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Experienced Nurse - Career flow question

Career   (136 Views | 1 Replies)

rubyagnes has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Emergency Department, Psychiatry, Art Therapy.

3,542 Profile Views; 123 Posts


I worked in a very intense ER in Baltimore City the first few years after becoming a nurse. The experience was invaluable and I wouldn't change it for the world. I learned more than I ever could've imagined and it strengthened me as a nurse and as a person. 

I switched jobs after a few years because I felt worn out - physically, mentally, and emotionally - and a was offered a job in an inpatient Psych position at another hospital that paid a lot more. I've always been interested in psych, as I feel it applies to everyone. The unit where I work is very relaxed, our patients often stay for months, and we work with a variety of psych conditions including neurocognitive disease processes, conversion disorders, parkinsons/dementia related psych exacerbations, as well as a variety of depressive/bipolar/schizo/etc presentations. The patients vary drastically, which keeps it somewhat interesting, but the approach to psych I feel is a bit passive with a disregard for potential underlying medical concerns. 

I'll be the first to say I'm often very indifferent. I am interested in a lot of aspects of nursing and have never felt compelled to commit to one "type" of nursing. I'm at a crossroads where I'm going to be moving within the next year and I'm wondering if I should consider to pursue Psych, if I should go back to the ER, or what other types of nursing I should look into. I am very interested in the medical aspects of nursing, but I also don't want to be worked to the point where my whole body hurts and I'm stressed 24/7 like I was in the ER. On the flip side, the psych unit I work on (@ Hopkins) is pretty slow, there's a lot of sitting, there's a lot of down time, lots of snacking and food-oriented "parties" and lots of gossip and staff members talking about one another that I really, really do *not* want to be around. 

I can say *almost* for certain that I don't want to work in peds. Part of my ER experience was in the pediatric ER, and I love kids but I found it to be pretty stressful, especially in emergent settings, as well as depressing depending on the outcome. I don't think I'd want to do L&D even though I enjoyed my rotation there, it doesn't really compel me like it seems to for other nurses. Many nurses I went to school with immediately and confidently said they wanted to do L&D despite never doing it before - I don't know how that feels. I don't mind surgical stuff, but I also prefer to work with a patient a little more, not just the body. Idk, now I'm rambling...

I guess my question is - what nursing fields are worth looking into that are medically-focused but not completely grueling? I also don't want to be sitting or idle. I like to have a steady pace but there's a balance I'm looking for...  If you love the nursing field you're in and want to express reasons why, that could be helpful for me as well. When I move (to DC) within the year I've also considered doing temp 13-week travel jobs on different units to see if anything feels good, but I also feel like travel can be rough in the sense that you're the outsider coming in and that may not be the best reflection of the unit or field. 

If you actually read all of this, thank you! I appreciate your time in reading the wanderings of my conflicted thought process. Any info, opinion, insight, suggestions, etc would be greatly appreciated. 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 6,095 Posts; 48,180 Profile Views

You might consider something like case management, education or the like. I work in clinical education/professional development and love it. I am super busy, involved in every level of the organization and enjoy a great work/life balance and ability to take better care of myself.

I have no suggestions regarding floor nursing. Different specialties are just that. Its hard to say from a stranger's perspective what you might enjoy. These days almost any floor nursing position is going to be active to the point of exhaution most days.

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