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<p>Hello, nurse mamas!</p>
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<p>I am hoping some of you would be willing to post two lists for me - the pros or nursing as a mama and the cons of nursing as a mama (the job, of course, not breastfeeding :)).</p>
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<p>I am the sole income-earner in my family. I make a good living, but I don't love it. It is pretty unfulfilling for me. I have wanted to be a nurse for 5+ years and have always decided against making the plunge. But I always come back to it. And then I always decide not to because of some of the cons. Actually, more like some of the things I think might turn out to be cons, but I just don't really know.</p>
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<p>I already have a BA, and there is a local program where I can get a BSN in 15 months. It would be a challenging 15 months, but I think we could do it, if I ended up in a job I felt passionate about and wanted to go to every day. I'm just worried that it is a "grass-is-always-greener" phenomenon and that I'll end right back in the same boat I'm in now - bored and passionless. But each, year, the calling seems to get stronger to me. I honestly feel like it is my "calling" so to speak. But, then I always talk myself out of it.</p>
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<p>So, thus I am looking from input from those who actually know the pros and cons first hand - YOU :)</p>
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<p>Thanks for your insight, mamas. It is truly appreciated!</p>
 

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<p>I absolutely, hands-down, LOVE being a nurse. I have been a nurse for some time now and the past few years I have taught nursing in a BSN program (pediatrics and pathophysiology).</p>
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<p>I am on maternity leave right now and I miss nursing (not breastfeeding hehe) so very much. I love to care for people and I have really never felt that I chose the wrong profession. I have completed graduate studies in nursing as well and I loved that too.</p>
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<p>However, I hated nursing school (undergrad). I found it authoritarian and way too black and white, but hey, you can't love everything.</p>
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<p>Though I am a peds nurse, I have a soft-spot for geriatrics. I miss the feeling of evenings at the hospital as the day winds down and you know you have provided gentle, empathetic care to your patients and their families. Patients are usually in their rooms and there is time to bathe them and offer a nighttime back rub. You can listen to stories of their long lives while you chart and ooooh and ahhh over pictures of their great-great grandchildren. I miss it so much!</p>
 

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<p>Tres I don't know where you worked but it must be a really nice place! I hardly have time to get a drink of water during my shift much less give out a backrub.</p>
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<p>Nursing is a good living, but *most* hospital jobs are so incredibly busy and stressful that it can zap you of any enthusiasm you may have for your job most days. I do really enjoy knowing I saved a life, which is why I have preferred critical care, but ICU is the most stressful of all of the nursing jobs I've had. I just stopped working bc of I am pregnant and high risk right now, but even my step down job (in between floor and CC) is very very busy and I have had to jump on a couple chests in just the few months I've been working there.</p>
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<p>I do not regret choosing my profession, but I feel it should be made clear that this is a very high stress job most of the time.</p>
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<p>I have to agree with geekgolightly... I am a nurse and have been for over ten years.  I, too, am the sole provider of my family, I work full time and have had two kids in two years, and BF them both for 15 months each.  Nursing is grueling, ruthless, thankless, and incredibly stressful.  I make a decent living, enough to support our family now that DH is unemployed (he is an elementary school teacher), and the schedule fits our lives (3-12 hour shifts/week).  But I go from absolutely hating it to merely just making my peace with it in phases.  I am good at my job, I take great care of my patients, but it absolutely sucks the life out of you. </p>
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<p>Honestly if I had to do it again, I wouldn't choose nursing.  The patients are sicker, the amount of documentation staggering, the physicians/patients/families are incredibly demanding, and it is getting harder and harder to do my job.  If you truly feel this is your calling and you have an area of specialty in mind that is your passion then go for it.   If I were going to choose a job now I think I would stay in the medical field but I would probably do diagnostic imaging, such as ultrasonography, MRI, CT or nuclear medicine. </p>
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<p>Good luck and best wishes to you!  I hope I didn't paint too grim of a picture :)</p>
 

