Frustrated VSL Nurse

 
Dear Powertools,
 
I am an adult (25 y.o.) just recently realizing why I have had challenges with certain jobs and career choices over the last few years. I've been in gifted programs since grade 4 and have had many of the challenges that visual-spatial learners have in school (as I read about on your website)... but had very little support or understanding of this learning need. I've always been drawn to activities that allow you to physically manipulate things (construction, baking, art, etc.) but have never been able to utilize this ability in my job as a nurse.
 
Nursing is far too technical/medical for my interests (systems thinking), but I still love helping people as part of my work. I also have a Masters in Public Health but don't know what to do with it anymore because I've grown bored of the field (something that commonly happens with most activities I engage in).
 
Do you have any suggestions for career options for visual-spatial learners in health or community services? Most of the suggestions I've seen are in engineering and computer sciences, but my background is in a very different discipline.
 
I would be grateful for any suggestions you could offer.
 
Frustrated VSL Nurse
 
 
 
Dear Frustrated VSL Nurse,
 
The short answer to your question is that you must have a career that allows you to use your creativity, to apply your innate gifts of observation, problem-solving, pattern awareness, and meeting unique challenges head-on. Nursing doesn't usually allow much of any of those, but there are types of nursing careers that are more likely to provide some of that, such as becoming a nurse practitioner, or a triage nurse in an emergency room.
 
If I were to work with you, I'd want to know more about your personality (are you more introverted or extroverted, intuitive, analytical etc.) before I'd suggest a definitive direction, but the general answer is that you need a career with some creative diversity. Pubic Health Administration might be a better direction, if you can afford it. In general nursing pays more and jobs are more readily available. However, I've known people to pursue exciting and challenging (not to mention rewarding) careers working for the World Health Organization or non-profits. Often PHA jobs will pay for you to live in other countries, solve healthcare or social problems, live with household help and in luxurious housing all while saving half your salary (many of these areas are poor, and your money goes further).
 
Perhaps this is where you should apply your creativity first: finding Public Admin jobs that require a nursing degree. Often these jobs have a basic goal, but then you are in a position to see what else needs to be done and can create a system to get it done. For most people, finding their purpose in life is a strong drive...it may be that yours will require a creative direction that uses those special VSL skills to unfold.
 
Good luck,
Linda Powers Leviton M.A.
aka Powertools