Many newbie nurses apply for acute care positions inside hospitals to broaden their skills. After all, it’s a setting that exposes them to diverse patient populations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.9 million registered nurses working in the United States as of May 2016, with 1.6 million employed by hospitals. So who employs the remaining 1.3 million registered nurses working in non-bedside nursing careers? You’re about to find out.
1. Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities employ long-term care nurses to provide care and support to elderly residents who suffer from chronic health conditions. Responsibilities for these long-term care nurses include monitoring the overall health and well-being of residents as well as discussing any medical conditions and/or concerns with respective family members.
Able to work in the great outdoors, camp nurses provide medical care to children and adults attending camps and/or retreats. With duties that range from creating health centers to developing plans for communicable disease outbreaks to treating campfire burns, camp nurses must possess a wide array of clinical skills and knowledge.
Parish nurses provide professional health care in the context of faith. Tailoring their duties to fit the needs of the congregations they serve, parish nurses act as stewards of health and wellness. Whether they’re offering health screenings, providing personal counseling, or developing support groups, these nurses take a holistic approach to patient care, seeking to balance the mind, body, and spirit.
4. Correctional Facilities
Working in jails or juvenile detention centers, correctional facility nurses help treat sick or injured prisoners as well as provide long-term care to inmates suffering from chronic health problems such as AIDS infection, diabetes, mental illness, and substance abuse. More times than not, correctional facility nurses get to choose the types of patients they work with.
5. Courts of Law
Trained in medical evidence collection and the criminal justice system, forensic nurses help investigate crimes such as physical assault, sexual assault, and accidental death. Spending a lot of time in hospital emergency rooms, forensic nurses assist in interpreting signs of foul play, which include taking blood and tissue samples, measuring and photographing wounds, and collecting other bodily evidence.
6. Health Insurance Companies
Insurance companies employ telephone triage nurses to assist members who call in with health questions and/or concerns. These nurses help patient callers assess their medical situations and then advise them accordingly, which may include telling patients how to manage their symptoms or referring them to the most appropriate health-care provider.
7. Legal Firms
Serving as important members of a legal team, legal nurse consultants help attorneys interpret patient charts, understand medical terminology, and perform medical record research. Often times, legal nurse consultants testify as expert witnesses in court proceedings that involve abuse, fraud, malpractice, and worker’s compensation.
8. Managed Care Organizations
Nurse life care planners serve in a specialized subset of case management, helping patients who have suffered from catastrophic injuries and/or illnesses develop health-care roadmaps. Working with family members, attorneys, and insurance companies, nurse life care planners develop health-care roadmaps for their patients that plot out future needs, services, and care costs during their lifetimes.
9. Medical Disaster Teams
Whether a patient is hurt in a car accident or natural disaster, a flight nurse provides that individual with medical care before and during transport to a hospital facility. Staying within flight crew safety policies, a flight nurse works to keep patient vital signs steady during flight, while also helping the individual remain emotionally calm. Tasks often include administering CPR, treating wounds, and dispensing medication.
10. Military Bases
Whether they serve in the Army, Navy, or Air Force, military nurses work in the same areas of health care as civilian nurses, with responsibilities that include preparing patients for surgery, treating wounds, monitoring pain levels, and administering medication. Military nurses can remain unspecialized or opt for certification in areas such as critical or psychiatric care. During times of war, these nurses often find themselves caring for others around the world.
11. Outpatient Care Centers
Nurses who work in private practices or community clinics often carry the title ambulatory care nurse. These caregivers primarily focus on pain management and/or general health education for patients with chronic injuries or illness. They offer triage, medical screenings, and case management.
12. Pharmaceutical and Research Facilities
Typically working in the information systems department of a pharmaceutical or research facility, informatics nurses help their employers interpret, communicate, and manage vital medical data flowing in and out of hospitals, private practices, community clinics, etc. Responsibilities for informatics nurses often include incorporating information technology in clinical settings as well as developing storage and analytic technology to optimize research data.
Whether it involves articles or textbooks, nursing writers get involved in every aspect of composing, editing, and proofreading technical material used for health-care education, research, sales, and training, to name but a few. It’s also common for nursing writers to compose or consult on TV and movie scripts that involve nurses.
14. Rehabilitation Clinics
When it comes to coordinating long-term care for patients, case management nurses typically treat individuals when they are at their best to keep them healthy and out of the hospital. Case management nurses often treat specific groups of patients, from working with certain age groups to caring for people with specific diseases such as cancer or HIV/AIDS. These nurses also research new treatment options for their patients and work with insurance companies to make sure those under their charge receive the best, most cost-effective care possible.
Whether they work at the elementary or university level, school nurses implement strategies that promote student and staff health and safety. These caregivers take vital signs, administer basic medical aid as well as coordinate health programs that involve nutrition, physical activity, and the community.
As you can see, there’s so much you can do with a BSN degree. So, whether you prefer to work in a traditional hospital setting or one of these 15 non-bedside nursing careers, our 16-month ABSN program can put you on the fast-track to your profession. Contact our admissions team today!