Hospital RN 42 yrs, have been retired for three years. My question is should I go back? PRN?? Everyone tells me NO, it's not the same. I miss my patients. Thanks
Don't listen to others but rather listen to your heart and if you are a believer, ask God for His direction. After being away from hospital bedside nursing for more than 10 years (then also in my 40's - mid 40's), and after much prayer, I took a refresher course and went back to my love - bedside emergency room nursing. My previous 10 + years as a Certified Nursing Administrator in Home Health inspired me to make the return to the bedside. I wanted to make a difference in patient care and for the profession. My maturity and past experience gave me the wisdom, the knowledge and the confidence that I needed to achieve many good things. Yes - in the 50 years that I have now been a registered nurse, there has seen a lot of changes for the profession - some good and some not so good. I have also witnessed big changes in the delivery of patient care, again, some good and some not so good, as well as with electronic documentation and diagnostic technology. I have no regrets. I was well respected by my peers, my leadership team and my subordinates and did very well in achieving a lot for the good, not only for the profession but also for patient care. Again - if you are a believer and really feel the Holy Spirit leading you, you cannot go wrong. He will walk along side of you through the good, the bad and the ugly. Best of luck. I'll be praying for you.
No, keep enjoying your retirement
Good lord, no! You got out. Enjoy your retirement. Health care in the US is a disaster and 2+ years of new of grads that barely had in person clinicals (I’ve had a few that NEVER had a real live human patient in school) have made hospitals just plain scary.
That depends on you! I just hired a formerly retired nurse because she was bored at home! She’s wonderful! We really need experienced nurses who can mentor and bring up our newer workforce. Guidance and mentorship is soooo important! I think we miss out on a huge amount of experience when nurses retire fully.
A few hospitals may have rude managers that look at your age and say, "no, you won't be able to keep up.". I had a hiring manager actually say that to me without an in person interview. If you can get an in person interview, do it.
I was in an office as RN Abstractor for the ER for almost 10 years. Got furloughed. Took the furlough as a gift. I hated my lonely job. Took a year off. Was very unsettled. Didn't know what to do next. I was only 56. I wanted more. Tried ltc. Only lasted a month as a unit Manager. Too many meetings. I'm doing 2 jobs now. Per diem at a local surgery center (PACU), and part time at a gastroenterology outpt clinic. It's very freeing from an office. There are slow times at the surgery center. And we always get our breaks. The GI clinic, not so much. I still love teaching, talking with , and knowing I make a difference.
If you have the health and desire to go back, YES! You DO NOT have to go back to the type of nursing your familiar with, look at all the various options there are and find your new niche. After 30+ years of critical care nursing, (ACLS renewal x19 times), I fell into school nursing. I’m amazed at how appreciated I am at the school. There are very nice people to work side by side with, with no Hospital Administrative BS to deal with or condescending co-workers. Work helps keep us on task, in better shape and it allows us to use the gifts be where outfitted with, nurturing and caring.
I think community health is an absolutely perfect place for returning retired PRN positions. So much need and patient interaction is so much more intimate. Skills are usually post-acute and companies are usually pretty flexible on scheduling. Home health was my jam for a long time, but it's a lot of paperwork and hours are garbage. Worth checking into
You may experience age discrimination. It is against the law, but next to impossible to prove. Even though there is an extreme nursing shortage, older nurses, even though their nursing experiences, and their work ethic would put some younger nurses to shame find it difficult to return. Even though they live in areas where they can be dismissed at any time, and without a reason, They have difficulty even getting a chance! Good luck.
If it's truly your calling, go for it. I was out for 10 years and went back. I'm now a home infusion nurse. I can say when and where I want to work. Just a few hours a week. I get such satisfaction and contentment helping others. I also volunteer at a free clinic every Wednesday. I used to dream about nursing and felt guilt not working. Maybe, it's just me.
I left retired (47yrs) and I went back. On my terms. I work per diem and now have started an on line program to help burned out Nurses get the help they need to find tools and strategies to serve from a healed place. We need Nurses and the young ones really need our expertice and experience to guide them. Only we can teach them the power of their gifts. They will need nurturing if we want Nurses caring for us at the end of our lives.
