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nurse in burn out hospitalHooray! You have finally finished nursing school despite the school’s gruelling academic and physical demands. Then, everyone in the family rejoices once again when you’ve passed the licensure exam to be a registered nurse.  You treat the newly acquired RN title, like your first car, preciously eager to take it out for a ride and practice it. Later on, you got in as a nurse trainee/ volunteer in the hospital and try to work hard to be able to get the paid nursing position. Consequently, you got the job and now you’re ecstatic to work and make a difference in people’s lives.

You work darn hard as a primary nurse to cater the needs of 7 or more patients in the unit, when suddenly that feeling of over exhaustion and stress starts to creep in. You feel short-changed, a feeling that you’re giving far more than what you’re getting back. You suddenly realize that you are not satisfied with the workplace anymore. Confused and scared for wasting years of nursing education and experience, you start to look for alternative CAREERS not far from the nursing or healthcare field.

Don’t fret as “change” is a normal course in life; let’s just focus on exploring and finding you that job!

1. Clinical Research Associate (CRA) – This is more of a desk job/ office job. This involves drug research, trials, and development to establish drug efficacy and safety to consumers. The researcher is responsible for monitoring progress of assigned clinical studies. A CRA must also ensure all data is gathered on time, within budget, and is of high quality. Starting salary ranges from P18k to P20k. A CRA I salary grade can range from P30k to P40k.

2. Online Article Writer If you have passion in writing, then this job is for you. Choose health and nursing topics so that you can easily relate. Nice thing about this job is the flexible working hours not confined to rotational shifting hours like in the hospital setting. You’ll also spend less on transportation, clothing, and meals since your office is located in your house. Payout is per article and will depend on the writer’s experience. Starting rate for freelance writers ranges from P150 to P200 for a 500-word-article while some experienced writers earn more.

3. Medical Billing and ICD medical coder − ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases. Medical coder analyzes clinical statements on the forms and assigns standardized codes to diagnosis, treatment, drugs, and medical procedures for health insurance reports, proper billing, and the like. Those with coding and billing certifications are preferred but not required. This can be an on-site job in the hospital or in business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. Salary may range from P12k to P35k depending on the company, type of institution, and your work experience.

4. Clinical Claims Analyst, Utilization Reviewer, Case Managers− These are just some of the few careers in the booming healthcare information management  outsourcing industry that prefers to hire registered nurses. Nurses’ responsibility includes promotion of effective use of resources to eligible patients, review of medical cases to confirm appropriateness of treatment and services, and conducts case-to-case medical management review. This type of job can be very challenging as emotions can get in the way, for example, compassion for a patient who is not eligible for a treatment he really needs. Rate for local RNs are between P20k to P25k, while USRNs rate higher from P25k to P30k plus.

The above mentioned alternative careers are just my personal favorites. There are a lot more healthcare careers for nurses out there. You just have to explore and open your mind for many possibilities and opportunities.

Let me quote what Confucius once said,

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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J.Mag is a registered nurse from the Philippines. J.Mag has worked and volunteered in different hospitals. J.Mag even passed a couple of foreign nursing board exams including Prometric for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and NCLEX for the state of Vermont, USA. When not busy working for the Department of Health as a community health team supervisor, and studying for other foreign exams, J.Mag is most likely writing articles.