General chatter - Any nurses here?

View Full Version : Any nurses here?

06-14-2011, 12:39 PM

Are any of you in the nursing profession?

If so, what do you love about your job? What do you hate? What kinds of schedules do you have, and what types of places do you work in? Also, if you wanted to share an approximate salary range (or agree/disagree with what I've found - an average of $45K to $65K per year) - I'm thinking of doing a career change, and wanted to hear firsthand what people in the field think of it. Do any of you regret going into this career?

Thank you!! :)

06-14-2011, 01:57 PM
A board that might be useful to you is Thousands of nurses and nursing students. I'm not a nurse but I'm also looking at nursing programs.

Right now, the economy is tough so you may get discouragement as there are a lot of unemployed nurses looking for work right now. Different areas are worse than others. California and Colorado seem especially rough while Texas seems to have more opportunities.

Pay scale ranges differ dramatically throughout the country. In my area, it seems a starting nurse makes $26-$28 hour but the hours range, 36 to 40 hours per week. Other areas see $18+ per hour. In some areas, BSN nurses make slightly more than ADNs. I'm also assuming you are talking about an RN (ADN or BSN) as LVNs make less.

06-14-2011, 06:01 PM

My younger daughter graduated from nursing school a couple of years ago. I think she lucked out in the job department. She was immediately hired at Stanford Children's Hospital in the oncology dept. I guess because it is Stanford, she makes some nice money, around 50K her first year.

My older daughter has just been accepted to Napa Nursing School. Don't know what she will face when she graduates because there seems to be a glut of nurses now.

That said, my niece in Wash. State just graduated and is working at a hospital. It was touch and go at first. She has some more education to go. I'm not sure what she needs but she seems to be pretty happy. Don't know what she earns.

These are skills you can take anywhere. You may have to pass some sort of licensing requirement for the state, but these are great skills.

Also, if you take a job in the public sector working for certain types of clinics, the government will write off some of your student loans after a few years.

Also, to answer your question, yes. There are some nurses on here. I think Susan B is one of them.

06-15-2011, 11:15 PM
Wow I was thinking of making the same change! I have a degree in Social work and am currently pursuing my MSW but not so passionately. I got sick last year and spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and just started thinking about nursing, only thing is I am VERY bad in math and can't imagine the trouble i'd have with Chemistry.

06-15-2011, 11:56 PM
I am a nurse. I graduated a year ago. Finding a job was very easy, this job is in high demand. I work in a clinic for a Family Physician. I love the hours, it's days no weekends no holidays. I love meeting the people and taking care of them. You get to know your patients very well and they trust you and depend on you. You may have people you only see once. You never know what to expect which I love. People come in sometimes scared or angry and you can help them just with a smile, a touch or just talking to them.

I just found out my doc is taking a leave of absence and I will be working for an Orthopedic surgeon for a while which is going to be different. So you have to be flexable and willing to change. Even with my doc out of the office I will still be taking calls from his patients and helping them with what I can. I love my job. There really is nothing I hate about it. I wish there was less paperwork. But it is a very rewarding job Sometimes people will write you a card or letter thanking you for what you have done. It seems little to you at the time and then you get feed back from someone letting you know what a differnce you made to them or their loved one and it makes it all worth it.

The pay depends on the size of the town. I work in a smaller town so I make less then if I went to a big city.

I never intended on being a nurse. I took a course on medical coding and loved learning medical terms and about the human body. So I took a Certified Nursing Assistant class and started working in a nursing home. I loved taking care of people. It is amazing how you can show someone kindness and how they respond to you. You really can make a differance and all it takes is a little kindness and understanding.

I am sorry this is so long but I am so passionate about this. I love my job.
There is alot more to the job like paper work, procedures you do, obstacles you run into, not happy or mean people but the good out weights the bad. I just highlighted my favorite part.
Good luck to you

06-16-2011, 08:24 AM
Besides the nurses in Texas, you are the only one I've seen saying getting a job in nursing is easy. Maybe you should tell the nurses in Colorado to move one state over :)

In my area, it isn't rough as most but I know we have a number of nurses that are unemployed but I think the average time for a new grad to find a job is about 3-6 months. I've heard nurses in California look for over year without finding a job.

