Any nursing lab jobs?

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by fishguy909 fishguy909 (New) New

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Hello so I'm a brand new nursing student and I'm wondering are there any jobs for nurses or nurse practitioners where you work with a microscope? I'm taking a Microbiology class right now and its really interesting looking for pathogens and stuff like that. I'm just wondering if in a career there are any jobs out there like that for either a nurse or nurse practitioner or if you ever get to do anything like that. I think it would be interesting to take someone's blood or saliva etc and look for pathogens. I'm a total noob so IDK exactly how that stuff works but it is interesting to me and IDK what the job title would be called or if nurses can do this kind of stuff. Thank you

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 10 years experience. 963 Posts

Before I became a nurse, I earned a biology degree. I spent 6 years working in a research lab doing lots of cool stuff (including looking in a microscope).  When I had one of my first job interviews for a 'research nurse', I was really hoping it would be some sort of lab/nurse hybrid (it was not).

While there may be a few jobs that would have a nurse do lab research, chances are it would be an experienced researcher that has the degree/licensure to allow for human trials.  Nursing roles in research tend to be patient recruitment, intervention and assessment.

Even in hospital labs (clinical lab technician), most of the lab tests are done by machines. Sometimes counting cells would be done manually.

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 4,060 Posts

On 8/1/2022 at 11:35 PM, fishguy909 said:

Hello so im a brand new nursing student and im wondering are there any jobs for nurses or nurse practitioners where you work with a microscope? Im taking a Microbiology class right now and its really interesting looking for pathogens and stuff like that. Im just wondering if in a career there are any jobs out there like that for either a nurse or nurse practitioner or if you ever get to do anything like that. I think it would be interesting to take someones blood or saliva etc and look for pathogens. Im a total noob so IDK exactly how that stuff works but it is interesting to me and IDK what the job title would be called or if nurses can do this kind of stuff. Thank you

Short answer No.  Think about medical technology.  4 year degree needed and a shortage of workers 

fishguy909

fishguy909

9 Posts

9 hours ago, subee said:

Short answer No.  Think about medical technology.  4 year degree needed and a shortage of workers 

What about could an NP work with or as an infectious disease provider or in virology for example?

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,535 Posts

7 hours ago, fishguy909 said:

What about could an NP work with or as an infectious disease provider or in virology for example?

Still no. Labs are drawn, then sent to lab for processing by machine or lab tech. No nurse involved other than with orders. NP may order the labs and follow up. RN may carry out orders (although phlebotomy or MA usually) and follow up. In 30 years, other than nursing school, have never known a nursing position to use a microscope, other than in passing. Those directly using microscopes are another profession/discipline 

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 4,060 Posts

8 hours ago, fishguy909 said:

What about could an NP work with or as an infectious disease provider or in virology for example?

No.  We are not medical science researchers.  We are here to provide patient care services.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,078 Posts

@fishguy909, it sounds like you want something specific in your future career. Before you get farther into school, I would advise that you speak with an advisor or career counselor to help you find matching career paths. You keep asking about different nursing areas, and the answer continues to be no. This may not be a fit for you, and it’s better to figure that out sooner before you spend money and years on a program that isn’t going to make you happy. It is 100% OK to decide that the path you’re currently on isn’t the right one- I did that in my bachelors program myself. I was fortunate enough that the school I attended not only offered my own original major but also an entry to practice BSN and I was very easily able to transfer over in the Summer before sophomore and junior year. I only added a year to finish my degree, and I had enough credits for a minor as well. 

fishguy909

fishguy909

9 Posts

3 hours ago, Hoosier_RN said:

Still no. Labs are drawn, then sent to lab for processing by machine or lab tech. No nurse involved other than with orders. NP may order the labs and follow up. RN may carry out orders (although phlebotomy or MA usually) and follow up. In 30 years, other than nursing school, have never known a nursing position to use a microscope, other than in passing. Those directly using microscopes are another profession/discipline 

Yes but I read somewhere that an NP could work in a hospital as part of the infectious disease team. Is that wrong? I know they wouldn’t do anything with a microscope but they would still be involved with learning about Microbiology and how to treat it which is still pretty interesting 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 29 years experience. 3,535 Posts

Acute NPs practice in the area that they have some years of practice in. That said, you would need X years of practice in infection control. But honestly, most hospitals don't put an NP in those positions, at least none that I've ever heard of. The RN keeps stats, and educates on best practice throughout the hospital, and the Medical Director signs off on policy. There may be exceptions, but as you're reading other responses, it's VERY far and few in between, if such a position exists at all. I agree with @Rose_Queen, you should have a meeting with a guidance counselor before spending time and money on a career path, and degree(s), that may not be what you want

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 50 years experience. 4,060 Posts

5 hours ago, fishguy909 said:

Yes but I read somewhere that an NP could work in a hospital as part of the infectious disease team. Is that wrong? I know they wouldn’t do anything with a microscope but they would still be involved with learning about Microbiology and how to treat it which is still pretty interesting 

Maybe the infection CONTROL team but that is a different thing.  That is a nurse's job BUT no microscopes:)  I cannot find a professional organization for infection control nurses, but perhaps you will have better luck.  But you will find out what they do and how they get there.  These jobs are pretty rare so don't assume you will be getting a job in that specialty.

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 10 years experience. 963 Posts

The role of an infectious disease NP in hospitals will vary on facility. At my facilitiies there are ID physicians. There is an ID NP but that person's role is not the same as they phsyicians. The NP does more of the nursing education, ensurance of compliance to inpatient ID protocols (handwashing, isolation on doors, etc). If the NP was providing the care, they would generally be focusing on the infectious agent (or susupected agent), monitor corroborating data (sepsis screen, wbc, fever, erythema), and order appropriate antibiotics. Regular follow-up and modification as the needs arise. But, the lab is the group that does the detection of the infectious agents.

https://www.nursingprocess.org/infectious-disease-nurse-practitioner.html