Nurses, would you do it again?

I am currently debating going to nursing school. I have two options in mind. Do I do nursing or occupational safety? Nurses, do you do it for the love of people or the love of money and career opportunities? Would you go to nursing school again? If you could give anyone considering nursing school some advice, what would it be?

Thank you all in advance!


The grass isn’t always greener unfortunately. I would I do it again? I think so. But I would have gone a cheaper route and told my younger self I was smarter and more capable than I thought.


This. I became a nurse because I was between computer science and nursing and I got weeded out of the math courses I needed to get into computer science with because I didn’t want to apply myself. I would go back and tell myself that if I just put in some effort, I could do something way less stress and more suited to my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how poorly treated we are until I was already in too deep.


I’m 48, been a nurse for a year. I would 100% do it again and wish I had done it years ago. I’m in it 100% for the money- if you go into it thinking you’re going to change the world than you are in for a rude awakening- but if you look at it as a job that finances not just your needs but your wants as well then you’ll most likely be pretty happy.




Hell yea for being transparent on the money. You can certainly make a difference in individual peoples lives as a nurse/healthcare professional but those changes are either entirely short-lived or completely *ignored*. You aren’t going to be able to change someone’s entire life if they don’t wanna put in the work themselves and this is often too true. It is definitely a sad fact of reality, but a fact regardless. Very few people would continue working as a nurse if wages dropped to $20/h flat. Because at its core, people primarily work.. to obtain money. I am going into nursing because of the money, 99%. The side benefit is SOMETIMES being able to help SOME people become better. A rude awakening is definitely the exact words I’d use if anybody goes into this career wanting to be a hero. You will burn out so fast and it will obliterate your mental health. Because fundamentally, you *cannot change people*. Too often patients become repeat visitors at the hospital for the same reasons. Obesity is a massive epidemic and there is little will from the general public to fix it (this is neither here nor there, just an observation). You just cannot change these people. The second they leave the hospital - some of them never will - a significant portion will end up right back there. Honestly, working in government would produce more changes in peoples lives if one is really the altruistic type. Working as a nurse is managing the symptoms of our society’s problems, not the cure. I do not mean to downplay the very true fact that you ARE saving peoples lives sometimes and there is too much nuance to type out in a Reddit comment. There WILL be patients you change and help get better, but I will reiterate again for any prospective (or actual) nurses: it does not go as far as many people think.


That's great to hear, and I know what you mean about wanting to change the world. I do see nursing more as a job that funds my life than a job that funds my happiness. Thank you for your input!


It’s not like helping people isn’t a good feeling, but 99% of patients aren’t very nice and 100% of administration doesn’t give one single fuck about you - do it for the check and you’ll have much better mental health


Really? I have been away from the bedside for awhile but I found that 90% or more were very nice. A small percentage were not. That being said, the unpleasant ones were very memorable!


I’ve been in the medical field for ten years and I’ve found that since the pandemic people are so much more entitled. It probably also doesn’t help that I see a lot of CIWA and COWS protocol patients


This is a shit take, to be honest. The “check” will NEVER be enough, and never worth the shit we deal with and the way we’re treated by admin. So doing it for the money seems like an immediate way to burn out & resent your job. I pour into my patients every single shift cause I do it because I love it, and my mental is better than it’s ever been. Obviously I love the money but that’s secondary.


What country do you nurse in?


USA. Rural Maine, just starting a new position in LTC, night shift making $44 an hour with an extra $5 weekend diff


I give the excuse “I wanna make a difference in The world speech at interviews and when talking to other colleagues.” But my true opinion is like what you just stated! Haha I don’t give a shit that patients put themselves there. I do my job and love it cause of the money. Yeah it’s nice to help people and educate them, but they come right back. We all do! We don’t learn until it’s too late, and then we die. And it’s all over. Cycle of life!!! 😂🤣


10000000% although I do tell my coworkers that I’m only there because I got paid to be. When I talked about looking for a new position with better pay, 2 of the 60+ year old career nurses were like, “but but but the atmosphere here, and the mission…” and while it’s true that the hospital I work at does a lot for the community and really does go beyond for the patients, neither atmosphere nor mission are accepted as currency and these two nurses aren’t making new nurse pay.


Your statement is correct! 👍👍👍 I care about people and do wanna make a difference (hence why we went into nursing, or at least some of us). If I wanted to be ruthless and an asshole I would have went into banking or become a lawyer (I considered this as a career). But I’m here to get paid. The way I see it: we deal with a lot of stress emotionally and physically but it’s for a short period. And we get compensated very well in this short period (in California and NY, can’t speak for any other state).


This is what I needed to read. Thank you.


I’m 48 and starting my prerequisites this summer. Will take me until spring 2024. Already have my bachelors. Looking to enter an accelerated program. I need a stable source of income after being a freelancer for so many years.


Hey, good to hear someone else near my age! I’m 49 and I’m in my last semester of a BSN program. I was an independent contractor since my early twenties and I’m looking forward to the better pay, benefits, job stability etc too! Peace of mind!


So nice to hear!


I did an accelerated program and made $77k my first year (including overtime). The job security is a real load off my mind, as is being about to count on the income and always having overtime available (that’s good and bad but when the budget pinches a bit, knowing you can pick up a few shifts is a godsend)


How long was your accelerated program? The one I’m wanting to go to is a 12 month program.


Well said!


💯💯💯 In my interview for nursing school I told them that I was wanting to get into nursing for the stability and flexibility of the career and I've stuck with that. I have avoided specialties and settings that I know will just rot my soul (basically all hospital nursing and long term care) and I have changed where I work pretty often. I did not do 1-2 years of med surge to "get/keep my skills" because the specialties I'm interested in do not use a majority of those skills. I have developed the specialized skills that I need in a specialty and setting I've wanted to be in and if a need to do a skill that I don't know I just learn it. My biggest advice is to into nursing if you're interested in teaching, can do monkey see monkey do, and if you're interested in learning. Bonus points if you are okay with blood because basically whatever specialty you go into blood will probably happen. Go into nursing for the money and special interest, change jobs/units/specialty basically the moment you feel like it, and do not buy into the nonsense that this is a calling and that you'll change the world. This is a job with the option for a lot of flexibility including being able to work basically everywhere, being able to be patient facing or never see another human, options for work at home, etc. Working in healthcare can suck, but you can get paid good money for it and maybe accidentally help some people on the way.


