Quote from D&Ggirl
czyja - i see where you are coming from but bedside nursing isnt the only nursing job out there. i know from personal experience that bedside nursing isn't for me, something about it just isnt for me, i want more of the business side of things which is why im looking for something away from the bedside. thats the great thing about nursing, there are so many places to go, and people like different things. i love working with patients, am a huge people person, but when someone isnt happy at their job, it effects the job. i can tell a huge difference because i'm just not happy at work. my pts. still get good care, but if you work somewhere and dont enjoy your job, its going to take a toll on your health so working somewhere and "man-ing" up wont help because pt. care will go down and i would rather remove myself from that environment than provide anything but my best care which is why i'm looking for a different job.
I certainly don't mean to suggest that bedside nursing is the only nursing. I do, however, argue that it is foundational. If you read the posts from the nurses doing non-bedside nursing you will find that they suggest their careers benefited from a period of hospital practice.
I am not sure what you mean by the "business side." It strikes me that nurse management and case management all draw heavily on the skills and knowledge gained at the bedside.
One cannot effectively manage nurses (or anybody for that matter) without the knowledge of their job gained by doing their job. I doubt one can be an effective case manager without having handled cases. Frankly, I have seen people try to manage others without the necessary experience. It always fails. This is why the top business schools do not take applicants out of undergrad programs - they recognize the value of line-level experience.
I am not suggesting that 20 years of experience is necessary - only a few. For example, a previous poster indicated that she works as an infection control nurse - she states that she combination of lab experience and bedside experience informs her current practice in infection control.
To suggest that "if you work somewhere and dont enjoy your job, its going to take a toll on your health" might be true after 10 years or so but I very much doubt that a year or two of hospital nursing will take a toll on your health. As for patients getting good care - this is completely within your control
. Quality care is not a function of how much you like your work - it is a function of how much you are committed working hard for your patients.
Personally, I do not plan a career in bedside practice. I plan to have either an academic or management career. But I know that my effectiveness in either of these areas would be comprimised by insufficient experience on the wards.
So, the free advice from the non-yet-a-nurse old man with 20+ years of experience in the business world - suck it up, and work for a year or so in the hospital. Trust me, it wont kill you. And you will learn something, if not about pt care then about how nurses work.