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Are there non-clinical nursing jobs for nurses who do not have a lot of experience?

Monday September 16, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I graduated nursing school at the end of 2011 with an ADN. I have very little experience as a RN; however, I am volunteering a few hours as an RN at a free health clinic. I worked at a sub-acute facility as a RN, went through orientation but felt very overwhelmed when it came time to work on my own. I'm not sure if clinical nursing suits me, and I was wondering if there are non-clinical nursing jobs for nurses who do not have a lot of experience. I am considering case management or health information technology.

Overwhelmed new nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear overwhelmed new nurse,

For what's it worth, every new nurse is overwhelmed in the clinical setting and wonders if it is right for them. Please read my book, “Your First Year as a Nurse,” to understand the new nurse experience and learn to build a solid career. You can buy it at most bookstores and on-line.

That being said, direct patient care is not for every nurse and many have gone directly into public health, informatics, case management and various other non-traditional specialties. This especially has been the case when the traditional job market for nurses is tight as it is right now. Read “New
nurse, new job strategies: (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).

One very important thing for you to do is to become immersed in the community of nursing and not stay isolated. Do that by attending local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association www.ana.org, even as a guest. Many state ANA chapters have reduced dues for new nurses so I urge you to join and get active. This is a great way and place to develop a support system, find role models and mentors and keep current with trends and issues. Networking is a great way to find and get a job, even for a new nurse seeking non-traditional specialties.

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://www. Nurse.com/Events.