Fill out your new career PROfile on and let employers come to you • SIGN UP

Is there some kind of nursing work I can do that would get me off my feet and be less stressful?



Dear Donna,

I’m a 59-year-old RN with an associate degree working in a teaching hospital. I would like to retire, but I cannot. People have suggested I work for an insurance company — in my opinion, that would be like selling my soul to the devil. There must be other jobs out there. Is there some kind of nursing work I can do that would get me off my feet and be less stressful?

Looking For Options

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Looking For Options,

Fortunately, you do have options. Although some nurses see insurance companies as evil, the truth is many nurses are making a very positive difference in that environment doing disease management, acting as health coaches and educators, doling out helpful information as telephone advice line and telephone triage nurses. In spite of what you might think, many insurance companies are doing a lot to support the health and well-being of their enrollees, my own insurance company included.

There are plenty of other places to work: a local blood bank, a public health department, a private company (not an insurance company) that does telephone triage or case management, intake for a homecare company, remote monitoring nurse for an eICU and many others. You do not need a higher degree or prior experience for any of these positions. Your RN credential and extensive work experience will serve you well.

Start attending nursing career fairs in your area to explore options, make contacts and hone your networking and self-marketing skills. All types of employers with all types of positions, both traditional and nontraditional, exhibit at these events. See what’s coming up at Speak with some nursing agencies while there. Many have nontraditional offerings as well. You also can contact nursing agencies in your local area about alternative nursing opportunities.

Also, you should attend local meetings of your state chapter of the American Nurses Association ( If you’re not a member you can attend as a guest. Networking is a great way to explore options and find a job.

Step out of your comfort zone, meet some new people, shake some hands and be open to new and different ways of working. You have a great background and great opportunities. Read “Ten steps to a successful job search” (

Good luck,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’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 and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit

Leave A Reply