Nurse trying to get NON-nursing job....impossible!!

  1. 0
    Hi, I've been a nurse "forever" and I JUST want to break into a NON-nursing career, but I think when someone sees my resume and/or interviews me, they
    just can NOT understand why I'd want to leave nursing and/or settle for less pay.

    I always make it CLEAR that I have not lost my license, haven't been sued, etc....(I had a wonderful HR person tell me how to write the "goal" on my resume that explains this in a professional way). There is NOTHING negative in my nursing career, and I have excellent references. I'm just TIRED of nursing, and I also explain that the lower pay is NOT an issue.

    I've applied for ALL kinds of positions such as unit secretary, admissions clerk, etc. I would LOVE to know if any former nurses have been successful with this?

    I should also explain that before this, I applied for other "desk"-type nursing jobs such as Quality Assurance, Chart auditing, MDS, ANYthing that I felt I would be good at, but those jobs are also IMPOSSIBLE to get without *experience*.

    I know that I could be an excellent unit secretary in a hospital, or an admissions clerk, etc. Any former nurses doing jobs like this???
    Last edit by nervousnurse on Jan 16, '13 : Reason: oops!

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 5
    A licensed nurse working in a non-nursing position in the hospitals... seems like a hospital wouldn't like that for fear of the liability it could open them up to. A licensed nurse is sitting at the front desk but working as a unit clerk. It's a busy day on the unit and none of the nurses are at/near the nurses' station. The patient across the hall from the nurses' station's monitor begins to alarm and he is desatting. The nurse sitting at the desk notices this but since she is not employed as a nurse, it's not within her job description to respond. It is, however, in her scope of practice as a licensed nurse. It takes a while for the nurses on the floor to respond because they don't hear the alarm while in their patients' rooms. We live in a litigious society, I just foresee too many problems with this kind of scenario. If you want to leave nursing, have you looked at jobs outside of healthcare all together?
  4. 0
    There was a time when I was completely burnt out on nursing and I would have done almost anything OTHER than nursing. I looked for other non-nursing jobs and had the same problem you had--everyone assumes "Nurses make so much money, blah blah blah, she'll leave as soon as a hosptial job comes available." I worked for UPS packing & shipping boxes for a whole year before I got my head back in the game.

    I moved away from bedside nursing about 17 yrs ago. Since then I have done telephone triage and school nursing. Just recently I left school nursing to sign on with a non-profit agency doing chart reviews and training of caregivers of foster children and persons with developmental disabilities. It couldn't BE more different from traditional nursing. Except for the fact that my brain is stuffed with 35 years nursing experience, it almost feels like not-nursing. Perhaps you could look into something like this.

    I know several nurses who have gone into teaching assistant or paraprofessional positions in the school system. Most of them work with the special needs population on their daily learning activities. My youngest son is served in a class for teens with severe/profound intellectual disabilities. He is a great kid, but he has seizures, wears Depends, is nonverbal,and autistic--and VERY fast. He's healthy, but he is very off balance so he has falls pretty frequently. It has been a huge blessing to us that some of his parapros are RNs. When he has an "event", they are right there with their nursing judgement figuring out how it needs to be handled. I can relax knowing that nothing much is going to get by those nurses. They love what they do and they really feel like they are making a difference--and I agree!
  5. 0
    First I understand wanting to step away from the bedside... After 12.5 yrs this is where I have found myself. However, it sounds like you are giving up too easily on the desk jobs. I somehow became very lucky and this week started as a Clinical Information Analyst. Basically working in the IT world.... If you have done electronic charting and enjoy it and would like to learn how to build and implement systems, now is an EXCELLENT time to find one of these positions. With meaningful use coming up there are tons of these types of positions out there! I wish you good luck in your search.
  6. 0
    Have you thought about going back to school for a non nursing degree? That's what I'm currently doing. And I can totally relate to your post. I've been a nurse for 5 years but have been in healthcare for 11 almost 12 years and felt trapped. I had to reinvent myself so I can be taken seriously when I apply for that non nursing job. I applied for a couple of sales jobs about a year ago and at 2 interviews I got asked the same questions you were asked.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  7. 0
    Quote from ccweisbard
    First I understand wanting to step away from the bedside... After 12.5 yrs this is where I have found myself. However, it sounds like you are giving up too easily on the desk jobs. I somehow became very lucky and this week started as a Clinical Information Analyst. Basically working in the IT world.... If you have done electronic charting and enjoy it and would like to learn how to build and implement systems, now is an EXCELLENT time to find one of these positions. With meaningful use coming up there are tons of these types of positions out there! I wish you good luck in your search.
    Oh wow we were posting at the same time. This is the area I want to go into. I'm working on my IT degree now! I think it is a great field because I can still use my nursing knowledge but I'm away from direct care. Congrats to you!!

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  8. 0
    THANK YOU all for your input! I really appreciate it!
    ccweisbard---that position sounds awesome---congrats!!!

    DoeRN---that's great that you're back in school!

    Mustlovepoodles---chart reviews is something I know I'd be good at, and also, verrry
    interesting you mentioned paraprofessionals in schools, I am thinking about that!

    KelRN215---yes, those are very good points!
  9. 0
    I can relate! I had been thinking of entering a non-nursing graduate program. When speaking with the admission counselor it seemed like 5 min. of her just saying she's never met a nurse who didn't want to work in nursing anymore or leave the hospital setting. A former executive of an insurance company suggested to me to say something along the lines of how you value the skills gained in nursing (organization, time management, critical thinking) you want to apply those skills in a different setting.
  10. 0
    How about sleep medicine? That's what I did for 12+ years while I was raising my kids and waiting for the right time to accomplish my ultimate goal, which was nursing. I am a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist in addition to now being an RN. Sleep does involve patient care (and working nights!), but once you have been working in it for a while it is easy to move into a daytime position with less patient-care oriented work like scoring sleep studies, working on making sure clients have their equipment, answering phone questions, working with providers, etc. Sleep incorporates a bit of respiratory, but nothing an RN couldn't learn or easily brush up on from nursing school. And the pay is comparable. When I left the University Hospital in my state 7 years ago, the sleep technologists had just been bumped up to respiratory/nurse pay. I hate to say it but in some cases you can actually make MORE in such a specialty, when I was working as manager of my sleep clinic I was making very decent money, and out of state would have been even better. Just a suggestion, I have known a few RNs who continued to work as Sleep Technologists as well, including my regional manager. I often wonder if I will do a little bit of both. Sleep comes with significantly less liability (no IVs ever, really no med-passes to speak of, the provider will instruct them to take any sleep meds pre-test and the tech is not responsible for that), the biggest liability is making sure you are awake all night and with your eyes on the respiratory and EKGs (sleep patients HAVE died in labs before as a result of sleep techs falling asleep). On one hand it's nice to be able to sit down during a shift as a sleep tech, on the other it's also nice to be doing things so you don't fall asleep, lol. Good luck!
    Last edit by RachNurse on Jan 17, '13 : Reason: misspelling
  11. 0
    Quote from DoeRN

    Oh wow we were posting at the same time. This is the area I want to go into. I'm working on my IT degree now! I think it is a great field because I can still use my nursing knowledge but I'm away from direct care. Congrats to you!!

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    I didn't go get my degree (beyond my BSN). Now is really good time to break into the IT world, due to meaningful use. If you have your BSN, try taking the plunge and work on your résumé (make it look good for the IT side of nursing, highlighting super user and preventing experience, using any electronic records with charting and any other experience you may have that might help).


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