Student Nurse Advised to Slow Down

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I'm a paramedic with years of experience and worked for many years as a medic in an ED. (Scope varied by facility)
    I also have experience in a correctional care unit as an aid and have served on two nursing dept governing councils. After talking with lots of nurses in my area, I feel I have a real chance of getting my dream job as a new grad on a burn/trauma unit when I graduate next year.

    However, I'm not sure this is really what I want. I have shadowed that area and love it! The problem is, the opportunities are so vast and I am feeling very marketable in my area. I'm 38 so I want to hit the ground running and I really don't want to be at the bedside for my entire career. Is there like a nurse guidance counselor or career advisor position that can help me narrow my focus?



    Dear Feeling Very Marketable,

    First things first. Slow down and don't overthink this.

    Focus on finishing school. After graduation, dedicate yourself to learning the basics of nursing for one to two years after graduation. It's going to take that long to become competent as an RN.

    After that, you have more opportunity and ample time to narrow your focus. By then you'll have a much clearer picture of what you want, and how to get there.

    Best wishes,


    Nurse Beth



    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on May 10
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,382; Likes: 4,122

    7 Comments

  3. by   BadAszFannyPak
    Nurse Beth,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I y is really great when new nurses and students have someone to really answer their questions about their new field.

    To clarify though; the position of career advisor for nurses does not exist as far as you know?
  4. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from BadAszFannyPak
    Nurse Beth,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I y is really great when new nurses and students have someone to really answer their questions about their new field.

    To clarify though; the position of career advisor for nurses does not exist as far as you know?
    I do know a nurse (Nurse Keith Carlson) who does this as a side business, yes. I'm not aware of a formal role of Career Advisor for Nurses.

    Honestly, even in college, I quickly realized the best "academic counselors" were other students who had gone before and knew the ropes. Once you're working as an RN, you'll be able to take advantage of a great collective wisdom- your peers.

    In general, you will be less pigeon-holed if you go from broad to narrow than vice versa as a new grad.
  5. by   BadAszFannyPak
    That is great advice.
    Is that the YouTube Keith RN?

    I do feel the broad spectrum is much better but I feel very rushed. I want to keep my EMS career and start my RN career. I am 39. While that isn't old by any stretch it does narrow my window of opportunity. Example would be that you read a lot of the better known EMS, RN and other healthcare authors and journal article bios and notice they each have 15, 20, 30 years experience and now they are leaving the bedside to do teaching, admin, etc. I don't have that luxury. 15 years from now at the age of 55 I hope to be watching my two kids begin their HS years and depend on me to be there when they need stuff while having a well entrenched career. 20 years from now I want to help them get settled as young adults in college or whatever while me and my wife start to explore volunteer work overseas. 30 years from now I want to be spending my twilight years drinking pina coladas for breakfast on a beach in Jamaica.

    All of this to say at this age and stage in my healthcare career I want to hit the ground sprinting. I don't want to rush things but I feel the icy grip of time. I may get exactly what I want in the hospital and department that I want and end up hating it. Who knows. But I want to end my last semester of nursing school with a very defined plan of action in place and utilize all the tools available.

    Hey! Perhaps a new career path for nurses would be nursing career advising? Make some money while helping fellow nurses. PM me and let's get some funding and do this. Imagine it: Nurse Beth and the Fanny Pak Career Advising LLC. We develop it, market it, do it and retire in 5 years as millionaires. Next up, run for President.
  6. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from BadAszFannyPak
    That is great advice.
    Is that the YouTube Keith RN?
    Beth is referring to NurseKeithCoaching -
  7. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from BadAszFannyPak
    That is great advice.
    Is that the YouTube Keith RN?


    Hey! Perhaps a new career path for nurses would be nursing career advising? Make some money while helping fellow nurses. PM me and let's get some funding and do this. Imagine it: Nurse Beth and the Fanny Pak Career Advising LLC. We develop it, market it, do it and retire in 5 years as millionaires. Next up, run for President.
    I love it!!

    But seriously, where do you want to end up? If not bedside, administration? Academia? Provider?
  8. by   BadAszFannyPak
    Well that's a tough one. Today, I want to teach. Tommorow? Who knows. I love the idea of being able to shape the way care and flow is managed but I am not admin material. Maybe in EMS but certainly not in a hospital. Teaching sounds very rewarding and might be a good fit for me one day. But nursing is so vast that I am not even sure I know what is out there. In the past few years I have discovered that nurses are medical examiners, virologists, journalists and professional legal counselors. Who knows what career I'll discover tomorrow. It's a little frightening actually. Say you go your whole career and at the end you find out that there was a specialty you would have loved to have been in?
  9. by   rnprincesstlo
    If getting to know the variety of specialties available is what you would like to do, especially for future teaching possibilities, float nursing was something that I found enjoyable after my first year in MS. I learned the variety of different nursing opportunities available throughout the hospital (and did some homecare on the side also). Some hospitals also have trauma centers which would give additional learning opportunities, especially to someone with a background in EMS. When I went into teaching, I was able to bring all of my experiences into my teaching as a generalist since I had such a varied background.


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