Friday, May 11, 2007

I Need Your Opinion or Advise: Life Change Dilemma

I need your opinion or advise. I know many of you who read my blog are stay at home moms as well as working women so your perspective on the issue I am about to outline is something that you will understand.

Here is an overview of my "Life Changing Dilemma". . .after reading it, I need your honest opinion or advise:

A year and a half ago, I quit my job as an RN because we moved from Hawaii to California. My husband was promoted at his job but needed to move to the San Diego area. We agreed to sell our home and haul ourselves to California. . .the housing market was at its peak, my husband would have a substantial raise, and the cost of living was less - all positive reasons to take this major step.

When we arrived in California, we bought a house and settled down in a town called Temecula. The only obstacle we encountered was that there were no transportation system for high schoolers. We could not find a house we liked at a walking distance to the school, therefore, I became the transportation. We don't know anyone well enough to drive my kids to school. Furthermore, my husband goes on monthly business trips and he would be gone at least 4 days of each month.

An RN position is typically a 12 hour shift (7 am to 7:30 pm or 7 pm to 7:30 am). This was a problem for us because I would not be home in time to drop off or pick up the kids from school. My husband's business trip complicates the matter further because when he is on business trips, the kids would be alone from 7 at nigh through 8 in the morning).

For this reason, we decided it was not possible for me to work at this time, therefore, I have not worked for over a year. My son will be getting his drivers permit in the summer and perhaps will be able to drive himself and my daughter to school giving me the option to go back to work at least for a day shift position (7 am to 7:30 pm)

My RN license is about to expire in a few months. . .in order to renew my license to practice, I need to acquire 30 hours of continuing education before the expiration date.

Here is my dilemma. . .since taking a break, I thought about the "quality of life" aspect of my existence. Although I love being an RN and working in this field, it is not my passion. I don't have to work (my husband is a good provider) but I NEED to return to my practice as an RN or I no longer will be marketable in the job force. A year off is way too long, especially, in the professional arena.

My problem lies here. . .I don't want to return to the nursing field because I want to continue "crafting" and pursue this route in life. I would prefer to work at Michaels or JoAnn and stock craft items on shelves because it's in the area I love most. . .

I need to renew my license and return to the work in my professional field or lose it but I'm thinking if ever I need to return to work, I'll get a job at JoAnn and maybe I'll maybe be able to teach craft classes or something like that. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury to debate this issue because time is of essence.

A full time experienced RN makes approximately $70,000 a year and if I decide not to return to work soon and renew my license, well. . .I would lose the opportunity or even the possibility of ever making that sort of money again. It's the debate between "happiness but with very little money" versus "lots of money but lacking passion or even happiness". . .

I'm sure many of you SAHM (stay at home moms) are in this precarious position. . .what would you do if you need to make a decision like this? Would you return to your profession or take the chance of pursuing your passion but potentially losing your professional career?



Anonymous said...

I am also an RN who is working
part-time (on the East Coast). Nursing is an extremely diverse profession. There is also a
nursing shortage. If you need to go
back to work, it does not seem to me that it would be difficult to do. I don't know about
California, but many hospitals here provide extra time for orientation, classes, etc. They need dedicated nurses. If you ever had the financial need to work (if your husband could not work or any other emergency), nursing would provide you a much better paycheck than Joann's or Michael's.
I say do what you enjoy, but don't write off nursing as something to fall back on in case there is a financial need. I would renew my license. There are many ways to get continuing education credits that are not that difficult. Google this and you can find out.
Good Luck

Paula said...

In this world things are not perfect. I would tell any woman "Be prepared to support yourself and your childres" things happen in life that we have no control over. If anything happened to your hubby where he could no longer work or if something happened to him, could you support your family? Renew your license just in case. With nurses be in such short demand, you could probably find something were you only work 2 or 3 days a week. Good luck with your decision.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a stay at home mom, although I would sure like to be. I am a single parent trying to support my two kids on a not too bad salary - could be better, but we're not suffering (only from my overspending). How you feel now isn't how you may feel in 5 or even 10 years. I don't know how old you are but where do you see your life going? Also, can you actually take another nursing class or something related to nursing to keep your licence? That might be worth looking into. 30 hours isn't a long time, and it would allow you to maintain your licence. Does your state ever make any exceptions or is it cut and dried? Remember all the work it took to get that degree so that you could be a nurse; I would say go do the 30 hours, send your kids to school in a cab for that week or so, and after the 30 hours is over, work at Michael's, or some private craft store - or start your own company; you're certainly talented!! If you keep your licence you will always be able to support yourself and even work part time later on if you so choose. That RN designation also allows you to work ANYWHERE in the world! Just my two cents . . .

