LMT heading into Nursing

  1. greetings,

    i am currently an lmt licensed in both ca and wa. i have +700 hours of training and am nearly done with the prereqs for a rn program.

    this is the 1st i've stumbled onto this specialty forum! what a treat to see that others have had similar experiences and passions! i've seen the healing that can be accomplished with massage, it can be quite amazing!

    my question is this: i want to integrate my healing arts, is there a way to obtain a job as an rn that allows direct body work with patients? i.e. pm&r or rehab w/o the "hell" of rehab nursing?

    is nurse massage therapist a true specialty? is there a combined specialization?

    i would caution about heading into "medical massage therapy" from the aspect of massage therapy there is a bit of a schism in the field about separating or fracturing the practice of massage. "therapeutic massage therapy" might be a better name - i know it seems like splitting hairs.


  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   massageRN
    Juniper... There are a few areas to work in nursing related to a nurse massage therapist. Some hospitals hire LMT RN's to do the massage therapy for the occasional hopital massage, integrative therapy departments and spas that are popping up, keeping departmental budgets in mind they would hire a massage therapist instead as they would most likely make less per hour. These jobs are far and few between. What you can do is one of two things.Be creative.. create your own job and make your self valuable to your place of work. 1. become certifed in a specialty area of massage and incorporate that into your work such as a Nurse LMT can specialize in fibromyalgia and arthritis and work in a rheumatology clinic or for a physician, I on the other hand had to become more creative and since I work an OB unit became certified in perinatal massage and infant massage. I incorporate these therapies in my care and teaching of patients. I also teach the hospital infant massage classes. These ceus count not only for continuing education for massage but also for nursing licensure as mandated by my state. Other areas where there is a great need for massage in nursing care is on oncology units and also with hiv positive patients who greatly need touch in their care. Orthopedics to help increased movement and circulation after being in a cast for 6 weeks . Do you know working in an orthos office may be a great idea! 2. Own your own business....I know at least 3 nurses who own their own spas, franchise adventures and medi spas. As a nurse our scope of practice is much wider and nursing was voted one of the most respected careers for women across the nation according to Johnson and Johnson(baby lotion and shampoo company)good luck with your endeavors. I hope I don't sound discouraging but I would love to hear from other LMT/RNs with some creative ideas also.
  4. by   TristleRN
    I'm in the opposite position...RN recently having become an LMT. At my hospital, they do not hire LMT's, let alone nurses as LMT's. Currently, we are having a major budget crunch, and creating new positions is like pulling teeth. So, my current and best option is to do some work on my own. Of course, I do some "spot" massage at work (but I have always enjoyed giving a good back rub), but I use caution, as that is not my role at work. I am currently attempting to set up some side work with another therapist who is full time. But obviously getting a business going takes a lot of work. What sucks about all this is that it is very difficult to really be acknowledged for the fact that I am also a nurse. I will be using my RN in my title, hence, I will also be purchasing liability insurance for my nursing license, as well as liability insurance for my LMT license (these are things you must think about), as I would not be covered outside of the hospital. As an RN, I may be able to do some teaching that I would not be able to do as an LMT. Besides that, I wish there were a way, to do this at my regular job more and actually get paid for it. In my location, it is very difficult.

    However, I do see a future that acknowledges massage...so I would still encourage it! In the years to come, I see hospitals and nursing homes, for example, hiring not only massage therapists, but even nurse massage therapists for the more complex cases. Keep your eye on Nevada...I think they are getting things going for us.
  5. by   AngelWork
    Where do you currently live?
  6. by   TristleRN
    Hi, I live in Syracuse, NY.
  7. by   snuggler
    I was an LMP from out West, and now I have my RN. I had never seen this forum before. I went to nursing school down South, and an now practicing up North - I have never heard of a nurse massage therapist. In WA they had dulas and LMPs in birthing centers who massaged patients. Out here I haven't seen anything like this.
    Where (most commonly) do nurse massage therapists practice (both regionally and setting-wise)?
  8. by   lovesthejob
    Hi All
    I have been a nurse for 25 years and a massage therapist for 10 years. I love both but I wish I could earn a living doing both. I did have a job working for vitas hospice in cincinnati for about 6 months I was thrilled about the job. They had no interest in me as a nurse. At first I had to ask the CEO to give put me on the company list after about a month. She did and I got work for about 6 weeks. I was sad when my clients passed but I was never able to get any more clients. I sent her several emails asking if she had any more. The company had other therapists and they had been there longer and seemed to get most of the work but I would ask everyone and all they said is they did not have any. I spoke to some of the other therapists who were busy but had not gotten any new work and they said we were being weeded out. I wrote and called the CEO because I desperately needed work because I had back surgery the year before which didnt go well and I lost nursing job but I can do the massage on hospice patients and even said I would make home visits,give baths,phone work anything to make ends meet the CEO never lifted a finger to help me. Now I am on food stamps and in the process of losing my house and electric. But I really loves doing that job for the short time. I was only done to one patient but she was an hour away and I could not afford the gas to get there so I left. I wish I know where I could get another job as a nurse massage therapist. Even though I have some physical limitations I can still carry my chair and can move patients and could do differant types of nursing like home visits. I am very distressed right now and would to belong to a group of other nurse LMT. I do have private client and have applied for a ton of nursing positions but I am also 51 and cant get the hospitals to even look at me. Does anyone have any idea for me. I have also sent info to various nursing homes to work on residents. I also had told Vitas of my financial situation and how desperately I needed work but to no avail. I havent given up but I was surprised how a hospice who cares for the sick and dying could let one of their own fall thru the cracks. I only pray I can keep my house but it doesnt look good but again I have not given up I send out resumes everyday and make phone calls so maybe I mite get a bite in the future. treadmillqueen48@aol.com