No Experience Necessary

  1. 14

    An older nurse whose career is essentially at its end contemplates her next act, despite not having the foggiest idea whatsoever of what she wants to do or the financial ability to chuck it all and retire. Should she try to find something in healthcare support, informatics, case management....or should she simply go to work at the closest gas station?

    I don't know about you, but I find perusing the job listings at my friendly local unemployment office to be quite entertaining. Where else could I find "opportunities" like working on an Alaskan fishing boat......becoming a cannery worker......learning how to make dentures?

    I wonder: who does that stuff? I worked on an assembly line in my way-back days and there simply wasn't enough in the job to occupy the mind (hence my frequent attempts to inject some interest into the days by spiking the water cooler with vodka or gluing the plant manager's phone receiver down so when he picked it up the whole phone would come with it and subsequently crash onto the desk). I was hell on wheels, but I managed to keep the same job for almost five years despite multiple write-ups and inter-department transfers.

    Fast-forward a couple of decades to my first nursing position, which lasted a little over three months. Still, it was a job I could really sink my teeth into---a job where I could use my hands AND my smarts---and I enjoyed being a nurse even if I wasn't too keen on being an employee.

    Unfortunately, however, the intellectual stimulation eventually became too much for my disorderly brain, and now I need to get out of clinical nursing because I can't handle the constant barrage of information that comes at one from all directions. So I've found myself in the unenviable position of changing course in late mid-life......and that's how I wound up at the unemployment office, scanning the hundreds of jobs available.

    Hmmm, this one sounds interesting: "Ticket Taker for XYZ University football games, 10 hrs/week, $8.95 per hour." Yep, I could deal with that---spending my Saturdays standing out in 45-degree temps and getting rained on while dealing with college kids who are full of attitude and beer......all for minimum wage. Wow. Better jump on that one before it's gone. Wonder if I could get into the games for free?

    Here's another: "Appointment setter for dynamic local business, 5 evenings/week, hourly wage + commission." Translated, it means being a telemarketer who gets cussed out and threatened by strangers. Wait a minute---as a nurse I put up with the same crap, and for about $25 more an hour. Guess I can cross THAT one off the list.

    Still another: "Earn While You Learn! Become An Exterminator at Kritters, Inc." Uh-huh. I can just imagine my arachnophobic, 54-year-old self crawling under houses with nothing but a hazmat suit and a ginormous container full of chemicals on my back to protect me. Do we know any more jokes?

    And look, here's a REAL winner: "No Experience Necessary! Work from home selling the nation's No. 1 cookware! Generous commission and incentives. Demo set $200, refundable after initial sales goal met. Call today!" I mean, what could go wrong?

    No, this business of changing careers---aw, let's just call it what it is, changing focus---at this stage of the game is some pretty tricky stuff, and I'm just an amateur in a world of professional job-hunters. In other words......I'm DOOMED.

    Maybe I should just stick with my happy, little, very part-time job doing admissions at my SNF and call it good. It's not real nursing, but it sure pays like it, and it doesn't tax my brain to the point of overloading and shorting out.....which beats Wally World in a landslide. Onward and upward!
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 30, '13
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?

  2. Visit VivaLasViejas profile page

    About VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN Guide

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 26,920; Likes: 44,524
    RN and blogger extraordinaire; from OR , US
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych

    Read My Articles


  3. by   brandy1017
    Weren't they going to train you in another position to be a relief person for an admin job or is that off the table now? I met someone who was a RN and than became disabled and worked as a medical coder, of course I'm sure that would be a pay cut but it is probably something you could do. I believe local community college would offer a short program for that. What about being an office manager for a small doctors practice. I know someone who did this after getting burnt out of floor nursing. If it was a small practice it would probably be manangeable and not overwhelming like a profit driven assisted living company. Perhaps you could send a cover letter and resume to some of the local dr groups re admin position or staff RN position. I read someone graduated with their FNP and then looked up doctors in the specialty they wanted and sent them resumes and landed a position that way. Jobs just aren't advertised that often anymore, more word of mouth these days it seems.

    Also if you have a 401K or 403b you can access it without penalty if you are 55 years old and no longer working for the company. I'm not sure of the process involved but it might allow you to access needed money without the penalty. The govt really makes it difficult for average working Americans to get by and the laws seem to benefit the rich at the expense of the average person!
  4. by   Ginger's Mom
    Coding is going to be boomimg since there are going to be changes from icd9 to icd 10, many coders work from home.

    I understand due to viva's husband illness she can nit commit to any shifts.

    Medical transcription would be another work at home. Good Luck, do not think of your self as doomed but new opprtunities will happen
  5. by   NottaSpringChik
    Oh Viva! I have been following your story. I changed careers in late life TO nursing. If you really want to change careers that is great, but, speaking from someone who is older to start this new challenge, I can identify with you finding the fast pace of a busy in-patient unit too much. There ARE nursing jobs that are not as intense! I understand if you need a change to a different career, but I get the impression you love nursing! Whatever you choose, I am sending my prayers your way.
  6. by   Havin' A Party!
    Hey, Viva.

    Be sure to say hi to Sarah if you decide to go for that fishing boat gig!

    And maybe you'll be able to see Russia from there too.
  7. by   NurseDirtyBird
    I wish you good luck wherever you choose to go!
  8. by   LPN2BSNRN
    Hi, What about working case management for Managed Care? I work for UHC and there are always positions open for RNs to do disease management, nurseline and inpatient case management; and majority of the time, you can work from home. You should look into it.
  9. by   genaluvya
    maybe you should do assisted living or school nursing....
  10. by   That Guy
    My parents taught me no job was beneath me....
  11. by   dansamy
    Quote from That Guy
    My parents taught me no job was beneath me....
    I'm trying to teach my children that too. Especially if you have a family to raise, NO JOB is beneath you if it's between you & starvation or homelessness. Roll up them sleeves!

    Sent from my HTC One X using
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    I don't believe I've ever said a job was beneath me. I merely think that with my years on this planet, my education, and my overall contributions to society as a nurse, I'm worth a little more than the minimum wage. Now, if it were a choice between minimum wage/fast food and being homeless, Mickey D's would win every time. But I hope I never have to come to that.

    @genaluvya: I did assisted living on and off for six years, and believe me, it's not a low-stress job---in fact, my last ALF job nearly landed me in a psych unit. And school nurses are virtually non-existent in my part of the country; in my city, one nurse covers all the schools in the district. That's something like 4,000 kids from pre-K through high school. No thanks!

    Seriously, friends, I look around at what my fellow nurses are having to do, and I KNOW I don't belong in this profession anymore. Recently I applied for my first non-nursing job as a crime victim advocate; it doesn't pay half of what I'm used to, but I think I'd be good at it. I'm also nosing around for freelance writing opportunities.....anything to bring in a little more money while I work my weekend job and transition into the next phase of my life.
  13. by   NanikRN
    Ok --- worst job ever --advertised on Craig's list

    Detailed person wanted are you nit-picky? We have the job for you. Xxx lice management company

    No Kidding. Really
  14. by   DidiRN
    Quote from NanikRN
    Ok --- worst job ever --advertised on Craig's list

    Detailed person wanted are you nit-picky? We have the job for you. Xxx lice management company

    No Kidding. Really
    Wow! I thought the one I saw was bad the other day on Craig's List... They were actually advertising for nurses to work as cleaners for $11.00/hr! Yes, they specifically wanted nurses!