Coming to the end of career job switch/not ready for retirement!

  1. I am in my mid-50's and have been an RN for 36 years. I have never done any med/surg nursing, so don't have a solid background in traditional bed-side nursing roles. I began my career in child psychiatry, then moved into postpartum care for the next 20 years. Along the way I obtained a Bachelor of Health Science, followed by a Masters in Health Services Management. After completing this post-grad degree I got a job away from the "front line" and have been running a small out-patient program for the past 6 years. The program involves health teaching and counselling in the preoperative geriatric setting. In this age of cut-backs I can see the writing on the wall for my program and am trying to prepare myself for when this program's funding is eliminated. I do not wish to go back to hands-on patient care and shift work, I have no managerial experience and really don't know where to turn for possible career direction. I will want to work at least another 5 years full time, and then probably part-time or casual after that. I am interested in teaching, but there are no full time jobs in the colleges...they are all contract/semester positions. A PhD is required for permanent university teaching positions. In my current role I earn around 100 k annually and really require a similar income. I don't qualify for a NP diploma program, because the Masters that I did was not clinically based. I feel that in the latter stages of my career I don't want to do a whole NP program from the beginning. I am willing to do a certificate program in "something", but I am having trouble determining what the most productive/beneficial route would be. I am very interested in patient relations and ombudsman type roles, but again, lack the experience and the educational background. Someone in my age group is not very enticing for an employer when there is a lack of experience as well. I'm looking for ideas on possible 'nearing end of career' paths. Thanks for any input provided...of the constructive sort
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    About Canuck

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 24; Likes: 11


  3. by   ddunnrn
    I'm in a similar situation: almost 58, out on disability for chronic kidney disease x 2yrs. Only ever did psych nursing and it's different varieties and types of facilities. I made on average about $85k the last 10 years working, so my SSD is substantial, but my savings will run out in another year, plus I'm really getting bored with no job. I can't make more than $1K per month or I jeopardize my SSD, but my health situation is a bit precarious. Who will hire someone who can only work certain days, and has to limit total hours worked? If you figure out something for your situation, please keep us informed. By the way, I'm a diploma RN, but have a BS in chemistry, not looking forward to, nor do I have the money to further my education. Good luck to all of us in similar dilemmas!
  4. by   llg
    I think you ought to prepare for a reduction in income now -- and not wait for it to happen. You might get lucky and have everything fall nicely into place for you, but do you really want to take that chance? It's unlikely that as a beginner in a new field that you will earn as much as you are now. Reduce your expenses now and learn to live on less. Not only will that make the transition easier for you when the time comes, you will save some money to draw upon when you need it. You can also use that money for some re-training when you figure out what you want to do.