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Losing clinical marketability

Management   (2,961 Views | 8 Replies)

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I'm considering a position of Director of Clinical Services with prior mgmt experience back in my early 30's and career long strong clinical experience in my field of home health.

I'm looking at both what I want to do during the remaining bulk of my career, the next 10 years, and then what I think of as the twilight perdiem years.

At this point in my field it's mostly a non issue but looking towards the future, have you found or observed loss of clinical marketability after leaving bedside for mgmt? Is there a magic number of being out of patient care for x amount of years results in irrelevancy?

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

7 Followers; 13,286 Posts; 60,050 Profile Views

I don't think there is any magic number of years or anything ... but one definitely loses clinical skills and relevancy as time passes without using them. It's just a fact of life.

In order to move forward, we have to leave some things behind.

The question is: Are you OK with that? If not, can you find some way to maintain your skills while you move on to try some other things?

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Jensmom7 has 36 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice.

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Haven't been in a hospital in 10 years. I know I couldn't survive one shift on a MedSurg floor right now, physically or mentally.

I'm fine with it. Because I'm now a Helluva good Hospice Nurse.

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SummerGarden has 12 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in ED, CM, ICU, MS/MT, Frontline Management.

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OP: The only way to prevent from losing bedside clinical skills may be to choose not to completely leave it behind. I know nurses that left bedside nursing but were unsure of their career choices so they continued to work Per Diem as bedside nurses. They, of course, were ultimately allowed to return to the bedside full time as soon as they wished to do so. I also, know of a few junior level part-time managers that use the same strategy. On the other hand, I noticed those that did not keep one-foot-in-the-door of bedside nursing who eventually returned to bedside did so with much difficulty and after many years of trying. Thus, if you are afraid to lose you bedside skills and/or you plan to return to bedside nursing and want to be marketable, then get a Per Diem job as soon as possible and never give it up. :) You can either refresh your skills formally through additional training (a refresher course) or you can do it the hard way by doing it on the fly. I recommend the former rather than the latter.... :)

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3,726 Posts; 23,923 Profile Views

Being able to return to patient care, shoot just knowing that I could, is very important to me. Being able to return to reduced work hours providing patient care is one of my twilight plans. I'm in home care and work with nurses in their 70's who can still do it on a part time basis since we are paid by the visit and there aren't difficult physical demands preventing them.

At this point and with this employer, I will have both the need and opportunity to keep my hands in it with new nurse orientation and with nurses needing to advance their wound care skills and/or rusty with IV's, enteral mgmt, colostomies etc.

I'm also thinking that home care has been and may remain less stringent on insisting on strong clinical experience requirements, perhaps I'm more concerned about losing skills more for myself than hiring potential?

I'm looking at a 2 yr commitment to mgmt which hopefully will be enough for me to get comfortable enough in the position to know if it's really what I want to continue with. Some days have been great, others have been so humbling making me want to run back to patient care.

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SummerGarden has 12 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in ED, CM, ICU, MS/MT, Frontline Management.

3,045 Posts; 37,085 Profile Views

I'm looking at a 2 yr commitment to mgmt which hopefully will be enough for me to get comfortable enough in the position to know if it's really what I want to continue with. Some days have been great, others have been so humbling making me want to run back to patient care.

Management is tough!! There are a lot of situations that challenge us and sometimes it is non-stop during a shift. For me, it is nothing like I have ever experienced in my life. The consistent change of gears and having to push myself to meet the next set of expectations at the last minute is different for me, but the norm for managers. Thus, I am told that it does not get better, it just becomes less unfamiliar. I personally cannot wait to see how far I have grown and what I can accomplish in 2 years at this rate. :) Good luck to you! Keep us informed. :)

Edited by SummerGarden

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137 Posts; 6,694 Profile Views

I have been an RN for 30 years. 22 years of hospital, ER, ICU before 9 years in Home Health. Now, all of those hospital years are gone. Just gone.

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gibsongirl has 33 years experience.

108 Posts; 2,316 Profile Views

In my area, there is no problem getting into home care with nothing more than 1 year of nursing experience. The magic number for the hospital here is 3 years. With the continued exposure you will have to clinical situations as you described, 2 years sounds like a short period of time. If you felt it necessary, I would think in your position, you could do some visits on a monthly basis.

Edited by gibsongirl
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137 Posts; 6,694 Profile Views

I am referring to RETURNING to the hospital after being in Home Health for several years.

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