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<p>Ok, I agree with both PPs, nursing can be both extremely rewarding and highly stressful. But, to just give you the pros and cons from a parenting POV this is how I see it.</p>
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<p>Pros</p>
<p>- flexible hours*(see also cons) you can work one day/week or seven. You can work night shift and sleep while your kids are at school, you can fit your shifts around your partner or whomever is doing your childcare etc</p>
<p>- don't have to bring work home - if you work in a purely clinical role you should be able to do your shift and leave</p>
<p>- someone to take over from you at the end of the shift. Do check on compulsory overtime in your area though, this is not an issue where I live</p>
<p>- plenty of variety - you don't just have to work in a hospital and community and drs surgery etc sometimes have more family friendly hours if you like that sort of work. It is usually a good idea to consolidate your skills in a hospital for a few years though IMO</p>
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<p>Cons</p>
<p>- inflexible hours* If your shift starts at 0700 then you need to be there at 0700. Most of the time there is no negotiating start and finish times to suit your other needs.</p>
<p>- can't always just walk away at the end of your shift. Even though there is someone to take over from you, if you are in the middle of "jumping on someone's chest" as a PP so eloquently put it ;-), you can't just go cos is 1530 and you need to pick your kids up.</p>
<p>- the hours don't always suit daycare hours. Not sure about where you live but around here the earliest drop off is 0700. This would be useless for me as I have to start work then. One or two places are just starting to bring in an 0630 start but it is rare. Also worth checking if you would need daycare.</p>
<p>- you will almost certainly have to work some holidays - Christmas etc</p>
<p>- *extremely* unlikely that you would be able to bring your child to work with you. I guess there may be some nursing workplaces where this could work but I can't think of many.</p>
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<p>That's all I can think of at the moment. I love my job but I don't think it is super parenting friendly. That said, both my DH and I are nurses and we don't have any plans to change careers :)</p>
 

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<p>I wish that I could agree with Tres, but unfortunately it has not been my experience. I would never in a million years teach nursing, for fear that some of my negativity would rub off on the students. Also, I think that a lot of nursing "theory" and research is BS. Additionally, I don't really like nursing faculty (and I'm currently in nursing school again, but this time at the grad level). But eventually I would like to do public health nursing w/ international volunteering stints in developing regions. Cool, huh?</p>
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<p>Despite feelings of ambivalence about the profession, I can't deny that it has been an excellent career choice for my family and I due to its flexibility. That's a HUGE advantage compared w/ other fields. I can work any shift I choose, and in a variety of settings. Hospital bedside nursing is probably the most stressful type of nursing job (or maybe nursing homes -- never done them), but working in clinics or as a research nurse are much easier. Once you get your 2 years of bedside in, you really can work anywhere. Even better is to do an additional 1-2 years of ICU. Afterwards, you can pick up per diem jobs  for much more pay (even double the pay). And the options are incredible -- bedside, nursing homes, clinics, research, public health, education, insurance companies, alternative/complementary medicine, midwifery, etc...</p>
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<p>I currently work in a clinic, and have only picked up 5 shifts since the summer (ie. I'm "per diem", so work only when I choose). Prior to working in the clinic, I worked as a clinical reserach nurse coordinator (ie. coordinating research studies, lots documentation, consenting/following patients enrolled in drug trials and other studies).</p>
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<p>So if you're looking for something flexible w/ good pay, nursing is a great choice. However, be prepared to have a love-hate relationship w/ your career!</p>
 

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<p>It has been interesting to read this thread ...</p>
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<p>I am a student finishing up some pre-reqs so I, too, can go for an accelerated nursing degree (already have a bachelor's). I have midwifery in mind - hope to get CNM in next 10 years, too - but realize I'll probably spend some time working as a nurse first.</p>
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<p>We ultimately decided to get on this path for some of the reasons mentioned - diversity in work opportunities and hours, steady paycheck that can support the familiy, interest and desire in nursing itself, etc.</p>
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<p>I'm presently a homebirth midwifery assistant, though, and I'm not excited about institutional health care of any kind - except, maybe, emergency nursing. I find it difficult to sit through lectures when I know what they're saying isn't entirely true - or it's based on techno-medical models. But I figure that's a small price to pay to gain letters and experience that can be useful.</p>
 

