Nurses provide skilled health care to patients in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care homes, schools, day care centers, public health agencies or urgent care centers. Nurses must have a diversity of skills that include not only health care but health care management, counselor, advocate for the patient and at times, equipment technician.
A career in nursing starts with the desire to help people. A nursing candidate must have a caring nature, the ability to work under pressure, excellent problem solving skills and the physical endurance required to run at full tilt most of the time caring for patients or providing health information.
Most nursing positions require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited school along with state licensing through a comprehensive exam, usually taken sometime after graduation.
Once educated and licensed the sky is the limit for a nurse with drive and ambition. Nurses can expect to find employment in traditional patient care in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities, school nurse, or urgent care centers.
However, the world of nursing goes beyond the walls of a hospital or doctors office. Nursing opportunities can be found in a variety of places and here are a few of the many.
Nurses may find employment with their local Board of Health and work to educate the public on health care issues that minimize health risks and promote a healthy life style with proper nutrition and exercise. They often focus on a particular segment of the population such as children or the elderly.
Complimentary Health Care Nursing is a growing field also called “alternative” health care. This is an alternative to traditional western medicines known as allopathic medicine. These alternative health care measures may include chiropractic massage, acupuncture, herbalism, nutrition and reflexology as a way of treating illness and disease. Many nurses practice these alternatives themselves or work in clinics with such practitioners. This type of health care is believed to be an up and coming field of nursing. There are well over a million people incarcerated in prisons today and like all other parts of the population require medical care from time to time. It takes a special kind of person to become a nurse in a prison and work with those unfortunate to be in prison. Due to the population and the element involved it is not a traditional medical setting. Before considering taking on a nursing job in a prison setting, it is recommended to have a few years experience.
Perhaps your calling in the nursing field is to teach. You have gained valuable experience in the nursing field and want to pass that knowledge along to an up and coming crew of aspiring nurses. Usually a master’s degree is required to teach. Teaching is an ideal way to combine your love of the profession and the satisfaction of helping to improve the profession. Lack of qualified nursing instructors is one of the reasons there is a shortage of nurses today. It is also another reason why nursing programs have waiting lists – there just aren’t enough good teachers to go around. If you aspire to influence the profession of nursing, teaching could be for you.
An Occupational Health Care Nurse can usually be found in a factory or similar setting that employs a large number of people. Having a nurse on staff for a large population is more cost effective than sending an employee to a clinic or emergency room for non life threatening injuries or illness. An additional duty for these nurses might be to outline health and safety programs, wellness programs and holding seminars to promote work safety.
Alcohol and drug addiction are such wide spread problems in today s society a segment of medical care can be dedicated just to that field. A Substance abuse nurse works with individuals who are caught in the nightmare of substance abuse. Nurses may work in a detox clinic, a rehab clinic or counseling. A nurse who chooses this field of nursing is absolutely dedicated to helping folks escape the web of substance abuse and putting their life on the road to recovery and becoming a productive citizen. It can be very rewarding to see a success story unfold before your very eyes but equally as frustrating when that story relapses back to destructive ways.
Perhaps your niche is managing people. You have good management skills and enjoy working in the administrative part of nursing as an Administrative Nurse. Hospitals, as well as other care facilities, nurse staffing companies and health care providers often will employ a nursing administrator to coordinate and manage the nursing staff. A prerequisite for this job is clinical nursing experience, perhaps a master’s degree and good management skills.
The world can always use more Visiting Nurse’s and perhaps that is where you’re calling lies. Visiting Nurses do just that; provide visitations to patients that require help with everyday tasks or patients that need short term help due to surgery or illness. Often the presence of a visiting nurse will enable the patient to stay in their own home rather than a hospital or other care facility.
There is a wide variety of nursing opportunities for those who want to work outside of a hospital setting. If you take just a moment to look around, you will find something that a little out of the ordinary that suits your character.