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I 'm a dental hygienist and it's very hard to find a job. I 'm seriously thinking about becoming a nurse. However, before I jump the gun , I just want to hear from different RN of the cons working in this field. I do not want to make the same mistake as I did before. Please help, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.................

i think this sums up the whole thing excellently!!!!! every point true, well established, and reasonable. i regret my choice as an lpn and i understand the rn as in the sense of dilema. we do the same things 99% of the time, but the pay isn't something you can count on to live. you will be one of the working poor. at least for now. there are only so many dollars in the healthcare system pocket, and nurses are not getting the same slice nearly as much as others. at least if i had a 4 year degree, i might be able to find a suitable job. i have a minor health issue, and with that could go out of patient care. too late now. can't do school either.
i think this comment above says it all, and i do not think it selfish to say, for once ,or for at last, let them figure it out.

I am a male registered nurse 26 years old, and have been an ICU RN for 4 years. Boy, what a miserable way to earn a living. As for J Bach's comment: "Not to is a women's field and women are evil to eachother," this couldn't be more true, except they are evil to men too (you have to tread lightly if you are a man or if your face is youthful). I am thinking about going to medical school just to repay nurses for the way they've treated me. They have problems with their husbands, they bring it to work, etc. Stressed, fearful, zombies, all true, but mostly not because of the workload, but because of the way co-workers treat eachother and the politics. And any place that is "cush" is not any place you would want to work because it's probably so backwards your skills might stagnate. If you want to move on, you better have connections because recommendations involve politics, and are not necessarily merit-based, which also applies even to just leaving one hospital and going to another. Teaching is a joke post-grad. Anything you don't know is a weapon for "knowledgeable" nurses with "BNS" (Bitter Nurse Syndrome)to use against you.
As for the difficulty and "know-it-all new grads", I disagree with J Bach. Nursing is not rocket science, and after 4 years in various ICUs at many hospitals as a traveller, I feel I have plateaud and am bored, but I guess it would be like that in any profession, even medicine (you do 5000 bowel resections, whats another?) Older nurses put too much weight on their 'experience' when it's really just their fault they didn't move on. I like travelling because in addition to good pay, it's non commital and I can leave whenever I'm fed up. However, the downside is you don't get the comfort zone that you get as a staff nurse(and staff like to treat travellers poorly for a variety of reasons), so basically there is no ideal situation.
Nurses are the "whipping boy" of the health care profession, don't be a sucker.

I'm going to give you this bit of advice, and I hope it will help you. Don't expect any appreciation on your job. Don't expect a pat on the back of appreciation. Appreciate yourself! Give yourself your own pat on the back and go to work and do an excellent job and expect pay for your services. Jobs should be looked at as a way to support yourself and expect pay for your services. Jobs should not be thought of anymore than that. That will save you a lot of heart ache from expecting people to appreciate you. When you come to that point of realization, it will free you from a lot of things. People get so caught up on the wrong things or expectations. Jobs are strictly a way of providing income and you provide a service. I mentioned this before, teachers feel the same way about their profession. They feel that they are unappreciated. So it comes to the point, that you have to change your mindset about work. A job is a job and you need to view it as such! Anyway, I hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought about doing an accelerated program also. There are only a few colleges in the U.S. that have this program. There's an accelerated degree program at UMC here in MS. I heard that the program was really intense! 8 hours classes M-F. There is no down time. You even have to go to class during holidays. I think you only get two days off for Christmas. You eat, sleep, breath nursing with that program. I'm not sure if I want to cram 2 years of nursing into 1 year. That might be a little bit much. Anyway, you might be able to handle it. Also, they suggest for people NOT to work a job, not even a part-time job during that program. For one thing, you wouldn't have time because the classes are eight hours a day Monday thru Friday, and the time you have off after class; you have to use that time to study. I would only suggest those who are married and have some income coming in from a significant other, to do an accelerated degree program. Now if you are staying on a campus and have some support from family members, that might help out. Anyway, good luck!

It's not about appreciation. It is abuse. Unless you are a nurse you will not understand. You have to be a nurse to understand how UNSAFE it is. Everyone goes into this with denial. I was warned years ago and it is worse now than it was then. I watched it get worse for near 20 years. Many nurses will say what I have said here. Many people considering the field will look for pros and cons and then get turned off towards the truth of the cons and some will get nasty as seen here. But, when they get into the profession they get SMACKED with reality and see how true it is. Helping people? Taking part of the understaffing and nurse to patient ratios is NOT helping people. It is putting them in danger and jeopardizing their health. Again, you need to do it to see it. I don't know why people bother asking for "cons" when they don't want to hear it.