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<p>I guess I will second or third most of the feelings already expressed. It is not an easy job. I stepped away from hospital because I do not enjoy it, it is very high stress, a good day is where I only would heat up my lunch/dinner (depending on the shift) 2 or so times before actually getting to inhale it, many other days I just couldn't eat. I work in public health now, I enjoy it, I like having a more relaxed job, it comes at a cost, I do not make nearly what I would in a hospital using my skills (I'm an IBCLC). I run my own program so even more flexibility there with for me is key with multiple small children. </p>
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<p>If you haven't visited it before, spent some time on allnurses.com, it is wealth of info about what it is actually like to be a nurse. The job market for new grads is not great right now in many areas. Nursing has been affected by the economy as well with a wealth of experienced nurses needing to return to more employment, new grads are hired less. </p>
 

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<p>I agree with checking out allnurses.com  Lots of good info there.  If you live in a bigger city, it might be really hard to find a job as a new grad.  Even where I live now, one of the nursing instructors (I just finished a CNA course) informed us that many of the students in the most recent graduate class still haven't found jobs - even in nursing homes.  Other areas/states are a lot worse - so it's good to go into it with your eyes open -- b/c most of the pre-nursing students in my course had no idea!  Even if the economy improves in the next couple years, you have to realize that nursing schools are putting out tons of new grads each semester, so it's likely the market will remain flooded with RN's for quite a while. </p>
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<p>I don't have anything else to add, as I decided not to pursue nursing b/c I'm not cut out for that type of grueling work. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Drummer's Wife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284059/calling-all-nurses#post_16107826"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I agree with checking out allnurses.com  Lots of good info there.  If you live in a bigger city, it might be really hard to find a job as a new grad.  Even where I live now, one of the nursing instructors (I just finished a CNA course) informed us that many of the students in the most recent graduate class still haven't found jobs - even in nursing homes.  Other areas/states are a lot worse - so it's good to go into it with your eyes open -- b/c most of the pre-nursing students in my course had no idea!  Even if the economy improves in the next couple years, you have to realize that nursing schools are putting out tons of new grads each semester, so it's likely the market will remain flooded with RN's for quite a while. </p>
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<p>Just wanted to ditto this as I think many many people are not aware that it can actually be HARD to find a job as a new grad in this economy.   For so long, people have heard that nurses will always have jobs, sign on bonuses, it is a career where you will never have to look for a job, etc etc.       Not so much anymore.   At least not as a new grad in many areas of the country.     Once you have a year or two in as a bedside nurse, it is much easier to find a job.  But still not as easy as it once was.   That may change in the coming years, but for now, it is something to be aware of.     Also, this may be different depending on your location... but, as many pp suggested, check out allnurses.com and you can see many posts about the difficulties of finding jobs.  </p>
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<p>I am a fairly recent new grad.   I LOVE my job as a peds nurses.   But, I admittedly lucked into this job.  (Okay, to be fair to myself, I did work hard in school and had great grades and good prior work experience, interview well, etc).   But, I was also willing to work as many or as few hours, any shifts, as long as it was at our fabulous Children's Hospital in my city.    I could do that because I don't have kids yet and my husband was already supporting us so I didn't need to worry about benefits, etc.   And, I lucked into getting an introduction to my department's clinical manager, which led to an interview.    </p>
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<p>I also graduated from an accelerated bachelor's program.   Those of us who worked during school as PCAs (patient care assistant) at a hospital had an easier time finding jobs at those hospitals.   But, most accelerated programs discourage you from working because of the intensity of the program.   However, I would recommend it, even if it is only per diem, one shift every other week.   Just to get your foot in the door if you are in an area of the country where it is challenging to find a job.   </p>
