Careers? Any RN's?

Zaay653

FNG
Joined
Dec 10, 2023
Messages
2
Hey guys, I am a 22 yr old from central Kentucky and I just joined the Rolkside community. I recently graduated with my bachelor degree in Exercise Science and I am make trying to navigate what my future career might be. Currently, I have been thinking about going to get my RN through an 12 month accelerated BSN program, working in ICU for a couple years, then attending CRNA school. However, I read and heard from many RN's that nursing is not a very smart decision and they are burning out because of many reason including bad management, stress, poor work-life balance, and etc. This somewhat makes me hesitant because I have never really had a "passion" for becoming a RN. I truly enjoy being a servant and helping people. It also seems like the career has many opportunities, decent pay, good hours (3x12's), and is something I am almost already qualified for. If any of you all are RN's, CRNA's, or have experience in field could you maybe share your expense? Are you happy and satisfied with your job? or is it really as terrible as everyone seems to be suggesting? Is there another career that maybe I am missing?….. Is there plenty of time to hunt? aha

Anyway, thanks for any experience or advice you may be able to lend! I am excited to be apart of this community.
 

7mm-08

WKR
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
593
Location
Idaho
Not a nurse, but my son is and I can only stand by and (jealously) watch the unbelievable gigs he has going as the result of being smart enough to have chosen that career path. He's been a nurse for more than ten years. He started working as an ER nurse immediately after passing his NCLEX at a native hospital in Alaska, where he got tons of ER and ICU experience. He previously lived in the Pacific and Inland Northwest his whole life. He stayed in Alaska a few years, hunted and fished his butt off and then took an ER and ICU nurse job back in the Pacific Northwest. He worked there for a year or so and started working as an ER and ICU nurse at a level 1 trauma center in Texas. He worked there about four years and decided to become a flight nurse. He moved back to a rural location in the Pacific Northwest and then took a second job at a teaching hospital as a flight nurse. The way the days/schedule worked out, he worked both jobs for a couple years to bank a bunch of money. He now works only one job for the teaching hospital as a flight nurse. What a gig - like 24 on and 48 off and you can trade days around with fellow nurses to maximize days off. Honestly, if I had confidence in my math and science skills, I'd have gone to nursing school after I retired from federal law enforcement (33 years in that profession). My observation is that if you decide to become a nurse, you'll never be out of a job, you can live anywhere in the U.S. and you'll be well rewarded for your efforts. Best of luck with your decision.

Edit: On more than one occasion I've offered to bankroll CNRA training or medical school - I've been turned down every time.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
1,573
Location
San Antonio
Wife is a nurse, she makes great money and doesn't understand how spoiled she is. RN's will always have complaints about scheduling and short staffing and such, but most of the rest of us work Mon-Fri and would trade the schedule with all it's issues, who you work for and what field obviously affects that as well. Seems like a great gig to me if you have confidence and some drive you can have an incredible career. Wife doesn't even have to take vacation for most of our hunting trips, she can schedule herself 8 days off in a row without missing a day of work.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,404
Location
CO
Nursing is a great choice as the job security and flexibility are basically second to none. In my opinion the Pros greatly outweigh the Cons. Yes there is some burnout. For me, it kind of comes and goes. But burnout will exist to some degree in almost any career field, as will a different list of Cons that probably come a lot closer to outweighing the Pros (or they do, maybe even by a LOT). Yes upper level management is WILDLY out of touch with reality, does practically nothing, and is grossly overpaid. But again those things are going to be true pretty much anywhere.

I was not really passionate about nursing and largely chose it for the practical reasons highlighted. It has been mostly good for ~5 years for me so far. I don't regret it and would choose it again.
 

Fatcamp

WKR
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
5,644
Location
Sodak
Do you intend to stay in Kentucky? I know some places have very low pay. Something to consider.

There are a bunch of nurses on here. I'm a nurse as a second career. Construction previously. One of our new nurses holds a degree in Exercise Science as well, but I don't know him well enough to know why he's made the change.

FOR ME, this had been a great change and one I wish I had done earlier. My life didn't really allow for that so I'm thankful it happened when it did. I work 5, 8 hour shifts now, but previously worked 3, 12 hour shifts. Lots of freedom in what, where and when you do your job.

