Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Nurses!

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

blueyes157

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
297
I have been seriously considering going back to school and entering the nursing field, but wanted some opinions from PS nurses (or anyone who has considered the career). Just a little back ground, I graduated from college in 2006 with a degree in advertising and PR. I worked in real estate for 2 years (market plummited) and am now working 2 part time jobs to make ends meet while constantly searching for my next career.

I am such a people person and love to help people and make them feel good. One thing that I have always felt like I am missing in my jobs is passion... I never felt passionate about what I am doing. I just want to make sure that I have the drive to be a nurse. The thought that nurses are always in demand is a positive, but not the reason that I am considering this career.

What made you go into nursing? What kind of a person does it take? Is the course work extremely hard? What area of nursing are you currently working in? Any advice or websites to help influence my decision? Did you go to a community college or a unversity (I am considering going to a community college).

I have always enjoyed school and the sciences. My FI has been great duing my time of unemployment/working minimum wage and he is supportive of me going back to school full time and only working part time. He has been so wonderful and I can imagine he would be great as I was going through school.

Thanks in advance for your support and advice.
 

InLuv101

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
706
Hi blueyes!

I'm not a nurse, but I am finishing my last semester of prereqs and will enter a nursing program in the fall. I am also attending a community college and will stay here for the actual program. I'm pursing nursing sort of as a second career as well. I've just always been drawn to the medical field and enjoy working with people and helping people.

I can't give my opinion about the coursework yet, but I have a friend who just graduated from the same program I'm about to enter and she told me that if I can handle the 12 hours (3 science courses with labs) that I am taking now while working full time, I should be fine when I start the coursework. I do have strong inclination toward the sciences and that is a plus. I also plan to drop to part time or possibly not working once I enter the program and I think that is a great thing if you can do that. I hope to work in Labor & Delivery. I really see no reason to not go to a community college if that is what you want to do. It's cheaper, it's shorter and gets you to the same result...an RN (if you pass the state exam of course). I do plan to get a BSN eventually along with a Masters but want to get into the field as soon as I can. The program at the Community College I attend has each course mapped out in 8 week blocks so from what I've heard it moves fast but that keeps in interesting!

Good luck to you...I think nurses are undervalued and have to be tough people. It's not easy to work with ill people and if helping them get well is something you could do and would enjoy, go for it!
 

Resonance.Of.Life

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
1,297
One little caveat, depending on where you live some hospitals only hire BSN RNS. My friend in NJ did not know this when she went into the RN program at her Community College and has yet to get a job despite passing the licensing exam because they wanted a BSN RN.

Here in California, it doesn''t matter ADN or BSN.

The course work is intensive, and it''s a lot of material to cover in a short period of time, but I believe if you are truely motivated it won''t be as bad as people make it out to be.

Currently I''m in a BSN program in California and it will only take me 2 years to get my BSN because when I was taking my pre reqs I was taking general education courses and also took the winter and summer intersessions so really it took me only a year.
 

InLuv101

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
706
Date: 2/5/2009 3:18:21 PM
Author: Resonance.Of.Life
One little caveat, depending on where you live some hospitals only hire BSN RNS. My friend in NJ did not know this when she went into the RN program at her Community College and has yet to get a job despite passing the licensing exam because they wanted a BSN RN.

Here in California, it doesn''t matter ADN or BSN.

The course work is intensive, and it''s a lot of material to cover in a short period of time, but I believe if you are truely motivated it won''t be as bad as people make it out to be.

Currently I''m in a BSN program in California and it will only take me 2 years to get my BSN because when I was taking my pre reqs I was taking general education courses and also took the winter and summer intersessions so really it took me only a year.
Hmmm, maybe it''s a regional thing? My aunt is a Nurse Practioner and I mentioned I have a friend who just graduated in Dec. with an ADN. The friend with the ADN had a job by Jan. 12 with a $5000 bonus. I did ask my aunt about ADN vs BSN and she was the one encouraging me to get the ADN to get in quicker and then finish up my BSN after the fact especially since quite a few of the major hospitals in my city will pay for the schooling to get a BSN with a certain # of years committment. I''ll have to ask her if there are less opportunities in my city with a ADN. I''m in Texas btw.
 

Diamond*Dana

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
7,216
I am an LPN and I love my job! I cannot really remember what made me want to be a nurse, I just did
. I started working as a nursing assistant when I was 18 and did that for 5 years, received a scholarship through work and went to a private nursing school and have been a nurse for 12 1/2 years now.

