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Pennsylvania Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession

After Fourteen Years As An RN, I Am Not Sorry For My Choice.
By Lynn Kash, RN

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Would I recommend the nursing profession? That is a good question that requires a lot of thought. Nursing was not my first choice of careers. I studied accounting in college, and after working in the business world, decided it was not for me. I fell into a job as a nursing assistant and found patient care to my liking. I then started nursing school and the rest is history.

After fourteen years as an RN, I am not sorry for my choice. However, being a nurse has been no bed of roses. There have always been the problems of short staffing and mandatory overtime. Now, with big business taking over hospitals, these conditions have worsened. Some hospitals have closed their doors due to lack of profit leaving other already busy hospitals over saturated with patients.

I have worked in an emergency room for the past thirteen years. In the past, the hectic periods were balanced with lulls where you could catch your breath and exchange a few words with co-workers. At present, there are no lulls. A hallway full of ailing, irritable people that have over-flowed from the waiting room greet you at the beginning of each shift. Every frantic minute of the day is spent racing from one task to the next. You have to learn to deal with a hysterical mother whose child has a fever while you are titrating drugs and monitoring a patient who has just suffered a heart attack.

If you are smart, you learn to carry food in your pocket to keep your blood sugar at a decent level. Also you learn not to drink too much, to avoid stopping to use the rest room. Then, just when you think you can you can stand up no longer, you find out that you are being held hostage because of a call-out or because there are just too many patients for the next shift to handle.

This type of work environment takes a toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. It also takes a toll on your family when you come home too tired and miserable to play with your children. Or when you have to work weekends and holidays, or during the school play. Also, one of the most stressful things is to know that a mistake could hurt your patient or cost them their life. Even when your work is flawless, there is always the threat of a lawsuit, (a topic worth discussion itself).

On the other hand, there are positives to being a nurse. While negative experiences tend to be uppermost in your mind, there are many positives that keep you going. First, there is the satisfaction of knowing that you are constantly using your knowledge and skills to make a difference in the lives of your patients (whether they appreciate it or not). Also, each day provides a new opportunity for teaching and/or learning something new. Working as a nurse is never boring. In the ER I have had a part in saving lives many times. Just as thrilling is bandaging up a child's “booboo”, or administering pain medication and watching a patient relax in relief.

So, would I recommend nursing? It's not for everyone. But, for the most part, the rewards do out weigh the aggravation. It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse.

Our newest nurse's views, to submit your own view, please contact us.

Twenty Years of Nursing by James E. Meekins, North Carolina Nursing Views:"Thirty years ago I walked into the Navy recruiters office; laid off, without a real skill and signed up to be a Navy Hospital Corpsman (medic). I learned basic patient care---and basic first aid; and learned to work under the direction of a physician or nurse. I enjoyed what I did, the pride of being part of a team; accomplishment of a common goal, first aid in the field with Marines, or care of a patient in the hospital. . . ."

Nursing: Pros and Cons by Christy Picton, RN, BSN, Illinois Nurses' Views of The Nursing Profession:"I struggle when asked whether I would recommend the nursing profession as a career. In the end it comes to down to a weighing of the pros and cons. Let me begin by introducing you to some of my patients, my "pros" so to speak. . . . "

"One of The Lucky Ones" by Christine Cruz, Minnesota Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession:"My name is Chris. I have been an RN for ten-years. I have worked in a wide variety of nursing settings, from home care, long-term care to telephone triage, clinics and nursing management. Upon graduation from nursing school in, May, 1993, I had eagerly anticipated a new RN position at a local hospital, in one of its med-surgical units. . . ."

You Want to Be a Nurse? -- Better Leave Your Heart Behind by Pennye Diane Morgan Shaw R.N., Texas Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession:"So you're thinking about being a nurse? You probably are a person who wants to make a difference, to help others, to be a compassionate healer. Are these are the same reasons I entered the nursing profession about 9 years ago. I had been through the emotional experience of watching my father being diagnosed with colon cancer. I had been by his side though radiation therapy, and though surgery and recovery. I watched as he struggled to cope with the drastic changes to his body as he tried to return to a normal life. . . . "

My Advice for New and Potential Nurses, by Pam Lowry, Illinois Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession:"According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), "The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is projected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows." They also state enrollments in nursing colleges are at a six-year decline. According to JAMA there will be a shortage of 400,000 nurses in the U.S. by the year 2020. AACN goes on to state there are declines in nursing faculty leading to limitations on enrollment, the population of R.N.'s is the lowest it has been in 20 years, and vacancy rates at hospitals are high. . . "

