3 Nurses on Their Career Defining Moments

Oct 5

Often in the healthcare profession, one moment can change the course of your career.

We asked nurses to share their career defining moments, and how that experience shifted their outlook on their profession, led to the creation of something new, or helped them provide better care to those in need.

The nurse turned successful work-from-home blogger

Holly Reisem Hanna, The Work at Home Woman

"After I graduated from nursing school, I took a job as a floor nurse on a med-surgical/trauma unit of a pediatric hospital. While I loved working with the kids and using my critical thinking skills, the long 12-hour night shifts, staffing shortages, and the stress of having patient's lives in my hands became too much to handle. It was after dealing with seven respiratory distress codes in one-year that I started to have panic attacks. I quickly made my exit from this job to desk nursing (Prior Authorization and Medical Record Review for Medicaid).

While these positions decreased my stress, they were incredibly monotonous and unchallenging. I then worked as an RN Clinical Research Associate at a pharmaceutical research company which blended the clinical side of nursing with more desk-type nursing tasks -- but this still wasn't my passion.

Eventually, I quit my nursing career to stay-at-home with my daughter. But after nine years of play-dates, mommy brain, and a dwindling bank account I decided to look for something I could do from home. I started my journey off doing some freelance marketing work for a friend and eventually I started my blog, The Work at Home Woman. It turns out I love writing, marketing, and advertising; who knew?! Today I make a full-time living from my blogging business, and I couldn't be happier."

The RN whose heart for geriatric care resulted in her own company

Rhonda Caudell, Endless Legacy

"Early on in my 20’s I discovered I had a love for the ill or injured adults and the geriatric population. I later realized I wanted to consult, not do hands on nursing, and to have my own business doing it.

This of course was a journey of time, more learning, and experience. It didn’t just happen because I decided. But it took daily choices toward my goal. After working for a nurse owned company for about 12 years, I learned how to be a case manager for the injured adults and the how-to’s of managing and running a company. I ultimately started my own geriatric care management company.

Following many, more years of up and downs and having additional businesses, not related to care management, I returned with a different version of geriatric care management. The new business, Endless Legacy, where I equip people with parents how to strategically plan their aging years."

The nurse who used her clinical skills to find her niche in PR

Elaine Pardi, PR Consultant

"I had an amazing career as a Registered Nurse, working in G/I med surg, G/I procedures and liver and kidney transplant. After the birth of my last child I switched to a PRN nursing position. This switch was to allow me more flexibility while still being in a career I loved, caring for others. I soon discovered that there were a few conflicts that made it challenging. One of the biggest problems was child care and setting this up last minute, when they would call and need me to work on the unit. Also, I was frequently cancelled because of my PRN status. As the space between work and not working became bigger, I felt I needed to hold on my nursing career till I could commit to a more defined schedule.

After leaving my position, I worked and volunteered in many different directions. This allowed me to showcase my talents and innovational thinking, which caught the eye of Public Relations firm. I became an account manager for the Public Relations firm. This launched my career into a new direction. Since that time my professional and pro bono work have included the privilege to collaborate with various large companies and small business; both on a national and state level.

My experiences in leading social events, helping with marketing, press releases, video production, photography—including photojournalism have all taken me to a new level of achievement and strengthened my ability to helping others. I have most recently added a focus to my work of helping clients and students with their personal branding. I developed a format that parallels the nursing care plan, which I call my client care plan. Like a nursing care plan it is based on assessment, plan, implement and evaluation, a very holistic approach to client care. I still keep my nursing license current. Why, because it is a valuable part of my life and I will never know when something might come along to pivot me back into a career I loved."


Each of these nurses found themselves at a crossroads in their careers, and chose to create their own entrepreneurial ventures. If you’ve found yourself at a career crossroads and are looking for an alternative to a clinical career, consider becoming a Relode referring agent. You can earn referral rewards for connecting people in your network to new healthcare job opportunities, Learn more about becoming a Relode agent here.

Of course, if you’re looking for a new job opportunity for yourself, you can browse and apply for open positions here.

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Molly Powers