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Nurse to Librarian


Hello everyone.

I'm curious to hear from those of you who have changed careers. What finally made you realize enough is enough? Did you ever regret your decision?

I've been a nurse for 15 years (have my MSN) and absolutely burned out. I've worked in a variety of specialities over the years (mostly non-clinical in nature).

I want to do something different in my professional life. One area I'm interested in is working as a librarian. I would like to work as a librarian in a hospital, medical school, or something similar. Has anyone here made a similar career switch? If so, does it matter where I earn my masters in library science?

Any advice (good, bad, or indifferent) appreciated. Thanks.


Has 18 years experience.

I have friends who are librarians and they love their work. BUT they have a hard time finding work after graduation. Funding issues are a huge issue from what they tell me.

Our hospital library is pretty much self service with a staff member floating around in there somewhere (she's kind of an urban myth, we all know she exists but nobody has ever seen her)

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

What a neat idea for all of us who are just really worn out from dealing with all that human emotion for so many years - sounds ideal. Just escaping all the chaos would be a real treat.

Maybe the traditional librarian jobs are going away, but I believe that "Cybrarians" are on the rise. Most companies have had to convert their traditional 'archivist' jobs to match the technology used. With the advent of e-discovery, it is critically important to manage all the information produced in the organization. Cybrarians are accountable for managing not only the knowledge-based information (external resources, references, etc) but also the internal operational information so that it can all be retrieved whenever it is needed. So their knowledge & skills are a blend of traditional library organization with hi-tech/web-based.

This is such a new career that there really isn't any standard nomenclature for the job descriptions. In healthcare, I've heard of jobs like this being housed in HIM, Risk Management, Legal, Quality, & IT. Our organization does have a full time medical librarian that is (virtually) available to assist any employee with literature searches needed to support organizational initiatives. We use her a lot!!!

I want to be a space alien when I drop nursing.

Ok, so that's not a viable career, but still......I'm often enticed by the idea that my new career could be on the horizon. Whatever that is :)


Specializes in Psych, Informatics, Biostatistics. Has 25 years experience.

As stated in another thread, I would not do the librarian route again as I have never been able to find employment as a librarian. I would use your MSN, but combine it with an online HIT program. Bristol Community College for you, Miss Rhode Island MSN: HITECH

With the combination of an MSN and this free HIT program I think your future will be dynamic, and you will be able to jump over those of us who do not have an MSN. I see senior/advanced Nursing Informatics jobs seeking candidates with MSN degrees.

Good luck,