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After 14 years in leadership positions, I would like to move into case management. How do I explain this in a cover letter?

Monday August 20, 2012
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been an RN for 29 years. For the past 14 years I have been in managerial and training roles and am now a director of a quality and education department. I would like to move into a case management or care coordinator role. This is something that would give me more patient contact and more of an opportunity to impact patient outcomes. Leadership roles, particularly my current role, have me burned out. I am willing to complete course work and understand there most likely will be a decrease in salary. How do I explain my desire in a cover letter?

Burned Out

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Burned Out,

In your cover letter, I would simply state, as you did above, that you crave more patient contact. You might add that after doing your own research and speaking to others who work in this (whatever you are applying for) specialty, you have decided it's what you'd like to do. Presumably, you already have done, or will do, some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with people working in these positions.

Nurses frequently change specialties throughout their careers, so your interests and pursuits are not at all unusual. It's also fairly common for a nurse who has been in an administrative position to want to get back to a more hands-on role. This isn't anything out of the ordinary.

You don't need to express your desire to take courses, etc. You really only need to express a well-thought-out, sincere and enthusiastic desire to work in a particular specialty. You may find this article helpful: “How to change specialties” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/ChangeSpecialties).

Best wishes,
Donna


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.