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<p>Also be aware that, at least around here, it is easier to find a job at a nursing home or skilled care facility.   I had worked as a CNA at a nursing home in the past and, while I loved interacting with my residents, I knew I didn't want to be a nurse at such a facility.    The problem that you will face as a nurse with a BSN (as opposed to an associates) is that, if hired at a nursing home, you are often almost immediately considered the senior nurse because of your education.   A friend from my program was immediately the night charge nurse, directing 3 LPNs and the PCAs.   And, this was her first nursing job.    Luckily, she has the skills and the personality for it.   I knew that I did not.   I needed a good orientation and access to experienced people to make me feel comfortable in my role.   </p>
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<p>After saying all that, I love my job.   I am so so glad that I did it.    Just want everyone to go into it with eyes wide open.    <br>
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<p>I love love love my hospital floor nursing job!  I work on a medical floor.  I love my coworkers, I love the pace, I love the responsibility.  I don't feel like I have too much work for the allotted time (though some days are very rushed).</p>
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<p>I work 3 12 hour night shifts a week.  This is great for our family.  One parent is always home.  Our kids are older now, and I considered going to days, but I think nights suits me better and the hours are still better for our family.  Case in point, 12 year old dd stayed home from school with a cold and some chest tightness (history of asthma, pneumonia, and whooping cough, basically illness-prone lungs).  I worked the night before, so although I was asleep, I was home all day with her.  I could hear her cough, I got up to fix her some tea and lunch, checked on her again a couple of hours later, and then got up for work last night.  I still felt like I slept well enough;  but if I would have been working days, I would have had to call in sick to be with her.  I haven't called in sick in over 3 years.  When I worked days a long time ago, it seemed like I was calling in at least once a month to be home with a sick kid.</p>
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<p>So:  Pros:  Great schedule for the most part.  Decent benefits.  Good pay (I feel like I make good money).  Great job.  Love my coworkers and my environment.  I'm making a positive difference in someone's world every day, even if it's just taking four extra minutes to listen, give a back rub, or go to bat to get better pain control on board.  On days when I know I'm a huge part of saving someone's life, I'm positively giddy.</p>
<p>Another pro:  a lot of lateral movement.  If you don't like the hours, environment, pace, whatever of one floor, go to another.  Or another facility.  Or another area.  The possibilities for types of jobs are literally limitless.  </p>
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<p>Cons:  It's stressful.  You mess up, maybe you hurt or kill someone's baby, someone's mother, someone's husband. It's a lot of responsibility.  Hours can be long, depending upon the environment.  If you work in a hospital or nursing home, they're open 24/7.  I'm working Christmas eve and Christmas day this year.  Bummer, but on the other hand, someone has to.  A hospital can't close.</p>
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<p>My career works because my husband and family are so incredibly supportive.  DH and the kids completely get the sleep schedule, and never wake me unnecessarily.  No one ever whines about the fact that I miss a lot of evening or weekend events because I'm sleeping.  No one whines because I'm gone most of Christmas this year...the kids have heard from practically birth that Mama needs to be at the hospital to help people who are too sick to be home on Christmas.  They recognize with these negatives come the positives:  we can afford their fancy music lessons.  I'm the go-to mom for any activity during the day, because I'm always home.  I never freak out about blood or gore, and I know what to do in an emergency.  I can have frank, factual conversations with the kids and their friends about anything, and somehow it's not as bad as anyone else's mom, because I'm a nurse, not just a mom.  I tell great stories...they love the stories.  Horror stories about college kids who, after smoking some weed laced with some unknown substance, stripped naked, went to their final, and took a dump on the TA's desk.  Sweet stories about some little old confused gal with gnarled hands who I thought kept trying to grab my face, but at some point I discovered that she was trying to tuck my bangs behind my ears.  Interesting stories about unusual and rare syndromes, diseases, medication reactions, life situations. Always, always with love and awe for the human body and condition.  </p>
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<p>Okay, I've typed too long.  Probably because I've been up all night!  Anyhow, I personally love my job, it's perfect for me and my family, and I'll be a nurse until they zip up my body bag.  I love it.</p>
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<p>Lorijds, I don't know anyone like you in real life, but am thrilled that there are nurses out there who love med-surg. The patients need more nurses like you.</p>
 