An Insight Into Nursing by Leah Stockdale, R.N., B.S.N. Maryland Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession:"Although I am extremely proud of being a nurse, I will have to say that I am not sure if I would choose the profession if I could go back. At the same time, I probably would not choose any career in the health care industry. In my opinion, as far as hospital nursing is concerned, the negatives outweigh the positives. That is why I am currently in the process of applying my nursing skills and education to another field. . . "

A Letter To A Future Nurse by Kristina Rzanca, LPN, Michigan Nurses Views:"Being a Nurse is a career you can be spiritually, emotionally and financially satisfied with. In this day and age this is a unique opportunity, but it is not for everyone. A special person with qualities such as empathy, compassion, intelligence and above all patience should only apply. . . . "

To Be A Nurse Takes A Special Kind Of Person By Vicky Oliver, LPN:"As an LPN for the last ten years I believe I could give some insight on my experience as a nurse. I am the type of person who is always doing something for others instead of me. My experiences in nursing consist of Medical Surgical, Doctors' Office, Emergency Room, Surgery, GI Lab, Urology, Utilization Review, Recovery Room, and the Nursing Home. Anyone that goes into the nursing profession needs to be a very caring person, someone who wants to give to others and someone that is very dedicated. . . "

After Fourteen Years As An RN, I Am Not Sorry For My Choice By Lynn Kash, RN:"Would I recommend the nursing profession? That is a good question that requires a lot of thought. Nursing was not my first choice of careers. I studied accounting in college, and after working in the business world, decided it was not for me. I fell into a job as a nursing assistant and found patient care to my liking. I then started nursing school and the rest is history. . . .

A New York BSN's Point of View, By Melina Begun, BSN, RN, Clinical Administrative Liaison Nurse:"Nursing is suffering. Thousands of caring people enter into this profession every year only to become disillusioned by its reality. When I first started to study nursing, I immediately felt a connection with its history and our potential to be leaders in the medical community. Excited by all of the knowledge and skills I acquired in my Ivy league nursing program, I was astonished by the harsh reality of nursing in today's hospitals when I started working as a staff nurse. . .

Tips To A Good Start In The Nursing Profession by Diane Hartley:"My name is Diane and I have been in the nursing profession for 12 years. In those years I have seen very many changes with this profession. One of the first changes was in DRG's. This for those of you who do not know what they are is diagnosis related groups. . . "

Andrew's View (Nursefriendly Webmaster)
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, Male Nurses, Men In Nursing, Legal Nurse Consultants, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPNs/LVNs), Registered Nurses

Please choose from the following (Links will open up a new window):
Nurses Views Recommending The Profession,
Nurses views Not Recommending The Profession.

Choose Nurses Views by State: Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York State, North Carolina, Pennsylvania Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

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Wow.. a chance to give my opinion on nursing.. here goes.. :) When I was in college, I thought I wanted to be a math teacher. As I got higher in ...

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When I was a little girl I always thought that I would be a singer and marry Paul Anka! I thought I would live a glamorous life and travel around the ...

Where Are Our Leaders? by Moonflowerck
I have been an R.N. for 28 years. My range of experience encompasses nearly all aspects of critical care and pediatrics. I am a bedside nurse; that is my forte. I give quality nursing care; I am a good teacher; I am empathetic and intuitive. However, I am not a leader. My experiences in various leadership roles during my career were neither fulfilling nor very productive.

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

Infantile Spasms Advocacy Network, Patricia A. Coonan, R.N., C.E.N., L.N.C.:"Infantile Spasms (sometimes called West Syndrome) is a condition that begins in infancy. Babies with this condition show abnormal, jerking body movements, also called spasms; hence the name, Infantile Spasms. The cause of Infantile Spasms is not always known. However, the most common known cause of Infantile Spasms is a lack of oxygen to the baby during delivery. In some cases the brain damage caused by this lack of oxygen could have been prevented if doctors had taken proper steps during delivery to insure the baby was receiving enough oxygen. As a result, many children who have Infantile Spasms are victims of medical malpractice."
Infantile Spasms Advocacy Network
Patricia A. Coonan, R.N., C.E.N., L.N.C.
25th Floor
1845 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Telephone: 1-888-583-4942
Fax: 215-567-8333

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

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