Thinking Outside the Clinic: Unusual Places to Find Employment as a Nurse
With the current economic downturn, nursing jobs are becoming increasingly more difficult to find – or are they? For students who have completed a RN to BSN program, there are actually quite a few possibilities. With those willing to look far beyond the more traditional RN nursing jobs, there is an incredible array of interesting and unusual opportunities. Below are just some examples of the fascinating careers and places of employment available for those qualified RNs.
Home Care Nursing. If you’ve always dreamed of working from the home, this is the nursing job for you. The catch is, though, that you’re working from someone else’s home. Home care nurses often work with the elderly or pediatric patients who aren’t able to feasibly leave their homes. The elderly are a growing segment of the population, creating a higher demand for this type of nursing. With pediatric patients, home care nurses not only tend to their patients but also help educate parents, working with them to give their child the best possible care.
Travel nursing. This is the perfect career path for a flexible nurse with itchy feet. Travel nursing jobs usually have great benefits and travel nurses have the rare opportunity to work in many different areas around the country. Travel nurses find work through travel health care companies, which match up nurses with appropriate employment opportunities.
On-Site Nursing. School nurses are one example of an on-site nursing position. Jobs as a school nurse may be on the decline but opportunities for on-site nurses are not. On-site nurses often work in recreational settings such as beaches, national and state parks, amusement parks and camps. There are also opportunities for on-site nurses at large corporations and businesses in order to provide care for employees. Nursing care facilities also are a large source of employment for on-site nurses.
Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. RNs can work with lawyers on legal cases as a certified legal nurse consultant. Nurses in this career path enjoy hourly wages of up to $150 an hour and have the ability to work as a certified legal nurse consultant, while still maintaining their position as an RN. The demand for certified legal nurse consultants is high, because medical cases are quite common and most attorneys are not trained to understand medical terminology or know how to read medical reports.
Drug treatment centers. There are various opportunities for nurses working in drug treatment centers. Nurses in drug rehabilitation facilities will often oversee a patient’s detoxification process as well as administering medical care and patient education. Nurses are also often charged with monitoring patients for potential aggressive or dangerous behavior in order to keep patients and staff safe. Nurses working in drug treatment centers will also often participate in the mental health care of recovering patients.
Military. The Army, Air Force and Navy all have a wide variety of job opportunities for nurses, especially BSN graduates. Military nursing has many advantages including abundant benefits and an opportunity for world travel. The Army offers 10 different nursing careers including Army public health nurse, emergency room nurse and critical care nurse. The Air Force has 16 distinct nursing jobs available including acute care nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, operating room nurse, nurse-midwife and pediatric nurse practitioner. In addition to over a dozen different nursing specialties, the Navy provides nursing services to the Marines and the Coast Guard, as well as offering other careers in health care administration.
Nursing Registry. Consider working for or even starting your own supplemental staffing agency. Nursing registries are the temp agencies of the nursing world, providing short-term and long-term staffing solutions for the needs of healthcare facilities. Registry nurses fill in when regular nurses go on vacation, are sick or are on strike. There are also opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded nurses to start up their own nursing registry business.
Research Nurse. If you love nursing and have a love of science to match it, research nursing might be for you. Research nurses work in a variety of environments and can help shape nursing practices themselves. Research nurses work to improve quality of patient care with evidence-based nursing research, help advance research on particular conditions and diseases and help develop programs for prevention and healthy lifestyle choices.
Consider these options thoroughly and you’re sure to find both a fascinating and rewarding career in the nursing field. Be brave enough to consider RN nursing jobs outside of the traditional setting.