1. The Grossities of nursing can be too much. Grossities? Is that a word? Nurses actually do have to handle a lot of “gross” Simple things like toileting a patient that we don’t even think twice about would be a deal-breaker for many people. That said, most people underestimate their ability to handle these things – as we all know, it’s not that bad once you just do it!
2. You have to care about your patients. Of course, nurses have to care. It wouldn’t suit many. Some people would rather work with computers, houses, finances, etc. It may be why there are so many female nurses – the motherly instinct shows. I’ll be the first to admit (as a male nurse) that I’ve seen many of my female counterparts outdo me in this department.
3. Nursing School is a pain. We all know it is. It’s not like anything else. The grading scale is more difficult. The clinical rotations can be cutthroat (and they are graded subjectively!). The programs are ruled with an iron fist, and often are either expensive or hard to get into. And worst of all, you end up finding out it barely prepared you for the REAL workplace. Here are 10 things I learned from my first year of nursing.
4. You have real, legal responsibilities. Nursing is not a job you can skate by and not pay attention. You have real responsibilities – and you can lose your license by not paying enough attention. Every nurse has learned the importance of being thorough, detailed, and “covering your butt” legally. If this kind of pressure scares you, nursing may not be for you!
5. Some places are just plain dangerous to work in. Even though healthcare is pretty heavily regulated, there are workplaces that stretch employees beyond reason. Plenty of horror stories can be found just perusing comments from Mighty Nurse users. The sad thing is, often those are the only jobs new graduates with no experience can find – especially those with only Associate’s Degrees or LPNs.
6. The nursing shortage is narrowing. There are plenty of nursing schools pumping out students left and right – and it’s getting harder (especially in areas around cities) to find good jobs for new grads. Employers won’t be clamoring for your attention and throwing money at you once you finish school – like some marketers make nursing out to be!
7. You’ll have to work odd hours. While nursing is very flexible when it comes to hours, it can also be demanding. Most employers will make you work some weekend shifts. Many places have you work 12 hour shifts – it’s dark when you leave for work and it’s dark again when you’re done. A lot of new nurses have no choice but to take the night shifts or evening shifts when they’re starting out.
8. Emergencies Happen. When you’re at work, you will deal with crisis eventually. Someone may go into cardiac arrest, a stroke, a seizure, or any number of things – and you’re the first responder. What do you do? While experience plays a role, this is enough to scare off many who don’t think they’d do well under pressure.
What other reasons do you think nursing would be advised against? Would you be a nurse if you could go back in time and choose your career?