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Trends in Nursing Careers: Beyond the Hospital

September 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

Nursing opportunities are more varied than ever and with the demand for nurses rising in every sector, there are rewarding careers out there to satisfy any qualified nurse. While the majority of nurses work in some type of clinical or hospital setting, there are alternative career options besides these traditional bedside roles. Here’s a look at just a few of the growing trends in nursing careers that allow nurses to write their own ticket to success.

Travel Nursing. Job burnout is the top reason that nurses leave the nursing profession. However, more nurses are combating burnout and experiencing a wide range of adventures by becoming travel nurses. Travel nurses are temporary staffers who select where, when and for how long they want to work. They can choose an assignment in somewhere tropical, such as Hawaii or Florida, and then at the end of the contract, opt for somewhere with more rugged scenery, like Utah or Alaska.

The flexibility, high salaries and variety are extremely attractive to nurses, who often feel that the daily grind in one place is a big contributor to job dissatisfaction. It is also an opportunity for nurses to spend some time in a specialized area that they may have an interest in learning about. Travel nurses live for free during their assignments, in addition to receiving generous benefits, flexible schedules and the option for per diem shifts. Travel contracts are typically 13 weeks long, but they can also be extended based on the experience of the nurse and facility.

Occupational Nursing. Combining public health education and nursing theory, occupational nurses work for private companies to minister to employees and educate them on health prevention issues. An occupational nurse may work for a large factory, department store complex, amusement park or other business with several hundred companies and their duties will vary from place to place. Typically, an occupational nurse is required to be a registered nurse, with advanced degrees and certification in occupational and environmental health recommended.

The primary duties of an occupational nurse are designing health and safety education programs, giving lectures on fitness and wellness, running an on-site clinic for minor health issues, counseling, crisis intervention, contributing to safety standard implementation and even assisting in meeting OSHA requirements to create a safe workplace. Occupational nurses focus on the prevention and treatment side of health care. To this end, the occupational nurse serves as a primary care provider, educator and case manager, depending on the company.

Nurse Educators. One of the contributing factors to the nationwide nursing shortage is the lack of nursing faculty in schools all across the country. In an effort to address the issue, many public and private schools are working to attract nurse educators to join their staffs. Between government grants and donations, nursing schools and departments are making it highly attractive for nurses to obtain advanced degrees and become nurse educators.

For many nurses, this is a chance to teach the next generation of nurses in an academic setting rather than in a hospital. Nurses with at least a master’s degree under their belts and recent clinical experience can move into higher education for a rewarding career that promises flexible hours and a way to positively contribute to the future of health care.

Tags: Nursing Career

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