Anybody interested in helping other people and having plenty of job security should consider getting a nursing degree. It is believed that there will be a need for nearly 600,000 RNs and another 155,000 LPNs/LVNs during the ten-year period between 2008 and 2018. By pursuing a career in nursing, you will be sure to have a rewarding future full of personal growth, good earnings and an increasing level of responsibility as your progress through your career.
The exact duties you perform will depend upon your specialty, but generally speaking, the many different areas of nursing have a lot in common. What can be said of virtually all nursing specialties is that the job involves providing health care services, monitoring patient progress, and educating patients and their families about their health condition or disease.
Nurses routinely provide limited treatments and administer medications to patients under the supervision of a doctor. Further, they advise patients on matters concerning health and offer much-needed emotional support. Many nurses also work with people in good health, promoting healthy lifestyle choices and providing them with actionable advice on how to live a long and healthy life.
The majority of nurses work in hospitals, but some also work in private clinics, schools, nursing care facilities, prisons, military bases and more. Experienced nurses are often called on to supervise other nurses, teach essential nursing skills to students, handle administrative tasks and even conduct research.
The best nurses are patient, organized and compassionate. They need to be able to think on their feet and pay close attention to detail. A good nurse must be able to handle high stress situations and embrace opportunities to learn new skills every day.
Below is a list of 100 things you can do with different types of nursing degrees. Some of these positions do require additional specialized training and many will require you to hold a master’s degree (MSN).
1. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
Work with people with psychiatric problems in hospitals or psychiatric wards and prisons.
2. Physician’s Office Nurse
Work directly with people and the job tends to be 9 to 5.
3. Nurse Case Manager
An ADN or BSN is adequate for this role.
4. Nursing Informatics Specialist
This requires an MSN degree specialization.
5. School Nurse
Work directly with children. You will have some time off during school holidays.
6. Legal Consultancy Nurse
Relates to the handling of medical malpractice cases.
7. Research Nurse
Gives you the opportunity to pave the way for the future.
8. Diabetes Management Nurse
Work directly with people with diabetes, helping them manage their condition.
9. Cruise Ship Nurse
This is a fantastic opportunity for those who want to travel the world. You will generally have a reasonably low workload, but you do have to be on call around the clock.
10. Camp Nurse
Work in summer camps involving children. However, there are also increasing numbers of health-related camps, such as those for people who are overweight.
11. Parish Nurse
If you have a religious affiliation, this will allow you to integrate health and spirituality.
12. Staff Nurse
Work regular hours with reasonable pay in a hospital or any healthcare setting.
13. Nurse Midwife
Help deliver babies. You will also be involved in providing ante- and post-natal care.
14. Insurance Firm Nurse
Insurance companies often need nurses to assess claims.
15. Keep Studying Towards a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate Degree
Nurses are committed to the furthering of the professional education. From being a nurse assistant, you can move on to license practical nurse, to an associate’s degree in nursing, to a bachelor’s degree, to a master’s degree and finally a Ph.D. in nursing.
16. Work Abroad
The nursing degree that you obtain in this country can be transferred to a license to practice in most other countries.
17. Prison Nurse
This is incredibly hard work and not for the faint of heart.
18. District Nurse
Take responsibility over health delivery and health promotion in a specific district.
19. Learning Disabilities Nurse
Work with children and adults who have various levels of learning disabilities.
20. Occupational Health Nurse
Work in large companies or in hospitals. You will ensure people can work in a mentally and physically safe manner.
21. Pediatric Nurse
Work with children between the ages of 0 and 19.
22. Pharmaceutical Nurse
This is an interesting field for nurses who no longer wish to work directly with patients. Working for pharmaceutical companies is a very interesting alternative.
23. Public Health Nurse
Though this role is often reserved for those with an MSN degree, a BSN along with state public health certification would suffice in some states, including California.
24. Plasma or Blood Bank Nurse
You will take plasma and blood from donors, encourage others to donate, test blood and more.
25. Army Nurse
The army is always looking for nurses, particularly since we are still involved in a number of different conflicts.
26. Home Health Nurse
You get to build a long lasting relationship with your patients, whom you will see in their homes.
