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.