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I'm a certified case manager. What can I do for the remaining 10 years or so of my career?

Thursday January 12, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am 57 years old and have been a nurse for 36 years. I still have about 10 years before retirement. I presently practice as a certified case manager for an insurance company. What other areas could I pursue in the late stages of my career? I have a diploma in nursing and courses toward my BSN. Finishing the degree may not be an option because I also am educating two children.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear J.J.,

You have plenty of options; I just wish I knew what you were interested in or enjoy doing so I could send you in the right direction.

If you don’t wish to continue in case management, there are many other positions within the insurance industry: quality improvement, utilization review, disease manager, telephone advice/triage and wellness coach, to name a few.

If you don’t want to stay in the insurance area, consider occupational health, public health, school nursing or doing chart review for your state quality improvement organization. There also are paid positions for nurses at blood banks, the American Red Cross and schools for the developmentally disabled. There are virtually endless opportunities — too many to list in this forum.

Consider attending one of my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminars to fully explore your options (www.Nurse.com/CEseminars). This program also is available in a home study version (http://ce.nurse.com/Professional-Development).

I do encourage you to finish your BSN. There is plenty of scholarship money available if you go after it. Read “Master the Scholarship Game” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/ScholarshipGame). Also read “Go Back to School and Change Your Life” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/BacktoSchool).

It's always a good idea to attend nursing career fairs in your area (www.Nurse.com/CareerFairs). You never know who might be exhibiting there with interesting nontraditional offerings. And because many employment agencies place nurses in nontraditional settings, be sure to inquire with them as well.

Best Wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.