Career Advice Required, New RN, BScN Leaving the Profession

  1. Hello All,

    I'll make this short. I have decided that I do not want to do direct patient care any longer. In a nutshell, after graduating this past June and being employed straight away in a notoriously bad med/surg unit (where no one ever wants to work) I am now on stress leave (as are many of my colleagues, just to give this some context). Now, I know what you're thinking, "Why make any snap decisions right now when your experience in the nursing world has been tainted by this horrible workplace?" Again, to be short, I have concluded that the only jobs I am qualified to get in my province with my present credentials are these horribly understaffed medical/surgical positions or LTC where I use about 10% of my BScN training.

    Anyways, I think I am going to leave the profession altogether as I just feel that for me the future is brighter elsewhere. Now to the point of this thread: I'm not sure what direction to take. I realize that no one here knows me, but I figure you might recognize some patterns in my writing that make me suitable for a certain career path. I graduated magna cum laude (3.7/4.0 GPA), with several invitations to pursue graduate studies at my university. I have zero interest in becoming a nurse manager/administration, as I have seen first hand just how conniving and self-serving these individuals are. They care very little about patient care.

    I am thinking that maybe law school is an excellent choice for me. I could easily qualify to enter too (once passing the LSAT). Alternatively, if staying in the health care arena, I think I would focus on MPH (although I have heard mixed things about the real world utility of that particular degree), or a MHSc degree in epidemiology and become a epidemiologist. Ironically, the subjects I enjoyed most in my BScN degree were microbiology followed by pharmacology (A+) in both (however either of these fields would of course require their own respective bachelor's degrees). Several physicians I work with are pushing me towards medical school, including one willing to write me a reference letter. However the problem with medical school for me is two fold: first, I don't have the year of physical sciences (physics, chem, bio chem), second, I don't want that level of responsibility over another human being, I find this too stressful, and third, I don't want to work the crazy hours. Nurse practitioner won't work either as I know already I am quite fed up with the politics surrounding practice expectations in nursing. I have never been one to keep my tongue in my pocket and bite my opinions so often as nursing has asked of me over the last 4.5 years. And I have heard school teaching has even more politics than nursing, that's a definite no.

    So, with all of this in mind, I am thinking either to do a one year college program in legal assisting, or alternatively, to go to law school. I have always had such a steadfast respect for rules, and what appeals to me about law is that ​usually it is so black or white. Nursing is filled with shades of gray and I believe this is where the reality of nursing and my analytical brain collide.

    Basically I am suspecting I need a career with more autonomy and not such tight control over me. I guess I just didn't know that nursing could be so militaristic. Anyways, any and all suggestions are welcome, but please, I have decided to leave the nursing profession so offer advice from that basis.

    Last edit by giveface on Feb 11, '12
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    About giveface

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 82; Likes: 176
    RN -- Medical/Surgical; from CA


  3. by   interleukin
    Beware, law is rife with areas of gray. But it is clean, focused and done at a pace you can manage--if you are your own boss.

    But you will also be responsible for the lives of others..just not their physical lives...although it may come to that if your cases are poorly researched/rendered.

    How about finance...if you are not concerned with any intrinsically human reward, it may be just the ticket.
    It tends to be black and white(or rather black or red)requires smarts and will reward you monetarily if you put in the time.

    Nursing is out of control in many institutions and I don't blame you one iota for jumping this floundering ship.

    Rock on!!!
  4. by   Meriwhen
    How about nursing informatics?
  5. by   giveface
    What area in finance and what qualifications would I need? Like a CGA?
  6. by   interleukin
    Google "careers in finance" and start researching.
  7. by   Guttercat
    Good luck!

    I think you are wise to look elsewhere and find what suits your strengths, with less riding on your "weaknesses" (we all have them).

    I saw you mentioned "province" in your post. I'm assuming you are Canadian. I don't know what the legal profession outlook is up there, but here Stateside it is dismal. Very, very few opportunities at present for law school grads.

