by Lisa M. Tufts, RN
So, you have decided to go to nursing school… why? Let’s see if this is the right career path for you. Whether it is your first or second career choice, there are questions you should ask yourself before you spend the time, money, and energy it takes to follow a path that leads you to a career where your job is to care for people who are acutely and chronically ill. So, ask yourself some important questions:
- Have you ever been in a hospital, as a worker, a patient, a visitor?
- What is your current career and does it relate?
- What interests you in nursing? If you are choosing nursing for monetary reasons, then you are you choosing it for the wrong reasons. First of all, nurses, especially new nurses, do not make a lot money. Second, unless you can afford to pay cash for your education, you need to pay back your student loans after your graduate. Last, you need advanced education, which cost even more money to make an advanced salary with years of experience, so forget that idea.
- Have you ever cared for a sick person?
- Have you ever worked in a hospital or nursing home?
- Do you realize that you will be working with bodily fluids? Yes, all the bodily fluids. The job is not glamorous.
Do yourself a favor if you are thinking about going to nursing school, and get a job as a nursing assistant. This is a great place to start to determine if a career in nursing is for you.
Frankly, I believe being a nursing assistant should be a requirement to becoming a nurse.
If you are already in nursing school and not working as a nursing assistant, you should. You need the experience of caring for patients at the basic level. You will be surprised at how much you will learn as a nursing assistant, especially when the nurses that you work with know that you are a nursing assistant—they can and will show you things, like wound care, for example. You will get opportunities to see things as a nursing assistant that you might not see in nursing school. This will be very beneficial toward your education and experience. It also shows that you are serious about your nursing career.
Think about it; who would a Nurse Manager want to hire? The new grad with patient care experience, or the new grad who has been working at a grocery store while they are in school.
Lisa Tufts began her career in healthcare as Certified Nursing Assistant at the age of 17. Since then she has remained in healthcare in various roles from Medical Coding, Executive Assistant, Medical Assistant, and has not been a Registered Nurse for six years.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.