I was away from the bedside more than 10 years, and missed patient care and that 1:1 relationship. However, after 45 years being an RN, I did not miss the hospital and didn't want that work. I took a course in foot care nursing and now I have my own business, see clients on my time, even volunteer at a homeless shelter, and was asked to teach this skill at a local university. I highly recommend it as perfect for healthy, strong, retired nurses. The need for home visits to the growing population of elderly, disabled, and homebound, is great. I get referrals from doctors, home health agencies, hospices, word of mouth, and even podiatrists. I cannot take all the cases that come to me. I love this work, and think I have the best nursing job in the world.
Of course you should, it has not changed, in my opinion. I’m 50 and just graduated and became an RN during the pandemic after being a surgical tech for 23 years.
Yes, prn is fine. Stick to your gut
You should absolutely go for it. If you miss your patients, clearly nursing was your passion. Never mind what people say, you are your own person. You know your strengths. Sure things have changed, such as the way of life. This has been bothering you. I think you know exactly what you should do.
Follow your heart!!! You can always retire again. Right now the healthcare industry need nurses to stay in the workforce. Nurses don't realize but there are millions of things that nurses can do, bedside(probably not) but only 1-2 days a week. Ambulatory clinics and outpatient clinics, etc. I would advice not to go back fulltime but prn or 1-2 days a week gives you the satifaction you need to feel that you are still making a difference. I retired 3 years ago after 46 years as a nurse with a broad background. I went back to work fulltime for a surgery outpatient clinic and it was too much so I retired again. Now I am re branding my legal nurse consultant career as an independent contractor so I can call my own hours. There there are things like school nurse.
Most nurses can not set still after we retire and we return to the workforce---go for it!!!
Why not? If you go back and it's not fulfilling the could just re retire lol. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
I think there is lots of rewarding RN jobs and going back to work is fine but going back to a hospital based job might just be too demanding
If I could afford to retire from nursing I would. Consider yourself priveledged that you can.
I took 7 months off and started at a new place and feel like a new nurse. So be prepared for that unless you’re returning to your former employer.
Do it…. If you miss it and it is your passion then I think you know your answer already. Times have changed and post covid it seems like hospitals are trying to recover from various setbacks like scheduled non- emergency surgeries, etc. We feel overworked and under appreciated when we feel we should be even MORE appreciated, but I remember feeling like that in the ED in the 90’s, so it goes full circle, always. There are so many areas of nursing, and we need people out in the field. There is something for everyone. Do it. You can always change your mind. Best wishes, prayers, and positive energy to you! It’s nice that you reached out. We need to hold each other up❣️
OMG NO!!! Things have changed so much that it will take you a long time to catch up. Enjoy your retirement and volunteer instead...it is on your terms that way!
I wished nursing was nursing but now days it only about charting the way that medicare wants you toin order to get reimbursed, company's don't really care about their employees anymore, they put a lot more responsibilities on 1 nurse. It's overwhelming and you never feel important. PRN positions are hard because you miss important things in between. I say Enjoy Retirement 😊
I would love to connect with you. I have been retired for 1 year from an amazing 46 year career in OB ! I miss the so many things I can’t even begin to tell you. I just don’t feel like I am finished yet. We need to find our place in nursing. I know there is something out there satisfying for us . We just need to keep looking .
I think you should follow your hearts desire. As you know, one of the blessings of the nursing field is the wide range of opportunities. I think you should find an area that you love and see how you can return under your terms. I believe there is a need for experienced nurses to help bridge the gap of the large percentage of newer nurses at the bedside. This will not only help with patent care but will provide a great service to newer nurses who are eager to learn. Best to you.
Hello fellow Veteran Nurse, I am a nurse of 37 years minus 11years not practicing as an RN. Last month I completed my RN refresher course and I am excited to be back. A lot has changed.....but as a veteran nurses funding out fit and where we can do our calling is the bigger goal.
I too missed my patients and used to dream about my patient load, working the floor and med passes. I no longer have those dreams because I'm back.
I hope this helps you.
Hi. This is a great question, especially for nurses like me who will be in the same boat you’re in a few years from now.
