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The Many Career Paths of a Nurse

Demand for nurses is on the rise, and those who’ve always been interested in this field can get excited about the many career paths available to them. 

While some simply dream of wearing scrubs alongside a doctor, helping said doctor in any way possible, others have a particular specialty in mind. Read on to discover just a few of the exciting career paths open to nurses.

Home Health

You may think of nurses working only in hospital or private practice settings, but home health nurses travel to the homes of patients. You may assist people recovering from surgery who need some help, you may assist with hospice patients who have a limited amount of time left, or you may work with patients afflicted with chronic and/or degenerative conditions who will need help from a nurse for the rest of their lives. Home health nurses often wear similar uniforms to other nurses such as cheap scrub tops and scrub bottoms, comfortable shoes and may require solid colors or restrictions on dress based on company policy.

Nurse Midwife

Midwives are becoming more popular in recent years, and so the demand for nursing midwives is on the rise as well. In this position you’d work with primarily low-risk pregnancies. Your job doesn’t just involve helping to deliver the baby – you’ll also work with mothers-to-be before and after the childbirth experience. The standard uniform of a nurse midwife may include scrubs, doctors jackets or regular clothing as you may have your own private practice.

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Nurse Anesthetist

This position requires interviewing, evaluating and assessing patients before surgery. These nurses also work closely with the anesthetist to prepare and administer the anesthesia to ensure the patient experiences a pain-free operation. Other duties include monitoring the patient’s vital signs during surgical procedures and continual monitoring after the surgery.

Critical Care Nurse

Essentially, a nurse in this role provides care for critically ill patients. They can help families deal with the crisis, can monitor the patient’s environment, evaluate needs for resources, and recommend referrals. Those who excel in this position are nurses who are able to quickly assess and recognize small changes in a patient’s condition. There are also several sub-specialties within this specialty, including adult, pediatric, and neonate.

Flight Nurse

When a patient has critical needs that can’t be properly handled at the hospital or location they’re at, then they may need to be flown to the closest trauma center who can meet those needs. A flight nurse rides along with the patient in the plane or helicopter, and gives continuous patient care. Once the patient has landed, the nurse may then be responsible for briefing medical providers on the patient’s status and what drugs have administered. Uniforms for flight nurses may be similar to others with scrubs being the primary uniform. Other options may be specific to their requirements for proper flight gear.

Forensic Nurses

Not all nursing positions require workers to wear scrubs and stand alongside other medical professionals. A forensic nurse may work closely with law enforcement and investigators, and may be in charge of interviewing victims and witnesses, and providing counseling services for victims and family members.

Health Care Educator

There are many roles that can fall under the umbrella of health care education. It may mean an experienced nurse who trains other nurses, or it may mean a nurse who handles out-patient health care education. They may go to schools or under-served areas to ensure students and residents know about the health care options available to them. They may work directly with families to help them navigate the available resources, and they may present brochures or videos that inform the public about disease prevention, self-care, healthy living, disease management, and health promotion.

As you can see, there are a multitude of jobs available to trained and experienced nurses. You’re probably already ready for the new career all you need is the education! Which path will take you toward your perfect career in the health field?

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