I want to leave nursing....now what do I do?!

  1. 2
    I have been a nurse for 6 years and in that time I've tried medical, oncology, labor and delivery, outpatient pediatrics, home care, QA.....the list goes on. I have come to the conclusion that I should have listened to all those doubts I had while I was in nursing school, but I figured, "Hey, I'm already this far and things will get better when I graduate and begin work." Nope. Nursing is definitely not the profession for me. I don't have any other skills or talents to offer though. How do I make my nursing resume appealing to non-nursing jobs and what kinds of jobs can I do? My BSN degree is useless outside of the nursing world! Anyone out there have any ideas for me?
    chelli73 and nursebenson like this.

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  2. 39 Comments...

  3. 0
    what about jobs for insurance companies ect.... ?
  4. 1
    When I got laid off from my nursing job and couldn't find work as a nurse, I tried to work in non-nursing jobs because I had to do something. Nobody would hire me there either, except for temp work at low pay that wouldn't keep gas in my car so I could move my car from place to place when I slept in it for, shall we say, being "housing challenged". I didn't get work until I got work in nursing again; so in nursing I am stuck.
    scoochy likes this.
  5. 3
    Our GE rep who inserviced us all on our new EKG database software this past winter was an RN. He said he didn't like bedside nursing, liked computers, and his job with GE was a great fit. He travels all over teaching software. He loves it.

    Maybe consider working for a medical supplies or computer company, or a pharmaceutical company? I know we have tons of suppliers and reps coming in to our cath lab all the time...I'm still not sure what they actually do, but they bring lunch and sit in on cases and they're funny.
    nursebenson, RescueNinja, and MBARNBSN like this.
  6. 5
    Oh, me too. I've always said I'm retiring in 20 years. My daughter will be out of college then and I'll just have to support myself. I could work minimum wage if I had to. But now we're in a recession, and even the minimum wage jobs are saturated.

    I'd advise you to try a doc's office. Yeah, you'll take a paycut, but the work is so much better. Minimal stress, no weekends or holidays, and you can take off in the middle of the day without people acting like you're part of the Taliban.
    JerzeeMike, I♥Dexter, alem-tsahai, and 2 others like this.
  7. 2
    If you really want to leave nursing and/or healthcare in general ... then I suggest you seek career counseling. Perhaps you could find that type of counseling at a local community college. Here on allnurses, we are a bunch of nurses who know mostly about nursing careers. You need to be talking with people who know other careers -- and who are professionals with expertise at helping people find the right career for them. It would probably be worth the investment to pay for some professional career counseling.

    Another option would be to "take a break" by trying some other things while you keep your nursing skills intact by working a bare minimal part time job. Maybe a break would help you give you a perspective on the nature of work that would help you decide what to do with the rest of your life.
    selkie and NRSKarenRN like this.
  8. 0
    I agree with juliaann......have you thought about sales? When I worked in a pain clinic, and now in the OR, we have streams of folks coming in representing suture, beds, drugs, etc....they all are RN's with BSNs. They all seem pretty light-hearted.....they bring bagels and sit in on cases and chat up the docs.

    Good luck!
  9. 1
    Medical insurance?

    Medical sales?

    Medical research?

    Administration? --- many hospital nursing admins need Master's these days, but not all. There are also other settings like LTC (the admin job is the business side of the facility management, the DON is the practice side), clinic admin (supervising office staff, MAs, maybe LPNs), etc. Those jobs aren't 100% patient contact free, but it's not direct care.

    Phone triage?


    I think there are a fair amount of options. They are a little less obvious than the "XYZ hospital is looking for staff RNs" advertisements out there but they are there. With 6 years in hopefully you will find something.

    Best wishes and kudos to you for recognizing your weaknesses. I am with you that nursing is not for everybody, and bedside nursing is not for everybody forever, either. The one thing I would be cautious of is letting your license lapse, even if you are in a job that doesn't require an RN. You never know when you are going to need those initials!!!
    MBARNBSN likes this.
  10. 0
    I wouldn’t say your BSN is useless outside of the nursing world. There are many people who have degrees that do not correspond with their job. For example I have a good friend who has degrees in Botany and Horticulture and he works as an marketing rep for American Standard. He knows about everything there is to know about growing plants, but he sells toilets to big box retailers. Then there are the near countless people I have worked with in the business world that never took the first business related class much less earned a degree in it. There is something out there for you and once you figure out what you want you will find a way to make it work. Good luck!
  11. 7
    Thanks for all the helpful comments everyone! I am definitely having trouble figuring out what I want to do. Any job postings I find interesting all require someone who has had at least 2 years experience in that type of position, so it's difficult so far. I'm kind of freaking out, but trying hard not to!

    I may have to look in to the career counseling tip and revamp my resume so it's not so much nursing focused and more "hey look at my ability to multitask and handle life/death situations, doctors throwing tantrums, disgruntled family members, catty coworkers, and an added bonus-- my nose is pretty much immune to the smell of feces!!".

    But seriously, it's really hard to finally say out loud "nursing just isn't for me" since I worked so hard for the degree and spent so much time and energy on nursing. You live and you learn, right?
    KansasRN14, lamentas, shamistarz, and 4 others like this.

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