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Considering a career change out of the NHS

(32 Posts)
ForSaleChesterDraws Thu 07-Jan-16 22:18:39

I'm a qualified nurse working as a manager in the NHS (8a if that means anything to anybody). I am thinking of walking away from it all and want to get some career advice.

My gut thoughts are to look at some of the big consultancy firms or similar? But then again I think should I go and work somewhere totally different?

I can afford to take a little bit of a salary cut, but not huge. Where do I start? Where can I get grown up careers advice?

lougle Thu 07-Jan-16 22:50:01

It's not what you're asking, but would you consider stepping down to a band 7 role? With unsocial hours payments you may end up being paid more than you are now.

ForSaleChesterDraws Thu 07-Jan-16 23:12:20

It's not just about the money. I think I've had enough. The expectations on staff at every level are just increasing and the work demands are ridiculous whether it's a 5 or an 8a. I don't think I want to spend the next 30 years of my life doing it.

FeedMyFaceWithJaffaCakes Fri 08-Jan-16 21:54:47

I have nothing to add to your post unfortunately.
Only thank you so much for recognising that it's a very very stressful time to work in the NHS and it's not only the managers (B8s etc) that are being put upon band 5s are too!!
thankswine for you!! X

CountryLovingGirl Sun 10-Jan-16 19:08:49

I agree. It's rubbish to work in the NHS at the moment. I have 20 years service this year and have never seen it so bad. Many, many colleagues of mine have left. Government to blame! So defiant and only interested in lining their own pockets.

What other areas would interest you? You will have loads of experience as a nurse and a manager. I am sure there will be places out there that would snap you up.

CountryLovingGirl Sun 10-Jan-16 19:11:53


Unsocial hours payments will be next on the 'hit list' to go. It is expected that Saturday and Sunday will be normal working days and the same for all other unsocial hours, I expect.

They are attacking junior doctors and student nurses right now but I bet unsocial hours enhancements will be next!

Sallycinnamum Sun 10-Jan-16 19:21:21

OP, I've left the NHS recently and will never go back to the public sector if I can help it.

I've worked predominantly in the private sector until I decided I wanted to do something worthwhile so switched to the NHS.

In my 20byr career I've never come across such dysnfunction. Senior managent had no idea what was happening at ground level and the bullying and promotion of poor staff to middle management was rife.

I was made redundant in September and although it was a bit of a bruising experience I got a new job a month later in the private sector.

The change has been like a breath of fresh air and it was only until I got out I realised how bad my last job was.

I just wish I'd had the courage sooner to leave to be honest.

Flamingoblue1 Sun 10-Jan-16 19:28:44

I was a band 7 but stepped down to a 6 in another role and it's going well. My happiest was being a band 5 by far. However I find the negative staff and bullying nature of many departments so difficult but i suppose that's life. It's given me a thick skin working in the nhs that's for sure!

Flamingoblue1 Sun 10-Jan-16 19:29:23

The only thing that's concerning me if I leave is lack of pension? Anyone has any experience of this? X

Lilybensmum1 Sun 10-Jan-16 19:41:45

This is so sad I'm a band 5 in the NHS and like others have said upthread it is such a tough place to work, I would never want to be higher than a band 5 the stress these managers are under is awful, my role is bad enough.

I tried to leave a couple of times but stopped due to lack of adequate pension I have nearly 20 years NHS pension but also I feel a loyalty to the NHS, its buckling under the strain and becoming unrecognisable but I love what it stands for. My dh was in A&E this week and it was awful, good, dedicated staff are leaving there will be no one left. My trust is struggling to recruit but has managed to get 250 nurses mainly philapino nurses and nurses from the eu.

I don't know what the answer is I'm just saddened to see experienced nurses leaving. Perhaps you could look at the consultancy firms, I guess money wise it would be equal or more, would you consider leaving nursing altogether?