Look nursing is a calling. Before we use to value the art of caring but now some (I’m not saying this to be foul) just are chasing money. If you are being called back to work in nursing again then go for it! Yea things have changed but it has gotten better. Your knowledge level is much more superior than the intermediate nurse and you can add value to any place you decide to work in. I feel that newer nurses would benefit from you and so will young and budding charge nurses.
Go back as a PT or PRN and see where it takes you. The only one stopping you is you and the fact that you’re listening to people who may not fully understand how your calling for caring for the sick is…well…calling you to return to your duties!
Stay blessed and safe.
As you can see from most of he responses, the ones encouraging your return to the workforce seem not to have your best interest in mind, but to help the health care system out by teaching young grads and nurses who are inept... I understand your dilemma and if working yourself to death is what makes YOU feel good about yourself, then go for it. Just know that you do it for you as nobody in hospital admin cares in the least..
Go back PRN you need to have flexibility to learn as needed. You have the knowledge, the practice and to be back to the field is easier than you will think. Start on pre op or any field you master before. Homehealthcare has a lot of nursing fields to start on. Utilization review or chart auditing. PRN is good to start your nursing career again.
In PACU, you miss your patients. They are usually out or coming to post surgery or same day surgery. Irregardless, if you miss it then go back.
I know when I retire in 2 weeks I will not miss anything, except some coworkers that I will keep in touch. I have not had patient care and just have been doing administration work for past 7-10 years. The key is to be busy.
I have been an RN 47 years, did floor nursing, critical care, various Head Nurse and DON positions, flight nursing, and Stepdown units. Critical Care is the stepping stone to many supervisory positions. I returned to nursing during COVID as Home Health Nurse working solely with radiation affected clients, 12 hr shifts- 36 hr/wk both with Professional Case Management and currently with Brightmore Healthcare. At age 70, I love the personal attention and teaching I can do with clients and their families.
I am of the opinion that you should do whatever fulfills you and brings joy to each day you're blessed with life. Personally, I am not fulfilled staying home and I missed my patients as well. There are so many different options available in nursing now (cosmetics, telehealth, travel nursing etc.) some of which even offer the ability to self schedule. If you've ever had the curiosity or desire to try another specialty or explore other types of nursing, this may be the perfect time. If you don't like it or find yourself unhappy, you can always go back to retirement. Regardless of whatever politics or nonsense I may deal with during a shift, there always seems to be at least one patient encounter that makes it all worthwhile and reminds me "WHY" I love being a nurse.
I was going to retire, but went back to school after 31 years of bedside ER/ ICU nursing and became a NP who worked Urgent Care and ER……
It’s not the same, health care is abysmal …. There’s no seasoned nurses at the bedside training our young nurses! Please if you have the heart consider returning as a leader!!!
If you are healthy and really miss it I would say yes. Why not if you do not have other things keeping you active. PACU great place variety of patients and conditions I know worked there and gave my CPAN certification. Go for it even if just part time.
I say do what you love!! Going back by choice is so much more enjoyable than when you had to work before you were able to retire!! You sure could add and bring so much of your wisdom, expertise and helping heart to all of the newer, younger staff, I bet it would be really treasured. With PRN I think you would enjoy your patients even more 😊❤️.
THEY MISS YOU AS WELL.
Yes, if you miss your patients you should go back and experience the joy and fulfilment you received from your patients.
If you feel it is right for you then go back to work
How about prepared child birth teaching?
Do whatever you want! Nursing is a passion and once you’ve mastered the care it comes second hand. Just make sure you are taking care of your personal needs first and foremost!
Enjoy this life!
Tracy, BSN, RN, CEN (20 years in)
I can totally relate. I took an early retirement after 34 years to take care of my elderly mother. I really missed the people and patients but not the politics!! It used to be fun and rewarding to go to work but now it’s more about bean counting than providing safe, quality patient care. Now that I am older, educated (BSN, MSN) and have a lot of experience, I find it is definitely more difficult to find a position. I can actually get a job at a dollar store easier lol.
Don't listen to anyone else, follow your heart. I retired and was very unhappy I did. I went back per die for 4 years and then moved to another state. I still want to go back but life circumstances has not allowed me to. God's will, maybe?
Do what you want and don't listen to naysayers.
