There are endless opportunities in the profession of nursing. Job opportunities abound. However, the majority of available nursing jobs are in the direct patient care setting. While new nurse graduates may have a difficult time finding a job, most experienced nurses can have their choice of positions. Nurses that desire a career change often seek jobs in the patient care setting such as:
Wound Care Nurse
Most Wound Care Nurses are RNs and have completed on the job training, specialty certification, and continuing education requirements. They utilize the nursing process to treat various types of wounds and ostomies so that optimal healing can be achieved.
Lactation Consultants are RNs with specialized training and experience in helping moms learn how to breastfeed. These nurses are frequently employed in the postpartum, well baby nursery, and neonatal intensive care (NICU) areas of the hospital. They are trained in helping infants and moms who have breastfeeding problems as well as infants who may have failure to thrive issues.
Charge Nurses manage staff nurses in addition to an area or a unit. They are usually experienced RNs with leadership capabilities. Their job role and level of authority varies within units and places of employment. They have a higher level of responsibility than a staff nurse and may receive increased pay for their additional duties.
Most staff nurses that work at the bedside take care of patients at various points in their hospital stay. An Admission Nurse is a RN that only takes care of patients during the complicated hospital admission process. Upon admission, they transfer care to a staff nurse.
A Discharge Nurse only takes care of a patient during the hospital discharge process. They perform a variety of duties such as paperwork, electronic documentation, patient teaching, and may also schedule patient follow-up appointments.
Nurse Case Manager
Nurse Case Mangers coordinate care for patients. They usually work with a specialty group of patients such as pediatrics or geriatrics. They assess for their patient’s long term medical needs and arrange for needed medical equipment/services.
Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) that have advanced education and training to diagnose and treat patients while staying within their scope of practice. They make assessments at the bedside and write orders for staff nurses to carry out and perform some duties in lieu of a doctor.
Certified Nurse Midwife
Certified Nurse Midwives are APRNs that provide basic gynecological care, contraception, prenatal care, labor and delivery care, postpartum, and newborn care in the patient care setting. In addition to delivering infants, they provide health education to women.
A Nurse Manager is partial or fully administratively responsible for an area or unit in a medical facility. Their level of responsibly varies between units and hospitals. Some managers do not perform patient care while others are required to as part of their job role so that they maintain an accurate working knowledge of their unit.
Nurse Educators are experienced RNs with advanced training and education that teach other nurses in the patient care setting. They usually teach in the classroom and in the patient care environment. They educate staff nurses about the latest evidenced based practices and teach new nurses the clinical skills they need to perform their jobs.
While most patient care nursing jobs (except for the role of staff nurse) could require years of experience and specialized education in addition to their RN license, there are many opportunities for nurses to grow in their careers.
Feel free to leave your favorite patient care jobs in the comments below.