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Second Career Nurse | Blending Extremes
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Second Career Nurse | Blending Extremes


I wrote the following article for the Scrub’s Magazine Blog Carnival which was hosted by  The topic was “Career Change” and I chose to write about something personal.

gail ingram

Yup, that’s me.

Career counselors warn clients against making extreme career changes but, contrary to their advice, I have no regrets for making a bold transition.  I believe blending extremes provides an opportunity for immense personal growth and the creation of unique professional niches.

Of all the second career nurses I know, my career change was the most dramatic.  So dramatic, in fact, that my co-workers at the hospital find it difficult to believe that I would give up a jet-setting lifestyle.  Some bedside nurses I work with feel “stuck” in their jobs and can’t understand why I chose a career in nursing.

I asked myself that question many times in the first years of my nursing career.  I wasn’t the center of attention at work and time management didn’t revolve around my mood.  It was humbling and I look back with pride.  I worked harder to become a good nurse than I had ever worked for anything else.

Nursing gives me a profound sense of satisfaction in knowing I’ve helped countless people during years of hands-on work.  I sleep better at night than ever before and I have a profound sense of well-being.  The holistic benefits of nursing far outweigh the superficial perks of other professions.

As a VIP private duty nurse and concierge care manager in NYC, I draw upon my experience in fashion to compliment my nursing care.  I have an immense amount of patience for divas (takes one to know one) and can empathize with clients who need a little (or lot of) extra TLC.  By blending both careers I have carved a special niche for myself in a very rewarding field.

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My love of private jets and nursing come together on VIP transport flights.

I’m looking forward to my next bold move which will bring me continued personal growth and the opportunity for professional creativity.  I’m in the NP program at NYU and always looking for the best way to utilize my unique skill set.  Who knows?  Maybe politics are in my future.  New York could use an infusion of ethics and honesty right about now.

Track my career moves on

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  • Enjoyed your post! Your personal story of career change is one of the most unique I have ever heard. Nursing needs people with your patience for your chosen specialty population.

    • Avatar Nurse Gail says:

      Erica, thanks for reading my post! Many years ago, without knowing it, I followed the steps that you outlined in your article ( about self-reflection and the steps for making a positive change. It is sound advice.

      Thank you for recognizing that the 1%ers are a specialty population. They have very high expectations and the presentation of health care is equally as important as the delivery of it.

      I look forward to reading more on your blog:

  • Avatar Abby says:

    Hi Gail. It’s great to see this. I met you summer 2012 at your assignment. I volunteered there on Mondays. So happy to see you found something you love. I’m graduating in December, and I can’t wait.

    I’d love to hear from you

    • Avatar Nurse Gail says:

      Hi Abby!
      Yes, that travel assignment didn’t utilize my best talents but it was a good experience for both of us on some level. I’m in the Adult/Geri & Holistic NP programs at NYU and love it. Let me know how things go with you finding your first job. Keep in touch!

  • Avatar Brittany says:

    Hi Gail! It was great reading this article. My husband and I are moving to NYC in January and I will be beginning my schooling (I already have a BS in Marketing) toward becoming a nurse. I was Googling blogs hoping to find someone in a similar situation, and the first thing I found was this post!

    While I’m not an international model by ANY means, it’s great hearing that others have made (and survived) just a drastic transition. I’m so looking forward to that rewarding feeling you mentioned!

    Can’t wait to explore the rest of your posts.

    🙂 Brittany

    • Avatar Nurse Gail says:

      I’m glad you found my blog. I’m not going to lie, nursing school is tough. But the rewards are immeasurable. Let me know if you need any resources or have any questions about NYC. I’m also curious where you’ll be going to school and how you like the program. Stay in contact!

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    Hi, I too have gone from international modelling to nursing. I am represented by Marilyn Model Management in both New York and Paris and have gone from fashions weeks, magazine covers, campaigns back to university. I am currently in my first year of studies and so far I am thoroughly enjoying it. I do have the odd moment when I think ‘what have i done?’ walking away from such an exciting career but you summarise it so well. The satisfaction of helping change an individuals life makes it all worth while. It so nice to know that someone else took the plunge and can understand exactly the emotions i am currently going through,
    Elizabeth xx

    • Avatar Nurse Gail says:

      Thank you for your comment Elizabeth! When I first started nursing I often thought I was on a movie set and wondered how I had gotten there (especially on the night shift). It has been such a wonderful journey for me and I hope that you continue to enjoy the process. Stay in touch and let me know how things go!

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