Getting Back in the Game – The Retired Nurse
What happens if you retire and find that you’re not ready for a rocking chair? Many nurses return to the workplace after choosing to leave, and plenty of positions are waiting for experienced nurses of any age. The key is to find something a bit less stressful than the full-time position you may have built your career on. Here are some ideas for nurses who want to get back in the game – gently.
Substitute School Nurse
School nurses, like teachers, need time off. They get sick, they have babies, and they take vacations. An RN with a current license can sign up to be a substitute nurse on call whenever necessary. It’s a low-stress job that can generate a little extra money and get you out of the house now and then.
Major pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS often have low-cost walk-in clinics, where your job would be pretty routine. You’d administer shots, take blood pressure, give diabetes advice, maybe look at a rash or two. If anything serious comes up, your job is to refer the patient to a doctor. You could work full or part time, under much less stressful conditions than a traditional medical office.
Travel nursing is a demanding position, but you can limit it to short bursts of time. For example, you could choose to work 12 weeks and take six months off. What’s more, you could choose a contract in Hawaii in the dead of winter, or cool Colorado when the summer heat gets to be too much. You’re always in control. You can even travel internationally. It’s a great way to visit all those places on your bucket list.
You can also fill in for local medical facilities on a temporary basis when they need help; for a week, a month, even a day. There are many situations that might result in a shot staff (the flu can wipe out a whole office in no time) or situations where an emergency creates a short-term need for extra hands. Registering with a temp agency gives you the option of filling in when there’s a need, and the freedom to say no thanks. Because, let’s face it, some days that rocker is awfully appealing. Or you already have plans to go windsurfing.
Teaching or Training
Check out local facilities that are looking for staff trainers and share your expertise with new nurses or nursing students. Some hospitals hire RNs for training sessions or new nurse orientation. You may even find a consultation position.
Every savvy medical facility or service has a website that offers expert advice, professional blogs, and other opportunities for you to share your experience. Offering fresh content is more challenging than you might expect, and nurses with experience and writing skills can quickly find themselves in demand. If your grammar skills are honed and you have the patience to do the research, writing might be the perfect way to earn some extra money from home, by sharing what you already know.