Exploring Nursing Opportunities Outside The Hospital

June 23, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Nursing Opportunities Available Outside Of The Hospital Setting

Gap Medics students with hospital staff in Thailand You know nursing is the right profession for you. You genuinely care for people and would love nothing better than to be able to look after the sick and injured. But the one big looming obstacle that stands in the way of you pursuing a career in nursing is the thought of working in a hospital. There’s something about hospitals that you dread and you cannot imagine spending hours within a hospital setting.

Fortunately, there are several nursing opportunities today that involve working outside the hospital environment. For example, as a private duty nurse you would be taking care of patients in the comfort of their home. As a profession nursing is as diverse as it gets – especially today. Even nursing degree programs have adapted to prepare students to work in a variety of settings once they qualify. 

Take a look at some of the non-hospital opportunities that you can explore in various areas of nursing.

Private Duty Nursing

As a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, you can choose to work as a private duty nurse providing care to patients in their homes. A private duty registered nurse usually works under the direction of a physician whereas a licensed practical nurse may work under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor. Your patients would typically include those who are physically unable to leave their homes either temporarily or permanently due to injury or age-related ailments. Patients who can afford to pay for in-home care may prefer to hire a private duty nurse to enhance their quality of life. Private nurses must meet the education and licensing requirements for a registered or licensed practical nurse.

Occupational Nursing 

Occupational nurses work with businesses to prevent injuries and illnesses on the job. In the occupational health field, nurses may work as case managers or as counsellors, or work with employers to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace by educating the staff as well as by identifying health and safety hazards. You may also work as a staff counsellor, caring for workers with illnesses or injuries. Entry-level positions in occupational nursing require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing and work experience in critical care, emergency or ambulatory care or community health nursing.

Nurse Educators

To qualify for a position as a nurse educator you would need to have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Nurse educators may provide continuing education to staff nurses in a facility or teach in a nursing program. Some nurse educators develop courses, design curricula and evaluate students in a nursing program. Educators may teach in an area of specialisation such as acute care nursing or family health.

Forensic Nursing

As a forensic nurse you may work in a hospital, collecting evidence and providing patient care to crime victims or you could work in a correctional institution or a medical examiner’s office. Clinical experience as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit or emergency room are necessary requirements of anyone seeking to pursue forensic nursing.  

As a correctional forensic nurse you would be committed to providing care to inmates in prisons and jails. This includes caring for patients with chronic conditions, administering medications or evaluating inmates who request care. Experience in emergency nursing or mental health can be helpful for anyone considering this specialty.