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Feel stuck in nursing...

(9 Posts)
HongkongDreamer Fri 05-Apr-13 19:13:34

Im currently in my 2nd year of a nursing degree and have days where i dont know if its what i want to do for the rest of my life but also dont want to quit because im not sure what else id like to do. Has anyone here done nursing then went on to a different career using their nursing degree?

Welovehamsters Fri 05-Apr-13 21:16:12

I would say that the most important issue is why you a feeling uncertain/ambivalent about nursing itself.

The reason I say this is that to 'use' a nursing qualification to branch out at a later date you would almost certainly still need some post qualifying experience, probably a few years minimum.

If hand on heart you are not really enjoying your degree (not so much the theoretical side but certainly the practical) at this stage then in all honestly you will struggle to get to the end point and after that to stick with it long enough to make it work for you. The few years after qualifying are really tough (and exciting, challenging, rewarding if it's right for you) so to my mind it's not something most people would want to do if they feel ambivalent.

But having said that once you have anew years under your belt the opportunities will open up, I have been qualified about fifteen years and so far have done ward nursing, clinical trials work (really interesting but nothing like 'normal' nursing, much more industrial) I've also been offered work as a pharmaceutical rep (didn't take it up) and I now do complex case work that involves very little hands on nursing but lots of really interesting and mostly autonomous work in the community.

Loads of other options such as getting into training, education, health management etc the list is endless really.

But bottom line is if you don't like dealing with 'patients' at this stage it's going to be really difficult to find it in yourself to keep going long enough to branch out.

chanie44 Sat 06-Apr-13 12:27:06

You don't have to be a nurse forever though. So try not to think of it as being stuck in the same job forever.

I'm not a nurse but I would assume that being a student nurse is very different from being a qualified nurse, where you have more autonomy and can apply to work in areas that interest you.

Personally, if I had to do my studies again, I'd consider something like nursing as there are manyq different career paths, a structured career path, ability to easily work abroad......

compoundinterest Mon 08-Apr-13 09:38:46

I would try and stick with it if I were you. It's very tough out there at the mo and you will always find work as a trained nurse. Unless you have a definite idea of what you would like to do it's often best to do something more generalist like nursing.

Just because you train and work as a nurse for a few years does not mean that you are obliged to do it for the rest of your life. It will open many doors for you.

Agree with chanie44 that I would consider nursing if I had my time again.

XBenedict Mon 08-Apr-13 09:42:56

Once you're qualified there's so much you can do with it, you don't have to stick to the hospitals. The community offer some very different jobs. I am currently learning to be a practice nurse after qualifying in 1994! It's soooooooo different.

Has there been anything thatvhas captured your interest since you've started? A chronic disease? Pain? Infection control? My interest is travel medicine and vaccination after spending 4 years in the military as an infection control nurse. I also did my aeromedical course while I was there and repatriated loads of people.

HongkongDreamer Mon 08-Apr-13 18:02:32

That sounds amazing XBenedict. I would love to work in the community as a health visitor/district nurse but they sort of posts seem hard to come by. Im only 19 and the idea of working in a ward once i qualify fills me with dread tbh. Want to work abroad etc but i dont know how realistic that is tbh. Feel kind of hopeless about it i guess.

XBenedict Mon 08-Apr-13 18:14:05

It's very very realistic, honestly! You can travel the world. The government are currently funding HV training and you get paid a band 5 during your training. The course is a year long and newly qualified nurses are being as encouraged as experienced nurses to apply. I'm not sure how long this initiative is going on for but there are training opportunities to be had.

In your final year enquire into doing a placement in primary care and see if you like it. More and more student nurses are doing this and then going straight in primary care, this never happened in my training day, it was mainly hospital based with maybe a few weeks with a district nurse/midwife.

How about working on the cruise ships? Aeromed? (doesn't have to be military although there's another option) working in Africa? You say you are in your second year - research your possibilities I promise you there is something out there that will grab you. Nursing is a fantastic qualification to have smile

Fairyloo Mon 08-Apr-13 18:14:28

I also had similar feelings to you when training. I swopped to mental health which suited me. When you qualify it's totally different, you have much more autonomy and you can choose which area you are more interested in.

I was much more interested in people and counselling so mental health totally suits me.

What first attracted you to nursing? Think back to those reasons and remind yourself. In current climate you will get a job anywhere and it is worthwhile.

I have now been qualified for ten years shockshock and love my job and the impact I have on people's life.

It's hard that's why many students drop out but the rewards are amazing.

I have many friends who have done non vocation degrees and they can not find jobs and the ones they can are support workers ect on 13k.

YoniLoveCanSetYouFree Fri 12-Apr-13 17:03:29

If you finish the course then you will have options (nursing, alternative careers such as teaching or social work, postgraduate study), and dropping out will look bad on your CV even if you decide ultimately not to pursue a career in nursing. Also it's a degree; moreover it's a degree where your fees are paid for you and you get a bursary - do you want to drop out, then realise in a couple of years time you need a degree and have to get in £27,000 worth of debt to get one? No, you're on to a good thing. It is only two years, which is, God willing, only going to a be a fraction of your life.

By the way, I dropped out of uni at your age and ended up feeling like a total loser.

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