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Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Nurse?

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Nurse?

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

Am I strong enough to withstand the job’s physical demands?

Nurses who work in hospitals need a certain amount of strength and stamina to help lift patients and survive long hours and occasional night shifts. Working three 12-hour shifts a week in the cardiac step-down unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Nicole Lehr, RN, BSN, says her schedule “can be a little straining on the body, but you have four days to rest and adjust.” Krejci notes that many new technologies and lifting techniques help decrease the amount of physical stress nurses experience. And many nursing jobs – such as those in call centers and community health clinics – are less physically demanding to begin with.

Would You Survive Your 1st Year as a Nurse?

1. What is most important to you?

Making money
Saving lives
Getting great benefits
Being happy
Making a difference

Although people considering careers in nursing come from all walks of life, many potential nurses share a surprisingly common set of questions and concerns, such as “Can I get into nursing school?” and “Am I crazy to become a nurse at my age?” Two nurses and a nursing professor address wannabe nurses’ frequently asked questions.

Am I too squeamish?

If you have to ask, job shadow a nurse for a day or sign up for a “future nurses” camp like the one offered at Marquette’s College of Nursing. How you react to TV medical dramas can also be a clue as to whether you’re cut out for nursing. “If you watch ‘ER’ and say, ‘oh, my gosh, that looks terrible,’ then nursing is probably not for you,” Lehr says. On the other hand, you don’t have to adore working amid blood and guts, either. “There are so many different specialties within nursing where you can avoid that cliche of hospital blood everywhere,” she says. In fact, some of Lehr’s fellow nursing students fainted the first time they were exposed to lots of blood during training. “They stayed with [nursing school] and did just fine,” she says.

Although people considering careers in nursing come from all walks of life, many potential nurses share a surprisingly common set of questions and concerns, such as “Can I get into nursing school?” and “Am I crazy to become a nurse at my age?” Two nurses and a nursing professor address wannabe nurses’ frequently asked questions.

Does the profession afford enough respect?

“I think sometimes people still do not understand that nursing is an autonomous, independent profession,” Krejci says. “Sometimes people misperceive nursing and don’t understand the professional nature of nursing.” Before becoming a nurse, Lehr worried that the profession’s reputation was unglamorous and that “society looks at nursing as grunt work.” Lehr’s concerns have proved to be largely unfounded, and she says she gets only positive feedback when she tells people she’s a nurse. The rewards she derives are also greater than she expected. “I get rewarded by helping people,” she says. “Making a little sick child smile makes it all worthwhile.”

Read the original Career Advice article on Monster.com.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    cjeank

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Hello, SLewis, I am also a nursing Student at 32 with children, single mom, I took most of my prerequisites for the nursing program at a community college and the Pell Grant funded all of them. I just transferred to a university because I plan on getting my bachelor's and doctorate so I can be one of the nursing instructors...i love nursing and I love teaching too...i found after transferring to the university, that there are more grants and scholarships avaiable at the university level, tuition is higher, but it ends up evening out....check your state scholarship programs, there are specific "Nursing Scholarships" in most if not all states....because you already have a Bachelor's Degree, you are eligible for an Accelerated degree program at the community college an university level, check into what is offered at the schools in your area. Bravo! for getting your CNA, you will learn sooo much working under nurses! I have been a cna at a nursing home and have now been at a local hospital for almost 5 years while going to school for the past few years....GOOD LUCK!!!!

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    nannurse

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I would like to comment about the comment made regarding working hours "from 7am until midnight". I have been a nurse for over 20 years and have yet to work that kind of slave shift. Nursing is no different than other careers and do have regular hours just like any other job. Any employer that would require a nurse to work from 7am to midnight would find themselves soon out of nurses!

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    casassy62688

    about 6 years ago

    290 comments

    Good article.....and this makes me want to become a nurse even more! I know what I'm getting myself into and I know that I am very lucky to get to work side by side everynight at work to help others.....it's very rewarding for me!