Where are you from that RN's start out in the 20's. Do they get paid that in Michigan? Even here in MS, they start out in the $41,000-42,000 range. Did you mean CNA's when you wrote 20's? If they work at clinics, they usually start out in the 30's here in MS.

Sorry, the "20's" is HOURLY, not yearly. So 30,'s to 40,s' yearly would be right. I pulled in 50-60k in my early years doing overtime.

The pay for nursing is good, finding a job is easy but normally if they are hiring there is a reason and you will quickly find out that reason.

Nursing is VERY ROUGH! There is no way to compare it to "other" jobs and people not being satisfied with "other" jobs. You are dealing with patients lives. Every minute is pressing with demands and you have to be sharp, you can't afford an "off day." Unlike teachers, an off day could have a serious affect on your patient or a serious mistake or injury whereas an off day for a teacher could mean the papers don't get graded or the kids don't have to do as much work that day. Their lives are not jeopardized.

People always want to say things like...."deal with it" "change your career" "it's just like any other job" "you can find job dissatisfaction anywhere" we are "miserable" we "complain" - you will never know until you are in it. Most of the people that I know personally could NOT handle this job. I have tolerated it for years. UP2-sexy's two posts about job satisfaction were very appropriate and right-on. BUT, you have to take a look at yourself. Can you be that person under EXTREME STRESS? Can you handle the backstabbing and vicious nature of women in this field. I think I have seen more women with severe emotional problems and social issues in this field than anywhere. It is the extreme of the childhood playground behavior that women have NEVER outgrown. Miserable - jealous - catty - evil - devious - liars. I have seen what this field does to people. I have seen the fear and anxieties on humble new nurses. I have seen the most patient and stable - SNAP. Reading the flowery discriptions of the field do not phase me any more because there is little "beauty" left in this field. I am not opposed to hard work. Hard work makes me shine. But unsafe work...

To JB in Jackson Michigan,

So what are you going to do? Since you are that dissatisfied are you going to consider quitting? What area of nursing do you work in? It sounds like you are on a MED Surg unit. Well, like someone else said on this forum there are a lot of areas of nursing that you can work in. Have you considered a clinic, home health, or a school nurse? There are viscous females in every work environment. There will always be someone you won't like on a job. Also, with teaching they do have people's lives in their hands. What teachers do can make or break a child. Are they going to allow a young child to become a potential drug dealer or gang banger on the streets, or are they able to keep a young child off the streets and be able to produce the next Barrack Obama or Bill Gates? So yeah, teachers and nurses have people's lives in their hands and it's a serious service job and both can sometimes be stressful.

Anyway, you do a wonderful job of painting the picture of the cons of nursing. Can you enlighten us on some of the pros of nursing? I like to know all sides of things. ๐Ÿ™‚ This might help both of us to know some of the pros. That way you can recognize the positive side of your job, and at the same time you will be providing helpful information for others who are considering the field of nursing! You might realize that your job is not so bad after all, and that you are actually making a difference in someone's life. You might even realize that the pros outweigh the cons. ๐Ÿ™‚

^^^Also, I'm not disregarding your concern or your complaints about the profession. I do agree that it is extreme to have people to work 12- hour shifts and expect them to be at their peak performance. That is very dangerous to have someone working who is sleep deprived. I'm sure most of the mistakes nurses make are probably when they are deprived of rest. There are only a few hospitals that have 8 hours shifts, and I guess for the reason of not wanting to hire enough staff or it could be because of the nursing shortage. I guess everyone is different because I know some nurses who are actually positive about what they do. I know a neonatal (ICU) nurse, and I know she has extreme pressure on her job, but she seems to be happy go lucky about the job. She also tends to not take the job home with her. She leaves work at the workplace. I guess people have to learn to detox there at the job and don't bring it home with you. I guess it is best to just not talk about work at home, and enjoy spending time with your significant other if you aren't tired. Go out for a drink or two after work! LOL

I feel the frustration of this comment. I too have had days, many of them, when I realize I have been at work for ten hours and have not had a drink, gone to the restroom, or had a break or lunch. I am so busy that I can find that break where no one needs me or I don't have a task to attend to. Some of this is the place that I work. I hear not every facility is like this and that at most you just have those days from time to time but it is not constant. Anyone getting into nursing for the money. Don't. You will quickly realize that you have to have a passion for this field to succeed. You will become burned out quick because it is not really something that you have a desire for. The money is nice but it is not everything.

