Going back to school

  • Recently I have been seriously considering going back to school. I've always wanted to finish, but didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. There are too many options and too many things I would enjoy. Well it's been several years since I last went to school and after considering several professions I think I have settled on pediatric nursing because there isn't anything better in this world to me than seeing new life. not just being born, but the innocence that comes with youth and all of the potential for their future. Anyway I know I can make it through school without too much trouble since for some odd reason I LOVE anything that has to do with "medicine". I also know that I can handle the job since I have an uncanny amount of patience, am good at explaining things not just to adults, but to children in terms that they can understand. I have no fear of needles, blood, open wounds. Lets just say I grew up on a farm and have helped delivered some calves in my day. Gore is not an issue with me... What I want to know from some of the nurses on here is what made you decide to become a nurse and the specific type you are now (ER, Office, Pediatric ect)? What is your favorite and least favorite parts of the job? Obviously I am not a nurse so I don't see on a regular basis the things that you encounter, however I can imagine this profession can be just as tough as it is rewarding.  Is there a balance to that? 

  • Brinny-

    YAY!  I always love to hear of an up and rising peds nurse!  I started my career by working as an aide (CNA), and that helped me figure out that nursing was the right direction.  I always knew I wanted to do peds (I just LOVE kids), but honestly I've enjoyed everything I have done within this profession.  What I would say so far as how to pick what area to go into-keep your options open.  When you are in nursing school you will do clinicals in all different areas and that will helps some.  Then see if you can job shadow, and do just what you are doing now-ask lots of questions from those of us than are nurses.  As an RN i've worked inpt peds medical and surgical, peds urgent care, peds infusion/pre/post op, Peds primary care clinic, peds phone triage, NICU, special care nursery, then most recently I've worked three years as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner doing primary care, plus I teach in BSN, ADN and NP programs-both pediatrics and adult med surg., pharmacy and theory.  So-the great thing about being a RN-you can do tons of different things.  I have always had atleast two jobs.  Generally a 75% position and then a per-diem.  It keeps me interested-working in more than one area. So, my advice, try different things-even if you think you might not like it-you might be surprised!  I also would suggest getting a CNA cert and working as an aide in a hospital of any kind.  That experience will make a huge difference life long.

    Feel free to ask more questions,


  • Thanks for your reply Jess. I know I would like any area that I work in so long as I work with people, however I really love children and am fascinated by pregnancy and new life. I need.. No more like CRAVE challenge. I always knew before that I needed to be challenged in my work but now that I have had my daughter and am home ALL day I am starting to realize that I would be way happier and useful working instead of staying at home... Just the conversation alone would would please me, but most of all I am and have always been a caregiver. First to my younger brother and sister while my mom worked two jobs to support us. Then to all of the animals on my grandparents farm. After that I moved on to work at a company called res-care where I was the weekend care giver to three wonderful men with the mentality of 7 and 13 year olds. I LOVED those guys we always had so much fun and they were a breath of fresh air in my rather mundane life. And now to my 6 month old daughter. I came to this decision not only because I think that it would be a really fulfilling job, but because I don't want to turn out like my mother working so hard just to tread water. It's painful to think of everything she missed out on while we were growing up because she couldn't afford to be there; And more than that I don't want Hazel to follow in those footsteps as she gets older. I am her role model and I want to set the best example for her. Not just with ambition and education, but with the type of person to be. That is in part why I came to the conclusion of going to nursing school... to better the future of everyone. Once again thank you for your reply it means a lot.


  • Jess gave you some great insight already! I'd say that nursing is both incredibly rewarding and challenging at the same time. I have worked in Adult Cardiac Telemetry and NICU, as well as doing adjunct teaching for some local community colleges. There are certainly politics and budget crunches, etc. in nursing just like any other job but I think any job is what you make of it. I have been fortunate to work on floors where people really love their careers and with managers who do a great job. My advice to you would be to go for your 4 year degree (BSN), as this will get you the furthest and let you be up for any management positions or anything else you want to do in nursing. I'd go ahead and volunteer on a maternity floor or become a CNA to start out with. See if you really love it! There is some great flexibility with shifts and hours for having kids and it's a rewarding career for sure. Good luck! 

  • Nursing is such an honorable profession and I applaud Jess and Julie for their efforts and insight. The nurses we have interacted with made our experiences much easier and more comfortable and their efforts aren't always appreciated for all they do. Brinny it sounds like you would be another in the long line of very caring professionals who would make a great nurse. Good luck!