New nurse
February 18, 2015 8:29 AM   Subscribe

About to start BSN but I am very scared. All I hear everyday is how this will drain me of all energy, I will be tired all the time and this is a bad proffesion. is this true? Do you regret becoming a BSN nurse?
posted by barexamfreak to Work & Money (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know who you've been talking to, but essentially every woman in my immediate and extended family is a nurse and they have across the board found it to be a very rewarding career. My mother in law is almost 70 and can't give it up even though she certainly doesn't need the income. There are a lot of different types of nursing you can do with a BSN, and not all of them are of the high stress, on your feet for 12 hours variety.
posted by something something at 8:45 AM on February 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

I am not a nurse but I work with a lot of students in a BSN program and I have a niece who graduated from another BSN program a couple of years ago. Congratulations on getting accepted into the program! They are very selective these days.

You may be tired all the time while you're in school because they work you really hard, but you went to school in Europe where they work students a lot harder, right?

Once you're done and out working it won't be so bad according to both my niece and the various BSN students who have stayed in touch with me.

One of my favorite students always wanted to travel and now she's a traveling nurse. Another has gone on to Nurse Practitioner school to gain more knowledge and more autonomy.

My niece is a single mom with two young kids and she likes the fact that she can work 3 twelve hour shifts a week, make enough to support her family, and have plenty of time with them; she works 7PM to 7AM when her kids are mostly asleep, her brother babysits.

I think it's a great opportunity. Just be sure to get enough sleep, exercise, and good food. You'll be fine.
posted by mareli at 8:49 AM on February 18, 2015

Close family member is a BSN.

Pros: officially he works part time but his hours are more like full time, this means he makes full time pay but can book off way more vacation time than if he was officially full time. He really makes it work for him since he loves to travel. He loves the flexible schedule (4 days on, 3 days off) which works great for his other interests as well as taking care of the kids when he can be there in the morning or after school. Also, he can work many different places in the world vs. a teacher or lawyer other jobs where you would be stuck in a certain country / state / province. Finally he is great to have in the family, he knows so much about the body and medicine it is a relief to have someone that knowledgeable around.

Cons: school was a bit of a slog for him to get through. He couldn't wait for it to be over. Sometimes he laments not having an easy "desk job" but at the same time he likes that it keeps him on his feet and fit. He does a lot of sports to keep himself energized. He's not the type to take his work home with him so he never seems stressed but he admits coffee keeps him going. (Could just be his personality.)

Honestly it sounds like a great profession! Go for it!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:09 AM on February 18, 2015

I you love the profession and feel called to healing, you will love it. Yes, it's physically demanding, and yes, sometimes the BS of the politics of healthcare will grind on you, but many, many people who love it find it wonderful and they could not imagine doing anything else.

Husbunny was a nurse for 10 years. He worked in a number of assignments, med/surg, transitional care, care plan, telephonic nurse, head nurse, and geriatric nursing. He gave it a fair shake, and frankly, although he is caring and compassionate, and according to all incredible at it, his depression and anxiety made this job VERY high stress for him. I will say this, as an RN, he was NEVER without a job. Our phone rang constantly with offers trying to recruit him to other jobs.

I will recommend that you get into good physical shape. It is physically hard on you. Eat well. Exercise with weights. Sleep a full eight hours.

Good luck to you!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:10 AM on February 18, 2015

My mother has been a part-time nurse since I was born. She can think of no better career for a working mom and advocates for everyone to be a nurse. Also two siblings and one of their spouse are nurses. All are RNs. Being a nurse is easier than their previous jobs (retail, waiting tables) and pays way better.

Also, if you can use a computer, please become a nurse. They seriously need some help since EMRs becoming widespread.
posted by flimflam at 10:26 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am the husband of an RN who did Pediatric ICU for many years beginning in 1984 and then switched to a desk job involving coordinating procedures and arranging donors. We have raised two great kids in this time, with both of us working full time- sometimes on opposite shifts so that we each could take a full share of parenting. Mrs DW, RN, is smarter and more dedicated than the normal run of people, with a high sense of responsibility and self-sacrifice. Her job has always involved more stress than I think is good for her, year after year, and it has taken its toll, and there is little that I can do as a husband to help with this stress. We will get through it, and there's not too much time left before retirement, but I'm here to tell you nursing is a demanding career, and will require sacrifices, and might even shorten your lifespan.
posted by halhurst at 10:44 AM on February 18, 2015

My wife is a nurse and is burnt out after about 10 years. There's the whole "Nurses eat their young" thing. Sixteen patients, four of them requiring a lot of work, to be split among four nurses? Congrats newbie, all the hard ones are yours. Good luck getting a bathroom break, much less a meal.

Even after the hazing, the demands of the work are pretty heavy. Funky shifts, physical labor, emotional/belligerent families, disoriented patients, death, bodily fluids, doctors. It's hard.

Check out the attrition rate of your potential school, too. Many of them are terrible, with a large percentage failing to finish. It's much harder than getting a political science degree. Consider how much you're paying to go to school. There a a lot of for-profit schools scooping up millions in student loan proceeds. If you haven't already consider getting an associates from your community college. The cost is so much lower and at most hospitals in our area, the payscale for an RN is the same, whether you have an ASN or BSN. Advancement opportunities are different, but you're earning a year or so earlier and there are plenty of RN to BSN programs if you're sure you're in the right field.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 11:45 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm a nurse. The first year was very intense and draining. I probably had some depression, definitly overwhelm. It's gotton much easier, better, and more rewarding. As you progress, you will also have more options in terms of specific jobs.
posted by latkes at 12:09 PM on February 18, 2015

I'm not a nurse yet, but will be in three months. I'm in my final semester of an ABSN (accelerated BSN) program that lasts 12 months total. I can tell you that the first two semesters were very busy at times but not impossible, and now that we are on the same track as all the traditional students I have SO MUCH free time that I don't know what to do with myself! I obviously haven't been through an entire traditional BSN program but if this is any indication, you will be fine. I went from 3-4 major projects or exams due every week over the summer to 2-3 major things due a month now.

I can't speak for you but I have loved my program and am pretty damn confident I am going to love nursing. That said, I can definitely see how some people would hate it. It very frequently smells bad, you have to do a lot of gross stuff, and you have to deal with people all day and all their idiosyncrasies. I love people and the rest is great storytelling. I am sure things will get stressful when I graduate and have a real job and am 100% responsible for my patients, but I am extremely happy with the path I chose.

Do you have any healthcare experience? I volunteered before I started so I had some vague idea. If you have the opportunity and like working with people, I would go for it. It is a very flexible and lucrative degree and there is a huge variety of what you can do with it.
posted by queens86 at 6:23 PM on February 18, 2015

Hi, I've been an RN for 5 years. It's a great job, but not for everyone. Work as a tech or aid first to figure out if you'll like patient care. There are non-clinical nurse jobs, but almost all of them require some experience with direct patient care. Good luck!
posted by brevator at 7:53 PM on February 18, 2015

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