It’s not the same since Covid. I stepped away from the hospital in July 2020. Our hospital was overrun by Covid and had to expand to double size almost. Staffing was terrible. After my Mom died at my hospital after a nursing error so thought it was a good time to step away. I had taken care of her for 4 years in my home before she died, now I have been taking care of my dad for 5 years since he outlived her. Until 1 month ago he lived with me and I took care of him. He had to go to the hospital and rehab and he is too much for me to do alone now since he has gotten so weak. He is 86. We finally got him into a care center nearby. I worked the hospital for 36 years. And have been employed by the home care agency to be my dad’s family caregiver for 3 years. Our autistic son also graduates from
School last month after needing lots of help from me. I plan to travel for a little bit while I can, I will be 60 next week and now have Rheumatoid arthritis, if Inso go back it will never be the hospital. Maybe home care
Yes go back !!
If you are still in the location of your previous workplace, and left on good terms, reach out to them. See if they are willing to help you transition back. There are also refresher courses available somewhere. PRN is a good start if you dont need the insurance. You can always work more than the requirements. I know a lot of nurses in your age group who have moved to areas like Day Patient, PACU. Fast paced but different kind of stress. Ive been a nurse since 1984. It has changed much, but I still love bedside nursing.
The only way to answer this is to follow your heart. What did patients do for you that you now miss? How can you fill that hole without compromising your soul? I also love nursing and put up with the BS but I'm really looking forward to retirement. Just keep putting it off. I'm slower and have lots of computer program issues. It's getting closer. Members of my family are dropping like flies. Nobody needs me except patients. Maybe volunteering might help.
Why not, please go for it, the fact that you missed bedside shows that you belong there, just choose less rigorous session and lesser working hour, then, you will feel fulfilled and still enjoy your health.
I believe part-time, per diem is for me moving forward.
Stay retired not the same. I've been a nurse 33 years it's high accuities, high patient nurse ratios low pay
but good luck.
I’m my opinion, no decision has to be permanent. If you go back and love it, great. If you hate it, you graciously put in your two weeks notice. You will find more happiness either way. It’s either going to be a great fit, lead you to something else that is a great fit or give you fresh perspective.
Hello. I am in the same boat. I’m 70 and have been “retired” for 1 1/2 years. I miss being a RN and have just had my first interview. So my advice is to follow your heart. I’m doing it! Good luck! Once a nurse, always a nurse.
I went back to work after 1.5 yr retirement. I too missed it. I now work only 2 days a week, but I am very happy to be working again…and knowing i can quit anytime is helpful.
Go back per diem. You will be valued for you knowledge and expertise. You miss the patients, just work when you feel like it. It’s not very much different. If you don’t like it, at least you gave it a shot and answered your question
No, absolutely not. It’s not the same. They are telling you the truth!!!!
Hi! I retied 3 years ago, from in-patient nursing, after having been a nurse for 55 years. After 2 years of not working, I got bored and signed up with a contract agency - because I was born to stay busy and be a nurse. I am now doing private duty home care with one patient. As I had mostly worked with adult patients, the agency checked me off on the skills I needed to be a pediatric nurse. I only work weekends. I don't need the money. I work because I want to. It is very satisfying. I would advise you not to go back to working in a hospital.
Based on your statement " I miss my patients", you sound like you are a caring nurse since this is what you miss doing. When you have genuine care on what you do, things might appear different from what you were used too but genuine care plus flexibility will get you back on track. May the force be with you!
Yes!!! Even if it is part time. I was out of clinical for many years. Hard getting back to SICU. HARDER getting the hours I had and the place I wanted if I had stayed in-house. Even if it is once a month, stay clinically active (unless you’re teaching then that’s different).
Nevertheless, do what is GREAT for you at THIS time in your life.
Good luck with your decision and journey.
My 2 cents... nope. You're out. Enjoy it! Stay busy and active doing something else. Something relaxing and fun. If I were in your place, I'd bid nursing a fond and final farewell and not look back.
Hospital RN 42 yrs as well. Retired 3 months ago & thinking of going back part time. I too miss patient care, interaction with families & staff & administrative duties. True it’s not the same, but it’s a love that is ingrained in us.
