Beyond the Hospital: Alternative Careers for Registered Nurses
Whatever happens in this world, nurses will always be in demand. If doctors are the rock stars of the healthcare profession, then nurses are the crew which holds everything together. Without the brilliance, tenacity, and courage of the nurses, doctors will not be able to carry on with their jobs.
Becoming a registered nurse is an immeasurably rewarding role since you have the opportunity to make an actual difference in the lives of other people. When people hear the word “nursing” what usually comes into their minds are the images of someone in the TV show “Scrubs,” rushing from one patient to another in a hospital. And while nursing is considered a career, this particular image may not align with your passions and goals.
You may be genuinely interested in healthcare, however, either you do not want to work in hands-on health care, or you would like to help more people than just taking care of the patients in the hospital.
If you are looking for alternative nursing careers for you that go beyond the hospital, we’ve got you covered. The field of nursing has been experiencing tremendous growth for the past decade. We reached out to several registered nurses, carried out in-depth research and found 5 alternative nursing careers that you may not have heard about. Who knows? One of these careers might be your future career! So, what are these alternative nursing careers?
1. Nursing Informatics
Informatics nurses make use of health information systems to manage patient data and communicate. This technical role has a massive impact on patient care. The more intuitive and streamlined the training and applications are, the more time technicians and nurses have to spend with the patients. Anyone who is interested in this career option must be a registered nurse. After a few years as a nurse, you can get an informatics nursing certificate via the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
2. Telemedicine Nurse
Telemedicine nursing combines nursing and technology to offer care to patients; nurses use computers and video to connect with the patients remotely. These patients usually either have chronic conditions which need to be closely monitored, or they might not be able to come to the clinics. A majority of home health agencies have telemedicine departments which use telemedicine for routine monitoring of some of their patients. Telemedicine nurses need to be knowledgeable about technology to provide care to the patients. To qualify for this role, you need to have a few years nursing experience preferably ambulatory or home health care and have an interest in technology.
3. Nurse Educator
With the country-wide increase in demand for qualified nurses, there is an increasing demand for nurses’ trainers. Nurse educators usually work in universities and colleges to teach classroom and clinical knowledge to the nursing students. Additionally, nurse educators may also work in outpatient and inpatient healthcare facilities, orienting and educating new nursing aides and nurses. Being a nurse educator will give you the flexibility to choose the number of hours that you wish to spend in a clinical environment. As a nurse trainer, you will be tasked with guiding and teaching potential new nurses on their health care journey, and you will need to be well-versed with numerous nursing skills. This means you must be a registered nurse with a Masters of Science in Nursing degree.
4. School Nurse
In case you are interested in hands-on practice aspect of nursing, becoming a school nurse may be perfect for you. As a school nurse, you will work with kids of different ages- from early childhood to high-school teens- and provide health care as needed. You will also be tasked with educating the students on different health topics, giving out medication as per the doctor’s orders, treating minor injuries like cuts and sprains and offering preventative screening services. The school nurse’s role is perfect for those nurses who wish to work the traditional hours, as well as get a summer break each year. For you to be a school nurse, you must be a registered nurse and earn a BSN.
5. Nurse Life-Care Planner
Registered nurses in care facilities or hospitals usually work with nurse practitioners or doctors to create short-term care plans for patients. On the other hand, nurse life-care planners come up with long-term care plans for patients suffering from severe injuries or illnesses. They work with lawyers, doctors, insurance companies and whomever else is required to make decisions on the prospective needs and costs of the appropriate medical care. To be a nurse life-care planner, you must be a registered nurse. After working two years providing long-term care and treatment, you can continue studying to be a certified nurse life-care planner.