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How can an RN, with an ASN, transition from bedside nursing to case management or a health coach role? Do I need a BSN?

Wednesday December 11, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been an RN for 11 years, primarily working in critical care. I am at a point in my life where I want to transition from bedside to something in case management or community health. I am finding it difficult to find a position with an ASN since a BSN seems to be the minimum requirement.

Where do I get the experience in case management while working toward a BSN? Also, is there coursework that can be done to make me
more marketable?

I am also very interested in becoming an RN health coach, and it seems case management experience is required in that field. I am very self-motivated and love learning.

In Transition

Dear Donna replies:

Dear In Transition,

You don't mention if you are actually applying for positions and not getting any response or offers, or if you're just going by ads you see.

Start doing some informational interviewing, (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing), with those actually already working at some of the positions you are considering. Find a nurse case managers to speak with by asking around, talking to those in your place of employment and by contacting the Case Management Society of America (www.cmsa.org). You should attend local chapter meetings of CMSA as a guest for now. When there's something you want to do it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.

If you'd like to learn more about case management, consider attending Catherine Mullahy's seminar, Best in Class Case Management: Your Gateway to Certification and Best in Class Practice. Find out where she'll be http://www.nurse.com/events/ce-seminars

Becoming a health coach is a very broad and varied field as health coaches do different things in different settings. You do not need case management experience to be a health coach nor do you need to be certified.

Be very careful about where you get information about jobs and be careful not to draw inaccurate conclusions based one employer's requirements for a job. We sometimes focus on what we perceive we are lacking and create self-imposed obstacles.

It also would be very beneficial for you to attend my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminar to learn the full scope of opportunities available, what is required for each specialty, salary ranges, etc. See where I'll be (http://www.nurse.com/events/ce-seminars). If you can't get out to a live seminar, the program also is available in a home study version. Go to (http://ce.nurse.com/RAllCourses.aspx), click on "Professional Development,” and then search alphabetically for the program title.

Getting back to school is a smart thing to do. But you also need to get yourself out there and do some face-to-face networking. Attend career fairs, seminars, nursing and healthcare association meetings/events (even as a guest if not a member) and networking events. Everything happens through networking. You never know where you’ll find the contact, connection or opportunity for a new job. You have to be proactive in the process.

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.