View Full Version : Life after ER?

08-03-2007, 06:35 PM
Are there any ex-ER nurses out there, who have found happiness and fulfillment in another venue? Not only is my stamina failing for 12+hr. shifts on concrete floors, but my body's betraying me, too. I had a hip replaced 4 yrs. ago, and never regained normal strength and gait. Then, I fell & fractured that femur distal to the prosthesis on May 31st. Add to these the MVP that routinely sends me into bigeminy with minimal exertion, and worsening chronic knee problems, and I question whether or not returning to ER is something I can - or want - to do; even if I manage to pass the physical when my disability runs out.

And yet... What else is there that satisfies the way ER nursing does? I love the flexibility in my schedule, and not being locked into a "M-F, 8hrs./day, weekends & 2wks. off per year" job. I love working only 3 days per week, for fulltime benefits. I love the fact that every day is different. I love being able to intervene for patients in a way that produces positive, here & now results. I love the autonomy of my position. I love having relationships of friendship and mutual trust with my doctors (I haven't addressed one as Dr. Last Name in 15yrs.). What other nursing role can begin to compare with all that?

I keep flipping between stages in the grieving process; I say that as I see it, for the first time. I have another 15yrs. or more to be gainfully employed as a nurse, and it looks like I'm going to have to learn to love doing it some other way.

Sign me, "Open to Suggestion"...

08-03-2007, 11:16 PM
You're right, if you are an ER nurse, you are an ER nurse; nothing else seems to "fit" right for you. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you or the right answer, but I don't.

Recently, I went from full time to part time. Our ER is so short that I can pick up all sorts of time if I want to do so. I don't know if that is an option for you, but it sure has helped me. I work 2 - 8 hour shifts and pick up 8's or 12's as "I" want to. It's made a difference for me. To be honest, most weeks I work more than I used to, but it's on my terms and that has made a big difference.

I hope you find a solution soon. ER nurses are a special breed; who else would be as crazy?

08-04-2007, 12:06 AM
Hello my fellow nurse :)

I have no conceptions of making your transition easier for you, nor do I know if what I am about to suggest is even an option in your region. However, I will plod ahead :eek:

An option for you to consider is a Clinical Liaison position with a large SNF/NF, HHA, Infusion or Hospice/Palliative Agency. I was an ED RN as well, prior to burning out (rather early, for reasons that had more to do with the frustration of living in an area that had little trauma/action than anything else). I accepted a position with a company that owned/managed 20+ SNF/NF across my state. I work at a large local hospital as my primary work site, additionally, I am also the Clinical Liaison Coordinator for my company and oversee five other CLs.

My primary responsibility is to assess referrals for admission to my facilities. Every day is different, there is so much flexibilty in scheduling and I am able to use my assessment skills on a daily basis. I could certainly elucidate more on the job overall, but I don't want to go on if you are not interested :)

I would strongly suggest with your skill set, if this position is something you are interested in pursing, you contact the larger SNF/NF in your area (Kindred, Genesis, Apria, NE Home Care, etc) or a local/regional company that has a number of individual facilities.

Good luck, please contact me further if you have questions. I can't adequately express the level of my job satisfaction and it excites me to introduce others to it!!!

Take care,


08-05-2007, 12:18 PM
Thank you to My Own Woman and DivaRN for your thoughtful responses to my post. I appreciate your supportiveness! -R.

08-27-2007, 06:09 PM
Have you thought about PACU. You will still have 12 hr shifts but the physical aspect would be less taxing for you. Many a critical nurse has move to our recovery room for that very reason.

09-04-2007, 02:14 PM
Now there's a career path that I've never thought of! I have often wondered about PACU, though...

09-15-2007, 09:39 PM
I'm a paramedic that is graduating from nursing school this december. I am full time on an ambulance and fill in part time in the ER. The ER has offered me a position as an RN. I hear where you're coming from, I am a fellow trauma junkie. With my experience I've found that I am more comfortable with death than most. Have you thought of Hospice? I find it an honor to be with someone and to comfort a family at the time of death. It definately takes a certain kind of person.
Home health has a lot of autonomy as well.

09-30-2007, 06:23 PM
Maybe forensic nursing? Lots of avenues there - death investigations, SANE, etc. YOu could still get the "thrill" of some trauma but a lot less physically taxing.