5 Types of Nursing You May Never Have Considered

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    While many industries are still feeling the aftershock of the devastating recession, nursing continues to boast strong growth and numerous, diverse opportunities. The specialties within the field are countless, but here are five to consider when venturing into the world of nursing.

    5 Types of Nursing You May Never Have Considered

    Registered nurses are, without a doubt, in some of the highest demand nationwide. As the need for professionals to fill these open positions continues to grow, there are a LOT of specialties that warrant some consideration. All of them demand a particular aptitude or stamina...and some of them aren't what you'd expect. Here's a snapshot of a few you might not have thought about before.

    1) EMERGENCY ROOMS

    The Emergency Nurses Association says ER departments are in a great deal of need; some facilities are dealing with such a shortage of ER nurses, they're now willing to hire brand new nurses and train them on the job.

    But, as you might expect, the ER is not for everyone. ER nursing is a dynamic, unpredictable job, and nurses must be able to care for patients of all ages and in all conditions. Emergency room nurses must be able to multi-task and keep their composure even in the face of trauma.

    2) PROCESS NURSING

    Health care is constantly evolving, and many facilities are now looking to process improvement nurses on staff to help create care strategies. RNs with the right amount of experience should keep an eye out for process nursing positions; these roles are meant for helping hospitals and clinics generate new ideas, and troubleshoot problems, in the patient care experience.

    3) QUALITY ASSURANCE

    Quality assurance is another high-demand category, and nurses are needed to oversee medical and legal practices in all types of facilities. This is a particularly specialized position; QA nurses must have a strong grip on laws governing Medicare and Medicaid reporting, patient record keeping and privacy practices. This position intersects with process nursing; hospitals and clinics want nurses who can conduct studies about improvement plans, educate colleagues, and make sure all employees are following all the necessary procedures.

    4) MENTAL HEALTH NURSING

    Nurses interested in behavioral health fields can find plenty of opportunities in a variety of mental health care positions. Psychiatric nurses wear many hats, depending on what kind of facility they're working in. RNs in this field assist children and adolescents with emotional issues, substance abusers, and those suffering from a variety of mental illnesses. Those with more advanced degrees can make psychiatric health diagnoses.

    5) TRAVEL NURSING

    Considering we're talking about in-demand specialities, it should come as no surprise that travel nurses - those who fill in at facilities experiencing shortages - is on this list. For the RN who doesn't mind a little time away from home, they can become independent contractors or sign on with a travel nursing agency. When the term of employment ends - anywhere from three months to a year - travel nurses then head to another facility, frequently in a different state. Different specialties and facilities do require certain educational qualifications and experience levels.

    This is only a snapshot of the many types of opportunities available to nurses. If you're seeking other opportunities, keep in mind - allnurses is a vibrant community of professionals who can keep you informed in real-time what's going on in the field.
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    18 Comments

  3. by   chillnurse
    er is da place to be
  4. by   MereSanity
    OR is the best!
  5. by   calivianya
    I'm sorry, I'm really tired of hearing about all of these "growth" opportunities. Let's not perpetuate this myth of how easy it is to find jobs in nursing here. This is a nursing forum, we know better. Let's save this "growth" BS for the ignorant media.

    Tell all the new grads who have been unemployed for months after graduation about the "numerous, diverse opportunities" in nursing. Oh, and be sure to mention it to the experienced nurses who have trouble finding jobs, too. I'm sure they'll all appreciate how out of touch with reality that statement is.
  6. by   MoshRN
    Quote from calivianya
    I'm sorry, I'm really tired of hearing about all of these "growth" opportunities. Let's not perpetuate this myth of how easy it is to find jobs in nursing here. This is a nursing forum, we know better. Let's save this "growth" BS for the ignorant media.

    Tell all the new grads who have been unemployed for months after graduation about the "numerous, diverse opportunities" in nursing. Oh, and be sure to mention it to the experienced nurses who have trouble finding jobs, too. I'm sure they'll all appreciate how out of touch with reality that statement is.
    EXACTLY..
  7. by   BrandonLPN
    Quote from calivianya
    I'm sorry, I'm really tired of hearing about all of these "growth" opportunities. Let's not perpetuate this myth of how easy it is to find jobs in nursing here. This is a nursing forum, we know better. Let's save this "growth" BS for the ignorant media.

