Career Pathways & Education

Nursing Jobs Beyond the Bedside (Pt. 3): Nursing Careers on the Fringes

The Trusted Team
February 17, 2021
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Welcome to part three of our series on nursing jobs away from the bedside! There are nurses who have always been trailblazers. They have taken risks in their careers and been extremely successful. They were out on the fringes of health care, assuming roles in organizations that did not even realize they needed a nurse. 

Now, another generation of smart, bold, and exceedingly talented nurses are blazing new trails into organizations once considered unheard of for nurses. Dr. Beth Brooks, who serves on a private company’s board of directors, three tech advisory boards, three journal editorial boards, and a non-profit board, shares all you need to know.

If you are considering taking a career risk, then actively preparing for such a complex transition is essential. The below recording and written summary will describe how to prepare and share examples of nurses who are working out on the fringes and some key lessons they have learned from their experiences.

Nursing Career Anchors

You should begin this exploration by reviewing your career anchors, or your own purpose, work, skills, and motivators. It can often take up to 10 years to identify and define your career anchor—or that central value, key motive, and dominant set of competencies—you would not give up, regardless of what you were doing as a career.

Reflect on Eight Career Anchors

There are eight anchors that you should identify and reflect as you prepare to make a shift in your career. 

  • Technical/Functional
  • General Managerial
  • Autonomy/Independence
  • Security/Stability
  • Entrepreneurial Creativity
  • Service/Dedication 
  • Pure Challenge
  • Lifestyle

Now for the meaty stuff...

Nursing Careers on the Fringes

When approaching these careers, you can separate the journey into three steps:

Finding the fringes

  • Know your anchor
  • Read
  • Research

Exploring the fringes

  • Network
  • Informational interviews 
  • Volunteer
  • Take risks
  • Maintain RN license

Working in the fringes

  • Trail-blazing
  • Lonely
  • Must be multilingual

Nursing Roles on the Fringes

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, the following will give you a good idea of what kind of roles are out there for nurses looking for something a little different.

Here are some roles you could look into:

  • Human services, CBO
  • Financial Advisor
  • Coach (health, career, executive)
  • Consultant
  • Vendors (traditional, non-traditional)
  • Entrepreneur
  • SME tech start-up, venture capital, private equity
  • Big box retailers
  • Architecture firms 
  • Advertising agencies
  • Social and human service agencies

How to Find These Roles on the Fringes

You can't just get out there with no plan; you must create an actionable timeline of objectives you can cross off along the way until you find what you’re looking for.

For example:

And don’t forget…

You Can Create Your own On-the-Fringes Nursing Role!

You are indispensable. You have experience. And you have ideas! Don’t be afraid to show these things!

Here are some things you can focus on to get you started:

  • Focus on how to find these opportunity
  • Internships, fellowships
  • Mentoring programs
  • Pitching your role
  • Offer to consult first 
  • Crafting the position description (Nurse Leader, August ‘17)
  • Creating the job title
  • Create your own support group/network 

So good luck, get out there, and don’t forget to:

  • Read, read, read
  • Find a mentor
  • Always renew RN license even if you’re on the fringe

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