July 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM #7709
Jason Hautala RNMember
In several threads I have heard the argument that if you are burned out and don’t care enough about your patients to put their needs first, then you should get out of nursing and do something else. My question is, what is a burned out nurse supposed to do? I’m not burned out (yet) but if I were, what could I possibly do with this skill set that would pay the bills? I’m step 17 on the union contract at the hospital. The cut in pay to even leave the hospital and move to a PCP office would be more than my bills would allow. What professions are there in which a burned out nurse could move over without a drastic cut in pay? I know several people that feel like they have worked themselves into a corner and don’t know what to do. They no longer enjoy what they do, but they can’t afford to do anything else.
What can a burned out nurse do and still pay the bills?July 9, 2013 at 5:00 AM #7729
I don’t really have a great answer to your question. However, check out “Nursing Habits” (http://www.nursinghabits.com/about/)…blog from a South African nurse who got burnt out and became a “nurse entrepreneur.” (Mostly on-line blog/web design/etc.) She also pokes fun at the holier than thou responses to being burnt out (i.e. “Nurses shouldn’t be looking for money, they should be doing nursing out of the goodness of their hearts and as a service to humanity.”) Uh–I call BS. Sure, it isn’t a great motivation to go into nursing solely for the job security or the paycheck, but most of us wouldn’t last long without either! I have only been an RN for 1 year and 5 months (after many years of CNA work). Like I say (carefully and to a particular crowd), I would have quit a long time ago if it wasn’t for my co-workers, the paycheck, and the schedule. That doesn’t mean I am ONLY working for those things, but yeah…it helps retain me. When I truly feel I am giving excellent (and safe) patient care, that also makes me remember why the hell I went into this career…but excellent and safe patient care days are unfortunately not commonplace due to staffing, etc. etc.
I know the options for non-bedside nursing are varied. One of my co-workers worked as a nursing IT person (in many cases there are sign-on bonuses for these positions, at least in my geographical area), then after 7 years she came back to bedside nursing. Think she must have another degree in computer/information systems, etc. (unsure). Case managers/care coordinators are also in high demand in my area and many of these positions are held by either social workers or nurses. Not sure about the pay for care coordinators, but I think the IT positions pay well. I know others who only work part-time (no benefits) but have other, unrelated jobs to supplement…I am okay with my position for a while (but certainly not the 25+ years some have been doing it)…going back to school is always another option (nursing educators obviously in high demand, NP, etc. etc.) There are options, I just don’t think many of them are that obvious or “easy” to get yourself into?
Anyway, great topic.July 10, 2013 at 4:38 AM #7744
You could do nursing. Alls from home where you work for an insurance agency or workmanship comp to help patients get the care they need ect. You could work for a lawyers office and do chart auditing and help figure out if nurses were negligent and deserve to be sued. You could teach (which I think you could be great at btw) , you could do management, ugh, you could do case management, you could do risk management. The bedside part of nursing (dealing with those lovely pts and managers) is what i believe burns nurses out. There is no winning at times very frustrating, and with value based purchasing hitting the scene it’s going to get worse. Praying for us all.July 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM #7870
I want to go back to school for IT or computer science, but it seems that with a BSN I’m stuck I don’t even know how to transition.
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