    Tell all the new grads who have been unemployed for months after graduation about the "numerous, diverse opportunities" in nursing. Oh, and be sure to mention it to the experienced nurses who have trouble finding jobs, too. I'm sure they'll all appreciate how out of touch with reality that statement is.
    I will agree that the supposed nursing shortage is a clich used by lazy hack journalists when writting fluff pieces about which careers are "hot".


    However, I think it is fair to say certain areas of nursing are experiencing relatively strong growth. Some areas of healthcare are expanding, while others are contracting. The fields experiencing growth will obviously be the fields providing more jobs for nursing.

    The thing is, the areas that are growing the fastest aren't in areas nurses traditionally view as desirable. The drive toward more cost-effective care is placing a greater emphasis on preventative and primary care, the goal being to keep patients out of the hospital. And when people do become sick, more and more pts who would formally experience extended inpatient stays will instead be diverted to more economical SNF/rehab.

    But few new nurses want to work in primary care offices or skilled nursing facilities. Nursing school, peer pressure and popular culture has taught them that REAL nurses work in an acute care hospital. But, of course, there's limited jobs available in the hospitals and when everyone and their mother wants to work there, you wind up with a lot of new grads crying "no jobs!" when what they're really saying is "no jobs where I want to work!".

    So, I'm not sure if there can be said to be "numerous. diverse opportunities" in this economy. But whatever opportunities there are will certainly be diverse and non-traditional. Advising new grads to explore employment options they never considered and to think outside the box is apt advice.
  8. by   Janinern84
    Nice article!!! Nursing is such a great field because we have so many options!!
  9. by   melissagee
    "But few new nurses want to work in primary care offices or skilled nursing facilities. Nursing school, peer pressure and popular culture has taught them that REAL nurses work in an acute care hospital. But, of course, there's limited jobs available in the hospitals and when everyone and their mother wants to work there, you wind up with a lot of new grads crying "no jobs!" when what they're really saying is "no jobs where I want to work!"."

    I have to disagree with this statement. I'd gladly take a job in a SNF or a primary care office and applied to several - no call backs. Those places want experience too or do in CA and PA. Everywhere you turn, it's experience experience experience, and the suggestions for places you never considered looking are the same. I looked into medicare/medicaid type jobs (QA), but of course, they want experience. Emergency rooms are notoriously experience oriented.

    While I'm not trying to bash your piece, I'm just saying that saying new grads just don't want to work all these non hospital jobs is very untrue.

    I've been trying to get into psych since I graduated, and I keep hearing how I don't have experience, despite working 4 years in a rehabilitation facility for people who survived traumatic brain injury, where at least 50% of what I do is mental health. -Just my two cents and *experience*.
  10. by   jrt4
    I agree there is not a shortage in certain areas of the country. If you are willing to relocate or work in a less desired position (non-acute care) you are more likely to find a job. Simply saying there is no shortage is false.
  11. by   Rad4RN
    Even nurses who have been nursing for many years cannot get a job in another area without experience so there isn't much upward or lateral mobility happening. I would love to break into OB, OR or psych but they just don't want to train nurses into their specialty.
  12. by   alliebeans
    melissagee-
    I worked at an urgent care in my first real job as an RN once I got my license. Once I got my feet a little wet, I transferred my license to another state, and I'm working in primary care as a staff nurse. I LOVE IT. This is exactly what I wanted to do in the end, but I always thought I would have to pay my dues in a hospital first. I prefer the reliability of a regular schedule with a M-F type deal. My only qualm is that I wish I was a little closer to home. 45 minutes isn't a HUGE commute, but I hate that I'm on the road for so long during the day.
  13. by   Carolll
    I'm a new nurse and I have a couple of fantastic jobs. I was licensed on 06/10 and had a job on 06/11 (Home Health). I then was picked up by a Hospice and a Detox facility. Both jobs were recommended to me by other nurses that I met in a ALF that I only lasted 4 weeks at because the job was horrid and I quit (with a 2 week notice). There are loads of jobs out there. Maybe not what you want but there is no shortage of work in general.
  14. by   deleern
    we have a terrible time finding nurses in Mental Heath. now they want to expand from a 10 bed unit to 25...I can not foresee this being easy to staff.

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