Nursing school was hard, I am not going to lie. I cried the first day and swore that I was not going to go back, but I did (thankfully).

I do not work in a hospital, I have never really wanted to...currently I am working in an assisted living community. I only work every other weekend and I am the one in charge when I am there. I have thought about going back to school for my RN, but that would not be until my kids are a little older.

IF you have the compassion and stomach for it, good luck to you!
 

Resonance.Of.Life

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
1,297
I believe it is a regional thing since here in California where I reside it does not matter if you have an ADN or BSN as long as you have a valid RN license :D

I tried doing the Community College route, but it was mostly by lottery and not by GPA so I got fed up with waiting and returned back to the University route.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Date: 2/5/2009 4:02:12 PM
Author: Diamond*Dana

currently I am working in an assisted living community.
That is what my niece just started doing.
She got her LPN earlier this year.
She loves it after she got used to the responsibility, it seemed a little overwhelming at first.
I am proud of her.
 

blueyes157

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
297
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies! I will take this decision to heart and everything that you all had to say. It is great to hear people say they couldn''t imagine doing anything other than nursing!
 

diane5006

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
652
I think nursing is a great career...I went to nursiing school later in life after several other careers...and then got my MSN...

My thoughts would be for you to check out what programs you area has to offer...

You may find that for only a little extra time (since you already have a degee) you can get your BSN...which would be my recommendation...based on personally experience...

There are basically 3 types of RN degree...Associates (community college 2 yearish) Diploma (usually a hospital based 3 yearish...not any of those left) and BSN...4 year degree (although you may not need to do all 4 if you can transfer credits...which you should be able to do.

I had do 3 ot of 4 years (all 3 years had clinical requirements and I only had to take the the nursing courses

As someone already posted there are regional differences in hiring...and needs

one place to get info is your college/univ career counseling center...

there is a website for locating nurding progams...

allnursingschools...

google all nursing schools...it should come up

Best of luck
 

mochi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
4,234
I''m a Recovery Room RN. I enjoy what I do, but I hate the politics with the administration, but I guess that''s in just about any profession.

When I lived in Phoenix, they only used RN''s in the hospital. Here in Florida, they use LPN''s and RN''s but in specialty areas, only RN''s. I have heard that in some areas they mainly use BSN''s (which I am).

I went through the community college route. If I add up the pre-requisites and the clinical''s, it was a good 3 years. But I really think the clinicals that I did for the LPN was so much more extensive, but that''s probably because I started with a blank slate.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,081
Go to Dental Hygiene school. 2 years community college, good money, make your own hours! Perfect for a Mom!
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
21,033
HI:

Worked over two decades in the field--then took a break thinking I'd never return, now I am back studying to get my license again. It is a great profession--flexibility in hours if you want to work casual or where I live, readily available work full time work in just about any specialty. I did medical research for years.

I do believe in Canada, degree is entry to practice. 4 years--University program. But there are fast track programs for people who have another degree and hence some prereq's--that program is two years and it covers your Nursing core subjects.

There is a lot of job satisfaction--but the trade off is working weekends and nights and choosing between Christmas and other holidays when your families are at home. Hospitals never close! Even when I was teaching in the Bachelor's program I worked shift work (clinical evenings/weekends).

I earned a Masters in Education (thesis route), but think about the NUrsing Practioner program often--it would be a great job if one had a sponsor. Oh to do things over again.....

Good luck in your decision.

cheers--Sharon
 

diane5006

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
652
Canuk...do the NP program if you have the oppurtunity...it is great...at least so far for me...willl see after my last move to a new state
 

mochi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
4,234
If I was younger, I would go for nurse anesthesist. It''s a wonderful field and alot of $$. You can work in the hospital, clinics... yes, that''s what I would do..
 

Munchkin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2004
Messages
540
I graduated college with a BA in art history / pre law. I realized before my senior year that I wanted healthcare. I thought the only options were Nurse or Doctor. To go to med school I would have needed about 2 years of post bac before the 4 years of med school as I didn't have many undergrad sciences. My mum is a nurse and she suggested I look into nurse practitioner programs. I investigated and realized that the philosophy of nurse practitioners suits my view of healthcare more than the traditional medical model. She also advised me to be certified as a CNA and said that if I worked as a CNA and still wanted nursing, my parents would help with tuition.

