The day will come in the career of almost every bedside or clinical nurse that is devastating. If you work as a hands-on nurse, it will most likely happen to you too. It’s the day when you come to the realization that you can no longer work as a hands-on nurse. This possible conclusion to your nursing career can happen suddenly or over a period of time, and because of many reasons. It can be the result of an injury, burn-out, cut-backs, old age, or physical inability to handle the demanding job. When this happens, how will you continue to find income? Finding another job can be an arduous process. If you have a family to support, this is a serious problem. The smart thing to do is to start preparing for this eminent situation. The question is: what can you do to prepare?
First, you must face the realization that your nursing career will eventually reach this point. You must make the decision that something has to be done to prepare for it. Once you make this choice, the rest is not too hard. The key for preparing for this crossroads is to have a back-up career option. When choosing the back-up option, there are a few criteria you should consider. This option should pay equivalent to or better than your current job, it can be one that you are qualified for or one that requires some additional training, and it should offer the flexibility for you to ease into it at your own pace. The option is even more ideal if you can use it on the side while still working your regular job, allowing you to earn some extra income when needed. Unfortunately, many nurses don’t realize this kind of option even exists.
When facing this life-changing decision, the common reaction from a nurse is to begin looking for another job that will meet their new requirements. Even though the job application process can be very slow, it sometimes works as a good option. When the available jobs are in the same facility, the hiring process can be much quicker. Many nurses tend to pursue administration jobs when they are no longer able or willing to endure the physical demands of hands-on nursing. However, administrator jobs often have stiff competition for a limited number of positions. There are many other jobs where your nursing expertise will be relevant, such as case management, insurance, pharmaceutical sales, recruiting, or teaching. But what if your best option is not a typical job at all? If you approaching this point in your career, maybe it’s time for you to think outside of the box.
Luckily, there is a career option that meets every one of the conditions explained above. It allows you to utilize your existing medical expertise, it offers great flexibility, it presents exciting new challenges, it gives you the choice of finding a job or working independently, and it can pay much better than a typical regular nursing job. On top of all these benefits, it offers you an opportunity to continue the main reason you probably got into nursing in the first place; it allows you to continue your patient advocacy. The nursing career option we are referring to is Legal Nurse Consulting. It’s important to remember that you’re going to need an option like Legal Nurse Consulting one day, so you should become familiar. If you have already heard of this option, you most likely don’t understand its real benefits and what is involved. As a Legal Nurse Consultant, you can learn how to utilize your medical expertise in the legal field or the legal side of medical care. Any case involving medical records needs your expertise to interpret and analyze the medical information. If you would rather avoid working with attorneys and insurance companies, hospitals and managed care facilities often hire Legal Nurse Consultants to help in areas such as risk management, insurance issues, and case management.
You have an important choice to make. Whether you decide now, or after you are forced, this kind of career altering decision is difficult to confront. You can be like the many other nurses who just hope that nothing happens, or you can start preparing for the future.