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    Account Removed

    about 6 years ago

    Although nursing programs are full, there are more nurses leaving the career than joining. The reasons are many, but I think it is because nursing is so hard. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, but I only have me to take care of. Nurses have to sacrifice so much for the privlege of being a nurse. You go in to work at 7a, you might not get home until midnight. You probably won't get a lunch break, or even a pee break. The responsibilty is nothing less than another human being's life. You do it for your own reasons, but it does wear on you. This is not whining, this is just reality.

  • Nursehellokitty_max50

    Nurse2Be_2009

    about 6 years ago

    8 comments

    thanks for sharing!

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    Lindadee427

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    mikkidane-53 is definitely not too old. In my program there are woman older than that.

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    natasharw

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    JuddPaynter, to answer your question, there's also a shortage of Nursing Professors, that's why the nursing programs can accept so little people at a time.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mikkidane

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    i am 53 is that to old?

  • Bogey_max50

    vwoods

    about 6 years ago

    130 comments

    I love this article. It makes me more proud to be a nursing student.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    JuddPaynter

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I am curious to know, if there is such a shortage of nurses, why is there such long waiting lists of people who want to enroll in nursing, but there is no room? I live in Central Oregon, and I know there is a waiting list of students wanting to get in, but can't due to no enough space. You don't suppose it's because teaching nurses are not paid as well as nurses in other medical professions, so they leave teaching to pursue better paying jobs?

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    Lindadee427

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I became a nursing student this year and this was my third time applying to a nursing program. I would talk to whoever does the enrolling for the school that you want to go to and ask them what you need to do to be accepted. They are the ones in the "know". Do whatever they tell you and keep checking in with them. Be persistent and don't give up. Find a school you like and concentrate your efforts there. Take your pre-req's first while wating and get good grades. Especially in the maths and sciences. Take some electives that you will be useful to you when you do get into the field. They want to see students that are totally committed to studying and the program. They want to ensure that you are going to finish and be successful and a well rounded nurse. While I was waiting some electives that I took were a statistics class, a disaster relief class, a class on death and dying and a spanish for health professionals. The main point is to start somewhere whether it be in an Associate degree program or a Bachelor degree program. Doesn't matter which because it's the same exam and you are still an RN whether you go 2 or 4 years. Community colleges are a great resource and usually have excellent nursing programs. It's a smaller student body and the professors get to know their students. I love my school. So good luck and don't give up! By the way, I am 50 so it doesn't matter how old you are.

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    SLewis

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    I'm 31 years old and have a non-medical bachelors degree. After staying at home for 5 years with my 3 young children I recently started working part time at night as a CNA in a nursing home. I love it so much that I'm considering going back to school for my RN. I would need to take a few prerequisites before I could start nursing school, but I am hopeful that in the next 2-3 years that I will be able to devote the time and energy need to make the career change. Until them I'm trying to collect all the advise and information I can on what programs are available and how I can fund nursing school.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    DCW

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    what is the first step i need to take to become apart of the nursing field? i have tried all different steps online and have gotten no where what step should i take first? i was on the na registry for 2 years and and didn't get any further i've always wanted to become a RN but i need help.

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    sandramae40

    about 6 years ago

    8 comments

    Most schools are going to RN's as the Nursing community is trying to get ride of LPN's, I don't think it will haoppen but the best place to work for LPN's is nursing homes. I have been an LPN since 2001 and just finished my BSN this past July and took my NCLEX today and I am almost 40 so no you are never to old and don't let the waiting lists scare you we need Nurses and we need ones that are willing to get there Master's and teach the new nurses that is why the waits are so long we do not have enough MSN's to teach the BSN programs. I find my job very rewarding and am glad I went back to school and became a nurse it took me 8 years to finish my BSN but I am done with it and make faily good money now. Just hang in there and look around sometimes you can find a Vo-Tech to get your LPN in less then a year and then work as a nurse while you finish up your RN that is how I did it.

  • Dogwood_avatar_max50

    dogwood

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Zee - No you are not too old, I'm 44 and just finishing all my pre-req's for nursing school. You need to investigate nursing programs in your area to see what the requirements are and if the school is the right fit for you. You have the option of a 2 year RN programs through some community colleges or a BSN which is a 4 year nursing degree. Which you choose is dependent on you. Hope that Helps.

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