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Nursing & Healthcare Directories on: The Nursefriendly
Texas Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession
You Want to Be a Nurse? -- Better Leave Your Heart Behind
by Pennye Diane Morgan Shaw R.N.

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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.

After watching my father go though this difficult time, I decided that I wanted to be there for others going through similar situations. I wanted to be there to help and comfort and aid in their healing. I knew that this is what I must do. I could help others. I was a compassionate person, a caring person, who could make a difference. Even though I’d never been to college I was going back now at age 38. My daughter was a senior in High School and I would return to school and have a rewarding career in nursing. I had visions of spending time with my patients and helping them through difficult times. I would listen to their problems and I would teach them the things they needed to know to live a healthy life. I would support their families and be an advocate for my patient and their needs.

With these lofty ideas I returned to school and graduated as a Registered Nurse. Never has their been a day that I was more proud of my accomplishment. All my family and friends were there as I graduated. I already had an internship with a major hospital and had been accepted into their critical care program. All was going as planned.

I’d put behind me the struggles of nursing school and the bad experiences I’d had. Things would be better once I was a real nurse. I forgot the times in an externship program the summer before my last year at school. I’d worked in surgery and was appalled by the doctors and nurses making fun of a patient lying on the operating table.

I inwardly wept for their vulnerability as they lay there waiting for the surgeon's touch.

I’d told myself that this was surgery. Things wouldn’t be like that everywhere. All doctors and nurses weren’t like these people were. I’d forgot the lack of helpfulness nurses at the hospitals at shown us as we tried so hard to complete our clinicals. All would be well when I was a nurse.

Well, I continued on and worked as a graduate nurse and then as a fully licensed nurse. I saw so many things going on that struck my soul and pounded my heart. So many things that we had been taught were disregarded and overlooked. Shortcuts were done that I was uncomfortable with. I kept hearing that awful phrase “you’re in the real world now.” I really began to hate that phrase. So, I worked and I watched and little by little my glowing dreams of nursing died.

The nurses being cruel to other nurses, refusing to help one another was so sad. The R.N.s talking down to L.V.N.s and L.V.N.s talking down to the aids were so ugly. Showing courtesy and respect to each other seemed to be unheard of. The doctors shouting and cursing nurses for calling when a patient had taken a turn for the worse or when a patient needed an order for additional treatment or medication was surprising to one who had thought the patient always came first One person blaming another person for this or that and nursing directors who were concerned about overtime instead of quality time with the patients. There was more concern for the charting of a patient than the care of the patient. Paperwork over patient work was what I saw. There would be cutbacks on agency nurses and aids, but we were expected to do more in less time and we had better chart it right, too. If there were complaints about untimely aid by family members, we were to blame. It didn’t matter that we just couldn’t be in two places at once. We were to forget promised days off, twelve hour shifts everyday should be acceptable to everyone. We should be on call whenever they said, and if you didn’t answer the phone you were threatened with being without a job the next day.

So, I tell myself that another hospital will be better. I begin work, and within a couple of weeks, they want me to take a charge nurse position. I’d only been an R.N. for less than a year and wanting more experience before taking this step. They didn’t seem to care as long as there was a person with the right initials at the end of their name. Here again, I saw that no one was willing to work together as a team. I was put on units where I’d never been before, such as postpartum, and expected to run the floor, Everyday, you dealt with abuse, verbally and emotionally. You listened and went about your work and cried when you got home.

I made the rounds of just about every unit in that hospital. I have to say I was a good nurse. My supervisors always had good things to say about me and my evaluations were always above reproach. I did what was expected of me, but I couldn’t do what I expected of myself. I couldn’t hold that person’s hand as long as I wanted to and I couldn’t stay and listen to their concerns the way I wanted to. I couldn’t comfort the families like I’d hoped to and make things just a little bit easier for them. It was more important to the hospital to have no overtime, to have the charts completed and in the rack and myself out the door. It was more important to save money with fewer nurses, less aids, and less time. Finally, I had to leave. I could not in good conscious work like this anymore. Nursing was not my I’d envisioned. Nursing is no longer a compassionate profession but merely a timely service for a hospital.

So, I will just say to you now, if you want to be a nurse; be ready to leave your heart behind, for it’s not wanted in today's hospitals. Getting out on time with your charts completed and saving money are more highly valued than compassion and your heart.

Pennye Diane Morgan Shaw R.N.



Follow Andrew Lopez on Quora The Shortcut URL To This Section Is: http://www.nursefriendly.com/views/


In this section, you can hear from Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, etc, new and old on why they would or would not recommend going into Nursing as a career. Our articles are frank, uncensored and brutally honest. We hope they'll help you make your decision if you're unsure about nursing being for you.

It is not our intent to "scare you off" from Nursing, some of our reviews are quite positive. It is our intention to help you go into Nursing with "open eyes" and aware of what you can reasonably expect as students and entry-level nurses.

Do you have questions or comments about our articles? Like to express an opinion? Visit our forums and make it known!

See also:
Licensed Practical Nurses, http://www.nursefriendly.com/lpn
Registered Nurses, http://www.nursefriendly.com/rn/
To Stay In Nursing or Not: http://www.nursingdiscussions.com/stay


Nursing, Not For Everyone, Not For Most People by Andrew Lopez, RN
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 ...