I highly reccomend researching the different fields of nursing and look for one that interests you. At 22 CRNA would be high on my list, but there are many others. I work in the OR.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
839
I’ve been a nurse for 8 years. I’ve done emergency room, heart cath, interventional radiology, teaching and even a year in management.

The biggest positive of a nursing career is that there are so many different specialties/areas that you are bound to eventually find something that you like. There are literally thousands of different nursing positions.

But, nursing is different than pre-COVID. The pandemic burned most of us out. And companies/hospitals don’t care about you (the nurse) or the patient, all they care about is money.

Nurses coming out of school now are not getting properly trained. There is no emphasis on critical thinking any longer. It’s task completion and that’s it. Critical thinking is an essential part of nursing. I can teach a monkey to pass out meds and click buttons on a computer.

But, in the end, it is the most rewarding career I have ever had. Would I do it again? Yes. But I just hope this time I wouldn’t have to go through a pandemic.
 

Fullfan

WKR
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
959
Location
Nw/Pa
Daughter is a RN. Loves her job. And fyi she makes more $$ micro needling and doing Botox injections at a big local salon. We chatted about her quitting at the hospital where she works, due to less hours and more $$ at her side hustle. With no other health insurance or pension, she decided it would be wise to stay at the hospital.

Lots of options when you become an RN.
 

Sizthediz

WKR
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
444
Nurses make $$$$, there will ALWAYS be employment opportunities, BUT it is a very hard and demanding job at times. But you are young.why not go for ARNP, DR, Etc....
The more letters after your name the more $$$$you can make. Retire sooner, work hard now or work hard later. Your choice and good luck. Helping people everyday is a great thing
 

kpk

WKR
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
691
Location
MN
they are burning out because of many reason including bad management, stress, poor work-life balance, and etc.

This is not unique to nursing. This is a problem everywhere.

My wife is a nurse and stepdaughter is currently in nursing school. Of course there are gripes about everything you listed, but IMO the perks they get far outweigh the cons. From what I've seen - if you're in a big city with a big enough hospital/hospitals you have nearly endless options. My wife went from a 24/7 trauma floor nurse, to interventional radiology procedures (with the intention of moving on to CNRA), and is now a specialty WOC nurse in the span of about 5 years.

If you've got the drive to do it, your options and potential are endless.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2023
Messages
977
Location
Houston (adjacent) TX
Not a nurse but worked with plenty over the years. Don’t forget that this is a shift work profession and most likely you will be starting working over nights. Sleeping during the day takes some getting used to and then trying to convert to a normal sleep schedule on days off is a whole nother story as I’ve been down that road myself.

Overall if you can handle the negatives you’ve already mentioned, I do think the pros outweigh the cons as someone mentioned before.
 

Sizthediz

WKR
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
444
If you are single You can become a travel rn. Essentially set your schedule around things you want to do ( hunting season). Most times they are contracts for a few weeks to months. They make A LOT more $$$.
 

Bluefish

WKR
Joined
Jan 5, 2023
Messages
396
Nephew is a recent RN grad and now 2 years into working. He is enjoying it and has a hospital that knows it needs to be competitive to keep good workers. He works 3 days a week and has to work some weekends, but overall quite flexible.
make sure you get a BS if you get your RN. The industry is moving to have a BS as a minimum entry requirement. I have talked to an older nurse who was being pushed out of a 20+ year position as she did not have a BS. Btw she loved the job.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
572
RN here too, it’s a good gig for the most part but will likely depend on your hospital system and individual unit. If you are willing to move around the money was insane during covid, but rates have dropped again. Being a brand new nurse during covid I wasn’t able to capitalize. Now travel rates are around 2-3k per week. Luckily some of this is untaxed, but do realize that travel is not a sure thing and contracts can be cut at any time- there is definitely a little more risk in travel.

I do think that RNs tend to get screwed on both ends by hospitals and the system, we end up being the catch all for any issues that arise. MD didn’t put in orders, RN has to call the MD. Case manager didn’t get home health, RN has to be on top of that too. Family wants updates, guess who has to do that too.

