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Which career path should I work toward?


Lyra Gibbs Cibolo, TX

I have been a Registered Nurse for 18 years with a total of 12 years of management experience (eight years in Army Reserves and four years as a civilian). Over the years, I have earned an Associate, Bachelors, and Masters of Science in Nursing and an MBA in Healthcare Management. Nevertheless, I am not currently working in a management position. I am also working on earning my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree now. With that said, what are the career paths--in healthcare--would you all recommend that I can work towards because my experience and education would serve an organization well?

FYI: I am not remotely interested in careers at a university or in research. Just sayin'.

19 December 2018 4 replies Career Exploration



Robert Knies Louisville, KY

Have you considered consulting? There are many companies looking for people with leadership experience (Management, IT, Change) where you can use your experience to help organizations going through changes (Leadership, IT, Culture, Mergers, etc). There is also Interim leadership positions as the Baby Boomers are aging out and we did not do good succession planning, many hospitals are looking for leaders to get them through situations and groom up and coming leaders. Do some searches on LinkedIn

20 December 2018 Helpful answer


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

Sorry for being so very blunt here but . . . . . have you stepped back and honestly answered the questions WHAT AM I GOOD AT DOING? WHAT ARE MY TALENTS?

If you have not done a quality job of doing that, then you will be spending MUCH time wandering about looking for the fit. That is, if you don't know what you are looking for, it will be hard to find it.

I too have been in the military, and later healthcare human resources for decades, and now in private practice for vocational counseling. Those clients of mine who have been most successful did so because they gained a solid grip on understanding and embracing their TALENTS. Take the time to set aside your thinking about your academic achievements & experience. Focus on capitalizing on your TALENTS - and embrace just how that will fit into the needs of an employer.

Two concrete recommendations for you:

1 - get the book, WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE by Bolles - The 2019 edition is out (I think). Much solid and valuable information there.

2 - go to this (FREE) website and do the TALENT assessment there:
If you need help with understanding the results, feel free to contact me off this channel.
My interpretation about these results is free to a fellow Vet.

Short story: it is your TALENTS that are of value. Experiences and academics can always be learned. Ya can't teach or learn TALENT.

Dr. Hank

22 December 2018 Helpful answer


Lyra Gibbs Cibolo, TX

"...have you stepped back and honestly answered the questions WHAT AM I GOOD AT DOING? WHAT ARE MY TALENTS?"

Actually, I have. Under that line of questioning, I included, "What did you enjoy doing most throughout your career?" It's what has gotten me to this point in my work experiences and education.

Over the years, I have taken different personality tests that also incorporated the best careers suited for me. Despite my natural tendencies to being an introvert, I have no desire to work in solitude, being a librarian, a teacher, researcher, and the like.

I understand that my leadership styles (transformative, servant, democratic) would have been a perfect fit if I worked as a consultant (travels about 75% of the time), in information systems (programming, communications, computer security), or information technology (hardware, databases, networks). However, those leadership styles as a healthcare leader have proven to be a misfit for me.

I have been mentored by some awesome business leaders that didn't have a full grasp of the healthcare component. I have also found healthcare leaders that would have been phenomenal mentors with plenty of experience, but they could not point me in the direction that would lead me to a fulfilling career as a leader in healthcare.

When I worked in military hospitals, being involved in the operations part of healthcare was exhilarating. However, it seems to be removed from the affect it would have on the nurses and auxiliary staff, ultimately leading to a positive inpatient experience that exceeds expectations. This has been my dream for the past 17 years but I also want to LOVE at least 65% of my job. I realize working under the right combination of leadership (empowering, mentoring, courageous, their leaders are the same combo for the most part)--especially in the hospital--makes a world of difference, but my nursing and leadership journeys thus far have led me to wonder if that part of my dream is totally unrealistic.

I want a career where I am empowered to help others and make a difference in people’s lives without being incumbered by my leaders’ and stakeholders’ approach to people management. Meaning, they are either so focused on the bottom line that they lack the desire to concur with the active pursuit of strategies that create an environment where healthcare managers aspire to find ways to increased quality healthcare at the bedside—which leads to reduced nurse turnover and call-ins and increased job satisfaction, or they passively maintain the status quo with very little concern about enriching their employee’s performance and work experience. Whatever title the person in that position holds is what I want to be. If it does not exist or no hospital wants to explore that ideology, then I will be pursuing a career in Healthcare Operations Management.

As it stands, my question remains on which career path I should be working towards--taking into consideration my work experience and education.

I will complete the talent/career assessment to see where it leads me and keep you posted.

Thank you for your response, the website, and "...for being so very blunt...," Dr. H :-)

Very respectfully,


Lyra Gibbs Cibolo, TX

Thank you so much, Robert. I usually go to LinkedIn for networking.

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