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I have spent the past 20 years working in home care and need a change. Can you suggest another field that would not require any further education?

Friday May 3, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I have been in the nursing profession for 26 years, have a BSN and spent the past 20 years working in home care. I am burned out and very unhappy with nursing. I still need to work, though, as I am a single parent. Can you suggest any other field that I can get into that would not require any further education?

Burned Out

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Burned Out,

Clearly it's time for a change. When you say any other field, I'm not sure if you want something totally different in nursing or out of nursing altogether. Some nurses consider anything that doesn't involve patient care as another field. Fortunately, the nursing profession is very diverse and offers something for almost everyone. So I will suggest nontraditional options for you.

Depending on what you enjoy doing and what you're particularly good at, you might consider these options, which are all within the pharmaceutical industry — research, sales, marketing or drug information specialist. No additional education or degrees are necessary and all on-the-job training is provided.

There's the insurance industry where you might do fraud investigation, pre-certification and quality improvement. Nothing additional is needed here either and the training also is provided.

Another option is nursing informatics where you could work with companies that provide software for electronic medical records. Nurses work with them to do education and marketing to end users, training and even consulting on the design. Your home care background would lend itself well to working with software companies that have products for homecare agencies.

Read “Can this career be saved?” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Career-Be-Saved)

These are just a few suggestions and possibilities. There are so many more. Attend one of my upcoming “Career Alternatives for Nurses” seminars to identify transferable skills, fully explore options, and learn to market yourself in a competitive job market. Many nurses who have wanted to get out of nursing, have come to the seminar and found something they wanted to do — sometimes more than one thing. See where I'll be at www.Nurse.com/Events/CE-seminars/ If you can't make it to a seminar, the program is available in a home-study version. Find out more at CE.Nurse.com/Professional-Development.

Also look for options to try different things. Contact a nursing agency about nontraditional and non-patient care positions. Some agencies offer them, and some don't. You also should attend career fairs and speak to nontraditional employers there, such as insurance companies. There are usually several other agencies at these events. See what's coming up at www.Nurse.com/Events/Career-fairs/.

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.