How Times Have Change for the Nurses

Hi there, I have been at home for the past decade or so to care for my young children, and am ready to go back to school & begin a new career. Becoming an RN was my first choice, so I came here to find some feedback on being an RN. It has been eye-opening :-)

I would like to know where most of the posters here are from? I live in the Seattle area. I worked as a CNA in high school, and was surprised to see how many nurses here complain about the changing beds/cleaning vomit type jobs. NO nurse, RN or LPN, ever did that when I was a CNA, they called for us. They didn’t do patient transfers, empty catheters, or anything of that nature. Yes I dealt with all the bodily fluids (including brushing/cleaning dozens of sets of dentures each night – quite nasty). I was hit, bit and kicked regularly, and dealt with it fine. The nurses took regular breaks and seemed pretty relaxed & not unhappy. I take it times have changed? Keep in mind that this was in the 80s -I’m 37.

The career I had before kids was as a supervisor in customer service, and I feel like I developed a pretty thick skin after being called everything from incompetent to a moron on a daily basis. While at home with my kids, I worked for about 5 years as a medical transcriptionist out of my home. It was great, but too isolating. When my youngest started school last year, I took a part time job in retail (it’s fun, but $10/hour won’t help 3 kids through college).

I have had limited contact with hospitals/nurses over the years due to my (thankfully) very healthy family. The nurses at the pediatrician’s office seem happy & very friendly. The L&D nurses when I had my kids were wonderful. While I was waiting to dilate and enjoying the epidural, a nurse sat in my room the whole time visiting and watching movies on the VCR with my husband! I vaguely remember thinking what a great job she had. When the dr. determined that I needed a C-section with one of the kids, I was totally fine with it, and the nurse looked like she wanted to kiss me…I remember laughing because most women must throw absolute hissy fits in that situation.

So anyway, here I am considering starting my prerequisites for an RN program, but now wondering if I’m seeing myself as a nurse simply because I’ve been a caregiver for the past 11 years with my kids? I think I would like to work in hospice, or back in a LTC facility. I’d like to work evening or night shifts, part time.

I’m not overly perky, but I’m calm, friendly & confident. I’m not overly young and don’t see myself as naive. I’ll honestly admit that the schedule flexibility and pay are a big part of why I’m considering nursing.¬†Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far – I’d love to hear from any nurses in the Seattle area (I’m actually on the east side, Redmond). I’ve had plenty of experience with unreasonable, bitter & nasty coworkers and customers…are nurses and patients really so much worse? Am I living too much in the 80s and have no clue how much things have changed? Also, are there any home health nurses who are happy with their job?

Thanks in advance for your feedback – pro or con.