Non-hospital RN job - ideas/suggestions?

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    Hello all. I've been a nurse on a medical unit at a hospital for 2 years now. It has been a great learning experience, but I am 100% burnt out and can't do it any longer. I would really like a break from the overly stressful hospital environment for a while.

    My problem is finding a job outside of the hospital - I don't even know where to start. How does one go about finding these kind of jobs? I have a family friend who works for a private company as the RN, and she said the most exciting thing she sees is the occasional work related injury like a burn...now that sounds nice for a change! I know I will have to take a pay cut, but I do not want a low-paying job considering I get paid very well at my current job. I've heard clinics do not pay RNs very well?

    I realize if these jobs were plentiful there likely wouldn't be any nurses willing to work in a hospital, but I'm willing to work hard to find something and I just need that extra boost to get me started. I have given myself a years time in which to research and find a new job that suits my needs.

    Thank you to anyone who can help (personal success stories are welcome!)
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

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    Hi Layla,

    There are lots of opportunities available to nurses outside of the hospital. This is especially true if you have a BSN, but if not there are still a variety of options, especially with your two years of acute care experience. There are really so many different areas that you may want to narrow it down a bit by focusing on your interests. Do you still want to participate in direct patient care? If so, consider homecare, hospice, LTC/assisted living (many leadership opportunities for RNs), corrections, outpatient surgical centers, or public health clinics.

    If you want to get away from direct patient care, you could check out insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, or rep positons for healthcare organizations or medical equipment companies. Don't forget that you could also search for non-clinical positions in your own hospital system. You could do quality assurance, community education, risk management, and a variety of other things.

    The pay can vary in these positions and some may be less than what you are making in the hospital. However, I have discovered that many of these positions can pay quite well and some actually better than the hospital (see my story below). You also have to consider the benefit of having an increased quality of life that comes from having better hours, holidays off, and lower stress levels. For me, this is far more important than the ability to bring in overtime or bonuses from shift work.

    I spent only a year in the hospital before moving on to non-clinical nursing positions. It was actually very easy to find a job outside of the hospital. My first non-clinical position was working as an educator for a home health agency. The pay was slightly higher than what I was making as a staff nurse. I am now working as a rep for a different home health agency. My salary is about 30% higher than my pay as a staff nurse and I receive performance bonuses. I basically set my own hours since I am in control of my day and I can start and end as I please, as long as I put in my 40 hours. I have 9 paid holidays off, 2 1/2 weeks of vacation, and 14 sick days per year. The job isn't perfect by any means and I don't plan on staying forever. There is still plenty of stress, but in a different way from staff nursing. However, I really disliked bedside nursing and this job is an improvement.

    Good luck!
    lstSmile and D_a_n_a_h like this.
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    How do I go about FINDING these jobs? So far I've found very little advertised outside of hospitals and nursing homes. I just don't know where to start. Oh, and thank you for your very helpful response. It was good to hear a success story.
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    layla- thanks for posting this! im in the same boat but i have been searching for a non hospital (no pt. care) job since april with no luck! any tips would be great!
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    You can actually find these jobs by searching career boards like http://www.careerbuilder.com or http://www.monster.com. You can search for "registered nurse" in your zip code and then just go through them all to weed out the hospital or SNF postings. You should also check out company websites or health department websites. If you are looking for a position that doesn't require an RN (like pharma rep), then you would search for marketing positions or even "pharmaceutical rep". A website that I have found very helpful is your local "Craig's List". Just do a google search for Craig's list in (your city or area). Then you will find job postings for medical or health. This site is free and it often attracts more unique positions and usually not the hospital postings. I hope that this helps.
    lstSmile and Heartyournurse like this.
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    I do consulting in developmental disabilities nursing. I set my own hours and put in whatever the position requires. Mine is part time,so may be as little as 1-2 hours a week to 16 - 20 a week. I still keep my hospital position to pay the bills, but the DD position keeps me sane. I've never felt so appreciated by my 'patients' as in this field. Occupational health is another opportunity, but comes along rarely. Go to large factory/industrial employers in your area and sell your talents!
    aleakate likes this.
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    Many areas have a shortage of school nurses. Find out the districts you would like to work in and go directly to their websites. I find that they rarely advertise. Good luck!
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    Hi Layla,

    Thanks for posting. I, like you, have been on a medical unit for the past year and a half. But I'm exhausted! I'd like to stick it out until the 2 year mark but am looking ahead at taking my degree in another direction. Were you successful in your search? Have you any advice to share?

    Thanks!
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    Quote from Purple_Scrubs
    Many areas have a shortage of school nurses. Find out the districts you would like to work in and go directly to their websites. I find that they rarely advertise. Good luck!
    If you are interested in School Nursing, check if your state requires
    a School Nurse Teacher certificate. If it does, by getting the
    certificate you are a more attractive candidate for the job.


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