I did a year as a CNA and entered a "graduate entry" nurse program. These programs are specifically designed for people with a bachelor's in another field wanting to enter the nursing profession. My schooling was 3 years full-time and I left with an RN, a Masters in pediatric nursing and as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I can see a child for well or sick visits, write prescriptions (including controlled substances), order and interpret labs, admit to hospital, take call (although my contract exempts me from that!) work in an office or hospital or school based clinic. In my practice, children either see me or an MD. Unlike PAs, NPs do not need a physician to sign off or authorize their work. (In most states at least. NP scope of practice is determined at the state rather than federal level.) In my state, I can open my own practice and bill directly to insurance.

Pluses to my position: I do what I love. Every day has a new intellectual and emotional challenge. In primary care I have built my own patient base and have formed relationships with families. In my practice, I am alloted more time in each visit than MDs, so I can spend more time with my patients. Educationally and professionally it is an extremely female-friendly world.

Minuses: I am tied of people assuming that my care will be inferior to that of an MD. I am tired of people saying "We will only see a physician" when they don't actually know my education level or scope of practice. I am also tired of the general population not actually knowing what an NP is. Multiple times I have told people I am a nurse practitioner to be told "my (insert relative here) is an LPN, too. Do you work at the hospital?" Often I just say no because it isn't fair to engage people in discussions about my scope of practice when they really don't care. Sometimes, though, I want to scream "I have a master's from an Ivy League! I went to school for 7 years to do what I do!" I also make less than a PA because NPs can bill directly to insurance. Insurance companies will only reimburse NPs up to 85% of what they pay MDs/DOs. It doesn't matter that I see as many patients in a day, I will NEVER make as much an MD/DO.

Wow. Sorry this turned into a bit of a vent, but I was hoping to give you an idea of the pluses and minuses. Hope I've helped some! Good luck in your decision making. It truly is a wonderful, fulfilling and potentially lucrative field.
 

butterfly 17

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
2,681

I can't believe it, I just wrote a whole post and my computer shut down!



Yikes, it was long too.



So, this is what I remember writing. I am a nurse, I have my ADN. I decided to become a nurse when my son became sick and he was being treated at NYU Medical Center so I went to a cc in Manhattan so it was an easier commute for me.



I decided to get my ADN, not my BSN because I wasn't sure what would happen in the future and I figured that I would more likely finish my ADN than my BSN.



I am happy that I did my ADN first because it turned out at most hospitals there was very little pay difference between the two. At my hospital they only pay $1500 for a BSN, whereas since I was working already for two years, I received $2000 more a year anyway for my experience differential.



So basically, I am getting paid more money than someone with a BSN, if we were to both start school at the same exact time.



Also, my hospital, and many others, pay for my tuition to go back to school. My hospital pays $9200 a year for tuition reimbursement. They even have a onsite program with Long Island University for BSN/MSN every Tues. from 4 to 8:30pm and they credit you 6 credits a semester.



So, basically I have my ADN, go to school for free for my BSN and still earn a living.



As far as a lottery to get into an ADN program, I have never heard of it at all. If anything, there are more people who try to get their ADN, so it is extremely competitive. I got into the nursing program with a 4.0 GPA and I was so scared even that was not good enough.



Plus, it was probably the hardest thing I ever did. They make the first semester of nursing pretty hard and at my school you had to get at least a C+ and if you were failing and dropped out of the class, you were automatically dropped from the program. If you took subsequent semesters and dropped out, you had to get at least a B- to pass the second time around.



And I am no dummy! lol. I don't want to brag, but I had the highest GPA in my nursing class and was the class president, so I can say that it was extremely hard. I felt at times that they wanted you to fail.



I saw people fail out of classes and beg and cry their teachers to give them a passing grade. We started off with about 150 students the first nursing semester and ended up with 45 graduates.



I don't say this to scare you, but to prepare you because if you become a nurse, you will have made one of the best decisions in your life. AT least I think so.



If you have kids, you can work nights, if you hate nights, you can work days, if you hate adults, you can do pediatrics, if you hate kids, you can do newborn/maternity, if you hate that, you can work in administration or a clinic or for a private doctor. The options are endless.



If you want to move, you can always get your license in whatever state you move too. You don't have to take a test again, just fill the applications out, etc.



