Careers in Nursing: Registered Nursing Career Options

Nursing provides more healthcare industry jobs than any other profession in the United States. And, even with that, there remains a shortage of registered nurses (RN) in many states. Registered nurses work in many different environments, ranging from hospitals to schools.

General Nurse Practice Specialties

– Forensic investigation
– Geriatric care
– Newborn care
– Oncology care
– Pediatric care
– Pregnancy care
– Public health
– Trauma care

Common Nursing Education Programs

You have to attend some sort of nursing education program before you can take your state nursing license exams. There are more than 1,500 nursing education programs currently offered in the United States. The following are three common nursing education program options.

A. BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
For this you typically attend college for four years. You’ll get all of the education typical of a college student with a major in nursing. Your nursing studies will include practical training so that you gain experience in different types of nursing. While not required for most registered nursing jobs, those with a bachelor’s degree usually get preferential treatment in the hiring process and for future promotions. Some jobs and types of nursing require at least a BSN.

B. ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing)
Many two-year and four-year colleges offer associate degrees in nursing. This is often seen as the best value education for those who want to quickly start a nursing career.

C. Hospital Diploma
You obtain this working two to three years with a hospital that offers it.

Careers in Nursing

Careers in Nursing

Nurses have a lot more career path and variation flexibility than people in most other professions. The more educated and experienced they get working in different areas, the more directions they can take. Here are some basic nursing careers.

A. Basic Nursing
Most nurses begin their careers doing basic nursing. They create plans for those under them and follow plans from those above them. Some enjoy general nursing and stay with it, while most move around.

B. Certified Midwife
Becoming a midwife requires some specialized education and experience. You care primarily for women as they go from early pregnancy on past delivery. Much of your job involves providing education to each patient about what to expect and how to handle various situations and needs.

C. Case Management Nurse
This is a nursing management position that involves planning for the activities and care of a group of other nurses in a coordinated fashion.

D. Nurse Educator
Your job is primarily to educate people about their health. Some nurses do this as their only job function, while other nurses do this as a major part of their primary jobs, and still others do it as a secondary job function.

E. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners have gone on to get much more advanced educations. They are licensed to conduct exams, provide diagnoses, and prescribe medications. They can go on further to specialize in a certain type of medicine.

F. Nurse Anesthetist
This is a nurse that has received additional education to become certified to administer surgical anesthesia.

G. Forensic Nurse
This is perhaps the hottest new career path for nurses to take. Unlike most other nurses, their jobs are not so much about patient management, care, and education. While they may provide care for victims of crimes, they’re primarily working to get justice for their patients by working with law enforcement to gather medical evidence that can be used to identify and prosecute the perpetrators.

Because of the career path flexibility offered in nursing, this nursing career list could go on. Some of the other popular nursing careers include school nursing, radiology nursing, rehabilitation nursing, and psychiatric nursing.