Is there such a thing as a sit-down job for a broken-down nurse?

By | 2022-02-03T17:27:28-05:00 January 17th, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I have been in nursing for 36 years, mostly in operating room positions. As I age, I am finding myself confronted with health issues. I am having more and more problems with mobility. I am flummoxed as to a career change that would allow me to use my knowledge and skills, earn an adequate living, and not be as physically demanding (standing) as OR. I seem to have no problems sitting for hours. I do need a position with healthcare benefits (insurance) due to my other issues. Is there such a thing as a sit-down job for a broken-down nurse?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Barbara,

You are hardly broken down — even though you may feel that way. The great thing about nursing is that there is something for everyone at every stage of his or her career. And personally, after working in the OR for 36 years, I think you deserve to sit down at work. To begin, read “Working with a Disability” at

You have lots of choices depending on your interests and preferences. Here are just a few examples: case management, disease management, telephone triage, telephonic utilization review, telephone advice line, home care intake, legal nurse consulting and so much more. See a related post at Most nurses are not aware of the multitude of opportunities that are available to them.

Making a transition such as this can be unsettling at first. But once you discover that your great nursing knowledge, experience, and credentials can be put to good use in many diverse ways and places to still make a difference, you can settle into a new way of working as a nurse — all while sitting down. These new ways are almost always challenging, rewarding, pay well, and have good benefits.

I discuss the above specialties (and so much more) in detail in my Career Alternatives for Nurses® seminar. Find out more at This seminar is also available in a home study version at or

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit


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