Career Options to Explore in the New Year

With the new year about to unfold, you have likely reflected on what’s working in your life and what needs altering. Have you decided that the changes you need to make in 2014 include career reinvention? Join the club.

Are you looking for a job providing higher pay, less stress, more adventure or passion? Loving what you do and the people you do it with is the ideal situation, regardless of profession.

Most nurses enter the profession to facilitate healing, combine the art of caring with scientific thinking and educate others. If you are an experienced RN and your current position leaves you feeling unsatisfied, consider exploring these nontraditional career options:

1.  Independent Patient Advocate

This job allows experienced nurses to empower, teach and guide people in their healthcare journey as they seek the best treatment options. These nurses work with the patient, primary care physicians, family, hospital, and specialists, to develop an appropriate plan of care. Advocates can help review diagnoses, test reports and medical records, accompany a patient to appointments or assist in finding the best doctors.

2. Forensic Nurse

The route to becoming a forensic nurse often begins by working as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, who cares for victims of sexual assault crimes like rape and attempted rape. These nurses collect evidence as part of the medical forensic exam and they can also testify in court. They work alongside criminal justice system professionals and may assist with death investigations,

3. Life Coach

If you enjoy educating people on how to make significant life changes, this area of the field may be the career change you seek.  With a clinical background, you already have the skills needed to communicate challenging information to diverse people. This job can also be done face-to-face as well as by phone, email, or Skype.

4. Nurse Researcher 

Do you have strong writing skills along with an interest in studying ways to improve healthcare services and outcomes? These nurses are scientists who conduct scientific studies, collect and analyze data, and report their findings. Nurse researchers often make presentations and write articles and research reports for professional journals and publications.

Whatever path you explore the real challenge will be executing a plan and staying on track as the sparkle of 2014 fades away.

Robin Farmer is a freelance writer with a focus on health, education and business. Visit her at



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