No it was a mistake. Most of management in my experience is terrible. Most of the patients are there because they refuse to take ownership of their own lives. Our Healthcare system is a shit show and I am glad to be leaving it.


I’m not a nurse yet, but I will say that a lot of the patients I’ve saw at the hospital I’m working at are (to put it bluntly) down right lazy. They are more than capable of taking care of themselves but choose not to as they’d rather have someone else do it for them. I’ve had patients ask to stay longer than needed just so they won’t have to be home and tend to their own needs. Don’t get me wrong, I feel horrible for them regardless, but I do hope that one day they take advantage of the independence they could have because so many others wish that they didn’t have to depend on others.


You said it I’m tired of taking the blame for management, errors during poor staffing and the best one unapproachable by the co workers who are always plotting to set you up for failure because they don’t understand what you already know that working as a nurse especially in a hospital is a 24 hour job what you can’t finish can go to the next shift. I am burnt out became a nurse in the mid 90’s. I worked hard for my license and degrees but I work harder to keep them everyday


No, but I don’t know what else I would do either.


Same but I think I would have went from cna to like medical billing and coding and worked from home.


Those jobs are hard to come by these days because they source a lot of it overseas from what I read.


I never thought of that. I know it would have been a pay cut from what I was making as a cna but I needed change and I was either ready for nursing school or something different. I was even thinking about dental assisting or dental hygiene.


Think carefully about whether you want to be hunched over someone’s mouth all day. A lot of physical neck, shoulder probs for hygienists.


I’m in this boat too. What else would we even do?


I honestly don’t know. I’m 37 and have only worked in healthcare for the past 18 years. I don’t know how to do anything else.


Health coaching is a great field.


I wouldn’t do it again. I would do something like Dental Hygiene. Similar pay to a nurse, better hours, 1 patient at a time.


If I could go back, I would not go to nursing school again. I loved being a CNA but the money wasn’t there. I loved nursing school. I ended up absolutely hating bedside nursing and cried before work many times even after sticking it out for a year. Looked into outpatient, but the pay was not enough for me in my area. I went into utilization management which is corporate, office based work. I like it enough, but I still wish I had gone into something relating to the computer science/tech field or just gotten a more generic business degree. Looking into getting my MBA and escaping nursing altogether after I have my second baby in October. I would consider what it’s actually like to work at hospitals in your area, staffing, support, resources.


Would you recommend someone become a CNA before a RN? I know most nurses start out doing bedside nursing which can cause a lot of burn out. Are there other specialization, fields, or division of nursing you considered before going into utilization management? Thank you for your input!


I’m not OP, but I’d 100% recommend you trying out the CNA route before nursing. I did it while I was in nursing school, and I was a house float CNA. It showed me all of the units and what they were like, and gave me a idea that I’d probably hate floor nursing. Ended up going into the OR, and then eventually in Clinical Research, which will be my forever job. Nursing has so many options of what you can do, that you really get the opportunity to ‘shop’ around before you find what you like.


I think at minimum you should expose yourself to hospital environments as much as possible. I work in the pharmacy and deliver to nurses all day for 9 hours. I get to see so many things other nurses never even get to: all the different units, the types of care they give, the patients they treat, the procedures they use, and so much more. At minimum before going into nursing school you should have a few hundred hours under your belt working (or volunteering) and seeing nurses and what they *really* do. And the best part is - if you don’t like it - there are *so many* different opportunities you have being a nurse? Want to be completely removed from care? You can do paperwork, research, management, etc. Want to have a more individual relationship with patients and see them improve for years? Doctors office, clinics, etc. Want to see a dozen different patients every day because it freshens things up and doesn’t get you attached to patients? Emergency rooms, ICUs, etc. Care for kids? PICU, L&D, etc. The list goes on and on. I cannot imagine not being satisfied as a nurse - even if I hated caring for patients - because you can literally fulfill every niche job you can think of. You can work in an office and mirror a 9-5 paperwork job if that’s your thing. Or you can do any of the things I listed above. I am certain there is something for everyone.


Have you looked into nursing informatics? That field seems big with huge growth. Epic and Cerner positions seemed so fascinating to me as we were on boarded to new systems. Most of the people trying to help us transition we’re not nurses and really had no clue what we really needed to know to do our jobs. The former nurses were the only ones that I actually found to be of any help in the learning process. The other people had no idea what we needed to know, so just tried to show all sorts of irrelevant and useless processes. Ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense.


Have you looked into nursing informatics? That field seems big with huge growth. Epic and Cerner positions seemed so fascinating to me as we were on boarded to new systems. Most of the people trying to help us transition we’re not nurses and really had no clue what we really needed to know to do our jobs. The former nurses were the only ones that I actually found to be of any help in the learning process. The other people had no idea what we needed to know, so just tried to show all sorts of irrelevant and useless processes. Ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense.


how did you ger into utilization management? what did you search fkr?


I’d rather get hit by a bus than to go to nursing school again, but it’s worth it. Being a peds nurse brings so much laughter to my life.


Same. Minus the peds part.


I might have gone for a trade instead. I admit to getting into healthcare because it was quick (quicker than a trade in my area/situation) and back then, I was paid decent for the COL.


