Where a Career in Nursing Can Take You

A career in nursing provides a brilliant opportunity for growth and is a wonderful occupation to undertake if you’re passionate about people’s wellbeing. As the global population continues to grow, the demand for nursing practitioners is also on the rise, and there are plenty of specialized areas you can move into. If there is an area of healthcare that you’re truly passionate about, you can work your way up to be an expert in that field. Job satisfaction is extremely high in this line of work as nurses provide a huge amount of support for others in need. Being able to see first hand the difference you have made to the quality of life your patients deserve will be hugely gratifying for your own self-esteem. Every day is different with new patients to care for and new challenges to face, you’ll never be bored with what you do.

When you begin a career in nursing, it’s important to listen to your colleagues and learn from your peers as observation and repetition are key to gaining knowledge and becoming confident in administering care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as much as you can and never believe that you have all the expertise you need; there will always be something new to learn. You’ll no doubt experience a whole range of medical care in your first few years as a professional, hone in your passion and take note of what you love, this will be the specialized field to go into. There are so many avenues available to take, just take a look at the various occupations below:

Outpatient Nurse

An outpatient nurse cares for patients in an outpatient medical facility where individuals are seeking care before and after medical procedures. They may have minor injuries that do not require hospital care which can be treated in these designated facilities or at home. A crucial role of an outpatient nurse is to make sure a patient is prepared for returning home and must provide all the necessary medication and advice before letting them go. Some patients are eager to leave an outpatient facility, whereas others will be nervous and concerned, a calming manner and thorough work process will be required to ensure they are satisfied with their care.

Advancing your career to an outpatient Family Nurse Practitioner will require further education and qualifications when you’re ready, but you don’t need to put your career on hold to get there. There are plenty of online courses available that will fit around your registered nursing obligations and allow you to elevate your career from ASN to FNP level.

Military Nurse

If you want to experience a job role that will really push you out of your comfort zone and discover how you cope in extremely stressful situations, a career as a military nurse may be the right path for you. Working either at home or being deployed to foreign lands, you’ll have to be comfortable with not knowing what the future may hold. Military nurses can find themselves working within defense medical hospitals in their home town to caring for civilian and military patients in war zones abroad.

Alongside your nursing qualifications and experience, you will need to undergo officer training through the branch of the military you wish to join. The army, airforce and the navy all require qualified nursing carers to consider which area you would like to be a part of. You’ll need to be physically fit to be successful in this role and understand the basics of military life. A strong personality would suit this job well, and you’ll need to have determination and staying power to fulfill it well.

Midwifery Nurse

If you’d prefer a specialty that is slightly more predictable but still brings with it a great level of satisfaction, consider becoming a midwifery nurse as your next job role. You’ll play a predominant role throughout the whole pregnancy process, including childbirth and post-natal care. This occupation allows you to work in many different hospital settings from public to private and university teaching establishments. You could even choose to provide midwife services to women seeking at-home births.

You’ll ensure the safety of the mother and her baby to the best of your ability throughout the pregnancy process and make sure they are both settling into their new lives comfortably following the birth. Gain as much experience in this area as you can before seeking the qualifications you need to follow this next stage in your career.

Occupational Nurse

An occupational nurse will lead the healthcare facilities available to employees in the workplace to ensure the wellbeing of individuals while they’re in a professional environment. Additional training will be required to advance your qualification from a registered nurse to a specialist community public health nurse. The goal is to prevent or minimize illness in the workplace and will often be bombarded with employee’s concerns. You’ll need to provide the correct healthcare advice and promote healthy living around the office while also assessing the quality of the conditions at work.

You’ll need to be friendly, approachable, and professional at all times. Employees will want to consider you as a trusted member of the working community, so it’s important to take every health concern seriously.

Pharmaceutical Nurse

It is possible to divert your career away from the traditional nursing professions if your passion draws you towards pharmaceuticals. This a career path that can be beneficial for nurses who find hospitals demands too much to handle and would rather have a more structured work-life balance.

The pharmaceutical industry is responsible for the development and creation of market drugs that are used with the whole medical treatment spectrum. This area of business is also linked to advertising and marketing careers where huge amounts of money are spent promoting the latest healthcare fix. From a nursing perspective, however, a career in pharmaceutical research provides the opportunity to use your nursing skill set to your advantage and work alongside doctors and patients participating in clinical drug trials. It can be incredible to be part of an undiscovered treatment test and feel like you’re making a huge difference to the medical world.

