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Fast-paced nursing situations might not be my thing, so what are some good career options?

Friday October 22, 2010
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been an RN for a little over 2 1/2 years and am having trouble deciding what my next move should be. For 1 1/2 years, I was a telemetry and med/surg nurse and did not particularly like that job. I felt constantly overwhelmed (I realize I was a brand new nurse). I decided to try something different and became a mother-baby nurse (I also see antepartum and gyn patients). Although I do not hate where I am now, I often feel I am not working to my full potential.

I thought at one time I wanted to try labor and delivery or ER, but my previous experience in med/surg makes me feel that a fast-paced environment is not the best fit for me. I do enjoy the teaching aspect of my job, but I do not feel I have enough clinical experience to consider teaching at this time. I also have a BS in nutrition. Do you have any suggestions as to what areas of nursing (hospital-based or otherwise) I should consider?

Lisa



Dear Donna replies:

Dear Lisa,

Although L&D and ER can be very fast-paced, they are very, very different practice areas from telemetry and med/surg. I would encourage you to explore both of these options in the following ways.

Do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with nurses currently working in each of these specialties. Ask if you can shadow a nurse in the department for a day or half a day. If you're going to do this in your current facility, talk to your nurse manager first and just let him or her know you would like to explore some of your options in nursing for the future.

Read “How to Find Your Forte” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Forte) to help you further explore where to go from here. It's also important to network and meet new people on a regular basis. This helps you to learn more about yourself, and about nursing opportunities and the world around you. Attend career fairs, healthcare facility/company open house events and local chapter meetings of professional associations.

Consider reading my book, “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” (http://www.Nurse.com/ce/7250). It will help you to move forward in your nursing career with confidence and answer the question, "Where do I go from here?"

My best wishes,
Donna




Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’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.