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<p>This is interesting!  I'm looking at doing an accelerated BSN program.  My concern is how much time away the program would require.  Those of you who did an accelerated BSN program, did you have young children?  It is possible to do with small children and a husband who works weird law enforcement hours?</p>
 

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<p>I have found this thread very interesting. I am going to school right now to be a nurse. Eye opening, indeed!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Constant Gardener</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284059/calling-all-nurses#post_16121722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>This is interesting!  I'm looking at doing an accelerated BSN program.  My concern is how much time away the program would require.  Those of you who did an accelerated BSN program, did you have young children?  It is possible to do with small children and a husband who works weird law enforcement hours?</p>
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<br><br><p>Possible if you have very good childcare. You have regular class time, we would usually go 3 full days, and then clinicals, that is what is all over the place. We were expected to do 12+ hour shifts, nights, weekends here and there. My schedule was never the same week to week., one rare week I might have no clinicals, the next week 2-3, I usually had at least 1 a week if not more. The class homework and prep for clinicals can be quite intense as well. I would usually get my assignment for the next day at 4pm, have to go to the hospital to get patient info, and go home and spend a couple hours creating careplans before coming back before 6am.  I wasn't a mom in my program, but there were many, they just had sitters, and then more back up sitters to make it all work, I don't think they slept much!  </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Constant Gardener</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284059/calling-all-nurses#post_16121722"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>This is interesting!  I'm looking at doing an accelerated BSN program.  My concern is how much time away the program would require.  Those of you who did an accelerated BSN program, did you have young children?  It is possible to do with small children and a husband who works weird law enforcement hours?</p>
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<p><br>
I was in an accelerated program & found it to be very time-consuming. I was thankful at the time for not having children. However, some of the students did get through the program w/ families. You have to be highly focused & have lots of support. It's definitely easier to do the grad student thing w/ kids, since there is more flexibility in choosing coursework (but if you don't yet have an RN license, even the BSN-to-MN programs require the more regimented BSN coursework first). In undergrad, and especially in an accelerated program, the coursework is taken in a predetermined, sequential way -- you will not have any flexibility in how you arrange classes or clinicals. And this is a big one -- if you miss a clinical day (suppose you can't find childcare coverage, for example, or you have a sick child at home), you can be charged w/ patient endangerment -- yes, it becomes a "safety" issue for the program. Some programs will even kick you out if you miss two clinical days. I would have these conversations w/ faculty beforehand to determine their position on this.</p>
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<p>So in essence, don't sign up for nursing school w/ kids unless you have backup coverage for your backup coverage, just in case there is a family emergency, sick day, or other unexpected event.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>[email protected]</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284059/calling-all-nurses#post_16130366"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<p>So in essence, don't sign up for nursing school w/ kids unless you have backup coverage for your backup coverage, just in case there is a family emergency, sick day, or other unexpected event.</p>
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YES! Even being 5 minutes late in my program meant you were sent home, no excuses taken period. Moms were not given any extra slack, the only way you were to miss a clinical is if you yourself was ill, and that was not accepted more then one or twice the entire year. The moms that gave birth during the program, yes we had some, were back in class the next week, and back on full clinical duty, there just was no exceptions for anything.  Do not underestimate just how intense nursing school is. </p>
 

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<p>I think that it really just depends on what you like & whether you are able to find a position in that type of field. I absolutley hate hospital nursing with a passion. For me, it was indeed the stressful, life-sucking experience others have already described. I never felt like I had the time to really do a good job, I never had the time to eat right, and sometimes the rush felt plain dangerous. We were required to work holidays and most hospital shifts in my area are 7-7 which means working fewer days/wk but those hours make it hard to arrange for taking care of school aged kids on the days you do work. Very few doc offices hire RNs here too - they've mostly gone to using MAs.</p>
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<p>I worked at a health department for several years & really did love that. I left there recently because of some issues with management & there aren't many other opportunities at another health dept within reasonable driving distance. The hours were mostly normal office hours with some later nights seasonally & holidays off but the pay is less than you could make in other areas. I just decided in December to take a pay cut and go into school nursing. The pros are that my work hours are closer aligned with my kids' school hours, I get holidays, spring break & summers off. I still get to work in a community health focused environment which I love. One down side is that there are very few of these positions available & they're very competative to get - some nurses try to just sub until a position becomes available. Something else is that you need to feel very comfortable working independently since there won't be another nurse right there to help you.</p>
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<p>I guess I would say it's important to think about what exactly it is about nursing that attracts you & make certain it will actually live up to those expectations once you get there. In reality it isn't the warm fuzzy type of job a lot of people think it is. Nursing school is a royal PITA, especially if you have young children, and accelerated programs are even more demanding. You will have to be totally committed to it, you will need strong support from family & friends and you will need dependable childcare that might include early or late hours to accommodate clinicals.</p>
 

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<p>I'm a respiratory therapist, not a nurse, but much of the pros and cons up above I can echo.  It's a very rewarding job, sometimes things are sad, sometimes you get the opportunity to witness miracles.  Some days the patients or their families really frustrate me.  School is hard, no ifs about it, but so very worth it. </p>
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<p>In the end, though, I love my job, and think I picked the right field. </p>
 
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