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What type of work can a former L/D nurse and school RN do given some physical limitations and some bad work experiences?


Dear Donna,

I question whether I should continue working as an RN. I was a very strong labor and delivery charge nurse. After 10 years of loving that job, my facility closed the L/D unit. I chose to stay with the hospital, worked in ED and eventually became a charge nurse. Due to a debilitating autoimmune disorder, I found the hospital had no use for me and tried to get rid of me by writing me up for sitting down to chart or saying I did not report my FMLA in a timely manner.

I left the facility, and took a school nurse job, with a corresponding cut in pay. I feel like I have been a financial burden on the family, and while the same physical issues remain, I deal with them better due to shortened works hours and ability to sit when needed. A parent of a student made accusations against me that were completely unfounded. It’s made me not want to continue working as an RN.

I don’t know what other options there are for me in nursing. Going back to school is not an option
for me.

Feeling Stuck

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Feeling Stuck,

It sounds like you’ve hit a rough patch. It happens to all of us, but remember, you are never forever stuck. It might be good for you to shift to a non-patient care position for a while. This might include doing chart review for your state quality review organization ( To find your state organization, type Quality Improvement Organizations in the search box and then scroll down to and click on the link for the QIO directory.

You also could do education work for a social service agency such as a local chapter of the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or even an association related to your autoimmune disorder; working in a blood bank, or anything else less stressful where you are not directly responsible for other people’s lives and health.

If there’s any way you can attend one of my upcoming “Career alternatives for nurses” seminars, there are plenty of other options, too. See where I’ll be ( The program also is available in a home-study version ( Check out my book, “The Ultimate Career Guide for Nurses,” to help get your career and life back on track (

You’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself about making a certain amount of money even though you have a debilitating chronic illness. It’s time to start putting yourself first. This is not a selfish thing to do but rather a vital way to maintain your physical, emotional and spiritual health. You will, in turn, be a better parent, nurse, employee and person. You also should read, “First things first” (

Clearly you need to make some changes and change is never easy. But it can lead to better health and a better life in every way. Take some time to de-stress and refocus. Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can move forward.

Best wishes,

By | 2014-01-28T00:00:00-05:00 January 28th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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