Thanks to all who've responded thus far.
Yes, the CNA's do most of the bed-moving chores, but our aides have been cut to the bone---we often have only two on day shift, and after 3 PM we usually have only one.
In exchange, we have better nurse-to-patient ratios (I generally have no more than 5 patients on days), but we also have to do most of the pottying, room changes, lifts/turns, etc. So it's really six of one, half a dozen of the other.
I wish I could go into teaching, but I lack both the education (I'm an ADN) and the money to pursue a higher degree. (I still owe many thousands of $$ in student loans that will take me until I've got one foot in the grave to pay off.) So that's out......but I know there are other areas I can look into without having to have the BSN or higher. I just didn't want to HAVE to look into something else just yet........I love my work, and had planned to stay with it for at least several more years.
No, I'm not going to be fired anytime soon---you have to be a real screw-up to get booted out the door entirely, and I have both an excellent reputation AND the evaluations to prove it. But I do have the feeling I'm being set-up to be eased
out of med/surg........and maybe it's a blessing in disguise. There is an opening for a wound-ostomy-continence nurse at my hospital, they want someone with certification in that specialty (I'm certified in med/surg only), but there are indications that they would be willing to train and/or set the person up with the necessary educational courses. I've already made a discreet inquiry via E-mail, and if there's half a chance of getting the position, I'll go for it, as wound care has always
And if not, well, I can always check into transferring to ICU. Yes, those patients can be very heavy care---literally, since that's where all our bariatric pts. go---but it's already a familiar area since I float there frequently, and there's ALWAYS help just outside the room. Besides, you never have more than 2-3 patients, and if you have someone on a vent or multiple titratable drips, it's generally 1:1.
That's what I've always loved about nursing.......there's an infinite variety of things you can do if you don't like, or can't do, one type or another. The only thing I WON'T do again is LTC, especially management; otherwise, I'm open to just about anything as long as it's steady (no casual/on-call, I need the bennies too badly!)