The nursing field seems to be gaining some momentum these days, despite (or maybe because of!) the state of our economy. More and more people are interested in pursuing a career as a nurse, so they are asking questions and looking for answers. While most ask the right questions, not many actually find the right answers! If you’re interested in nursing, I would kindly like to remind you of a couple of things.
Do yourself a favor and avoid the following:
- No, we don’t sleep with the residents, interns or attending physicians as a means to bolster our careers. We also don’t wear white dresses or the caps anymore. Oh, and there are quite a few male nurses out there.
- The last time I checked, this is the ONLY place you would see the “sexy nurse” uniform and the provocative role playing. It really does only happen in the movies. And contrary to what you may see in the movies, most nurses are not passive or gullible.
- OK, I take that back. Online is the second place you’d see the “sexy nurse” outfit. Ask any nurse out there working a shift–heels are not your friend, and makeup is usually minimal if not optional when working a 12-hour day.
After you’ve avoided the above, here are some resources I’d suggest looking into:
- Talk to the registration office. Get in contact with current academic staff members who can properly inform you on what type of journey you would be undertaking.
- If you REALLY want to know what it takes, if you really want to know what it’s like to work as a nurse, why not talk to the people who are walking the shoes you are trying to fill? Most nurses will be excited you’re interested in our chosen career. Be aware, there are nurses out there who are NOT happy with their career choice. But then again, do you know of a career where everyone is happy?
- Get the scoop on the different options available in your immediate area. There are profound differences between a CNA, LPN, RN, BSN, MSN, CRNA, CRNP, etc. Where do you start? Maybe by enrolling in an LPN program? Or by training as a CNA to get your hands dirty first? Every nurse must be proficient in basic patient care needs and no one is above cleaning up the messes.
- While some may suggest you avoid these places at all costs, I would encourage you to seek out some of the residents who have had the experience of being cared for by a nurse. Get a patient or resident’s perspective. See just how much we nurses impact lives.
- These fairs, along with local career centers, are great places where you can learn from some of the best advocates of our profession. Learn why you should or should not become a nurse.
- Finally, you should delicately seek out current nurses online who tell the whole truth about our profession. Many nurses have turned to blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to share their experiences and learn from others how to better their practice, and exchange stories of heartache and triumph.
The bottom line is, don’t believe the hype. I was part of the public majority who thought that all nurses did was clean up poop and pass pills. And here I am on the cusp of graduating with my Master’s in Nursing that qualifies me to sit for the national certification exam as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. I couldn’t have been more wrong about what I thought a nurse was, and I couldn’t have been more right when I chose to dive into this profession I so love.