When you are thinking of becoming a nurse or perhaps simply thinking of what a nurse does in general, you will probably think about hospitals. This is, after all, where most nurses are going to work for at least a portion of their careers and where any member of the public who comes into contact with a nurse will do so more often than not.
Hospitals are always in need of nurses, but due to budgets and restrictions, they might not be able to hire them in the numbers they want to. This means that in order to advance your nursing career – or even start it if the hospitals in your area aren’t recruiting and you don’t want to move for your work – you will need to look outside of the hospital environment.
Equally, nursing isn’t necessarily something that suits everyone, but this is something that is only discovered in some cases when the nurse in question finally starts working after obtaining their degree. They might choose to look elsewhere for work, but they will want to use their degree if they possibly can; they worked hard for it and will have learned a lot.
Is this possible? Is it possible for a nurse to work somewhere other than a hospital? The answer to both questions is yes; read on to find out more.
Nurses Can Work in Any Industry
Whether you have a first degree in nursing and are an RN, or you’ve gone further and studied for accelerated BSN nursing programs after gaining your initial degree in a different field, the knowledge and information you have gathered, along with a vast range of different skills, is going to be put to use in a wide range of industries. In fact, almost anything you choose to try if you want to do something other than nursing will mean you can use the degree you already have – although sometimes additional training will be required, depending on the sector or job you are going into.
If you have studied for a nursing degree, but you don’t want to be a nurse in a hospital, you can, therefore, make a choice as to exactly what you do want to do with your degree. You could remain practicing as a nurse but in a different environment such as with a sports team, in prison, in a school, in a specialist clinic, or perhaps in a private hospital or on an offshore oil rig if that is what interests you more. Alternatively, you can move out of nursing altogether and become a business manager or work in HR or start your own business. Rest assured, your nursing degree and the knowledge you gained from it will not go to waste. Nurses are exceptionally lucky in that they can make these big decisions for their own lives and do what is best for them.
Nurses Make Great Leaders
Nurses, because of the work they have to do and the way they need to communicate so well with others, as well as the amount of knowledge they must have, make great leaders. They can rise through the ranks in nursing and become highly respected in that field, or they can take their leadership skills and use them in other fields if they prefer. It means that all nurses will have a great deal of choice about the direction they can take in their lives.
Although nurses do, for the most part, tend to stay in the nursing profession for their whole careers – it’s something they can see a great deal of value in, something they enjoy, and something they want to do because they know it makes a difference – if any did want to do something else, they would certainly be well placed to do just that.
So what else could a nurse do what they have their degree (or second degree, or third – there is plenty of education that you can be a part of when it comes to nursing)? Here are some examples:
- An educator – nurses are highly skilled in being able to impart important information in a way that those listening will be able to understand. They could, therefore, become a teacher or lecturer. They might even teach a nursing degree.
- Nurse researcher – a nurse researcher, is someone who essentially creates the future of nursing education by finding out what it would be most important and relevant to include within any syllabus and ensuring that the nursing community is aware of it.
- Policy advisor – policy advisors advise the government and other groups on key elements of the nursing workforce, education, practice, and service delivery.
- Executive of Director of Nursing – as we’ve said, the scope for building on your nursing degree is immense, and ultimately you could become an Executive or Director of Nursing, giving you the chance to lead all other nurses and provide direction within hospitals and clinical settings.
The Charitable Sector
Nurses enjoy the idea of being able to give back, which is one of the reasons many have gone into this profession in the first place. However, although they might love the idea of helping people, they might not enjoy the hands-on nature of nursing, finding that it isn’t what they hoped for or what they really want in life.
By moving into the charitable sector and working at a high level within it, you can have the best of both worlds; you will be able to help people on a grand scale (depending on the kind of charity you are working in and how it achieves its goals). You won’t have to do any of the parts of nursing that didn’t appeal to you in the first place. Plus, your nursing degree with all the soft skills you will have learned (including communication, organization, time-keeping, and even management skills) will certainly come in useful. You can use your knowledge and your education to improve a huge number of people’s lives, so your ultimate goal doesn’t have to change at all, just the way you achieve it.