Success with going back to old career?

  1. So I have been a nurse for only about 4 years and am trying to get out. I hate inpatient nursing, am stuck in psych which I did not choose outright...it chose me after 2 years of looking for a first nursing job. Tons of applications to anything else outpatient or desk job or other areas outside of psych have proved fruitless. No callbacks because I've been stuck in psych too long which holds very little medical experience since most patients are walking/talking. No IVs or catheters. I don't even want another nursing job unless it is outpatient or a desk job, because I don't like the work environment of a hospital nurse...working holidays, chronic short staffing, endless requests to pickup extra shifts, rude doctors, violent, drug seeking patients...etc. Because of my lack of years of experience, non-direct care jobs are nearly impossible. So I've been seeking to go back to my old career in accounting.

    Now, in that arena, I am unable to get anyone to even give me the time of day for an interview, even though I have over 15 years experience in accounting, and have only been out of it for 4 years. That's why I'm trying to go back now, before it gets to be 5 or more years. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I hate inpatient nursing to death and can't see myself spending another 15 or more years in it before I can retire but I cant seem to get to a better situation because of my lack of experience. And from what I hear often from this site and everywhere is that inpatient nursing is the same wherever you go, just in psych we get the most aggressive patients.

    So my main question is has anyone had success leaving nursing and going BACK to an old career? What did you do to transition back? The feedback I got from one recruiter is "the concern is that you are a career changer, going back and it raises flags for some and the pay will be lower". My response is sometimes money isn't everything and a lower stress work environment would be worth it.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from psychRN136

    So my main question is has anyone had success leaving nursing and going BACK to an old career?
    Would they be hanging around on "allnurses" if they had? I guess we'll find out.
  4. by   psychRN136
    Good point. I'll try posting on another site also. Some may hang around just for giggles...who knows
  5. by   SaltySarcasticSally
    Are you in a super desirable city to live in? That's only thing I can think that would prevent you from getting another job in something not acute care. I am in an average city and the tide is starting to turn to where companies are offering sign on bonuses, etc.

    I think you should keep trying for a different setting. I was an LPN for 8 years before my RN. I just left my first RN job after 7 months. I just got unlucky and ended up in a bad work environment where we were frequently called off due to low patient census, among other issues. If I had not been an LPN before and knew this wasn't how nursing had to be, and the only picture of nursing I had was the last 7 months on this floor, I would HATE nursing.

    I think you need a different picture. Have someone look over your resume, talk to recruiters, try to find out why your not landing any interviews. I know you have been in psych, but your an RN with a few years experience, there is something else out there for ya. I would not throw in the towel until you go somewhere else and still feel like it's not the right fit.
  6. by   pixierose
    I don't feel that inpatient nursing is the same wherever you go.

    I'm a former psych RN -- went right into that path after I graduated. Believe me, being a psych RN can be incredibly interesting to prospective employers. I found that out in a recent job hunt. Not many people can do psych; maybe you don't have the skills like IVs or whatnot, but those are easily learned.

    What you DO have is the ability to talk with difficult patients. This isn't easily learned.

    I wouldn't give up on nursing, because there is so much diversity within our field. Like the pp said, speak with recruiters. Broaden your location. Get a new picture.

    Or not, and go with accounting. Whatever you decide will make you happiest.
  7. by   beekee
    I'm sure many will disagree with me, but have you tried leaving nursing off your resume? You can simply say you left accounting for personal reasons and now you are ready to return to it. Many people leave the workforce to take care of aging parents, children, health issues. They don't need the exact reason you left, "personal" should be sufficient.
  8. by   JBudd
    Have you tried hospice, or school nursing? My daughter is a hospice chaplain and loves her folks. Nursing is a lot of assessment and pain control, not too much in the way of IVs or such. There is a school nurse section in here somewhere, try looking at all the specialty threads and see if anything there appeals.

    As far as the accounting, can't help much, I've been health care since I was a candystriper at the age of 14
  9. by   Buckeye.nurse
    Quote from JBudd
    Have you tried hospice, or school nursing? My daughter is a hospice chaplain and loves her folks. Nursing is a lot of assessment and pain control, not too much in the way of IVs or such. There is a school nurse section in here somewhere, try looking at all the specialty threads and see if anything there appeals.

    As far as the accounting, can't help much, I've been health care since I was a candystriper at the age of 14
    And here I thought I was the only one!!! Candy striper at age 14, then CNA from 18-24, and then RN since then. I think nursing is in my blood
  10. by   Kitiger
    Quote from pedsnurse4ever
    And here I thought I was the only one!!! Candy striper at age 14, then CNA from 18-24, and then RN since then. I think nursing is in my blood
    I missed the candy striper part, but I was a nurse's aide right out of high school. (We didn't have CNAs back then.)

    psychRN, have you tried private duty home care? I love it, and have never looked back. Your psych skills will help you work with the families, many of whom deal with so many stressors.
  11. by   OldDude
    Nursing has and will be my last job...I have "returned" to other jobs throughout the years and it's always been a mistake.
  12. by   brownbook
    I am so sorry for what you are going through. It sounds tough. If nothing pans out in returning to accounting maybe put some effort into looking for other career opportunities for a nurse with psychiatric skills. Not all psychiatric nurses are working in 24/7 acute care psychiatric facilities.
  13. by   caliotter3
    Since it has been 'only' four years, I would go with the previous suggestion to leave nursing off the resume and aggressively seek work in accounting. I found that putting down nursing experience kept me from outside work.
  14. by   Mavrick
    Quote from beekee
    I'm sure many will disagree with me, but have you tried leaving nursing off your resume? You can simply say you left accounting for personal reasons and now you are ready to return to it. Many people leave the workforce to take care of aging parents, children, health issues. They don't need the exact reason you left, "personal" should be sufficient.
    This sounds like a very pragmatic suggestion that I don't disagree with at all.

    You had 15 happy years in accounting (but you still left) and 4 unhappy years in nursing (trying desperately to get out). 15 is greater than 4.

    Accountant save thyself.

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