Leaving for awhile...ambivalance...help

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    I think am going to be leaving nursing for awhile to pursue other career interests as well as fullfill family needs. I have two children who will be in K-5 in the fall, and my husband and I decided it would be great for me to be able to be home with the children this fall and to volunteer at the school they attend.

    So now that he has agreed with me, and everything is set for me to quit my school nurse job with the end of this school year in mid June I'm wierded out. I was so excited all year knowing it was the last year for me, but now that I have the contract in my hand for '08-'09...I'm not sure. I want to be home, I know that part. I'm excited to work less and be with my children more.

    The problem I'm wresting with is ambivalence. My husband and I met in college while were both already pursuing degrees/diplomas. Our reasons for pursing such accolades were different, which we did not figure out until after we were married with kids. Assumptions....

    I pursued nursing first and foremost as a way to support myself anf my child I had at a young age. My now husband chose his career becasue he has a guinuine love and interest in his chosen field even to this day. It is a hobby for him to go to work.

    It changed my perpective about careers and employment after comparing the way he felt and the way I felt about a work day. I started taking classes toward something I have found to love, floral design.

    So now everything is set, we're financially ready for the difference in pay, he's set to have a wife who's at home/working part time at something new, but I'm freaking out....I never expected to be wishy-washy about what it would be like to quit my identity that I've had the last 10 years...

    Anybody else going through/ has been through, the what if's...?
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    Dear 123sunnid,

    It sounds as though you should explore your career issues with a disinterested third-party such as your mentor, therapist or pastor. I know next to nothing about floral design, but I do know that one should always pursue (within practical limits) any art that feels good. I began dabbling with music in my teens and if not for my singing in choirs and my instruments, I think that when my department director "retired" me from nursing would have been my last day on this planet.

    You might feel out your employer and see if you can hold onto some kind of school nurse position, part-time if possible. In any event, do not let your nursing license expire. Without it, you close all doors in nursing after working so hard to get into the noble calling. There so many countless specialties that you can almost count on the dream job coming along as soon as you let your license go.

    Your husband should be happy that "his career is his hobby", but he should pray that it will continue as long as he needs it. I would ask him, "What would you do if you went to work tomorrow and your workplace no longer existed? What do you intend to do with your life after you retire?"

    I loved my last nursing job so much that I told everyone that I intended to retire from there in another ten years. Big mistake! I always got the heaviest work-load and the worst EMTs or LPNs to work "with."

    Owney:typing
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    Follow what you feel, and if thats floral design - go for it.
    I picked nursing as a 2nd choice, some 20plus yrs ago, because it was a quick degree and could support myself on it. I was too interested in traveling around at that time to commit the 8 yrs or so to vet. school which I always wanted to be. And I have alwys regretted it and am at the point now, where I want no part of nursing. I too now am afraid totally to let go of it though since it has been sort of an engrained identity of one which can provide monetary support. Problem is, I have not been able to work recently because of the high stress and exhaustion it causes me, so I guess thats not much support there.
    As I tell my daughter, whatever job/career you pick, make sure you LOVE doing it.
  6. 1
    You're not quitting your identity.
    Never identify yourself as being the job you do.
    It's purely that; the job you do. It's not who you are as a person.
    The two are very separate entities.
    I'm retired now, and while I still hold an interest in the nursing profession and enjoy catching up with colleagues and being part of allnurses, nursing was and always will be, the job I once did.
    I owe it nothing. It owes me nothing.
    You will never get back the years with your children. Once those years have passed, they're gone forever.
    I totally support this decision you've made and strongly encourage you to pursue it wholeheartedly.
    It's natural and understandable to have mixed feelings. Just sit quietly with them and reaffirm to yourself why you've embarked on this new pathway.
    Nursing is a career we can always return to if we so choose.
    Leaving it to pursue something new, doesn't mean it's lost forever.
    Sending very best wishes to you and your family.
    BBFRN likes this.
  7. 0
    Nursing is a very safe and solid profession. You are entering a world of the unknown. However, you are now talking to your creative side and there is no limit to that. Change is a very scarey thing and you are experiencing separation anxiety. I have know many nurses that have left nursing and gone into landscape design, real estate, massage , etc. There is the fear of the unknown. It will take a while to feel comfortable in your new role.
    It will be great to be with your children. Mine are grown and I am so happy that I worked part time to be with them. I look back with fond memories and glad that I was able to be with them at least part time. I did pursure other career choices while working as a nurse and have since retired from nursing and I am doing massage and reflexology. I have no commute and work from my home. I am so happy and have time for my grandchildren.
    Best of luck in your new role.
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    Hello 123sunnid,
    I agree with some of the comments of others including the suggestion for you to continue to renew your R.N. license in case you later choose to work again as a nurse. I also agree with the comment that one option for being more at home with your kids might be for you to reduce your nursing work hours. The suggestion for you to talk about your career ideas with a "disinterested third party" is also good so that you could further explore the pros and cons for you of changing careers.

    You wrote that you have "started taking classes toward something (you) have found to love, floral design". Some people do seem to have a need for career change. For example,one of my favorite cousins worked as a policeman and as a detective for many years, and then at age 50 he decided he wanted to be a nurse--he worked while going back to school and earned his Associate In Science Of Nursing in two years--he has truly enjoyed working as an R.N. for eleven years now. Good luck in your decision!
  9. 0
    When my second child was born, I became a stay at home mom. I loved every minute of it. I would not trade it for the world. Last year I decided that I would go back to school for medical transcription, so I can continue to stay home. Well, after 18 months of school and 6 months of working (transcribing medical reports at home), I realized just how much I missed being a nurse. I have out of the nursing for 9 years. The more I transcribed the medical reports, the more I missed being a nurse. I did keep my RN license active. Now, that all 3 kids are in school, I am missing working. Being out of nursing for 9 years, I thought I would have trouble finding work. I applied for a RN Case Manager at a Home Healthcare agency, tested, and was hired that same day. I do have home healthcare experience, but it has been 9 years. I will be starting in 2 weeks. The hours are very flexible, so it will work out with the kids. I can go to work after they leave for school and get home before they get off the bus.

    I guess what I am saying is go for it. You are lucky that you have the opportunity to stay home with the kids and pursue a different career. You can always go back like I did. Enjoy it.

    Good luck to you.
  10. 0
    Definitely.. renew your RN license! Take some time off, if necessary. I know I was really burnt out after over 10 years of floating around to the various ICUs in a big hospital, and have taken the opportunity to 'get away and re-fresh'. The thing that kept me there was my love for my fellow co-workers, and some of my best friends are still there, though I hardly see them anymore. There are SO many fields in nursing, and you are not limited to only one field. Take time off and explore, but DEFINITELY renew your license!


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