Opting for a career in nursing means you are taking up the responsibility to play a vital role in building a healthy community. Nurses primarily help their patients deal with their illness, save their patients from getting diseases they might get if they continue to make certain unhealthy decisions, and advocate health overall.
However, there are various nursing careers specific to the needs of the healthcare system, which you can opt from as per your choice. These various career opportunities in nursing enable the nurses to provide focused and personalized healthcare to their patients.
Moreover, nursing is growing widely as a career and is expected to rise in the upcoming year as per the statistics. If you have not yet chosen a career path, nursing could be a great option. You can opt for it throughout your degree of bachelor in science of Nursing (BSN), which is a primary requirement if you want to be a nurse. Meanwhile, if you are working towards the degree, below are some career options in nursing that you can look through and make up your mind about what kind of nurse you would like to be:
1. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
An adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner has a specialization in acute care. This specialization enables nurses to supervise patients when they are in a critical situation. They are legally allowed to assess the health situation of a patient, diagnose the problem, write the tests for them, and come up with an immediate treatment procedure. In some states, these Nurse practitioners are also allowed to prescribe medications. Most of the time, these Nurse Practitioners are dealing with senior citizens, and their main aim is to stabilize the health condition of the patient.
2. Registered Nurse
Being a Registered Nurse means having a strong base in the nursing career. It essentially means that you can practice as a Nurse anywhere in your state. A registered nurse always works with a licensed physician. That could be taken as a downside. However, a Registered Nurse gets to gain a lot of experience working with skilled physicians and in diverse locations from nursing homes to big hospitals. Registered Nurses provide their help in making the best treatment plan for their patients. Also, they provide their patients and their families the essential knowledge about health issues. Moreover, they serve as the right-hand to the physicians, thus playing a major role in saving lives.
3. Nurse Practitioner
A Nurse Practitioner is basically a Registered Nurse with the knowledge of Advanced Practice. As a result, they have more responsibilities towards treating their patients than Registered Nurses. Nurse Practitioners can do almost everything as physicians like prescribing medication, diagnosing an illness, and giving treatment to their patients. Thus, Nurse Practitioners have the most autonomy. However, the only thing that differentiates them from physicians is that they are required to get some of the prescriptions or treatments signed by a physician for certain diseases. Though being a Nurse Practitioner demands more study, it is a desirable career choice and has myriad benefits to it.
4. Travel Nurse
Travel Nurse is basically a registered nurse who travels from state to state to serve their patients. Most of the time the traveling is national for a Travel Nurse, but sometimes it can be on an international level too. One commitment could require a Travel Nurse to be at a certain medical facility from a few days to a few years. Most of the traveling agencies looking to hire Travel Nurses demand them to have experience. This thing can sometimes make it hard for a Travel Nurse to land a good first job. Another issue can be acquiring an immediate license to practice in a certain state or a country. However, this is an exciting career option where you get to serve people and travel at the same time.
5. Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse
These are the Registered Nurses who specifically work in Intensive Care Units (ICU). Because of this specialty, their job becomes ten times harder than any other Registered Nurse. These nurses require more than an education to be a nurse. They must also have an optimistic approach to life and a calm attitude. It is so because the patients in ICU are in a critical condition, usually needing treatments for an emergency. They require a nurse’s 100 percent focus because their life depends on the check-ups. So, you can opt for an Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse if you want to put yourself out there, serving in one of the most critical areas of any hospital.
6. Operating Room Nurse
Operating Room Nurses are also called as Perioperative or Surgical Room Nurses. These nurses help diagnose the complete condition of a patient before the operation. Also, these nurses have various practical tasks before, during, and after the operation of a patient, which they perform under the supervision of the surgeon. Operating Room Nurses need to have an active mind and a critical approach to different challenging situations. They need to be emotionally strong to witness and help during the surgery and also reassure and educate the restless families of the patients. On top of everything, one essential quality an Operating Room Nurse must have is strong communication skills. This is so because these nurses are in direct communication with the patient, surgeons, and the families of the patients.
7. Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Nurses work in recovery rooms. They look after the patients who have just undergone surgery and are still under the effect of anesthesia. These nurses observe the changing conditions of patients who are under the effect of anesthesia. Since anesthesia can have various side effects depending on the body functions of each patient, it is important to keep a strict check on them. Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Nurses deal with everything post-surgery until the patient wakes up and is fine. However, some hospitals require these nurses to help patients with walking and eating. Also, it is important for these nurses to have a calm and positive attitude as they are the first person a patient communicates with when they wake up. These nurses often have to answer endless questions of the patients and their worried families.
8. Labor and Delivery Nurse
This is quite a specific career option in nursing. Labor and Delivery nurses aim to help deliver healthy babies while ensuring the safety of mothers. This career option is considered the noblest of all since it is helping bring a life into the world. The great thing about this career option is that the jobs are always available, and fresh nurses are welcomed. As easy and fun, this career option may sound, it is not always the case. There is a huge responsibility for this job. None of the nursing careers can be taken easily. Labor and Delivery Nurses also have lives to save, take care of the newborn babies and the mothers and, the emotions of those related to them. They are monitoring the mother and the baby’s health, administering the medication, assisting during labor as needed, educating mothers about labor and delivery, and responding quickly to any emergency which can occur during labor or delivery.
9. Psychiatric-Mental Nurse
Psychiatric-Mental Nurses are also known as Psych Nurses for short. These nurses work with patients of all ages. They are professionals who treat anxiety and depression and other behavioral issues and mental disorders. Moreover, Psyche Nurses can diagnose illnesses or disorders and provide a treatment procedure. They are allowed to use both medicinal and meditative ways to treat their patients. They have the grave responsibility to stabilize the mental health of their patients and make sure they are mentally well. However, they might need the supervision of physicians for some cases in certain states.
10. Oncology Nurse
Oncology Nurses care for cancer patients. With the remarkable technological advances in the medical field, there are more cancer survivors. However, despite the chance of recovery, the disease is not an easy one to go through. Also, since the cancer treatment is always supervised by a physician, Oncology Nurses mostly have to follow the instructions, take care of both the physical and mental well-being of their patients in a professional manner. This career option enables a nurse to build relationships with the patients and act as their professional care providers.
Now that we have gone through quite a few major nursing career options, you might have some idea about what kind of workplace you imagine yourself to be in. If you have a picture in your head of your workplace, it will be much easier to choose from the various nursing careers. At this point, it is essential to understand that nursing is a growing occupation and is gaining a lot of positive light around the world.
Moreover, the question of salary is always a nagging one. Salaries of nurses vary from the types and states. Forbes made an effort to pull up the whole salary chart of nurses to make things easier for people to understand. In order to succeed big in this fast-growing world, it is essential to stay one step ahead of the time. Since entrepreneurship has its roots in every occupational sector, nursing is no different.
According to an article published by Forbes, nursing can teach you a lot about entrepreneurship. With all the nursing options mentioned above, you have a lot on your plate to contemplate if you are eager to become one. No matter which career option you choose for yourself, it is essential to realize that nursing is a noble profession, which makes it so unique.