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Full time jobs hard to find ?

Nurses   (1,682 Views | 26 Replies)

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21 hours ago, Anotherdegree4me said:

I don’t think I’m romanticizing at all. 
just that’s all the experience I have had with health care and I was good at it. 

I don’t know what working on med surg is like but don’t think it will throw me. I’m a pretty strong person and don’t get squeamish. 
in know to expect a lot of unpleasant things. 

maybe during rotations in nursing school I’ll find my niche. I just know I want to make a difference and do something meaningful. 
sitting behind a desk and being a servant ain’t cutting it for me. 
I make decent money but that’s not what it’s about anymore. 

You may very well be good at caring for someone.  It’s very commendable that you did that for your friend.  But I’m going to reiterate, that is not nursing at all. 
 

Somedays, I get to provide that feel good caring care that we think about when we think of a nurse.  97% of the time though, I’m running my butt off to check all the boxes I’m expected to check.

I’m an ICU nurse.  Here is my typical day.  Arrive early.  I start at 7, but now I have a long ways to walk as all entrances except a few are closed.  Find out which mask I’m wearing for the day.  I clock in at exactly 0655, no earlier or I will be written up.  Get my assignment.  Listen to huddle and all the new COVID info.

Go to my pod.  Get report.  Look at orders and labs.  Do my morning assessment as morning docs will be rounding soon and I need to communicate what the patient needs.  Find out one is going to transfer.  I just chart all of their assessment now.  They have a bed and a bad trauma is coming.  Wait, I gotta get them their 0900 meds.  Charge asks, have I called report.  Plus, I have a slew of new orders on my other patient.  Doc wants to extubate them.  But I’m getting an admission!!  Admission comes.  Labs and meds to hang.  Oh, their BP is in the 70’s.  I need to start pressors and get an art line.  Other doc wants to know why my other pt isn’t extubated yet.

This is my entire day everyday.  Lunches?  Not usually.  I’ve gotta get the 2-3 hours of mind numbing charting done.  Plus, I probably have 10 family calls.  Many requesting to FaceTime.  Yeah I’ll fit that in somewhere.  There’s also a chart auditor to tell me I missed a pain reassessment or a temp on a fresh TPA patient.  
 

It’s a constant battle of checking off boxes and trying to progress the patients care so I can get them closer to home.  
 

Try to see if once all this COVID dies down a little, you can shadow a nurse to get an idea of what you are getting into.  Your age will play a small part but I’ve seen people older succeed.  But if you have a good paying job, keep it!!  You are not going to get this immense personal satisfaction from nursing.  I promise.

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2 hours ago, LovingLife123 said:

You may very well be good at caring for someone.  It’s very commendable that you did that for your friend.  But I’m going to reiterate, that is not nursing at all. 
 

Somedays, I get to provide that feel good caring care that we think about when we think of a nurse.  97% of the time though, I’m running my butt off to check all the boxes I’m expected to check.

I’m an ICU nurse.  Here is my typical day.  Arrive early.  I start at 7, but now I have a long ways to walk as all entrances except a few are closed.  Find out which mask I’m wearing for the day.  I clock in at exactly 0655, no earlier or I will be written up.  Get my assignment.  Listen to huddle and all the new COVID info.

Go to my pod.  Get report.  Look at orders and labs.  Do my morning assessment as morning docs will be rounding soon and I need to communicate what the patient needs.  Find out one is going to transfer.  I just chart all of their assessment now.  They have a bed and a bad trauma is coming.  Wait, I gotta get them their 0900 meds.  Charge asks, have I called report.  Plus, I have a slew of new orders on my other patient.  Doc wants to extubate them.  But I’m getting an admission!!  Admission comes.  Labs and meds to hang.  Oh, their BP is in the 70’s.  I need to start pressors and get an art line.  Other doc wants to know why my other pt isn’t extubated yet.

This is my entire day everyday.  Lunches?  Not usually.  I’ve gotta get the 2-3 hours of mind numbing charting done.  Plus, I probably have 10 family calls.  Many requesting to FaceTime.  Yeah I’ll fit that in somewhere.  There’s also a chart auditor to tell me I missed a pain reassessment or a temp on a fresh TPA patient.  
 

It’s a constant battle of checking off boxes and trying to progress the patients care so I can get them closer to home.  
 

Try to see if once all this COVID dies down a little, you can shadow a nurse to get an idea of what you are getting into.  Your age will play a small part but I’ve seen people older succeed.  But if you have a good paying job, keep it!!  You are not going to get this immense personal satisfaction from nursing.  I promise.

Thanks for  the feedback. Perhaps I do have an unrealistic expectation. Shadowing would be good for me. If I can set that up. 
Just this evening I had a chance to talk to a friend of a friend who had been an associates degree nurse for about 25 years. She  pretty much said the same thing. 
she said I’d be much happier as a rad tech or some other area and nurses are overwhelmed. 

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marienm, RN, CCRN has 7 years experience and specializes in Burn, ICU.

