Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

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Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby IanN » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:55 am

Hi-

I have been practicing the for a few years now, and have been lucky enough to have several opportunities to pursue retreat practice, in addition to my daily practice. I am interested in finding work that will allow me the income and flexibility to pursue long term retreat practice frequently.

After a few years of trying different jobs, I have began pursuing a degree in nursing. I am interested in the potential for nursing as “right livelihood,” having the opportunity to help others, as well as being continually confronted with impermanence.

On top of that, it seems that nursing might be the type of flexible career that would allow me to work for a while, saving up money, and then pursue long-term retreat for several months or years, with the ability to get a job relatively soon after leaving retreat.

Has anyone here heard of or had these sorts of experiences? Does this sound like it could work?

Thanks for your help,

Ian
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:57 am

:hello:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

Which type of nursing? If it is as a Registered Nurse, I have heard that they are paid very well, especially in comparison to how much education is needed (probably the "best bang for your buck") with only about two years of schooling beyond high school.

If it is as an RN, the pay probably could be high enough that you could work straight for about 3 months and then take extended breaks if you are careful with the money as it comes in.
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby Reductor » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:12 am

David N. Snyder wrote::hello:

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

Which type of nursing? If it is as a Registered Nurse, I have heard that they are paid very well, especially in comparison to how much education is needed (probably the "best bang for your buck") with only about two years of schooling beyond high school.

If it is as an RN, the pay probably could be high enough that you could work straight for about 3 months and then take extended breaks if you are careful with the money as it comes in.


Do you guys have Licensed Practical Nurses in the US? Here in Canada LPN is 2 years, and RN is 4.

Pardon the off topicness of this. I'm just curious.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby IanN » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:38 am

Hi and thanks for the replies and advice.

Yes, I am pursuing a RN, which is a 2 year degree. However, in order to enter the RN program, you need about 1-2 years of college level prerequisites. There are Bachelor's degrees in nursing available too, but take 4 years, and lead to an RN. Pay is only slightly better for BSN than a ASN (2 year), but you have more opportunities for advancing into administration etc. That's what I've heard, at least.

There are LPNs here (Called Licensed Vocational Nurses or LVNs), the education is quicker, but the pay is not as high.

Thanks again,

Ian
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:24 am

What I am going to say will assume being an RN. Nothing is ever easy, except maybe falling off a log. Nursing schools tends to be difficult in that they try to weed out “poor candidates.” Assuming you graduate, then what? Where to work? If you want to work in such away as to make money then have extended time off for retreats, a travelling nurse agency would be a good, if not the best, way to go. The pay is good and they will often supply housing at no or reduced cost, especially if you go over seas. You would be committed to a job for 3 to 12 months and then be free. BUT to be hired for such an agency you would likely be required to have two or – better - more years of hospital experience on a medical or surgical floor, and specialized training is a big plus (the more of it the better), especially ICU (intensive care unit) experience.

Working in a hospital for a few months or a year then quitting with long periods of non-employment does not look so good when looking for a new job, which is why a travelling nurse agency is a plus.

There are also local nursing agencies where you work in an on-call basis or a monthly basis without long commitments. In big cities you can make a lot of money that way, but again the more experience you have, the better, which is why a year or more experience in one hospital is a good thing before going to an agency, especially if you can good training in the process, is a very big plus.

Also, now it is best to get training for certification as a nursing assistant (CNA) even before you start nursing school. A lot of nursing schools require that now, and working as a CNA while going to school is very helpful.

Finally, while you may get some grant money for schooling, you will likely have to take out loans, which – guess what? – you will have to pay back. While nursing can pay well, for what you want, there is going to be some serious time commitments to get into a position where you can do what you want.

Also, keep in mind that working in nursing homes, compared to working in hospital, is like living with the poor relations, probably best you can avoid it.

tilt, who has been an RN for just about 30 years.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby IanN » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:49 pm

Hi Tilt-

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

Everyone I have talked to who has gone through nursing school has told me one thing: "It's way harder than I thought it was going to be!"

Here in California, the community college RN nursing programs are so impacted that there is a two year (or more in some cases) waitlist between being accepted and beginning the program. I have been accepted to one program (with a 2 to 2.5 year wait list), and am waiting for the red tape to clear on a couple other programs. In the mean time, I am living at a retreat center, living off savings and doing a work study for room and board.

I didn't know that there were temp/on call agencies for big cities. Thanks for mentioning that, it sounds like just the sort of situation I am thinking of.

Of course, you point out how it will take time, after becoming an RN, to acquire the competence to actually be useful. Several of my nurse friends have told me how their first year or so working was as if they were pretty much "green", even after having spent all that time in nursing school.

Tilt, what is your specialty as an RN? I am thinking of ER, ICU, or hospice.

Thanks again for your help,

Ian
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby altar » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:50 am

Ian, Tilt, and everyone else,
I am in a similar position, kind of putting my feet in the water... There is a CNA course starting in April near me that lasts 6 weeks which I will probably take.
I am interested in working (at a low level) using the CNA, and possibly going on to study to be an RN.
It's good to know that working in a hospital is preferable to working at a nursing home, because I've heard that nursing home jobs are easier to get. Any ideas if getting a job at a hospital with just a CNA is reasonable? I figure there must be some need for them.
Zack
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby Wind » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:28 am

IanN, can you tell me briefly about your retreat experiences? Seems like you really enjoy them. What is it that you like about it that you want a longer version? I am looking to go sometimes in the near future.
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:26 am

altar wrote:Ian, Tilt, and everyone else,
I am in a similar position, kind of putting my feet in the water... There is a CNA course starting in April near me that lasts 6 weeks which I will probably take.
I am interested in working (at a low level) using the CNA, and possibly going on to study to be an RN.
It's good to know that working in a hospital is preferable to working at a nursing home, because I've heard that nursing home jobs are easier to get. Any ideas if getting a job at a hospital with just a CNA is reasonable? I figure there must be some need for them.
Zack
Working in a nursing home as a CNA can be a good experience. There is a lot of need for CNAs in hospitals, at least where I live. In a hosiptal it imay be possible to get more training, and in increase in pay to go along with it. It just depends upon what is available when you are job hunting.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Any Nurses pursuing longer retreats? Best job to facilitate?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:28 am

IanN wrote:
Tilt, what is your specialty as an RN? I am thinking of ER, ICU, or hospice.
Most of my career has been in rehab working with spinal cord injuries, head injuries, MS, strokes and things like that, though I did work for a time in a psych unit.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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