Quote from Nursebry91
Shew. Honestly guys... it makes me wonder if this darn program is even worth it. I'm constantly looking at other options. As much as I love being a nurse... I'm looking at these five years of hell and financial struggle and wondering if it's even worth it. I'd probably change careers in a heart beat if I knew for a fact that I'd be getting PTI for my criminal charges that they STILL haven't officially charged me with. AND if I knew that my revoked nursing license wouldn't cause me issues with any future licenses.
I felt the same way. I didn't have any criminal charges because nothing I did involved something to charge, but I actually was heavily looking into graduate schools for other things like teaching. That's why I did the substitute work...only to decide that I hated teaching. But I was so ready to be done with nursing.
I submitted over 100 job applications to various jobs, trying to jump into another field. The preschool gig was the only one that bit, and they bit because my BSN actually counted for the state's pre-k requirement for some reason. But I only made $9 an hour, so that wasn't sustainable long term.
And if I had just surrendered my license, I would have been barred from any future career requiring a certificate or license from the Department of Health Professions...which is a surprising ton of careers such as drug counselors, dental hygienists, and massage therapists.
So in my state, I had no choice if I wanted to be able to make substantial income before I could finish a degree in something like accounting or IT. I chose to stick with nursing.
Listen, my story is dishearting, dealing with garnishments and utility shut offs. But that isn't the norm. Before I got reported, I had over $15,000 in combined medical debt from a surgery and a couple stays in a hospital that is widely known for suing it's patients if you can't pay the balance off in 3 months. It's not like most places where if you pay a little something every month, they will stay away. Obviously, I don't go to that hospital system anymore.
The vast majority of people aren't going to face garnishment. Even credit card companies will work with you. You have 2 months left in your IOP program and probably not too long after you can look for work as a nurse. Time wise, that's a drop in the bucket even if it feels like eternity.
As for finding a job, I intuitively knew that with my narc restriction for six months, that regular medical units probably weren't going to work with me. I figured that psych, clinics, urgent care, and dialysis were my best bets. I knew that my local hospitals, which are small and rural, probably wouldn't support hiring me.
I made the decision to look in the biggest cities near to me...which was 100 miles away in one direction. I knew the pay would probably be better and my chances of being hired were probably better. I was correct. Within a week of applying for jobs, I had a job offer, even with my restrictions and monitoring, and my program approved the job...it stuck! I was in orientation making real money two weeks later. I'm still with this job. I choose to work two 16 hour day/evening shifts to maximize my earnings while minimizing my commute. I only have to work two 12 hour days, but I work more for the money. I am not allowed overtime with my contract.
100 miles seems like a lot, and it is, but you have to remember that I am very, very rural. The drive is a fast straight interstate shot with zero city driving; the hospital is right off the exit. And the best part is that I make more in 20 hours of working as a nurse than I did in an entire full-time month as working as pre-k teacher.
Don't give up yet...you've just gotten started and you are in the absolute worst of it. No income plus expensive IOP and drug testing plus any other paid appointments is the most expensive it's going to get. And you are surviving it. In a few months, the IOP expense will be gone and you could possibly be working again.
Just make it through each paycheck of your partner...and if that is too overwhelming, just make it through each day. Get SNAP or any other public or private assistance, including programs for utility bills. They exist and can help. You paid taxes into the system for a long time, now let the system help you when you are down. Get on ACA for insurance...I merely guestimated my earning and got on it for pretty cheap. And it was fantastic insurance.
Temporarily give up things like cable...keep the WiFi and get a cheap $30 flat antennae to hide behind a picture and you will be able to get many cable channels for free (and it's legal). Get a Roku for a one time $35 and pay $11/month for Netflix if you must. It's still cheaper than a $100+/month cable bill. You can always get cable again when things are better. See if you can reduce your cellphone costs...less data, whatever. If the phones are paid for, get a prepaid SIM card, pop it in your phone, and get unlimited text/talk/data for $30 a month thru AT&T. Go back to your regular plan later.
Look at you and your partner's income, budget in your monitoring requirements, and find a way to make that budget stick. Change that budget up every month, because things come up differently every month like car inspections and car taxes, so you need to budget for those too. If you get behind on car payments, keep in touch with the lender. We have two different lenders and they have worked with us being as many as three payments behind...and our cars were never repossessed.
It sounds so overwhelming, and it is. But so is starting over in a brand new field if you hope to come close to your nursing wages. I have a five year program too...I have one year down. It gets better. I'm so glad that I didn't quit nursing when I was trying my best to quit nursing. I've discovered that I now have a job with AMAZING management and coworkers that I don't dread going to, so it makes the drive worth it. My narc restriction drops once the program processes my paperwork, but I like my job and peeps so much that I'm not going to leave it for something closer.
We are rooting for you, whatever your decision is. But please know that you are in the thick of the jungle and it does get better!!!! And hopefully soon! You just have to get creative. Feel free to PM me if you need to vent or ask questions!