For those that have left bedside nursing. - page 3

Just curious. For those who have left bedside nursing: Where did you go? What do you do now? Do you enjoy it? Do you miss bedside care?... Read More

  1. by   kyjule
    Hi all...I have been a bedside nurse for 13 years and just left it 1 week ago to become the "Clinical Analyst Specialist" in the inpatient rehab. hospital I have been wroking for. I love the hours...Mon-Fri. no weekends or holidays. Miss the overtime however. Basically i code FIM levels for reimbursement for Medicare and such... I am really having a hard time adjusting. Any words of encouragement would be appreciated....thanx jules
  2. by   Stargazer
    Phantom, I sympathize with your feeling that you are "not a 'real' nurse"--as a former ICU nurse I've struggled occasionally with those feelings myself since leaving the hospital 7 years ago, and direct pt care 2 years ago. I recently spoke with a former ICU colleague who expressed similar feelings even though she loves her current job as a transplant coordinator. But we both agreed we were not willing to go back, even on a per-diem basis, with bedside working conditions the way they are now.

    I think you have to change your mindset. Some nurses stay at the bedside their entire careers because they love it, they find it fulfilling, and they can't imagine doing anything else. That's great, and thank God for them.

    For others, bedside nursing is the first step in a career progression or evoution that moves through management, teaching, specialty care or advanced practice, because these nurses have discovered that they have a talent for management or teaching. Still others--like many in this thread---are running research studies, getting published, and contributing to the general body of knowlege. Others are using their clinical expertise to start their own businesses or help design new medical products.

    There are many ways to "help" and contribute to the profession, and take care of patients. We need the teachers, advanced practice, research, and entrepenurial nurses just as much as we need those at the bedside. If you're staying because you want to be there, great. If you're staying because of pressure from your colleagues or the fear that you won't be a"real" nurse once you leave the bedside--time to start assessing your options. Take your time and decide what's best for YOU. Best of luck.
  3. by   VSRN
    How sad is it that we equate real nursing with bedside? Where is it that we think we must work in a hospital on a busy Med/surg floor to be considered a real nurse? As a profession we have such depth of talent and intelligence. That, my friends, is what makes a real nurse!! I am proud of my ob background, just as I hope those in psych, peds, public health (ect.) are. We are all REAL nurses, some of us just choose to work away from the bedside. Like Stargazer says, we need all of us and we all represent nursing.
  4. by   ryaninmtv
    I left the bedside six years ago for a case management job. I am now the supervisor of the unit. At times, I do miss the adrenaline rush of the codes and crashing patients but, it got to the point where nursing at the bedside was just plain dangerous. I would leave work every morning wondering if I was going to get sued.

    I do not miss anymore holidays, weekends, etc. with my kids. That's the payoff. And I'm still a REAL nurse.
  5. by   BeachNurse
    Although I am in clinical research, I work in the area of Pediatric HIV and AIDS. Just because I am not at the bedsides of our very small number of patients ill enough to be hospitalized does not make me feel like less of a nurse. I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of our patients, and that our work will positively impact patients all over the world.
  6. by   ChristyM
    I did bedside nursing on a med-surg floor for the first 2 yrs of my nursing career and I knew it wasnt for me!!!! I had really enjoyed my psych rotation in school so I figured I would give psych nursing a try and have worked in this field for the past 12 yrs

    I work on a busy children/adolecent unit. The work is hard and the hours are long, but at the end of the day I can honestly say I have "made a difference" in someones life. Thats a great feeling!!!!
  7. by   SRainny9
    I left bedside nrsg after working on an orthopedic unit for 7 yrs. I am now working in an outpatient setting where we do nrsg interviews, perform EKG's and draw lab work, preoperatively. Do I miss bedside nrsg?? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I work M-F, no weekends or holidays. I no longer feel like I'm "stroke" material everytime I go to work. I have just enough "hands on" to satisfy me. I'm thankful there are still bedside nurses, but I had enough to last me a lifetime. In the ideal world, if there were patients that appreciated all your time and effort on the floor, realistic staffing patterns, supportive management, and manageable workload...then I might rethink returning to floor work.
  8. by   PhantomRN
    Well, I did get the job outside of bedside nursing. I am very much looking forward to new challenges.

    The only thing that still bothers me about the change is I feel I will loose all the hands on stuff I have I am hoping this is the right direction for me, I dont want to wipe myself out of the job market.
  9. by   VSRN
    As a nurse you will never wipe yourself out of the market. But truthfully you will lose some hospital and agency marketability after 5 years or so away from hopital nursing. You must trust that you are making the best decision for yourself at this time in your life. I don't think I have forgotten any of my skills, but, I know I would have to start from the beginning to regain my IV skills and pumps and such. Now, you will gain so many other skills! My horizons expanded immeasuably once I stepped out of the hospital. It amazes me how far our education can take us. And the bedside is always there.......
  10. by   lisagrneiis
    I left after almost 22 years of patient contact, went to a managed care company. Lots of perks, and it is different, but since I have finished a BA in Business and am working on a masters in business related field and am seriously considering teaching grade school. Do I miss it...NO! I do not miss the politics, the long hours & the lack of respect for nurses as professionals. There is a big world out there...................
    Last edit by lisagrneiis on Mar 6, '02
  11. by   rosy
    Originally posted by PhantomRN
    Well, I did get the job outside of bedside nursing. I am very much looking forward to new challenges.

    The only thing that still bothers me about the change is I feel I will loose all the hands on stuff I have I am hoping this is the right direction for me, I dont want to wipe myself out of the job market.
    The good news is that if you ever go back to the bedside you can re-learn what you may have forgotten. and you will have to learn whatever the technology and research has come forward with.

    I also left the bedside about 2 years ago (March 13, 2000, but who remembers) It was a wonderful move for me. I HATED,HATED,HATED bedside nursing. I now am a telephone triage nurse, and LOVE,LOVE,LOVE it (to shamelessly plagerize another poster). I still work nights (my choice), and holidays, but no weekends. I am happier and better with my family now. Have given away all my scrubs, no longer own a stethoscope and my white shoes are now my daughters gym shoes. I will never go back to the bedside
  12. by   ClariceS
    I left bedside nursing 2 years ago and can hardly wait to get back to the bedside.
    To be responsible for only 6-8 people (instead of 68) and to go home after my shift without a beeper and only work my scheduled shifts and have some weekends completely off and not have to beg and plead for someone to cover me if I do want a weekend off and not have to fire people and not have to do reviews on those who are skating by and not having to worry about getting the whole floor ready for JCAHO and not having to have administration after me for stuff my nurses have been told to do a million times and still don't do and not having to be mom to all of them most of the time and not having everyone come and complain and not having to do all the service recovery issues and not having to have all the answers all the time.....

    I think I'm a little burnt out by what I'm doing now
  13. by   PhantomRN
    I want to thank everyone who has responded thus far. It is great to know that there is so much support on this board.

    I look forward to joining the ranks of the non-bedside nurses.
    Last edit by PhantomRN on Jun 19, '02