Also, I've seen some comments that in some areas, RNs aren't hired in doctor's offices and they may elect to hire MAs instead.

06-16-2011, 08:57 AM
I'm a nurse in a large hospital Postpartum/Nursery unit. Been here 35+ years so I've seen a lot of nursing shortages in the past. I know they've been telling young people for years that nursing is a good field to enter due to predicted shortages when all us us middle aged people become senior citizens, but our local nursing school grads are struggling to find jobs right now. Hospitals have been impacted the same as other businesses right now. Plus your education is so much more expensive, makes it harder to pay back school loans after graduation without finding a good paying job. Hospital nursing does pay fairly well and I love my job, but you have to be prepared to work nights (I worked straight nights for 2 years after graduating), weekends and holidays. When everybody else was partying, sleeping, etc. I would have to go to work. The work...I love it! Wouldn't have stayed in it so long if I didn't. Lots of opportunities for different careers too with a nursing degree under your belt.

06-16-2011, 11:46 AM
murphmitch - That is awesome!

I'm curious why you think nursing education costs more though? From the way I see it, a BSN costs the same amount as any other BS/BA. An ADN seems to require a few more classes than most AA/AS degrees but for the most AA/AS degrees don't really lead to a career.

I'd be going back as a second degree student so I do have to pay for 2 years worth of school but I'd need to do that for any other specialized degree (ie engineering is the only other degree I can think of that is as highly specialized for a BS).

06-17-2011, 12:09 AM
murphmitch - That is awesome!

I'm curious why you think nursing education costs more though? From the way I see it, a BSN costs the same amount as any other BS/BA. An ADN seems to require a few more classes than most AA/AS degrees but for the most AA/AS degrees don't really lead to a career.

Although a BSN at a state school doesn't cost anymore than any other degree, we are limited here on the scope of programs in our state. My hospital actually has a college associated with it and it's extremely expensive. A 2 year ADN there is much more expensive than going to the local community college for it, but there is a wait of several years to get into the community college. I attended the hospital school in the 70's when it was a diploma only program (3 years) and my total cost of education was $5000 and that included room & board! All you could eat in the cafeteria. (That's where I initially gained all my weight! :mad: ) It just blows my mind what school costs nowadays. If you go to the big university in Iowa (University of Iowa) it is cheaper, but very hard to get into the College of Nursing after 2 years of liberal arts program. They only accept a fraction of the applicants. My kids attended Iowa and between the first one and the last one, the cost has doubled over the last 10 years! The only other nursing colleges here are privately run and are very expensive too.

06-17-2011, 12:17 AM
Overall, education costs have gone up. I'm going to apply to the state school and it is about $9k/year. They actually have a program for incoming freshman (which I'm not) where they will accept you into pre-nursing and if you get a 3.0 in your pre-nursing program, you are automatically accepted into the 2 year BSN program. Of course that means more competition for someone like myself who is applying just to the 2 year BSN program.

Latchkey Princess
06-17-2011, 04:18 PM
I'm not personally a nurse, but come from a family of nurses. Here where I live nurses are in fairly high demand and it's pretty easy to come by a job (tho competition to get into the nursing programs at the colleges is stiff). There are always openings at the local hospitals, it's harder to get work at an office tho. My mother works in a hospital as a part time administrator and part time floor nurse in the ICU (she's been an ICU nurse since she started except one stint as a charge nurse at a doctor's office and has her TNS). Both my aunts and my cousin work at a very large nursing home which has several locations. One aunt is a DON, one is an administrator, and my cousin is a floor nurse. They all make great salaries, my cousin who has her RN makes in the high end of the range you mentioned, my mom and aunts make considerably more, but in fairness have been in the profession for 20+ years and one aunt has her masters in nursing. Although the new nurses at the hospital my mom works at do make close to what she makes if they work nights (shift differential).