I’d second this. College was pushed (and still is) way too hard on young adults and they oftentimes make decisions they regret while incurring $100,000s of debt. And it’s not their fault - you simply cannot conceptualize a decision like that so young. People always ask “so what are you going to college for?” or “what will you be majoring in?” and college apps are BUILT INTO high school curriculums. There is a glaring shortage of tradesmen and they pay very well. It’s also very satisfying work and has such a low barrier to entry. Not all trades will destroy your body physically either. I still have a dream of pursuing welding because my high school auto shop class that 99% of students are never exposed to. After a few lessons, I was making the best welds in the class. Teacher used my welds as an example. Looking at welding school for instance, you can spend just a few years and be making $30/h starting and like all trades, the more years of experience you have, your wage drastically increases. I wish we presented these things as actual opportunities to students who end up discovering they dislike college and academia and should not have to waste their time and money because of a half-assed underinformed decision. And we also look down on them as a society, implicitly saying college is a better choice for everyone. Which is also just terrible.


I truly don’t know. Nursing has been my whole life and identity for so long. I used yo describe it as, “feeding my soul”. I am so good at it. Covid icu ruined it, it broke me as a human. I have no idea wtf do do with myself anymore. I mourn for what my career used to be like. I loved it but sometimes I wonder if I will ever really be okay again. That said, I make excellent money and have fantastic benefits


I like working 3 12’s.. I also like that we have options. I’d say it’s very ok.


I would never choose this career again ever. It’s destroyed my mental and physical health. Do yourself a favor and choose a different career path


I think so, yes. Going back now for my MSN in education and leadership. I’ve been a nurse 5 years and make six figures working 3 days a week. Not too shabby.


And what in the world are you doing making six figures working twelves? Gotta set expectations here, I’ll never ever make six figures.


Extremely location dependent! Been bedside making $45,000-$100,000.


Absolutely location dependent! I’m in Boston, MA. In a hospital with a very, very strong union. Our top step nurses are making $180k a year, base rate.


How much does housing cost there, though? For example I only make about 80k/yr here in northwestern WI, but cost of living is 28% lower than national average so I was able to buy a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house for $135k four years ago, and it's worth about 200k now. When I look at the idea of moving somewhere else, it seems like most places all you can get under 300k is a heap of crap or a mobile home.


Yeah housing is difficult. I commute about 35 minutes from a suburb to the west of Boston. A nicer 3 bedroom, attached 2 car garage home is about $450k. Luckily I’m able to take advantage of overtime bonuses and incentives on top of my base pay so those prices don’t hurt as much.


Yeah... But the difference between 200k and $450k is definitely something that makes a difference.... Me making 80k is almost like the buying power of maki and $160k there based on the housing costs at a glance.


CA you start at 6 figures even as a new grad if you can get into acute care right away. It's usually three 12's. Most other job's are close to that too. SNF's are even starting to get to the 6-figure range. I definitely did it for the money and flexibility. I do like helping people but not gonna lie! 😂 There are so many job opportunities where I live, if I don't like something I can have a new job within a week. It's tough sometimes but glad I did it. I also graduated nursing school at 48 years old.


I told my children not to as they grew up. I meant it at the time. Today I see that wasn't fair, each have qualities needed to be successful nurses. Over 30 years for me, I've grown thankful but that required my maturation not necessarily an improvement in conditions.


I am very close with someone who is a nurse and they have always told me to not go into nursing too. I believe nursing is a very hard and over looked profession. Do you think conditions will ever be improved? Do you think there are other nursing jobs out there with better conditions? If so, why or why not would you choose to take that job? Thank you for your input!


I'm sure there are many more comfortable jobs but like I said I'm thankful now, yes I would do it again.


If I could go back in time, I would never touch nursing. I knew this since halfway through my program. I am now a new grad of 5 months and the job itself, while not glorious, isn’t too terrible. It’s just that I’ll never get the parts of myself back that I lost in nursing school. I struggled badly with both physical and mental health, gained tons of weight, hated myself, and all around ended up in a dark place. The program was cutthroat. The teachers outright told us that we were incompetent and most of us would fail nclex even if we graduated. The pandemic was in full swing. I was a nervous wreck. I still can’t believe I got through it. And now I have to take the broken pieces of myself and start all over again because nursing is nothing like school. It’s super exhausting and I hate myself for it. I am proud of my license and I care about my patients, but it’s not worth all this. I would advise you really make sure you’re in a good place mentally, physically, financially, etc with a good support system. Find a highly rated program with a pace you can handle. Don’t study for hours and hours at a time. Go out on weekends. If you have to work, get a job at the school library or something unrelated to nursing so you aren’t thinking of it 24/7. CNA experience is great, but a new grad is a new grad and you’ll be hired for the same jobs without it. Being a CNA is horribly demanding and adds to the already stressful experience of nursing school. Personally, I wouldn’t do any of this, though. If I could go back, I’d have spent my college years connecting with others and getting a degree in something I truly love like the arts. Even though I’d probably never make much money, I was raised poor and I can live with that. Anything would be better than the darkness I experienced in school. Good luck, I hope you have a better experience than I did. If not, at least know the job itself is truly not that bad once you come out the other side.


25, been a nurse for a little over 3 years. I would not do it again if I had to go into student loan debt for it. Other than that, come on in there's plenty of room.


No, but I don’t know what else I would do either.


Probably not. I do love my job most days but it also sucks. Biggest downsides for me are management, charting, and it’s all about profits. Started in Covid where I got to focus on the patients and now I’m hounded about useless charting. The patients went from grateful for our help to irate we don’t come to their room 30 seconds after they called for a straw, all while management is demanding we let a nurse go home cause we are at 25 instead of 28 pts so that the floor’s productivity doesn’t take a hit. My nursing school def didn’t educate us about the outside factors that make the job annoying, love taking care of people but it ends up being 25% of my day with the other crap taking up the rest. Probably would go for something computer/IT related or maybe try to get in as a sales rep for the money. It is really nice to only work 3 days and make decent money, I do a weekend only option and make 1.5x my base pay but it’s still barely short of 100k/yr. Know people in medical sales that made more after their second year. Also at least in my state there are jobs like dental hygienist that make the same starting out and don’t have 5-6 lives in your hands every day nor deal with what we do day in and day out.


