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I need a change of venue. Any suggestions?


Dear Donna,

I have been a nurse for nine years. I have adult ICU/ER/trauma and pediatric ICU experience. I also have extensive wound care experience. I left those areas and went to home health and hospice nursing to reduce stress when I got married. Unfortunately, I have become very disheartened with nursing. At times it seems that it’s becoming more about insurance and money than patient care. I have entertained the idea of leaving nursing all together. I love home health and hospice, but with all the Medicare cuts and policies, nurses have to take larger patient loads over larger geographical areas, resulting in loss of quality patient care. I have really good patient/people skills, which I am regularly complimented on. I got in to this career because I love to take care of people, but I am not happy with the way things are. I cannot be confined to a desk and am limited to what I can do because I have an AD and cannot afford the cost of a BSN right now. I hate to give up nursing, but it has to be more meaningful to me than it is right now. Any suggestions would be embraced.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Michael,

First of all, you do not need to leave nursing, but you obviously do need a change of venue. That happens to the best of us in this profession. One area just gets to us, for whatever reason. Fortunately you have many options — more than you realize.

Second, you are misinformed to think you don’t have options because you have as associate’s degree. More important, you have an RN after your name and that, all by itself, is more valuable than most nurses realize.

And third, if you really want to go back to school, there is plenty of scholarship money available. Money should never be a reason not to go to school. And furthering your education might be just the thing you need at this phase of your career. You obviously need to breathe some new life into your career and your life! Read “Go Back to School and Change Your Life” at and “Master the Scholarship Game” at

You need to start creating momentum in your professional life. Do this by getting out to career fairs and professional association meetings. If you don’t belong to anything, attend some local chapter meetings of your state nurses association as a guest. In other words, start getting yourself out there and meeting new people. You’ll be amazed at the things you’ll learn and the opportunities that will present themselves. Read “How to Get the Most out of Attending a Career Fair” at and “How to Network Successfully” at

To explore where you want to go from here, read “How to Find Your Forte” at Consider attending my Career Alternatives for Nurses® seminar. It is a celebration of nursing. You’ll be amazed to learn about options you didn’t even know existed — even with an ADN. See where I’ll be

Please read my newest book The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career . You’ll find considerable advice and tips in the book relevant to your situation.

You don’t have to know exactly where you’re headed to start moving forward. Transition is a process, so be patient with yourself and the process. Move forward in faith, and the right path will eventually reveal itself to you.

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek‘s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Preorder (through July 2008) your copy of the The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses for only 24.95 at To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit


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By | 2008-07-29T00:00:00-04:00 July 29th, 2008|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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