Career Change

Registered Nurse Talks About Her Career Path

Registered Nurse Talks About Her Career Path

Considered working as a Registered Nurse for a local hospital? This interview will take you down the career path of a Registered Nurse including the ups and downs you may experience in the position, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is a true career story as told to and is one of many interviews with nursing professionals which among others include a neonatal registered nurse, a prison chronic disease nurse, and everything in between.

I am a registered nurse working in the health care industry at a large urban hospital. I have worked as a nurse for seven years. I am a white female, and I have never experienced discrimination in my field. I have also never witnessed discrimination. I work with a talented, diverse team from many ethnicities. In the nursing field, I am pleased with the emphasis on hard work and your skill than who you are or where you come from. That said, there can be issues with managing nurses or doctors having favorites, but that happens in every field!

I am fortunate in my job is never really the same from day to day. Depending on which department needs me, I can be in Radiology or Oncology pitching in. Regardless of what department I am in, the day goes roughly the same in format. The first I do, I always check in at the nurse's station to look over the report from last shift. Then I eyeball each patient and prioritize based on condition and other factors. This also can vary by department. In Trauma, for instance, I have to prioritize based on narcotic pain management.

At this point, it is usually time to distribute medications. While doing this, I take time to ask some questions and see how everyone is feeling in case new symptoms crop up. After this, meals are either served or I handle paperwork, depending on how much has been done that day and who needs some help.

I essentially repeat this pattern for the rest of my shift, checking patients, giving medication, and documenting everything. The main exception is when I work Trauma, because there are always people flatlining or new patients coming in with serious injuries that require emergency care.

At the very end of my shift I write up anything the incoming shift may need to know, and I'm done for the day!

Keeping up with the patients is very important. Often, they may not notice new symptoms or side effects and it is important for nurses to keep an eye out and stay on top of new information.

If I had to rate this job on a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to say it's a 7 or an 8. I have always been interested in the medical field and I love helping people. It's great working with people, developing a relationship, and helping. The only issues that keep it from being a 10 is it's always rough when a patient takes a turn for the worse. Seeing the families and everything can be emotionally rough on you. The shifts can also take a toll on you physically, as there are plenty of 12 hour ones. Usually the hospital I work at tries to keep them closer to 10, they always run over. It results in good pay though!

This job definitely fulfills my calling and let's me do what is important to me. I would not change anything about it, except maybe that medicine do a better job and keep everyone healthy.

Getting into this field is not a ballpark, but it is not any harder than any other professional career. I majored in Nursing and Chemistry in college. The Nursing classes were fairly easy, but the Chemistry aspect was extremely rough. I am glad I stuck it out and have the Chemistry too, because it qualifies me to do laboratory work in the hospital if I ever get burned out on nursing and need a break from it. However, the Chemistry degree is not at all necessary so I do not recommend getting unless you are really, really good at it. It is very time consuming.

I always tried to intern during summers to get work experience to put on my resume, and that was a huge factor in getting my current job. I really recommend taking any opportunities you can to get experience.

It also helps to have experience before being thrown into the mix as a nurse, because strange things happen and it can be hard. Patients with odd requests or behaviors or ones that like trying to leave every ten minutes when they have a serious condition can be very taxing. Patience is an important skill!

That being said, there are not a whole lot of jobs that make you feel extremely proud about, and the health care field is one field full of those jobs. I have never had issues with waking up and not wanting to go to work because you know you are relied upon.

On a routine day, work is not necessarily stressful. Checking on patients and administering meds is not too bad, though 12 hours of that can wear on anyone. Days where someone has a crisis can zap you though, especially if they die. It is almost never anyone's fault, but you still feel like you could have done more. This is completely offset by the days where the team pulls someone back from the brink and you help make someone who had a lot of issues healthy and happy again. So it is definitely worth it.

On top of the rewarding work, the salary ensures a comfortable life. For the kind of work I do, it ranges between $60,000 and $90,000 with overtime. On top of that, there are opportunities for working in management roles as well, though I'm happy with where I am at right now. I average about four weeks of paid vacation a year I can take, plus flexible scheduling. is a job search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it.

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