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Break from nursing? What would you do?

Nurses   (333 Views 9 Comments)

amberger101 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, EMT-P.

3,705 Profile Views; 57 Posts

Looking for suggestions on what to do while I'm taking a break from bedside nursing.

Back story (this is long):

ER/trauma RN and educator with an ADN/BSN and MSN in leadership and management (non-clinical). After about 8 or so years bedside nursing (mostly ER) and working as an educator (for much longer), I decided to take an extended maternity leave with my first kiddo. Around that time I was accepted to 3 different DNP programs and 2 post-MSN certification programs for FNP, started my DNP and deferred after 2 semesters because it was incredibly stressful and required too much of a time commitment with a young kiddo while my husband's work was super time consuming.

I recently started school again and found out I was pregnant (high risk). Being that I'm 38 now and this is my last kiddo, I'd really love to take a few years off to be a mom and not work. I've volunteered occasionally and peer reviewed along with assisted in some research based articles, however, I'm CRAZY bored. My older child is now in preschool and although pregnant, I'd love to do SOMETHING.

My area is hard to volunteer (Planned Parenthood, clinics, colleges, etc) as we live in a small college town and they're either contracted with the local nursing school, or looking for regular hours per month/week that I can't commit to due to my husband's schedule.

What would you do to keep current and relevant for a few years? Certifications that don't require testing (closest testing location is 3+ hours away)? Online courses that aren't as intensive as post graduate programs and don't require matriculation? I don't need the money and would rather not work from home. I also have 400+ days of my GI bill left that will be running out the end of the year if I don't begin a program and I'd love to use it!

I'm going stir crazy and worried I will have been out of the field too long when I finally go back. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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3 Followers; 36,831 Posts; 97,252 Profile Views

Start something to salvage that GI Bill.  Don't let it pass through the cracks.  Surely you can find some kind of nursing education endeavor to use up your benefits.

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amberger101 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, EMT-P.

57 Posts; 3,705 Profile Views

I think that's what I'm asking about - any local educational opportunities relevant to nursing are ADN and I've already obtained their equivalent and the GI Bill wouldn't cover anyway. I'm hoping someone may know of courses one could take online "a la carte" to avoid an extensive acceptance into a program which usually requires completion within a certain period of time for a degree or certificate.

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

7 Followers; 32 Articles; 13,158 Posts; 127,775 Profile Views

Ummmm, hi, are you my twin? Lol. But I didn't have my first (only) baby until I was 45. I spent 8 years as an ED/Trauma RN, then was a trauma educator for almost 3 years. I am currently in infection prevention, but getting ready to start a work-at-home job in appeals. My GI Bill expires in 2025 and I have no idea what to do with it. I have two MSNs (nursing informatics and nurse educator) and I have no urge for a doctoral program. Ugh. I started a DNP and stopped after 3 classes because I was sacrificing time with my daughter who is 2.

As it stands, I will have three work-at-home jobs soon: primary job in appeals, teaching online in an RN-to-BSN program (been doing that for 2 years now) and doing a few hours a week in infection prevention (remote culture surveillance for the hospital's outpatient clinics). I will eventually drop the IP job and will have more free time for school, and I don't want to let my GI Bill go to waste! Please keep us posted on what you find/decide. 

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amberger101 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, EMT-P.

57 Posts; 3,705 Profile Views

Crazy! I've previously looked into IP work, and although I'm a PHN, I need to have an actual degree in public healthcare in order to be competitive out here.  I would have LOVED to do that! Do you work at a local hospital or online/remote?

I actually just found out I've been granted another year by the VA so my GI Bill benefits now don't expire until Dec 2020, but I may be able to have my OB request another extension as I'm high risk and have about 2 years left part time on my DNP. I also found out there's a STEM extension of 9 mos for degrees you're currently enrolled in but you've exhausted GI Bill benefits - science, teaching, engineering, and medical related field (I think). Anyway, I hope to be able to get another year or two extension and then apply to the STEM program to finish my DNP, but if not, I may go the teaching route for a second master's and just call it quits, HA! Definitely look into STEM when your benefits run out! GOOD LUCK TO US BOTH!!!

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amberger101 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, EMT-P.

57 Posts; 3,705 Profile Views

Pixie.RN, can I ask where you got your master's degrees? I've been considering WGU since I know a few folks that have completed their degrees in nursing fairly quickly with them. They have a MBA and master's in education I could knock out crazy fast, especially since it looks like I've completed majority of the courses or equivalent. I was even thinking maybe I could complete both since I'll be at home either pregnant or with an infant for a while. Thanks!

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

7 Followers; 32 Articles; 13,158 Posts; 127,775 Profile Views

18 minutes ago, amberger101 said:

Pixie.RN, can I ask where you got your master's degrees? I've been considering WGU since I know a few folks that have completed their degrees in nursing fairly quickly with them. They have a MBA and master's in education I could knock out crazy fast, especially since it looks like I've completed majority of the courses or equivalent. I was even thinking maybe I could complete both since I'll be at home either pregnant or with an infant for a while. Thanks!

I did mine at Excelsior and Chamberlain, but I know so many people who have had an excellent experience with WGU, and not to mention paid far less. I had active duty tuition caps and my GI Bill for my MSNs, so they weren't expensive for me at all. 🙂

Yes, the STEM extension! My husband is a medical student and veteran who saved his GI Bill for medical school, and he is about to run out of time. Eeeeek. Med school is expensive! He applied for the STEM extension, fingers crossed!

My IP job was at a local academic center, but will now be PRN from home, just like 7-10 hours a week.

Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy!! I would love to have another kiddo, but at 47 ... haha. Probably not happening!

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amberger101 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, EMT-P.

57 Posts; 3,705 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, scuba nurse said:

Try school nursing, or even subbing as a school RN!

Great suggestion! I've considered volunteering for the county schools but they just don't have the position available as they have a full-time RN, and I definitely do not want to work with a kiddo at home and another on the way!

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