Nursing is an expanding field with increasing demand that offers a variety of job opportunities in different specialties and workplace settings. Most nurses find jobs in hospitals; some find alternative career paths and work outside hospitals. According to the BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) report, 60 percent of nurses work in private and government hospitals. At the same time, around 33 percent of registered nurses with a BSN (Bachelor of Nursing Science) and ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) follow a nontraditional nursing path and find exciting jobs in different workplace settings.
Nurses can work in various industries and take on different roles, from providing hospital patient care to becoming health coaches in private practice. The reason for not working at the hospital can vary from person to person; they either want to work during 9 to 5 timings, want flexible schedules and less competitive environments with reduced pressure, or have found a specialty and workplace suitable to their needs, skills, and abilities.
Suppose you pursue further education after your BSN or ADN. In that case, several good employment opportunities with great salaries and benefits will open up for you in both medicine and nontraditional settings.
If you are considering pursuing an MSN (Master of Nursing Science) degree and wonder what can I do with an MSN and which positions or workplaces to pursue after the degree program? Then you don’t need to worry as you will have multiple options after completing an MSN degree. For example, you can take on either an informatics nurse specialist position or an administrative or managerial role in hospitals and clinics, the position of researcher in government organizations, or as a nurse educator in hospitals and universities.
If you are an aspiring nursing candidate looking for options or a registered nurse looking to change workplaces, we have compiled a list of workplace settings where you can make a difference in patients’ lives.
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Hospitals and Clinics
Nurses working in hospitals or clinics provide direct patient. In hospitals, different departments provide medical care in a specific area of medicine. These departments span from family practice to oncology. While in the clinic, primarily routine medical and preventive care is provided, and patients are sent home aftercare. Some specialized clinics, like gynecology, mental health, or addiction centers, focus on a specific area. The role of nurses in these settings may differ, but the duties overlap.
Nurses have to take a medical history, document symptoms, monitor patients’ health, maintain patients’ records, and communicate treatment plans to patients at a clinic during a standard shift. Whereas in hospitals, the role may not differ entirely, but nurses have to work long shifts even during holidays, nights, and weekends.
Telehealth is an effective method for providing healthcare services remotely using digital communication methods. Nurse practitioners who want to work remotely can easily get a job this way. They only need the internet and devices like web cameras and telephones to provide healthcare services over a distance. Nurses can conduct telehealth sessions from anywhere as long as a stable internet connection is provided.
Nurses also provide services in educational institutes like schools, colleges, and universities. They perform various duties like providing healthcare to students suffering from acute and chronic illnesses and supporting differently-abled students. They provide primary care, dispense medicine to students, and provide urgent care from a physician if necessary. In addition, they write health referrals and develop and monitor student health plans. If you enjoy interacting with young people and want to work a regular shift, this is the job for you.
In emergency rooms, nurses assist doctors in caring for patients who suffer from severe illness, trauma, or injury and need urgent care. An ER nurse develops a patient care plan after evaluating a patient’s condition and injuries. Their responsibilities include administering medicine dosage, wound care, performing minor procedures, blood transfusions and keeping the patient stable until the doctor arrives.
To be an ER nurse, one needs to be able to work under high-pressure situations, think critically, and work on complex cases.
Registered nurses can also work in law firms. They work as consultants and assist with medical malpractice lawsuits and legal cases by providing medical opinions based on their professional expertise. They also conduct client interviews, analyze the standard of care, and provide expert testimony in court. You can become a nurse consultant if you have clinical experience in emergency rooms or critical and intensive care and want to branch out of clinical practice.
Home healthcare nurses’ duties do not differ from those at the hospital; they provide intensive care at patients’ residences. Usually, patients suffering from neurodevelopmental, orthopedic, and neuromuscular mobility disorders need 24 hours care at home.
Nurses support patients with essential routine tasks, provide them with medical care and assist them with bodily functions. Most nurses provide these services for long hours over extended periods. While some provide services for a short time after a patient’s discharge from the hospital, depending on their condition.
To support patients’ needs, home healthcare nurses suggest modifying the patients’ environment according to their needs to help them recover or make them comfortable. To be a healthcare nurse, you must quickly adapt to each patient’s residential environment and daily schedule to fulfill the duties of the job at hand.
Nurse practitioners and midwives are the only nurses that can run independent practices depending on their degree, training and, most importantly, the rules and regulations of their state. In some states, it is required for nurses to practice with a physician, while in some states, nurses can run their practice independently.
Nurses can also pursue careers as educators where they can teach health courses and educational courses to improve nursing techniques or provide holistic or residential care as self-employed nurses. You can also become a nursing blogger or freelance writer if you like writing, educating, and providing solutions to your audience.
Nursing is a field that will offer you different avenues you can explore throughout your career. You can choose a nursing career based on your skills, schedule, and environment. You can also select an alternative nursing career to have a work-life balance just by finding the ideal workplace. If you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and high-pressure situations, then being an ER nurse is the career for you. If you like teaching and shaping the minds of youngsters, then you can become a nurse educator, or if you want regular timing and low stress, you can become a school nurse. The nursing field being such wide and full of opportunities, so it is better to pursue a career in a workplace that suits your skills and personality.
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