Anonymous said...

You sound like my daughter so I'm going to tell you what I would tell her. Renew your license. Do the 30 hours that it takes and rewew it. Then pursue the career change into crafting. If you enjoy it, if it pays enough, if you do well ... wonderful. But if all that does not happen, or if, god forbid, you would need to support your family, then you have a higher dollar meal ticket in your back pocket. You have choices and options. Always keep your options open and available. Good luck!

Tejal said...

Its just a matter of keeping your options open. you can do the 30 hours and retain your license. And as long as it is valid, you always have the option of going back to work in case you need additional income. Since you enjoy crafting, as of now you can continue doing what you love. Hope this helps and your dilemma gets solved soon. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I would go back and get the hours and renew your license. If and when you would need to go back to RN work you will be available. Until, keep crafting!!

Connie Babbert said...

I can tell you my experience was similar. I had a high-powered, high paying job in Communications that I liked, but didn't love. I needed to go back to school to finish up my B.S. I've never regretted doing it, although it did require a huge sacrifice of our family time since I still worked full-time and went to school full-time to get done quickly. Six months after getting my degree, I left the job and have stayed home since then. My boys are grown now, one has graduated college and has a wonderful job, the other is in his junior year at Ohio State University. I have no intentions of ever going back to work, I enjoy pursuing my artistic side and my husband supports us just fine. However, I know that if I ever DO need to go back, I have that degree under my belt and the experience of running my direct sales business for the past several years. vote is to get the 30 hours, even if you don't use it as an RN.

Heather Leech said...

I'm in the education field and don't know much about nursing, but my suggestion would be to get the community ed. time done and renew your license. That way you have options. I would think that there would be many opportunities available to work in other areas of nursing besides hospitals. I know we have RN's that work through our school district, I assume community health would be an option. I think if you looked, there may be things you can do part-time if that works better. There may be other facets of being a nurse that you may love.
A friend of mine used to work for Michaels, and it was not a great place to work at all. I think letting go of your nursing may be a big mistake in the long-run. Leave your options open is my suggestion!
Good luck in whatever you decide!
Heather L.

Rachel Hope said...

I do not envy you this choice! However, I would suggest keeping your license even if you do not return to the nursing feild right now...30 hours CE can be done at home using books or internet and would not cost a lot, and then you will have your license if you need!


Anonymous said...

I would also say to renew your license. It doesn't hurt to keep it up in case you might need it. It doesn't mean that you have to go back to work doing it right now, but allows you to if you want to. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

As the others have said renew your licence just incase. You dont have to anything with it once you are renewed but what if you did need it and didnt have it?

Heather said...

Definitely renew your license for all the reasons others have said already- your circumstances might change and you might need to rejoin the workforce someday.

And as the spouse of someone who had a medical cert expire, it is WAY easier to renew than to have to reapply and do all the legwork again (which is complicated by a move to a new state!)

Anonymous said...

Leave yourself an option. You never know if anything will happen to your well providing husband.
You could be a school nurse which would leave you the summer to do your crafts. You'd have an income and be able to craft.
I have tried for several years to make an income with crafts and it just is not possible for most people. Retail stores, even craft stores, are not a fun place to work when it comes holidays, weekends etc.

Anonymous said...

I say renew your to have it for your own security.
On the east coast there is such a shortage of nurses....I know several that only work one or two days a month to keep their hands in it and the hospitals are more than thrilled to have them. By the way one of them works 1 day a month and its on a Saturday.
Good Luck.

D said...

I would also suggest keeping the license just in case. I personally am always a fan of having options available, rather than losing them. You mentioned you still like nursing. Is it something you could do part time?

That said, as someone who has finally JUST (I mean just this week) got out of a job that was making her absolutely miserable for the last year and a 1/2, I must say don't work at something that will make you unhappy, especially if you DON'T need the money. Happiness is more important than anything, and affects every aspect of your life.

Anonymous said...

