LilRedRN1973 14,811 Views
Joined: Sep 11, '03;
Posts: 1,164 (15% Liked)
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Registered Nurse; from
8 year(s) of experience
ICU, psych, corrections
I left the ICU and ended up in an outpatient psychiatric clinic for 5 years. I LOVED it. I loved the "normal" hours, Monday through Friday. I loved having an hour for lunch. I loved having my own office with a window and a plant with supplies that were there the next day exactly where I left them. I loved not having to fight other nurses for computers to do my charting. I loved the interaction I had with the patients. I loved actually having the time to do patient education and other nursing tasks without being pulled in a million directions.
I am now a nursing supervisor in a prison and while it's not the bedside, it is the prison hospital. What I love about the actual job (not the higher management and coworkers...that's another story) is taking care of the inmates and being able to practice nursing without rude family members questioning why grandma had to wait 5 min for her water or Uncle Bob's pain meds took too long to be given, etc. I love not having patient satisfaction polls and surveys. I love not having to cowtow to the patient and kiss their rear end for fear they will report me for not "doing my job" when in fact, I AM doing my job to the best of my ability but without enough staff, sometimes things take a little longer than I would like.
I don't enjoy the people, however. My theory is that because they are all paid a ton of money (we all make well over $80k/year for a very easy, cush job), they have turned into spoiled brats. I'm stuck on the movie set of Mean Girls, I swear. I think they have forgotten what it's like to work their tails off for a lot less money and be treated poorly. The inmates are extremely grateful for the care and for the most part, my actual job is enjoyable. I don't regret leaving the hospital setting for one second. Ever.
What is your cost of happiness? I have been in my new job for about 7 months and part of me regrets leaving a job I loved for this one. There were three main reasons why I changed jobs. One, I wanted to work less days and the job I was at was a Monday-Friday 7:30 to 4:30 clinic job. By the time I got home, I felt like I hadn't seen much of my children (I had to leave for work before they were up for school since my work was 35 min away). My current job is 5 min from home and I love that. I also love working 3-4 days a week and having much more time off to do some of the things I enjoy. Second, the commute. I had been driving 70 minutes round trip to work for 5 years and it was starting to wear on me. This job, as I said, is 5 minutes from home - about 2 miles each way. Third, my pay went from $65k a year to $90k a year. That was obviously a big factor as was the fact it's a supervisory position and the clinic where I was at offered no chance for advancement (they are both within the state system).
Now, I find myself reminiscing about my old job and what I liked about it. We were doing fine with finances before but admittedly, the higher paying job offered more chance to save for a house, retirement, kids' college, etc. Of course, my old position is no longer available and I don't really think I would go back there because the drive really was killing me. But there is a position open about 10 min from my house that is exactly what I was doing before - an outpatient psychiatric clinic - and it's within the state sytem so I would not lose my retirement (we get to retire with 65% of our highest grossing years after 25 years). The downside? It's part time. So we would have our household monthly income cut by about $3000/month. We CAN afford it if we budget carefully and it would mean no extras for the most part. But does all that really make me happy if I am unhappy in my job? Plus, working part time would offer me more time with my kids and to even pick up a per diem position if I so desired. In fact, my current place of employment utilizes per diem nurses and it pays around $38/hr. I could easily handle working per diem here as I like the job, just not all the political BS and gossip that seems to go with it. The per diems generally don't have to deal with all of that.
I think I have come to realize that while I'm in a good place to set myself up for a DON position in the next 3-5 years, I don't really think I WANT to even do that. I like being just a staff nurse, not having to worry about staffing, scheduling, payroll, etc. I'm just very frustrated and confused right now. I've been a nurse since 2005 and this is the first time I've ever struggled with this issue.
So what have you all done with something like this? Stay at a job that is okay (the job is okay, the personnel sucks) and make bank? Or go somewhere that you are really happy, enjoy your coworkers but the pay sucks?
Thank you....everyone has given me something to think about, truly. I had to laugh when I went looking for this post. I just realized I posted in the wrong place! I meant to put it in General Nursing. lol. Thanks again, everyone. Tonight at work has been better with a slight shift in my attitude :-)
For OP this might be a sign that she has to get right with her god, her spouse, or self- not necessarily the BON
I wish I were in a position of authority. Being a supervisor here is like being a figurehead. It's in name only. Even the DON doesn't get much accomplished. I work in a correctional institute and there is not much that I can do to change anything, unfortunately. Everyone just shrugs their shoulders and says "that's the way it's been around here for years". Fighting with the warden doesn't get you anywhere. While the extra money is nice for the things you mention (although we currently rent and have no plans to buy a house anytime soon), I can't stand the stress I have when it's time to go to work. I never had that at my old job. I looked forward to going to work every day and on my days off, never gave it a second thought. I think the biggest part I hate is being a supervisor. If I could step down to staff nurse, I would probably be just fine sticking it out. And the cut in pay would only be about $9k for the entire year (I make $90k, the staff RN's make $81k/year). I'm not sure there is even an opening or if they would even allow me to do that. Maybe I should sit down and make a concrete list of pros and cons instead of keeping it all in my head. Putting it on paper might allow me to see things more clearly. Because truthfully, I had stress before when it came time to pay bills. We always had enough but it was something we had to really watch and there were weeks we were living paycheck to paycheck. Now, I don't ever have to worry about that and there is always plenty to go around. But it's definitely a trade off.....
