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new grad RN to inactive RN. goodbye RN career??


hey allnurses!

first time posting but have been an avid reader since the start of nursing school. I'm here now because I am in need of some life advice.

quick background:

  • BSN
  • NCLEX passed on 4th attempt
  • 1 year EMT experience during Senior year (no longer active)
  • 2 years as a live-in senior caregiver (my main source of income as I tried to pass the NCLEX those times)

After passing my NCLEX, I continued to work as a live-in caregiver while I applied for RN jobs. I have been with my current family for over a year and have gotten very close to them. Though they were happy that I had finally passed, they were sad that they would have to let me go soon. They have been very open about how replacing me would be difficult (understandable after 1 year together) and of how its been hard for them to trust the new caregivers they've been "trying out."

During my 2 years of home care, i've seen firsthand how stressing it can be on the family and especially their ill family member on how unstable the caregiver position can be. One week/month the caregiver is there, and the next it's a new face (im guilty of this). With all that said, a part of me wishes to remain with this family until their loved one passes away.

I'm not considering this because i feel bad for them or even because i genuinely care for them (i do). i guess i'm considering it because i feel like it's my duty as a nurse to make a meaningful and positive impact on this family. though i think this can be viewed as hurting my nursing career, a big part of me sees this as an opportunity to let this particular individual age with the comfort he deserves and the peace of mind his family deserves; a chance to make a difference.

idk. that's how i feel and i think i'm here to get some opinions. am i looking at this the wrong way? am i being naive? would this new grad, inactive rn have a chance to be the flight nurse he still aspires to be one day??

i was thinking that if i go through with this, i can accumulate some emt experience and maybe even get my PHRN. i am given 2 weekends off per month so would do all these then, haha

thanks everyone!

The way you're looking at the situation, it kinda gives the patient you're caring for the reigns to your career.

You won't be the first nurse to get emotionally involved and make decisions that impact your career or the lives of your family because he or she thought they were doing something noble.

Btw, you *are* doing something wonderful: you are giving your time, your knowlege, and your kind heart to your patient.

Question: is that enough at this point in time -are you going to be o.k. with the career delay?

Only you can answer those questions.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

What makes you think you are the only nurse in the world that can provide " the comfort he deserves and the peace of mind his family deserves"?

Your mistake was getting emotionally involved. It is not only unhealthy, it's unprofessional.

I don't know how remaining in the caregiver role would be viewed by a future employer. At the very least it's costing you money in the loss of salary. You have to take care of YOU.

MrChicagoRN, RN

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.

Don't torpedo your career.

As a live in caregiver it is normal to become attached, but you're not the only one who can do this job. And it is just that, a job.

I am very well regarded in my job, made some positive changes there, and there are some who would be distressed if I left. However, some day I will move on, retire, or die, and they will need to find someone else to do my job...and the world will keep spinning and my department will survive just fine.

While you will be missed, and will be remembered fondly, eventually they will find someone they like just fine.

The family may love you and feel that you provide wonderful care to their family member, but in the end they will not have appreciated you putting your life and career on hold for them the way you think they will. I have seen far too often, caregivers who provide excellent care, where the family goes on and on about how wonderful the caregiver is, who will very easily give that caregiver a week or two notice when they find a way to save money for themselves by either finally getting that medicaid that they have been after, or finding a better deal. They love you and want you to stay because it is good for them as things are, but if their situation were to change, they would let you go.

You have to do what is good for you, it is a job.

If you feel that staying with this family is the best choice for you, then stay. If you are ready to jump into your career or financially it is a better decision for you, then let them find a replacement. There is no reason that you cannot still pick up a few hours with the family to stay connected to them :)

Good Luck!

I had a friend who gave ample time to a dying woman only to have the family give her less than 24 hours to move out once the patient passed.

I had a friend who gave ample time to a dying woman only to have the family give her less than 24 hours to move out once the patient passed.


Many nurses who work in extended care home care get the boot frequently when their "loving" family decides it is time for a new face. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the family finds you irreplaceable.

would this new grad, inactive rn have a chance to be the flight nurse he still aspires to be one day??

In a word, given the way you're going, "no". Actually, not a chance in heck. A flight nurse has to have considerable experience, considerable critical care/ED/ICU/trauma experience as an RN. At this point, you have zipola.

If you want to be a personal caregiver as a career, you're well on the way. If you want to work in critical care---flight nursing----you have some significant changes to make for your future.