Time to sort out my career or step down for my dd?

(13 Posts)
lostlilly Mon 02-Oct-17 11:11:40

So, firstly I am in the process of a divorce after 16 years and have a 13 yr old dd.
I am a Nurse by profession but well educated with a first degree, nursing qualification and a clinical MSc
I have had nurse management jobs and been very good at it (so I am told) but very stressed and LONG hours. I stepped down and now work somewhere else as a band 5 basic nurse simply because my marriage has fallen apart and I wanted more time/less stress for my dd.
BUT, Now I am thinking do I owe it to myself, and my dd in the long run! to go further and 'hopefully' get a better paid career and a better standard of living.
As a basic nurse I do not get paid a great deal and now a single parent things are very tight. I am also, with 2 first degrees and a MSc significantly higher qualified than most of my colleagues and feel a bit wasted.

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RB68 Mon 02-Oct-17 11:17:15

I think you do owe it to yourself and your daughter - maybe not to the extent as previously but to step things up a bit. Am in a similar position although not nursing

lostlilly Mon 02-Oct-17 11:21:06

I have only been in my post for 6 months and really like where I am working but the salary doesn't go that far now I am having to buy a house and pay for everything on my own.
Also, I don't really know what to do next? I cant see how I could afford to do a PhD but I feel frustrated that I am working alongside newly qualified basic nurses when I have the experience and qualifications that I do

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GiantSteps Mon 02-Oct-17 19:09:02

This probably isn't the right bit of MN for this - try the general Work forum? This corner is mainly university academics.

lostlilly Mon 02-Oct-17 23:43:29

yes I was looking for some advice on work load and direction regarding further study, that's why I put it on here.
Hoping there might be other mums who have or are studying at PhD level who could give me some encouragement---or not

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Summerswallow Tue 03-Oct-17 08:26:27

I think you have to think about what career you would follow- getting a PhD would not necessarily translate to more money or to higher status, depending what you did, just as your Masters has not- I think that's the thing to watch. If you are thinking of becoming an academic, and perhaps training nurses/academic side of nursing, I do know a few people who have done this and enjoyed it, I'm not sure what the pay/conditions are like or whether they are NHS employees or uni ones- I don't know if there are enough people on here to answer that (this is mainly uni academics of the non-NHS variety!)

GiantSteps Tue 03-Oct-17 16:05:21

You need to do a LOT more thinking: what burning research topic do you have that will drive you through 4 years of very hard work? Can you survive on a PhD stipend (around £14k + fees I think)? Your posts don't seem very convincing about the research imperative and that's what matters. You shouldn't do a PhD simply as a way to increase your income. It won't.

You've worked in NHS management - why not look to go back to that. If you feel you need more training, do one of those distance-learning MBAs designed for people who are already in management roles.

But again, if you gave up a well-paid career trajectory because of long hours & stress, an MBA (or a PhD) are not things to think about really. THey involve long hours & can be stressful.

Namelesswonder Tue 03-Oct-17 16:22:07

What do you want to achieve with further study? I'm a nurse, have a second undergraduate degree, a masters and a health service related PhD. I live in a city with 3 universities and a lot of NHS offices- jobs are very hard to get, in academia and NHS management. After 4 months of being out of contract (academia is full of short term contracts) I have finally got an NHS research officer job, but it's only for 9 months and it's fewer hours than I ideally want. The PhD is by no means an easy route to employment and I would seriously think about what, if any, benefits it would give you against the sacrifices you may have to make to achieve it (lack of money, long hours, stress levels).

GiantSteps Tue 03-Oct-17 16:54:11

Thinking more about the OP's situation - I was trying to think of jobs which pay well, but are not long hours and/or stressful. Does such a thing exist in the UK?

(I suppose it depends on what one means by "pay well" )

But academia will never be one of those jobs if they exist ....

queencerulean Tue 03-Oct-17 17:03:12

What band were you previously on-7 or 8? Will you be able to go back to that band easily after taking time out?

Wrt to the PhD, I'm not sure where it will get you? As someone else has said, university jobs are often short term contracts and often lots of people applying for them.

It's a tricky one. I gave up nursing as ultimately it didn't fit in with family life and I can see how frustrating it must be to be a band 5. does your dd spend time at your exh? Is there any way of doing any extra bank work for extra cash whilst you figure out what to do?

Also, if you do your PhD is that part or full time? Will you be need to give up your registration or do enough hours to maintain it?

Sorry, not much advice, just more things to think about!

lostlilly Tue 03-Oct-17 22:21:17

yes I do have areas that I would like to research
No its not just a just money as I am aware that a PhD does not necessarily equate to high earnings, I actually enjoy studying, I wouldn't have done so much otherwise!
I am not ignorant to how much this would entail, I completed my MSc alongside a full time job and young child and funded myself.

Its about utilising my existing qualifications, feeling like it has been worth it and fulfilling myself

Thank you for your replies, I have a lot to think about smile

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ArbitraryName Wed 04-Oct-17 18:21:14

Some universities have schemes to help them to recruit people with professional backgrounds. These tend to be developmental posts that involve doing a part time PhD and taking on some teaching. The idea is to progress to a lectureship once you've submitted the PhD. Nursing is one of these areas because they need qualified nurses (with recent practice experience) to teach on the nursing education programmes and it can be hard to find people with PhDs who fit that criteria. So that might be a way of doing a PhD while retaining a decent salary.

However, it is unlikely to help you to find a better work life balance or a less stressful job. Nursing education programmes are particularly time demanding to work on and stressful where I work. Balancing that with a PhD is tricky for the people on the programme.

lostlilly Fri 06-Oct-17 13:30:16

Thanks that's interesting.
Its the hours mainly that I was stepping down from, as a nursing manager I was working upwards to 65 hours a week, days/nights/weekends etc and on call when at home, no let up at all.

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