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8 Career Options You Can Explore in the Nursing Field

surgical nurse and doctor performing surgery

The field of nursing is more diverse than most people think. It isn’t just assisting doctors in clinics or hospitals or checking in patients at the front desk. As a nurse, you can find work in just about any medical setting you want: hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, correctional facilities, schools, physician offices, and even government offices.

While you will have to start in the same place for any nursing career: earning your nursing license. After that, it’s up to you to decide what you want your career to look like and how you want to proceed!

To find available opportunities in the field, register on healthcare job boards where employers post job vacancies with information about the position and the requirements needed. Some job search websites may even allow you to enable job alerts and get notified when a job position becomes available. Try your research on websites like PRN nurses or NurseBuff, where you can choose the one that will suit your qualifications best.

To help inspire you on your search, here are eight ideas for career options in the nursing field with a master’s degree in nursing.

#1. Aesthetic or Cosmetic Nurse

Interested in aesthetic or cosmetic surgery? Even if you don’t want to be the one physically altering a patient’s appearance, you can work alongside plastic surgeons as an aesthetic nurse.

The requirements to become an aesthetic nurse aren’t any more challenging than other options. In fact, as long as you have a valid nursing license, you can start working toward your CPSN certification. You’ll need to have two years of plastic surgery experience and have spent at least 1,000 hours working in plastic surgery to earn your certification.

#2. Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse

This career takes place outside of the operating room, despite what it may sound like. Certified clinical transplant nurses work as a point of contact between families, surgeons, UNOS, and the transplanting hospital. Although an exciting and interesting career field, it’s also extremely intense.

Working as a certified clinical transplant nurse (CCTN) can be both emotionally and physically draining. You’ll be required to travel between hospitals to pick up and drop off organs as well as communicate with both families involved. Having strong communication skills is vital to avoiding a fatal error.

In order to work as a CCTN, you’ll first need to be certified and meet specific education requirements.

#3. Certified Dialysis Nurse

If you or a family member has kidney problems, then you are probably very aware of how important dialysis is for these patients. Working as a certified dialysis nurse will further open your eyes to a very specific type of care.

Nurses that work in this field help educate patients and families about their kidney disease as well as the treatment plan, monitor dialysis treatment, manage electrolytes and fluids, communicate with doctors, and assess patients’ reactions. 

#4. Legal Nurse Consultant

When court cases overlap in the medical world, legal nurse consultants are extremely important. While lawyers and judges have experience with the law, they aren’t well versed in medical regulations and procedures. 

Legal nurse consultants help law professionals understand medical terminology as well as medical law. They may consult on medical malpractice cases, insurance fraud cases, toxic torts, worker’s compensation claims, or even criminal cases. As a legal nurse consultant, you are considered the expert witness and can help those within a courtroom understand just what’s going on.

#5. Fertility or Reproductive Health Nurse

couple touching pregnant belly with handsImage Source:

Many patients face fertility problems and need to consult a medical professional. As a fertility nurse, you’ll work alongside physicians with procedures, lab work, triage phone calls, and educating patients.

Although unpredictable, this career option is extremely rewarding as you get to tell future families when they’re pregnant. 

To get started, visit the American Society for Reproductive Medicine where they offer a training and certification course as well as a large community of medical establishments looking for nurses.

#6. Freelance Nurse Writer

You don’t have to give up your love of writing or sharing knowledge when you become a nurse. If you choose to work as a freelance nurse writer, you can provide educational content in the form of blog posts, articles, educational pamphlets, or website posts. No extra certification is required and, unlike most nursing roles, this career path is fully flexible!

This career option is entirely possible as a side job, too. If you need to take time off from work, but need a way to keep earning a little bit of income, taking up temporary work as a freelance nurse writer is a great way to do so.

#7. Foster Care Nurse

Although a form of pediatric care, foster care nursing is not your typical pediatric career path. You’ll work uniquely with children in the foster care system through either a non-profit organization or a government agency.

As a foster care nurse, you’ll work alongside social workers to help place children in foster homes. You’ll help educate foster parents on how to care for children that have special medical or developmental needs. While there is no special certification necessary, it’s important to note that you’ll face many difficult cases such as child abuse, neglect, or babies that have been born with drug addiction.

#8. Travel Nurse

Just because you work as a nurse does not mean you have to give up your love of travel. Travel nurses work with agencies that find short-term work placement around the country. As a travel nurse, you’ll be placed in different settings: hospitals, clinics, physician offices, and independent living facilities.

In some cases, you may even be able to expand your horizons outside of the country. Since all job placements are short-term, it’s important that you’re able to adapt quickly to new environments. While this is a very exciting form of nursing, it can be hard as you will spend a lot of time away from your family and may not have a lot of time to befriend your coworkers. 

Nearly Unlimited Choices

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There are numerous career options to explore in the nursing field. The eight options above are just scratching the surface. For a much more extensive list of career options, feel free to consult this list by or do a quick Google search of nurse careers in your field of interest. Chances are high that no matter what you’re interested in, the option exists as a nursing career.

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