Career options as a registered nurse

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    For someone thinking about a career in nursing...what are the career options if you don't want to work in a hospital setting? Everyone says that there are so many opportunities in nursing...but everything seems like it is hospital based. From what I have heard, doctors offices hire medical assistants or LPN's vs RN's. I have been accepted into a BSN-AT, right now, I am just finishing up some pre-recs. I often wonder if a career in nursing is for me if I don't want to work in a hosptital. Are there really that many more options in this career field?
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    As a student many hours are spent working in a clinical setting such as a hospital. Have you gotten to that point yet? I guess my biggest question would be what interest do you have in nursing? What has drawn you to want to be a nurse. In NY state I believe most nursing jobs require at least one year of med/surg on a unit before most employers will consider you for other areas. yes there are many areas that an RN can work. Research, teaching, school and public health, not to mention all of the industrial mills, prisons and long term care facilities, but I think before any of those options open up a nurse should spend time on a medical unit.
    Last edit by snowdog85 on Sep 27, '08
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    What about the hospital environment are you trying to avoid?
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    Many physicians or physician groups still hire RNs. I currently work for a group of cardiologists. They employ 6 RNs at this point and we are growing. We also have 6 medical assistants. We have 2 triage RNs, a case manager RN, a EP RN, a office RN, and a testing RN. I do testing and run the coagclinic.
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    This is like saying "I want to work in law enforcement but don't want to be around criminals or plumbing is for me but but I hate working in sewage"! There has to be some patient contact somewhere along the line. Avoidance of patient care is really unavoidable. You are going to have to realize that some time spent with sick people will benefit you in the future. You might as well call your self a techician instead of a nurse if you don't want to take care of sick people. There are many career options in nursing for those who choose this path, but they still all start out taking care of sick people in a hospital setting. This is a good time to step back and evaluate why you want to be a nurse. You'll never know how many people went through the stress of nursing school only to find out it wasn't for them. Nothing wrong with it. Most jobs that pay well are associated with hospitals, but there some out there that are of adminstrative workings. Talk to your school advisor or contact the ANA for some info. Good luck.
  9. 0
    Moved your thread to our Career Advice forum......see links at the top especially

    Nursing Career websites: discover types nursing positions or career alternatives

    There are many more options outside hospital walls today for nurses to practice and flourish with the prediction by 2025 more healthcare workers employed outside hospital settings from clinics to wellness centers, out patient surgery, insurance companies, schools, NP clinics, Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) centers, SNF's, ALF's, Public Health....the list is endless.
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    In my view, the nursing as a profession as a whole is of two minds on this. Many strongly believe that at least of year of hospital experience is needed to essentially "complete" one's nursing education before moving onto other areas of nursing. Others strongly believe that hospital experience is NOT needed to work in other areas of nursing. So you likely won't find a clear answer to your question.

    You'll have to decide what's best for you based on what information you can get.

    If you're the type of person who can go out there and make a job work, then you could probably find a niche in nursing without hospital experience after graduation. If you're the type of person who prefers more structure and guidance when starting out in a new job/line of work, then it would be more difficult to find that outside of bedside care as a new grad.

    A nursing degree is sort of like a college degree in that it opens the doors for many jobs, but it doesn't guarantee that you'll get the job you want or that you'll feel prepared or competent for the job you want. A college degree is a minimum requirement for many positions, but a college grad without work experience will likely only be considered for entry-level office work, not marketing manager or design editor etc, though those might be ultimate goals. Of course, there are exceptions.

    A nursing degree is a minimum requirement for many positions but a new grad without much experience will likely only be considered for entry-level bedside care. There are exceptions, of course. And with the high demand for nurses, experience requirements may at times be reduced.

    Some people go into nursing with the plan to become an NP or public health nurse or some other non-bedside nurse. And some make it happen without working bedside. But if you can't find the job you want or get into a grad program right out of school, bedside is pretty much the default option til what you want comes along.

    It's great that you are thinking about this! There are many graduates of nursing programs who leave the profession after just a few years. Of course, there are also many who make a satisfying, lifetime career of it.

    Best wishes!
    Cfitz likes this.


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