Dear Nurse Beth,
I want to just let you know how much I appreciate your insights and dedication to this forum.
I am really struggling with making a decision about what to do with my life right now. I am applying to a few online nurse practitioner programs. I have been a nurse for 13 years and acquired my bachelor's degree immediately. Although my nursing career has not gone as I would have expected it due to my mother getting ill and some other hiccups that occurred. I stayed home when I had a son 7 years ago and have yet to return to full-time employment successfully.
I think I am maybe either just bored or I need to go to school and kind of hit that reset button for life. I have multiple ideas of what I would like to do as a nurse practitioner. I'm interested in doing home health or psych as well as Women' s Health.
My son's father left me about a year-and-a-half ago for another woman. This caused severe emotional pain as well as severe financial pain. My son is just starting first grade and I think I would be making a good decision by attending school.
I definitely don't have the confidence I used to and have experienced extreme bullying in the workforce. I like a lot of aspects of nursing but feel that it is worthwhile to attempt to get my grad degree as a nurse practitioner or even educator. Here is my problem.
My family thinks I'm crazy. They don't understand why I would go back to school for this degree when I could get a good paying job.
It's almost embarrassing to say but in order to be the best I can be and to receive the best feedback from you, honesty is necessary. I have found myself to be a little bit slower in nursing. I am extremely hard on myself and get extremely nervous when talking to other nurses. I worked autonomously for a while as an IV access RN going to different facilities and then also as a home health RN for a very small agency. It doesn't seem that hospitals would like to have me work there as I have not gotten much feedback in that area. Please give me your thoughts or advice.
I don't know what answer I'm looking for but I want to ensure that I make the right decision for my son and my future.
Dear RN or NP,
Let me see if I have this straight:
You worked for 6 years with experience in IV access and Home Health.
You have been unemployed for 7 years.
You are thinking of getting your NP mostly because your nursing career didn't go well, and not as expected. You need to provide for your son, and want a new start.
I don't think your plan of becoming an NP is crazy. The most important concern is identifying any aspects of your performance that contributed to your struggles as a RN. If there are any, and you do not address them, they will crop up again and affect your next job, whether it be RN or NP.
You say you were a bit slower in nursing, are you saying you are cognitively slower than other nurses...or slower to learn because of your insecurities? (related- read Confessions of an Introvert,
Maybe it was more a matter of work setting. Both your personal stress level, and the amount of cognitive stacking you can tolerate can be mitigated by the nursing unit specialty you choose. Most inpatient nursing units are very high stress, and while an NP role in an outpatient setting may be stressful, it is a different kind of stress.
This may be far-fetched, and disregard if so, but many women in bad relationships find their own independence and blossom once they're on their own. Do what you believe is best for you and your son.
Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!