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Joint Pain Compatible with Career as RN?

by callinic1 callinic1 (New) New

Good Morning,

I am soon to separate from the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman of 8 years. I have enjoyed my naval career, but I am looking to settle my family down and grow roots in a community. One of the reasons I am getting out, and a concern for my aspirations to become a nurse, is joint pain I have developed over the last couple of years. I do not intend to complain in this post, but I want to describe my ailments in order to determine if investing in nursing school is the best decision based on the longevity of my body. From the top down: bilateral sub acromial bursitis (shoulder pain in both shoulders), chronic thoracic back (2/10 pain at rest), and right knee pain with flare ups after 2-3 hours of standing. I might be answering my own question as I write the backstory, but would a career as an RN be compatible in the long run (20-30) years with these conditions? Thank you!


Pixie.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

If you were an experienced RN with this level of pain, it would be much easier to compete for a "desk job" in the nursing field that requires less standing and physical exertion. But the problem is that during nursing school and while obtaining clinical experience as a new nurse, it's likely that you're going to be asked to do things that will exacerbate your existing pain. It's a tough choice. Have you looked into other areas of the medical field, like maybe sonography? I know a lot of ultrasound techs who love what they do and went into it because they couldn't do some of the lifting and standing that RNs need to do.

Thank you for your service, by the way. I only did half of the time that you did in the military, and that was enough to produce some physical issues! Good luck, whatever you decide.

Thank you for your advice and thank you for your service as well!