Babyboomer RN

  1. I am a 49 y.o. RN OCN & I've worked noc's in acute care settings for 20 yrs. Even tho' I've worked part time for the last 10,I'm starting to face the increasing strain of keeping up w/ the physical demands & the high
    stress. As much as I like my work, I realize there are limits to how many more yrs I'll be
    able to continue.I'm now exploring options on how to postion myself for partial retirement in the next 5-7 yrs.I'd like to keep my income & benifits stable. I'm questioning if
    pursuing further Ed.(BSN??) would be a wise depletion of my retirement savings at this late stage in my career. Or perhaps another specialty? I'm providing my own retirement
    income(started late).I have been in oncology for 12 yrs. I'd like to stay in nursing but I
    need to be realistic about its demands& how I'll be able to continue as I approach my 50's. I would like to to decrease the physical demands & stress & get somewhat comparable pay so I can finish out my later yrs in nursing.However I'm not interested in management therefore I'm questioning BSN vs experience.The last 20 yrs in acute care settings has been educational, challenging& overall satisfying. Are there other RN's out there who are thinking about partial or phased retirement in the next 5-7yrs? How do you plan to maximize/sabilize your options re:work & future security? What changes if any would you make?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Mijourney
    Hi msdttob. As a fellow boomer, I'm also facing similar issues regarding retirement and work downsizing. Have you considered looking into other areas in or around the hospital such as UR, physician's office, research, admissions or central intake, education, telephone nursing? Most of these positions don't require a BSN in my neck of the woods. Education may or may not. You may want to look in some form of consulting as well. I will admit that my BSN has given me somewhat of an edge in obtaining certain types of employment along with my experience. The important thing is to realize that at 49 you are still young and that the changing nature of health and medical care will dictate what type of credentials you should have in order to be or stay competitive. Keeping current with knowledge and/or skills and demonstrating the willingness to learn new ones is definitely important. Access to your computer will help in those areas and will also help you keep abreast of trends. Best wishes.
  4. by   msdttob
    Dear Mijourney,
    I was reading your response to burnedoutrn
    I'm impressed w/ your advice. I see you suggest additional education & training as well as give an array of options re: finding a new niche in nursing. As a RN who likes direct pt. contact but who is equally sure she will not be able to work night shift for 17 more yrs until retirement age(66) I wonder what you think about the likelyhood of being able to teach in a vocational setting; LPNs for instance. I have a BS in Ed. from a state university but never taught. I graduated in 1976. Floundered x several yrs.I went to LPN school & I graduated in the required time. Started work
    in 1980. In mid 80's there was a push for RNs
    I thought my job was in jeopardy therefore went to an accelerated step up program at an
    AD school & graduated in 18 mo. I've worked
    as an RN since 1987.I am now looking @ the possibility of getting a BSN but as I said I'm not sure that depeleting retirement savings to do that would be the correct financial move. I have a Jefferson Pilot planner figuring out what my savings would need to be w/ & w/out school. However I may have tainted the way they will figure my fact sheet because most of the responses I have recieved re: school have indicated that a BSN at this late point in my career would not lead to a position that would justify making that kind of an expenditure. Wrote the school & students there said yes.(biased) Wrote a couple of other nursing sites have gotten a couple of pro's & con's. One BSN suggestedsome of the same areas of nursing as you did.
    I'm still not clear re job market w/ & w/out BSN. I think it was you who said that positions like UR did not require BSN. I also think it would be best to try to stay w/in the organization I'm in ,unless I could get better or equal health insurancce & somewhat comparable pay in a vocational setting. I'd be interested in your thoughts
    since this seems to be your area of forte'

