Is it too late for a Residency?


Hi all...

I'm feeling stuck and I need some help. I graduated last May with my BSN, passed my NCLEX, and got a fall Residency at my dream hospital in my dream specialty - a crazy busy ER at the county hospital. It was amazing, until my herniated lumbar disc got reinjured, and I was in so much pain that I couldn't possibly continue. (Standing for 11 out of 12 hours a day on concrete apparently isn't my friend...) I mean, I was in so much pain I could barely get to my car at the end of a shift. I was also in the grace period for a 3-year contract, so, if I had quit after a certain date, I would have owed the hospital a TON of money. I decided it was safer to cut my losses and quit before I hit that date.

I've been trying to keep the wheels on the bus financially since then, as it took some time for my back to recuperate, but I can't support myself the way I am any more. I trained to be a health coach, which I LOVE, but that is not the most stable kind of income when you have student loans to repay. For a while I had given up on hospital nursing, because of my back, but lately I've started thinking that I could handle something like an ICU setting, with a low patient load and not a lot of sustained running around like in the ER.

But I don't know what my options are. I've been an RN for a year, but I only have two months of experience. Who is going to want to hire me? Is it too late for me to do a residency? Of course, now that I'm looking again, it seems like there aren't even any residencies open...except at the county hospital I left before. I left on really good terms with the residency coordinators, but I'm scared of that contract - what if my back isn't as healed as I think it is?

Any advice or tips would be great. I'm really frustrated, but I don't want to give up on my passion for nursing. Thanks!

Lemon Bars

141 Posts

I'm sorry to hear about your back pain. Hopefully people with experience will reply and give you good advice. I just got my RN license yesterday morning and I'm looking for my first nursing job. In school I didn't really take to the hospital setting, so I've been looking into alternatives. My advice to you (which is based on absolutely zero post-school nursing experience) is to have an open mind and consider some non-hospital work settings such as home health, public health, school nurse, clinic nurse, prison nurse, etc. There are a wide variety of Nursing Jobs in a wide variety of settings, so I recommend looking at these options if the prognosis for your back is not good. Good luck to you.