiting lists, credits that will/will not transfer, etc. If there's a good community college nearby, go there for at least your ADN--you'll save some serious money. You can always transfer to a "prettier" school for the BSN. Try shadowing a nurse at a local hospital. That might help you make your decision.

Good luck, whatever you decide! Life's too short to spend it doing something you don't enjoy (at least not for too long).

JOHNNYLSAND SparkPoints: (1,033)
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10/8/13 10:57 A

It's always good to hear reality. I'm too old now but if I were younger, I would do just the opposite and leave nursing and do what you do! You get burned out helping people all the time... it gets really, really tiresome and thankless.

Another aspect they don't really teach you in nursing school is all the extreme regulations. JCAHO will drive you crazy with all their rules and regulations. (joint commission of accredited hospitals organization). They have no idea how hard it is to be a nurse, and they go out of their way to make your job five times harder. Good times!

Phones ringing off the hook, call bells never ending. Constant interruptions while trying to get your work done. I keep reading others say so many options, leave whenever, blah blah blah. It is not that easy. You have to have experience to move around. You have to have extra training to work in some areas, ACLS (advanced cardiac and life support) PALS (pediatric advanced life support), your CPR card. TNCC (trauma nurse core curriculum). Not to mention some hospitals want even more education to get your "certification". Like CNOR, (certified nurse operating room) CNI (certified nurse intravenous), Ambulatory Perianesthesia & Post Anesthesia Nursing (CAPA/CPAN), and many more. All require a ton of studying and cost an arm and a leg to take the exams, and you have to pay yearly fees for some, etc...

And, there is actually a glut of nurses right now because many can't retire due to the economy. So, you may have a hard time finding work to begin with. (not in all areas, I believe places like Texas and Florida always need nurses).

Then, there's nursing school. God forbid you get a real bad instructor out to get you. I was lucky and didn't, but you learn to kiss asxxx really well and jump when they say, how high? how fast? anything else I can do for you instructor?

I don't know where you live, but if you live where there is snow and/or bad weather, too bad. Get to work. No snow days for you anymore. Get to work somehow! Get a cab, walk in, they don't care, they just need a body.

Sorry for negative, but all these things are true. Anyone says otherwise, they are new at nursing and it hasn't slapped them upside the head yet, or they've been lucky enough to have a great job(s), or they're just blind.





Edited by: JOHNNYLSAND at: 10/8/2013 (10:59)
-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/8/13 10:32 A

So many thoughts and opinions. I really appreciate it!!

DENRNAJ SparkPoints: (71,919)
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10/8/13 4:57 A

What I love about being a nurse is the option to do so many different things- I've seen and done things I could never imagine. The politics can be terrible- management horrific but with good self-esteem you can ride those out (or transfer!).

JOHNNYLSAND SparkPoints: (1,033)
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10/7/13 11:02 P

Yes. Wonderful. As a new graduate you probably won't get the gravy shifts and will probably work a lot of holidays and weekends. Expect to miss a lot of Holidays with the family. In the summer, when everyone is barbecuing and having fun, you'll be at work up to your nose in all manner of bodily fluids, smells, etc. Yes, you may not work in a hospital, but you probably will as that is where it seems most nurses work, esp, right out of school. Don't forget, there is the "nurses eat their young" syndrome. When you're new and need a lot of help, the low self-esteem of your co-workers kicks in, and they bully you and do "lateral violence". Esp. female dominated nursing. ( I'm male, making it even more interesting!). Your fellow nurses can make your life a total hell.

Keep in mind you will feel like you don't have any idea what you're doing for about 3-5 years. Every day will be in fear you may kill or harm someone. Yes... that's fun and wonderful. Needing to call a doctor will be really fun too, esp. when you call on something really stupid and they yell at you "why did you call me on that?", figure it out on your own! Don't forget you will probably be on 12 hour night shifts, due to being new and all. It's fun to have 8-10 patients on your own... why, you get 2 post ops, 1 pre op, two admits! ALL at the same time, all the while Mr. J. down the hall just pulled his catheter out and is bleeding all over the floor. You can't find your CNA's and lo and behold, where did all the other nurses go?

Yes... fun... wonderful....

