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Is it a bad idea to return to the hospital?

Nurses   (1,784 Views 21 Comments)
by Blue_Moon Blue_Moon, BSN (Member)

Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

140 Likes; 4,584 Visitors; 379 Posts

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Do you think I'd regret leaving school nursing to return to the hospital? 

I miss working with other medical people. Teachers here get into these conversations about testing, behaviors, assignments, etc and after a while my eyes just glaze over. They can't relate to me and I can't to them.

I'm extremely bored. There I said it. It's not a hard job to me but then again I've been doing it off and on and have spent 15 years doing it. I'm no longer challenged or excited. I don't even feel like a nurse half the time. More like a cross between a social worker and a health aide. 

Lack of pay. I am finally making $40,000 a year after all this time. That's it. I've thought about getting another job on top of this one to supplement it but I don't want to have to juggle two jobs when this one is full time for nine months a year.

I hate working five days a week. I only get two days off that are spent catching up on laundry, cleaning, groceries, etc. I feel like I rarely have time to have fun. After working all day I no longer have the energy to go out and do something. I just want to put on my pj's and chill until bedtime. I really liked working 12's so I had more time off. 

The nice things about the position I'm in now is it truly is low stress most of the time, I get all holidays and weekends off with no call, and no summers. I don't dread going to work, but then again I don't look forward to it either.

I have about 17 more years until retirement. What worries me most is working nights as most new employees and openings are only for nights and keeping up with the young chicks. If I can physically handle it and not feel rotten on my days off. 

My youngest child is a senior in high school and then I'll have an empty nest for the most part. When I am working, my husband will be home so he won't be home alone much. Because of this, I'm not sure if working holidays will be that bad because my kids are all old enough to celebrate whenever I can be there. 

I did return to the hospital for a year a few years ago. I ended up leaving because I still had all my kids at home, my husband also worked shift work, and they were struggling.

I know I'm weird but I like hospital environment and I'm very task oriented. The first time I was on med-surg when I graduated nursing school I hated it. I was completely overwhelmed and worked on a toxic unit not supportive of new grads. The second time was completely different. I'm different now. I was more confident, didn't get rattled nearly as easily, stood up for myself and did great. I did find it very exhausting as I didn't sit down for 12 hours straight. The hospital in our area has openings on specialized units such as ICU, ER, L&D etc and I'd like to try one of those. I keep thinking I can work 2-3 days, take one day to recoup and still have 3-4 off which will give me more time to spend with grandkids, hobbies, travel, etc plus the extra money would help with my son's college. 

However, when you're away from things for a while they may seem better than they are. I keep reading how everyone is trying to get away from the hospital and how bad it is right now with the customer service, staffing, management, etc. which is why I wanted to get some other nurse's opinions on this decision. Of course I know I'm not guaranteed to be hired for any position but I'm just thinking what if...

Thank you!!!

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JBMmom has 6 years experience and works as a Nurse.

38 Likes; 1 Follower; 11,167 Visitors; 636 Posts

Ultimately only you know what is really best for you. I would say if you're interested, go for it. I know one nurse who recently came back to the hospital after many years in long-term care and transition has been good. However, another came back after a similar time away from the bedside and hasn't been able to regain that skillset or confidence. No way to predict the future, but if you're not happy where you are there's very little to lose by making a change. Good luck!

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience.

210 Likes; 1 Follower; 28,992 Visitors; 4,113 Posts

Since you are employed now, you have the time to look around at hospital jobs, shadow and apply to areas you think you can thrive.

The extra money you make at the hospital can be put to good use- college tuition, vacation, savings. The learning of new things will lift you out of boredom, and meeting new people brings some nursing peers into your life.

