Don't want acute care-where can I go?

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Join the conversation! Nurses Nurse Beth Nursing Q/A


I'm getting back into the game. I took a year and a half off after major burnout but I want to start back into nursing. When I left I was an ED nurse, before that I had been Med-Surg/Tele and Urgent Care with a stint in Long Term Care. I don't want to work in a hospital or LTC again and I'm really at a loss of where to go. Urgent Care/Medical Clinics are moving into LVN/MA staffing in my area for the most part so that's difficult. I know there are so many avenues that I have not even heard of, any suggestions?

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Understandably, after experiencing burnout, you'd want to explore different avenues within the nursing profession.

There are so many paths you could consider. A lot depends on what matches your particular strengths and passions and opportunities near you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Aesthetics Nursing provides care to patients undergoing cosmetic or dermatological procedures. It's a pretty happy environment, and the hours are good.
  • Ambulatory Care Nursing While some urgent care clinics may be shifting towards LVN/MA staffing, there are still opportunities in ambulatory care settings such as specialty clinics (oncology, for example), outpatient surgery centers, and physician offices. As an RN, you could serve in a supervisory role.
  • Case Management Coordinates care and resources across various healthcare settings—the opportunity for remote work.
  • Community Health Works with communities rather than individual patients, such as public health departments, non-profit organizations, or community clinics. It improves access to healthcare for underserved populations.
  • Correctional Nursing is Unique and challenging. It provides healthcare services to inmates, addressing their physical and mental health needs within the prison system. The pay and benefits are very good.
  • Disease-specific clinics Examples include Coumadin clinics and heart failure clinics.
  • Documentation Specialist This is for detail-oriented nurses who like to review charts.
  • Healthcare Education  Teaching in nursing schools, conducting training programs or providing continuing education for healthcare professionals. Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care.
  • Home Health  Allows you to work more closely with patients and their families in a less hectic environment than a hospital setting.
  • Hospice Close patient and family contact at the end of life
  • Infection Prevention Includes chart reviews, analysis, and staff education, and you never know what's around the corner!
  • Informatics Integrates nursing knowledge in  the EHR 
  • Infusion nursing Can work in many settings, providing fluids, medications
  • Nurse Navigator Helps patients navigate serious illness
  • Occupational Health/Employee Health Specializes in the health and safety of workers
  • Parish Nursing Holistic care that integrates faith and health
  • Palliative Care Manages care for patients living with serious illness 
  • Research Nursing  Participates in clinical trials, conducts research studies and collects data to improve patient outcomes. Often, there are opportunities near large medical centers. 
  • Risk Management/Regulatory/Quality: Maintains quality and reduces organizational risk.
  • School Nursing Promotes health and wellness to students
  • Sexual Assault Provides care to sexual assault victims. Nurses may have an ED background
  • Telehealth Nursing Assess patients provides education, and coordinates care from a distance
  • Vendor rep/education Think Hill-Rom, Stryker. Travels over a region and provides staff education on equipment

These are just a few examples, and hopefully, get you thinking of other roles. Register on to get more ideas.

Consider exploring these options further to see which aligns best with your interests, skills, and career goals. Networking with other nurses and professionals in these fields can provide valuable insights and potential job opportunities.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth