Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don't think I've ever really liked this question, because every time I was asked this question, I never knew the answer. I always assumed that getting a degree in business would be fine, just get that, have something, and at least that's a degree that you can take anywhere with you and you can get almost any job with it. Especially the way the economy is now, having a degree or a trade of some sort is necessary and definitely a must have. Even before the economy took a nose dive, employers want education AND experience. Before, many employers were willing to train you and you could ultimately move up in the company. If you want to make a decent paycheck now a days, you better have a minimum of a bachelors.

I was recently researching jobs on the internet and I came across Nursing. I never even contemplated this job before, but the more I started to read about it, the more I became interested in it. It is one of the most demanded jobs and they are always under staff. Now, read between the lines, and that basically means long hours and possibly overtime. But hey, we don't have kids, Scott usually works til 8, 9 sometimes at night and always works Saturdays. And sometimes, not often, he goes in on Sundays. Nurse schedules are also very flexible. If you work for a hospital, they're open 24/7, all kinds of shifts are available. There are soooo many departments in the hospital, so many different types of nurses. You have management in nursing. There's a million directions you could go with this job. The pay is really decent as well. Of course you have to look at that factor. Nurses start at about 40, 50K a year and can advance all the way up to 160k+. That's quite a range. Nurses also make more when they work nights and holidays. It's really a great career just because there are so many directions you can go in it, and every day is completely different. You see different people each day. And what a joy it is to go home knowing you made a difference in someone's life on a day to day basis. The more I talk about it, the more I get excited about it.

Scott is taking me to talk to his friends mother, who's a nurse, and has been for several years. She's very excited about us coming over and sharing her experiences and honestly talking to me about what I’m getting into. Being able to talk to her and ask her all my questions is definitely a plus.

So far, the majority of people that I have shared my interest in nursing with was a little shocked at first. I guess I totally blindsided them with this since for the last few months all I have been talking about is becoming a wedding planner. I am still very much interested in owning my own venue one day. Realistically, Scott and I can't afford something that dramatic anytime in the future and I'm completely fine with that. Owning my own business, my own wedding venue, sounds like a great retirement plan. Most people who retire today still either work or do something on the side. Scott's probably going to want to own his own body shop, or build cars for fun after her retires and weddings will always have my interest. My dream for owning my own wedding venue has not been forgotten about, just put on hold for now. I'll come back to that when I'm ready for it.


Susie said...

Are you talking about being an R.N.? That's another 4 years of school. My maid of honor got her nursing degree. It's all sorts of biology and microbiology. Is that a subject you're interested in? That's my favorite subject ever. But it's by no means easy. Do you really want to go get another degree?
And you say that there are all sorts of shifts available at a hospital, but as a new nurse, you get all the crappy shifts, sometimes for YEARS until you get some seniority at that particular hospital. Meaning you work from 11pm to 9 am or something like that. And as a new nurse, you HAVE to work all holidays because no one else wants to.
So you're talking at least 8 years before you get to choose your schedule, I'd think.
My friend is a great nurse, I'm sure, but one thing that she didn't count on was the STRESS. Major, major stress, because first, there are ten billion things to remember for each situation, and if she didn't remember it all very well, she knew she could kill someone. In the end, she had to quit because she couldn't have people's lives in her hands every day. In my opinion, nurses are actually drastically underpaid for their skill, education required, and the stress.
Maybe she could have switched to working in a doctor's office, but she lives in a small town and her options were limited.
It's very hefty responsibility to be a nurse, so learn as much as you can about the real nitty-gritty stuff, the day-to-day changing bed pans and wound dressings and giving shots and taking stool samples. There are a lot of other options in the health care field that aren't full-blown RN's. Look at those, too.

*Starr said...

Good for you! I'm glad you never liked that question. Don't listen to what anyone says about anything about careers, because it is truly your decision and whatever makes you happy makes you happy. I am going to be an actress and an author, its been my dream since I was young. Everyone tells me I will be a "starving artist," but to be perfectly honest, if thats what I want its what I want. If working the long, hard hours of nursing is what you want, then go for it! (My mom actually used to be a nurse. Now she is a psychologist, so you are right; there are plenty of directions you can go with a nursing degree).

Susie said...

I didn't mean to sound discouraging in my first comment. It just sounds like a whole lot of work! And that, of course, takes a big commitment, and that, of course shouldn't be taken lightly. I guess that was my point. Really, just do a lot of research. I used to want to be a vet. But after talking to vets and veterinary professors, I found out that while I would have loved about 40% of it, the other 60% was not appealing to me AT ALL. I thought I'd just muscle through it, but after sitting in countless classes and learning WAY too much about cattle (which is where most veterinarian business comes from), and having to look around the cowboy hats of the guys in my class, I realized it just wasn't a good fit and I changed majors.

Jennifer and Scott said...

Thanks for all your comments. I am definitely still checking into this field. There's a lot of pros and cons to every job. I always thought I wanted to do the 8-5, Monday-Friday job, but I'm finding that it's just not the job for me. I definitely have heard how nurses are underpaid and underappreciated, but I really believe that's changing. Nurse pay has increased and I think the respect for nurses is improving. There is a lot on a nurses plate, but I think it's a rewarding job. Even though some of the job duties aren't exactly glorious, I can't expect to start at the top. You always begin at the bottom and work your way up. Any hey, who knows, maybe I'll work my way into management. Anything's possible. I dont think i would mind working the crappy hours anyway. Night, weekends, and holiday shifts tend to pay a little, and i'm totally fine with that. :) So we'll see how school goes. The nice thing about the nursing program is once you get started in the program, a lot of your time is spent working in clinc of some sort so you get that real hands on training. I am looking forward to speaking with our friends mother who is a nurse to get more information.