Expanding Your View of Nursing

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While speaking at an association meeting (non-nursing) someone came up to me and said, “Do you help nurses who want to get out of nursing??” I said “Yes. I help them find another path in nursing if that’s what it takes.” This same person told me that her sister worked in a hospital, was totally burnt out and that she and many of her friends wanted to get out of nursing.


It saddens me that many nurses don’t realize that they have options within the profession – that so many nurses work themselves into the ground and then look for another profession. I can’t even imagine how many good nurses we have lost because of this.


Of course there are many reasons why nurses get burnt out – lack of adequate self-care, staying in a toxic or non-supportive work environment rather than looking for another job, not valuing their work or realizing all the transferable skills they have, getting into a rut and not working on career development.


Unfortunately some of these nurses then go to generic career counselors (rather than RN Career Coaches) who help them find a new occupation because they do not have an understanding of the profession, the skill set that nurses possess, and the vast array of opportunities that exist for nurses.


Be sure to encourage any nurses you encounter (including yourself) who want to leave nursing that they should fully explore their options, get out to nursing career fairs, attend professional association meetings, seminars and conventions to network and meet new people, and talk to folks who work in non-traditional specialties. Many of us need a change of work environment and specialty from time to time – sometimes a dramatic one. We also need to tend to our own self-care and ongoing career development. Consider reading or recommending The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses – Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Find out more here.

8 thoughts on “Expanding Your View of Nursing”

  1. There are those of us, myself included (with 38 years of nursing experience) who are excluded from the profession we have devoted our lives to by a wrathful state nursing board. I recently had my license revoked after being charged with outrageous allegations by a nursing home I had been working in. Although I unequivocally disproved these accusations at a hearing, my license was still revoked. I am sure the fact that I am a man had much to do with it. To add insult to injury, after proving that the DON lied in her statements, I asked the Connecticut Department of Public Health to investigate her for making false and malicious statements. They refused! As I said, I’m an experienced RN with advanced degrees in nursing and public health. If that’s how my chosen profession treats its members, you can keep it. I’ll take my god given talents, education, and experience to a field where those traits and characteristics are valued. Nursing shortage? The fault….lies within yourselves.

  2. There are also nurses such as myself who love nursing, however due to medical problems we can no longer work in a “traditional” nursing position. I have MS and also went through chemo and radiation for breast cancer in 2007. I have not been able to get back to baseline so I now have to use a power whelchair and I am on SSD.
    I am trying to fashion a job that uses my nursing skills so I feel both productive and also that I’m giving to people in need–and with the economy the way it is I could use a bit more money. I worked in psych and with individuals with developmental disabilities.
    Any thoughts from anyone else who has been in my position would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Barbara Aumann, RN, BS

    Beverly – could you do counseling for individuals with disabilities or with emotional illness? Or work in a vocational disability office with the state? I have an idea of the challenges you are facing as I lost my hospital nursing career years ago and went back to school to obtain a different profession. But I missed nursing and was gradually able to combine nursing with my business education. For a while I worked as an Employment Consultant for a rehab company whose clients had been injured on the job. Later I worked for a competitor as a Nurse Consultant advising insurance adjusters and attornies about the medical aspects of persons injured mostly in auto accidents. Sometimes my role was to review medical records and sometimes more involved and included case management. At the time I did not know about legal nurse consultants which could also be something you might consider. Esp. with you psyche experience. We are seeing more articles about using the expertise of nurses who can no longer do bedside nursing. And we also have the American Disability Act – neither of these were available when I wa injured and if one was no 100% they were out of luck! I wish you the best! You have lots of experience from which to draw!!

  4. Barbara Aumann, RN, BS

    John – you clearly are very angry and given what information you have provided understandably so. You wrote that you proved the DON was not truthful, yet your license was revoked. That does not make sense. Were you represented? It is said that there are two sides to every story and you did not provide much information. If you are innocent of the allegations against you, it seems a shame just to throw away a career. I doubt your gender has anything to do with this. As a female nurse I have seen situations where male nurses were promoted just because they were male which is really annoying. So it can go both ways. I would encourage you to get help with your anger as it is standing in the way of justice if in fact the allegations against you were false. I wish you the best!

  5. I just want to share how much I love nurses. They have helped my family in times of extreme stress and trauma. So if any nurse out there is questioning if they made a difference, you did, you absolutely are God’s angels here on earth.

    With kindness to you,
    Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP

  6. I understand the man’s situation with the BON in Conn. I have been a nurse for 16 years…never been fired, have been charge, preceptor, and am respected by nurses and physicians and often sought after as a clinical resource…unfortunately I too had false allegations brought against me. The BON has been litigating for nearly 2 years now…It is still pending but have been treated like a criminal..I am considering leaving the profession all together. The phrase “nurses eat their young”…very true…also their elderly!

  7. I have a dilemma, although I am a good deal of the way through it. Perhaps I am in need of professional coaching, Back in November,my mother got extremely ill, developed alzheimer’s and a subaarachnoid bleed. I developed a newvous breakdown, and used narcotics at the hospital for 2 weeks.I came forward, resigned, and was given the opportunity to go to treatment, which I embraced. I am still clean and sober, and getting ready to go under contract with the state board. I have an attorney and he tells me this month he will be asking for my “contract”. I have been looking for work daily, and also started a medical coding class (AHIMA accredited) on line. I did this so I could keep up with meetings and get a really solid time of recovery under my belt. I have learned so much, have no cravings, but, thanks to my treatment, I know this is a disease and I must be ever vigilant. Here’s the thing: I am reading that coding and billing, particularly associated with AHIMA, is going to be a hot career in nursing. I went right to it, because I wanted a new career as soon as possible. If I am not working with patients, and want to rise in the ranks of billing and coding, I still have to take the billing class, and would like to get started doind some part-time coding. Anyway, what do you think of coding and billing and the whole EHR as a growth career? I have a BSN. Where would I go from these billing and coding courses? Will I need another Bachelor’s of a Master’s in informatics? Will my “meltdown and subsequent behavior” haunt me forever? Should I just get out of the field I love, because I broke down and foolishly put something in my bosy? Believe me, I will go off and be something else, but I am in my 50’s and I LOVE Nursing The DoN at my mother’s facility said she has someone else on contract and would hire me in a minute. I just don’t know what to do. Thanks for any input.

  8. Nursing will NEVER become a true profession. Why? We have too many codependent nurses too willing to NOT stand up for themselves or the patients. We have way too many mentally unstable nurses in management that have no clue what they are doing. But the biggest reason? We have CEO’s and administrators taking advantage of the nurses. GREED is ruining this thing called the nursing profession. Turn off the J&J commercials. It is a joke.

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