Not a chance, I regret becoming a nurse. Not paid enough for the responsibility you have


The fact that people are have options and CHOOSE nursing baffles me. I did too but I was young and dumb 😭


Is it that bad?😩😩 currently doing pre reqs


it’s one of the most flexible and economy proof careers. don’t go into it expecting sunshine and rainbows but also don’t let jaded nurses who hate their jobs talk you out of it if its what you want to do. all the nurses at my last job “hated” it but they could pay their bills, buy what they want, and worked 3 days per week. they could also go to a different job anywhere in the country doing something completely different if they hated their jobs so bad. i’m in the southeast which is notoriously bad for nursing. no other career offers the same flexibility and even golden careers like CS or doctors hate their lives and tell newbies to pick a different career. the grass is always greener.


THIS! I am so sick and tired of work odd job admin jobs and still not getting the job security. I’ve been through multiple layoffs in the last few years and sick of it. Now seeing how nursing can take you so far in your career has me intrigued to switch.


I would do it again, but be more selective with where I chose to start working. My current unit is poorly run, and it adds stress that literally makes me sick, so if you choose nursing, be hella selective!!


Thank you for the advice I will definitely keep it in mind! I have considered aesthetic nursing, what do you think about that as a career path? I know they probably do not get paid as much as other nurses but I think I would find more joy in it. While I consider nursing more of a job than a " happiness thing" I would like to at least find some joy.


No problem! I would say if you think you're interested in a particular path, talk to a few nurses who are in that area, get as many perspectives as you can. I don't personally know any aesthetic nurses & have no personal perspective on it. This goes for any other potential jobs, I think you said your other option was OH&S? Talk to real people in the profession & see if their experience matches your goals & personality!


Thank you for the advice, you're definitely more helpful than college career counselors! 😂


You're welcome, hahaha, best of luck!!!!😁


If you’re really into skin care and beauty, I would look into going the esthetician route. I would not go to nursing school expecting to do injections and make a living as a newbie. Injector jobs can be hard to get as it’s overly saturated in most areas I’ve lived. The lady I’ve been going to has been doing it for decades and has to work beside to make a living. I wouldn’t have let her touch my face with a needle without a referral and seeing her experience. I have friends that are estheticians and they seem to love their jobs and have amazing skin. Nursing can be a great field with so many options, but it can be a hard job. I wouldn’t go through nursing school if you aren’t willing to work bedside for years and be willing to work nights, weekends and holidays. There’s a shortage now, so depending on where you live, you probably won’t have to work nights for as long as people did when I first started. I’ve precepted many new nurses that quit because they weren’t willing to work those shifts or just really really hated beside.


I would have gone into something else that I was also interested in, like computer science or GIS technology.


Absolutely. I make great money working 3 shifts a week and don’t take any work home with me. 99% of people making the same money work well more than 40 hours a week and never stop thinking about work.


Do you think as a nurse you have to learn how to compartmentalize your work life and personal life? I am worried if I was a nurse I would return home and continue thinking about my patients and workday.


Honestly couldn’t tell you my patients name once I’ve left work lol, I have no issues with separating the two but I’m sure some people have issues. I’m only there to get paid, and do my job well.


Wtf is “occupational safety” as a career? (Sorry.) Yes, I’d go to nursing school again. It has been completely worth it to me, even though I went later in life with kids, while pregnant and working full time. It doubled my salary and gave me more flexibility and room to grow.


No need to be sorry, occupational safety is someone who ensures a workplace is safe for its workers and takes care of potential hazards for workplace employees. Idk what country you are in but in the USA there is an organization called OSHA that sets guidelines and standards for all places of work to follow. OSHA can investigate accidents or reports at a workplace to make sure they don't happen again or prevent harm to employees. I have read a lot of responses about flexible hours for nursing so I would assume you work in a hospital? Thank you for your input!


I do, yes, but I have worked outpatient too! It’s less flexible but suits some people.


Could you explain to me what outpatient is exactly? I've heard of this before but never really understood what it was.


Patients that are confined to a hospital for acute illness are considered “inpatient.” There are several different kinds of “outpatient.” Generally speaking, “outpatient” means any patient that IS NOT confined to an acute care hospital. However, it is often used with the connotation of the more specific type of outpatient, which is ambulatory. Ambulatory patients live at home and transport themselves to clinic locations to see their doctors on the doctor’s time table. Most people really mean clinic nursing when they say outpatient, but there are many different outpatient settings. You can work outpatient surgery, procedures, urgent care, wound care, home health, dialysis etc.


100%. I went to nursing school in my late 30s after working as a social worker for many years. I lived SW and it was a really hard decision for me. My only regret now is that I didn't do it sooner. I really like the job, I'm excited about all the different options and directions one can go in, and the money obviously was life changing. I learn so much every day, there's never a dull moment, I'm always on my toes. I've ways been someone who likes fast paced/chaotic stuff and really active-- hated computer work, want to be moving. I landed in the ED and it's such a great fit.


I did nursing school, was a floor nurse, and now I work in occupational safety and am getting a graduate degree specializing in Occupational Health and Safety so take from that what you will 😂


Can I ask if you get satisfaction of helping people from occupational health and safety like you might from nursing? What changed your mind? I am seriously considering both career paths just very unsure what I would be best suited for. I believe if I went into nursing I would dislike bedside nursing so should I completely give up the idea of nursing? I think I would enjoy a branch of nursing rather than nursing as a whole. What do you think? Thanks for your comment!


I absolutely love my job. I still work for a health system, so sometimes it can be really frustrating trying to advocate for team member safety to get the same priority as patient safety, but I really do like what I do. I had to leave bedside nursing for some personal health stuff and ended up loving this work. Nursing is SUCH a huge field - you don't just have to do hospital bedside nursing with your degree. If you think you'd like a branch of nursing, I say go for it. Occupational Health nurses are always needed. You can always get certified in Occupational Safety too.