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,855
10/7/13 10:57 P

Before being diabled I was a medical assistant and I worked hard to go back to school to become that working 40 plus hours, going to school at night and not sleeping many nights because my son was just a baby.
That job although I was only able to do it for 3 1/2 yrs was like heaven!!!!!!!!! I felt like what I was doing mattered and the patients were constantly thanking me for helping them and it made me happy to know that I was actually making a difference in the lives of others.
I was going to go back to school to be an RN, but then I got chronic lyme /fibromyalgia and wasn't able too.
I SAY GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT DON'T DO IT FOR THE MONEY CAUSE YOU'LL NEVER BE HAPPY IF THAT'S WHAT YOU DO IT FOR CAUSE THEY CAN'T PAY YOU ENOUGH TO PUT UP WITH THE DOCTORS ALL THE WORK YOU HAVE TO DO AND THE WAY YOU GET TREATED BY SOME PATIENTS......
Do it cause you have a genuine heart that really wants to help others, that you'll treat others as you'd want to be treated.
I use to hear about patients that were mean and those patients ended up being some of the best patients I ever had! Because all they wanted was the service they so deserved and wasn't getting by others who didn't care about the job.
I think you'll be very happy with your decision and I wish you all the best!!!!!! Do something that is going to make you feel good about all the hard work you put in at the end of the day and know you made a difference!

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (50,352)
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10/7/13 10:54 P

Check out the website called allnurses.com for a lot of information and opinions. There are a LOT of people out there in situations similar to yours who think that ditching their old careers and becoming a nurse is what they should do. For some people, it IS the right decision ... but for others, it is not a good choice and they end up in debt in a job they don't like or unemployed. Jobs in nursing are not as easy to get these days as most people think.

I STRONGLY agree with the previous poster who wrote that you should explore other options using your current education before throwing all that away to sstart at the bottom of a totally different field. See if you can find something more satisfying using the skills and knowledge you already -- much cheaper and with a lot less risk. Don't let a 1 or 2 bad work situations lead you to abandon everything you have invested so far. Only give up on your first career after you have made a definite effort to find a decent work situation.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (34,466)
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10/7/13 10:42 P

Nursing is a wonderful career. There are many options in work sites such as acute care, long term care, home care and hospice. You can work with infants, adults, seniors, prisoners or any other group you can think of.
It is a growing career field and most of the time, nurses are in high demand.
The pay is decent and you usually earn good benefits.
Knowing that you made a difference in someone's life is a wonderful reward.

The drawbacks depend on where you work. Hospitals require staff 24/7. You will work nights, weekends and holidays. You will be asked to work OT when the hospital is short staffed and put on call when it is a slow time.

Physically it can be very demanding. Obviously less so when working with infants but with our population becoming heavier nurses are getting more injuries from trying to move heavy patients.

Exposure to many nasty diseases is a given. I was exposed to pneumonic plague ...sigh...

Consider the time and expense and think about what your future plans are. If you are planning on having kids soon, wanting to travel etc you might want to finish school first or wait till the kids are older before going back to school.
Nursing programs are very time intensive and very demanding and very difficult to complete without a supportive family.

Good luck with your decision.

JOHNNYLSAND SparkPoints: (1,033)
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10/7/13 5:28 P

It's always nice to change things up now and then. I've been a nurses aide for 9 years, an LPN for 1 year, and now an RN for 18 years. It is stressful beyond anything you can think of. I strongly recommend you look very closely at this before making a decision. I could write a book on the horror stories, stresses, absolute nightmares of being a nurse. If I hadn't found my current job, I think I would have had to leave the profession.

As for providing satisfaction, while that does happen in nursing, in my long experience, it is few and far between. They say you will make a difference, you will change lives. No... probably not. You will work your butt off, get yelled at by family members, belittled by doctors, and hated by hospital administration because you make too much money. I can go on and on and tell you more if you wish.

I say go for it, but be warned. You will be exposed to germs, diseases, angry patients, angry families, angry doctors. When anything goes wrong, it's always the nurses fault.



Edited by: JOHNNYLSAND at: 10/7/2013 (19:32)
-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/7/13 2:43 P

What a great job! You have the best of both worlds :)

WRFTAZ SparkPoints: (12,362)
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10/7/13 12:56 P

You are correct unless we are serving others (well most of us anyway), we don't feel right.

