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Careers: Nursing/Is nursing the right choice?

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Hi Ken,

First of all, I want to let you know that I enjoy reading your responses on this website and it is very good to know about this for nursing career in general.

I got my Bachelor degree in Business almost 10 years ago before I came to the U.S. After that, I got my Associate of Applied business here in America (I did not have enough money to go for a 4 year college as an international student.) During the studying time here, my dad passed away from heart attack. It was so quick that I could not make it back home to see him the last time. He wanted me to go to medical school when I prepared for college back then but I did not listen to him and I felt so bad about it. I took one semester off to stay home with my mom and got a job easily with my Bachelor degree. Then, I determined to come back here to finish what I started and thought that it would make my dad happy when I am the first one in the family who got a degree from another country. I finished my Associate and faced to the reality that I could not get a job with this paper. I decided to change my major to nursing with the thought that I wanted to help my loved ones who is in need for medical help, I would get a better knowledge about medical field myself and it would be much easier to get a job with nursing degree.

I struggled a lot in nursing school to pass all tests and NCLEX since I had to work full time to make money for school and I know nothing about medicines even with how to take blood pressure. Everyone said, "It will be worth it and I will make a good nurse." Now I doubt all of those comments. First, it took me two months to get a job at a nursing home (I passed NCLEX in the end of April. I took a month off to see my family at home. I started to apply for jobs in July and I got my first job in Sep.) No one wants to hire a RN with ADN. I was shocked with nursing home setting since I had all of my clinical hours at the hospitals. I did not know that I have to take care of 30 patients (now think about that, I answered a lot of interview questions stupidly.)

My first nursing home job was at a bad neighborhood. I worked 2nd shift at that time which was so crazy. They asked me to go to dinning room for an hour just in case there was anyone choking on the food so I was there to help and feed them. It took one hour off my med pass time and I was a brand new nurse who needed to work on time management skill. There were a lot going at that facility. DON was not supporting new nurses like me at all and she made me feel I bothered her a lot with questions when she already left work, on the other hand, she kept telling me to call her if I had questions???. Luckily, my PRN job offered me a full time (night shift) position which I took it right away.

It is so much better to be here. Everything is much organizer and nurses are more responsible. I am happy to work here a thousand times more than the other place. Now, my worries come days after days. I feel so stupid that I had to write down all of meds residents have so I can look them up in the med book at home. There are a lot of them I did not know/ may forget. I feel like my only job is not to make medical errors and keep everyone safe/not fall. I try my best to read and double check the orders at all the times I pass meds. I get better with passing meds after the first week. I feel more comfortable to change a foley. I am getting to know how to do a new admission case (at the first time, ADON had to come in and help me with paperwork at 9pm.) One time, I missed a dose of lantus insulin since they changed the order and they did not put it in the MAR. I did not have enough good critical thinking to check the computer and thought that resident is now on Novolog only!!! I am always nervous that I am not sure if I would remember how to do CPR if something happens to my residents even I watch youtube and try to imagine it in my head a lot of times. I feel so worthless when residents know their meds better than me. I know that I am still in studying process but is there anyway I can improve and apply what I learn at school better, espeacially critical thinking? I bring critical care book with me so I can read at down time and believe it or not I feel like I forget everything already.

I am not sure if nursing is for me or not. I can not help my loved ones because my crazy sleeping schedule limited my time to see them. I know just a little more about medical field since I forget most of it. Yes, I have a job now but it's not what I want. I got approval to a RN-BSN program which will start next year but I don't know if I should keep going or not. I don't want to work at nursing homes for the rest of my life because I want to know/learn more about diseases and how to treat them. I think of research nurse but I am not sure if it would be a good fit or not. I also have a certificate in Medical billing and coding which I think it may be good for me since I don't have to be responsible for many people. I'm very confused and don't know what to do with my career. I really need your advice.

Thanks in advance.

