^^^^^ Not quite. Many nursing students or new nurses will start their posts off by asking what field/specialty or position offers the highest amount of pay for the least amount of stress. I'm not trying to find the holy grail, I know that might mean a pay cut and I'm fine with that. I figured I'd give a little background information to help see what might better fit my personality type. I'm not looking for stress-free, just something that is lower stress. I'll try to be as concise as possible....
BACKGROUND: Recently graduated and licensed, BSN-RN, working on a med/surg floor for a few months now (
Time management- It's an acquired skill that I am still struggling with, as I assume most new-grads are, but I feel like I get flustered easily when something unexpected happens -which is completely opposite to my personal life where I can throw myself into completely unexpected/unknown situations, improvise and thrive. In the clinical environment, however, if something happens that I didn't plan for (patients being extra needy when I'm in the room, IVs going bad or being pulled out since we have to do our own IVs, IV pumps or other equipment not functioning properly, etc) I take too much time trying to solve the problem and then start worrying about how much time I'm wasting or how behind I'm getting and then my capacity to critically think decreases.
Other stressors- I don't want to become bitter or dislike people because of how whiny, needy, deceitful or otherwise difficult they can be. During nursing school rotations, all the nurses on any unit I had ever visited looked haggard and aged and I know it's because of the stress. I've been noticing I have less patience at home lately as well. Lately I've been starting to look at my patients and their needs as a series of tasks, hoping they don't need anything extra so that I can get my other stuff done. I don't want that, I truly care about people which is why I question whether or not I'm right for this environment, that my patients deserve someone better and that I should just step aside and let someone more capable take my place. I don't feel like I'm able to perform the care I want to deliver. I feel like I just complete a series of tasks until the shift is over. Additionally, I'm visually impaired and although I have found ways to accommodate myself, it does slow me down a little.
Strengths- I have been told by professors, clinical instructors, and preceptors that I have excellent written and verbal communication skills; I speak to patients with empathy, I'm good at quickly establishing rapport, I am bilingual, I don't mind a potentially threatening environment (like the prison or psych), I'm compassionate, I don't mind physical labor (although repositioning bariatric patients in bed is not ideal) and I'm willing to learn/try anything.
Goal: I'm simply looking for a lower stress area of nursing that is attainable for a new grad with only a few months under his belt. I know that some specialties that are lower stress pay less, I'm okay with that (within reason of course). I'd like something that is full-time or close to it, that I can at least make about 35-40k a year and lower stress than what I'm doing now.
Areas that I've considered
Psych and/or behavioral health- I was good at it in school (the class portion anyway, I didn't have a very good clinical; not a whole lot of patient interaction)
urgent care- seems like it might be nice, but they probably wouldn't take a new grad
school nursing- seemed very low stress during my clinical, but not my first choice
OR- I read a post saying it was nursing's best kept secret even though you really have to know your stuff. I wonder if being visually impaired would be more troublesome here since there are likely many pieces of equipment that look nearly exactly the same, I don't know.
ICU- I don't really consider this low stress, but since a lot of my stress comes from time management, maybe not juggling as many patients might help? I don't know, I was pretty intimidated by it in school so who knows.
Community health/clinic- So far this is what I've been gravitating towards the most lately. most patients are non-emergent, I can do a lot of patient teaching and therapeutic communication, I'm bilingual and I can feel good about impacting my community. Downside is that other than maybe vaccinations, I don't get to keep my clinical skills up, which I might be okay with, I haven't decided.
Home health- I've heard a lot of mixed things about this.
CDC- a long time ago, a recruiter came to my college talking about how RNs work for the CDC in a different role than the bedside; haven't looked much into in since. Maybe someone out there knows and can shed more light?
Cosmetics- Yes, I know I want to help people, but if this provides me the best work-life balance, I'd be willing to consider it. I've heard some people making more in cosmetics than the hospital, then I could always volunteer on my off days to get my fix for helping people
Hospice- Another one I've heard mixed things about.
Correctional- I enjoyed a rotation there in school, but most of the prisons are so far from me that they would not be my first choice. I already drive an hour to work because of traffic (and it's only 30 min away).
Doctor's office- This one is highly dependent on the individual office which makes it hard to pin down. Most likely the lowest pay.
Occupational health- not sure if this is a niche thing that might be hard to get into
Pharmaceutical/medical sales- Another one that I hear is hard to get into
Insurance companies- Another one that probably requires years of experience.
Well, sorry for the novel. I'm interested in what you guys have to say