After a long break doing school nursing, finding a hospital job might take a while, and not be your first choice of job, but in many places you can transfer to a different department.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

298 Likes; 4 Followers; 42,890 Visitors; 5,171 Posts

It sounds to me like the time is perfect to bite off a new chunk of life and see how you like it. If you can get a position in the hospital, I think you should. It sounds to me like you are well versed in what is involved, the challenges that may present and reasonably confident in your ability to handle those. Good luck and congratulations on coming into this phase (empty nesting). I have found it to be a very happy time in my life with more space to give myself what I need and I hope you will too.

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Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

140 Likes; 4,584 Visitors; 379 Posts

I appreciate the advice! Also, that makes me feel good you are enjoying the empty nest time! I've been a little nervous about it which is another reason I want to be doing something for me that I'm excited about! 🙂

 

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience and works as a CNM.

83 Likes; 24,385 Visitors; 1,069 Posts

I agree that you're in an ideal spot to start looking for a new adventure, because you already have a stable job.  You can really take your time and make sure the hospital environment you're entering is a positive one, and ideally avoid another toxic unit.  I don't blame you for feeling like you're in a rut and thinking about taking the plunge into something new.  Just know (as I'm sure you do) the grass isn't always greener.  Maybe the summer would be a good time to try, since you aren't working at the school and have a little more time to trial a new job out?

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

953 Likes; 2 Followers; 6,740 Visitors; 1,976 Posts

I feel you - RJ Junior graduates in June and I am wondering what I should do with the remaining 25 years (give or take). I jumped from a management gig to school nursing eight years ago and have never regretted the extra time and summers.

But then I remember - when you have one major life change (and although getting a kid into college is happy, it's still a major life change) compounding it with another major life change is not necessarily a good thing. 

Hang in there.

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inthecosmos has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN Pulmonary.

33 Likes; 6,699 Visitors; 456 Posts

Maybe work PRN at first? A few shifts may let you decide if it something you can manage.

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Blue_Moon has 18 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

140 Likes; 4,584 Visitors; 379 Posts

In order to do prn, I'd have to do full time training for at least six weeks so that's not something doable at this moment. I could always wait until closer to summer and try and find something, get hired, and do my training all summer and hope all the timing worked out just right! I was thinking about doing that one summer but the training was longer for that position than I had off. I guess it would depend on the area! Definitely something to think about!

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience and works as a Nurse.

39 Likes; 1 Follower; 38,229 Visitors; 3,145 Posts

I would wait until this summer when you aren't working your school job. This will give you time to go through orientation, training, and get some hands on job experience. I would go for a PRN position so if you decide it's not something you want to do full time, you can maybe stay in the PRN role and keep your full time school nurse job.

The hospital is brutal. It takes a lot out of you, and it sounds like that is a concern you have for your upcoming years. I don't know about there, but around here school nurse jobs are not easy to come by. Most people stay in them because while the pay is low, it has many other perks. If we could afford it I would consider taking one, but I am the sole income provider for my family right now while my husband stays at home with our kiddos.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

941 Likes; 11 Followers; 64 Articles; 168,842 Visitors; 13,727 Posts

As far as I'm concerned, the hospital is the best place to be!  Yes, you might have to start on night shift, but night shift is doable, even in your sixties.  (Ask me how I know this.)  Turnover is much faster now than it used to be with new nurses staying only a year or less -- you might get to day shift, if you really want to, faster than you think.  There is always something new to learn, and it never gets dull or boring.  The pay is better, and 12 hour shifts are awesome!

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SobreRN works as a RN.

7 Likes; 4,633 Visitors; 461 Posts

It sounds as if working in a hospital would be a good fit for you as you enjoy that environment. I worked in hospitals nearly 20 years and feel just the opposite; I'd done some home health/hospice, out-patient chemo. I started in corrections a few years ago and found my niche, if the patient get threatening or just belligerent back to the cell they go so most are very polite, still keep skills given health problems do not keep anyone out of prison as they once did. I love the autonomy, I see patients scheduled and most things I do not need to call the doctor on, those I do I just see everyone and call doc when I am done but that is me. I ran from bedside nursing saying I'd eat out of dumpsters before returning but it sounds like a great match for you. Take my spot 🙂

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