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 10-Jan-16 19:45:15

OP not sure where you live but would you consider working somewhere like Harley street? Money is good with normal working hours it seems

CountryLovingGirl Mon 11-Jan-16 18:58:07

What do people think about the conditions for staff if the NHS is privatised? Do you think things will be a lot worse for us?
I have a 20 year pension too so I am really reluctant to lose what I have but the shifts are unbearable these days. I have considered switching to a teaching career (and have had offers from a few universities) but I chicken out each time as the salary drop would be huge (although I would be off when my children are off instead of being refused holidays). I looked into transferring my NHS pension and it is feasible.
I am part time but I have been offered a FT role in the NHS (closer hospital). My trust centralised my department so I have an awful commute now. I haven't received a contract yet but I am having serious cold feet about it!

Faye12345 Wed 13-Jan-16 08:51:35

Does anyone have any experience of NHS bank work? I assume you would keep your pension yet have more flexibility?

Hedgehogparty Wed 13-Jan-16 23:04:40

I'd like to know more about Bank too.
Left job and thought I'd do Bank, but the longer I'm away, the less I want to go back....

lougle Wed 13-Jan-16 23:16:58

It very much depends on the type of nursing you're experienced in. Some specialist areas operate an 'in-house bank' and pay a specialist rate, booking staff directly. Other areas rely on the nurse bank to supply the nurses.

Pippioddstocking Wed 13-Jan-16 23:21:47

I'm thinking of leaving too , 2 job interviews coming up, both in the private sector . Also worried about my pension though .

ForSaleChesterDraws Thu 14-Jan-16 07:59:51

I'm one of those senior managers who is perfectly aware of what it is like on the shop floor but at times I feel totally powerless to do anything about it. The issues with recruitment, additional pressures from commissioners and HR policies that are so lengthy people can take the piss. All the stuff I do in the background to challenge all of these don't get seen by those on the shop floor, leaving them believing that I do nothing.

I've got 15 years of pension but if I'm realistic, I've still got another 30 years to go. That's a long time to stay with an employer just for a pension which is going to be repeatedly changed and reduced before I even get to retirement age.

Faye12345 Thu 14-Jan-16 19:57:23

I think i just want out of nursing but ive got no idea what i could do post nursing hmm

m0therofdragons Thu 14-Jan-16 20:01:48

I'm always really interested in threads like this as I've worked in the private sector, education and now I'm in the nhs. The working conditions in the nhs is the best I've ever worked under. There's lots to do and I'm constantly juggling but I'm assuming I'm really lucky that my management team is really good?

CountryLovingGirl Fri 15-Jan-16 18:52:13

Our manager came in today saying that they have to save even more money! OMG. Our service is now at the point of collapse!

Flamingoblue1 Fri 15-Jan-16 20:41:44

That's awful Country. I want more info about agency/ nhs bank work as I'm not seeing this working out for the next forty years!

mayhew Fri 15-Jan-16 20:51:46

I resigned before my retirement date to work on the Bank as a midwife. I continued to pay into my pension until I retired. The main downside is no sick pay.

It's worth it if you need to have some control over shifts, school hols etc.

It's also worth it as a holding position to get a basic income while you consider your position. I found I had no "thinking space" to survey my options when I was in a more stressful, senior role.

I actually enjoy my shifts now!

PersephonePitstop Fri 15-Jan-16 21:23:32

What experience do you have ChesterDraws?

You mention 15 years pension, is that 15 years since you qualified as an RN and was that your first job?

ForSaleChesterDraws Fri 15-Jan-16 23:50:29

15 years of paying into my pension, 13 years qualified as a nurse. I've worked on wards and in community and now as a service manager and a few other jobs Inbetween.

HattieA Sat 16-Jan-16 00:29:54

I'm band 7 and also want out. But I am 46 yrs old (24 yrs in NHS) and so I have no qualifications for anything else. Old school RGN so no degree either.

But I'm the same in that I just don't know what else I could try. I would like to be self employed, maybe working from home for part of the week.

I'm also going to see if I can join the bank at my local hospital for now - at least then I can control the days I work to some extent.

I think I need to put "new career" into Google and press the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

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