27. Hospice Nurse
Hospice nursing is hard, as you will be dealing with people who are dying. Your role will be to allow them to do so comfortably and in a dignified manner, and supported by their loved ones.
28. Surgery Nurse
Assist surgeons during procedures, as well as look after patients during recovery.
29. Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nursing is one of the most fast-paced jobs.
30. Emergency Room Nurse
You will never know what sort of cases you are going to get. Expect long, unsociable hours in a fast-paced environment.
31. Managed Care Nurse
For those with chronic or terminal conditions, who require specialized care at home and/or in health care settings for the rest of their lives.
32. Dermatological Nurse
This allows you to treat skin conditions.
33. Plastic Surgery Nurse
Plastic surgery is often done for cosmetic reasons, although it is also done for people with disfigurements and scars.
34. Burns Unit Nurse
Work with people who have suffered burns, including fire burns and acid burns.
35. Oncology Nurse
Work with cancer patients.
36. Rehabilitation Center Nurse
Help people who have had an accident or other physical issue to regain as much mobility as possible.
37. Missionary Nurse
Spread the word of God throughout the world, while at the same time deliver health care to impoverished countries.
38. Charity Nurse
Numerous charities employ nurses, many of which provide disaster relief.
39. Traveling Nurse
Traveling nurses are sent from one place to the next for short durations of time to cover in hospitals and care settings with an acute shortage of nurses.
40. Inspire Others
Be an inspiration to other people by showing your care and dedication to others.
41. Rural Nurse
Many nurses work specifically in areas with poor access to health care.
42. Outpatient Care Nurse
Outpatient care is one of the easier sides of nursing, as it allows you to treat patients ad hoc and then send them back home.
43. Nurse Anesthetist
Administer anesthesia during surgical procedures.
44. Health Administration Nurse
Health administration allows you to work in a range of healthcare fields, where you can influence policy development.
45. Clinical Nurse Specialist
A CNS has a specialization in a very targeted area of nursing practice, such as women’s health.
46. Clinical Nurse Leader
This is the newest nursing role, whereby your goal will be to improve safety outcomes and care quality for patients.
47. Family Nurse Practitioner
Work with everybody in the family, seeing them as a full unit rather than groups of individuals.
48. Health Visitor
Health visitors mainly focus on working with women who have had babies in the past two years, ensuring the development of the babies and infants is as expected.
While not a traditional nursing role, it is entirely possible to transition from nursing with additional training. It is a stressful job with long hours, but it is also incredibly rewarding.
50. Licensed Nursing Facility Administrator
Handle the administration in facilities like nursing homes. Generally, you will have very little direct contact with patients.
51. Health Coach
Teach others how to obtain and maintain optimum health.
52. Nutrition and Fitness Nurse
Work directly with individuals who hire you on a personal level.
Although perhaps far removed from nursing, many nurses can become a nanny as it allows them to work on a one-one-one basis with a young child.
54. Acute Care Nurse
Adult-gerontology acute care is a very popular field of work, where you take care of adult patients with various problems as and when they present themselves.
55. Community Nurse
Represent an entire community of people, usually underserved ones.
56. Obtain Further Non-nursing Related Education, Such as Counseling, Social Work or Law
Many nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree go on to achieve another bachelor’s or a master’s degree in an non-nursing field.
57. Health Programs Nurse
The development of health programs allows you to make a true difference across the world, improving outcomes while reducing costs at the same time.
58. Health Representative at Conferences and Media
Whenever decisions are made in the field of healthcare, they have to be presented to the rest of the world and questions have to be answered about this.
59. NGO Nurse
Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) often help to improve the world on a very personal level and offer very rewarding career options.
60. Procurement Nurse
You will purchase the equipment needed for nurses to do their jobs properly, always trying to find the lowest price and highest quality.
61. Nursing Students Mentor
New students require mentors to look up to. This is something anyone with a nursing degree should aspire to be.
62. Grant Writing Nurse
Grant writing means you are directly responsible for applying for funding in the hopes of improving health care delivery.
63. Health Facilities Survey Nurse
This will allow you to ensure health facilities are fit and will actually improve the health of the people they serve.
