Nursing & Healthcare Directories on: The Nursefriendly
Indiana Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession
Nursing Has Been Good To Me, By Aileen King, RN

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Nursing has been good to me. The profession has given me opportunities that I might not have had if I entered another field. I have had learning experiences I would not have had otherwise. I've traveled to places I would not been able to afford if I had to pay my own way. I earned an income that helped me support and educate my children and myself. I raised my children as a single parent without depending on state funded support.

I worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse for 10 years before considering professional nursing. At that time I worked the evening shift in a county hospital on a Med/Surg floor. This was a teaching hospital for nursing students and medical students, alike. Patient capacity was a little over 30 on my Floor. Most of the patient population was indigent and/or homeless with substance abuse issues, primarily alcoholism, with any number of health problems. Someone was either going into DT's, in DT's or coming out of DT's at any given time. Treatment, at that time, included attempts at sedation, leather restraints, rehydration with IV fluids, and preventing aspiration with anchored NG tubes. As the Charge Nurse, I was in charge of medicines and treatment for all patients and directing a staff of five Nursing Assistants. The Assistants were trained to take vital signs and give direct patient care, only. In those times, patients' medicines were in the form of “open stock”. I calculated and mixed doses for individual patients including mixed, timed and hung IVs. No such thing as IV pumps. That meant I had to monitor each and every IV about every hour to make sure it was maintained at the correct rate and the site was OK. Almost every patient on the Floor had an IV. Sounds like a lot of work? It was, and I loved it! Caring for patients, the challenges, the pace, the learning opportunities, I loved it all.

I started my training as a Professional Nurse at just about the time the Feminist Movement was coming in to vogue. The world looked at women in a whole new light, at our insistence, I might add. We wanted to be thought of as responsible, intelligent, and capable people. And given the opportunities to prove it. Of course, to be compensated accordingly. (We're still struggling with that.) Until then, young women's careers extended to teaching or nursing. Families encouraged nursing, not necessarily as a career option but as a way to meet and marry doctors. Or at least with the potential to become a doctor, ensuring a secure financial future. This was the farthest thing from my mind. For one thing, there wasn't that many future doctors to choose from in my community. Another, my goals leaned towards learning more about patient care and putting myself in a better financial position. Nursing, for me, seemed the best way to do it.

At the same time as the Feminist Movement, the approach to nursing took a drastic turn. The Nursing Process was born. We actually instituted a documented plan of action with goals for our patients' care. We listed problems to be addressed, how we were going to resolve them, and when we expected them to be resolved. This approach involved creative thinking and a take-charge attitude for patient care. Fits right in with the Feminist Movement, doesn't it? Physicians were upset, feeling their roles were threatened. “Nurses are trying to tell us what to do.” Long-time nurses who had doctors on a pedestal believed it was crumpling before their very eyes. They saw their roles changing from subservient to physicians, to one with more patient-oriented goals in mind. Not a bad thing, but not a place where they wanted to be at this point in their career. One of my mentors during my training says this was the most change in nursing she's seen in 20 years. Change is always hard for anyone. Many health care professionals were very comfortable with their place in their careers and their private lives. But for the new nurse coming into this scenario, these were exciting times and long overdue!

The same can be said for today's new nurse. Nursing care has not changed in terms of goals we've set for our patients. But how we deliver care has, in fact, changed the face of nursing. The focus remains patient care but new technology and how it is applied to nursing has opened new areas. The way we document, our resources, our teaching and learning methods benefit both patients and nurses, alike. Nurses are not just complaining about “The System,” but are challenging “The System,” and bringing about change in the process. Some of us are willing to meet today's challenges head on; some of us would rather not. That does not make us less of a caring nurse. It just means our career goals have shifted, our place in our career and private lives has changed and we are ready to move on. The shame of it all is the nurse who remains in a place where he/she does not want to be, unable or unwilling to move on. Nurses feel trapped and bitter because of their predicament and patient care suffers.

Would I recommend a nursing career to young men and women? Yes! But bring baggage, baggage loaded with enthusiasm, willingness to meet new challenges, lots of energy, and a genuine concern for patient care. Be flexible. The ability to accept new ideas and incorporate them into a plan makes for better teamwork. Look for opportunities to enhance skills and knowledge. Use all available resources. Be creative. Rather than try to work around “The System,” look for ways “The System” can work for you. And most of all recognize the time to move on. It's not a bad thing. It just means you've reached yet another plateau in your life and your career.


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Nursing, Not For Everyone, Not For Most People by nursefriendly
Nurses are Licensed Professionals who's practice is regulated by Nurse Practice Acts, and the State Board of Nursing of each State. Nursing is a ...

See Also: Certified Nursing Assistants, CNAs, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Disabled Nurses, Legal Nurse Consultants, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPNs/LVNs), Registered Nurses

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In our National Consumer Review directory you'll find brutally honest reviews of the positive and negative aspects of the Nursing Profession. Reviews from Registered Nurses (RN's) & Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN's/LVN's) on the working conditions and payscales of nurses so that persons whom are considering entering the nursing field will get all the facts of what it means to be a nurse in today's nursing profession.

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Andrew Lopez, BS RN

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Nursing: Is It A Career For You? by Bobstein
When I was faced with choosing a career I wasn't clear exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I enjoyed the sciences and helping people, and with high unemployment rates in the mid-1970's I chose to enter the nursing profession.

by melissasrn
Pros: The opportunity to make a difference in someone's life; decent pay; flexible schedules. Cons: Short staffing; floating requirements; little respect; dealing with bodily functions.

An LPN's Story of Progress by: NJNurse
The Decision to Become A Nurse. When I was starting to decide on a career after high school I wanted to cry.

The Nursing Shortage: Reasons Nurses Are Leaving The Profession by Rebel5877
All across America, There are shortages of Registered Nurses (RN's) and Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN's/LVN's), and Nurse's Aides entering ...

Response to NJ's work in progress by jt1013
There is a shortage of nurses. That is a given. I have a large amount of respect for LPN's. My sister is one in Kentucky. She has been one for 32 ...

My Opinion of The Nursing Profession, by emsopinion
I have been a nurse for over twenty two years. In that time I have worked in many different fields of medicine.

Feast or Famine by lovepepsi
Pros: the feeling you get when you helps someone
Cons: short staffing, not being able to save everyone



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Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on February 28, 2023

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