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If jobs are scarce in your area, are you willing to move? Are you willing to work any shift? Would you be willing to work in a hospital/at a clinic/at a procedural center/at a school/at a SNF with 40 patients assigned to you/at a jail? Like, how flexible are you willing to be to get a job (keeping in mind that some of those options probably won't...and really shouldn't...hire new grads).

On the topic of age: are *you* willing to be trained and supervised and evaluated by people younger than you? I would say that the "average" charge nurse at my hospital is under 35. Some of them have been nurses twice a long as I have...I'm early 40's but nursing is a second career for me. Other new grads are early 20's and I definitely have days where I feel like we were raised on different planets! (Of course this could be true in any job but I imagine that as an admin you have a particular niche and this will be a complete change of environment for you.)  

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I believe it depends on where in the country you are - the majority of those who graduated from my BSN cohort with me this past December found full time jobs, including at least 3 I can remember who are in their early fifties.  Most secured jobs before graduating.  I am 42 myself, and I had three offers for full time jobs before graduating and began working as an oncology nurse less than a month after passing the NCLEX.  I am in Northern Virginia.

If this is something you are interested in, I think you should get some shadowing or other experience to make sure it's a good fit; however, if you find it is for you, go for it!  I'm surprised how many people are discouraging you.  We had several people in their 40's and 50's with no prior healthcare experience and they did great in school and are enjoying their jobs.  It is tough and draining but I am loving it!

Edited by Misteighbloo

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When I went to nursing school, I did so to specifically work in the outpatient realm. I haven't experienced some of the inpatient concerns above. Remember, one of the big draw-backs is working on or around holidays. It is difficult to use your PTO in this profession because most units are run on a shoestring budget and are continuously short staffed. Health care never closes. I envy my friends and family members that they can get several days off around Christmas. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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OP you've gotten great advice from people who've been doing this a lot longer than I have.

If you're going to go to nursing school you'll need to get in the best shape of your life, physically and mentally. Then you'll have to work at an acute or semi-acute facility to get enough experience to be attractive to a hospice program. Please know I am not trying to dissuade you.

I've been a school nurse for eight of my nursing years. I love it. But school nurses now need a BSN and two years of other experience, at least in my district.

The one advantage you may have in oncology is that you're "past childbearing age." There are Onco nurses who don't want to work with certain chemicals (understandable). Putting all your eggs in one basket is a little risky. Best of luck.

 

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bitter_betsy has 1 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Emergency / Disaster.

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There are plenty of us here who aren't 20somethings on our first career.  I just graduated and got an ER job right out of school.  I birthed a child who is now a 20something and just graduated college herself - so while I'm not 50 - I spent 20 years doing other things with my life.

The best thing I can tell you, is that if you "look" 50 - fix it.  Sadly, there is an appearance factor.  Look put together at all times - that doesn't mean make up and a curling iron - just be put together in appearance and attitude (don't wear yoga pants to class because you never know when you will meet your future boss).  Also, if you can't be on your feet for 14 hours - fix that too.  Start walking, get a personal trainer if you need to.  You don't have to weigh 100 pounds, but you need to be able to move people and you need to be able to move yourself quickly.  Especially in oncology you need to be able to move yourself and your patients reliably.  When they puke - there isn't much warning and unless you want to wear it or change their linens constantly - moving quickly matters.  

Also - find shoes you can wear for 14 hours without hurting your feet.  Shoes matter and do not cheap out on shoes.  They are worth every penny when you find the right ones.

Get a job as a tech.  Not only will it help you get an RN job it will get you used to the environment and help you decide if its something you really want to do.

Those of us older dogs have other experience that can help us in critical thinking.  Sometimes we critically think better than those young pups because we've had more time to figure that out.  Critical thinking just doesn't apply to nursing.  It applies to figuring out how to bathe a toddler when you have a broken arm, how to get 2 kids to different practices at the same time and how to change a tire in the snow when you are missing a piece to your jack.  We have more years of multitasking experience too.

You are your limitation.  Does age discrimination exist?  Certainly.  Are you in CA?  If so, you may have a harder time.  I'm not in CA and my age isn't a problem.  I'm also capable of moving somewhere if necessary (but not willing because my mom and gram are here and I take care of them and don't want to uproot them also).  Search the threads.  There are plenty here about nurses starting out later in life.

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londonflo has 43 years experience and specializes in oncology.

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On 5/16/2020 at 11:50 AM, Anotherdegree4me said:

No. I’m an admin. No health care experience other than taking care of a friend during her cancer battle. 

I taught oncology nursing for over 40 years. Most students who choose oncology upon graduation either had a personal experience with a family member/friend or had a connection with an oncology patient during clinical. In fact it is hard to get someone to explore oncology as a specialty with out first hand experience because they think it is always a negative experience. Guess what! Patients get better, patients develop new strengths, or patients try to face the day knowing time is limited. I am not trying to be sappy. Sometimes good things happen when you are not expecting it, For example, we realized that patients rarely used their call bells during "American Idol". That was a good time for the nurse to catch up on things. Then we could get the "post show briefing" while getting patients settled for the night. Some of our younger patients were filled with enthusiasm for their favorite performer!