64. Commissioner for Health Products and Programs
More and more services are now outsourced and by working in commissioning. You will ensure that the right services are used.
65. Quality Nurse
Quality improvement can be achieved in all areas of nursing.
66. Public Health Research Nurse
See whether certain initiatives have actually improved the health outcomes of the population and why.
67. Disease Prevention Nurse
Help stop the spread of infectious diseases.
68. Epidemics Research Nurse
There is a significant worry that we are on the brink of a new epidemic or pandemic, like Ebola. Nurses are needed to research the various new illnesses and come up with cures and techniques to prevent spreading.
69. Asylum Nurse
Asylum seekers often have highly complex health needs, including psychological needs.
70. Nurse for At Risk Populations
Certain populations are classed as “at risk,” such as veterans and the homeless. They often require specialized health care.
71. Nurse Lobbyist
You will speak to Congressmen and Senators in the hope of encouraging certain health care ideas to be legislated and receive funding.
72. Federal Health Care Nurse
Work on federal health care development programs to affect outcomes for various populations.
73. Continuous Professional Education Coordination
All nurses are dedicated to their continuous professional education. Coordinating this and keeping on records on further education is an interesting and varied role.
74. Bioterrorism Research Nurse
Bioterrorism requires extensive knowledge on development and behavior of pathogens.
75. Medical Journalist
Investigate and report on healthcare issues around the globe.
76. Disaster Management and Relief Nurse
Provide health care to affected populations after a disaster.
77. Toxicology Nurse
Having an understanding of poisons and their effects on humans is hugely important.
78. Environmental Health Nurse
Environmental health, how our behavior affects the planet and how the planet affects our health are very important issues to look at for a nurse.
79. Hazardous Waste Nurse
Hazardous waste could have devastating consequences on the health of entire populations.
80. Industrial Nurse
This is closely related to occupational health, although this type of nurse will look more at overall risk and hazard prevention.
81. Forensic Nurse
Forensic nursing is often required after crimes have been committed.
82. Study Programs Development Nurse
Develop programs for the next nursing generation.
83. Vaccine Research Nurse
Ensure that people are immunized against various illnesses, and review their effectiveness and possible side effects.
84. Ambulatory Care Nurse
With ambulatory care, cases that would usually require stay in hospital are resolved on an outpatient basis.
85. Flight or Transport Nurse
Help treat people who have to be expatriated due to illness or injury.
86. Certified Nurse Assistant
Support the workload of other nurses and ensure they can perform their job properly.
87. Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nurse
Help to insert catheters into aortas to diagnose heart conditions.
88. HIV/AIDS Nurse
HIV/AIDS continues to be a significant health issue that requires research, development and care.
89. Genetics Nurse
You will research genes and their effects.
90. Holistic Nurse
Holistic nurses believe everything is interconnected and needs to be addressed in order to provide great health care.
91. Mind, Body and Spirit Nurse
Very similar to holistic nursing but you often use Eastern and Oriental care techniques, including Reiki and acupuncture.
92. Legal Nurse Consultant
Provide consultation on legal matters within the health care field.
93. NICU Nurse
Work with very sick and premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
94. Peri-Anesthesia Nurse
Help patients who are coming out of anesthesia.
95. Peri-Operative Nurse
Look after patients who are recovering from surgery.
96. Radiology Nurse
Work extensively with cancer patients.
97. Registered Nurse
Most of those who have a nursing degree simply begin work as an RN before choosing an area of specialization.
98. Transplant Nurse
Work with people who require organ transplants.
99. Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing
This is a highly specialized field of nursing where you deal with patients who have problems with wounds, ostomy and continence. Only some 4,000 nurses worldwide have specialized in this field to date.
100. Focus on Improved Health Care Outcomes
Have you considered obtaining a nursing degree? As you can see, there are many different employment options out there for you. It would be a mistake to think all nurses provide bedside care and have to work in shift patterns. Rather, the field is so wide and varied that it would be impossible to list every single option nurses can choose from.
- 600+ Learnhealthcare.net
- Healthcare Occupations – BLS.gov
- Influential People in Nursing
- Wikipedia Healthcare Occupations List