Would Nurses Encourage People Considering Nursing School?

September 23, 2009
Lisa Schulmeister

An online poll reveals nurses' responses to this question.

As many nursing schools begin the fall semester, an online poll at allnurses.com sought responses to the question, "Would you encourage someone who was considering nursing school?" At the time of this writing, 37% (or 1,214 nurses) said they would be very encouraging, 22% (705 nurses) said they would be moderately encouraging, 16% (406 nurses) were neutral, and 26% (838 nurses) would moderately discourage someone or be very discouraging.

One nurse posting a response wrote that he/she would be moderately discouraging because it would "keep the unmotivated, dispassionate, lazy types out." Another wrote, "Never in a million years would I encourage someone to go into nursing. In today's health care market, doing more with less is the mantra. In most markets that means less nurses, less nursing assistants, less equipment, less orientation....... This is a very dangerous time to be entering the nursing market. If my grandchildren wanted to follow in my footsteps, I would call the school counselor and have her head examined."

On the positive side, a nurse wrote, "Definitely! I would encourage anyone who wanted to undertake nursing....there are lots of opportunities…a variety of positions and specialties…the chance to travel around the globe…the satisfaction of making a difference in another person's life...it's an amazing job...there are bad days...but that's just a normal part of life...I find that the bad days are when I learn a lot more..!!"

One of the more common posts from nurses was that their responses of whether or not they would encourage someone to enter nursing was that it would depend on the person; that for some people, they would be encouraging, while for others, they would be "realistic" or not encouraging. Considering that many people thinking about a nursing career will ask those already in the profession, the wide variety of responses makes me wonder how influential nurses' opinions are. Will people enter nursing school despite the negativity that some nurses have about nursing or will they be influenced by this negativity and choose another career?