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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

MDS Coordinator - Help: I'd rather be doing research.

Nurse Beth   (4,505 Views 2 Comments)
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Dear Nurse Beth,

I have been a nurse for 6 years in various positions: at bedside, unit manager, supervisor, and now a MDS coordinator. Indecisive? Maybe. (My workplace is good at finding me things to do.) Is my being a coordinator pigeon holing me into that sort of job forever? (I have been a MDS coordinator for 2 years now).

Nonetheless, I do have an interest into pursuing a job in nursing research. Can you point me in the right direction?

Dear Likes Research,

Haha :) my workplace is good at finding me things to do”, you are funny and that's so true! You are one of those adaptable fast learners they love to promote and move around.

I would say, yes, if you continue to stay in MDS for much longer, it does become harder to be seen as qualified and eligible for another role. You probably have learned about all you can by now about MDS, so a change would be good.

I participated in a Clinical Research Trial once that involved assessing patients after surgery who were on Duragesic patches. The patients were placed in a hotel room, and my job was to monitor their vital signs for 24 hours. I had my own hotel room next door. The research was paid for by the drug manufacturer. Actually, it wasn't all that great and I'm sure it's not what you had in mind.

Other than that, most of the research I'm aware of usually takes place near academic centers and/or large suburban areas.

Another thing to consider is going back to school for your advanced degree. If you like research, you could get your Phd or Doctorate- you'd have the opportunity to conduct research, learn about grants, and a look at jobs that might interest you.

Would love to hear what you decide.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth


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I was an MDS coord for 8 years. I am now doing case management for a managed care org.

I am older and have RA so I am not looking for hospital positions. I had no problem getting into case mgmt.

Best wishes!!

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