I would avoid nursing like the plague if I was 23 years old me again


24 and been a nurse for almost 2 years. No I wouldn’t do it again ngl:( I would stay in healthcare though but in the realm of public health research or something to do with research. I love being a nurse, but I love exercising my critical and theoretical skills. My clinical skills just seem to be misused be poor health systems and I just feel like a task worker. The wards aren’t for me but there are many options outside of the ward too


I’d probably go into administration, bed side nursing is trash in my opinion. Your not payed enough to clean someone’s ass. Honestly 50+$ an hour they pay those poop cleaning plumbing fucks. But a nurse cleans fresh shit from a over saturated diaper and they make below 30$? YEA FUCK NO, I left bedside a while ago, worked 6 months hated it for a passion, I went into recertfying and I love it. I don’t gotta pick up anyone or use my strength, or turn and deal with fucking psycho patient mom/dad. If you wanna get put through hell with minimal compensation, then good luck.


It’s job security but it’s tough work. There’s easier jobs out there with less abuse.


I'm entering my last year of nursing school and I'm doing it for the schedule and the money 100% 🤷🏽‍♂️ I've worked in the trades industry for almost 10 years, have completed an apprenticeship and I'm over the shift work. 2 weeks days, 2 weeks nights, working 7 days a week with a short turn around some days. The money is great, but what's all the money for if you can't do shit with it? I'm trying to work my 3 days and catch a plane some where for another 3 and repeat. And after Im well travelled I want to have some kids. I can't be a good parent and spouse when I'm working 8 days a week 🤷🏽‍♂️ life's too short to stay in one place, or the same occupation until the day you die. Idk what life has in store for me but I'll be damned if I wake up one day when I'm 70 years old still working at a steel mill all beat up wondering "what if I would have went for it" Go for it! There's so many options, and opportunities in the medical industry I wish I would have done it earlier.


Absolutely! I have been a nurse for 44 years and it has been, for the most part, a pleasure. I did 20 years at the bedside, mostly icu and since then have worked a variety of jobs and currently in nursing education. Nursing has something for everyone. A lot of other professions do not offer such diversity.


No. The motivation and ambition I had to become a nurse was unreal. It’s been 5 years and I’m struggling to gain any of it back to start something new now.


Nope. Should have stuck with premed and went to med school.


I don’t know why I do it any more. Probably because it’s a job and it pays. And it’s the only thing I know how to do now. I would still do it only because with the level of school and the amount of money you can get paid, it’s worth it. It’s a field that’s very flexible, meaning you can work anywhere any time you want… also always in demand. Can’t go wrong


Honestly I probably wouldn’t do it over again LMAO I’d probably do some sort of therapy work


I got into nursing because I had already graduated with a major in health admin but was so young not a lot of people would hire me for any management positions, and I didn’t want to get stuck doing secretary work. I went into nursing to hopefully get a job that would pay better and lead me into a position I could grow in. Now that I’m here I don’t know that I’d change anything but tell myself it’s just a job (been a nurse for almost 6 years if that’s anything). At the end of the day I am much more than my position and title and I would tell myself to focus on how to do the job I need so I can focus on what I want to do with my time. Maybe one day I’ll do something g different but I don’t know what yet. Either that or go straight into something with all the benefits you want (schedule, time off, retirement, or high pay - whatever matters to you that will be something at the end of the day you can remind yourself you are working for).


Absolutely not. I would have gone to pharmacy school. If I had known pharmacists exist outside of retail and can do critical care pharmacy, I would have done that instantly. Still might, already have my MS in pharmaceutical chemistry.


Came for economic stability, stayed because it was an amazing privilege.


Nope. I'd get my MBA and go into banking or somensuch.


No, I personally would not do this again if somehow I was forced to. That said, I'm glad I did do it, and I'm glad to be in this field. Nursing school is like beating that super difficult video game boss. You're proud when you've done it, but fuck trying again.


No. I would have just gotten my PA degree instead. I didn’t realize how shit the working conditions of nurses were. The degree was so tough, you’d think the pay would be better. If you’re looking for something reliable with job security there are much better options out there I think.


If you live in the USA have you considered becoming a nurse practitioner? I know a lot of nurses who have gone back to school to become a NP. Thank you for your input!


I would not go to nursing school with the goal of being a nurse practitioner. There are too many under qualified graduates who are struggling to get jobs right now. You’re 10x better off getting your PA if you’re starting from the beginning. I can go into detail if you’d like, but the education is significantly better for PAs and they have a broader scope of practice. An NP is better for smaller scope after years of nursing practice in that same area.


Also here to recommend not becoming an NP. The money isn’t there. You’d be better off becoming a PA or just going ahead and doing Med School. I’ve been a nurse 4.5 years and although I love what I do- I’d never recommend it to anyone. The working conditions, patients, and just overall environment is toxic and will beat you down. I’m much happier realizing that I it isn’t about the money (we don’t get paid shit) but I’m not looking at it as a calling either.


What options do you recommend that’s reliable and providing the job security?


Fuck no. I’d probably still do something in the medical field, something like rehab, but definitely not nursing.


100%. Travel nursing as been a blessing in my life. They’re still paying the SHIT outta nurses.


Nope. Careers I wish I had chosen are engineer or marine biologist or animal conservationist or mail woman or professional dog walker. All so random, but so awesome.


Occupational Safety hands down. Then try snd get a job for a big industrial worksite or OSHA. That job would be so much less stressful than nursing. I used to be my companies safety guy at a refinery and it was the happiest I’ve ever been at work. Review and edit some policies, do some workplace safety audits and some permit audits, find deficiencies and do training. It was super chill.


No, I'd probably be and OT or speech and language therapist or similar. Still working with patients but not in on Christmas day or doing night shifts.


I do it for money and career opportunities and absolutely no regrets. I also recommend military nursing if you're able to (mentally, physically, can pass a PT test and height/weight standards) and are ok with some of the trade offs. I'm absolutely tired of bedside nursing at 6 years, but I'm moving into other areas so it's cool. Edit to say: if money weren't a factor I wouldn't do nursing. I just don't like people that much. When I early retire in my 40s I plan to volunteer at a zoo/aquarium that does animal rescue or conservation stuff.


