Thank you for visiting Nursing Careers! Nursing is so much more than just a job. It is something you are and become, rather than something you just do. You read all the different possibilities of job types in the Nursing Jobs section, however it is important to think of all the career opportunities you will be exposed to.
First...Think of every opportunity in nursing as a career stepping stone. I say this because I have met many new nurses who want to rush into management positions or education positions. You will want to have as much experience under your belt in order to teach and provide leadership.
People usually enter nursing with a set mind-set or idea of what type of nursing they want to do. Now as experiences grow and opportunities emerge, the vastness of nursing often carries people in different directions.
Here is an example!
I always wanted to go to medical school. After basic training and between weekend reserve training, I focused on nursing as a starter career to help me pay for medical school. As I entered nursing, I fell in love with the hands on work. Every stepping stone in clinical exposure provided me with a solid foundation. Taking on charge positions exposed me to leadership. Of course while I "helped out" being charge, I still wanted a career as a nurse practitioner or CRNA. However, after being chosen for a leadership fellowship, I quickly fell in love with leadership and administration. I feel I can reach more patients this way that at the bedside. You never know what path you will go down or what stone will lead to the next.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years? I love to ask this to nursing job applicants. It is important to understand where you want to be. Gaining clinical experience is super important regardless of the direction you take. Obtain a solid foundation in clinical nursing and then let it takes you to new places.
I think it is only fair to say, think of the Registered Nurse who works at the bedside for 40 years as a career. We need nurses who are competent, strong, experienced, and committed to patient care, doing just that - taking care of patients. Career growth and satisfaction comes thru involvement in committees and council to drive practice.
Building your clinical practice, bedside manner, and abilities to work and collaborate with other healthcare members can lead you to an amazing career as a nurse practitioner. This career pathway can take you in different directions based on your clinical passion. I am clustering different specialties into this one career pathway. Nurse Practitioners can work in general practices settings, emergency rooms and hospitals, clinics, as well as specialize in cardiac care, anesthesia, labor and delivery, neonatal NP, and more. The clinical opportunities here are endless.
Requirements: You will need a BSN, clinical expereince and then complete graduate school based on the specific type of NP you wish to become. CNRA school is different that school to be a general NP. This requires an additional 2 years Plus of education.
Nursing administration covers multiple positions and positions. Hospitals have assistant nurse managers, nurse managers, nursing directors, and chief nursing officers. Long term care facilities have nursing directors. Nursing administration can be an excellent nursing career. You can take your bedside passion and desire to improve things for patients to a higher level. Impacting policies and systems to improve patient care is very rewarding.
Requirements: It is highly recommended that nurse management and above positions have a BSN. Some long term care or rehabilitation facilities higher ADN nurses into management positions. Director levels and above require a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA). Leadership tracked degrees help provide management skills necessary to perform these positions.
Additional nursing careers include nurse educators, nursing instructors, clinical instructors, infection control practitioners, and various planning roles such as emergency preparedness coordinator. The opportunities for nurses is endless!
To see more nursing careers check out this Nursing Overview Article!