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Unique Situation - Re-entering Nursing

aobf aobf (New) New

REPOSTING TO CORRECT THREAD

I would greatly appreciate some advice...

I am a nurse by trade, receiving a BSN degree in 1997 and working some Respiratory Home care and private duty nursing for 1 year.

I was lured into leaving nursing and take a good job working for a healthcare software vendor. After 17yrs in healthcare IT and entering my early fourties, I'm finding myself looking for a new opportunity, one that is more rewarding. These thoughts are bringing me back to my beginnings, Nursing.

The problem I see infront of me is two fold, getting an opportunity and making enough money to sustain my family's standard of living (my salary is comparable to an working RN with 17yrs experience).

On this forum, I'm looking for advice,comments,feedback on the first issue which is re-entering the nursing field. By the way, I have maintained my RN license. I'm curious if most of you feel this might be a lost cause or an incredible uphill battle not worth fighting.

I'm wondering if trying to get a per diem job at a doctors office as a start and then move to bedside nursing. Use my vacation to take refresher course and apply for per diem bedside nursing or look for FTE with OT.

Lastly, yes - I recognize one of my biggest mistakes was not staying with nursing at least for a few years before moving on. It's hard though when your 23 and offered more money, no OT, salary vs. hourly, travel, etc. LOL

I'd love to hear some thoughts and any suggestions on moving forward.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Well, the nursing situation now is just as bad, if not worse, than it was when you left for greener pastures 17 years ago. Workload is much higher with more operational and technical demands than ever. I hope you stayed in good physical shape - direct care nursing is still physically exhausting.

The nursing profession is characterized by severe salary compression - unchanged over the last 50 years or so. In terms of real dollars, nurse salaries have decreased over the last decade. So, you may have an erroneous idea of what a nurse with 17 years of experience 'should' make... actually, nurse salaries top out very quickly; usually at 5-7 years. After that, it is nearly impossible to have any meaningful increase in wage without a promotion. It is not unusual for new grads to be hired in at the same salary as their much more experienced colleagues.

It's a MUCH different picture in IT, which is associated with consistent career growth & salary increase over the span of a career. But if you're bound and determined to dip back into nursing, the 'take a refresher' and do PRN idea is probably best.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and sharing your insights.

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