I’ve been a psych nurse for about two years. I don’t really think psych or any other traditional nursing fields, including bedside nursing or just being a nurse who has to answer to other nurses in a higher position, is for me. I need to be in a position where I’m in control. I’m interested in getting into technology nursing, telenursing, coaching or even start my own business. I am a fairly new nurse with an associate degree. I am taking online classes for my BSN. Am I qualified to get into these types of fields or if I should just start my own business?
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Modern Nurse,
I can so relate to your situation. My first job out of nursing school was in psych even though others in nursing were telling me I could not start my career there. I was drawn to it, had an opportunity, and took it. From there I went on to have a largely non-traditional career and eventually started my own
nursing business. I had a diploma from a hospital-based program when I graduated and for many
The important thing to remember is each nurse is different. We have varying interests, backgrounds, goals and personalities. There is no one right path for all nurses to follow. Each of us has to carve out our own path in this profession. Nursing will take you anywhere you want to go. It is the most diverse profession on the planet.
Even as a new nurse you were qualified to do all the things you mention in your post. The old model of gaining hospital experience before doing anything else is vanishing as cares shifts and evolves to meet the changing demographics and health needs of the population.
You need to start meeting and hanging out with other nurses who are self-starters and out-of-the-box thinkers. For example, I would suggest you attend local chapter meetings of the American Nursing Informatics Association (www.ania.org), the American Holistic Nurses Association (nwww.ahna.org), and/or the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (www.aaacn.org). Networking is a very effective way to get more information, learn of opportunities and actually get hired.
Check the association websites mentioned above to see when they have state, regional or national conferences, too, and try to get to one of those. Some time back I had spoken with a nurse who was interested in anything related to healthy living and struggling to get her wellness coaching business going. I suggested she attend the national meeting of AHNA and she came back exuberant stating, “I’ve found my people.” When there’s something you want to do, you have to start rubbing elbows with those already doing it.
You are a perfect candidate for my Career Alternatives for Nurses seminar. Learn about all the specialties you mention, including business ownership. You’ll learn more in one day about nursing, and
possibly yourself, than you ever knew existed. I’ll be in New York City on
Oct. 24, the last offering of this seminar in 2014. Go to this line to find out more about it:
(www.Nurse.com/events/career-fairs/). If you can’t make the seminar, the program is
available in a home-study version (http://ce.nurse.com/Professional-Development).
Start to get out there and meet other nurses and healthcare professionals, gather information, and do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing). You never know where youll find the spark, idea, opportunity or connection you need. Create positive momentum and start moving forward in faith. The right path will eventually reveal itself to you.