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Would you urge your child to be a nurse?

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Nursing can be an absolute roller coaster of a career. Sure, there are times when your coworkers are driving you crazy and all you want to do is quit, but there are also those moments when you know you’ve made a difference in a patient’s life. We asked our Facebook fans if they would encourage their kids (whether they currently have them or not!) to become nurses. Read on for their eye-opening, brutally honest responses!

YES
Absolutely! I have already tried to encourage both my son and daughter to enter the field as nurses. Why? Because the field of nursing is exciting, gratifying and in need of a serious face lift. We need people who actually care about others. Both of my children are compassionate and giving, just as I am.
—Sharon Crosson

Yes! Who will take care of us when we get old?! ;)
—Mary Elisabeth Smith

Yes—as a nurse you get to hold the hand of a newborn baby and you get to hold the hand of a person who is dying. You get the opportunity to be a voice for someone who needs one and an advocate for patient rights. Every day you can make a difference in someone’s life. I think being a nurse is a blessing and I am very proud of what I do every day.
—Amy Vermeulen Mcdonald

Yes, I would. My daughter currently volunteers at the hospital where I work and I would be proud if she chose nursing as a profession. I have a wonderful picture of my great-grandmother and all three of her sisters who were nurses on my mantel (we come from a nursing family). I used my great-grandmother’s pin during my pinning ceremony and would love to pass it onto my daughter someday! Nursing is a solid, respectable profession that offers job security. It does have its share of ups and downs, but so do all jobs. My daughter is a kind and empathetic person and would make a wonderful nurse…if only she could get that gag reflex under control! ;)
—Mel Stofko

If it were truly what they wanted to do and their personality fit the job, then I would support them 110 percent. I would let them make an informed decision, telling them about the hours you spend charting after your shift ends and the thankless physicians, coworkers and patients who come along with it. There are those patients, though, who truly touch your heart, and you theirs, who make the job worth it, for me anyway.
—Candice Williams

NO
Absolutely NOT. Brutal, endless shifts. Disrespect, abuse and disregard from managers, coworkers, patients and physicians. Little room for advancement unless you “know someone.” Backstabbing. Going home exhausted, sometimes in tears. The emotional roller coaster that happens in 12 hours. Bodily fluids and the risk that accompanies working with them on a daily basis that gets worse every day. I appreciate all of the Florence Nightingale types who think we are all issued angel wings with our diplomas; however, they sometimes tend to disregard all of the negative aspects of the job. You HAVE to admit, even if only to yourself, that more often than not, this job is just awful. I want my daughter to have a nice desk job in a climate-controlled office with hour-long lunch breaks, going to the bathroom whenever she likes and where she can take a day off without feeling guilty for staying home sick because she knows she is leaving her coworkers in a bind.
—Kahne Lynn Prejean

I agree with Kahne. I’ve been at it over 21 years now and it’s a thankless job. All you ever hear is the bad stuff. We are worked like dogs. You give your heart and soul and are not appreciated one bit. I would never encourage my kids to go into healthcare, and my doctor friends are discouraging their kids as well. Ahhh…feels good to say how I really feel!
—Beth Longwell

No, I would not, because many of the nursing jobs are micromanaged and make you feel demeaned. I would encourage them to go into a helping profession that allows them to express their creative side.
—Meg Gallagher

No, I told my children they were not allowed to become nurses! Disrespected, cursed at work, plus the endless holidays, school parties and sporting events we miss. And just the fact that we are not appreciated!
—Melissa Pennington

No, I did not encourage any of my four daughters to become nurses. In fact, I told them not to consider it. They got to experience firsthand the awful work hours resulting in time I didn’t get to spend with them. The pay and benefits are not what they should be, either. If any of them had really wanted it, I would have supported their decision, though, because I had so many rewarding experiences that I never would have had otherwise. I would have encouraged them to go further with it than the basic education and become a nurse practitioner, or consider being a physician’s assistant instead.
—Natalie Mook

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER…
I am a little undecided. My generation will need great nurses, but with changes coming in healthcare, I am not sure the newer nurses will actually have time to take care of the sick patients.
—Marie Monson Tassin

I think that nursing is a great profession, but one must have a sense of caring and compassion. It is hard work, but the rewards are great. Also, there are many different kinds of nursing, which should make this profession more attractive to the right person.
—June Yvonne Mourillon

Would you encourage your children (whether or not you currently have them) to become nurses? Why or why not?

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3 Responses to Would you urge your child to be a nurse?

  1. jas RN

    I have encouraged my daughter to become a RN. She wants to be in one of the ancillary departments like pharmacy tech or phlebotomist. She doesn’t think she can handle the smells or sight of being a nurse. I told her the pay is great and most of the time the profession can be rewarding. I’ve also warned her about the long, fast hours of being on your feet and the physical and mental toll of the profession.

  2. hoopernurse RN

    I certainly would not! We don’t care for the sick anymore, we only do paperwork. And if what we do isn’t 100% perfect to the unwritten standards mangalment creates (But doesn’t tell us!) then we get written up. I’ve worked retail before nursing and I have to say that getting screamed at by customers on Black Friday looks like a beach vacation compared to the living hell that is nursing. My job is everything I expected it to be (Thankless, long hours, backstabbing nasty coworkers, even worse management) but in the end the patients make up for all of that. Love my patients, hate my job.

  3. admartindale RN

    For all the nurses who responded with a “NO” that they would not encourage their children to become nurses. For whatever the reason may be, I have a question.
    What are you doing to change nursing to make it better? There are over 3 million nurses in the United States if we as a group are so unhappy with the nursing profession why are we not coming together to change it?