Considering a Change - Not Sure of Career Path

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  1. Hi Nurse Beth,

    I am currently in a hospital leadership position but I'm thinking of leaving this position to pursue a clinical career. After being in nursing administration, I'm not sure that this is the best career path for me. I'm sure many people in nursing administration go through these same challenges. I have about 25-30 more years before I retire, so I thought that now might be a good time to switch over. Any thoughts or insight?



    Dear Not Sure of Career Path,

    Thanks for your great question

    I would say....switch.

    The first and primary reason is that you are unsure. When you are doing what you should be doing, you do not generally feel unsure at the core. You may get tired, experience ups and downs, or have disappointments, but overall you are fulfilled and are at peace.

    Being effective and successful in a role (such as leadership) does not necessarily mean it's your destiny. It means you are multi talented. Many leadership skills are transferable to different roles. Your skills, honed during your leadership time, will help you succeed on a new trajectory.

    The second reason is that you do not want to live with regrets. It’s scary to venture into a new career path because there are no guarantees and none of us know the future. But it’s worse to never try than to try and not succeed. Trying and going for it is succeeding.

    You are smart to be aware of and consider the timing in your career. Essentially by switching tracks, you are starting over and you may have a bit of time/ground/finances to make up- but it's all good in that you bring all your experience to the table in whatever career path you choose.

    One of the awesome things about nursing is the incredible amount of options available. Really, the only thing that limits us is ourselves.

    So spread your wings and fly….and be an inspiration to all of us.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 30, '16
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Jessann5
    I am in the same boat! I am in a non-traditional nurse role and I actually work in the HIM department. I work M-F daytime hours and that is nice but, I really hate being here 5 days a week. My job is desperately boring and mind-numbing, but it is low stress and I don't have to deal with patients and family members. I want a change so bad but I am torn between staying where I am comfortable and don't work weekends/nights/holidays, or venturing out into another world of nursing. I am really interested in L&D. I think bringing babies into the world every day would be so exciting and fun! And it just so happens that my hospital is feverishly hiring for L&D right now.

    I have worked many nursing roles in my 11 years. I have done LTC, MS, Ortho, community health and now HIM, so I've experienced several different environments, but I don't feel like I've found my "fit" yet.
  4. by   Barmherzigkeit
    I loved your answer, Nurse Beth, because it was just what I needed to hear today. I too am considering a career change and am actively working on applying to an accelerated BSN. My current job is an administrative assistant at a state university. The people I work with are wonderful, the hours 8-5, no weekends or holidays, yet in my heart I know I want to be a nurse. Trouble was the uncertainty about actually stepping outside my comfort zone and making a change. Thank you for saying trying and going for it is succeeding. It was like a mental burden was lifted. You made my day!
  5. by   Caffeine_IV
    Quote from Jessann5
    I am in the same boat! I am in a non-traditional nurse role and I actually work in the HIM department. I work M-F daytime hours and that is nice but, I really hate being here 5 days a week. My job is desperately boring and mind-numbing, but it is low stress and I don't have to deal with patients and family members. I want a change so bad but I am torn between staying where I am comfortable and don't work weekends/nights/holidays, or venturing out into another world of nursing. I am really interested in L&D. I think bringing babies into the world every day would be so exciting and fun! And it just so happens that my hospital is feverishly hiring for L&D right now.

    I have worked many nursing roles in my 11 years. I have done LTC, MS, Ortho, community health and now HIM, so I've experienced several different environments, but I don't feel like I've found my "fit" yet.

    I can relate to this very well! I am working a desk job as a clinical documentation specialist and it is NOT for me. The only thing I like is the flexibility. I have done med surg, hospice, LTC and outpatient radiology. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed patient contact ( not necessarily bedside/acute care) until I was away from it.
  6. by   PANYNP
    I have worked many nursing roles in my 11 years. I have done LTC, MS, Ortho, community health and now HIM, so I've experienced several different environments, but I don't feel like I've found my "fit" yet.[/QUOTE]

    My apologies for being clueless - What is HIM?
  7. by   Jessann5
    I am a CDI also. It is so redundant. I seriously ask the same 3 doctors every day to please specify the acuity of the heart failure over and over again. It never changes. I do love the flexibility, but being tied to this desk all day and spinning my wheels with the same old stuff every day is driving me nuts.
  8. by   HeyNurse2014
    Quote from PANYNP
    I have worked many nursing roles in my 11 years. I have done LTC, MS, Ortho, community health and now HIM, so I've experienced several different environments, but I don't feel like I've found my "fit" yet.
    My apologies for being clueless - What is HIM?[/QUOTE]

    I wondered the exact same thing. Know that a lot of folks will post and never look at the discussion again, I googled HIM. It means Health Information Management.
    The next post has CDI. Again, google... Clinical Documentation Improvement.
    I guess the members here know a lot more than me but it is still nice to have the acronym spelled out for the ignorant folks like me.
    Now that I learned two new things today I can go back to sleep.
  9. by   CHESSIE
    Quote from HeyNurse2014
    My apologies for being clueless - What is HIM?
    I wondered the exact same thing. Know that a lot of folks will post and never look at the discussion again, I googled HIM. It means Health Information Management.
    The next post has CDI. Again, google... Clinical Documentation Improvement.
    I guess the members here know a lot more than me but it is still nice to have the acronym spelled out for the ignorant folks like me.
    Now that I learned two new things today I can go back to sleep. [/QUOTE]


    Do not apologize. I, too, "Googled" the two acronyms to learn the names of the entities. I am sure that the two of us were not the only ones who turned to "Google." :-)
  10. by   vampiregirl
    I voluntarily left a management/ leadership position in a SNF for a bedside position in hospice. No regrets here
  11. by   Khayslett
    Nurses are smart and talented. What stops us from moving forward and fulling our dreams and aspirations? I have decided to take the leap!
  12. by   One RN
    Also in CDI; in my own way, I can relate to providers not wanting to take advice from an RN or that they want to do it the way they'll do it without adapting to 'best practice' or even more efficient use of the application.

    For those of you in CDI and to 'Not Sure of Career Path', it's your life and you deserve to be happy. Go get it. Stay where you are patiently, use the good mind you have to find the next step, and do what you are good at doing. The right things will fall in place for that to happen.

    I encourage you to leave for that better opportunity. Nothing will be perfectly perfect, yet you'll know it when it arrives so you can use your talents and skills. Your patients and those whom you'll serve are eagerly waiting for you.
  13. by   amazingme
    I agree that sometimes you have to step out on faith and make a change to feel that you're truly doing the job you're meant to do, but how do you do that when some positions require certain experience although listed as preferred in the description? How do you get the experience to move forward when you aren't given a chance?
  14. by   TheSocialMediaCoach
    @Jessann5,
    I am in a similar boat. I started my Side Gig for many reasons. There are SO many companies and health startups who need your expertise. Start speaking to what it is that you know. This "speaking" could take many forms. The goal of starting to speak to what is you have done is not to earn money, but it may help you to see where you want to go. Let me know if you have any questions.


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