After receiving a nursing degree, many nurses start imagining their first day in their new nursing position. Many nurses leave nursing school ready to tackle the challenges that come with their positions in traditional hospitals. In many cases, nurses find that their local hospitals and other healthcare facilities are saturated, and so their option is to find work outside the traditional hospital settings. The good news is that there are lots of alternative careers for nurses outside the norm. By doing a bit of research, nurses can begin to understand the numerous opportunities available to them outside this traditional setting.
Legal Nurse Consultants
Legal nurse consultants work in the legal world, and they are seen as the link between the law and the medical world. The reason why these nurses are required is that lawyers do not always understand healthcare and everything else that comes with it such as the requisite medical jargon. Additionally, many nurses and physicians do not understand the law and everything else it comes with. Legal nurse consultants work as some sort of middleman, helping clarify information, and helping avoid any misunderstandings between the two worlds.
Legal nurse consultants can work for companies or as freelance agents for various businesses at the same time. Some legal nurse consultants even find work at law firms that deal with medical law, lawsuits, and cases.
While it is true that most nurse midwives work in hospitals, some of them work directly with physicians in their private practices. These nurses work directly with women, helping them during pregnancy and delivery. Nurse midwives can work with general physicians or gynecologists and obstetricians.
Nurse midwives may also work in reproductive health, helping doctors care for mothers whose pregnancies are at risk or helping men with their reproductive issues. They can also care for patients with sexually transmitted diseases, where they provide both care and education on how to stay safe.
Nurse midwives are specialized nurses, and this means one requires specialized education to become a nurse midwife. In addition to a nursing degree, nurse midwives also need a license to practice as registered nurses and a master’s in nurse midwifery. Once they complete their master’s program, nurse midwives must also obtain the necessary certification to practice as midwives.
Nurse Health Coaches
Nurse health coaches work with clients and patients who have various health issues due to their lifestyles. These nurses come up with the best strategies to help their patients and clients attain their wellness goals and to remain healthy enough to prevent future health complications.
Nurse health coaches work in a variety of settings including social service agencies, insurance companies, and healthcare facilities. They are tasked with establishing exercise routines that are safe for their patients and clients, developing proper and fitting diet plans, and monitoring their patients.
Depending on where they would like to work, nurse health coaches only need an associate’s degree to get started. However, many organizations and institutions require a bachelor’s degree and an additional nutrition certification.
There has been a serious push from numerous parties to include nurses in research endeavors. This is to increase the body of knowledge available on nursing as there is so much of it in general medicine but too little of it in nursing. This type of research is also thought to be one of the best ways to encourage the development of innovations that help improve patient care and healthcare as a whole.
Because of the above reasons, there is a demand for nurses in the research field. To get into this field you need to hold a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Nursing. A Ph.D. can be completed online at different accredited universities and colleges. A common point of confusion is the difference between a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree because both are doctorate degrees in nursing. When comparing DNP vs PhD degrees, it is important to remember that a DNP focuses on patient care while a Ph.D. focuses on research. It is the Ph.D. that is in high demand and required for nurses wishing to get into research through academic internships, clinical lectureships, and doctoral research fellowships.
Academic Nurse Writers
This is perhaps the nursing career that is most removed from patient care. Academic nurse writers work in various industries such as the pharmaceutical industry, patient care industries, and the insurance industry creating nurse-related content. This content can be included on websites, textbooks, training manuals, and everywhere else a nurse’s input is required. Their work can be tailored to appeal to diverse audiences such as nurses, healthcare professions, or the public.
Nursing academic writing is very lucrative as long as a nurse can find organizations requiring their services.
Mental Health Nurses
Mental health nurses play a pivotal role in the provision of mental illness and psychiatric services. They are required to assist psychologists and psychiatrists with various tasks including testing patients, diagnosing various illnesses and conditions as well as providing the requisite level of care according to the patients they care for.
Because of how diverse the field is, mental health nurses can work in psychiatric facilities, addiction treatment centers, and wherever else mental health services are required.
Because of the demanding and stressful nature of this file, nurses must undergo extensive training to work in it. Besides a bachelor’s degree, many organizations require that nurses also have a master’s or doctorate, a license to practice, and have completed a specialized certification. Once qualified, nurses can provide counseling, psychiatric care, and medical care services. Some mental health nurses also branch out and get into teaching and research.
Public Health Nurses
Public health nursing is one of the most desirable nursing jobs outside the hospital. Public health nurses work directly with communities to address their healthcare needs. Because they are in direct contact with the communities they work for, there are so many available public health nurse opportunities. These include working for schools, social service providers, non-profits, and with at-risk groups and individuals.
Many organizations that hire public health nurses require that they have a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree in addition to being registered nurses. Nurses who want to expand their employability and to work for a diverse range of organizations should also consider completing a public health degree or certification. In some cases, a master’s degree can be combined with a public health degree.
Occupational nurses are primarily employed by businesses. These nurses ensure employee safety and they are often the individuals tasked with investigating and treating injuries at worksites. They are also sometimes tasked with finding and dealing with workplace hazards to help avoid injuries.
Occupational nurses can also help businesses develop safety policies to be followed by employees. They can also provide employee training to minimize the risk and instances of injuries alongside training on workplace hazards and other healthcare concerns.
Nurse educators work in academia as teachers. Instead of teaching in a hospital as some nurses do, they teach in university and college classrooms and lecture halls. Some nurse educators also work as consultants to ensure the material being taught to new nurses is relevant, fresh, and consistent.
Nurses who want to get into academia should love teaching, have the patience to deal with students, and be concerned with ensuring the curriculum being used is the best one. Nurse educators should have a master’s or doctorate degree, a license to practice, and lots of relevant experience. Some institutions will accept nurses who have bachelor’s degrees coupled with a lot of nursing experience.
Hospice nursing is perhaps the most challenging nursing opinion because these nurses work with patients and their families and provide end-of-life services for their patients. Because of the highly demanding nature of their work, hospice nurses will usually work directly with their patients in the patients’ homes.
They have varied roles but at the minimum, they monitor their patient’s vital signs, administer pain management medication, and ensure their patients remain comfortable. When working with patients’ families, they provide both emotional and educational support.
Hospice nurses should hold palliative care and hospice certifications in addition to their other qualifications.
School nurses work with children and give back to the community arguably a lot more than most other nurses. School nurses can work at all school levels including universities. They are the go-to individuals for healthcare in the schools they work with.
Because they work with kids, much of their work overlaps with the word of family nurse practitioners. Some of their tasks include checking vision and hearing, assessing children’s health, and providing referrals to physicians for the children who need additional care. Some school nurses are also tasked with teaching health courses and providing public health services at the school level.
Becoming a nurse does not necessarily mean that you have to work in a hospital. There are a lot of other places you can work depending on your qualifications and preferences. Just remember that you might need additional certification for some nursing roles available outside the hospital.
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