9 Alternative Career Options for Registered Nurses
If you are interested in becoming a nurse, you may already know that it is one of the most fulfilling career choices you could make. Working as a nurse comes with some challenges such as long hours, helping patients who may be suffering, or having to deal with difficult patient families. Although this is the type of work environment many envision when they think about nursing, it does not have to be the environment you end up working in. There are lots of opportunities for both vertical and horizontal advancement and, in this article, we will look at some alternative career options for those who already have a nursing degree.
Nurses who love working with children but who would not like to be in a pediatric wing in a hospital should consider a career as school nurses. School nurses handle the healthcare needs of kids at school and they benefit from regular working hours with lots of off-time when schools are closed.
Alternatively, these nurses can consider becoming camp nurses. Camp nurses primarily deal with the healthcare needs of children in the camps they work for but will also occasionally provide care for staff and other campers as required.
The growth in technology and the need to provide care to patients no matter where they may be has brought attention to this career option and fueled its growth. Telemedicine nurses use technology to provide care to their patients no matter where they may be. They are particularly important for chronically ill patients or patients who live in remote areas and who have no easy access to a healthcare facility.Registered nurses interested in this career option should have several years of experience.
Nurse research is a great career choice for registered nurses who love researching as well as reading scientific data. Nurse researchers are typically employed by universities, research laboratories, and other organizations. Their primary tasks include studying diseases, disease prevention, disease treatment, and other related subjects. Their research, due to being done through the unique perspective of nurses, is invaluable to the healthcare world.Research nurses who want to branch out can also write books, consult, teach and speak at different events.
Nurses who love working in hospitals and collaborating with other healthcare providers but who want to focus on more than providing care should consider nurse management positions. Nurse managers, also called nurse administrators, help supervise and manage registered nurses who are assigned to their teams.
Nurse managers may be tasked with overseeing a small team of nurses or managing an entire department or facility. Because of their critical roles in healthcare, nurse managers are required to have an advanced degree, with most institutions asking for a Master’s in Nursing Degree.
Executive Nurse Leaders
Executive nurse leadership is tailored for nurses who would like to focus more on business executive functions of healthcare and less on the direct provision of patient care. Nursing leadership is for nurses who have been in the field for several years, with experience in administrative roles or high-level management. As for educational requirements, nurses must have a graduate degree in nursing as well as an advanced degree in nurse leadership, usually a doctorate. Nurses who are interested in executive nurse leadership positions should check out the DNP nursing leadership courses at Baylor University. These courses teach the skills that prepare nurses for leadership, management, and administrative roles that involve dealing with human resources, budgeting, finance, and other aspects of executive leadership.
Forensic nursing is one of the more difficult nursing roles. It involves working with law enforcement to provide care to victims of crime. Forensic nurses also work with other professionals in the criminal systems to gather and make sense of medical evidence in criminal cases.
Forensic nursing positions are tailored for meticulous nurses who are not afraid of public speaking as they may be required to testify in court. Do note that some jurisdictions require nurses to complete additional certifications if they would like to work as healthcare nurses. Once employed, forensic nurses can work in different settings, from correctional facilities to hospitals.
Health and Nutrition Coaches
With increased awareness of health and fitness, there is a lot of demand for nutrition and health coaching. Health and nutrition coaches can start their own businesses, work independently, or be employed by private businesses. Health coaches should have a passion for fitness, nutrition, and health. While many of them work for businesses or with individuals, some health coaches also branch out and primarily teach classes and lead seminars.
Health coaching is a booming sector in healthcare with a positive projected outlook and it is therefore a lucrative option for nurses who want to help their clients reach their health and wellness goals or have better health overall.
Insurance nurses work outside healthcare to help insurance companies provide better insurance packages for patients. Their primary role involves research and the analysis of health data to help improve insurance provision. Insurance nurses can also work as case managers, which combines more responsibilities into one job title.Nurses who want to work as insurance nurses must have strong research and analysis skills.
Nurse Life-Care Planners
Nurse life-care planners, also called nurse case managers, plan the ongoing care of patients who need it for a long time. Because of this, they may work with one or just a few patients for several years.While registered nurses focus on short-term health care, these nurses work on long-term care plans for patients suffering from serious or chronic injuries, illnesses, or conditions.Nurse case managers work with other professionals, including lawyers, doctors, other nurses, insurance companies, and anyone else involved in making decisions that involve their patient(s).You can become a nurse case manager after you complete your associate degree but having a bachelor’s degree or higher is always helpful. Becoming a nurse does not mean being confined to only working in a hospital or healthcare facility. There are lots of roles tailored for nurses who want to care for and work with patients outside the healthcare system. The careers outlined above are perfect for these nurses.