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What advice do you have for a 60-year-old ADN who wants to get away from the bedside?

Wednesday April 4, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I spent 18 years working in the ICU, CCU and CSICU. Then I worked in home care and cardiac telemetry for 14 years. I am ready for non-bedside nursing work. It seems staying at the bedside is a bad career choice for me. What do you suggest for a 60-year-old ADN?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear John,

You have so many possible options, I barely know where to begin. Because of your extensive ICU and telemetry background, you'd be perfect working in an eICU. In an eICU center, nurses monitor ICU patients via webcam and other technology. You can learn more about this and locate opportunities by doing a search at Nurse.com for eICU, as well as a general Internet search.

Also, your background lends itself well to the specialty of occupational health. Many nurses work for all sorts of companies and facilities, both public and private, in this field. Learn more from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (www.aaohn.org) and by doing a search for the specialty at Nurse.com.

Other options would be case management, disease management, telephone triage, telephone advice, public health, etc. You might find this article helpful: www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/ChangeSpecialties

Attend some nursing career fairs (http://www.Nurse.com/CareerFairs/). Talk to nontraditional employers and to nursing agencies that have nontraditional offerings. This is a good way to start learning about what else is out there for you. Attend local chapters meetings of nursing associations and talk to nurses who are working in nontraditional areas. Also, you might consider attending my “Career alternatives for nurses” seminar to fully explore your options, identify transferable skills, and decide where to go from here (http://www.Nurse.com/CEseminars/).

Best wishes,

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.