When we think of nurses, we think of the hustle and bustle of the floors, running between patient rooms to pass medications, hanging IV bags, inserting Foleys and changing dressings. And that’s just in the first hour and a half. However, there’s much more to nursing than one path. As nurses, we’ve spent years in school developing skills that prepare us for careers of all kinds, and yet, we are rarely educated on our options! Here are a few career paths that you might not realized were available.
Nursing Informatics for the Hands-Off Data Geek
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not using “geek” as a pejorative here; nursing informatics is a burgeoning field with lots of opportunities for nurses with a mind for data and a will to improve the lives of nurses and patients alike. Hospitals and private consulting firms hire nurses with a keen eye for spotting dysfunction and a positive attitude towards problem solving, creating new strategies for nurse, patient, and hospital management.
Flight Nursing for the Adrenaline Junkie
If you’ve spent some time in the ICU or ED and found that the rush just isn’t enough, you might be interested in a job as a Flight Nurse. These nurses in remote areas away from cityscapes work to keep patients alive when these are in critical conditions and they do so with little but themselves, the pilot and a bag of equipment. To perform this job, you’ll need to think quickly on your feet and have a mastery of the skills learned through critical care courses.
Cruise Ship Nurse
Want to exercise your nursing skills surrounded by cerulean waters and hot sun? Cruise ship nursing allows you to get a tan on your hours off, and treat mostly non-serious issues such as sunburn, dehydration, hangovers, and seasickness while at work. Yet, because of limited supplies and the distance from major hospitals, critical thinking will be needed during rare emergencies such as sudden disease or complications to a tourist’s preexisting health condition. Still, it’s not a bad gig. However, if you’re easily seasick, this isn’t the career for you.
This one I can talk about from experience. After spending time on the floors and working so much that I wasn’t able to keep up with my one favorite hobbies, writing, I wondered if I could combine the two. Sure enough, it’s possible. If you’re a diligent researcher with a passion for continued education, you might find that you can make a living writing for health blogs, educational smart phone applications, and nursing magazines. All you need is a firm grasp of Chicago-style grammar and a strong will to turn passion into a career.
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