Surgical Nurse

Choosing to specialize in surgical nursing provides you with the opportunity to oversee the whole treatment process and learn a huge amount about medical care as you grow. You’ll be exposed to a huge array of medical illnesses and treatment plans which can stand you in good stead if you wish to advance even further. Duties include the organization of the operating room and being on hand to assist a surgeon during the operation, so you’ll need to be focused while handling medical instruments and supplies and keep a level head when things suddenly turn for the worst. Surgery can be an unpredictable field to work in so you need to be prepared for every eventuality before entering the theatre.

There are various degree programs that will need to be completed in order to gain the necessary qualifications for your career advances, but the experience you will have received from being a registered nurse for two years will help you along the way. There are career options to consider within the surgical area of healthcare ranging from a scrub nurse in the operating to a circulator nurse out on the wards, but each plays a vital role in a patient’s care.

Dermatology Nurse

The cases you’ll be involved in when working as a dermatology nurse will vary hugely in severity throughout the week. One day you might be working on an acne or rosacea case, and the next you could be faced with third-degree burns and skin cancer. Your skin is the largest organ on your body so it should never be underestimated when it comes to medical care. There are opportunities to work in a cosmetic line of work and you can opt to become part of private practice if you wish. Procedures such as laser treatment and microdermabrasion may be focused on improving the aesthetics of the client’s needs but will still bring a huge amount of job satisfaction to your career. It’s amazing how much the condition of your skin can affect your mental health and emotional wellbeing; overall, you’ll be making a huge difference to many people’s lives.

With a hospital setting, you’ll most likely be dealing with burn injuries and skin cancer prognosis, performing skin exams, biopsies and analyzing test results. Educating patients on how to manage there condition at home and how to administer any medication themselves will be a vital part of your role, and you’ll participate in a number of follow up appointments.

Oncology Nurse

An oncology nurse is a healthcare professional that specializes in supporting the treatment process for cancer patients. As with any specialized field when it comes to advanced nursing careers, further education and certifications will be required.

You’ll need to manage the symptoms of a patient’s disease by developing a detailed yet customized care plan that the patient can follow. Be as supportive as you can throughout the treatment process to help them manage their side effects. Cancer is a disease that affects nearly everyone on earth, and it’s incredibly satisfying to be part of fighting this life-altering disease. Nurses working in this area must be focused and precise as sometimes medical administrations can be extremely complex. You’ll feel rewarded for your hard efforts on a daily basis in this line of work, but it’s important not to get too emotionally involved if you can. Cancer affects people from all walks of life and can make the world seem very depressing and unfair, so you’ll need to be able to keep work at the hospital and not bring it home with you.

Mental Health Nurse

Becoming a mental health nurse brings a whole host of new challenges to your career as symptoms and health concerns are not always easy to see. Mental health issues you will be responsible for and supporting people through include anxiety and depression, eating disorders, and addiction. The job is one of the most demanding you will find within nursing, and the demand is increasing in demand. You’ll work closely among psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and other healthcare assistants.

Patients can be extremely vulnerable and scared, so it’s important to keep a close eye on their progress throughout their treatment process. You’ll get to know your patients well and deal with them on a number of occasions, so it’s important to stay professional and not get too involved on a personal level.

Another alternative to advancing your nursing career is to focus on teaching those who have just come into the role; it’s a great way to build a community amongst your colleagues and use your wealth of knowledge to educate others. You’ll need to be comfortable being questioned and having your skill set put to the test, and you’ll also need to be comfortable in a leadership role. Teaching can bring just as much satisfaction as specializing in a one-off field and doesn’t mean you’re less qualified than others. Teachers need to have a brand spectrum of knowledge to fulfill their role completely and offer a high standard of education to their students. Watching them learn and grow with the wisdom you impart will be wonderful when they begin to treat patients of their own.

It takes a certain type of person to put others before themselves, but that’s probably why you’ve decided to get into nursing in the first place. This wonderful career will take you through to retirement if you wish and can also be adapted to other healthcare systems around the globe. The world truly is your oyster when you’ve qualified as a nurse, and there’s a huge sense of community around your fellow employees. While some days will be brutal and difficult to bear the positives will always outweigh the negatives when you realize what a difference you are making to people’s lives.