I am an accountant also and I kept switching jobs (had about 8) & I couldn't figure it out.

Now, I am an accountant with a cancer research center and I feel like I am contributing to society and assisting people.

What a change in attitude and work atmosphere!!

Love my job!!

-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/7/13 12:22 P

THANK YOU!! I am going to a meeting tonight at the college. I still need to talk to my better half about the career change. he is wonderful and supportive with everything else, so I am sure he will be supportive.

ATHENA1966 Posts: 2,513
10/3/13 6:20 P

So you know what it is like to do patient care. I say if you have a passion about patient care, go for it. I have been a nurse for 17 years and I love it. There are many, many, options regarding work and advancement. I am an Active Duty LCDR in the US Navy. Your options are endless. I earned my BSN at 30 years old and my MSN (in critical care) in my 40's. Prior to nursing I was a procurement agent for NASA. I toyed with the idea of pursing my nursing degree for far to long. My only regret was that I didn't do it sooner.

-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/3/13 4:29 P

I appreciate all the input!! I worked at Long Term care facilities for 12 years.

ANNPUTATION23 SparkPoints: (4,304)
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10/3/13 4:19 P

I'd volunteer at a long term care facility and make sure it's still something you still want to do. I'm a nurse and I mostly like the job, but it's long and demanding hours and not always a thankful job. I'm 34 and I think that for floor nurses it's a difficult job to do the older you get (no offense met at all to anyone out there, just how I see it). It is a career with a lot of options, but you do have to work you way up with a lot of difficult buraccracy and favoritism for those who do climb the ladder. So, if it's really what you feel called to do then I'd look into it, but maybe talk to a career counselor first.

DROPCONE Posts: 1,540
10/3/13 2:48 P

If I were in your shoes, I would probably as a short term goal try to find different work using your current degree, with a more manageable stress level or schedule or whatever that's preventing you from leading a healthier lifestyle. Since you're interested in the health field, they need accountants at hospitals and health clubs too! Maybe you just work at a bad workplace, or with toxic people. Change that first.

Then, I'd work out the pros and cons of whether to pursue nursing as a separate issue. Pros might include more human contact & life satisfaction, cons might include more debt & less earning power. If you can get into a better immediate work situation, it will be easier to consider a career change more objectively, and collect the information you really need before making the decision.

It could be that a nursing degree is the way to go, but I would dump the bad work situation for a better one first. Bad work situations cloud one's judgement, and if you leap before you look, you might not wind up where you really want to be at all. Good luck!

LEC358 SparkPoints: (9,737)
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10/3/13 1:49 P

Two of my roommates are getting nursing degrees of various flavors. One is getting a BSN from the nursing school affiliated with a state university hospital while also working for that hospital part time. It's going to take her 3 years to finish.

The other is getting her RN from a community college and picks up occasional shifts at an out patient facility during breaks. It will take her 2.5 years to finish.

From watching them, here's what I've learned about the process: its time consuming, your schedule will be weird, there's no guarantee of good instructors. But if it's something you love, the time and money is worth it.

CHEETARA79 SparkPoints: (77,913)
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10/3/13 1:47 P

I actually just started a program to become a RN. I already have a BS in Math so once I finish this associate's degree, I can get my license and go directly into a Masters program if I wish. I'm really enjoying school so far!

BAWEATHE SparkPoints: (8,490)
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10/3/13 1:46 P

My wife loves her job as a nurse. keeps her active and she doesn't have to sit all day at a desk like I do...

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,169
10/3/13 1:43 P

it is socially rewarding
it has a growing market and a definite need with an aging population
it cannot be outsourced
all good if that is a profession that interests you

and there is a variety of specialties and work schedules in that field

-POLEDANCEGIRL- Posts: 13,463
10/3/13 1:33 P

This isn't really weight loss related, but my work situation is driving me into a bad eating/workout routines.

I am thinking of going back to school for a nursing degree. I have a degree in accounting. I have a high paying job, that provides me NO satisfaction. NONE! I used to work in long term care years ago and loved the satisfaction I received from it.

Just asking for thoughts/opinions. TIA

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