I'm posting this as sort of a question format, that hopefully can provide some insight for myself and maybe even some others in similar situations.
I've been an RN for 3 1/2 years now. I went right to ICU after graduating, then started traveling in ICUs after my first year of experience. (I know I know, I wouldn't advise it for many either)
Anyways, I'm 27 now and experiencing some pretty detrimental health issues in my own life in the form of some autoimmune diseases, that I know I can still work, but need to slow the pace down from what I've been doing. What speciality or type of work as a nurse would you recommend? I would of course still want something with benefits for healthcare. I have a very broad bolstered resume from travel experience, though I am an ADN which may limit some opportunities.
Thanks for the read and please share your thoughts!
NICU! You get a lot of the critical thinking without the manual labor (you literally give chest compression with your thumbs, not your entire upper body). The pace is also slower and probably less stressful than adult ICU. The assignments tend to be reasonable, and you spend a fair amount of time sitting (both charting and during bottle feeds). We used to joke on one of my units that "NICU nurses don't run." One of my NICU RN coworkers just turned 75 and works full time.
You may find it a little dull/repetitive relative to the excitement of the adult ICU, but I like the steady, predictable pace. I also find it uplifting to watch the vast majority of our kids get better and go home (most of the losses happen in the delivery room on L&D rather than in the NICU). You may have a harder time without a BSN, but I have known adult ICU ADNs who transferred into NICUs.
If this is something you'd seriously consider, you should check out the NICU/Neonatal forum under the specialities tab. There are tons of forums about 'Adult ICU to NICU'.
Best of luck!