I am sorry to unload onto all of you but I am fairly new to the area and my closest confident (my mom) is no longer with us. My sister is great in many ways but she would not understand my considering going back to nursing. In fact, she is a dialysis tech and who was just diagnosed with 2 herniated discs - so I know she would not support my decision at this point.
Short story - left nursing 4 years ago for another career and have not found the new career to be satisfying. In my present job I am the boss. I never did management as a nurse, the closest I came to it was house supervisor at night.
I like some things about my job, but for the most part I don't like being the boss - it's isolating, there are several women who are my employees with whom I could develop friendships with but I can't since I am their boss. I also don't like the long hours and never ending responsibility. I'm off this weekend but I have several projects that I have to work on at home. I figured out that on my last pay check my hour rate was $14.71 based on the number of hours I worked.
So I am considering going back to nursing. I am a bit hesitant because I wonder if I am just bailing ship - I've only been this job less then one year (February). My boss will be disappointed because it took him 4 months to hire me - multiple interviews, blah, blah. And last, I did choose to leave nursing. Why? because I could. I had a supportive husband, and the time. I had explored all the avenues I thought I was interested in nursing and I was ready for a change. I'd become a nurse because I'd spent my childhood and young adult years being a caretaker and it was the obvious next step. Especially for a lower middle class, eldest child of a really dysfunctional family. I had the opportunity to go back to college and I did. I loved school.
Why do am I thinking of returning? Because I can work my 3 shifts and go home and forget about work. I miss having more spare time to do the things I enjoy.
My RN license is current, as is my BLS, but my CEN and ACLS are expired and I'm not eager to return to night shift. My background is mostly in SICU and ER.
Should I stick it out a bit longer in my present position and see how it goes? At least to the year mark? Or 18 months? I don't want to be accused of being fickle, but maybe I am.
Or maybe as I am getting older my priorities are changing.
Nov 17, '07
Why don't you at least talk to some people about possible nursing jobs and see what they have to say? It doesn't hurt to see what your options are. For example, you might find that your old employer would welcome you back and that you would get some of your seniority back if you worked for them -- meaning that you might not have to work all that many nights. Perhaps working a few night shifts would be a small price to pay for have "real" time off.
You also might be able to find a job that is not that of a bedside staff nurse. For example, maybe you could work for a hospital's telephone help line ... or in nursing recruitment ... or in risk management ... or some such thing. You have solid clinical experience, night supervisor experience, plus all the experience from your 2nd career. Who knows what type of job you might be able to get. It's not like you are a new grad and would have to start at the bottom all over again. Also, you have the advantage of not being in a huge rush to get a job. You could keep your old job for income while you explore your options and wait for something attractive to become available. You're not desparate enough to have to settle for just anything you could get.
You can afford to look a little before making any committments. So why not look a little? See what you find ... then make your decisions. Don't feel you have to decide now, before you have all the inforamtion on what your options might be.
Yes, your priorites might well be changing at this time of your life. You are older and wiser -- and probably a lot more tired than you used to be. You've lived more of life and learned a few lessons along the way. There's nothing wrong with that. That's the way it should be.
I'm 52 and thinking a lot about similar issues in my career these days. I have a "dream job" with a good paycheck -- but I am tired. It's getting harder and harder to cope with the demands of my leadership position and I sometimes long for a "nice little job" with a limited scope of responsibility and limited hours. As you said, our priorities change as we get older. The trick is to find positions that build on our extensive experience and knowledge that fit those new priorities. Fortunately for you are not having to make a hurried decision. You can take the time to carefully plan your move.
Nov 17, '07
What field are you in now?
You will make more per hour as a nurse, but the working conditons may not be so good.
Nov 17, '07
I went back to school and am now the manager of a horticulture department on a private estate. I have 20 employees, no secretary, and tons of work. Been in the career now for about 3 years.
Since I am the manager I never can get away from work - even on days off, either I bring home work or it is on my mind - most morning I wake up thinking of work and at least once a week I will have trouble getting to sleep - worrying about something. Besides the fact that I am on call 24/7. It's really more work the one person can do but the upper administration has not supported our requests for additional help. I do everything from order toilet paper, to hiring and firing employees, to planning out complex planting projects, to payroll, to meeting with vendors, etc....
I worked as a nurse for 16 years before changing and it was never this stressful and intense. Yes, there were moments or even entire shifts the were stressful but I could walk away at the end of the day and turn it over to someone else. I don't have anyone to turn it over too so I don't ever really get a break.
Nov 17, '07
Maybe you could try an agency shift or two and see if nursing is still the way you remember it.
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