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The Beauty of Nursing by Rebekah Hinton, BSN, RN, Virginia Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession:"I have been a caretaker for as long as I can remember. I am the oldest of four daughters and have always been a second Mother to my siblings. Going into nursing seemed to be a logical choice for me. As a student I was eager to learn and worked very hard to get the best education possible. I entered into a Bachelor of Science in nursing program without knowing the difference between a RN program and a BSN program."

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Nursing: How Do I Find Out If It's For Me? by Angela Eichenlaub, RN, BSN:"The face of nursing has changed" or "Nursing is not what it used to be" are phrases I often hear from seasoned staff. I wish I knew what nursing "used to be" so I could compare! My own personal advice to anyone considering a career in nursing is to take your reason for entering the profession into account. Some go into nursing for money, some because they have always wanted to and some people go into nursing because they don't know what else to do."

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To Be Or Not To Be, by Sharon Jones, RN, Ohio Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession:"To Be…Or Not To Be… was never the question for me. I had always been a caretaker of sorts even at a very young age. The decision to return to work was based more on a career that I could relate to and be employed at. To be it was… and I started school at a local college for a Registered Nurse program. Almost two years into school, all my pre- req. courses completed and a waiting list to get into the nursing classes (a very unbelievable thing looking back- too many students- many had to wait) forced me to change course of action that lead to LPN school."

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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. . . ."

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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. . . . "

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"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. . . ."

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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. . . . "

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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. . . "

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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. . . "

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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. . . . "

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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. . . "

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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. . . .

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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. . .

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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. . . "

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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

Male Gender Bias - Entrance to No Mans Land by Nurseman
Are you a male and thinking about entering the world of nursing? Have you ever wondered why they're so few men in nursing? If you are young, single ...

    Gender Bias Against Male Nurses:
    http://www.nursingdiscussions.com/gender

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      Do I want My Daughter to be a Nurse by Raye
      I am not sure why I became a nurse. I enjoy the smile on the face of someone I have helped. I worked Emergency and got quick fixes and instant ...

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      Is your life worth the BIG BUCKS? by SurgRN911
      Why are patients and families feeling they are getting less attention, and sometimes less than adequate care in a hospital setting? I wrote an ...

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      It's not all bad! by LauraRN
      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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      Requirement: Have an off-beat sense of humor by clooneyfan A review by of my favorite writers (SurgRN911) about the nursing profession prompted me to write my own review. You can read her original review at ...

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      Nursing Is In My Blood! by Dunkjam
      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 ...

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      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.

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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.

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      10 CONCEPTS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING IF THE NURSING PROFESSION IS FOR YOU
      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.

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      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.

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      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 ...

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      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 ...

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      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.

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      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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      See also:

      "Burnout in my 5th year...another nursing statistic", Aboutmyjob.com:"I always knew I would end up in a helping profession. Nursing seemed like the perfect choice. It combined my natural curiosity about health and science with the giving, hands on, human interactions of bedside care. I also knew that nursing offers a great deal of flexability within the profession. You can change specialties, change shifts, and work in a variety of settings. Before I decided to study nursing, I considered teaching,conservation and journalism. Prior to becoming an RN, I worked in recreation/parks, the foodservice industry, and held a factory/production type job. I graduated a few years ago with my BS in Nursing. I certainly don't regret having gone that route, but to be honest I feel disenchanted with the health care environment and nursing in general.It certainly is nothing like what I thought it would be.The hospital setting is like a pressure cooker type of environment."
      http://www.aboutmyjob.com/575/burnout-in-my-5th-yearanother-nursing-statistic/

      "I am getting out of nursing to become a teacher", Aboutmyjob.com:"Hi. I made the decision to get out of the nursing profession about two years ago. I have been an RN for three years. I have floated in ER, ICU, Med/Surg and Labor and Delivery. In the back of my mind I always thought, "working conditions will get better with the more experience I have". I finally have come to the conclusion that my working conditions are not changing, in fact, are getting worse. I come home every night with knots in my shoulders from the stress that I go through. I too get physically and mentally strained from being a nurse. Families are so insultive and expect things to happen ASAP. Do they not realize that I am running around with my head cut off trying to keep up with all the requests, duties, and paper work?"
      http://www.aboutmyjob.com/601/i-am-getting-out-of-nursing-to-become-a-teacher/

      "Unhappy in nursing profession too....10 year RN", Aboutmyjob.com:"I have been an RN for nearly 10 years now and I must agree with many of the others who wrote their stories. I always wanted to be a nurse, because I like people and thought I would really want to work helping them. But, the reality of the job is utterly overwhelming. I've tried long-term care,home health, dialysis nursing, physician office and now in-hospital on a Rehab unit. I have yet to really find anything I loved. We are almost always short-staffed both nurses and aides. We are being pulled to other floors now due to the shortage of nurses. I was pulled to a MICU and I've never done that type of nursing ever!! I was a nervous wreck, these patients were very high aquity, on tele, multiple lines etc. I received no orientation, just here are your 8 patients...go to it. It was nerve-wracking."
      http://www.aboutmyjob.com/554/unhappy-in-nursing-profession-too10-year-rn/


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Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on Wednesday, January 30, 2013


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