I also am an RN. It is not my passion but it pays the bills. Like you I love the crafting opportunities available today and would love pursuing that full time. However, my life circumstances require that I work my three 12 hour shifts. But then I have the rest of the week to stamp and scrap and pursue what I love. Renew your license and perhaps work one 12 hour shift. That nursing license was too hard to come by to give it up. Keep yourself marketable. That gives you 6 days to take care of family and pursue your passion. Also remember the nursing shortage. Life brings many unexpected events. One never knows what tomorrow will bring. You are blessed that you don't have to work now but keep yourself in a position where you can support yourself if life required that. And perhaps your passion will take you places where you can earn a good income if the need arises. Your are a very talented lady.


kathy said...

If it were me I would keep up with my certification because you never know what the future may bring. Maybe when the kids are grown and gone you may actually want to do it again. I would see where my artistic abilities get me in the writing for a craft magazine or starting my won business with a line of stamps , inks embellisments. I don't think the start up would be that expensive because your store could be on the internet. Just a thought

Anonymous said...

Dear Maria,
I believe that you should always pray about it first and wait to see what He wants you to do.He will make doors open for you if you ask Him to. See which direction He wants you to go.
I would keep up on your RN lisence and wait to see what Blessings fall upon you, JMHO, Christina

Anonymous said...

Do not give up your license never know what tomorrow can bring husband died very suddenly and we expected to retire together using both our retirement funds. Not to be! I went back to work after a 7 year absence when my youngest was in 2nd grade ...thanks to that I have a pension which enabled me to keep my worked hard to get that RN don't give it up until you are ready for retirement...My 2 cents! DD

Seniors at Risque said...

I say renew that license. You worked hard to get it and it is an achievement on your part. To let it lapse would be not in your best interest. As many have said, you don't know what's around the corner and working at Ms or Joanns is no fun, really. Retail jobs won't cover the bills if you should ever need to support yourself and your children. Keep your license current. Please.

mishkismom said...

I am not a SAHM but I hope my advice is welcome.. I live on the east coast but needed surgery that was not done at any other hospital (successfully) but UC San Diego. When I was there the nursing shortage was so apperent it was scary. I would also tell any mother (or any person for that matter) to keep your options open. You never know what is around the corner (think my surgery! that wasn't expected and the surgery itself cost 120,000!)
The working at a craft store.. do you have any lss's around? I have a few friends who worked in craft stores and they say the fun is sucked riht out of it..
In the end though you will do what is bst for you. Most of the time when I ask for help/advice the answer comes to me as soon as th words leave my head..
Best of luck and be thankful that you have options. Many people do not.
oh.. about the new driver.. in many states a new driver can not have another minor in the car for a year or two. I know that is the case here in CT.
Best wishes!

Lulu said...

Okay, Maria, Here is my take on your life changing dilema.
In a way I kind of envy you. At least you went and finished your degree and can get a good paying job - wether you like it or not I think the RN is good job security should anything happen where you need to be the sole supporter of your family.- I'm not trying to sound morbid, only practical. So, Here we go - I say go put the 30 hours in to renew the license. Just because you renew the license doesn't mean you have to go back to would as an RN -but you would have the security in case you HAD to go back to. It's only (if you break it down) a weeks worth of hours to put in - not much really - for a little security. Then go and get your job at the Hobby store. You'll have peace of mind knowing you can make a big income if you really need to. Make sense? I tend to ramble. I wish I had your option. I did not finish my degree and would only be able to make a minimal income if I had to become the sole breadwinner. Anyway - I hope this helps. You are in my prayers.

Unknown said...

Hi Maria:

I would say the best thing that you could do is to get your 30 hours of continuing education and renew your license. This way you are never left with the feeling " Oh I should have renewed my license etc. " It is also good to have the security of knowing that if you wanted to get back into that field that you have your license current to do so.

I have many friends at my local JoAnn's store that had the same dilema as you do and they chose to keep their RN license current and get a job at JoAnn's. One lady who works in the store is like an encylopedia of stamping / scrapbooking products. She can tell you everything you would ever want to know about all of the products that they sell. She used to work in a high profile profession and was injured at work and had to take some time off. her friend brought her some crafting supplies and she got into card making etc. As she was recovering at home she realized that she was burnt out at her job and decided to look elsewhere for a job. She said while picking up some more supplies at JoAnn's one day she saw a sign that said now hiring and she applied because of her passion for scrapbooking, card making and crafting they hired her on the spot. She said she is making incredibly less than she was in her job but her new position provides her with more happiness than her old job and that her husband , kids and family were happy that she made the move. She said that she does keep her Security Clearance and licenses current in the event that she may need them in the future, but said at this moment that she would not trade her job at JoAnn's for anything. Not only do she get to still continue with her passion scrapbooking and cardmaking, but she also gets to help people who are new to scrapbooking and cardmaking. She is very passionate about her work.

