PDN... did I commit career suicide

  1. I started working as a private duty nurse in nursing school. I continued to work in the field for years (loved having the flexibility to set my own hours).Now I am wishing/wondering if I have done a huge disservice to myself because I have NEVER worked on the floor. EVER I feel like I know NO skills and I am SO scared/nervous to even attempt getting a job. Any suggestions? I only know trachs/vents and thats about it. I don't know if I could even juggle multiple patients. I am afraid I wouldn't know how to chart or even call a doctor or basic things like setting up IVs...literally I know nothing

    I have been thinking of applying for jobs at local hospitals because I need insurance, among other things. I have PTSD and am scared I wouldn't be able to handle the stress....
  2. Visit AshAveAinRhy profile page

    About AshAveAinRhy

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 5

    18 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    You may not like this advice, but I would suggest you attempt to find a job in a LTC facility to prepare you to transition to a hospital floor. You will certainly learn time management there as well as the basics of medication passes, communicating with doctors, supervising nursing assistants, etc. Work at this job for a minimum of 6 months to a year, then start applying to acute care jobs better prepared to take on your role. And deal with your PTSD and stress problems now. Nothing stops you from beginning a good physical fitness routine today for the added benefit of stress relief. If you must, see your physician regarding this. Best wishes.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    You have skills, they're just specific to your specialty. If you're happy there, don't feel like to have to do something else.
    If you want a job in acute care, it certainly could be a huge jump. I sort of like the plan the last poster came up with.
  5. by   nursel56
    I had worked on acute care floors prior to working in PDN. I was so nervous because I had never taken care of vent-dependent patients before, and if anything were to go wrong, I was all by myself! Oh, there was a Case Manager "just a phone call away". Yes, their voice mail was a phone call away. The actual nurse not so much. I think my experience was definitely valuable in my growth as a nurse.

    Point being, you do have marketable skills. I don't see why you can't pick up the skills and learn the time management required with a typical patient assignment in a hospital or similar setting.

    I would definitely be extra aware of any potential employer's attitude toward orienting new nurses. To maximize your chances of success, I'd shy away from any of those who seem to subscribe to the "sink or swim" philosophy of training new people. Best wishes to you.
  6. by   elijahvegas
    are you looking to work on the floor? if not, what difference does it make? and if you are, you will have several weeks of training before youre actually set loose the floor, so there isn't all that much to be concerned with. itll essentially be like being a new grad all over again
  7. by   AshAveAinRhy
    I guess I would like to work med/surg first. As a PDN I am self employed....so no taxes are taken out, no pension, no health insurance, no shift diff and the rate of pay has not changed in more than 15 years and cases are not close to my house so I have to travel an hour to/from work. In WI there were about 2000 PDNs but its down to about 500 now due to those reasons. I am just afraid of my future. Things that have kept me in PDN is the flexibility to work the days I choose and I can work around my kids....I have 4 kids, 2 are 5 month old twins. So daycare would be costly for 2 infants and I'm not so keen on daycares.

    If there were more PDN cases near me I would be more than happy to keep this as my career. But for the reasons above I am questioning this specialty.

    The hospitals near me offer 1 year nurse residency programs. Any insight as to what that entails?
  8. by   caliotter3
    Why don't you call or visit the facilities and talk to someone who can answer your questions about the residencies, or any other questions you might have? Show your face around and you might make a favorable impression for when the time comes to apply. Ask to shadow a nurse, etc. Either positive, or negative, you will get a feel for what the places are like on a day to day basis.
  9. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from AshAveAinRhy
    I guess I would like to work med/surg first. As a PDN I am self employed....so no taxes are taken out, no pension, no health insurance, no shift diff and the rate of pay has not changed in more than 15 years and cases are not close to my house so I have to travel an hour to/from work. In WI there were about 2000 PDNs but its down to about 500 now due to those reasons. I am just afraid of my future. Things that have kept me in PDN is the flexibility to work the days I choose and I can work around my kids....I have 4 kids, 2 are 5 month old twins. So daycare would be costly for 2 infants and I'm not so keen on daycares.

    If there were more PDN cases near me I would be more than happy to keep this as my career. But for the reasons above I am questioning this specialty.

    The hospitals near me offer 1 year nurse residency programs. Any insight as to what that entails?
    Nurse residency programs are typically reserved for new graduates. If you're not accepted to one, you might be able to negotiate for a longer orientation due to your change in specialty, though.
  10. by   AshAveAinRhy
    I have always wondered if it was possible to shadow a nurse to see if I liked a floor before getting hired/orientation. Is that a "thing" I was thinking school was the only time I was able to shadow somebody. I would LOVE to do that!
  11. by   caliotter3
    Shadowing is common when a person is being introduced to the area where they might work and their potential coworkers; part of the hiring process in many facilities. Doesn't hurt to ask if you can do this.
  12. by   KelRN215
    Quote from AshAveAinRhy
    I started working as a private duty nurse in nursing school.
    How did you work as a private duty NURSE in nursing school? You can't be a private duty nurses until you've finished nursing school and have a nursing license.
  13. by   ProperlySeasoned
    Someone who can indepedently manage trachs and vents would be a great asset to an LTACH. And, since that is a less competative market, you could have a real shot at landing a position.
  14. by   Leader25
    Years ago someone told me "never work just for insurance" ,there was insurance thru ANA etc, look into it.Good luck.

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