Wednesday, November 04, 2020

11 Nursing Roles You Can Specialize In to Take Your Career Further

Some people think of ‘nurse’ as just one job; however, nothing could be further from the truth. There are a huge number of nursing roles available, with many diverse specialties and career paths to choose from. Due to the current shortage of nurses across the United States, training for any one of these can bring you a stable job with a good income and plenty of opportunities for further development. Here are eleven in-demand nursing roles to consider if you’re currently studying for (or thinking about studying for) a degree in nursing.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses, or RNs, are advanced nurses who work in a whole range of different settings, including hospitals and doctor’s clinics. They work alongside physicians with a wide variety of patients, providing care, educating people, and offering support. The tasks you may be required to do vary widely, from taking medical histories and administering medication to teaching patients how to manage medical conditions. This is a great role to retrain for later in life, through one of the many online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses.

Emergency Room Nurse
An emergency room (ER) nurse works with a team in a hospital to provide urgent care to patients who have suffered life-threatening injuries or trauma. You’ll be working in a fast-paced and sometimes stressful environment, so you must be good at remaining calm and working efficiently under pressure. ER nurses see a wide variety of wounds and ailments and operate alongside first responders and other specialists.

Oncology Nurse
Oncology nurses are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, providing care for patients who have the disease or are at risk of it. They normally work in hospitals, but can also be employed in specialist centers. As an oncology nurse you will monitor the condition of those in your care, educate them about their options, prescribe medication, and administer chemotherapy and other treatments. There may even be the chance to assist with research. With cancer rates increasing, this role is only becoming more important.

Nurse Anesthetist
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is a highly specialized role. It involves assisting with the administration of anesthesia to patients during surgeries, as well as providing care before and after the procedures. In addition to determining the best anesthesia plan for each patient, you will also be responsible for monitoring them during surgery. This is one of the most well-paying roles in nursing, with a high projected rate of job growth. Due to its highly skilled nature, a graduate degree is required for this position.

Psychiatric Nurse
If you’re more interested in mental health than physical health, the role of a psychiatric nurse or mental health nurse might be of more interest to you. In this job you specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders, and it involves an element of counseling, too. You can expect to discuss symptoms with patients and update their records, implement care plans, facilitate group therapy, as well as administer medications. It’s also a great opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with those you treat.

Nurse Midwife
A Certified Nurse Midwife specializes in caring for pregnant women. They provide prenatal, family planning and obstetric care, and may assist with labor and the delivery of babies. After the baby is born, a nurse midwife might also educate new moms and dads on how to care for their newborn, as well as offer advice on how to adjust to life as a parent. In this role you could work from a hospital, clinic, or an OB/GYN office.

Pediatric Nurse
If you're patient and love children, a pediatric nurse could be the ideal role for you. Working with children of all ages from infants to teenagers, you’ll carry out many of the same tasks as other nurses but for younger patients. This includes performing physical exams, administering vaccinations and other medications, diagnosing illnesses, and developing treatment plans. Pediatric nurses must have great observational skills and a talent for making scary medical procedures seem less intimidating!

Geriatric Nurse
At the opposite end of the spectrum, a geriatric nurse specializes in the care of elderly patients. This role is particularly important due to the country’s increasing elderly population, and demand is continuing to rise. You could work anywhere from hospitals and nursing homes to a patient’s own home, focusing on helping older people maintain their mobility, independence, and quality of life. This may involve working with patients who have conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or arthritis, as well as those who have suffered falls or are no longer able to look after themselves.

Nurse Manager
Those who are more interested in a leadership or administrative role should consider the position of nurse manager. This involves less direct patient care, and instead focuses on overseeing a team of nurses and other healthcare staff to coordinate patient healthcare. Your tasks may include recruitment and retention of nurses, the creation of schedules, and making budget decisions. Due to its supervisory nature, the job requires excellent communication, leadership, problem-solving and critical thinking skills to be done effectively.

Nurse Educator
Another option for those wanting to take their career in a different direction is to become a nurse educator. This involves helping to train the next generation of nursing staff, either by designing and implementing education programs or teaching students directly. You will most likely work in a teaching hospital and also a classroom setting, supervising and assessing students as well as offering career advice. Generally a master's or doctoral degree in nursing is required for this role.

Travel Nurse
A travel nurse is a unique role that involves working in a number of different places to fill workforce gaps. This could be nationally or internationally. For example, you might cover for nurses who are on sick leave or maternity leave, or even travel abroad to assist with a natural disaster or other emergency situation. It’s a great role for someone who loves to travel frequently, see different places and meet lots of different people. This role will enable you to broaden your personal and professional horizons while still helping to save lives.

This is a guest blog entry.

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