Keep hitting road blocks


I've been on here before posting about my current situation. I am an lpn and left a hospital that worked at for 10 years because they were laying off and I went to a job at the VA for more security and the chance of advancement. While I was at my previou job I had decided to apply for other openings and possibly go back to school, however the constant threat of yearly lay-offs made me think twice. So I took a position at the VA as a "health technician". To make a long story short I found out I can't apply for in house nursing jobs because I'm technically not working as a nurse. I also have applied for other positions without luck. I am basically running into alot of politics and red tape. So, I struggle with leaving great insurance and retirement and looking elsewhere for better hopes of advancement and opportunity to go back to school. I don't want to leave but I am not working as a nurse and I feel like I will never move on. Has anybody else ran into anything like this or would you leave job because you felt like you couldn't advance?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

How old are you? How much longer do you have until retirement?

To be perfectly straightforward, I couldn't care less if I never performed another procedural nursing skill or advanced in my career as long as I could be assured of a fully funded retirement and excellent benefits.

My nursing career is 'advancing,' but at a cost. I was promoted to a lower management position less than a year ago. However, I received no health insurance for three years straight until I attained this promotion.

Unlike federal employees, those of us in the private sector must fund our own retirements or work until the day we die. On the other hand, you have the rare luxury of a defined benefit pension plan once you become fully vested.

Benefits are a significant part of our compensation. Feel free to leave the job if you feel stuck; however, nursing in the private sector is not necessarily the emerald green patch of grass that shines greener on the other side.

In addition, recent nursing workforce changes have been unforgiving of LPNs in acute care settings, so be cognizant of this as you plan your return.


50 Posts

Has 16 years experience.

Thank you, I really appreciate your input. I often think I'm crazy for thinking of leaving and think alot about retirement but I also think alot of the here and now and the goals I have never achieved. I am 37.

Red Kryptonite

2,212 Posts

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience.

If I were you, I would pursue RN while staying in the tech job, then apply to positions as a new grad RN. You'll get credit for the time already worked at VA, and be able to compete for nursing jobs as a new grad with that advantage. Doesn't VA offer educational benefits too?

PS 37 is not old. If all goes to plan, I'll become a LPN next year at the age of 40.


50 Posts

Has 16 years experience.

Thank you Red Kryptonite. Yes there are educational benefits, they only pic a couple candidates a a year. Good luck in nursing school !!!

Has 33 years experience.

You are never too old to learn, no matter what!!! I agree with Red Kryptonite, you should try for a new position as a graduate RN. You most likely have a heads up due to the LPN experiences, but if it is not helping you achieve your goals go another route. Sometimes we have to take a few steps backwards to move forwards. The games nursing plays with its members is really tiring at times, but in the long run you will have benifitted. Getting a higher degree will make you more eligible for promotions.