I would do it again!


I would not do nursing again. Getting my MBA/MSN as we speak. So if (big if) I want to stay in nursing I can or I can make the likely move and leave the field all together.


What are you getting an MBA in?




I’m now 35. I took the long road. Started as an EMT, then CNA, LPN, and now finally an RN for almost one year. If I could I’d go straight for my RN instead of taking the route I took. But I love what I do and wouldn’t want to do any other job.


Definitely. I’ve been a nurse 13 years. There’s so much you can do. If you hate where you’re at and are miserable, there’s a million other places you can go!


I would for sure. There's loads of ways to be a nurse, it's not all back breaking bedside night shifts on a dangerously short staffed unit.


Yes & no. Its an incredibly thankless job. But it’s also flexible. PRN options. Decent pay. No Monday through Friday unless that’s the type of job you want.


Is health care a shit show? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. Very few jobs pay decently, are not in danger of being outsourced, and provide you with relatively useful knowledge and hands-on skills that are valuable outside of your job, especially considering where society is heading. Advice: get a job in a hospital as a sitter/tech/whatever so you can get a feel for the floor and how shit works. I went from layman to RN and it was fine, but there is a lot of ancillary stuff you can pick up before being a RN that will making transitioning into a RN easier and more efficient.


Maybe. Nursing is a conventionally marketable degree- you can get a job even if you’re mediocre at it. I don’t recommend bedside nursing to anyone for a long-term career path.




Yeah. I like having money.


Yes. It has been a wonderful way of life Many opportunities. I would go back to school sooner for advanced knowledge.


Yes, nurse of 7 years


Yes, it’s so stable and flexible. Money is good.


I would not do it again. Became a realtor a few years ago. I know electricians, carpenters and plumbers are in very high demand if anyone is looking for a different career path.


I would absolutely do it again. I decided on nursing because I do love caring for and helping others BUT also, the stability and security the nursing field provides for me and my family. I hated my first nursing job so I left for a different specialty. I LOVED IT, then management ruined the experience for me so moved to another nursing position. The options are vast and you don't have to stay in a place you don't like 🤷🏽‍♀️


I would've gone to medical school instead


Yep. However I’d alter my pathway a touch. Did a zoology degree, burned out, dropped out and left the 4 yr univ behind. Paid for 4 yr uni by working at a hospital as an “orderly”<>patient aide<>monitor tech<>unit clerk->ER tech. Constantly cross-trained and bounced to get $$/hrs. Found all of it interesting and easy-peasy. After settling in the ER as a tech I saw older Male ER techs who seemed stagnated. MD and RN staff kept nudging/nagging me to “do more” with my life. Suggested med school or RN. Went the 2yr ADN RN route as I couldn’t see myself back at a 4 yr anything program. School was easy. Most of my classmates were 18-21, I was 24 AND had exposure to university process. Doing a two year ADN was annoying, frequently interesting enough, and breezed through while working ER. Graduated and went through a one year training in the ER at a pretty high acuity place. Following few years got heavy in prehospital/EMS, continued ER. Kept telling myself I’d go back and do the BSN/MSN and maybe PA (never did either). Hindsight I would have done BSN/MSN early on. My bad. Could have opened some doors for me that I had to knock on repeatedly or just avoid and climb through the window. BUT, I was early in the rapidly growing young ER nurse specialty era. MICN/Prehospital care/flight/ground CCT. In California. A LOT of right place right time stuff. It’s worked out well..could have been smoother at times had I done the BSN/MSN. No huge regrets other than I should have been proactive more. I’ve had incredible mentors, experiences and a pretty good salary.


Second career, 7+ years in and my goal is to find a remote quality or coding job by this time next year. Even if I have to take a big cut in pay. The only time I was truly happy in nursing was teaching pre-licensure students prior to the pandemic, but seems many schools now have shifted to raking in the money, which means keeping the students happy - and not necessarily doing the right thing. I'll leave it at that. I came back to a hospital-based leadership job last fall after leaving the bedside at the end of 2019. And what was a broken system back then is a total shitshow now. With no end in sight. Though I'd personally never discourage someone from living out their dream career, I would say find a hospital that offers shadow experiences, so at least you can go in with your eyes open. Good luck to you.


There’s many ways to get a degree dirt cheap and make good money if you are willing to hustle and work extra shifts.


I would - after 40+ years full time - if nothing else for the knowledge and the money and flexibility in work. If I were to change anything - I would not have stayed 5 yrs in the USA - I would have returned to Canada sooner. The system makes a huge difference. I worked ECU, Med Surg, Rehab, Float ICU-Surg-rehab, IV , L&D (high risk& in big and community hospitals) NICU, Telemetry, Department Store Nurse(health education and First aid), started up a summer camp for institutionalized mentally challenged adults on a ranch, Telenurse, Prison RN, Travel RN, … 8 different hospitals in BC Canada and 4 in the USA (CA and WA). I guess that’s it. I use my nursing every day. Now I have cancer it has been a godsend. It also helps with looking at research papers and studies - also knowing when something is more serious or not. It was a great way to make money - lots of options in areas of work and good friends made. I did my LPN first - worked for a couple yrs then took University courses- and finished my RN. Doing LPN first helped a lot with organizational skills when continuing on with RN. Also helped pay the bills… and made me confident that this was an ok job. I found RN quite easy doing it this way. Good luck with your decision


I'd do it again 100%. I started for the money. My mom is a nurse, and she also told me that if I liked people, I'd like it too, despite my hangups on the gross aspects of nursing. It was rough to get over a few things (needle phobia) nearly passed out during clinicals a few times, but I do sono IV's now for the hard sticks and have done it for almost 8 years. It helps to focus on the screen instead of the needle. Still, sometimes when I look at the needle I shake a bit and it's embarrassing, but I don't miss. More importantly, I NEED to be a nurse. It's therapeutic. A year into nursing, my husband finally found his niche and was making so much money, I'd have just stayed hone with my daughter, except I just had a degree and a job and could prove that I could do it. I find it therapeutic now. If I'm home, I get too selfish and into my own head, thoughts, wants and needs. I NEED to focus on others to survive. It fills my bucket. Lastly, my first manager made me who I am as a nurse, a worker, a human being and in my faith. .


