Every year, thousands of freshly graduated nursing students flood into the healthcare market looking for work. Most will go into the much needed and steady world of hospital and bedside care, but for the few who are looking for something different, or for long time nurses who have grown tired of their current work, what are some of the alternative options out there for nurses?
The most obvious is teaching. The education field is always looking for more help and it is an incredibly rewarding place to be. Some schools are actively searching for more nursing educators to keep up with the demand of students. Of course, this kind of employment requires more schooling, at least a masters degree, to be able to obtain a position, and also a special kind of patience and understanding, to deal with frazzled students. Along this same line is the option of becoming a nursing tutor. You need to have passed the board exam, but the ability to work freelance and set your own hours is hard to beat.
Like more money and less hours? Consider becoming a legal nurse consultant. As a legal consultant, law firms and lawyers will hire you to assist them on various cases. You will review medical records and offer advice based on your nursing experience and wisdom. You get to set your own hours and you don’t have to wear scrubs.
If the science end of nursing is what gets you going, then find a position in clinical research. Pharmaceutical companies are always hiring clinical research companies. Independent research facilities are often looking for associates who have experience in the field as well as in the laboratory. You could also go into the sales end and become a medical representative. Basically, you sell medical supplies, instruments, and services to hospitals and offices. Knowledge of the nursing field will give you an edge over other representatives and make your job a lot easier. Plus, you get wear business clothes and work in a variety of locations.
Travel is a hard bug to beat, so instead of fighting it, why not try a job as a travel nurse? There are countless jobs all over the world for registered nurses. You will get to experience new cultures, learn new medical technologies, and help people in different places, while somebody else organizes your travel and housing, and then gives you a paycheck on top of it all. If you want to travel, but still maintain a home base, try flight nursing. Go to work everyday with no idea where you’ll head and care for patients while the plane or helicopter is in the air. If air isn’t your element, then look into being a cruise ship nurse. Your food and housing is provided and moves with you, and you are able to travel to new places while taking advantage of all the cruise ship amenities.
These options are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more options available, you just need to know what kind of work you like doing, and get creative. Like working with kids? Check out school nursing. Like solving mysteries? Look into forensic nursing. Endless possibilities are waiting.