Am I Still a Nurse? - page 2
Am I Still a Nurse? The Question I Am Asked Too Often I will start by saying, "Yes I am a nurse and I have been one for 21 years".......after that, things get more convoluted. I don't remember... Read More
Apr 15Occupation: Remote OASIS and Coding Reviewer Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in Home Health ; From: TX, US ; Joined: Aug '03; Posts: 866; Likes: 96Wonderful read! I remember when I decided to leave the hospital setting and go into home health, my mother asked me if I'd still be a nurse....I was like really?? You think nurses only work in hospitals? Nurses work in SOOOOOOO many settings, it's not even funny. Nursing is not all about what we do, but what we know and how we use that knowledge to help people. Then later in my career I started during coding and OASIS review and my boyfriend would say, "You're not a nurse anymore." People just don't get it, but we all know we are nurses till the day we die!! (Or like sue_rehn, BSN, RN said, doing something stupid to lose the license).
Apr 16Occupation: Nurse Educator Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in Critical care ; From: BM ; Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 1Such an inspiring story. Thanks for the eloquent way you have spoken for so many of us nurses. Indeed that's who we will be as long as life last. I am so happy you are continuing to serve humanity in your new role in spite of your challenge.
You are yet another reason why the nursing profession continue to attract only the best
Apr 16Joined: Feb '14; Posts: 282; Likes: 1,177Thank you for your inspiring story! I too have struggled with this very question. I was (am?) a RN working in oncology when I was struck with RSD/CRPS in 2006. I continued to work for about 18 months but eventually ended up going on disability. I kept my license active for a few years in hopes of one day returning to nursing but eventually my doctors told me there was nothing else to try when I had failed all available treatments at that time so I put my license on inactive status. I struggled with accepting that for years. I went through a huge identity crisis. Who was I if I wasn't a nurse? I was 38 when I was diagnosed, 40 when I went on disability. That was 10 years ago. I always held unto a glimmer of hope though. Fast forward to four years ago, I started a new treatment and although progress has been slow and I've had numerous struggles and setbacks, I am now very, very close to returning to my nursing career. I finished the didactic portion of the Refresher Course to reactivate my RN license and am just waiting to do the required 80 clinical hours. I finalized all the paperwork last week and did the urine drug screen, just waiting on the background check to come back. It's so close, I can almost taste it!
Apr 17Occupation: Freelance Writer, Nurse Case Manager, Professor From: OH, US ; Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 185; Likes: 569Great article! Thanks for sharing your story.
Apr 17Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 5; Likes: 9I've had patients that have said, "I used to be a nurse" and I always say "you still are."
I also had hearing loss unexpectedly. I lost 40% in both ears without a cause found, I had (have) the tinnitus as well. Working outpatient recovery allowed me to continue bedside nursing as we didn't do heart and lung sounds, however there were often times that I opted to listen to lungs following certain patients symptoms or complaints. Wearing hearing aids is also a challenge when it comes to balancing the volume so that you can hear your patient or co-worker but your ears aren't blown off when a monitor goes off. It eventually became too stressful, and after a real internal struggle (I would say identity crisis at the thought of leaving patient care) I took a job with Aetna as a telephonic nurse reviewer (they use the fancy name "Nurse Consultant" which sounds better).
This article is very relevant and I believe many nurses struggle with the idea of being "a real" nurse or not. With all of the advances and changes in healthcare more and more nurses will not be doing patient care but we will always be "real nurses."
Thank you for this very vulnerable story!
Apr 18Occupation: RN Specialty: 30+ year(s) of experience in correctional,rehab,LTAC,Med/surg Tele ; From: FL, US ; Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 56; Likes: 36Nice article! I get asked the same question after i left the bedside due to a back injury. I am now a nurse educator. One of the biggest offenders is my mother! As much as i try to educate her it never works.
Apr 20Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 32; Likes: 33After 10 years in a group home for medical fragile children I decided to take a break.
During that break I was attending a baseball game and they was honoring nurses. When I asked my friend to watch my kiddos for me her
response was "why?? You aren't a nurse anymore".
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! I am pretty sure I have a license and I paid my dues.
I was so insulted and upset. I got over it quickly but still.
Now I am the lead school nurse for our district and couldn't be happier with my decision. Doors close so others can open and no matter what
you still are a nurse!! Always will be!!
Apr 25Joined: Apr '16; Posts: 58; Likes: 119Of course I'm still a nurse! I'm retired now, but I'm still a nurse. I earned that degree and I keep my license up to date, and I do volunteer clinics a few times a year, and I still think of myself as a nurse (although admittedly not first now). It's true....once a nurse, always a nurse. There's no "used to be" about it!