I think a lot of the negativity that comes from the RN profession honestly has to do with the fact that is has a large female majority. Even on my unit I see the drama that female coworkers tend to create. It isn’t all of them but it is definitely there. Lots of the discontentment as an RN is a matter of perspective too-It isn’t as bad as quite a few jobs that I’ve had in the past doing manual labor, etc. You will work hard, and be overwhelmed (particularly at first). When you start applying for jobs look closely at patient ratios and ask to shadow. There are some predatory tactics going on in the profession in regards to sign on bonuses, etc. My hospital has 4-5pt on med surg (days) and it’s why I have stuck around so long. Friends and coworkers from other places have reported 6-8+ patients per nurse which is just asking for problems. My mental heath is worth more than a couple more thousand a year.

As far as loving the profession or being “meant to be” a nurse: I am not a healthcare hero, I don’t have RN stickers on my car (yuk), and outside for 3x12s a week I don’t really think about or care about the fact that I am a nurse. Its not a problem to not be infatuated with the idea of nursing, I think quite often that is just used against us as rationale for why nurses ought to do more, take less pay, or work harder. I enjoy caring for people, but the massive amount of empathy that some nurses possess can sometimes almost be a detriment to their own mental health and critical thinking on the job (this is not a blanket statement and is highly dependent on specialty) I care about my patients well for 12 hours but outside of a few situations I don’t think about the hospital at all once I clock out.

If you have any other questions feel free to shoot me a message. I graduated with my BSN in 2020 at 22yo.
 
Last edited:

Doc Holliday

WKR
Classified Approved
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
2,600
Wife is a RN for 20 years now, and it's been a good fit for her. She's been lucky to never have worked a single night shift or weekend. The main challenges day to day seem to all stem from staffing shortages. She has recently moved to PRN where she tells them what days she is going to work for the upcoming month, so we are now able to travel or go to our farm without worrying about "requests getting approved" as long as we plan ahead.
 

Z Barebow

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
271
Daughter is an RN. Both of my daughters became CNA's (I think that is correct) in HS as they took health careers classes. She is now several months away from getting her Master's in Nursing Education. She currently works part time in a NICU at a large hospital. Since she is part time, she basically works under a 6 month contract. During Covid, her contracts were nuts, (financially) IMHO. Things have settled to a new normal now, but she and my SIL are doing very well.

At your age and if it is something you are interested in, I say go for it. What is the downside?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
662
Location
Midwest
As an RN id highly recommend you pursue it. That burnout you mention, mismanagement, etc only occurs on the floor. But, as an RN you will have a wealth of career options you wouldnt imagine. Currently, i work from home and havent worked with a patient in a decade. Its afforded me the ability to be WAY more involved in my 10 yo sons life than most guys. Becoming an RN was probably one of the best decisions ive made.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
662
Location
Midwest
Nurses coming out of school now are not getting properly trained. There is no emphasis on critical thinking any longer. It’s task completion and that’s it. Critical thinking is an essential part of nursing. I can teach a monkey to pass out meds and click buttons on a computer.
This is a GREAT point. Ive been an RN for 15 years and critical thinking is absolutely, well, critical!

The thinking nowadays that you just follow orders and pass meds without a second thought is really pretty alarming when i think about the fact that i one day will be a patient. Its a disservice to patients but largely driven by Hospital Administration who often dont even have healthcare related degrees.
 

bnsafe

WKR
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
581
I'm a rn surgical director. Can't say I would do it again but after 30 years I'm stuck til retirement. It takes its toll on you both physically an mentally. Like I said I would not do it again.
With thar said, crna jobs are in extremely high demand an pay well. It will take you a few years to get there an alot of hard work, but you will get paid an most places I go they get treated very well.
 

Beendare

WKR
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
8,119
Location
Corripe cervisiam
My wife and many of her buddies are all nurses. Our niece is living with us going through one of the accelerated programs to be an RN. My sons G& is an RN now getting her NP.

So many good niches in that field From hospital, travelers, small clinics to home health. There are many specialty designations you can get

My wifes pay would shock you. Her friend an ICU nurse would too- they can easily make $200k/yr. That will take a few years to gain the experience needed for those positions. These are in the high paying Ca. In the midwest states they tell me the pay scale is much less- starting at $35/hr in some places.

Its a great career choice
 
Top