I am 35 years old, have many years experience as a higher ed ivy league administrator, hold a BA, as well as an MPA (focus in financing public, health and non-profit organizations). I have started an accelerated program in preparation for a career change to nursing. While I know I will get many eye rolls for even asking about "desk" and "research" jobs without any experience, I want to start preparing NOW! I am the first person in my family to be college educated and found that degrees with little long term career planning are useless!!! (i.e. an MPA is great, but I would never advise someone in my field to get one and wander around aimlessly with no direction/internships/mentors/goals). I DO plan on paying my dues on the floor, but want to know how I can most benefit the health care field using my previous experience and education.
I've heard some whispers about patient educators, charge nurses, case managers, MDS Coordinators and ADON's. Can anyone tell me more about these areas, including (in the most basic, basic terms) how long one needs to do bedside nursing to enter the field (and in what unit), how much education/training/certification is required, what the job responsibilities are, and what the hours/pay are. Any info you could provide would be great.