Definitely wouldn’t do it again if I couldn’t leave the south. Now that I went somewhere that respects nurses and pays as much as a 4-year degree should pay, I think I’d do it again, yet I’m still searching for a job away from bedside that pays well.


Yes, absolutely. I’ll always have a job. Always. There are a gazillion things you can do with your license, not just bedside. There are hospitals that suck, and there are others that are amazing. I’m blessed to work at one with safe staffing ratios and an incredible team and management. Don’t let the jaded nurses who say all hospitals suck influence and nursing is god awful influence your decision. There are so many facilities you can work at that *don’t* suck. And you can also work from home if that’s what you want!


Yes I would, hell I would've done it sooner.


Would study Pharmacy and get a doctorate degree.


mm probably not, i couldve been an underwater welder if i did, id probably do public school i wasted too much money getting done fast


Maybe I’m biased since im a third generation nurse but i would absolutely do it again…Especially if im comparing it to occupational safety…Personally that sounds absolutely miserable… I truly enjoy what I do which is unfortunately rare amongst some populations of nurses.


Would I do it again….now? I started out as a Respiratory Therapist and 15 years later got an RN because that was the only way to advance and make good money. I did the Excelsior program and did not have to do any of the bedside care or various rotations. I went directly into Care Management and never spent one day working as a bedside nurse. I make > 100k per year and I work from home. There have been some not great companies and jobs along the way, but there have been great opportunities and I have met and worked with great people. There are still good jobs and employers out there for nurses. The larger health plans and healthcare organizations can be just awful, toxic places to be. There are so many paths you can follow as a nurse beyond bedside care. I do think nursing is calling and I think you have to be very thoughtful about the path you take, but it can still be a good career if you make the right choices for yourself and for what is right for you.


Do something that will make you a lot of money and if you still want to try nursing after then go ahead


Unless you think that you can marry a doctor then it’s probably not worth it


I went to nursing school at age 46. I wish I’d gone sooner. I enjoy my job and I love the people I work with.


Absolutely. I love my job and career


25F. I chose nursing as a second career. There is a major nurse shortage where I live (Texas), so there's guaranteed job security, and very generous pay that comes along with that. That was worth it for me. Also, the work-life balance (the option to work 3 twelve-hour shifts a week) is worth its weight in gold.


I started the path to nursing school at 17 and if I was 17 again knowing what I know now, I’d probably opt for something with way more money in it. Don’t get me wrong nursing is very stable and decent pay (in some places) but the amount we do I’m not sure compares. That being said, I love what I do and I’m pretty sure I’m damn good at it.


Nope. Would have gone for something else.


CNA for 16 years, RN for the last 18 years. I do it for the joy of caring for people who need it and the money and the flexibility that working 3 days a week brings. 100% would go to nursing school again, but at the ADN level. I was a charge nurse for 6 years and that squashed my desire to move into management, I’m actually abck at the bedside and happier than I ever was as charge. Is it a perfect job? Nope but there’s nothing else I feel I would want to do as a career. And I’m grateful that’s it’s compensation is enough that even tho my husband can no longer work we still maintain a comfortable lifestyle


Hell no. I would go into tech instead.


Nursing is .... tiring... hard... takes a lot of thinking and also is a huge responsibility because our mistakes can mean someone's life. I can't say I love nursing and it isn't exactly what I thought it was but I can't see myself doing anything else. I like taking care and helping people... people get really annoying half the time but I always end up having a moment or a patient that makes me feel happy about that day and know something cool happened or you really helped that person. I also believe in God so He guides me and leads me in what I do and i feel He gives me the patients He wants me to see and have. I feel blessed to be a nurse and educated in health and to be able to use that knowledge at home with my kids & family is also great because in an Emergency I can help and that is a good feeling too. I remember years ago before nursing my dad just fell on the floor and couldn't breathe and I was so afraid and terrified waiting for the paramedics... my grandpa hit his back hard over and over and helped him come out of it... so it is good that I know I can help more than I could then! Good luck 👍


Great question, I was thinking the same. My initial thoughts are it’s a job, but the opportunities and money are honestly why I’m considering it.


No, I would have done IT instead.


Do OT, if I could I would.never have done it again. it's not worth it. And OT get similar pay as nursing and deal with less b.s


I would do it again. I was an elementary teacher first. I switched to nursing because of job security, pay, and a better schedule.


I would but I would leave the ICU long before I got burnt out. Nurses have many options including Occupational Nursing. Do both!


It's not that I regret nursing, but that I regret mot taking seriously the things I did when I was younger. That may have led me to a different career, but it may also have meant doing nursing earlier instead of jumping between several unfinished directions.


I’ve been a nurse for 23 years now. I have spent every working day since i graduated from nursing school in the operating room. I didn’t go to nursing school to be a nurse- I went to nursing school to work in surgery. I had a prior career that started out working frequently in the OR, and I really enjoyed it except for the pay, but the time I got to spend in surgery gradually dwindled from working a portion of every day in the OR to a job where I went to surgery 6 times in the last 3 years of my prior career. So knowing I enjoyed the working environment in the OR, I made a career change to nursing specifically to get back into that environment. I am at a point where I am 5 shifts away from leaving my current job (in a specific surgical specialty at a very well-known healthcare organization). I am taking a break now from nursing for a variety of reasons, and like I said, I didn’t go to nursing school to be a nurse. Humans are my least favorite species. I did it out of a wholly personal desire for a working environment that I liked coupled with a decent paycheck and the possibility of not working 5 days a week. If I had my choice (I realize I do), I would never go back, but realistically I will have to work a few more years in nursing somewhere else after my break, unless some other opportunity arises. All that said, I don’t regret my choice of going into nursing. There are just so many opportunities within the field and adjacent. You can really make it work for you in so many ways. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’ve made a decent living and been able to travel and do most of the things I’ve aspired to in life.


