I am 62 years old and have been an RN since 1993. I am currently unemployed by choice. I am at an impasse in my career, having never developed a specialty area. I have worked with chronically ill and mentally challenged children at several group homes. However, my true passion is L&D. I don’t have work experience in this area but have five children of my own. What steps would I need to take to get involved or become an adjunct lecturer in the field of L&D and women’s health? Is it too late?
Wants to Lecture on Women’s Health
Dear Wants to Lecture on Women’s Health,
It’s never too late to do the things you want if you set a goal, make a commitment to that goal, create a plan and execute it. Read “Set goals and change your life” for helpful tips on this process. www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Set-goals
For starters, I suggest joining and getting active in the Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
Start attending meetings, get on a committee and get involved. All of the members of AWHONN are not lecturers, but everyone there is involved in the specialty in some way. And networking is a great way to learn about opportunities and get interviews. Even if you don’t find a lecturer position immediately, look for anything that will get you closer to that goal. Be sure to have business cards made with your name, credentials, phone number and email for networking so you can exchange contact information with those you meet.
Since you are currently unemployed, look for volunteer work (or paid, if available) as a nurse in a birthing center, inner city mother/baby or women’s health clinic, Planned Parenthood office and so on. Many local public health departments also have pre-natal and post-partum clinics. This experience will serve you well in many ways.
Find out from your local AWHONN chapter if there are any L&D courses being offered in your area. This could be a good way to get current with knowledge and experience. Additionally, embark on a course of self-study in the specialty. You’ll find many related continuing education articles on women’s health on the Nurse.com website.
Where there is a will, there is always a way. Persistence and determination will win out in the end.
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, Nurse.com’s career advice columnist is president of DonnaCardillo.com. Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, 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.” She brings more than 20 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru. To ask Donna question, email [email protected]