Is Nursing For Me?
By Gayle Hoffman
Seems like only yesterday I was asking myself that same question. And now thirty years later I am so grateful that nursing was, indeed, for me. Some of what I learned along the way may help you in your decision.
Much of what I learned has already been condensed into our website.
Please visit today and often; the site continues to grow as the questions continue coming in. And please know that I was a much better nurse than I am a web site builder. I put content first and let the context take care of itself.
In February of 2006 I spent my last “official” day on the job; and since then I have been as “retired” as it is possible for an RN to be in this time of critical nurse shortage here in South Carolina.
I am doing some trouble shooting for my former employer…….both on the local and corporate level.
I was also recruited prior to my official retirement by a Legal Nurse Consulting firm. Now when someone says, “A whole new world opened up”, I understand what they mean.
For thirty years I earned my salary on my feet, providing my patients with the best possible care. And now as a legal nurse consultant, I’m earning four to ten times my previous hourly rate sitting on my behind and sharing my 30 years of nursing experience with some lawyers and insurance companies as they work out their multi million dollar blame-naming-exercises.
Thirty years ago our choices were somewhat limited. A woman who wished to work outside the home could either teach school, be a secretary………or become a nurse.
Female executives were scarce to non-existent…… in reality and in concept.
The “glass ceiling” didn’t exist for us……….. since we weren’t even allowed in the room.
One reason that we women were so active in the civil rights movement was that we had so much personal experience with discrimination.
So what does any of this have to do with nursing……………then or now?
I mention them only as encouragement. The nursing profession has been growing and expanding and improving for 30 years.
We fully expect the trend to continue.
Thirty years ago a nurse’s image was that of a nice lady with white shoes on her feet, a silly white cap on her head………..and a bed pan always within reach.
Today’s nurse is working hard staying proficient with the increased level of care that is available to each patient. Today’s RN is much more likely to be operating a many-thousand dollar piece of life saving equipment.
We now provide care for patients who would have been confined to “intensive care” units only a short time ago. With that increased level of care comes an increased level of stress. Fewer numbers of nurses are providing a higher level of care to a more severely ill patient population.
On the downside, the current shortage will continue to put even more pressure on already stressed hospital staffs.
Without sufficient staffing, each nurse is expected to carry an even heavier workload. Some states are responding by passing laws to limit the number of patients assigned to each nurse.
On the upside:
- Nurses’ Salaries are good and getting better all the time.
- More opportunities exist now than ever before.
- The Nursing Profession has never been held in higher esteem.
- More and more “online” training is available.
- Nursing is now a very stable and secure profession.
- The future has never held more promise for Nurses in all fields
- Full-time and part-time positions are available.
- Nurses are never “locked in” to one area.
- In only two years you can be highly employable while still remaining free to pursue advanced training if you so desire.
This article is intended to give you some more insight into the correct answer for you.
Gayle Hoffman has been an RN for over thirty years. She’s had experience in many different nursing areas: Nursing staff management, orthopaedics, Hospice, adolescent psych unit. She is a nationally certified MDS coordinator and spent over five years working in an extended care facility.
She has been trying to retire for over a year; but she remains quite active as a troubleshooter for her previous employer as well as being kept quite busy as a legal nurse consultant.
She maintains a website where she attempts to encourage nurse wannabes by answering as many questions as possible. That URL is http://www.NurseCrisis.com Please visit today and often as the site continues to grow as the questions arrive.
Early in her career Gayle read a quote that made all the difference. “Doctors treat diseases which people have; while nurses treat people who happen to have a disease.”
In thirty years Gayle has known only a handful of patients. All the rest quickly became, and were treated, as friends.