Away from Bedside 4 1/2 years

  1. Dear AllNurses,

    I would love any advice, thoughts, experiences, and constructive criticism.

    I graduated from nursing school with my associates degree in May of 2011, at 26 yrs old. I passed my boards in June 2011 and started my first job in July 2011 on a tele floor. I had gotten a scholarship and so I had six months of orientation into this role. Although there is always so much to learn in nursing I can say I was very prepared. After orientation, I spent another 2 1/2 years on the same unit. Eight months before changing nursing career paths I changed to night shift in desperation for a different environment as I was miserable on dayshift. I was very naïve at this part of my career and confused about what I wanted. Needless to say night shift lead to my last straw with bedside nursing, so to speak, and with my bad thyroid, being overweight, and being burnt out I took a decision to go into disease management away from bedside nursing. This was in July 2014. This was a shame, as looking back I was an awesome bedside nurse, and they were going to start prepping me to be a clinical manager.

    Immediately I was very bored with this new role and most certainly believed it was too soon in my nursing career to move away from the bedside. I had thoughts of going back to the bedside per diem just to keep my skills up. I never did that and now I have regrets. The disease management role transitioned into case management for the managed-care sector.

    Fast forward to 2016 and I went back to school to get my BSN. Over the last two years I've had a lot of opportunity to self reflect. I LOVE the profession of nursing. There are so many opportunities within the field to make a difference in peoples lives in so many various ways.

    I graduate in two months with my BSN. Ironically, for my capstone rotation for my BSN I was placed back in the acute care setting to follow a nurse manager in one of our local emergency rooms. I had my first clinical day this past week and can honestly say I had a blast. Now I completely understand that I'm following someone in a leadership role and this is entirely different from working in the ER. However, the experience has me very intrigued and confused as I really miss the acute care setting. At least I think I do. This ER is a level one trauma center and I was able to observe a trauma come in and this lit a fire in me. I think I moved away from acute care too quick and I didn't explore what my passion in nursing really is.

    I plan to enjoy the next eight weeks in this rotation and soak up everything that I can. I'm not one to make any rash decisions but I think I need to make a change. Now I know it's crazy to think of going from four years of case management to working in an ER. Has anyone had a similar experience? Honestly, I have had a lot of life changes since my previous experience at bedside and can definitely say that I was in a bad place in my personal life as well that I think contributed to my decisions.

    Please, tell me your thoughts, and any experiences any of you might have had going back to acute care after a hiatus.
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    About dizzyray822

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 126; Likes: 51
    from US

    6 Comments

  3. by   FacultyRN
    I don't think you're crazy. In fact, I think your capstone course gives you a great in with the manager. I'd use your school opportunity express that being in the ER setting really gave you a desire to return to patient care, identify the reasons you'd be a good fit for the ER, and network. It couldn't hurt to ask if you can shadow one of the clinical ER RNs on your own time since you're technically already vetted to be in her facility. Don't ever let yourself be boxed in to one area of nursing if it's not the right fit. And as a word of encouragement, in my personal experience returning to patient care after periods away from the bedside is like riding a bike... muscle memory and right back into something I loved! Having an acute care background, an understanding of disease processes, and case management experience could make you a valuable asset to an ER (especially when you consider how many ERs hire new graduates that don't bring any of that to the table). I say follow your dream! -Former ER nurse
  4. by   ruby_jane
    You've got three years of acute care hospital experience. I can't imagine why any hospital wouldn't want you back. There is a difference between Telemetry and ER, though - the pace, prioritization, etc. Faculty's suggestion about shadowing was a good one. Good luck!
  5. by   Possum_RN
    Well, I'm a brand-spanking-new nurse. As I was browsing for new-grad positions, I saw a posting at one of the hospitals that intrigued me: apparently, they have a whole training program for experienced RN's that have never worked in acute care, or who have worked acute previously but worked in subacute for over three years. I thought that was pretty cool!
  6. by   allaboutnursing77
    Quote from Possum_RN
    Well, I'm a brand-spanking-new nurse. As I was browsing for new-grad positions, I saw a posting at one of the hospitals that intrigued me: apparently, they have a whole training program for experienced RN's that have never worked in acute care, or who have worked acute previously but worked in subacute for over three years. I thought that was pretty cool!
    That's pretty awesome. I'm an NP with medsurg experience as an RN and would love to get into a role in the ER - as an NP ultimately, but I"d get my feet wet in the RN role. Can I ask where you saw that job posting?
  7. by   unknownjulie
    I recently got hired on a med/surg floor after being out of acute care for 15 years. They appear to be putting me through a standard new grad orientation although I didn't ask for this. In my view it is incredibly long and much less stress than I am used to during orientation ( I am remembering almost everything), but that being said- the staffing is skeleton crew type- and all I can do is pray. I think you will be fine! Go for it!
  8. by   Possum_RN
    Quote from allaboutnursing77
    That's pretty awesome. I'm an NP with medsurg experience as an RN and would love to get into a role in the ER - as an NP ultimately, but I"d get my feet wet in the RN role. Can I ask where you saw that job posting?
    Here's the brochure -
    http://careers.mission-health.org/wp...rochure_V6.pdf

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