I have a traveler nurse friend who was in San Francisco for 9 months, then Hawaii for 6 months, then came here to NY for 9 months. She gets a supplemental housing income of $2800 a month on top of her salary.



As far as salaries and hours go. At my hospital, and I work in Brooklyn, NY, a new graduate with no experience and an ADN starts at $70K, on nights it's $76K. It's a decent salary considering the factors.



At my hospital we do 12 hour shifts, so we only have to work three days a week. I always do my three days in a row, so I get four days off. A lot of my co-workers moonlight at other hospitals and extra day, which isn't so bad because they are still off 3 days. I don't do it myself because I have young kids.



I think the nursing profession is wonderful. You can even use it as a stepping stone if you want to pursue another career. I know someone who worked as a nurse while in medical school so she would have money.



I really am happy I became a nurse! I have never regretted my decision.



Sorry this is so long-winded and I hope you don't mind me putting in the salaries. That is just at my hospital, hospitals in NYC(Manhattan) pay even more.

ETA: My first post was much better!!

 

Resonance.Of.Life

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
1,297
Let me clarify about the lottery program here that I''ve experience in So Cal.

For many community colleges they require only the minimum which is a 2.0 gpa to apply to the program so even though my GPA is a 3.85 I get put in the same lottery pot. For CSUs because it is an impacted program, if you have the same "scores" on GPA and TEAS tests as well as being bilingual... you also get put into a lottery but of people with similar academic abilities. Say 30 spots are open for fall semester, and there are 100 people applying and out of those 100 ..80 have similar competitive GPAS and extracurricular activities... it goes into lottery. Some have waiting lists and some do not. However much of what I said applies to only certain areas and certain states as not all states nor all school implement this way of admissions.

I didn''t mean to make it sound awful, but I''m glad I stuck it out and finally got in. Many of my classmates have their LVN and they cannot possibly imagine doing anything else.
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
6,183
Hi guys!

I am also an RN...I have my BSN, and also an MSN/ Nurse Practitioner degree. I have been working in Labor & Delivery for the last 9 yrs at a VERY busy hospital near NYC, and I love it. I find my job extremely rewarding and know that I make a difference everyday- that's the best thing about my job!!!!

I agree with alot of Butterfly's points- I think as hard as the profession is, there are many advantages to it, especially being a woman, raising a family, etc. There is so much flexibility and so many options. The schooling is very difficult though. Then, when you actually start the job, you see that the work itself is very hard- on your feet all day, no lunch breaks, very mentally/physically draining. Also, working weekends and holidays kind of stinks, but its true, hospitals are always open, and someone always has to be there!!!!

All in all though, I would say, its a great profession, and I never truly regretted my decision to become a nurse....Good luck to those starting programs, etc. We need more good people!!!!
 

blueyes157

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
297
It is great to hear everyone''s stories of their desire to become a nurse and the bumpy road to get there. Unfortunately I missed the deadline for the fall semester (Feb 1), but that will give me some more time to weigh my decisions and apply for the spring. My FI (DH in 44 days!) is microbiologist/scientist for Colgate/Palmolive and he is currently in his 2nd year of his masters. He is great with the sciences and would always lend a helping hand as a study partner.

Anymore input/experiences/advice is always helpful.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,511
I have a lot of family members that are nurses. They totally say get the BSN over the ASN. The extra time in school pays in dividends. The courses are tough, and BSNs only require a couple more classes than ASNs. Good luck!
 

Lynnie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
1,166
Hi Blueyes and fellow nurses!

Hmmm Where to start? I decided to go to nursing school 5 years ago, and I''m really not sure why! I had been taking Lib Arts classes at my local CC, and I *honestly* think that I applied to the Nursing program there mainly because of the $$... there are not many jobs that you can make 60K + a year with just an ADN. I did not know any RN''s, and had never been in a hospital other than visiting other people. So, I applied, got in, and ended up loving what I do!

