I have 30 years of experience but was injured at work. Where can I get a job doing light-duty work?

By | 2022-02-14T17:53:04-05:00 April 29th, 2011|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

After 30 years working in critical care, I got injured at work. I fell twice at work and had to have shoulder surgery. I worked 10 months with injury while my employer hospital tried to sweep the incident under the rug. After a fight, surgery was approved. After 10 months of working with the injury I was put on light duty. But when I was cleared to do light-duty tasks by my doctor after surgery, my employer refused to give me light-duty work. My position has been changed to per diem, and I receive no benefits. I have no insurance, have lost my home and am living on 60% of my salary. What can I do to make additional income or even benefit from my 30 years of work?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Heartnurse,

Contact some nursing agencies about doing nontraditional work to supplement your income. Some agencies have what is considered light-duty work. When you contact them, don’t focus on your restrictions. Instead, simply tell them you do not want traditional patient care work but are looking for nursing/healthcare opportunities that involve telephone, computer, counseling, education or desk work. Some agencies offer these opportunities, and some do not. Keep making phone calls until you find those that do.

Don’t just contact nursing staffing agencies, either. Also call healthcare and general temp agencies. Find them in your phone book or online. Temporary work often leads to regular employment, and some agencies even offer benefits.

While in phone book, look under “Social Service Agencies.” Here you’ll find a list of organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, etc. Call them about employment opportunities, too. Many of these organizations hire nurses to work in various roles. And they are usually disability friendly. But again, it is not necessary to stress your physical limitations if you will not be doing physical work. Focus on your strengths and assets and vast experience, rather than your limitations. In other words, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.

It’s not just about finding the right position; it’s also about how you market and present yourself in this situation. You are obviously and understandably feeling down, and that can come across in the interview. Read “Picking Up The Pieces of Your Career” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Pieces).

And if you still are having challenges after all of the above, consider reading “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career” (www.Nurse.com/ce/7250) or finding a nursing career coach to help you.

Best wishes,


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