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Nurses with RA...what did you do after bedside nursing?

I have a lot to give and want to work- right now hands are impeding my current job and nursing is so fast paced. I work officially PT in hospital but in realty full time- I help my mom as she gets older.

What kind of jobs have other nurses done after they can’t spike IV bags or unscrew IV tubing? Tell me I’m not alone!

  1. Hi KatTang!
    I am a fellow RN and I hurt for you. What I have done in my career is adapt as I go. There are 2 paths you can follow. 1) Since you are currently working in a hospital, you would have a good chance of obtaining social security disability. 2) Because you mention wanting to work and give, you might want to adapt as you go.
    2 is the route I chose. I first switched to Home health care. (Not infusion therapy). The next switch was to case management. I tried telephone triage for a while, but it was too fast paced and the typing was hard on my hands. The next switch was to public health. That worked well. I do not recommend school nursing---I ended up with a flare that put me on short-term disability for 4 months.
    I have been working for 8 years as a faith community(parish) nurse at a local church. It is my favorite job in almost 34 years of nursing. Some positions pay, some do not. I am fortunate that mine does. I spend much time in visits, consults, referrals, and education. The church has been very understanding of my medical conditions and allowed me to flex time as needed.
    I wish you all the best in your search.
    Gentle hugs and blessings.
    Mary Sophia Hawks, moderator/author

    1. Funny! I was a school nurse! I have been on medical leave for a year since my diagnosis. There was no way I was going to compromise the safety of my children who needed me to get to them quickly when they were having a medical emergency. I had too many fragile children all over the school building. It was too much to try to juggle when I was also going through getting diagnosed and having excruciating pain and swelling 24/7. I’ve been waiting to see if some medication actually helps but so far... nothing has and I just keep getting worse. My labs all came back negative for RA but positive for ANA and CRP and ESR. So right now the rheumatologist only diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis but feels there’s more going on with me. (Worsening symptoms). I cannot get social security disability because I’ve only worked at a school that doesn’t take social security out. Luckily I had disability insurance with the school.

      1. AKennedy,
        School nursing is not for the faint of heart! I had 3500 students between two schools. 8 new diabetics and more fragile kids than I realized. I'm glad you had disability insurance.
        Gentle hugs,
        Mary Sophia

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