I will try to answer your questions...
What does it take to be a nurse? You must be a people person, can''t be lazy, must be willing to do the 12-hour shifts (in most cases). Above all, your position makes you an advocate for your patients. So, you must have the guts to stand up to the doctors if you think something they''re doing is wrong/not therapeutic, (no offense to any MD''s out there!), or if you think your patient needs something additional. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so a little humility is required. I work permanant nights at a teaching hospital, and occasionally the residents on nights seem a little clueless.You gotta remember that the dr''s are human too, and are just as capable of making mistakes as you and me! Also, you can''t be easily grossed out. You will see a ton of disgusting stuff, bodily fluids you didn''t know existed, smells that seem to permeate your very being, etc. Back to the people-person thing - you will be dealing with a gazillion personalities - patients, doctors, other nurses - so you must be adaptive to that. Some patients require more patience, some require you to be a meanie. Some are really anxious and needy, some are pleasant and appreciative as can be. I think I learned to deal with this stuff more on the job vs in school. You will always be learning new things/ways to do things.
Is the coursework hard? For me, it was. My third and fourth semesters were really tough. I had always been a straight A student, but I found myself going by the slogan "C=RN" by the end. I had to work 32 hrs a week to keep my benefits (which I needed to stay in the Nursing program). Our tests were formatted like the N-CLEX, so the questions were tough. More like "what would you do first" or "what is the priority" type questions, where ALL the answers are right, you just have to pick the best one/first thing you would do.

I work in the ISICU, and telemetry. It''s actually on a floor that I had a clinical rotation while in school. I applied because I thought that it would be a good learning experience, plus the nurses were nice. And my clinical instructor had been a nurse there, and had nothing but good things to say about the manager. And I have learned a ton since working there... our unit has such a variety, from fresh post-op kidney and liver transplants to patients from the ED w/ shortness of breath or chest pain.

Like the others said, you ought to check out your local hospitals and make sure they hire ADN nurses. My hospital hired me, and 6 months later changed the rules to BSN only. The majority of the bigger hospitals around here (Philly) are only hiring BSNs now.

Do you have a BSD already? Because I know there are fast-track programs out there where you can get your BSN in nursing in 18 months if you are already a BSD. That may be something to look into. But if area hospitals take ASD''s, definitely go for the CC! I am so glad I did. I had 7K in student loans, while some of my co-workers have 4oK+.

Perks: Lots of time off. I get my normal 4 days off a week, plus 4 weeks accrued vaca a year, 3 personal days (12 hrs each), and 42 holiday hours per year that I can either use or save and cash out every January. Good benefits, 403B. Yearly raises, occasional bonuses. Nurses week is cool - our hospital has give-aways and prizes. Tuition reinbursement for BSN and MSN, which I plan to go for in the fall.

Geez, this is a long post. Good luck! It''s a fabulous field, and offers many different specialties, so you can always switch it up! Let us know how you''re doing!

PS to all you L & D nurses... How on earth do you do it? I hated maternity stuff in school, and seeing births on TV really grosses me out... I don''t think I could ever move to L & D. Props to you!
 

Diamond*Dana

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
7,216
Date: 2/5/2009 7:02:11 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 2/5/2009 4:02:12 PM
Author: Diamond*Dana

currently I am working in an assisted living community.
That is what my niece just started doing.
She got her LPN earlier this year.
She loves it after she got used to the responsibility, it seemed a little overwhelming at first.
I am proud of her.
Good for her Karl, she should be very proud of herself!

I love working with the elderly, you can learn so much from them and we have some great conversations! I have been working with them for so long and that is where I feel the most at home. The only thing that I would like to do other than this is work with babies or labor & delivery...maybe one day
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
6,183
LOL, Lynnie, you definitely have to be a special person to be an L&D RN, but I love it!!!!!
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Date: 2/6/2009 2:39:17 PM
Author: Diamond*Dana
Date: 2/5/2009 7:02:11 PM

Author: strmrdr


Date: 2/5/2009 4:02:12 PM

Author: Diamond*Dana


currently I am working in an assisted living community.

That is what my niece just started doing.

She got her LPN earlier this year.

She loves it after she got used to the responsibility, it seemed a little overwhelming at first.

I am proud of her.
Good for her Karl, she should be very proud of herself!


I love working with the elderly, you can learn so much from them and we have some great conversations! I have been working with them for so long and that is where I feel the most at home. The only thing that I would like to do other than this is work with babies or labor & delivery...maybe one day
If you don't mind I have a question for you.
Where she works for 120 residents they have 2 nurses per shift and a NP who lives on site and covers 2 buildings(the other is also 120 residents I think).
There are also aids who help with non-medical things and a few cnas during the day as well as activity directors and so on.
I was kinda shocked at 60 people per nurse.
Is that the norm?
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    20th Anniversary Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    An Excellent K Color Graded Diamond
    An Excellent K Color Graded Diamond

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top