Usually  students in my experience choose their post graduation specialty because of a personal experience. The students who are CNA's in ICU are amazed at what the RN does during a rapid response/code and want to emulate them. A student sees a surgery and comes back to the floor saying "I want to work in ortho, open hearts, etc". Students who want to become NP's (and when first enrolled in their entry level program everyone wants to become one) want ICU. 

OP, I am glad you see a need for someone like yourself in oncology nursing. That will get you through some tough school days "when you are dancing as fast as you can and still can't keep up". Go for it - PS. When I was in graduate school I read a transformational book - "Coping with Cancer" by Avery Weisman. He was a psychiatric oncologist. That small book helped me understand a lot about the coping of the oncology patient.I referred to it a lot. When I retired, I was cleaning out my office and I had my torn, thumb worn, highlighted copy, full of post-it notes in my hand and said to my husband "I am going to keep this". I can't find the car keys but I know exactly where my copy is (all 192 pages of it)!

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10 Posts; 148 Profile Views

Glad to see this post.  
cancer is one disease that I think effects nearly everyone.  Everyone knows someone whose had it. The families suffer along with the patient.  
And you are right many of them do recover and sometimes they have multiple bouts with cancer.  I know someone who beat it 3 times.  
 

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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My experience in nursing is that there are many jobs, and you will never be out of work or have a hard time finding benefitted full time positions, but there are few *good* jobs. At 50, you know yourself better than a young person and have more social connections which speaks to your ability to get one of the good jobs. Also, it seems like you want to help people rather than having a strong need to be in one of the more prestigious areas of nursing, which will help you sniff out a truly good job and not get snagged by the fact that its ICU or whatever the cool kids are doing right now.

I went into nursing later in life specifically wanting to work in psych-- not prestigious. I put up with some of the crap others have mentioned in the hospital; over documenting, being nitpicked, etc, but I did enjoy working with my patients. I moved over to an ACT team, which is community psych, and got to spend a lot more time with my patients and got to experience some of my romanticized view. No regrets whatsoever. We romantics often do well in this field if we find the right job.

Now I am sick of being furloughed and also tired of administration and ready to move to something different, thinking about education or leadership even though my original goal was NP.

You will find a full time benefitted job. That will not be your problem. Good luck. 

 

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22 Posts; 892 Profile Views

I’m 45 and have only 2 years experience, in acute care and one in critical care. I think I can speak for both of us and say we aren’t elderly and we are physically able to handle med surg, acute care, critical care. I know there’s a lot of nurses our age who end up sitting in management jobs and make the rest of us look like we can’t handle it but let me tell you, I run harder and faster than the younger nurses, maybe because I feel I have to prove something IDK, but when I get on the elevator with my way younger colleagues to go home we are all wishing we had a hot bath and ibuprofen no matter the age, we are all in pain at the end of the shift. 50 is the new 30 don’t let the age deter you into what you choose. I’ve not had any issues getting jobs I think I’m young, I feel I’m young I portray I’m young. I even convince myself! Do what you feel passionate about d you’ll be fine. I have no plans on becoming a desk nurse any time in my career. I live in Atl and they are furloughing nurses and pay cuts. I never thought   I’d see this day, just keep trying this will pass. 

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180 Posts; 4,247 Profile Views

I would have to agree with those respondents who feel that you could handle a full time nursing position as an age 50 plus new grad.......but that's not really what you asked.

I entered nursing 30 years ago at age 42 when the energy industry collapsed taking virtually all of the local accounting/administrative positions along with it. But fortunately there was a genuine, far reaching nursing shortage in progress of the sort I've never seen since. (This wasn't a "projected" need for nurses based on demographics etc., it was the real deal. When I graduated there were available positions in every region of the country, on every shift and in every specialty and the training for a new grad was extensive.)

But you on the other hand would be voluntarily leaving an established career in an established position where typically your earnings should be peaking. We now have unprecedented levels of unemployment as you are no doubt aware. And then there is the health care industry/ nursing profession environment: Nationally hospitals, nursing home and assisted living companies have been consolidating for many years now and many health care entities have been taken over by private entity firms and with all of that comes the expectations of increased profits and growth.

**So will you have a hard time finding a full time job with benefits? There aren't any here. All of our "big players" have frozen hiring, frozen merit raises, stopped retirement plan contributions, instituted furloughs, reduced paid time off and other benefits and they are doing the same wherever they have a presence. Further,  when I retired a few months ago I was in a position to know that significant layoffs were already planned long before the coronavirus pandemic was identified as the catastrophe it's become. 

I'm admittedly a pretty conservative guy and I also don't know your overall resources. Maybe you're already all set for retirement etc. But that said, I'd be very cautious about making any major changes in these uncertain times.

 

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