While many RNs do take that path, there are other directions where you can take your nursing degree as well. What you can do with a nursing degree is endless.
Below we have outlined a number of nursing options both inside and outside the hospital that allow for other activities besides standard bedside nursing.
- Patient Advocate: A patient advocate assists patients through their diagnosis and treatment. From coordinating care to helping make treatment decisions, patient advocates play an important role in health care and are usually employed by hospitals to make a patient’s experience better.
- Healthcare Recruiter: As the need for nurses is expected to keep rising, healthcare recruiters will play an important role in attracting the staff that hospitals and other healthcare institutions need. Nurses working in these roles will help to market open jobs and pre-qualify candidates for various positions.
- Nurse Practitioner: Many nurses don’t stop learning after earning their bachelor’s degree. Those who continue their formal education sometimes become nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners can serve as a patient’s primary healthcare provider and diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments, both mental and physical. Nurse practitioners work in a wide range of settings, from hospitals to private practices.
- Nurse Educator: A nurse educator is a nurse who helps students become nurses. Depending on how much education they’ve received, nurse educators can teach anything from licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs to advanced practice classes. Nurse educators come from all different types of backgrounds.
- Nurse Administrator: A nurse administrator takes on a leadership role in organizations where nurses work. With duties such as managing, budgeting, staffing and other decision-making functions, nurse administrators are important employees in healthcare facilities.
- Nurse Sales Liaison: In this position you work as a marking representative. Typically, nursing sales liaisons are trying to inform different medical organizations of the benefits that the company that they work for has to offer. There is typically less patient interaction but more contact with administration.
- Personal Care Services – This is one of the higher-paying jobs within nursing if you can get a job as a personal care nurse. Typically a nurse in this position will assist individuals who are unable to complete daily tasks such as dressing, using the bathroom, and cleaning themselves. Nurses also provide any necessary medical procedures. The higher earning nurses typically work for celebrities.
- Quality Improvement Nurse – This type of nurse often still works in a clinical setting but doesn’t often do the day-to-day clinical work. Instead, a quality improvement nurse looks at ways to improve the way that other nurses and hospital staff are doing their job. They are looking for ways to improve the hospital system as a whole and prevent injury to the patients.
- Legal Nurse Consultant – A legal nurse consultant (LNC) often acts as a liaison between the medical staff and a litigation team. If you have an interest in becoming an LNC you must first have a BSN and then you can get an additional certification. This is a great area for any nurse interested in the legal side of the medical world.
- Research Nurse – These nurses keep the pulse on new medical technology and drugs. They research new drugs and medical devices and are also responsible for coming up with and implementing healthcare studies. These nurses typically have a lot of education behind them and they often work with scientist and researchers in other fields besides nursing. The settings that they work in are diverse; they can work in universities, laboratories, and other research organizations.
- Public Health Nurse – A public health nurse works with a whole population of individuals all at once. Typically this type of nurse tries to solve some type of problem within a given population. These nurses can focus their efforts on things like education, vaccinations, supplying nutrition, or a number of other activities to help a community or population.
- Medical Office Manager – Nursing isn’t even in the title of this job. This is because you don’t have to be a nurse to be a medial office manager. However, nurses are typically very well suited for this job as they understand the ins and outs of a medical office. This job doesn’t typically pas as much as other nursing specialties.
- Holistic Nursing – This is a new and growing field of study. The general philosophy of a holistic nurse is that treating the whole person/body is better than treating an individual problem or ailment. There are certifications that nurses can get to become a holistic nurse. Some examples of techniques used by holistic medicine that aren’t as traditionally used in medicine include massage, herbs and vitamins, and aromatherapy.
- Medical Writer – This job doesn’t require a nursing background or degree. However, many nurses find that they excel in this position. It’s especially good for nurses who don’t like blood or prefer not to work directly with patients. Some nurses often take on medical writing as a second job or supplementary income to their standard nursing job.
- Pharmaceutical Sales Rep – This is yet another job that doesn’t necessarily involve having a nursing degree, but it’s well suited for those who do. This is a great job for outgoing individuals who don’t mind sales. The job invoices selling supplies to hospital and medical facilities. It can involve a lot of traveling but the pay is typically pretty good for someone in this position.
All of these jobs are a part of a different nursing specialty. To learn more about the different specialties offered in nursing check out the nursing specialties page.
Each of these jobs requires a different level of education in terms of degrees and certifications. To learn more about the degree options available in nursing visit our nursing degree options.
A nursing degree opens a world of opportunity in the healthcare world. Whether you decide to work as a bedside nurse, pursue a graduate degree, or play an administrative role, there is no shortage of options when you choose a nursing career. If you are interested in starting in the world of heathcare and becoming a nurse, be sure to contact us today or give us a call at 866-892-1466.
Is there another nursing role that isn’t listed here that you would like to learn more about? If so, leave us a note in the comment section below and we will write a future post about a nursing specialty that you are most interested in!