For my AAS-N (Associates of Applied Science in Nursing), I was required to have classes such as ENG 101, MATH 120 or 126, CHEM 121 or BIOL 190 (Intro to Cell and Molecular Biology), BIOL 223 and 224 (Anatomy and Phys), PSY 101 before applying to the program. You could then either take BIOL 251 (Micro) before or during the program. I choose to take an accelerated 3 week long Micro class the summer prior to nursing school because I did not want to have to take any extra classes besides the core nursing classes while in the program if I didn't have to. You could also choose to take ENG 102 before or during as well as one of the following: HIST 111, CH 203 (Core Humanities), PSC 103 (Principles of American Constitutional Government). I also choose to take those PRIOR to the program.
You received points based on your GPA in the hard science classes and you could also get points for being a CNA, EMT as well. My EMT license is what helped me get accepted into nursing school on the first try.
Dialysis, psych and corrections. All are contract friendly in my state. At the prison where I currently work, IF you can get on day shift, the Department of Corrections is a good place to work. It also pays extremely well, around $80k a year. Dialysis is the way I went, for a few months anyway. Then I ended up in the state run outpatient psychiatric clinic. It was an excellent place to spend my time on contract. My supervisor had been on contract years and years prior so he was very empathetic to nurses on contract and in fact, had 4 of us working there.
I don't drink at all....haven't had ETOH since prior to June 2008. I relax and unwind after my 12 hour nightshift by going for a 4-5 mile run at 6:30am before getting ready for bed. Helps me clear my head and sleep like the dead :-)
Also, a little melatonin always helps facilitate great sleep.
My regular nursing job in the prison infirmary is fairly cushy. It pays very well, about $43/hour and there isn't much going on 80% of the time. The hardest part is trying to figure out which inmate is attempting to compromise you this week.
If my RA continues to flare up, I may be getting a doctor's note sooner rather than later. I am scheduled to go to dayshift in the coming months but I have noticed since changing jobs, my RA has been more of an issue. I went from Monday - Friday, 7:30-4:30 to nocs, 12 hour shifts. When I was working days, I rarely had issues with my arthritis and now, it seems to be a regular problem.
It was one of my options and I quickly turned it down because for me and me only, I would have been replacing my dependence on pain pills to dependence on suboxone. From what I have seen working in the psychiatric field for the past 5 years and many, many addicts, when they have been offered suboxone, it doesn't encourage them to find other ways to manage their sobriety. They aren't much interested in meetings, a sponsor, etc. This is just from my experience. I think it has its place, short term but long term use just wasn't for me and I didn't want to even start down that path. I was taking close to 40 Norco's a day and endured a nasty 7-10 days of withdrawal but then it was over and I was clear of any pills, medications or the need to take anything. And that was when I buckled down and started a 12 step program in order to ride myself of the obsession/craving.
I know our BON does NOT allow it at all. They are very much opposed to the use of just about anything while on contract.
If your state offers a monitoring agreement as opposed to probation (I am in Nevada and they do both), then your discipline will never be made public if you complete your contract. My name is clear in NurseSys even though I surrendered my license and was placed on contract. This is because I was offered a monitoring agreement rather than a probationary one. If I had violated my contract while on it, then I would have been placed on a probationary one and all my info would have been placed in the national data bank, showing my discipline.
The thought of entering into Nevada's monitoring program was so daunting to me that I actually placed my license on inactive status and attempted to do the whole sobriety thing on my own. Big fail. I was back to my old behavior within a few months. I finally called the BON from inside the rehab and agreed to their monitoring contract. I am SO glad I did. They gave me back my life...no, they gave me a better life than I had before. Although there were some rough times through my contract, I did complete it. I was very blessed in that before they granted me a restricted license back, one of the RN's who was in my nurse support group encouraged me to apply at Liberty Dialysis as a tech so I would have some dialysis experience when I did get my license back and hopefully procure employment as a dialysis RN. And they did just that. I was hired as a tech and on the day my license was reinstated (a restricted license), they moved me from tech position to RN. I ended up leaving that job for one I would stay at for the remainder of my 5 year contract, which was an outpatient psychiatric clinic run by the state. But I will forever be grateful to that RN's suggestion that I look into being a tech before getting my license back. It was good for me to have a job within the medical field so when I did get my license back, becoming gainfully employed as an RN was not as difficult. Our monitoring contract stinks in that you only get credit towards your 5 year contract while working as an RN. So if it takes you a year to find a job after getting your restricted license, your time doesn't start coming off until you begin work as an RN.
All that being said, I never second guessed entering my monitoring agreement. I learned things about myself that I will be forever grateful to the Nevada BON for and I never would have done so without their program. It wasn't easy at times and I absolutely hated having to call in 365 days a year for drug testing and all the money I paid out for the drug testing, nurse support group, counseling, aftercare and monitoring fees to the board. But I wouldn't have had it any other way. My life, even after a brief relapse, is so incredibly different these days and most of the time, I like who I have become (hey, I'm a work in progress....lol).
Good luck in whatever you decide!
I thought when I signed my 5 year contract, that it seemed like FOREVER. And truth be told, the first 1-2 years kinda did seem like forever. lol. But once I got into the groove of recovery and really became a part of my AA home group, formed a close relationship with my sponsor, etc. all the requirements the BON had me doing were really things I was doing anyway in order to keep spiritually fit. When my 5 year contract was ending, I actually had some separation anxiety because I had grown close to all the women who sat on our Professional Evaluation Group board. I had grown to like and respect them. My exit interview/meeting with them was so positive and I found myself thinking how fast 5 years flew by. So just as you said, ODAAT and keep it simple. Life has a way of working things out as long as we work for it. I know it can be hard as I always wanted everything right then and there. When I had one month, I wanted one year. When I celebrated one year, I wanted to have 5 already and so on. I am not a patient person...lol. Being in my BON's monitoring agreement taught me to work for the things I wanted, trust God and be patient. Good luck!
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