When nursing comes to mind, many people imagine providing direct patient care in a hospital setting. That’s not always the case. A degree in nursing opens up a wide array of unique career opportunities.
Here are seven unusual and unexpected nursing specialties:
1. Flight nursing
Flight nurses are trained to provide critical care in emergency situations. Flight nurses work aboard helicopters and airplanes with a team of medical professionals, including physicians, respiratory practitioners and/or paramedics. Flight nurses must obtain their license for registered nursing and also receive additional education and training in emergency nursing. These specialty nurses are required to have at least five years of previous intensive care or emergency room experience.
2. Domestic violence nursing
Nurses specializing in domestic violence aid in the identification of victims, intervention plans and abuse prevention. Domestic violence nurses work at clinics and shelters or advocate for domestic abuse prevention in the community. They are not only capable of victim screening and medical intervention, but they can also provide education and emotional support. Some of these specialty nurses work with politicians and legislation in regards to domestic violence prevention.
3. Travel nursing
Travel nurses fill nursing positions around the world for short periods of time. The concept of travel nursing was developed to aid in the nursing shortage and send temporary help until full-time positions can be filled. As a general rule, ten months of clinical experience is typically required of travel nurses. This specialty appeals to nurses who thrive from variety, change of location and adventure.
4. Cruise ship nursing
Every cruise ship must have a team of medical professionals to assist travelers and other cruise ship employees. The number of nurse practitioners and registered nurses needed aboard depends on the size of the ship, but it’s usually between two and six. Nurses are typically at sea for six to nine months at a time and earn an average salary between $4,200 and $4,900 USD per month.
5. Professional sports team nursing
This position is often part-time, but some nurses may work with the same professional team year-round. Part-time positions are often offered to nurses during training. Nurses for professional sports teams help injured players and evaluate players’ fitness and overall health.
6. Antarctic nursing
The protected land of Antarctica is populated by scientists, researchers and support personnel, which includes registered nurses. Tourism is not permitted, and research in the Antarctic is highly regulated. The U.S. Antarctic Program sends about 3,500 people to Antarctica each year, of which 2,700 are members of the support and medical staff. Employees are needed to operate the facilities for the visiting researchers, as well as medical professionals in case of emergency. If you have ever had the desire to visit the Antarctic, nursing might be your ticket to getting there.
7. Nursing author
Nursing authors are involved in every aspect of the writing and editing process for textbooks, research publications and articles related to the profession. Some nursing authors also have the opportunity to work as consultants for television shows and movies involving nursing. Either an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing is required. Education, such as a major or minor, in writing or communications is recommended.
Wherever you choose to take your nursing career, we can assure you that the opportunities are vast! Check out our nursing specialties section to learn more about where a degree in nursing can take you.