Dear Nurse Beth,
I have been an ICU RN for the past 5 years and hurt my back helping move an obese patient. I'm presently out on a work comp claim and unable to return to work due to my orthopedic surgeon placing a 10-pound lift restriction. My surgeon is also warning against my returning to bedside care.
I received my ADN at the age of 50 and am now 56 years old. I am still paying $650 per month on my student loans and will continue to do so for at least another 6 years. For this reason, I've not pursued my BSN, as I don't want to acquire more debt.
Prior to becoming an RN, I worked in the medical field as a surgery and authorization coordinator for a university hospital and have a strong administrative background. So, that's my history.
Finally my questions to you. Is there a nursing profession that still involves patient contact/care (which I love), that won't require any lifting, and that would utilize my administrative background? Also, given my background, age, and circumstance would it be best for me to get my BSN or a certification for a specialty?
I appreciate your advice and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!
Dear 10 lb Lifting Restriction,
I'm so sorry about your back. It’s almost an epidemic in nursing.
Getting your BSN would provide more job options for you, you just have to weigh the pros and cons in your situation.
It partly depends on finances and how much longer you plan to work (earning enough to offset the cost).
Usually, to earn a certification in a specialty requires a certain number of practicing hours in the specialty field as an exam qualification.
Telephone triage comes to mind as there is no lifting requirement, and it doesn't necessarily require a BSN. You would still have patient contact. Case management also may be a good fit with your administrative background, but many positions require a BSN.
Another option is Informatics, which doesn't provide patient contact, but can accommodate your lifting restriction.
Be sure and read 8 Work From Home Jobs
for more ideas.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!