Nursing Jobs Outside the Hospital
If you’re asking yourself what other jobs are available for nurses, you’re not alone. You may be asking what else you can do with your nursing degree… away from the unit, away from the hospital. You may have a passion that isn’t being met in your current work situation. Preventative care? Alterative healing? Perhaps you want to bring your religious faith into the equation. Or perhaps you are just ready for a new challenge.
Conversely, you may be feeling burned out in your current role. You may be seeing too much death and too many crises. And you may be tired -- or ill -- from working those twelve hours shifts. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a skilled nurse. There are a lot of reasons nurses seek positions outside of traditional hospital settings. Here’s a look at some of the options that exist for an experienced nurse.
This job is about passion. Increasingly, health services are being delivered where they are needed most: in the larger community. In this role, you may screen moms-to-be and children for illness and developmental disability You may educate people about disease management and prevention.
Managed care companies are hiring nurses to teach people healthy habits. It’s good for customers, and it’s surprisingly good for their bottom line. Nurses get a chance to do one of the things they do best -- promote health. (Why wait for illness to strike?)
Doctor’s offices are among the largest employers of nurses. The pay is often a bit lower than the hospital, but the hours are more regular. Some physician’s office nurses are specialists, but many are generalists. A physician’s office nurse may actually have more varied job duties than her counterpart in the medical/ surgical hospital.
School nursing is very popular career choice, though it often takes a bit of extra work to land a job. You’re responsible for helping meet the needs of special education students, educating staff members, conducting screenings, giving insulin shots and asthma treatments, and otherwise managing care for chronically ill youngsters. And of course there’s the part we all remember: treating recess scrapes. The hours can be very desirable -- particularly if you have kids yourself.
Parish nurses (also known as faith community nurses) work at wellness centers, serving a religious congregation as well as the larger community. They provide health education and counseling and act as liaisons and resource people. They are often employed by large Christian congregations but may be employed by Jewish or Muslim congregations as well.
Nurses may be employed by complementary and alternative practitioners. If you’re someone who believes in and uses these services yourself -- and many nurses do -- this can be an exciting option.
An occupational health nurse may wear a number of hats. One role is to serve as a consultant, evaluating the workplace to make sure that it’s a healthy environment, and that injuries are unlikely to happen. An occupational nurse may also evaluate and treat individual employees who have workplace injuries or other health conditions.
More than half of informatics nurses are employed outside hospital settings. They may evaluate and implement systems, consult, and educate other staff members.
RNs employed by long term care facilities often have roles that include coordination of services as well as some supervision.
Nursing from home? Really! Triage nurses follow well defined protocol to determine the appropriate level of care. Should the patient rush to the emergency room or call his physician on Monday morning? And if it does not appear to be urgent, what should he do to make himself more comfortable in the mean time? Some nurses choose triage for practical reasons. They may be developing conditions like arthritis that make it harder to walk the floor for hours at a stretch. Some experienced nurses work from home, using computer software to help guide them through the interview process. The pay is typically a bit less, but the job can make it easier to stay in nursing.