Jump to content

Career Pathing


Specializes in MPH Student Fall/14, Emergency, Research. Has 2+ years experience.

I was wondering if anyone might be willing to share their own career path, as I am trying to envision my own without much success. At this point I believe I might want to transition into an acute burns unit but I change my mind with every clinical rotation I'm in.

For the sake of inspiration, I would really appreciate if anyone would care to share their career path. Where did you start? Why? What transitions did you make, and how many years did you spend in each role?

Thank you!

SummitRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention. Has 9 years experience.

Not sure if this is what you were looking for but...


Engineering School -> IT -> SAR -> EMT school -> EMS -> Clinic -> EMS Instructor -> School for Nursing Prereqs


Nursing Student


Whatever hospital job I can get -> ICU+ED -> Flight Nurse -> DNP -> MPH -> Supreme President of the Solar System

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

High school -> college (BSN) -> NICU staff nurse -> Grad school (MSN) -> NICU CNS and Staff Development Educator -> Grad school (PhD) -> Undergrad instructor -> NICU CNS & Staff Development Educator -> Hospitalwide Nursing Professional Development Specialist & head of Nursing Research & Evidence-Base Practice

Sometimes, the best move is a sideways one or even backwards. The best move is not always upward.


Specializes in cardiac, neurology,home health.

I completely understand...the good news is that it sounds like you like alot of jobs in nursing!!! I graduated from BSN Nursing in 1992. I went into a critical care residency program after rotating all sorts of units as a nurse tech while in school. Worked in heart unit with post ops and interventionals abt 5/6 yrs then 8-5 sounded good so left to work in neurology office. There for a yr, had 2nd baby, and wanted part time (and didn't care for 8-5 so much), and went back to my original love, the hearts....stayed there another year or so, and moved with husband's job and worked in a CCU for a year, and then, husband job moved us to another state....home for a few months then went to work for a temp agency...worked one on one with a 30 yr old vent pt for 8 hrs...got a lifetime of inspiration from this amazing guy, but never went back as that really was not for me....did a temp job in hospital in a cath lab recovery for abt 3 months. got preganant....miscarried....decided to stay home with my 2 children...both had tourette's syndrome and decided to homeschool them... antoher baby and then went to work weekends with Home Health...oldest graduated high school...middle schooler went to school, tics and all...(different personality)...third child started Kindergarten and I worked days at home health...just recently that jobs seems to be drying up and I am considering FNP school..oh, and have a grandchild and all kids living at home! Nursing has been a wonderfully adaptive career for me...didn't really plan anything except the critical care residency....what's ahead?


Specializes in BNAT instructor, ICU, Hospice,triage. Has 25 years experience.

Started on a med/surg floor in 1990 as a nurse aid while going to school. 1993 graduated with a BSN and started on the same floor as an RN worked there until 1997. Worked in ICU at same hospital till 1999 when I had just found out I was preg with first baby. Went to work for a general surgeon cause I needed my baby to sleep in his own bed every night (my dh is a cop and rotates shifts) And all I'd ever worked my entire life was 7pm - 7am. I worked for the general surgeon for 4 years and the hours were horrendous, I worked 80 hour weeks. Went back to ICU in 2001 cause dh got a day job as a cop working in the schools. I worked evenings so that we could stagger our child care, we had 2 kids by then.

Don't throw tomatoes at me but we are anti-daycare. And no grandparents to babysit so this was difficult but somehow someway we did get through it. I was worked relief mostly but it was 30-40 hrs a week.

2008, quit ICU and started working from my home doing telephone triage. And this has been the job of my dreams. I can be a sort of stay-at-home mom and work in my office from midnight to 8 am. It pays horribly bad but the benefits of me staying at home outweigh the stinky pay and no insurance. (we have individual self pay insurance)

I have an interview next week for a home health job. I want to try to work a day or two a week on top of my phone triage job.


Specializes in CVICU, ED. Has 4 years experience.

Supreme President of the Solar System

Hey!! There's only room for one of those and its gonna be ME!!!:D

But on a side note. . .

Pharm Tech -> EMT -> ER Tech -> FF/Paramedic -> RN -> Med/tele -> ED -> CVICU -> ???

Edited by HiHoCherry-O
added info


Specializes in LTC Family Practice.

Hey!! There's only room for one of those and its gonna be ME!!!:D

But on a side note. . .

Pharm Tech -> EMT -> ER Tech -> FF/Paramedic -> RN -> Med/tele -> ED -> CVICU -> ???

OHHH NOOOO NO NO NO Age reigns supreme so that'd be me as Supreme President of the Solar System and Mz. high potentate of all


Another side note; NA-LPN - left nursing for a looong time after 20 years and now I'm a certified Phlebotomist unemployed but hopeful:o. I maintain my license by online CE's in another state and hope to sell out and move there soon.:cool:

Hospice Nurse LPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Hospice. Has 15 years experience.

High school > college (to drink beer and chase boys) > married w/children >vet tech>LPN>currently a student again working on BSN.


Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,. Has 4 years experience.

From 2003 to 2007 work as a PCT on a Progressive Care/Telemetry Unit. 2007 worked as an RN on PC/Tele from 2007 to 2010. Earned my BSN in 2009. 2010 decided for more of a challenge. Now working in Resource Pool, this allowing me to work a total of five units Medical/Surgical times two, Telemetry, ICU, and ED. I spent alot of my time in the ED. 2010 I am also a nursing instructor. I work two prn jobs and love what I do for a living. I am planning on attending Walden in January. Good luck. You will find a path to travel. Keep us posted.

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

Info Tech & Informatics -->laid-off--> pre-nursing student-->current BSN student-->future FNP


Specializes in MPH Student Fall/14, Emergency, Research. Has 2+ years experience.

Thank you for all the replies. This is the kind of thing I was looking for. One of the most intimidating things as a potential nurse is seeing all of the options available to me.

It's everyone's favorite question - "What kind of nurse do you want to be?"

I've never had an answer for that, although I know a lot of people who have known since the first day of nursing school.

It helps a lot to see the kind of things you have done in your career so far. I am hoping/vaguely planning to gain 1-2 years of Med-Surg experience (if the market allows), and maybe a year of something else if I feel ready, and then return to school for my NP. However I am also drawn to Oncology and ICU/Burns.... next week it'll be Peds or HH or something else, I'm sure.

Thanks again and feel free to contribute. It might seem straightforward to those of you in the work force but any input helps me envision my own possibilities. :idea: