Have you always wanted a career that allows you to give back? Does the idea of making your life’s work about helping others sound like a dream? If the answer is ‘yes’, then perhaps you have already considered a career in nursing. If not, this could be a good option for you to explore. There is a high demand for nurses, and this is a role that can offer job security and a good salary, especially as you move higher up the career ladder. To give you a better idea of what a career as a nurse might look like, here are seven career paths you will be able to choose from.
Love working with kids. As an RN nurse, you can then move towards working on the pediatric wards and learn more about this type of specialist care. In this role, you will be responsible for the wellbeing of the kids under your care, making them feel safe and cheering them up. You will also be there to support the parents of these children, as well as the doctors who are on your team. You may need to get specific qualifications to become a pediatric nurse, but before you start, ask if you can spend some time working on these wards to see if it’s the right fit for you.
If you’re not sure about working with children, perhaps elderly care is something that would be better suited? If you choose to become a geriatrics nurse, you could choose from a range of working environments including nursing homes and retirement communities, or you could decide to become a private nurse that does home visits with your patients. You will be responsible for managing their medication, grooming and bathing them, preparing dinners, or maybe even doing their grocery shopping if need be. The kind of care you will be providing them with will depend on the individual’s requirements.
3. Family Nurse Practitioner
You will have to return to school to receive a master’s or look at getting a PhD nursing certificate if you want to follow the career path of an FNP. In this role, you will be able to develop treatment plans for your patients, prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, and conduct physical examinations. You can work as an FNP in various healthcare environments, including hospitals, clinics, schools, and private homes. This is a great role for those looking to work with a range of different patients daily and have more responsibility.
If you consider yourself to be an individual with strong leadership skills, perhaps following the path into a management role would be ideal? As a nurse manager, you will be responsible for recruiting new staff, managing shift rotas, department budgets and salaries, and training. It incorporates a lot of HR duties, but you will ultimately be responsible for the health and safety of employees, patients, and visitors. You will also be working closely with other senior members of the hospital management staff to make sure your department is staying in line with the hospital goals and ethos, as well as helping to develop plans.
If you’re interested in a nursing career but are also passionate about nutritional health, specializing in this as a nurse could be a match made in heaven. As a nutrition nurse, you will be responsible for managing patient’s nutritional needs, particularly if they are unable to consume food properly, and have to be feed through a tube. You may also be able to take this knowledge and work closely with a dietician or go into this field yourself if you want to work closely with patients and help them develop a healthy diet plan to improve their wellbeing.
6. Sexual Health
Sexual health is incredibly important, and as a nurse who specializes in this, you will be able to advise people on how to practice safe sex, check for sexually transmitted diseases and refer treatment for this, as well as supporting patients through family planning options. You can work in a hospital, clinic, at a school or college as a sexual health nurse, and occasionally you might be asked to speak at high schools to educate young adults on these topics.
7. Mental Health
Finally, if you’re passionate about mental health and want to work in a role that helps people deal with a variety of issues, this could be the right path for you. You will be able to support patients as they recover from their issues, perhaps by helping them take their medication or advising them on possible therapy options, as well as tips on how to manage their mental health at home.
There are many more paths you can take in a nursing career, but these are just a few examples of how versatile it is as a role. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in nursing, take the time to find out more about what you can do.