Do nurses really retire?

by Angela Brooks

Everywhere you turn people are talking about retiring and how they will love every minute of it. However, if you did not plan well from the beginning of your career, then chances are you will not be able to fully retire without working at least part-time.

Most people have a fantasy vision of what retirement looks like to them: sleeping late, no appointments, traveling, no more time clocks to punch, no boss, no more daily friend connections, no more kids in the house. This sounds boring to me.

After working under one roof for 21 years I have witnessed many people “retire” and then return to work within 30 days because they are bored or cannot live off of half the income they were used to.
We have had nurses who talked about retirement for years. When the time came, they were not prepared to leave the nursing field. Some had spouses or family who became ill and caused them to return to work in their later years for extra income. Somewhere in life, a picture of a wonderland life comes to mind when the word “retirement” is spoken. Many think they can just lie around and do nothing and it would be a wonderful life. Our bodies are made to be busy, and when they come to a halt after years of being on the go, they die.

What are you doing to prepare for retirement?

Nursing is a physically draining profession that is not for the impaired nurses. Nurses end up with bad backs, bad feet, bed knees and general aging slows them down energy wise. Seasoned nurses who retire can offer their mentorship to the new nurses.  After spending 24 plus years in nursing and as a seasoned nurse, I have many skills to pass on to the new nurse.

I have no plans to sit in a rocking chair and watch age catch me. I want to give age a run for its money.

I began planning my next 30 years of caring for people and meeting their needs like a nurse does in a new way. By being a nurse and sharing my skills, experiences, and knowledge, I will do the job of nursing at a new level. I enjoy talking to people, hearing their stories, finding ways to offer a service, which gives me something extra. I do however, have to be careful not to allow someone else's needs to interfere with my own goals.

During my working years, of barely getting enough rest to fuel the long 13 hour shifts, I invested in a company to build my nest egg for retirement. My husband and I have several big trips we want to enjoy without counting pennies when we go. The work-place’s time clocks will be quiet and the life clock will be ticking to a new beat.

I began educating myself for the next 30 years as a seasoned nurse sharing an energized future.

What are you doing to add fuel to energize your future?


Angela is a nurse that has worked for 21 years in the same state funded psychiatric hospital assisting some clients that others might refuse to treat. She works on the psychiatric ward.

She also runs her own company on the side and supports other nurses in how to bring passion into their role at work. Out of the box remedies for speaking to people and more.

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Angela Brooks is a retired nurse after 25 years in mental health. She used her lunch breaks to build her business part time on the night shift. Her car became a mobile university as she listened to business training, coaching calls on CD and phone webinars. She blogged while she was at her sons' baseball practices.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 denny hagel October 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

Angela…great article. I think when you find your passion as I have been blessed to do, you never want to stop. I love the way you have found a way to continue doing what you love to do…help others.

2 Beau Henderson October 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Great insight Angela! As a financial advisor I've rarely seen a nurse truly retire.  The work you are doing now with your skills and knowledge is amazing and is the wisest investment possible.

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