Four questions to help you plan your next nursing career move

Many health care professionals are thinking of leaving their jobs because of the pandemic

A November study by the American Medical Association found 2 in 5 nurses intend to leave their current practice within two years. In addition, 33.7% of nurses plan to reduce their hours in the next 12 months.

If you’re reassessing your career, recommends you ask yourself a few questions to help determine what your next move should be.

ExploreAMA-led study: 2 in 5 nurses intend to leave practice within two years

What are your strengths?

If you enjoy helping other nurses and imparting to them your wisdom, then maybe becoming a nurse educator is the right path for you. Nurse educators work with nursing students to help bridge the space between the classroom and clinical practice.

You might also consider advancing into a management role. Nurse managers, also called nurse administrators, are typically advanced practice registered nurses who’ve earned at least a master’s degree. They manage and oversee the nursing staff in a health care facility.

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What are you most interested in?

If you want to help victims of abuse, you should consider becoming a forensic nurse. In August, the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $1.2 million to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University to create the Georgia Forensic Nursing Network. Once established, the network will work with partners across the state to increase the number of sexual assault nurse examiners in the state. SANEs are registered nurses with specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of patients who have experienced various abuses, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Explore$1.2 million grant will help train sexual assault nurse examiners

Or maybe you’re interested in helping people look and feel their best; in that case you may want to look into aesthetic nursing.

Aesthetic nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in cosmetic medical procedures. According to, the clinical procedures aesthetic nurse practitioners can perform or oversee include:

  • injections of dermal fillers or Botox to improve the appearance of crows’ feet and wrinkles, to make lips look fuller and to counter the effects of aging
  • sclerotherapy procedures to eliminate varicose veins through the injection of a solution into the veins
  • laser skin treatments such as microdermabrasion, photo facial and tattoo removal.
Explore5 steps to becoming an aesthetic nurse practitioner

Why did you get into nursing? suggests you think about the beliefs and values that drew you to this profession in the first place and see if that leads you in any particular direction.

What do you want to change about your current role?

Perhaps the most important question, the site states, is: What do you need in your next career? This could be a number of things, but only you will know what matters most to you.

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