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What has been your career path?


Has 1 years experience.

Hello all! I had a general question for you nurses out there. What has been your path to where you are today? With all the opportunities out there and the length of a nursing career, I am interested in hearing each person's path. I am currently a bit over a year in my first nursing job. I am enjoying my job a lot (patients, my manager, coworkers, interesting floor etc.) though I do not love the city I am in. It's too small for me and farther away from family than I would like. I do feel like this job set the bar really high for future nursing jobs though so that is a factor in thinking about my next steps down the road. I know people can end up where they least expect though and be happy so I want to hear your stories!

Thank you :)


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 2 years experience.

When I was in nursing school, I was particularly interested in ICU nursing. Of course there's some that think that new grads should get experience on the floor before moving into ICU nursing. But I didn't heed that opinion and landed a position in a medical ICU. Unfortunately, it was a tough transition for me and I left after a few months. I ended up moving to a different city and found a different ICU job. It was somewhat risky, but it ended up paying off and I really like my current position! I've been in it for about a year and a half now. I'm interested in attending a CRNA program in the future.

Based on my own personal experience, I think you have enough work experience to find another job in a city that you would prefer. However, I'm sure that what's available depends on the city, and every work environment varies greatly!

Penelope_Pitstop, BSN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

I was dead-set on becoming a NICU nurse when I was in school. Now I am in adult skilled home health. I never in a billion years thought I would enjoy this at all. But a series of unfortunate events, both personal and professional (and honestly, the inability to keep the two apart) led to me leaving the hospital setting after years of MedSurg and ICU (no NICU jobs available, went to MedSurg "temporarily," stayed for 7 years). A friend from nursing school encouraged me to work with her in psych. I did that for a while, liked it okay but the pay and hours didn't agree with me. The same with her, so she went to home health and then I followed.

I think in your case, it can't hurt to apply for jobs in the other geographical area, just to get a feel for what's what there.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 14 years experience.

I went to nursing school because I wanted to work in OB/women's health. In fact, at the time, my only professional goal was to be able to become an IBCLC (lactation consultant). At that time, becoming an RN was the easiest/fastest way to qualify to take the IBCLC exam.

I was able to get a job right out of school in an OB/L&D/mom-baby department (did finally get my IBCLC a year after I became an RN), and worked there for almost 5 years, then we relocated to Denver. Got another job in inpatient OB/L&D, where I worked for a little over a year, then wanted to try something different. Was working in a large teaching hospital affiliated with a medical school, so there was a lot of research. There was a research group that specialized in perinatal and newborn research, so I was able to get a job with that group. Worked with them for 2 years, learned a LOT. At that point I started an MSN program in nursing leadership, so when an entry level leadership opportunity came up in outpatient women's health/OB clinic, I accepted that position. Did that for 3 years. Was offered the position of director of the largest OB/Gyn clinic in Colorado after the current director announced her retirement. Instead, I took a huge risk, we packed up our lives and moved halfway across the country and I accepted the position of manager/director of an inpatient OB/L&D/Mom-baby unit at a medium-sized community hospital, where I've been for almost 2 years now.

So I'm still in the area of nursing that I had always wanted to be in in as a student, but I certainly didn't go into nursing thinking to myself "I want to be a manager!" But here I am. That's what's so amazing about nursing - all the different opportunities. Even staying within women's health, I've been able to work in several very disparate roles, doing different things.

BrisketRN, BSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

I was in telemetry for a hot second, did 2 years of home health/private duty for trached/vented patients, and a year ago I landed a job as a school nurse. Once my student loans are paid off (hopefully by fall 2019) I'm planning to get certified in school nursing.

I always thought I'd be a nurse working in a hospital, and when I didn't love it I was devastated. I kind of stumbled into the nontraditional nursing jobs, and I couldn't be happier.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

I got my "deam job" right out of nursing school and thought I'd either stay there long term or move to a third world country after gaining nursing experience. A little over 2 years into my career, my health took a bit of a turn for the worse and I realized I would never be able to live in a country that couldn't meet my own medical needs.

Around 4 1/2 years into my hospital job, I'd had enough. I got a per diem job at a boarding high school with the thought that I would be able to decrease my hours and stay for another 6 months or so until my Perkins loan qualified for cancellation. Then I realized I only had $120 left on the loan and I'd rather pay that than endure another 6 months in that place. I was offered a 30 hr/week position in a home health agency splitting my time between the field, doing pediatric skilled nursing visits, and the office doing case management. I built the program and nearly doubled the census so it became a full-time position ~1 year later and I stopped working the per diem job. Did that for another 2 years full time before I realized that the company wasn't invested in my patients (their focus was private duty, the COO felt that we didn't make any money off of the skilled visit patients despite the fact that they accounted for 2/3 of the patients from our office) and that I thought it was likely the office I was working out of would end up closed. I was looking for a similar position when the opportunity to be a home infusion liaison at the hospital I had previously worked at fell in my lap. It was a large pay raise so I took it. Did that for almost 3 years then realized I hated working for a for-profit company and didn't agree with the direction the company was headed so I started looking for something new. My current job also kinda fell in my lap. I didn't even write a cover letter when I applied for it. So that's how I ended up where I am- doing community based case management for medically complex children in foster care.

Rocknurse, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care and ED. Has 31 years experience.

Oh my goodness...I can barely remember them all because it's been 30 years. I wanted to do a clinical in ICU when I was a student but they allocated randomly so people who didn't want to go went, and those who did want to go never got the chance. I never got the opportunity but I had the ICU bug. I started in Orthopedics whch was fun because I worked with a great team. Then I did a year in CICU and then a year in the ED which I enjoyed a lot.I spent some time in PACU and the OR and then took a short break from nursing. I went back into the ICU and two years later emigrated from England to the USA. I landed in Phoenix AZ and spent a year in the ICU there. Then I moved to the East Coast and went to another ICU. I was offered an opportunity in acute dialysis so I did that and became certified and was made the clinical coordinator there. I stayed for 5 years and I really loved it. Then I moved to the cardiac ICU where I spent 4 years and really loved it there too. During that time I got my CCRN certification and did my BSN. Then I was offered an opportunity in informatics which seemed too good to miss so here I am. Honestly I don't really like it all that much and really want to get back to the ICU. I'm also in the final year of my acute NP program so in a year I'll be graduating and then I'll be looking for an NP job...you guessed it...probably in the ICU. ICU is in my blood. All I've ever wanted to do was ICU or trauma.