Navigating a Midlife Crisis: Career Tips and Considerations for Nurses

Nurse sitting on couch Image via Pexels
Changing careers in the nursing world. Image via Pexels

Navigating a Midlife Crisis: Career Tips and Considerations for Nurses


While nursing is a challenging yet rewarding profession, a growing number of nurses are choosing to leave the field due to exhaustion and physical, mental, and emotional burnout. And as nurses reach midlife, the increased physical, mental, and emotional stress they experience at home and in their careers can cause them to question their identities and consider a new career path altogether. They might even experience a midlife crisis.


If you feel that you may be facing a midlife crisis, it’s important to know you’re not alone and that you can turn this experience into something positive. About 10 to 20 percent of the population experiences a midlife crisis at some point throughout their 40s or 50s — and there are plenty of other job options for nurses if you feel that changing careers is your best course of action. These tips from Positive News for You will help you to do it.

Consider Other Careers

During a midlife crisis, many people choose to change their careers or look for jobs that better align with their skills, interests, and passions. Making a midlife career change can be challenging if you need to go back to school or gain new skills in your 40s or 50s, but there are also many non-nursing job opportunities that could allow you to use your existing career skills and knowledge in other ways.


If you’d like to transition out of traditional nursing , but still have contact with patients, a few good career options can include nurse consulting, health coaching, or telehealth triage nursing. On the other hand, there are nursing jobs that don’t require patient contact, including legal consulting, pharmaceutical sales, and medical writing or content creation.


Regardless of which nontraditional nursing career path you’re interested in exploring, you’ll want to update your resume so you can showcase your skills and experience in the best possible way. Find an online resume tool to assist you. This may help you to focus on the content of your resume instead of the formatting, since many offer customizable templates. You simply add your content and adjust the color, style, or font as desired. Then, you are ready to start applying for new jobs.

Go Back to School

In the event that you’re looking to leave the healthcare industry and enter a new field, you may need to think about going back to school. Online degree programs are an excellent option in this instance, as they provide you with the flexibility to study and complete coursework whenever your busy schedule allows.


Be open-minded to see what best fits your future career options. If you’d like to transition from nursing to teaching, for instance, an online education degree is an excellent choice. Many core courses can be completed in just five weeks, and you’ll develop skills in teaching, innovation, learning strategies, and more. Plus, nurses can use their existing skills and knowledge to work as clinical nurse educators, nursing instructors, nursing curriculum coordinators, or professors.


To find the right school for you, we recommend looking at the options for degree programs, comparing tuition rates, and verifying a college’s accreditation before enrolling. You’ll also want to determine whether a bachelor’s or master’s degree program will be best for you.

Start Your Own Business

As an alternative to going back to school or finding a new job, a midlife crisis can be a great time to pursue entrepreneurship. According to Nurse Journal, some common business ideas for nurses can include health coaching, freelancing writing, nurse consulting, and medical billing, to name a few.


Or, you could go outside the nursing box and look into a career in interior design. Consider this option if you still want to work with people, but help them in a less life-saving way. You would likely need to take some design classes to bolster your resume and stand out from other designers, but it could be a fun way to do something new.


There are so many online resources to assist you in launching your new business, from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to the SCORE Association. Online formation services are also available, making it easy to register an LLC or corporation, appoint a registered agent, and register a domain name for your new business. Start by comparing business structures and learning about the differences between limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships.

Care for Your Physical and Mental Health

Of course, changing your career or transitioning out of nursing aren’t the only ways to deal with a midlife crisis. A midlife crisis can also be a good time to take up a new hobby, reconnect with the friends and other loved ones you’ve lost touch with over the years, and prioritize self-care. Nurses are used to caring for others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be caring for your own physical and mental health as well!


You might also consider relocating as a way to boost your overall well-being. You could simply move closer to loved ones or walkable areas of the city you are in now, just to make those areas of self-care easier on a daily basis. Or you could choose to start fresh in a new city or state. Homes in Keene, New Hampshire have been on an upward trend, so you may find that you have more equity in your current home than you realized. This can be good news and provide you with additional flexibility in relocating.

Focus on Your Happiness and Well-Being

Getting into your 40s and 50s can be an exciting time, but it can also be a time where you take a hard look at the choices you have made and if you want to continue in your current path. There is no wrong answer when and if you get to this point. Be honest with yourself and decide what will make you happier moving forward. It may be going back to school to get out of nursing, or finding ways to arrange a better work/life balance in your current career trajectory. Or perhaps you’ll start something completely new in a new city. The choice is yours. Just make sure you choose your happiness and well-being moving forward

Ed Carter has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities.

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