Rose, I can't come up with much for pros to make it worthwile looking back.

1) It allowed me to raise kids as a single parent but it wore me out and sometimes affected my time off so I wasn't as good of a mom as I could be.

2) I owed a lot of money to get in this field and realistically there are other jobs that pay well now that aren't as abusive - yes there will be personality issues on the job but you will never understand how a day in nursing is until you live it.

3) I can't flower-puff it with all the "beauty" of "changing people's lives, etc. Yes, I can do something nice for someone or do something well that I know was done well but that doesn't mean the people before me are going to do the same. Also, as far as that "flowery" side of the job, more often than not your patients need something that you CAN'T give them because there isn't time.

4) Gone are the day of keeping wrinkles out from under patients. You will find that aides are so busy that the beds are thrown together and draw sheets aren't set right and things that could make you job go easier make it harder because other people do not put pride in their tasks. This lack of pride adds to you work day. Again, you can't understand until you live it.

On days that I feel that I succeeded in getting my tasks done without rushing unsafely, made my patients KNOW that I actually cared about how they felt and got through the challenge of the day, I feel good - successful. But that feeling isn't enough to make up for the flat out abuse in the field. Most managers are down-right evil. Charge nurses will give their favorites better assignments than others so certain people can count on horrible days and all the dumping patients. The intensity of the energy level required, inability to eat right, drink fluids or go to the bathroom and other areas of abuse make the pay not seem all that great - leaving many of us wishing we picked something different. I have been in the field for years..

Rose, chances are you will not like the job. Only certain people like the stress and can overlook the abuse with their love of the medical field or making a change in people's lives. When you read those stories, you really have to do some inner-searching and decide are you "Florence Nightengale?"

The field keeps getting worse as far as the demands and lack of resources. When it takes you 15 minutes to get a blood pressure because of lack of equipment or equipment that doesn't work and you find this a common occurence - again - I have seen this in many facilities and many floors. When the lack of pride in other people's tasks and end products makes your job harder. You are spread beyond thin and it is a game that is played that for every second of your day you have so many things going on - so many interruptions - so many pressing things to get done. You are using every second of your time trying to stay sharp and prioritize and balance and deal with multiple interruptions while you have multiple tasks piling up on you. Most managers are unavailable and could care less how hard you are working. Others make themselves a nuisance when they are present. Most managers are totally unfit for the job but you have to deal with them. It's hard to get out of work on time, difficult to fit a meal in, go to the bathroom or drink fluids. That is more the norm than not even though you will hear it isn't like that everywhere. I have been to enough places to know that the odds are you will find that in most places and leaving one place for another won't change it. The reality is that if they are hiring, there is a reason and that's where those jobs are. It is hard to get into the better areas or units.

deborah, nurses will NOT unite together enough to do anything. They will complain and show their misery but remain in denial or hide from any potential to fight to change anything. It has been that way forever. Nursing petitions are lucky to pull hundreds of nurses let alone thousands.

It's not going to change for a long time. The hospitals and government are comfortable with the deaths and injuries and those numbers are of no concern to make any changes. Patients will continue to be at risk in this environment because the hospitals and the government doesn't want to hear it. They know of the statistics but you will continue to read about it and never see anything done about it.

Any nurses that have grouped together are against the other group's "wording" or "resolutions" and cannot unite. Those groups are small.

Nurses, I work here in Hawaii as a Travel Nurses Recruiter. I have never heard any of my nurses say they wish chose another career. I have an idea :)I you know any nurses that are willing to jump on the "Nurse Travel Wagon", have them call myself or one of our recruiters and I reassure you that if you are a "traveler", you will love the job, the experience, the challanges and most importatnly, the people you come in contact with on a daily basis. Maybe its just travel to Hawaii, Im not sure but Nurses love working here! Aloha!

