To the nurses out there- do you all work as nurses while doing your pre-med work?
No one I work with knows I’m doing pre-med work, but they do know I’m taking classes. I work part-time and have found little support. I have seen other nurses, who are going to school have problems also.
I get the feeling that hospitals just want worker bees, and they could care less about anything else. I’m always being asked to work more hours. That is a big fat NO! The phone will ring at 5:30am on the days I don’t work, and they know full well I will not come in, they know I have other things going on. A supervisor asked me one day, while she rolled her eyes "Are you going to school next quarter as well?"
Nurses please tell me if you had a similar problem, and how did you deal with it.
I don’t want to stop working as a nurse, because I’m learning things everyday that will help me in the furture.
If I must part with nursing to gain peace of mind, I will.
I work extremely part time as a surgical nurse. Everyone knows what I’m going to school for and on my days off, no one calls to ask if I want to come in. I had worked 9 years in the OR at a level one trauma center here in southeastern Wisconsin. I got tired of just watching surgery while I circulated and I decided that I wanted to do surgery albeit in an OB/GYN capacity.
I really didn’t care what anyone thought, most of the reactions were positive from the docs to my co-workers, but some co-workers told me to my face that I was ridiculous and I just grinned. I think I needed to announce the fact that I wanted to go to med school to put some pressure on myself so I wouldn’t be tempted to procrastinate with my studies and that most co-workers and some docs would be interested enough to follow my progress and ask questions. And the naysayers just make me study harder. I made it clear that I absolutely don’t think I’m better than anyone else, which is true, but I was just ready for the next level of learning, I just want to learn more and more and I wasn’t intellectually fulfilled anymore as a circulating nurse. So putting that out there, most of my co-workers understood and are encouraging, plus they would tell me ‘don’t be an asshole like Dr. So and So’, and the really neat thing is I think I have inspired other people to go to school. Some surgical techs want to go on to be RN’s, some 2yr. RN’s want a to go for a BSN so we all encourage each other and I make the point that whether we all succeed or not, we have the guts to try. Also I still enjoy my job even better knowing I have a goal I’m working toward. I also noticed something else that is positive from my pronouncement, the attendings who know me and have worked with me for several years, take the time to explain findings on MRI’s and lab reports, etc. things they explain to med students and residents. That never happened before!
You are right in your feeling about hospitals just want ‘worker bees’, especially when it comes to the front line staff RN. We don’t get the respect that a lot of other professionals get and it seems that we’re not encouraged to learn more than our job requires, we’re not able to go to nursing conferences or the hospitals won’t pay for them ( of couse in this current economic climate a lot of perks have been eliminated for all professions).
I think in most cases no matter what field you’re in, you won’t find a lot of support if you can afford to work part time and afford to go to school. Bottom line, people get jealous, some people are stuck in their careers or jobs and even if they don’t want to go on to school, they wish they could afford to work part time. I know that this is true at my place of work. Sometimes I see the looks of resentment on some of my co-workers faces, so I try to be cheerful, I’ll take a lot of the tough assignments without complaining because I’m not there that often and I know the fulltimers need a break, I’ll occasionally bring in treats or if I can afford the time from my studies, I’ll go out on ‘liquid rounds’ with my co-workers and NOT talk about school and just have fun.
Don’t let those behaviors you mentioned get to you, just go with the flow, besides when you’re a med student you’ll probably have very tired residents rolling their eyes at you, the bs never stops, we just get better at handling it. Vita
Thank you for your kind and wise words. You've helped a lot. I have decided to change jobs. The place is unsafe to work in, and the last thing I need is getting involved in a lawsuit.
In ACLS class I did some networking, and one of the nurses put me contact with a manager who is real good about working conditions. I hope this works out. They have other premeds working there.
When one door closes, another opens.
