You’re ready to earn your master’s degree in nursing, and you’re contemplating some of the unique ways you’ll be able to put your degree to work. Of course there are the standard career opportunities ranging from the emergency room to the community health clinic. But do you also love to travel, or enjoy working with children? Did nursing school instructors praise the insights of your written assignments? Have you watched every episode so far of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?
If you have a special interest, you may be able to blend it with your passion for nursing in a career opportunity that brings you the ultimate in satisfaction. While not all of these options require a master’s degree, here are 20 things you could do as a nursing career:
1. Cruise Ship Nurse
The job posting might read: “Opening: RN for cruise ship clinic. Master’s degree in nursing preferred. Sea legs a must.” If you’re comfortable at sea, can be away from home for six months at a time, prefer to work in a diverse environment, and want to see a bit of the world, this might be your ticket.
2. Nurse Lobbyist
In 2017, the American Nurses Association (ANA) spent more than $1.5 million1 to lobby for issues it identified as being supportive of nursing and improved health care. If you’re passionate about policy, the ANA website is an excellent place to learn more about the issues.
3. Holistic Nurse
The American Holistic Nurses Association credits Florence Nightingale with founding holistic nursing, a practice focused on “the principles of holism: unity, wellness, and the interrelationship of human beings and their environment.”2
4. School Nurse
The job description has grown dramatically since Lina Rogers served as the first U.S. school nurse in 1902. But the mission, as stated by the National Association of School Nurses, is much the same: to protect and promote student health, facilitate optimal development, and advance academic success.3
5. Nurse Author or Editor
Combine your nursing expertise with your writing or editing skills to contribute to professional journals. The International Academy of Nursing Editors provides links to job leads and training sources for writers and editors.
6. Legal Analyst
You don’t have to add a JD to your RN to serve as an expert witness, help attorneys analyze medical records, and consult on other matters as a nurse legal analyst.
7. Correctional Nurse
It takes a special individual to work within the correctional system, but those who do find the work rewarding. Lorry Schoenly, a noted nurse author and educator specializing in correctional healthcare, says, “Incarcerated patients are marginalized and vulnerable. … They rarely have a history of quality healthcare, which gives nurses an opportunity to truly make a difference in their health and well-being.”4
8. Concierge Nurse
If you’re an entrepreneur at heart, you may want to run your own business. Working as solo practitioners or creating a concierge nursing agency, RNs offer services that range from providing in-home post-surgical care to patient advocacy.
9. Nurse Recruiter
Join a staffing agency, hospital, or healthcare firm to identify top talent to place in nursing careers.
10. Nurse Midwife
Work with expectant mothers on prenatal care, deliver babies, and participate in postnatal care.
11. University Instructor
Students prize instructors who bring real-life experience to the classroom. An online nursing school can offer you flexible work schedules and platforms and open up a world of career opportunities.
12. Telehealth RN
Work from home using your MSN degree to staff a helpline for a health insurance company or monitor clinical data from telehealth devices used by patients of the Veterans Health Administration.
13. Travel Nurse
If change and challenge inspire you—and you have the flexibility to travel—a stint as a travel nurse may be ideal. Most opportunities require a minimum of 13 weeks in one location.
14. Occupational Health Nurse
Follow in the footsteps of Betty Moulder, who in 1888 provided nursing to Pennsylvania coal miners and their families.5 Use your skills and experience to assess potential workplace hazards, implement safeguards, and instruct workers on working safely.
15. NGO Nurse
Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, and the American Red Cross are three well-known nongovernmental organizations that employ nurses. Jobs may include training local nurses, organizing a vaccination program, and attending to the healthcare needs of residents in emergency shelters. The ability to speak multiple languages is a plus, and in some cases, a necessity.
16. Flight Nurse
RNs can use their experience working in emergency rooms and intensive care units to provide care to patients as they’re airlifted from emergency situations by helicopter and airplane. Flight nurses also may escort ambulatory individuals who don’t need the services of an air ambulance on commercial flights.
17. Health Coach
Contribute to your community’s wellness by creating plans to help individuals and groups work toward a healthier tomorrow.
18. Forensic Nurse
Forensic nurses work with patients who have been sexually assaulted or injured in other violent and intentional acts. These RNs, many of whom have a master’s degree in nursing, also collect evidence and work with police, prosecutors, and attorneys in legal proceedings.
19. Pharmaceutical Nurse
Drug companies hire RNs to teach patients with chronic conditions about the proper use of prescribed medications. Practitioners in these roles are sometimes called patient educators.
20. Theme Park Nurse
Do you have your own monogrammed pair of Mickey Mouse ears? If so, moving your career to the health services division of theme park dynasties like Disney or Universal Studios may give you an extra thrill—and smile.
Returning to nursing school for an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can open doors to unexplored opportunities, which in turn can elevate and energize your career. Walden University’s MSN program, No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.,6 offers eight specializations and an innovative online learning platform that lets you set your schedule. Follow your dreams to a career in a setting that blends passion and purpose: from the ER to a community mental health center, or from a cruise ship to an elementary school. The sage Dr. Seuss said it best: “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
6Source : National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP code 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse). Includes 2016 preliminary data.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.