View Full Version : Help! Should I be a nurse??


NursingNewbie
10-31-2007, 10:28 PM
Well here is the short version of my situation. I am graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Social Science. I was originally going to become a social studies teacher, but after student teaching realized I have absolutely no desire to teach...Here I am after spending countless hours and lots and lots of money with a degree that I am not interested in. I want to make a difference in this world and I love helping people. What I didn't like about teaching was the classroom management, lesson planning, and speaking in front of an audience all day. I loved the one on one communication with the students and the feeling of helping them out.

I feel like I am going crazy but I have been seriously considering nursing. I could get a CNA and begin working in the field and then enter a one year accelerated 2nd degree BSN program.

What I need from all of you is the honest truth about nursing. If you can answer a few questions I would really appreciate it!

1.What are the best things about this job?

2. What skills will I truly need to succeed?

3. What are the absolute worst things about this job? (Be honest)

4. What does a typical day on the job entail?

5. Do I need to have a strong science background? I have very little experience in the sciences with my degree. I have only taken astronomy! I will take the prerequisites at a community college for the 2nd degree program.

Although this is getting long, this is truly the short version of this difficult time in my life. I feel lost, and lately the thought of going into nursing has really seemed like a calling. Any answers to my questions or thoughts would be wonderful. I can't afford to make the mistake I did in teaching again for both financial and emotional reasons.

BTW I am a male :) I heard there's not many of my kind around this profession!

Thanks!

PixelRN
11-01-2007, 12:37 PM
1.What are the best things about this job?

2. What skills will I truly need to succeed?

3. What are the absolute worst things about this job? (Be honest)

4. What does a typical day on the job entail?

5. Do I need to have a strong science background?

Here are my thoughts:

1. Every day that I work, I go home satisfied, knowing that I made a difference in someone's life. It truly is a great feeling.

2. Patience, perseverance, compassion, and a sense of humor.

3. Cleaning up poop.

4. This varies from nurse to nurse. Start reading some nurse blogs to find out.

5. YES! But don't worry - I went for my BSN after having a degree in Studio Art and I managed to survive my prerequisites. It just takes some hard work and determination.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

NursingNewbie
11-01-2007, 07:02 PM
Thanks Pixel.

Based on your replies I feel that I can become a good nurse, and it just might be for me. I know that I have all the skills that you listed for #2. I am a very good student academically so I know I will be able to make it through the prerequisites.

Anyone else have differing opinions from their experiences? Any links to good sites? I just need to make sure I am fully aware of what I am getting into.

Mr Ian
12-02-2007, 01:54 PM
I feel like I am going crazy

Welcome to nursing.

geenaRN
12-03-2007, 11:44 AM
1.What are the best things about this job?

I'm glad Pixel has such a romantic relationship with her job :) But I don't... I don't come home and say, "Self, you made a difference today." I usually come home and say, "Self, thank God that's over." But that's because although I am an ICU nurse, I primarily take care of sub-acute patients masquerading as ICU patients. When the rare occasion crops up where I actually get to take care of a critically ill patient - one that challenges me and is too sick to yell, scream, be nasty and pull various tubes/lines out, then I say "Self, that was darn fun."

If you find an area of nursing that you like and a unit that represents that area of nursing well, then you'll probably be happy.

2. What skills will I truly need to succeed?

Whatever Pixel said, but I'll add flexibility and an ability to adapt quickly to evolving situations.

3. What are the absolute worst things about this job? (Be honest)

Things that frustrate me the most are processing problems. For instance, yesterday I put in an order for a drug. The pharmacy called and said I didn't include a piece of information - but I had. The order was right in front of me on the screen, and all info was there. But it didn't cross over to the pharmacy and she said I would have to do it again. Well, it was 2pm, I had a malfunctioning machine, I&O's to do and a patient with a critical lab value to take care of - the last thing I wanted to do was repeat work I'd already done. I told her it was not my problem (not the most professional thing to say, I realize) and that she should call IS to figure out why it wasn't crossing over correctly. Later I found out that the info magically appeared when she refreshed her screen. SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!!!! I'm not blaming her, I'm blaming the asinine computer system that we have.

And the lab - I had frequent lab draws that were timed precisely. I would send a tube of blood for one test, and the lab would do all the tests within a few hour time frame. I didn't want K results at noon, I wanted them at 1:30pm. So when I sent the 1:30 blood, they said they didn't have an order - because they ran it at noon when I had sent blood for a different test. So I had to re-enter the order. That just makes my blood boil.

Wow, that turned into a rant.

4. What does a typical day on the job entail?

It depends completely on what unit you work on, what kind of patients you work with - a day in the hospital will be different from a day in a clinic or out in the community.

5. Do I need to have a strong science background? I have very little experience in the sciences with my degree. I have only taken astronomy! I will take the prerequisites at a community college for the 2nd degree program.

Yeah, but science isn't that hard. You'll need biology and chemistry. Math is also important.

Although this is getting long, this is truly the short version of this difficult time in my life. I feel lost, and lately the thought of going into nursing has really seemed like a calling. Any answers to my questions or thoughts would be wonderful. I can't afford to make the mistake I did in teaching again for both financial and emotional reasons.