    Sincerely,

    msdttob

  5. by   PamelaAlfordRN@aol.com
    I'm 49, and have been through burnout more times that I care to mention. For this reason, I am looking into Utilization Review/Case Management, which closely parallels my eighteen years of experience in home health. The only problem is, that it's a tough field to get into, unless you have CCM designation. So, I'm joining the American Case Management Association, and start learning what I need to know, to be able to take the exam. After all, it's all about cost containment, so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Good luck!
  6. by   Mijourney
    Hi msdttob. Thanks for your gracious compliment. I don't profess to have the corner on this type of advice or any advice for that matter. I have spent time looking at options as you have, and I tend to engage in lifelong learning activities as regularly as I can.
    In my neck of the woods, the LPN program requires that the instructor has a BSN. I'm not sure if that is a requirement by the NLN. It may be that since you have a BS degree, that is all that is needed to teach. I know of nurses in my area that teach, direct, and/or coordinate entire paraprofessional programs such as CNA, EMT, medical assistants, etc. without the benefit of any university degree. However, I don't know if these are accredited programs.
    If you are planning to stay with your employer, you may want to look at the education department there if you have not done this already. You can give the manager of that department a copy of your resume and follow up every so often if there are no positions at this time.
    While I'm in favor of establishing the BSN as entry level to practice, I don't feel that you necessarily have to obtain your BSN, if you are already a nurse, if you may decide that you want to go outside of nursing with your experience. If I was going to sacrifice some income, I probably would consider getting a master's degree. I think that you give yourself more options than with a BSN. I also feel that if there's the possibility you will do paid work in retirement you will be better prepared to compete by having a master's. With the reported shortage of nursing instructors in some areas, you may be able to teach ADN nurses with a master's degree outside of nursing. I don't know if the NLN still mandates an MSN to teach in an ADN or BSN program or not. Or, if you have considered an MSN, go for it if you want it! I've read under some topic, I can't remember, where a poster wrote that her area offered a bridge program to the MSN for those with or without a BSN. Hope this helps.
    Pamela, congratulations on your move.

    [This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited October 27, 2000).]
  7. by   msdttob
    Originally posted by Mijourney:
    Hi msdttob. Thanks for your gracious compliment. I don't profess to have the corner on this type of advice or any advice for that matter. I have spent time looking at options as you have, and I tend to engage in lifelong learning activities as regularly as I can.
    In my neck of the woods, the LPN program requires that the instructor has a BSN. I'm not sure if that is a requirement by the NLN. It may be that since you have a BS degree, that is all that is needed to teach. I know of nurses in my area that teach, direct, and/or coordinate entire paraprofessional programs such as CNA, EMT, medical assistants, etc. without the benefit of any university degree. However, I don't know if these are accredited programs.
    If you are planning to stay with your employer, you may want to look at the education department there if you have not done this already. You can give the manager of that department a copy of your resume and follow up every so often if there are no positions at this time.
    While I'm in favor of establishing the BSN as entry level to practice, I don't feel that you necessarily have to obtain your BSN, if you are already a nurse, if you may decide that you want to go outside of nursing with your experience. If I was going to sacrifice some income, I probably would consider getting a master's degree. I think that you give yourself more options than with a BSN. I also feel that if there's the possibility you will do paid work in retirement you will be better prepared to compete by having a master's. With the reported shortage of nursing instructors in some areas, you may be able to teach ADN nurses with a master's degree outside of nursing. I don't know if the NLN still mandates an MSN to teach in an ADN or BSN program or not. Or, if you have considered an MSN, go for it if you want it! I've read under some topic, I can't remember, where a poster wrote that her area offered a bridge program to the MSN for those with or without a BSN. Hope this helps.
    Pamela, congratulations on your move.

    [This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited October 27, 2000).]
    Dear Mijourney,
    Thank you for your insiteful & thoughtful response. You have given me some good
    information to think about. I think the long distance program I'm enrolled in does
    offer a Masters. I have recently heard from some insiders that there is quite a bit of
    political to & fro w/ in the educational mileu. I'm relatively sure I do not have the
    sophistication to manuvere in that setting. However, I agree that if I'm going to
    make an investment in a future career adjustment, I'll need further training. Your
    information is very useful in shedding light on areas I may be thinking about expending
    money & effort into. Thank-you again for taking the time out of your schedule to respond. I do appreciate it.

    Sincerely,
    msdttob

  8. by   505rn
    Hello mdsttob,
    I wanted to share with you all a positive experience for me. I am an RN, but have been taking care of the elderly as a CNA and an RN for 11 years- I love the age group but giving the care I want to is nearly impossible. I desperately needed to cut down my hours as I was getting burned out and frustrated and my family was suffering for it- BUT we needed my full-time salary.
    I supplement my income by writing continuing education courses. I started out by using previous papers from college and information from clearinghouses to update them and I created a manuscript in less than two hours. I now average four manuscripts a month and have cut down my hours at work- now everyone in my family is happy! The website I use is www.healthcarewriters.com but many nursing sites that have continuing education recruit authors!
  9. by   PamelaAlfordRN@aol.com
    Hey, msdttob: Just wanted to let you know that I was offered a Senior Case Manager position with a major insurance company this week. They're even going to give me eighteen months, to obtain my CCM designation! There IS hope for us babyboomers, and if I can do it, so can you!

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