Seeking Career Advice

  1. Hi All,

    After sixteen years of working as a computer programmer, I have finally burned completely out and I am considering making a career change. However, before I make a final decision, I would really appreciate hearing from nurses who have been working in the field.

    BACKGROUND: Although I have always worked full time as a computer programmer, I completed nursing school (ADN) and passed the NCLEX in 1996. Since that time, I have worked various part-time positions, which include a hospital setting, home health, IV therapy (hospice patients in LTC facilities), and as a charge nurse in an Alzheimer's facility. I have never worked full time as a nurse because I just couldn't walk away from the security of my day job. Now, so much has changed over the years that I am very unhappy with my career and I know it's time to make a change. I realize that initially I will have to take a pay cut, however, I have finally reached that point in my life where I believe it's more important to pursue happiness than money (only wish I had learned this years ago).

    INTERESTS: At this time, there are three areas (Dialysis, OR, & Organ Transplantation) that I would like to learn more about. Your feedback/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Kenny
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    Of your nursing experiences, which has been your favorite?

    I always thought organ transplant would be interesting...do you mean a transplant unit in a hospital, or a transplant team who goes out to harvest etc?

    I think it would be very rewarding to see the difference made in a pt's life after a transplant.

    Never liked OR much, but that's just my personal preference, and I don't know a lot about dialysis.

    I don't know how much $ you're making as a computer programmer, but you can make pretty good money as an agency nurse, set your own hours, and work in a lot of different environments.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Stargazer
    Well, Kenny, I've always quite enjoyed your saxophone playing.



    (I'm sorry! I was helpless to resist!)
  5. by   KennyG
    I enjoyed doing the IV therapy the most. The patients were all hospice patients in LTC facilities and my job was to hydrate them, relieve the pain, and make them as comfortable as possible. It felt good to know that I was making a difference.

    Regarding organ transplant, I think having more contact with the families would be more rewarding. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone in the field that I can speak with about the different positions.

    As a programmer I make just under $52K/year (a pretty good salary in Oklahoma). However, I will accept making less money as long as I can enjoy the work I'm doing.

    Regarding the real "KennyG," I only wish I had his talent/money!

    Kenny
  6. by   globalRN
    I know that dialysis nurses and OR nurses are always in demand.
    For me, OR would be too hard on the legs and I hate on-call.
    Dialysis would be somewhere you could use your IV skills and also enjoy patient continuity. Hemodialysis is usually a day.eve job which can be a plus. Can do per diem or agency too.
    Organ transplant would be usually an inpatient setting with all the resultant shiftwork and workload minuses.

    I'd go for dialysis...hemodialysis, my .02 cents
  7. by   Agnus
    You probably wil not be able to just pick your job. And all of these require specilized training. If you are just interested in exploring these areas and are not sure what way you want to go then I would proceed by exploring first before committing. See if there is a training program that will not commite you, such as a college program. Talk to a nurse manager and explain your desire to explore before committing. See if you can shadow someone in these areas.
    If you are certain you want one of these areas then definiately explore training opportunities. Some places will OJT you. Also see where the need is the greatest in your area. You may not get on in one of these specialities right away you may have to take something related to start. If you can get into critical care this will definately help you progressively move into any of these specialities since they all are critical care areas.
    Take some critical care courses. Get your ACLS. Then ask what it will take to get hired on in one of these specialities.
    Good Luck.
  8. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by KennyG

    Regarding the real "KennyG," I only wish I had his talent/money!

    Kenny
    OMG! that really isn't your name?!!! Horrors!:chuckle
  9. by   semstr
    Really like your Christmas CD!
  10. by   montroyal
    INTERESTS: At this time, there are three areas (Dialysis, OR, & Organ Transplantation) that I would like to learn more about. Your feedback/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Kenny [/B][/QUOTE]

    Kenny,

    Dialysis in a clinic means set hours, no call, nights and sundays off, no holidays, less money. Dialysis in a hospital, forget about all that. The other two require on call in most settings and atleast some critical care experience. A career on a organ procurement team requires call and the ability to travel to any facility in your area at a moments notice. Check with the unit managers at several facilities in your area to get the specifics. Good luck.
  11. by   renerian
    Start interviewing..........................good luck kenny!

    renerian
  12. by   KennyG
    Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate the feedback.

    Kenny
  13. by   purplemania
    Have you considered nursing informatics? Sounds like you would be a good match.
  14. by   semstr
    ok, serious answer this time.
    I worked dialysis and OR for a period of time. Both are great fun, but when you feel burned-out already, I don't know whether it is a good idea to go into either area.
    Especially dialysis with very intensive patientcontact during the procedure, it takes a lot from you.
    OR is more technical of course, but the hours are long and in the beginning it is (well, at least it was for me) absolutely frustrating (especially after so many years of work) not to know what to do.

    So, as purplemania asked, what about nursing-informatics? Very young still and a lot to learn and to do in that area.
    Well, whatever you decide, take it easy and take your time, good luck, Renee
    PS: didn't want to offend you with the christmas-cd, didn't read what Stargazer wrote at that time. Sorry!!

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