I think it's a perfect idea to train to be a CNA and work for awhile. It'll give you an idea of what being a nurse is about and how to deal with different types of people, patients/families and coworkers alike.

Good luck!!

geenaRN
12-03-2007, 11:52 AM
I feel like I am going crazy

Welcome to nursing.

:laugh:

Shane, where is smiley that's laughing so hard he's banging his fist on the table? Or the one that's spitting out his drink all over the computer? If we'd had those, I would have picked them to properly convey my feelings about Mr Ian's reply :)

starkissed
12-03-2007, 07:07 PM
What I need from all of you is the honest truth about nursing. If you can answer a few questions I would really appreciate it!

1.What are the best things about this job?

2. What skills will I truly need to succeed?

3. What are the absolute worst things about this job? (Be honest)

4. What does a typical day on the job entail?

5. Do I need to have a strong science background? I have very little experience in the sciences with my degree. I have only taken astronomy! I will take the prerequisites at a community college for the 2nd degree program.



1. Honestly, making a difference. It doesn't happen every day, and it may not happen often, but when it does, it makes all the struggles worth it.

2. In addition to those listed, you need to have time management skills, some tough skin, ability to learn from errors, problem solving skills, and creative thinking, sometimes on the spot! Oh and good coping skills.

3. There could be a lot of things really, but all professions have their challenges. Read the pet peeves thread, some good frustrations that deal with nursing are in there. But really, one of the worst things about the job can be dealing with death. Also, trying to fix patients who don't want to be fixed can be depressing too. (Which is where the good coping skills come handy.)

4. I will concede this answer to both PixelRN and geenaRN. Some days are a breeze while others you never see the light of day.

5. Anatomy and Physiology are tops along with Chemistry and General Biology too.

Hope these answers helped you along with the others posted!
I also agree with taking a position as a CNA to see what it is like. My wise mom (nurse for 40 years) said if you can't do the work of a CNA, then you surely won't be able to do the work of an RN because some days, you won't have a CNA to rely on and you will have to do it yourself.

ewahl
02-29-2008, 03:22 PM
What I need from all of you is the honest truth about nursing. If you can answer a few questions I would really appreciate it!

1.What are the best things about this job?

2. What skills will I truly need to succeed?

3. What are the absolute worst things about this job? (Be honest)

4. What does a typical day on the job entail?

5. Do I need to have a strong science background? I have very little experience in the sciences with my degree. I have only taken astronomy! I will take the prerequisites at a community college for the 2nd degree program.

1, The best things about nursing....it is the rare occasion of success...that you did help a patient, and may even feel like you made a difference.

2. Skills? Even though there is so much focus on skills, I believe your personality is a skill. If you have one of compassion and caring. Other then that, time management, critical thinking...those two are always good to have.

3. Worst things are annoying family memebers. I'm sorry that may sound completely rude. I have NO problem dealing with family memebers, answering all their questions, aleviating fears and concerns etc... but when they are asking me the same questions for the 10th time and I have 9 other patients to care for, it just gets extremely difficult to keep cool, and not answer sarcastically. If smells bother you, than you may want to rethink things. Although after a while you just grow used to all the odd smells.

4. Typical day: Get report, get organized, go on the floor, see more critical pt's first. Give out meds, get pt's off for tests, clean them up, report in labs that are not good, call the doctors like hourly to remind them of the orders that they said they were going to put in 5 hours ago. Draw blood, start IV's...the list goes on and on. Finally at the end of your shift you just go home and crash!

5. Science is always good to have. Anatomy & Physiology very good to know. It's helpful in utilizing those "critical thinking" skills that are so necessary in this field.

Good luck in your decision. I know it's hard to decide. Just be ready for some hard work.

MyOwnWoman
03-01-2008, 06:07 PM
I'm not going to write a list of things because everyone already did that and rather well I might add.

In my humble opinion, nurses are born intrensically; great nurses learn constantly, and superior nurses have the right balance between compassion and knowledge.

I can't remember a time when I didn't think that nurses were the most special people in the whole wide world......and I still believe that!

gracenotes1
03-02-2008, 09:54 AM
My story is alot like yours. Just happened a long time ago. I graduated with a BS in Sociology. What does one do with that?
I had no idea what I wanted to do. My parent sjust said get a degree in something so I did.

I went to work for a 4 Pediatrician Clinic. I fell in love with nursing and went back for 2 years and got my BSN. I have never regretted that decision.
We need good careing compassionate nurses. Work in the field someway. Get your CNA and watch what the GOOD RNs do. Pick the best one you see and watch him or her. That is the best way to know if you really want to go into nursing.
go to www.dicovernursing.com. That might help some.
If you think you want to be a nurse then you probably will make a good one. It is all in what you make it--and how you feel in your heart.
Most really good nurse Administrators have a background as a CNA or nurse assistant. That is the best experience you can get to get started on the road.
There are so many things a nurse can do. The field is broad so I say--Go For It!!!
JMO
Angela