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Is there an alternative nursing career for me that would improve my knowledge and skill, but also give me enough time for my family?

Wednesday August 22, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I completed my master’s in pediatric nursing in 2012. I am teaching nursing at a college. The problem is, I have lost touch with clinicals and don’t have job satisfaction. Is there an alternative career for me that would improve my knowledge and skill, but also give me enough time for my family?

Confused and Helpless

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Confused and Helpless,

If you’re not interested in clinical alternative pediatric settings, such as pediatric rehab, medical daycare, home care, pediatric clinics, etc, you might consider school nursing and school health consulting. Check out the website of the National Association of School Nurses (www.nasn.org) for information about this dynamic specialty. Many nurses who are parents find school nursing suits their parenting needs. I would give this one serious consideration. Do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with school nurses. Also, you can try out the specialty as a substitute nurse or through an agency.

Attend local chapter meetings of the Pediatric Nurses Society (www.pedsnurses.org), as well as a local chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org) and/or the National Association of School Nurses (www.nasn.org). If you’re not a member of any of these, you can at attend as a guest for now. Networking is well known to be a great way to explore options and find a job — face-to-face networking is the most powerful of all.

Also, you can consider pediatric telephone triage or case management. Foster care agencies and other county and state agencies that serve children use nurses in various roles. If you can, attend my “Career Alternatives for Nurses” seminar to explore your options fully. See where I’ll be at www.Nurse.com/Events/CE-seminars.

Get yourself out there by attending meetings, career fairs and seminars — and by talking to people and doing some research. Create positive momentum and move forward in faith. The right path and the right opportunity eventually will present itself.

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.