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Fitness/health careers?

starliite starliite (New) New

Hi everyone!

I'm a student RN, graduating next May and after having my first baby in January I've become very interested in fitness and health. Are there any nursing careers out there that focus on this? I've been kind of second guessing nursing school, but I'm a little too far in now to quit... and I don't hate it! I actually do enjoy it a lot, but I want to incorporate something I'm interested in if that makes any sense.

First, do not regret your nursing degree. I have loved every minute of this profession and it is one that will continually reward you with boundless opportunities for growth. I am a current registered nurse who was a personal trainer for over five years at a very large doctor owned health club with its own corporate wellness center after graduating with my first degree in Exercise Science. From what I have researched there aren't too many nursing specific jobs that incorporate fitness in them and many of these will not be able to provide you with the compensation that is typical of the average floor nurse. I was employed at one of the few facilities to offer full benefits and salaries ranged between 40,000 to 50,000 dollars a year depending on how many clients you see on any given day (the job can be prone to great fluctuations). But again, this is a rarity within the fitness world and most of my coworkers had bachelors or masters degrees specific to exercise science or fitness. As a personal trainer, you will also likely work split shifts that involve early morning clients between 5AM and noon and late at night between 5PM and closing when most people are off work. For this reason, personal training would likely be a better part time supplemental job rather than a full time opportunity if you are raising a family (hence, why I switched careers). Cardiac rehab units are another possibility and you would need to get your ACLS certification with many cardiac rehab units looking for bachelor's degrees in exercise science or kinesiology as a minimum requirement as well. I have seen many links to fitness nursing with 'certification's' as fitness nurses, but these are not recognized by most organizations. I think your best bet is to get certified in one of the two top level certifications: ACSM Health Fitness Specialist or the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certifications. Both of these certifications would require quite a bit of training and book work, but they are the two major certs that most facilities will look for unless you are planning on working at a fitness chain like LA Fitness, Ballys or 24 hr fitness where an ACE or just about any other certification will get you through the door. Again, most of the well paying higher end clubs require a bachelors degree to qualify (not sure if you are graduating from an ADN or BSN program). I would also recommend cardiac rehab and I have worked for just such a facility myself, but again the compensation is often less than on the floor and these are areas hospitals are likely to cut out first so job security may be an issue. Medically speaking the American College of Sports Medicine certifications tend to cater to the medical side of fitness and health and if you are looking for something that bridges the gap between fitness, and medical care then that is where I would start. Be very wary of fitness nursing certifications as I have never seen these recognized at any major facility. The two certifications above are the absolute best and are backed up by mountains of masters or doctorate prepared research that went into the standards set by them unlike many of the certifications that exist today. Hope this helps.


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