Also, your motives might have been wrong to begin with if you let someone's opinion run you off. You need to have the desire to help the sick, and that should be the main reason that you go into the field. It's not always about the money, because they would never pay you enough to do what you do in the nursing profession. So you better not go into it for the money.

I know of people that have done traveling nursing, and it is about the same amount of work load that they would do where they are from. For one thing, they are too tired to even go and enjoy sight seeing after those long shifts. Also, they normally get the worst shifts when they are doing traveling because that is where the vacancies are. (7p.m-7 a.m shifts) So really, it is not a vacation it is hard work. I would rather travel to Hawaii on my own time, not for work.

Travel and agency nursing can be worse. You are contracted to places with severe shortages so desperate to pay the money for travel or agency nurses. You tend to get dumped on. Nursing is the same where ever you go. As far as that goes, it's just about getting the money to go somewhere else and work under the same conditions. Most agency nurses get dumped on and are scrutinized worse than the regular staff.

I actually agree (with the teaching comparison). The fact remains folks, without teachers, there would be no nurses. Teaching is the foundation for every position. Now, how is there possibly enough gratitude shown to them (or compensation-for that matter-we all know how little teachers make in this country.)I believe the parallel to be true. For example, if 2Sexy means that the driving force behind ones deciding to teach is recognition, maybe they should get a hobby. There will never be enough "pats on the back" for those who guide/mentor our youth. I suspect most who teach do it for other reasons. The same should be said for nursing. In teaching, as in nursing, (and lets throw in firemen and law enforcement for good measure) perhaps the only factor great enough to motivate, is the self gratification for a job well done. And I suppose if a person is not resourceful enough to find a nursing job that suites them, I might go out on a limb with this one, but I am guessing that person probably has no true desire for change and would be unhappy no matter where they are or what they are doing.I have said it before and I will say it again. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR NURSES. Most of these "cons" are redundant; in that references are made to having multiple patients, upper management issues, no time to use the bathroom, get a drink, ect. I am not saying that those positions do not exsist. I am saying, as a nurse with substancial experience as well, that I personally have held several jobs that require ONE patient (pediatric home health) and TWO-THREE patients (hospital). (4 when we are short staffed...and before anyone says "Well, the patients must not be that sick"--Yes, in fact, we have some very ill patients.) The unit I work on is primary care. AND IT IS TOTALLY DOABLE. I have worked a few jobs that have allowed for weight gain, as I was not moving a whole lot. (Ugg.)

Schools, state/govt, health offices, clinics, spas, radiology offices, home health agencies, hospitals, long term care facilities, rehab clinics/hospitals all need nurses....just to name a few. These jobs are everywhere. And I don't need to explain that--If one opens ones eyes- one could see for themself. The bottom line is this: job shadow. Network. Look online. RESEARCH THE PROFESSION. Make an educated choice. And hopefully, we can work as a team for the good of the patients. (One day, you will be the patient, too...Be the nurse who you will allow to care for you.-Peg Radke, MSN)

As far as teachers.....I would never down-play the teacher's job or role. I have always told my kids to respect the teachers because they will never understand their job until they walked in their shoes and I personally could not imagine a classroom with over 30 students and over 3/4 them needing "extra" attention or not even wanting to be there - not to mention their behaviors.

God Bless all teachers as well as nurses!

You are exactly right! People should never go into teaching or nursing for recognition or money. They could NEVER pay teachers or nurses for what they are truly worth! There is a whole lot of work and dedication involved in being a teacher or a nurse. People that are outsiders wouldn't understand how much pressure there is involved with teaching in these days. Teaching is not what it used to be back in the day. With the laws of No Child Left Behind, and pressure for test scores; teachers actually have to work their butts off in the classroom. The days are OUT for lazy teachers. There is no more sitting behind the desk and reading to students from a textbook. Also, the pay is not what it should be, but it is getting better. As I said before, both teachers and nurses feel unappreciated and underpaid. Yet, with both professions there are some positives whether folks want to recognize them or not. Teachers receive laughter and joy from some of their students and wouldn't ever exchange that joy of knowing that they played a part of a student's success.