You can work any number of places, nursing homes, hospitals, hospice care, doctor's offices, schools, etc. My aunt who is now a DON at the nursing home used to be an on-call nurse for a large company that supplied nurses to hospitals when they couldn't find one to fill a shift, she had to travel a bit (but all expenses were paid and all travel was within a 2-3 hour car drive range) and the hours and location were unpredictable, but she made $$$$ lots of cash AND that company paid for her education (they sent her to get her masters).

Anyway, I've asked them all the same questions you're asking because I was toying with going into the medical field (I decided to get my phlebotomy certification instead of a nursing degree tho, I'm not sure I have the math and science chops to be a nurse). They all said they wouldn't change their jobs for anything! They love the work they do and that they've been able to specialize in what they want (like my mom in the ICU). I figure they must be telling the truth if they've been at it that long!

06-17-2011, 05:00 PM
I used to work at a large call center for a place that scheduled MRI's and there were a bunch of nurses who worked there on the phones, Insurance companies also utilize nurse case managers. So nurses aren't just in hospitals anymore!

06-17-2011, 05:07 PM
Hi! I work at Chamberlain College of Nursing, and I think itís a great profession -- according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow faster than any other occupation through 2016! You might be interested in Chamberlainís Second Degree BSN Option for career changers, which allows career changers with a bachelorís degree to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in as few as 13 months. Good luck in this next step!:)

06-17-2011, 05:50 PM
I'm a new nurse and graduated with my BSN last May, so I've been working for maybe 8 months now. Finding a job was relatively easy for me because I already worked in a hospital and knew the people there. The hospital I'm at is one of the 'lower paid' hospitals in the system apparently, and I started at about $32/hour (which I think is just about $60k/year). There are a few people left in my class that still haven't found jobs or are only now getting calls for interviews. I figure it's worse because nursing is one of the hot jobs in my area.

I always encourage people who are considering nursing as a profession to get their assosicates degree first because, compared to a BSN, it's SO much cheaper. I wish I did my research first because now I have tons of money to pay back in student loans. I guess it doesn't help that I went to a private college that cost maybe $26k/year! Crazy! If you just want to go ahead with your BSN then definitely consider the state schools because their tuition is far less.

As far as me being happy with my job, well I don't want to discourage you but honestly, I would not describe myself as happy lol. Once I reach a year of experience I'll start exploring other types of nursing (which is the plus side of nursing). Right now I work for an ICU step down/Telemetry unit and I'm considering going to the Operating Room next.

Schedule wise, most places I know let you schedule yourself. I work 12.5 hours shifts 3 days a week with an every other weekend rotation. So I usually schedule myself where I can have as much as 5 days off in a row.

Good luck!

06-17-2011, 09:00 PM
Schedule wise, most places I know let you schedule yourself. I work 12.5 hours shifts 3 days a week with an every other weekend rotation. So I usually schedule myself where I can have as much as 5 days off in a row.

We've tried self scheduling and it never worked for us. Too many people wanted the same times off. I would love to be able to self schedule!

06-17-2011, 11:30 PM
A board that might be useful to you is Thousands of nurses and nursing students. I'm not a nurse but I'm also looking at nursing programs.

Definitley check out this website. Its full of info. I'm pre-nursing right now. Already did the prereq.s and ready to apply to the program at my school. Jobs are sparse in certain regions. But I do think the pay is good and we have to remember that hospitals are not the only places to work. If we can be open minded about where we start our careers then we'll have a better chance of employment. And all employment is a stepping stone, whether it be a long term care facility or clinic, etc.

06-19-2011, 11:22 AM
I am a Family Nurse Practitioner. I have been an NP for 4 years and a RN for 14 years. I currently work at a Community Health Center. The hours are great, no weekends, no holidays. I love my job! I couldn't imagine doing anything different. I live in KY and jobs here are easy to come by for nurses. I have not heard of any job shortages. Also here in KY, there are plenty of NP jobs you just have to market yourself and be your own cheerleader.