If I leave the bedside, can I go back?

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am considering taking an insurance appeals RN job and leaving my bedside job of almost 10 years. If I leave bedside care, does that stunt my future career opportunities? Should I consider only non-bedside opportunities as my professional future if I leave the bedside now? 

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Considering,

It's definitely a consideration. Stepping away from the bedside often ends up being a permanent move away from acute care.

Being away from the bedside makes it hard to get back to acute care, and the longer you are away, the harder it is. Equipment, procedures and nursing practice change very quickly.

Not to say it's impossible to get back. There are review courses, or you could try to work an occasional weekend to keep in the game. The best way to get back to the bedside once you've been out is to keep your network active. Stay in touch with your colleagues at the hospital  

Even when it's the right timing and the right decision for you, it's common to miss the connection with patients.

Best wishes with your decision.

Nurse Beth