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Career Alternatives For Nurses

Updated on May 6, 2013
Nurses have many career opportunities
Nurses have many career opportunities

Possible Career Opportunities

Nurses can work in many different exciting fields. Once you have your undergraduate degree, you can easily use that time to explore other exciting career options. Such options include management, research and even opening up your own business. If you do the research you should be able to find a field that excites you and utilizes your skills fully.

If you have management experience consider opening up your own nursing staffing agency. Nursing staffing agencies are agencies that employ nurses for a single shift or even longer. This allows health care facilities to be flexible with hiring. If they have an emergency or someone calls in sick, the staffing agency can help them find qualified candidates to do the necessary work.

As a staffing owner, you will need to know make sure you know about nursing regulations as well as how to interview and vet qualified candidates. This can be an ideal job for someone who loves to work with her fellow nurses and enjoys the challenge of owning their own business.

Another option for a nurse is the field of health care research. Many research facilities seek out qualified candidates to assist in exciting medical experimentation. You will often serve as the liaison between the person conducting the research and the subjects being treated.

You might also consider teaching. Nursing instructors help new nurses master the field of nursing. A nursing instructor is required to have a bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree. Many programs will let you teach a single class to see how you like the work. Nursing instructors are often employed by community colleges and private schools of nursing. A qualified and experienced nurse can easily find work in this work.

Yet another career possibility is that of a health care journalist or medical writer. Medical writers are professionals who specialize in writing about health care issues. Medical writers draw on their health care background to explain to readers about complex medical issues such as health insurance or the latest development in weight loss research.

Before You Begin

If you are considering a career change, you will need to investigate your options carefully. You should do two things before you start. The first is make sure you have significant savings to tide you over. A career change can difficult to achieve and may take some time to accomplish. You will need funds to tide you over as you make the transition.

The second thing you should do is research. While many career changes for nurses are a possibility, you should make sure you know all you need to know before you begin.

One of the best ways to accomplish this task is to investigate by doing something in the field. Contact local staffing agencies if any are in your area. Consider working for one for a few shifts when you have free time. This will help you gain insight into the kind of work they do and how it gets done.

If you are considering a career as a nursing instructor, consider teaching for a single term. Many colleges will allow you a probationary period to make this determination. A budding medical journalist should write an article or two for a local newspaper or a nursing journal to see if journalism suits her talents.

A Few Final Tips

Many alternative careers exist for nurses. Whether you’ve just graduated from nursing school or you have been in the field for years, you will find many potential career alternatives. Contact other nurses to find out what they think. Your fellow nurses can be your best resource in this area. Another nurse may know who to contact about writing journal articles or if research facility needs assistants.

Consider working part-time if possible and you have the funds. A part-time job can be a great way to explore a new nursing career. You may discover just how much you enjoy writing about medicine. You might also discover that you like nursing very much and just needed a break from your routine.

That’s the wonderful thing about nursing careers: many different choices are possible.


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    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

      Several IN DEMAND and GREAT career alternatives for nurses:

      1. practice years in nursing and after you know nursing, use psyhosocial tools and get MSN in nursing or MA in Counseling Psych.

      2. When I had to stop nursing, I started to freelance write. I could write about what i knew and found out that that was a lot. There are an abundance of forums for that info. The best writers have permanent gigs at Prevention Mag and Parenting mag, but I made it at RN Mag, Nursing 20____ ,Nursing Spectrum, Vital Signs Magazine and several newspapers.

      3. There's also political activism. Nurses are well-spoken and analytical. They can present pros/cons and are taught critical thinking.

      No end to the possibilities; these just scratched the surface a bit!