Nursing is one of the distinguished careers these days. It is also amongst the most trusted professions in the USA. Therefore, it is not unexpected to see people inclined to adopt this career. Besides, nursing is no longer about people in scrubs hither and thither entrusted with bedside care only. Today, it is much more than that. The career has stretched enough to accommodate people who want to be associated with healthcare but do not necessarily wish to get involved in hands-on care. There are roles in this career that allow them to interact with more people apart from patients and their families.
Patient-Focused Nursing Care: What Are Your Options?
Before exploring careers outside patient care, it’s worth knowing your options in the field first. Most nurses think that patient care is only limited to medical-surgical facilities, but there’s a wide array of choices out there. Here are some of the best patient-focused nursing care career paths you can take:
- Emergency room or intensive care unit nurse
- Travel nursing
- Lactation consultant
- Pain management
- Psychiatric nurse practitioner
- Nurse anesthetist
- Neonatal intensive care nurse
Aside from working inside standard healthcare facilities, you can also practice in a home setting by being a home care worker. Home healthcare nursing has become a growing specialty in the nursing career field due to flexibility, autonomy, and independence; rewarding patient connections; and the opportunity and experience to care for a diverse patient population. To become a certified home care worker, training and certification, aside from your degree, will become an advantage. Continue reading this article for a detailed discussion on home health nursing.
Nursing is a vast field; on top of that, it is fast-moving ahead, developing the need for an additional workforce. The US BLS forecasts a growth of approximately 16% by 2024, which is enormous considering the slump in the overall job market and economic downturn in the post-pandemic period. Moreover, regardless of career type, people associated with nursing praise it for offering them tremendous development opportunities. If you are inclined to change your career in the healthcare field to one which is not characterized by long shifts and unscheduled calls, here are some suggestions.
1. Nurse Educators
With the increase in the demand for nurses, you cannot ignore the need for those who prepare these nurses with the right skills and qualifications to perform their job—nurses educators. Nurse educators need a Master’s degree in nursing education to perform their duties. For those interested in teaching for healthcare, it is better to know about this degree by going through FAQs about MSN in Nursing Education before making a decision.
Once you graduate, you can work in colleges and universities to impart classroom knowledge to nursing students. Additionally, you may also find these nurse practitioners training nurses in inpatient and outpatient facilities.
Entry-level nurse educators can earn an average of USD$78,000 per year and can advance to related careers such as nursing manager and registered nurse (RN) supervisor.
2. Nurse Manager or Administrator
A nurse manager position allows you to work away from the patient beds. As the title suggests, you are associated with the administration side. The minimum requirement for a nurse administrator is to have an RN license. Luckily you don’t need to have a master’s degree to work as a nurse manager; a bachelor’s degree is enough to start your practice. But if you want to put yourself in an advantaged position, a master’s degree is an excellent option to consider along your career path.
A nurse administrator is associated with leadership roles. They take care of all the matters of a department, including budgeting, planning, and recruiting staff.
Nurse managers or administrators can make USD$50 per hour, amounting to a whopping USD$105,000.
3. Public Health Nurse
Public health nurse is another career option open for people who want an escape from the stressful environment of the hospital. They work in the state and federal healthcare departments or a business facility to help control or monitor health and safety issues. With their duty of implementing healthcare programs, they seek to improve public health and well-being and educate the masses about disease prevention, control, and treatments. A nurse needs to have an associate degree in nursing or a mere nursing diploma to start a public health nurse career. However, you cannot deny the career development benefits of having an advanced degree program such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Later you can go for a master’s degree and start working as an Advanced Public Health Nurse.
If you’re planning to pursue a public health nursing career, you can earn about US$60,000 annually or higher with experience.
4. Home Health Nurse
As the name suggests, these nurses help patients in their home settings. They usually are deployed with patients who have received surgery or a major treatment and are in the recovery phase. Moreover, they provide patient care to people suffering from chronic illnesses and disabilities and pregnant women or new mothers needing ongoing care. They support and educate their patients about recovery, health improvements, well-being, and adopting habits for a better lifestyle.
5. Nutritionist Nurse
A nutritionist nurse works in acute or primary care and looks after the diet plans of the patients. A nutritionist nurse might also be developing wellness programs for organizations or athletes, aiding people in losing weight, and designing special meal plans. To work as one, you must possess the credentials of a registered nurse. You may need to have an associate nursing degree before earning certification. To further boost your career, you can go for a bachelor of science in nursing. With proper qualifications, you can successfully find work in schools, clinics, nursing homes or work in collaboration with many organizations.
6. Nursing Informatics
Nurses who use various health information systems for communication and managing patients’ medical records are called informatics nurses. They work with developers making them understand how clinicians can use technology to improve their performance. Hence, they play an important role in improving patient care and outcomes.
An informatics nurse working with technicians ensures the development of intuitive systems and applications to streamline the work of other nurses better. Anyone interested in becoming an informatics nurse must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and be eligible to work as an RN. You can only obtain an informatics nursing certificate from the American Nurses Credentialing Center after working for a few years as an RN. With your meaningful work, you can assure that the patients coming into the hospitals get the most effective service from medical professionals.
7. Legal Nurse Consultant
The legal nurse consultant evaluates medical insurance claims, conducts research, and combines the nursing knowledge with their legal understanding of issues to offer the most suitable recommendations. In this job, you might be assisting lawyers in their investigation about legal claims bringing forward their clinical experience gained through medical education and practice.
It is time to ditch the traditional role of a nurse confined to working in their scrubs only. The days are no more when you were limited to working at the bedside of the patients and administering medicines. There are plenty of other roles in healthcare that you can adopt to play a meaningful role in this field and showcase skills outside the traditional setting of a hospital. However, get complete information about the education requirements and job duties before preferring a career over others.