I started college to pursue a second career right around my twin’s first birthday. By the second grade the twins would repeatedly gang up on me (any parent who has twins can relate to being ganged up on). They would demand to know why I choose nursing as a career.
The complaints of the twins went something like this… “Really mom, why would you choose to work at night and sleep during the day? I hate your job, you always work holidays and weekends. All you do is sleep! The fake holidays we have aren’t the same as celebrating on the real holiday.” (Hospital nurses; you know what I am talking about, the random day that you set aside during the week of a holiday to celebrate because you are working the real holiday.)
Of course, I would explain to the twins the logic of someone had to work nights and holidays. People are sick and need help. The world needs nurses. The twin’s complaints continue… “Yes mom, we know that people need nurses but why does it have to you? We need you at home to take care of us! Let the nurses that don’t have kids work!”
Oh, and my all time favorite was “Mom, can you pretty please, go be a school teacher instead of a nurse? They get off all summer long, and don’t work holidays or weekends. Also, they get off early every afternoon!” In their second grade wisdom, as they shake their heads at me, they declared “The smart choice would have been to be a school teacher!”
Instead of remembering the holidays and school functions that I was able to attend, they focused on the times that I missed due to nursing. Before you judge the twins too harshly, remember that young children are egocentric by their very nature. They just wanted their mom at home with them and be there for the important times in their life.
The twins realized over the next couple of years, as their thinking matured, that part of being employed by someone else was to do what you were told. You worked the schedule you are given. After all, they had to listen to their teacher at school and do what they were told. It made sense that I did too.
Furthermore, as time past, the kids realized that their verbal complaints were a lost cause. However, I grew dissatisfied. I began to see the cumulative effect of how full time hospital bedside nursing was affecting my family. Being bedside was great but not at the expense of my family’s needs. The experiences that I was missing with my family due to full time bedside nursing began to bother me. I knew that working PRN was the answer to fulfilling my need for bedside nursing.
Furthermore, over the years I would talk to my co-workers about how nursing affected their family unit. Most nurses were desperately searching for an alternative to bedside hospital nursing due to burn out or the lack of life-work balance. A few nurses said full-time hospital nursing as a career worked great for their family.
But mostly I heard this: Nurses that had children entering college would beg their children not to enter the nursing profession if their child was considering this major. Then there were the nurses that were children of nurses (pushed into nursing by their parents) that had every intention of only working part-time or a clinic job to make sure their children did not resent them as they resented their parent that was a nurse.
The moral of my lived experience is this: Dissatisfaction with a job such as hospital nursing is not a reason to pursue nurse entrepreneurship. There are many choices and careers in nursing if you are unhappy with bedside nursing. The list of different jobs available to nurses away from the bedside is exhaustive.
Do you love bedside nursing, but want to be available to focus on yourself and your family? By spending less money, and focusing on accumulating experiences instead things, may enable you to work PRN or part-time. Don’t ignore the needs of yourself or your family. If you need help and are burnt out with bedside nursing seek help with a professional. Patient care suffers when nurses are burned out at the bedside.
The decision to make a change and pursue happiness is your personal responsibility. Don’t ”reason” like a second grader and blame it the profession of nursing. (Yes, I realize that the work environment of hospital nursing needs sweeping positive changes made but don’t hold your breath. You are not in control of others, only yourself.) Instead assess the choices you have made by not seeking alternative employment and the need for change.
The need to leave bedside nursing is not a reason to become a nurse entrepreneur. Alone the “need” to escape the bedside, will not be enough to sustain you, or lead to a successful career as a nurse entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur brings a whole different set of challenges that are not for the faint of heart.
The desire to be an entrepreneur comes from within. To be a successful nurse entrepreneur you must have the insatiable need, patience, and knowledge to build a business from the ground up and watch it grow into a success. This need must be what fuels your fire to pursue nurse entrepreneurship; the dissatisfaction with bedside nursing can only fan the flames.