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I’d like to retire, but I can’t. Are there job positions I can take that are less physical and stressful?


Dear Donna,

I’m a 59-year-old associate degree RN working in a teaching hospital. I would like to retire, but I can’t. Is there some kind of work I can do to get off my feet and that would be less stressful than this? People have suggested going to work for an insurance company. Working at an insurance company would be like selling my soul to the devil. There must be other jobs out there.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Mary,

Fortunately, you do have options. And just for the record, although some nurses see insurance companies as evil, the truth is that many nurses are making a very positive difference in that environment doing disease management, acting as health coaches and educators, doling out helpful information as telephone advice-line nurses, and telephone triage nurses. In spite of what you might think, many insurance companies are doing a lot to support the health and well being of their enrollees, my own insurance company included.

That being said, there are plenty of other places to work: a local blood bank, public health department, private company (not an insurance company) that does telephone triage or case management, intake for a home-care company, remote monitoring nurse for an eICU, and many others. And just in case you are wondering, you do not need a higher degree or prior experience for any of these slots.

I recommend you start getting to Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek Career Fairs ( in your area to explore options, make contacts, and hone your networking and self-marketing skills. All types of employers with all types of positions — both traditional and non-traditional — exhibit at these events. See what’s coming up at Be sure to speak to nursing agencies while there. Many have non-traditional offerings as well.

You also should get out to local meetings of your state chapter of the American Nurses Association ( If you’re not a member, you can attend as a guest. Networking is a great way to explore options and find and get a job.

Step out of your comfort zone, meet some new people, shake some hands, and be open to new and different ways of working. You have a great background and great opportunities. Read “Ten Steps to a Successful Job Search” at

Good luck!


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By | 2010-01-12T00:00:00-05:00 January 12th, 2010|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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