Be the Boss Over Cancer

I am 62 years old and a 2 year survivor of uterine cancer. I am fortunate because I do have a jobfor a major hospital.  I enjoy what I do as an addiction's nurse. However, I believe I am experiencing some age discrimination from my peers on the unit I am currently working and my charge nurse is high strung creating major stress at work in addition to her descriminatory comments of suggesting I retire. I have 40 years of experience in the field of addiction nursing. I want to change clinics, however , I know the atmosphere will not be much better. I am interested in the possibility of transitioning into working as an oncology consultant/educator/counselor nurse for survivors. I do not have a BSN at this time. I have applied for an online program for a blended program in nursing. I have a masters in divinity and I am a certified parachaplain. What suggestions do you have? where would I start?


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  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Jul 2, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Jacqueline,

    In my role as a coach and trainer, I often feel compelled to apologize for people's bad behavior. I don't know if you have had some direct conversations with your manager about her comments, however even if you have had the courage to do this, she probably won't change as won't your co-workers. This said, it sounds as if it is time to make a change and it is never too late to do so. Your experience and education is wonderful and if you need additional education and have the motivation and energy to do so, then go for it!

    The one piece of advice I will give you is to first network with people who work in the jobs that you are interested in. Doing this will provide you with additional information and also enable you to create contacts who can make you aware of actual job openings. Also, having conversations with these people will give you a much needed reality check to verify that it is possible for you to get hired into the type of job you are interested in.

    Good luck and best wishes! Please write back if you would like more detail.

    Take care,


  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Jul 17, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:


    I suggest you approach hospital Chaplains and Social Workers to explore other opportunities utilizing the education, experience and skills you have.  You may also want to learn more about specific Cancer Organizations,Cancer Centers and Religious Organizations in your area to see how you might use your skills and find an environment and position that would appeal to you at this stage of your career.


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