When I decided to attend nursing school my goal was to become an OR nurse. Fortunately since I had worked for several years as an OR tech I was able to move up to OR circulating nurse after graduation.
The great thing about nursing is the wide open field of exciting possibilities. Nursing has expanded into so many areas, some of them far from the patient bedside. As a registered nurse there are specialty choices for any nursing passion.
I have tried many during my career. Some changes in my life were due to relocation to a different state. Other changes were opportunities that opened and offered to train me in that specialty. I will list some specialties I have tried and some I haven’t and by no means all that are out there. If you are the adventurous type find something you love and give it a try.
While working a part-time position in the medical department at the county jail one of my collegues asked me if I would be interested in joining SART (sexual assault response team). I was a fan of Law and Order SVU so I jumped at the opportunity. Our team gathered evidence in sexual assault cases for our county. We were expected to provide testimony in court cases as needed. I loved the autonomy of this job and working with law enforcement to care for these victims.
I took a course in forensic nursing with the idea to one day become part of a police evidence unit. This field includes death investigations, sexual assault victim examinations, trauma centers, or child advocacy. I never had the opportunity to get into law enforcement where this training would be used.
Entrepreneur and Consultant (Self Employed)
Another area I tried my hand at was training classes as an entrepreneur. As a licensed registered nurse you can get a continuing education provider number to offer CE classes. I offered both CE classes and basic first aid training to residential care facility staff members.
Other examples include CPR training, adult day care, educational companies, and more. A nurse entrepreneur has a broad field that is constantly changing and growing to choose her topics. Try a seminar on starting a home study program to help nurses think through various business ideas.
My experience with insurance nursing was making home visits to perform health screenings on clients applying for life insurance. Perhaps answering the ask-a-nurse advice line is more appealing to you. Many insurance companies are hiring nurse advocates to follow patients through the healthcare maze and coordinate with physicians and staff at facilities.
Or maybe you’re best at writing wellness newsletters, running education programs for insurers, or monitoring outcomes data. Insurance nursing offers a lot, including opportunities for growth.
Medical Aesthetics Nurse
It is popular for physicians offices to hire nurses with experience to perform chemical peels, botox, collagen injections, laser therapy and spider vein treatment. Several states are now allowing Nurse Practitioners to open their own practice to perform these treatments. Medical aesthetics is a hot field with some offices having botox parties after hours.
If fitness is your passion then try combining personal training with nursing. Fitness nurses are now running health ascreenings in cardiac rehab and health clubs or spas. Some may work in fitness centers doing assessments and providing personal training.
After years providing hospice care I felt like I wanted to do something different. I found that next opportunity at the church I was attending. A brochure regarding Parish Nursing seemed to call out to me. I completed the course and became certified and then offered my services to my church. Some churches hire a nurse as paid staff but others have volunteer spiritual nurses available.
Nurses provide spiritual and practical care visiting the sick and praying with them. They are also providing consultation regarding things like diabetes, B/P monitoring, and medication review. They function autonomously within the congregation to promote wellness.
Is your idea of nursing one where you provide both conventional and complementary medicine. Are you trained in alternative, high-touch modalities? If you like the concept of mind-body medicine working in a low stress nurturing atmosphere then holistic nursing is your career.
Travel nursing provides an opportunity to work at some of the many nation’s most prestigious facilities. It will allow you to expand your clinical and professional skill sets. A job where you can choose where and when you want to work. You will earn competitive pay, top-rate benefits and free, private housing or a housing stipend. The best advantage is that you will meet new people and create lasting friendships while traveling the country. This opportunity allows you to bring a spouse, the family pet or a friend along for the journey.
I am sure there are many other exciting and fun nursing careers. Research and find one that you are passionate about and give it a whirl. I have no regrets, I have had a very full career and trying new things kept me from burnout.