Further Career Choices in Nursing

Nurses are known to play a crucial role in our healthcare system. Such professionals guarantee the best-quality patient care and ensure effectiveness in a rather complex system. These individuals also educate the next generation of aspiring nurses, a significant challenge today’s healthcare industry faces.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of occupations for advanced practice nurses may rise by 45% between 2019 and 2029. Moreover, employment among registered nurses is projected to grow six times slower than expected within the same period.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, a shortage of up to 122,000 physicians is expected by 2032. At the same time, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has predicted that the nursing shortage will intensify as the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire from their jobs. Those wishing to pursue this career may experience various job opportunities as the demand to fill these unoccupied positions becomes more urgent.

These numbers also suggest that specialty job positions, e.g., nurse educator, nurse anesthetist, and nurse practitioner, may see higher salaries, better job security, and a great variety of career opportunities over the next decade.

An online MSN degree from the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing can help you prepare for such roles. The degree prepares students for promising career paths in education, advanced practice nursing, and health systems leadership.

However, you might be wondering if the degree is a suitable option for your options. Read on to learn more about the career paths a master’s in nursing can lead you to.

Nurse Educator

Educating the next generation of nurses and healthcare leaders can be a rewarding career for those who have a knack for teaching. Nurse educators teach the nursing curriculum at universities and colleges. They can obtain faculty positions at teaching hospitals and nursing schools. Such individuals are trained to transfer their experience, knowledge, and expertise to aspiring nurses. A nurse educator also evaluates, designs, updates, and implements new education curriculums for nursing.

Experience as a nurse educator may often lead to managerial and administrative roles in nursing education programs. The job title generally alludes to a specialized focus on a particular area of nursing, including psychiatric or pediatric nursing. Many go on to work as practicing nurses throughout their teaching careers. Such professionals must stay up to date on the latest nursing methods, trends, developments, and computer programs.

Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is an APN who has earned postgraduate education, training, and certification in nursing. The duties these professionals are assigned in the workplace go beyond those given to registered nurses. These individuals also have more frequent direct contact with patients. Nurse practitioners’ responsibilities are more like those of a doctor, such as diagnosing acute conditions and trading them, managing patients while acting as a primary care provider, ordering lab work or diagnostic tests, etc. Moreover, they also have prescriptive rights.

Nurse practitioners must partake in continuous education programs to stay up to date on novel technologies and science. Nurse practitioners typically work with a particular demographic or in a specific branch of medicine.

That said, a family nurse practitioner trains to work with patients of all ages. This is the most sought-out specialization among nurse practitioners out of others. Furthermore, family nurse practitioners make up more than 64%of the nursing field, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Forensic Nurse Consultant or SANE Specialist

Forensic nurse consultants act as advisors to criminal defense and law enforcement attorneys. They also work as expert witnesses for prosecutors.

A component of patient care is still there as forensic nurse consultants offer patient care to crime victims, collect evidence, and provide expert testimony relevant to their field in court.

The cases for such professionals generally relate to domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Those pursuing a career in this field may find work in psychiatric facilities, anti-violence programs, medical examiners’ and coroners’ offices, and correctional institutions.

On the other hand, a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) specialist refers to a registered nurse with completed clinical preparation and specialized education in the forensic care of a sexual assault or abuse survivor under their care.

Such a role calls for excellent patient advocacy and pure dedication. Nurses who are good at providing emotional support thrive in this field. However, balancing this field’s emotional toll with professional life can be difficult. While this career path can seem overwhelming, it is a rewarding career for the emotionally intelligent.

Nurse Manager

Many who receive a master’s in nursing assume managerial positions. Nurse directors or managers supervise and monitor nurses providing direct patient care. They are responsible for hiring, training, and overseeing nursing staff.

These individuals may also work with doctors on care plans, and handling records is a significant part of the job. That includes patients’ medical histories and employment documents for nurses providing care under their supervision.

Although nurse managers occasionally help and advise patients, they are primarily responsible for administrative tasks such as managing budgets, developing work schedules, and managing employment matters like reviews, promotions, and ensuring discipline.

The work schedule for such professionals is among the most significant attractions associated with the title. While registered nurses often work twelve-hour shifts, nurse managers typically work during traditional business hours.

Research Nurse

Research nurses are vital in medical and pharmaceutical research, as these professionals help formulate, evaluate, and improve treatments for various medical problems. Research nurses also solicit individuals for clinical observation and analysis. They must strictly comply with protocols and guarantee the precision of all data collected throughout this period.

Research nurses must also administer medications during clinical trials and other treatment procedures. They must also carefully observe their patients while documenting drug interactions, side effects, and efficacy of the medicines.

All information collected during this time must be carefully compiled into reports for senior specialists and researchers to review. Using their clinical knowledge, research nurses pen proposals for grants and data evaluations and synthesize information in various research areas. While they have regular work schedules, their stress levels vary.

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