The practice of nursing had existed for a long time before it became formally recognised as a profession.
The field of nursing holds the unique characteristic of being universally applicable. Its necessity spans all work areas and can be utilised in virtually any industry. This versatility and widespread need for nursing professionals make it a vital and valuable profession in today’s society.
Nurses have numerous career options in various fields, such as law, education, aviation, security, research, marine, and even space. Nursing has expanded beyond the traditional hospital setting, and in this article, we will explore several non-clinical specialities. This list is not exhaustive, and there are many more options available. Let’s dive in and discover some exciting opportunities for nurses:
Nurse researchers play a vital role in the healthcare system. They plan and conduct studies, secure funding through grant writing, and publish their findings. Their research provides valuable solutions to health problems.
LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT
This nurse provides healthcare guidance to lawyers on legal cases involving medical issues. Responsibilities may include analysing and interpreting medical documents, researching current medical literature, writing legal briefs involving health and medical issues, and even testifying in court as nurse experts.
Travel nurses are often needed to fill staffing shortages in some geographical regions. They must have experience in nursing care and the patient population they care for. These nurses travel from place to place and work short-term contracts (The contracts can vary in length). Travel nursing is a well-paid nursing job, and employers often pay for travel and lodging expenses.
The forensic nurse treats abuse and violence victims and acts as a consultant and expert witness for the legal system. Forensic nurses are vital not only to the healthcare industry but also to the criminal justice field. They can specialise in a specific field, such as child abuse, sexual assault, or elder neglect.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSE
This nurse is responsible for planning and implementing health and safety programs for employees in different industries. These programs may address issues such as workplace hazards, stress management, fitness and nutrition etc. The occupational health nurse’s job is to educate workers about these programs, monitor their progress throughout program implementation, and advocate for employee health rights and wellness benefits.
DIABETES NURSE EDUCATOR
The role of the diabetic nurse educator is to teach diabetic patients and their families about the disease and different treatment plans. These can include signs and symptoms of diabetes, the importance of diet and nutrition, and how to administer insulin and other medications.
This nurse is skilled in the area of information technology and uses the knowledge of computer science to improve healthcare technology and efficiency. Responsibilities may include:
- Developing new systems and technologies.
- Assessing the effectiveness of existing applications.
- Instructing other nurses in the use of new applications.
NURSE HEALTH COACH
The nurse health coach counsels, educates and motivates patients to take control of their health and practice wellness strategies. Health coaches may assist relatively healthy individuals in achieving optimal wellness or coach chronically ill patients as they learn to administer treatments and make necessary lifestyle changes.
TELEPHONE TRIAGE NURSE
This nurse is trained to give medical advice over the phone or by other forms of non-contact communication, such as text messages. The nurse also assesses a patient’s health condition, determines the next steps for care, and schedules appointments or emergency medical care.
Parish nurses provide medical and spiritual care to a faith-based community. A parish nurse usually works in a church rather than a hospital or clinic.
CRUISE SHIP NURSE
A cruise ship nurse provides medical treatment for passengers and crew aboard a cruise ship, from routine first-aid to emergency life-saving measures.
One benefit of this work is the opportunity to travel to different places. Nevertheless, the duties can be very challenging because one may not know how many people may get sick while on the ship or what conditions one may have to treat.
OIL RIG NURSE
These nurses work on offshore oil rigs, taking care of oil rig workers. They work independently and must be able to make diagnoses and decisions about treatment plans independently since they are often the only medical workers on the oil rig. It’s best that oil rig nurses have an emergency room or acute care experience because of the frequent incidence of accidents among oil rig workers.
A nurse auditor manages medical records in healthcare settings and insurance companies, ensuring everything follows the appropriate processes and systems. Their duties may include:
- Examining a hospital’s budget to look for unnecessary expenses.
- Ensuring the accuracy of a patient’s medical bill.
- Processing insurance claims.
This nurse is trained to provide medical care to patients on an aircraft. Usually, these patients have serious conditions requiring them to be flown to a hospital for immediate treatment or transported from one hospital to another via helicopter or aircraft.
MEDICAL SCRIPT NURSE
Medical script nurses consult with television scriptwriters to ensure their scripts are accurate, checking them for their medical exactness.
Camp nurses are responsible for the healthcare of individuals in a camp or retreat setting. They must be willing to work independently without a lot of direct supervision and be prepared to treat various illnesses, injuries, and conditions.
HEALTH POLICY NURSE
This nurse gives counsel to state and federal policymakers on decisions related to the health and medical industry at large. Responsibilities may include:
- Conducting research on pressing healthcare issues.
- Analysing current health policies.
- Presenting plans for new policies.
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT NURSE
This nurse works to improve patient’s quality of care in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. Responsibilities may include:
- Evaluating current hospital protocol.
- Identifying ways to enhance efficiency and patient safety.
- Researching trends in patient care.
Yes, nurses are needed in space too!
The primary role of space nursing is to assess astronauts’ medical fitness for missions, to train NASA personnel on how to respond to emergencies on board, and to conduct research on how space travel affects the human body.
They monitor the health of astronauts and provide the needed care when they are feeling ill.
Please note that every speciality named above requires specific requirements and qualifications for practice.
For further information, you can check the links in the references below.
And for those interested in the field of Nursing research, I present to you an opportunity by the Institute of Nursing Research, Nigeria (INR).
INR is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to building the competencies of nurses in research and other scholarly endeavours.
One of the ways the institute does this is through the Journal Club.
The Journal Club has held training for nurses and nursing students since its inception in 2020 and has had five cohorts.
Some of the benefits of the journal club are exposure to new knowledge through current nursing literature, skill development in professional reading and research critique, research mentoring from seasoned nurse researchers, and an avenue to learn and interact with a community of Nurses from different institutions, amongst others.
If you are interested in joining the 6th cohort of the journal club, kindly click here.
Happy International Nurses Week!
Submit abstracts here.
Join IJC here.