Quinn

Answer
Quinn:

Thanks for reading my other responses and I am glad you enjoyed them. Secondly, I am sorry you lost your dad before you could get back to see him one last time. However, from reading the heart and soul in this letter, I can tell you were a great son to him and I am sure he was very proud of you and your achievements.  Getting a bachelors degree in business and an ADN degree in nursing is not easy, especially when you are working at the same time. I know because I did the same thing in parts. I got my 2 year degree in Business and wanted a change. I started taking prerequisites in nursing and did the 2 year degree over 4 years so I could still work. Then I took my BSN one class at a time and finally got that. Now I am working on my MSN in Nursing Administration one class at a time with 18 credits to go after this semester is over in December. Nothing worth while is ever easy and we both know and have live it first hand.

Yes...Yes...Yes.... Nursing is meant for you! DO NOT GIVE UP! I can sense it from your writing that you are genuinely wanting to help people in need. You have struggled but so have many now with the 2 year degree in nursing. I know of some who have not gotten jobs out of school at all. You did the right thing going to the nursing home to at least get working. That is the hardest job I know for a nurse. As you said, you have about 30 patients on night shift to worry about. We all have to look up some meds because we are not super human. Not to mention there are so many generics out there that you can not know it all.


I did my BSN and now my MSN here at:

http://www.tesc.edu/nursing/bsn-msn.cfm   

You can work and do this online at any time day or night. It has a discussion board that is asynchronous so you can answer questions and other classmates at any time during each week of the discussion. Most of the classes are this format and you have to write about 3 to 4 APA formatted papers over the semester which is 12 weeks. I use this program to format the papers and makes it easy to write.

https://www.perrla.com/APADetails.aspx

I take one class at a time so it is not overwhelming while you work and in time you will have your degree. There is no rush as long as you are working. Once you get your BSN that will open more doors to hospital work. Research is usually at the MSN or Doctorate level and you can get there over time.

My hospital pays about $5200 a year tuition reimbursement so one at a time pretty much covers most of the costs. Hopefully, the nursing home has some assistance for you. If you have trouble taking classes on your own, you may opt for the traditional BSN classes but its harder to fit it in with fulltime work. Either way a BSN will help you progress.

Years ago the ADN 2 year degree was enough to get started, however, hospitals see the value in hiring BSN nurses for the same pay as ADN nurses. Most hospitals pay by years of service as a nurse and not the higher degree. So they get a more educated nurse for the same money. Not to mention it a goal for many hospitals to become MAGNET which requires a high percentage of BSN nurses working in the hospital.

http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Magnet

Just keep plugging away, one class at a time while you continue at the nursing home. It will get easier each day and you will soon reach your goals and get into the hospital setting.

Please let me know how things are going. I can feel it in your writing that you can make it.

Good Luck!

Careers: Nursing

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Ken , BSN, RN, CCRN, MICN

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding all aspects of Nursing as a career in general. If you need help deciding if nursing is a career for you, then let me help you with your decision. As an added bonus, I can answer your questions from the perspective of being a man in nursing who has a wife that is also a nurse. Men is nursing is more accepted today than it was when I began in 1993. Regardless of your gender, Nursing has so much to offer and is among the most respected professions of our time. I have been a registered nurse since 1993 and have been certified in Critical Care nursing since 1996. I am currently a full-time Critical Care Ground Transport Nurse/Mobile Intensive Care Nurse(MICN). I am working per diem as a night Shift Administrator/Nursing Supervisor.

Experience

My experience over the years since 1993 have been spent between the Emergency Room and the Critical Care Units. More recently since 2007 I have been working in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as a Critical Care Transport Nurse/Mobile Intensive Care Nurse(MICN)/Emergency Medical Technician(EMT). This unit is known as the Specialty Care Transport Unit(SCTU). I transport all age populations with critical medical problems from Hospital A to Hospital B in the back of an ambulance. My job is to make sure this patient remains in the same or better condition and to handle any emergency that may arise during the over the road transport. BLS/ACLS/PALS/NRP/ITLS Certified Provider.

Organizations
American Association of Critical Care Nurses Honor Society of Nursing, Upsilon Rho Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

Education/Credentials
BSN,Nursing/Pursuing MSN in Nursing Administration Critical Care Registered Nurse(CCRN)/ Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN)/ Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/ AAS Business Management

Awards and Honors
American Ambulance Association-2009 Star of Life Recipient

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