I want to say thank you again to the minority nursing students at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing for the invitation to be part of a panel presentation on career options for nurses. The panel included an emergency room nurse who is also a ARNP and currently a second year medical student, an OB RN, a RN with experience in occupational health and home health, and a RN with expertise in pediatric oncology.
I graduated from nursing school 13 years ago but seeing those eager faces debating and discussing career options reminded me of myself in 1992-1993. It was either graduate school for a MSN or law school for a JD. I decided to attend law school and it was a good decision just like the decision to attend nursing school was a good decision. If I knew then what I know now, I would have sought a dual MSN/JD. Hindsight is always 20/20.
I used to work in a large firm. I started my own law practice because I wanted to represent, counsel, and advise individual nurses. There are not many law firms focusing exclusively on the needs of individuals nurses. This was another good decision.
What were some of my bad decisions? I borrowed way too much money in law school and there were obvious ways to decrease my need for students loans. This may not be a "bad decision" but I wish now I had attended nursing and/or law school outside of the Cincinnati area. You can always move back home and Cincinnati for better or for worse is home for me.
Nurses, its never too late to make a career change, continue your education, or enter a different specialty in nursing. Start your own business, complete your BSN, moonlight as a agency nurse for extra cash, seek certification, etc. Make a decision. What are your career options? What did you tell yourself you would accomplish after 5 years in nursing? 10 years in nursing? 15 years in nursing? 20 years in nursing?