OMG!!! I am so glad there are other RN’s here! You guys understand exactly how I feel also! I so agree with everything you have said. I am in Vancouver BC and whenever I express my frustrations about nursing and my need for more stimulation and learning in my career, not many understand. Or they think you are crazy. Also there is absolutely no support of what you are trying to accomplish. I have tried a few times prior to this year to try to get a work schedule conducive to full time university and I may as well been talking to a wall. Talk about unsupportive. It is true that they only care about covering the shifts and we are all interchangeable, like clones. They don’t care if we have a life, or have aspirations outside of work. ESPecially if we need to leave nursing. I feel so much like a square peg in a round hole, am so much more interested in what the docs do, am so much more oriented to a medical model rather than a nursing model. I am so happy to find people in the same boat as me!
Thanks for letting me vent!
Gina. PS I am 44 this year.
Im a nurse too! Glad we all can connect, has anyone ever considered prn/resource positions? You usually get paid about 10 bucks more an hour, and you schedule yourself as much or as little as you want to. Sometimes I only schedule myself for a 4 hour shift. It works for me!
The docs at my hospital know what Im doing in school and are great, I now am confident I can do a paracentesis as many times as this one attending has taught me…just would be overstepping my bounds a bit as a nurse, the docs show me xrays, Ive been invited and in on surgeries as they teach me, the docs are my main supporters. Good luck to us all!
I’ve always worked as a nurse while going to school, though I’m an LVN. I’ve done pediatric home health for 18 years, with some short stops in facilities. I usually go back to home health for the flexibility and because the facilities treated me like crap but wanted my whole life! Since I have benefits through my husband’s job, i said ‘what the heck’, better to make over $23 per hour in home health than get whipped at Baylor for under $13!!!The nurses i work with are supportive, as is my agency. I remember while I was at Baylor, my supervisor had to RUSH to her classes where she was working on her master’s, and they didn’t give her a break at all to get there on time.
Yes, Im feeling ya. If I worked as a regular RN, here in Indiana, Id make about 22 dollars or a little more an hour with almost 6 yrs of experience, so I decided to go resource for 33.50 an hour. I only have to schedule myself once a month, but I have to work more than that, however. I like working the holidays cause I still get paid time and a half. Im content where I am, I have nice managers, etc until med school calls.
With how my school schedule is now, it is hard to even work as little as one day a week, ugggh. I make two trips to school M-F…my schedule really stinks, and Im not adjusting well to it. But I will survive, hey, hey!
Hi! I found this discussion very interesting, and would like to add my own two cents, since at the moment, I feel absolutely relieved to say that the nursing profession and I are no longer on speaking terms. I’ve had it with the nonsense, and even should this pre-med stuff not come to fruition, there is just no way that I’m ever going back to nursing. My experiences in nursing have been just too bitter and disappointing, (although you can be sure that these sentiments will “nevah” wind up in my personal statement for med school! If anyone “official” asks about my nursing experiences, I intend to smile graciously and just say, “It was a very interesting 23 years and I learned a lot. Next question.”) Regards, Siobhan
I understand those feelings exactly, and knew a long time ago that I would not get further education in nursing. The patients are wonderful (peds) but the administration makes the job miserable, and that seems to be most places.
Hello all! I am an intern at Allegheny General in Emergency Medicine and worked as a nurse until I started residency. During medical school, I worked with an agency. The first 2 years it was mostly just the holidays and maybe once a month. Not a lot, but it was enough to pay the rent. During my 3rd & 4th year, my schedule opened up and I could have work almost every weekend, if I wanted. The nice thing about agency, as it was already said is that they work around your schedule. When I was doing my prereqs, I worked a weekend schedule only. The other nurses liked it, for various reasons.
Rachel Wankum, DO
I decided to take the 2 yr approach to take classes and get ready for the MCAT. I continue to work full time as a PNP. I also would like to continue working to a much lesser degree while in med school.
However, I must say contary to others, I have enjoyed being a nurse and enjoy being a PNP even more. I am hoping that my unique experience will bring added dimension to my med school experience.
Best of luck to everyone.
I don’t think I ever knew you were a nurse!! I can’t work as a nurse my first two years in England, but that tells me that I can possibly work if I have any holidays once I’m back in the States. Any little bit helps!