From what I have seen of your cards and other creations that you share with us. Any store would be lucky to hire you, whether it be Michael's , JoAnn's or Now and Then Scrapbooks.

Take Care, and good luck with your decision making.

Carol Lee

Laurie Hines said...

Renew your license Maria! I am an xray tech and work full time. I was previously a SAHM but decided it was better for my sanity to be out of the house for a while each day! You worked hard for that education and you shouldn't throw it away!!!! Good luck with your decision.


Cathy said...

I made the decison to become a SAHM and have not regretted it for one minute.
My advice to you is this - life is short, so if given the oppourtunity, do what you love.

Anonymous said...

If I were in your shoes, I would probably go ahead and get the needed hours for the nursing license, just so you have it. After you get it, go ahead and get a job at Michael's or JoAnn's or where ever and see how it works out. If it doesn't work out you always have the nursing for a back up. Hope that helps. I hope you pursue what you have a desire for. Everyone is so much happier when they have a job they enjoy and are passionate about.

Diane said...

Maria,I would renew my license,like alot of people are saying...if you ever have to go back you would be able to. You worked hard for becoming an RN,don't let it all go.
Good Luck with your decision.

Anonymous said...

I think you should always keep your license current you never know when life will throw you a curve and you may need to fall back on your income \license. There are companies on line that offer great CEU ONLINE and they are reasonable too and you get your certificate right away just print it off. I too am a RN and I only work part time there was a time when my kids were littler that I considered no going back to work but I still kept my license up and glad I did.. Things got a little rough in my hubby s line of work so I was able to pick up some of the slack. The economy in MI is getting really bad the car industry is failing and our Governor it sending us down a road not sure if Michigan wil be able to pull out of but atleast health care is booming and I have a good job. To helpw ith my creative side I am looking into going to work at a local Archievers that will be opening here soon. so take care and keep your license it doesnt cost much here in MI to keep it andyou never know Jodi

Anonymous said...

Your children regardless of their age when they are home, need you to be there and since I am at the end of 9 kids (6 step kids nad 3 of my own) I know for a fact that teenagers need more supervision than younger kids. (except toddlers) there are just to many things they can do or not do that cause to many families grief. I would hate to see that happen. I for one am an advocate of stay at home moms! Since your family is not suffering financially then stay home with them, you will never regret it. However, I also know from my single mom period that staying current on schooling and job abilities are important becuase you never know when something could happen and you would need your RN position to provide for your family or yourself. Me, I would take the test or whatever I have to do to keep the nurses position but not take a full time job if any job at all. Make sense at all? How does your family feel and what does your hubby have to say? If he were to be out of a job or in an accident would you have the finanaces to provide for the family or would you need to work?
Just some things for you to consider. Good Luck, feel free to vent anytime= also, I have an enabler hubby too and I was made the bad guy in my past marriage because he was just "to busy" to deal with it.
that is so unfair. CALL DR PHIL and turn your hubby in! hehehehe
hugs! Gwen

Anonymous said...

As a 64 year old Mother of 2 and grandmother of 5, I understand the value of your quality of life and the ability to focus on those things that fullfill your, hobbies, home time.

I believe you can have the best of both worlds. Keep your license current and look for part-time work. There are so many fields in nursing that you should be able to find something that will fit your time schedule ( a few days a week) and not leave you "craft deprived."

I appreciate your stance on staying home. Fortunately, I was able to do that and didn't return to work until my kids were in middle school. As it turned out, it was good I did because I am now supporting myself since my husband died 16 years ago.

Follow your heart and your good mind. I have faith in you. You have the right attitude to succeed in whatever you choose.

Anonymous said...

Maria, when my first child was born we moved out of state & I decided to become a SAHM. I let my teacher certification lapse and 8 years later when our youngest started school, I took courses for 2 semesters to renew my out of state certificate, then took the in state tests, & got certified to teach in both states. I went bac to work then. Well, it's 8 years later again, and I am a SAHM because of 2 high schoolers who I feel need alot of "guidance" and our youngest handicapped daughter. I think that it worked out even though my certification lapsed. I believe God opened the right doors at the right time. I do miss teaching, but like you my heart is now in crafting and I plan to stay with that until my husband insists I go back to work or he takes away the credit card!
God bless you with your decision and your family is blessed to have such a crafty, loving mom/wife!

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