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

  1. 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?
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    About np7797

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 8; Likes: 16


  3. by   evolvingrn
    what about jobs for insurance companies ect.... ?
  4. by   caliotter3
    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.
  5. by   juliaann
    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.
  6. by   fungez
    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.
  7. by   llg
    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.
  8. by   carluvscats
    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. by   CNL2B
    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!!!
  10. by   Aberdeen
    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. by   np7797
    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?
  12. by   jjjoy
    Kudos to you for trying for so long! I can relate to mixed feelings about going in another direction from nursing. I've managed to find peripheral health care related jobs that prefer folks with a nursing background but that isn't absolutely required. A BSN is recognized as any other bachelor's degree, which qualifies you for any job that has that as a minimum requirement.

    As another noted, looking for jobs is not as straightforward as looking under "Nursing" in jobs listings. And there's a lot of "right place, right time" luck in landing any particular kind of job. It's also tough to get potential employers to look beyond the nursing education/license because they fear that you'll jump ship as soon as a good nursing opportunity comes your way, especially if the pay is considerably less than what you could make otherwise.

    I agree with the advice to look at job listings for health care related companies involved in medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, etc. Academic medical centers are another place to check job listings. Look at all the other job listings at a hospital besides nursing (there may be 25 open staff nurse positions and only 8 other positions, but if you know you'll be miserable in any of those 25 jobs, stick to learning what you can about other possible opportunities.) Even if you wouldn't qualify for or want 98% of the jobs you find in your search, you'll be learning what types of jobs are out there, job titles, functions, qualifications, etc which may help direct you.

    Best wishes whatever you do!!
  13. by   Blackheartednurse
    How about a nursing job in the office.Doing paperwork.I know some nurses who do that and they are happy.
  14. by   carolmaccas66
    I know exactly where you're coming from. I gave up many things (including a long term relationship) to finish my degree and really, I do not think it was worth it. I haven't been an RN very long, but have done other nursing/hospital work over a 24 year period. And no, you can't use your BSN/BN anywhere outside of bedside nursing (I was never told this when I was studying; everyone said nursing would open up so many doors!). I discovered not long ago, to my horror, that unless you have 1-2 years experience and qualifications in another field, no-one wants to know you. And we also have to pay for all our extra training courses too - no-one helps out with that. I think it's a poor reflection on society when nurses struggle to make ends meet to finish study (with no pay when on clinical), and the government does not support us in any way whatsoever. Society demands the best health care - better trained nurses, doctors, etc. We used to have all our CPR & yearly certifications free at the hospitals - not anymore - we have to pay for it all ourselves.
    I actually think nursing can be very limiting to be honest, unless you have a ton of other qualifications.
    I worked in a doctor's surgery as a nurse/receptionist/admin coordinator. I also did one job where I was coordinating operating theatres, and you definitely need nursing knowledge for that (that was harder in many ways than bedside nursing). Can you do medical typing? I am looking to do that from home so I can concentrate more on my studies.
    But yes you should see a career counsellor for some pointers and get you CV re-vamped - is there an employment office near you where you could see someone? What about also doing a phlebotomy course and working in a pathology business or path lab?
    There is nothing worse than doing a job where you are unhappy - you will just become more depressed and won't be able to function after a while.
    Good luck.