I do agree with you that a person has plenty of areas to choose from with nursing. If they don't like one area, they can easily go into another area. If you are the type who likes beauty and fashion, you could easily work for a Spa. So those who hate their particular area of nursing, should step out of the box and try something different. At least with nursing, you aren't in a box! You can go into teaching nursing at a university, administration, or a director over a nursing program, etc. Also, you can even advance and become a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Anesthetist. So there are so many opportunities with nursing if you hate working in a certain particular area. I also agree with your statement that those who aren't willing to find another area just might not be content with anything that they do. They think that nursing is the issue, but actually they are the root of the problem. They will end up changing professions all together and find that they will run from that new job. The key is to stand firm and find other areas you can move into and advance.

unfortunately the lpn has difficulty with these options. seems fairly dead end to me. in inquiering into travel and various positions, i am finding mostly only long term care opportunities for lpn's. some private duty. i have alot of experience and extra training, but am not deemed as a sutible candidate for these other jobs posted. even doctor's offices seem to prefer rn's unless you have had at least one year of prior office experience.
i am disillusioned with the lpn thing and have been at it for over 20 years. not much room for growth in the end. and i wouldn't recommend it for anyone interested in nursing. you just have to be an rn to survive in the long run. i even got accepted for a travel assignment....with the same pay as my local location offers, and the recruiter slipped up when i asked about per dieum saying, oh, we only offer that to nurses.......can i say 'huh' or 'duh'?

oh, and forgot to mention, as far as all those opportunities, i disagree to a point. i know here and all over the country, they broadcast this nursing shortage all over the papers and news, but if 100 nurses went to any local hospital to apply, they will only hire the bare minimum they can get by with to save money. stretch one nurse 1 1/2 times at least.

People act like there are so many options in nursing....there is more reality to that.

1) Most often times you need experience and you don't have it
2) It might require a bachelors or masters that you don't have
3) If it's that great of a job you are applying along with HOW MANY other nurses and it's like winning the lottery
4) They don't have as many openings as a hospital does so those opportunities are limited
5) There might be a TREMENDOUS pay cut

It's not right nor fair to lead non-nurses on into believing that it is that easy and that simple and there are SO MANY options. There ARE NOT.

Everyone is so quick to jump to stating that. Out of all the people that have state it how about answering these questions:

What is it YOU do?
What other of those opportunities have you done if you aren't now?
If you are doing something different - what is your pay scale?
How many other nurses are there in YOUR department - in other words - potential spots for the rest of us.
What experience did you need to get that job?

I see people make this statement over and over but I don't see the OTHER jobs that THEY have taken and know so much about.

Please don't use home care or hospice here. I want the UNIQUE OTHER areas!

Also, don't use Legal Nurse Consulting because that is almost a joke. That whole idea was created for places to make money on the education and certification of. Most of those nurses are working real nursing jobs to pay their bills and hoping consulting will work out.

"And I suppose if a person is not resourceful enough to find a nursing job that suites them, I might go out on a limb with this one, but I am guessing that person probably has no true desire for change and would be unhappy no matter where they are or what they are doing.I have said it before and I will say it again"

A statement made to provoke someone. Not always the case. REALITY is the issue.

What is so amusing here is that I have worked side by side with many nurses who speak like you do here at this board. They carry on as if nursing is so great and anyone complaining is so wrong but they never realize how they look to other people. Most of those are miserable people and bring their personal problems to work and are in denial. Many of them are vicious to other staff and in denial of that. I am trying to visualize you as something other than that.....something like this beautiful smart and know it all person that you are trying to portray here as if any nurse here that has told it the way it is must be some loser or something. Or do you mean something else?

Anyone check out

That is correct. I also hear that staff comes in to cover breaks because you can't give your patients to another nurse or she would have over 5 - over the limit. Yes, very curious how this one state pulled it off and the rest of them are still ignoring the problem. The reality is that it IS a problem and it needs to be addressed. The question is WHEN. And then when you have nurses like some here defending nursing and defying those speaking the truth, you have them as road blocks and dead weight on the issue. They are no help. They are actually part of the problem and responsible for unsafe patient care and the risks involved. Patient care is not safe as it stands right now. That should be illegal. There are over 500,00 injury related deaths from medical errors yearly. That is up 400,000 from the late 90's and early 2000's. Speaks for itself. Anyone in this field knows the truth. Any one denying it is guilty of this sick behavior that is causing infections, injuries, deaths and other problems!

I wish that you would list all those areas and the pay, the experience required, how many NURSE spots they have. I am really tired of hearing about how many opportunities there are. How about REAL facts. How much do you know about this statement?