Young, but New RN Grad with Disability

  1. Hello Everyone. I just passed my boards last week. Go me! Anyways, I'm kinda in a dilemma and wanted to get some insight from the veteran RNs here. I am 27 but have some rare medical conditions and have been sick most of my life. When I say "sick", I'm stable. Just meaning I have Addisons disease and panhypopituitarism which causes extreme fatigue and take meds and steroids on a daily basis. However, I managed to get a BS in biology at 22 and then went back to school FT and worked FT to get my ADN recently. However, I have a desk job that is physically easy compared to my clinicals as a student RN. While doing my clinicals, I did have a hard time keeping up physically because of my rare conditions compared to my classmates, but made it through. Now, I'm ready for the job market. I have been doing case management for 5 years now for Social Security in OH. Which, normally, requires a RN degree. But, when I started 5 years ago, I came in under a BS in Biology. My salary is slightly under what a new grad Med/Surg RN in OH would make now. However, with a few months experience, I could be making alot more money. So, here's my question. Having some serious, but rare conditions, should I stick with a desk job or try my hand at floor nursing? Everyone says that I could go straight into an insurance company and/or workman's comp firm and make alot more money than floor nursing and work from home because I already have the 5 years experience at SSA doing case management. OR I could go to a hospital and be a floor nurse for a year and then transfer into another desk job maybe as a manager or something in that area. I'm just really up in the air about the whole situation. Another person suggested picking a less physical 'specialty' like psych floor nursing. I'm just scared I'll leave my desk job here, go to a floor nursing position at the local hospital, be physically overwhelmed and have to return to case work again and went to school for 2 years as a RN for nothing. But, that is why I went to school is to be a RN!! I was scared as I aged, my body would slowly wear out even more and I wanted to ensure that I would be able to find a desk job and thought with the huge nursing shortage combined with my BS in biology, a RN degree was the way to go. So, how physically demanding is something like paramedical or research nursing? What areas could I consider less physically demanding besides case management? It seems the options are endless in nursing these days. Are there other young RNs out there like me with special medical needs/disabilities? I guess I just wanted to see what everyone thought about case management vs floor nursing with someone with a rare condition that has to have special medical considerations. Thanks in advance for replying and reading my post.
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    About jfpruitt

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 214; Likes: 1


  3. by   TELEpathicRN
    I am 28 years old and have Fibromyalgia and possibly have MS. I work acute Hemodialysis and it is just about to take a toll on me!! The work gets more stressful by the day. The job is really physically demandidng at times (pushing around heavy machines) and I am not sure how long I will be able to keep it up.

    I wanted to go into case mgmt, but I was told without any CM experience, I couldn't get hired. Would love to work from home. If you know any co's that hire from home, could you please let me know?

    To answer your question, you could take a class in Legal Nurse Consulting (with your CM experience you'd do great) and work as a LNC part time while holding on to your full time job until you see if the LNC thing will turn into full time. You could go back to school and get your JD and become a Nurse-Lawyer (More and more nurses are becomming lawyers(again, with you CM experience, this would be good). I've heard that research jobs are pretty easy. With your BS you could work as a pharmacy rep (if you are able to drive well and travel some).

    The possiblilties are endless, but I don't think I would leave my desk job to work med-surg!!! Take it from me, ittakes alot out of healthy nurses, much less us nurses with health problems. I really hope I can get a desk job soon. You can e mail me at
    Look forward to talking to someone who understands, we are kind of in the same position: I've been contimplating changing jobs for a while now, just scared and undecided, just like you!
    Talk to you soon
  4. by   CseMgr1
    Case Management is a tough area to get into...unless you can document that you've had related experience. But, don't let that stop you. There are a lot of opportunities out there. Check out this website:
    Good luck!
  5. by   Sharon

    Do have a specific goal in mind. For instance, do you want to stay out of the hospital if possible, or are you really attracted to working in the hospital. If you want to stay in case management, you will be able to stay there. In my area employers are having as much difficulty with finding case managers as they are floor nurses.

    If you really want to go onto a floor, why don't you get an isokinetic functional capacity evaluation for yourself to see if you have the strength, endurance, and flexibility for the physical demands of the job. This should tell you if you have an opportunity to do the job safely or at risk.