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Does a retired nurse who wants to try a new nursing-related career need to complete phlebotomy training to work as a phlebotomy tech?

Tuesday October 22, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I retired from nursing two years ago but am interested in a less stressful job, such as becoming a phlebotomy tech. Do you know if I have to take the entire training? I worked as a home health RN the last 14 years and know how to draw blood from adults. The training cost is expensive. Do you know of a less expensive way to become certified?

Wants a Less Stressful Job

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants a Less Stressful Job,

You don't mention whether or not you let your nursing license lapse. If you did not, why not look for work as an RN in a local blood bank such as one run by the American Red Cross? You'll get paid more than a phlebotomy tech and get on-the-job training. You do not need to take an expensive course, typically designed for someone who has no healthcare background, nor do you need to be certified to work in this environment.

There are so many other things you can do (some even without an RN license if you did let yours lapse) such as performing mobile insurance exams for portamedic companies, distributing medication to an ambulatory population in an assisted living facility or doing drug testing for private occupational health companies. The possibilities are limitless.

It would be ideal for you to attend my “Career Alternatives for Nurses” seminar if possible, to fully explore your options, identify transferable skills and find out if you need any additional training or certification before you invest any money in anything. See where I'll be (http://www.nurse.com/events/ce-seminars).

You also could contact some nursing agencies that offer non-direct patient care positions and see what they have available. This is a good way to try some things out and gain some relevant experience. Agency positions often turn into regular employment if that is what interests you.

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://www. Nurse.com/Events.