Retired, now what? - page 3

I have worked 29 years as an RN and am now retired due to a medical issue. How do I adapt? I so miss the giving of care, the day to day emergencies, the (yes) charting. Nursing was so much a part... Read More

  1. by   red2150
    I retired 3 yrs ago and did prn nursing until September 2011 when I totally retired. I have inherited twin boys who are now 12 yrs old. The financial burden is getting more each year and I need to go back to work part-time to supplement my income. I feel like I still have a lot to offer but don't want to go back to bedside nursing. I am an RN and worked 33 yrs. I have done house supervision, ER nursing, Maternal Child nursing and house supervision. I do not want more than 2 days a week. I will also work two 4 hr shifts if needed. I have thought about doing relief work, either at a clinic or school nursing but don't know how to find these type of jobs. Does anyone know how I can get started. I have also taught fetal monitoring for a couple of yrs.
    Last edit by red2150 on Dec 31, '11 : Reason: repetitive
  2. by   Mulan
    I'd go to Walmart and be a greeter.

    You'll get paid and you can use your interpersonal skills dealing with the customers.
  3. by   sweetnurse63
    May God bless you financially and physically. You really do have the heart of a nurse and this profession was blessed to have you for all of those yrs. I know that it isn't easy giving up something that you love to do, but hang in there and try to do some things that you can enjoy.
  4. by   sjoe
    Quote from sueff
    I have worked 29 years as an RN and am now retired due to a medical issue. How do I adapt? I so miss the giving of care, the day to day emergencies, the (yes) charting. Nursing was so much a part of my sole, my being. The first 18 years in peri-natal, the last 11 years in Alzheimer's - dementia and geriatrics. Two years ago I was one of the 25% to survive a ruptured brain aneurysm.

    No one would hire me. Retirement was abrupt. I able to admit now that physically and mentally I am no longer able to nurse. It has taken 2 long years for me to recognize this.

    The prognosis was not good. Plans were being made to put me in a nursing home. With my stubborn nurses's will I refused. I am now self sufficient physically, not financially. The facilities I worked in had no retirement, no 401k. There is no compensation for all the years I gave my time, my family time, my week ends and holidays. I wound up with mega-bills even after insurance payments. I get by..barely on social security.

    My biggest problem is that I so miss caring for people. I miss giving my eight hours of love and concern to my patients. I miss procedures that are so routine to those of you still on the floor. I miss little things like starting IVs, monitoring wounds, seeing a short moment of lucidity in a Alzheimer's - dementia patient. I miss creeping into a elderly patient's room at the end of the shift, just to hold their hand and smooth their forehead. I miss the trusting smile.

    I was able to care for two friends in their terminal last days as a nurse. I kept them in their own homes for their last days. That was my goal. I would not have had this opportunity if I were still working. I was also able to use my long embedded nursing skills to save two lives in odd places.

    What do I do now..just sit and watch TV. Play on the computer, knit? I know I still have the skills, the love in my heart for nursing, but the physical, mental, endurance is gone. The loss of nursing is almost at devastating as the loss of a loved one.

    Those of you just starting out in your profession, know this...You may have bad shifts, become frustrated with "the system" burned out...what ever the term... looking back, it was all worth it.

    Just tell me what is there for me to do now????
    Welcome to the real world.

    You are right, we don't get taken care of, no pension, small 401(k) if any, etc. unless you happened to have worked for only one company the entire time AND they had a good pension plan (like the VA does).

    I, too, live on social security only and it can be done, particularly if your total income is low enough that you qualify for HUD housing. Here are a couple sites to check out, if that is the case: and

    There comes a point where remaining in mounring/grieving a loss is NOTHING but destructive. If the volunteer opportunities others have suggested, and perhaps, pastoral nursing with some local religious organization, are not suitable, it may well be time to LET GO.
  5. by   sjoe
    Quote from nursegirl75
    With your experiences, why don't you work at the call center as a call nurse? There are hospitals like Kaiser that has call centers, where patients call nurses who help guide the patient with diagnosis or help the patient book appointments with doctors. My school did a rotation there and it was amazing.

    many of the nurses there had years of experiences and didn't want to do bed-side nursing anymore so they used their nursing knowledge at the call center. The nurses there are so relaxed and enjoy what they were doing.
    Been there, done that. My experience with Kaiser as a call center nurse was anything but relaxing, but within corporate limitations, one could work as few as 20 hours/week (which I did).
  6. by   lightspirit
    i, too, was forced to retire medically, very abruptly. the grieving process is all-to-real. [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]at one time i was physically deteriorating and began telephone triage as my "last ditch" effort to continue working. although i missed the hands-on, i found much satisfaction with helping patients on the phone. then i landed in the hospital and never was able to return to work. along with all of my other physical problems, i am now blind. i am a widow, so the struggle financially has been great. i wish i could comfort you somehow, but i know that i had to go through the grieving process in my own time, for the loss of my career. the loss of my career was just as devastating as the loss of a loved one. it's been a year and a half now, and i still struggle. it's not easy, after being so independent, both physically and financially, for so long...and then....boom. all i can say is that i feel your pain, and hope that you can find something to fill the void of wanting to care for someone. i try to do something every day, no matter how small, to let someone know i care. sending cards, emails, etc. to friends, family, etc. helps. forgetting about myself and finding someone who is hurting, to send an email, just be a support to someone....helps. these are little things, but i have found it does fill the void. i have learned to appreciate every precious moment....what appears to be mundane can contain inspiring moments, if you look hard enough. i hope you are able to find some satisfaction in your days ahead, and will be able to reflect on those moments in time when you cared for patient's with great appreciation. those moments made a difference in someone's life. you made a difference, and that has not changed. you still have the ability to make a difference in someone's life today. there is still someone hurting who needs you. i wish you peace.
  7. by   casper1
    The facility I work at has a phone triage unit. Nurses who work on these units facilitate patient transfers from Doctors office or other facilities to the Hospital. They make sure the correct paper work is in order nd that important test have been completed. They Also make phone calls to discharged patients checking on their well being. With your years of experience you would be great at something like this.
  8. by   CJ NV
    That's a very difficult question to answer as far as I'm concerned because I'm still trying to find out for myself what I should do after I got put on permanent disability retirement due to a progressively worsening Retinitis Pigmentosa(RP).I asked my retinal specialist that same question and what she told me was"Do the things that you like to do".I missed working as a nurse for sure but just have to accept the fact and the reality that my nursing career is over after 30+ yrs.Being disabled doesn't mean life will cease to exist.It's just another turning point in our lives that one door closes but another door opens to to a whole new and different perspecive in life that is yet to be explored.There's a lot of support and resources out there,all we have to do is believe in ourselves that we can do this and reach out.Right now,I can use my computer with adaptations and trying to find some re training programs but most of all I'm enjoying quality time with my support ive family...Hope this helps in some ways and thank you for this forum and this awesome site.God bless...
  9. by   Dalzac
    I have been doing the monitor tech thing now for 9 months. I just love it! Sometimes I miss hands on care, but I just can't physically do it. They have gotten sick of me saying how much I love coming in to work. But in my first evaluation I was told I have made a difference in morale and got a nice fat raise