A nurse’s tips for going from the bedside to working remotely

It might take a while to transition to a nontraditional job, so be persistent

With a new coronavirus strain once again filling up hospitals, it’s no wonder some nurses are looking for an exit strategy.

There are lots of options if you’re considering leaving bedside nursing for remote work, but there is also lots of competition for these positions.

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One nurse, Carl Oldham, BSN, RN, shared the story of his career transition with nurse.org and has some tips for others looking for a “normal job” with “regular hours.”

Set realistic expectations

If the new job you’re seeking is with a national company, you should expect a lot of competition. Oldham was looking for a new career in the insurance industry. Despite sending out 36 applications, he had only two phone interviews. One of those resulted in a job offer, but he said it took “nearly four months, dozens of rejected applications, and sleepless nights” before that happened.

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Check job listings often

If there is a specific type of job you’d like, one way to ensure you don’t miss an opening is to set a Google alert. There are also job-specific websites to search, in addition to LinkedIn job boards. Oldham also recommended setting up a LinkedIn profile if you don’t currently have one.

Get your BSN

If you haven’t yet earned your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, it’s time to get that degree, Oldham said. “Many of the job postings specifically wanted or ‘highly preferred’ BSN nurses,” he said. “Unless you have a decade or more of nursing experience, you’ll most likely fall low on the totem pole of other nurses applying.”

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Don’t give up

There likely will be times when you wonder if all the effort is worth it and decide to just stay where you are. Instead, Oldham recommended, look within your hospital for opportunities for nontraditional nursing, such as case management, utilization review, or informatics. Even if you don’t plan on doing that long term, it will add to your resume and make you more appealing to employers.

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