I want to scream “no” from the rooftops, but deep down I know that I absolutely would do it again. I love being a nurse, even though it’s been awful most of the time the last few years.


If I could go back I would go and be a dental hygienist, OT, PT. Nursing isn’t all that great. The moneys good, but it’s both mentally and physically EXHAUSTING. But hey you won’t know until you try it.


I actually considered going into PT or OT and shadowed at some of my local clinics. I did not like it! So, I've been trying to find shadowing opportunities at a hospital for nursing and it has been so hard. I have yet to find a place that would let me shadow for even a day.


I would 1000000% do something else. I sometimes ask myself “what was I thinking?”. I knew it I could always find work so it was a good idea. I was young and didn’t realize that people suck. Lol.


What would you do instead?


Yes and no. Yes as the career itself is rewarding, good pay, job stability, benefits and etc. Speaking from experience, the job itself was not an issue for me. Mainly the short-staffing and sometimes lazy co-workers or CNAs that go missing half the shift.. In addition, you get to meet some of the sweetest patients and connect/network with them! No, management issues, short staffing, certain absurd policies, and just overall day-to-day issues you'll be dealing with. Nursing, if you can tolerate ALL the cons, there's a lot more that I am speaking about as a whole not listed. Try being a traveler as well! Definitely get your money's worth. Unfortunately, with travel, it's expected that you take on the hardest assignments each shift. If you can do this, you be alright.


Yeah I would. It’s not a perfect career field, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that is. Pay is decent enough, a lot of flexibility as well, with room to grow pretty much wherever you decide to work.


Yes! I had a great experience at nursing school and met great friends. Now I have a job on med Surg with a great team that is flexible and allows me to live my life how I want and I get paid well. I know if I ever choose to leave there are tons of options for my career. School was expensive but most school is these days. I know that is not everyone's experience but every career has drawbacks. I got into the career for the money and I am happy with my decision.




I am doing it again, and I love it! I went to LPN school at age 30, worked the hospital floor, then went to an administrative position in primary care. I just graduated with my RN last year and I’m working in the OR now. I love it, and I look forward to every workday. It’s hard, and there are difficult people just like everywhere else, but I’m glad I chose this career and I would do it again. As for advice, don’t overlook Community College. I got my LPN and RN at almost no cost after grants and scholarships.


100% agree on community college. I have had 2 careers in my life and I have both a BS and and AA degree in each. Both of my careers have been based mostly, if not entirely, on what I learned in Community College. I worked as a RN for 20 years before my current employer made me get my BSN despite the fact that I already had a BS in another field. I won’t say I didn’t learn anything in my BSN program, but I learned absolutely nothing that was useful to my career path. The only thing the BSN did for me was make it easier for me to leave this employer for a better opportunity. I used to be very pro- 4 year college education; now I’m not so sure. It really depends on the person. You can get a good education and be very successful with a community college degree if you apply yourself, think critically and learn from your experiences.


I nurse for love of people buttttt idk if I would pick same career. We are often short handed , over ran with patients and employers are caring more about $ then quality of care


No, I would probably find another profession. Nursing practice itself is pretty cool, but for very obvious reasons I don’t think I have to explain at this point, I would not recommend it to anyone at this point in time. Funny this post popped up because I was due to renew my license and was doing it online last night, and I had to do a mandatory survey before renewing. The survey was basically asking me about the satisfaction with my profession and if I would recommend anyone else to get into nursing. I honestly felt some type of way about this because there are just certain things I’d like to keep to myself and don’t want certain entities knowing, and it didn’t have a “prefer not to answer” option. Did I really need to do that survey to renew my license? Like come on, that was kinda messed up. If the Office of Professions feel like they have to do a survey for their population of practicing nurses, the answer should have been obvious to them.


Hell yes I would and that’s having come out of school with significant student loans. I love my job in the ER, I love having up to 8 days off in a row without touching my PTO, and I love knowing I could pivot and do any number of things with my license if I get burnt out in my current role. I love having practical health knowledge that benefits me and my loved ones, and I really feel like nurses are my people. I often pick up shifts, but I’m currently looking into teaching pilates or doing something else on my days off. I would do nursing 1000x over. Yes, I acknowledge my work place and ability to have a say in how I’m scheduled plays a big part but good nursing jobs do exist!


I am 43 and I've been a nurse for one year. I had a completely different career prior to being an RN. I switched because I didn't want a desk job, and I wanted something very practical and reliable. (I also considered working some sort of food service, which I also think I would have liked.) Is it perfect? Nope. But nothing is! I've worked enough different types of jobs to see the perks and downsides to lots of different kinds of work. I feel like I just shoot the shit with patients and give meds, be on my toes when needed, and communicate everything. When you get home, you don't bring it home! That's the best part. I like being a nurse!


i am a new grad working for a year now i wish i didn’t do it shadow for a 12 hour shift get a good feel of it


Such a tricky question. If I could do it over again I never would have. I would have picked something entirely different. An esthetician, a baker, a florist. However, I love my job and have no intentions of ever changing it. It's difficult and grueling and mostly thankless. But it's also the most important job anybody could ever have and I feel like I've truly done my best each and every day. Even the days I cry on my way home or in the supply room I can say it was an awesome day. So I'd never pick it again but I' never gonna leave it either


Absolutely I would and I have been a nurse for 26 years. I would get a associates degree first, have your employer pay for your BSN. I went into nursing for the people and stayed for the opportunities.


I would. I love working 3 12s. If I did it over again, I would however not stay at the bedside for so many years.


Yes! No doubt I would pursue nursing again. I have been, am, and will always be - a Nurse!


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