Originally Posted by Natalie_ca
I worked as a nursing assistant while going to nursing school.
It's an ok job. Very physically hard though. Lots of lifting, bending, pushing, shoving, carrying etc. My back was killing me all of the time. The up side of it is that the job doesn't have any serious responsibility so far as the patient is concerned, because that falls on the nurse assigned to the room. It's the type of job that you either love or hate, but it doesn't really pay all that well either.
My advice to you if you want to get into nursing would be to actually start taking required classes for nursing now, and then transfer the credits over when you move back to Australia.
Can I ask why you are wanting to get a Master's in nursing? You only need that if you want to do paper pushing jobs in management and they don't have anything to do with bedside nursing and TBH, there is so much politics in those types of jobs that the patients become secondary to everything.
I would suggest going for a bachelor of science in nursing. The degree will allow you to do bedside nursing and also take positions in lower level management positions, that are still focused on patient care.
If you want to find out what hospital work is all about, why not volunteer at a local hospital so that you can get a feel for it?
I've looked into doing nursing here and it's so much more expensive than in Australia (we have government assistance for higher education), and I still want to finish my Business degree. I also figured out that I can either plug away at nursing subjects part time here, and still have the same amount of time to go if I finished my business degree, then did Nursing full time when we get home. This way I end up with 2 degrees and some practical experience.
In Australia, it's not a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, it's a Bachelor of Nursing, or in my case if you already have a degree and university level Biology (which I will), I can do a Masters in Nursing which qualifies me to be an RN (ie. I end up with the same whether I do a Bachelors or Masters).
To me, that makes more sense, and I'd rather actually work as a CNA and earn some money and be right in there rather than volunteer. I think I'd be be ok with the work, and the lower pay doesn't worry me, I expect that.