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How can I get information on joining the inspection team for the department that regulates facilities’ safety and environment?

Monday September 10, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am a retired nurse. How should I find information on becoming part of the inspection team for the department that regulates the safety and environment in facilities? I have an associate degree.

Retired Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Retired Nurse,

Contact your state’s Department of Health first (do some online research to find the correct agency/division) that does this in your state. Then ask to speak to any nurses who work there, and do informational interviews (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with them.

Also, there are nurses who work for local city and county departments of health surveying day-care centers and other types of facilities. Make those contacts as well.

Your RN credential and experience does have value, but in this day and age, especially in the regulatory world, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree often is preferred or required. But by all means, go after the job anyway. Every employer and position is different.

Whether or not you experience resistance in the job market because you don’t have a higher degree, consider returning to school. "Retirement" is a perfect time to enrich your mind and spirit. Read “Go back to school and change your life” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/BacktoSchool).

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.