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On disability for past 4 yrs.; trying to get nursing job


Specializes in behavioral health.

I have been on disability for past four yrs. for autoimmune disease called sarcoidosis. I have been stabilized on meds and no flare-ups in the past two years.

I did not get into nursing until I was 40. I passed boards March 1997. My first job was actually in nursing home. I did not last long at all. After a few months, I quit. I was only working two days a week. I had 50 pts., and on my days off, I would be in bed from exhaustion. I was overwhelmed. I swore no more LTC.

From July 1998 to November 1999, I worked in a drug rehab. I lost job due to the unit closing.

From July 2000 to June 2004, I worked in psychiatric hospital. I worked with adults, children, adolescents and elderly. When we had the geri-patients, I did enjoy it. I can't recall how many pts. that we had. I think it was about 15 on average. Depending on acuity, we had one or two aides/techs, one LPN and the charge RN on unit. I was able to handle it, and it was seldom overwhelming.

I had a flare-up of my sarcoid in 2004 and left to go disablity. I was in and out of hospital for few years. However, as stated earlier, I have been stable and am ready to return to work. Unfortunately, I don't feel qualified to do many jobs in nursing. My background is in behavioral health. I would love to do home health or hospice nursing. However, I do not feel that I am qualified for these positons, yet. I was thinking of maybe trying nursing home, again. But, only two days a week. My goal is to acquire some skills, so I can get into home health or hospice in a year. I have applied to one and am checking out a few. If the pt. ratio is not overwhelming, I am willing to give it a try. But, part of me is petrified of landing a job like my first job out of nursing school. When I worked at psych facility, we had an excellent team.

Does anyone have chronic illness and working in LTC? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

elprup, BSN, RN

Has 2 years experience.

Hi, I am actually graduating from nursing school this may and wondering the same thing you are! I am currently on Social Security for a chronic pain condition and have been wondering if I will be able to handle nursing as a career? I totally love nursing....and everything about it...but like you I get sooo tired and end up in bed for a whole day after working 2 days in a row. Plus take care of my kids and life. My pain is pretty well managed (I am soo thankful for that!) but like you I wonder too.

I actually talked with my pain doc about it today! He said we'll get through it, just like we always have. LIke you, I have to find the right job!

Here in CA, before graduation we get to take an extra class so that we'll be able to get our Public Health Nurse Licenses after our NCLEX. Maybe that is something you should look into, I am thinking about doing PHN as a job - working through my local county. They pay well too and have great benefits here. Check it out. You can also do home health with that license too (I think?).

Best of luck.



Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele/Acute Rehab.

Stumbled on this recently. May not be your cup of tea, but I thought I'd share.


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