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I want to be able to continue with face-to-face care for patients. Where do I go to keep growing and finding challenges in my career?

Monday February 25, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been a field case manager for hospice for 12 years. I started out as a pediatric OR nurse, then tried juvenile hall (detention center) and then became an RN provider for an early learning program for homebound children.

I want to be able to continue with face-to-face care for patients but find that if I want to advance, I have to be in an office. I would love to get back into pediatrics, possibly in hospice, but our only provider just closed its doors. Where do I go to keep growing and finding challenges in my career? I love to teach, which is why hospice is so rewarding to me. Any advice?

Prefers Face-to-Face Care

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Prefers Face-to-Face Care,

It's challenging to make recommendations without knowing what type of area you live in. But if the only provider in your area just closed — unless you are in a remote rural area — an entity such as a hospital, home-care agency, or larger national company should be providing hospice or other home-care services. Check with your state/region chapter of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association for providers/opportunities in your area (http://www.hpna.org/ChaptersList.aspx?x).

You also should attend local chapter meetings of nursing associations, such as the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org), the Society of Pediatric Nurses (http://www.pedsnurses.org), and an HPNA chapter, if possible, to network. You can attend as a guest if you’re not a member. Networking is well known to be a great way to learn about options, opportunities and employers. It is also a very effective way to find and get a job. And face-to-face networking is the most effective type of networking.

You also should get out to area nursing/healthcare career fairs, even if you have to travel a little to do so. You never know who will be exhibiting or speaking at these and what information you will glean. See what's coming up in your area at http://www.nurse.com/events/career-fairs/. Read “How to get the most out of attending a career fair” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-fair).

You never know where the idea, information, contact or opportunity will come from. When you're in transition you just have to get yourself out there — by phone, online and in person — and see where the road leads you. You have a great background. Move forward and the right path will eventually reveal itself.

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.