    Many (many) moons ago when I was a teenager, I found by accident that I had an odd fascination with business/corporate law, and regret I did not pursue it.

    Again, best wishes.
  8. by   SCSTxRN
    Wound care. I know you're leaving nursing - and that's fine, go with what suits you.

    But wound care takes a few months of school and you can contract out - you are your own boss and it is remarkably black and white in terms of this is the problem, this is the flow chart to follow to find the solution. You take pictures and concrete evidence to assess progress. Due to the aging population and the war in Iraq, the need for WOCs is increasing and the pay is better than a hospital RN.

    If you're in the states, or if Canada has a similar line, you might look into a job as a nurse surveyor. They make good money, they push paper, and they are all about rules and regs and determining if a given facility is following them. Tends to be government jobs with an associated less ridiculous schedule, too.

    Good luck, whatever you choose.
  9. by   MrWarmHearted
    best wishes with your career endeavors - you may need to do more research - informational interviews specifically. BTW, law - especially in front of a judge/jury can be extremely subjective despite the best evidence. . .
  10. by   reneejohnston
    What do you mean if you go into LTC you'll only use 10% of your degree? Have you worked in LTC? LTC requires skills and then some!!!!

    Im sorry your experience with nursing was so rough. Remember that not all hospitals and LTC are alike. I have been a nurse for 27 years and wouldnt dream of working in larger hospitals/nursing homes. As a nurse you can do anything!
    Last edit by reneejohnston on Feb 11, '12
  11. by   IEDave
    Hmm. Well, at this point I'm really not sure whether I could make a good recommendation or not, primarily because the issues that are driving you out of the nursing profession aren't necessarily specific to it and any profession can potentially put you into the same seething cauldron you're in right now.

    That said, finance (specifically, accountancy) might be a good fit; also, you might look into insurance as well - especially medical insurance. Another possibility might be pharmacy - not that there isn't plenty of office politics in your average community pharmacy, but if you're the pharmacist you can (at least theoretically) re-schedule or remove the worst offenders. As far as any of the other recommendations - not much I can really add; informatics would most likely have you interacting with the back-stabbing office politicians again, and they'll now be hiding behind you to cover their own excesses. Theoretically you can get away from some of that by doing independent consulting, but you'll likely have to do site visits periodically if you go that route - and heaven help you if you give out your phone number! Every system hiccup's gonna generate a phone call or 12...typically right about when REM sleep kicks in!

    Ultimately, there really is no "magic bullet" - you have to decide what kinds of nonsense you're willing to put up with, and what kinds you're not; then, set things up so that you can (a) maximize what you enjoy, and (b) minimize what you don't. Takes awhile to do it - but, it can be done.

    HTH, and the very best of luck to you.

    ----- Dave
  12. by   nurse2033
    You could try to combine two careers using your nursing knowledge such as law/nursing as legal expert, bio/nursing designing or selling medical devices, or similar. This way you could use your current knowledge and not have to start over completely. Good luck.
  13. by   giveface
    Quote from nurse2033
    You could try to combine two careers using your nursing knowledge such as law/nursing as legal expert, bio/nursing designing or selling medical devices, or similar. This way you could use your current knowledge and not have to start over completely. Good luck.
    I have thought of this actually. I was thinking more like use my nursing background to sue bad doctors in malpractice situations. Legitimate cases mind you. Lol.

    And unlike the US where malpractice suits are an emerging problem, I find at least here in Canada they are usually your best option as the provincial medical boards don't seem to really sanction bad doctors until there is irrefutable evidence.
  14. by   giveface
    Quote from reneejohnston
    What do you mean if you go into LTC you'll only use 10% of your degree? Have you worked in LTC? LTC requires skills and then some!!!!
    If you re-read what I wrote I actually said BOTH med/surg and LTC environments. I suspect this to be the case as my med/surg unit frequently leaves me feeling like a glorified babysitter, a babysitter making $34.50/hr mind you but a babysitter nevertheless. These are only MY personal opinions, I never said you had to agree with them. You have a right to your opinions too.