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How Long Do You Expect To Be a Nurse?

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Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

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Just curious, how long you expect your nursing career to last? 

When I became a nurse almost 7 years ago, I did so with the intent that I would be a nurse for rest of my working career.  Lately, I've been questioning whether or not that will still be the case.  I'm at the age where I still have 30+ more years of working, so obviously a retirement is not an option at this point.  With that said, I've been stressed lately and am unsure whether or not I can actually make it through another 30 years of nursing, or even want to.   I'm not ready to make any fast career changes simply because I've had a few stressful moments recently, but I'm wondering whether I will keep my goal of remaining a nurse for my entire working career. 

How about the rest of you? How long do you expect your nursing careers to last? 

JabuJabule, LPN

Specializes in LTC and COVID vacccination. Has 2 years experience.

I've been a nurse for almost a year and a half, hopefully going on forever! This is my first "career", so to speak. I started at 24. I want to move up in my education and ranks. I'm not sure where and what I exactly want to do, but I do know that I love being a nurse and helping people, thus this is probably going to be my only and last career in my life.

 

I'm curious to see other people's answers!

NightNerd, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-surg/tele. Has 7 years experience.

I hope I'll be a nurse for many more decades! (I've got a minute until I retire, unless we hit Powerball.) I will say that I feel myself getting stressed to the max in med-surg, and even though I'm learning to keep it in perspective, I don't think I want to work the floor full-time forever. My ideal work as a nurse would involve working per diem, maybe once or twice a week, on the floor, and then part-time doing some kind of community health work. Sadly, I need something full-time for the health insurance, so I fear I'll have to pick one in the coming couple of years after I earn my MSN.

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

There have been times where I tried to develop an exit strategy but ultimately I always abandon the idea of leaving nursing, so I guess I'm in it for the long haul.  

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Well, this is my third and hopefully last career so at least another 14 years or so, or until I win the lotto 😉

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

12 hours ago, SilverBells said:

Just curious, how long you expect your nursing career to last? 

Until March 15, 2020.

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I'm a second career nurse. My first career was about 19 years and ended four years ago. 

I've been a nurse for eight years and right now I'll probably be at it at least another 20 years, since currently you can't collect social security until age 67. But if things go well I could easily see myself working past that age, unless I've found some fantastic hobbies that work interferes with. 

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

1983 to the present and looking toward retirement in 6-7 years...unless I hit it big financially!

12 more years. If it doesn’t kill me first. 

morelostthanfound

Specializes in CVOR/General Surgery.

Coming up on 30 years as an RN for me next year and honestly, without any hesitation, I would retire tomorrow if I had the financial means to do so.  Five or six years realistically though until I can get off the hamster wheel-like Wuzzie said "If it doesn't kill me first".

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

23 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

12 more years. If it doesn’t kill me first. 

I once said that I was going to work at Wrongway Regional Medical Center until they opted to fired me, cart me out on a gurney in a body bag, or become a carpet warehouse.

The first option was the best option.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

37 minutes ago, morelostthanfound said:

Coming up on 30 years as an RN for me next year and honestly, without any hesitation, I would retire tomorrow if I had the financial means to do so.  Five or six years realistically though until I can get off the hamster wheel-like Wuzzie said "If it doesn't kill me first".

I'm in the same boat, or hamster wheel. I'm just mentally tired 

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

15 years in and I plan to retire in the nursing field. 

My plan is 13 more years - puts me at a young age of 65 🙂 but I am the type that can't stand idle time of being at home, so I imagine I will continue to work until I can't.  I am school nurse, really I plan on working until I am told to retire 🙂 I hope to get in a total 25-30 years at my current job.  

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

16 years in with the expectation to go another 30 or so. That’s the beauty of nursing- so much variety and settings that are differently paced than others. I’ve already left direct clinical care for staff development.  Who knows, maybe I’ll move on to something else in those 30 years but I have no intention of starting a new career, unless it’s one of those win a mega jackpot and travel constantly careers. 

DaniannaRN

Specializes in Quality Control,Long Term Care, Psych, UM, CM. Has 13 years experience.

I've been an RN for almost 16 years and I'm hoping to get out of it next year when I'm done with my master's degree in health informatics.  I actually never really wanted to be a nurse, I never felt like it was my calling.  But because of personal reasons (family issues) at that time, I couldn't complete the college for the career I always wanted. 

I got out of bedside nursing about 12 years ago but I don't enjoy being a nurse and I can't wait to be finished with my degree so I can finally get out of this field.  

There's nothing wrong with realizing this isn't the career you really wanted.  Many people switch careers throughout their lives.  If you're stressed in nursing, maybe try non-bedside nursing such as insurance companies.  Also look into places where (general) you wouldn't expect nurses to be hired...for example, my state's transportation company (trains/buses) hires nurses for employee health.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Nursing is my 2nd career. I was active military 10 years. I expect to be "in it" for hopefully less than 5 more years....maybe even 3 or 4.  I have been a nurse since 1997.

Depends on how quickly we can pay down the house and other bills as to long how I will continue. I may go PRN and stay around a while. I am healthy and strong and can keep up with the younger crowd in efficiency and speed. In that I am lucky. I am just oh, so tired of all the politics, drama and games. I am getting too old for this stuff I guess.

It's  also  I have a strong desire to be at home with the hubby and flying to visit all my grandkids more often. That's what I aim to do.

I've got a couple more years left in me then I'm hanging it up to head home to Utah. 42 years in critical care sucks all the energy out of you. My sons and the two most beautiful grandsons on the planet are waiting for me. Note to all you young ones out there: you're gonna miss us old nurses when we're gone.