Consider a group practice or an urgicare center. I taught nursing for 18 years and your colleagues are right - hospital practice is not the same and has changed a lot since Covid came to town. Out-patient opportunities will give you the patient contact that you enjoy.
Why so you have to listen what people say. Why can’t you do what you want to do….. If this is something you want to do, try it out!!!!. If you don’t like it then leave and do something else. NO, it is not the same, but you are you and you make the decisions. Have fun being a mentor, teacher, supporter and I am sure more.
What do YOU want to do? There goes your answer.
No. It’s just gotten worse n worse with staffing. If you want or feel need try Hospice. You can then take care of patients and their families
While I would never return to hospital nursing, you might or might not be happy. You can try it and if its no longer a good fit, you don't have to continue... PerDiem rates should be higher and you give them your availability ...you choose when you work.... You can always leave... Good luck.
I think it depends in what area you return to. Yes, it's different but our patients always need a good experienced nurse.
sure, why not..i am 47 running 48 this year. i just took my board and passed this year... you can opt for a lesser stress workplace.
If you put in 42 yrs and have been retired for 3, it is likely that you will find joy somewhere else other than bedside nursing. Have you ever considered helping people to become financially healthy?
PRN you can work when it's convenient for you. Maybe consider working at an Urgent care? Something less strenuous?
Absolutely not!! It’s so much harder…still lacking the proper staff. The good times are gone.
I've been a nurse for 56 years and never plan on retiring.
There are plenty of satisfying, non-hospital jobs available where you'd have less 'political' stuff to deal with and can concentrate on your patient and the care you want to give.
I have been a nurse for almost 30 years and it’s not the same as when you started. You only missed Covid !! Seems like u took a break and you are ready to make a come back . But you have seen a lot . Not much has changed we are not masking now . All those nurses who graduated during Covid didn’t have clinicals like we did . You have all that knowledge !!! Share it !!! Just pick a place that will make u happy . Start off prn . If nursing is calling go for it !!! 😃
I do believe you should follow your heart. There are many opportunities for FT of PT work for you choose to from. You might look into other nursing areas outside your specialty. For me? I wanted a different experience and am working 2 days a week for Boston DUCK Tours as a ConDUCKtor. Extremely different from anything I have ever done. My colleagues are all actors or comedians. But I completed the strenuous orientation and am now giving tours of Boston on a WW 2 amphibious vehicle. Choose what makes you happy!
I say go for it. It might be demanding but it’s rewarding and fulfilling too. If you try it and don’t like it, you can always stop. Nothing is permanent. Honestly, sometimes it’s also the people/team you work with that can make the difference too. Then the reward is doubled. Best of luck. Always follow your passion.
I say as long as they’re willing to give you proper training so that you are up-to-date on anything that has changed in the last three years. PRN is a great way to go. You can pick up as little or as much as you want once you’ve met the requirement. the money is good and if you miss your patients, you can be back to patient care plus it gives you some thing to do out of the house. I would not want to go back full-time if I were you but I think PRN is an awesome way to do it.
Yes, go back PRN or per diem. Unless you travel a lot, it will keep you young. Plus once a nurse always a nurse
Absolutely, go back, because that will be your decision, once you actually return to nursing every single thing will be everybody else's decision. (Choose Wisely)
It was scary for me to return to bedside nursing (PACU) after having a role in administration. But, hands down.. it makes no difference what role you have in nursing, because it’s a career full of blessings, blessings for us nurses and the patients.
I have same issue. Loved Nursing. Looking at returning prn.
Yes ..... go per diem...why not..... I will never fully retire as you I love my job!
Nothing is ever the same; however, that does not mean it is necessarily bad.
I'm a believer as well, but probably too outspoken....maybe a little harsh. However, I've just experienced what you described. I got back into floor nursing over two years ago from taking a three year break. I am also in my early fifties. I can tell you for a fact that if you are feeling this desire to go back into nursing I'm sure it's because God is calling on his nurse children to get into the battle because crap is about to get "real" and more and more people are in need of His word. Especially the sick. Compassion is becoming a missing part in our healthcare system. I pray over my patients. God will put it on my heart specific ones too. I'm telling you I have seen miracles and he used my hands as the conduit. God did it. Without his believers in the hospitals those miracles will be less and less.