Take A Look At Non-Traditional Nursing Jobs

June 18, 2014

Two Non-Traditional Nursing Jobs

Meeting mentors at McCormick hospital in Chiang Mai When most people think of nursing, the first thought that comes to mind is the hospital nurse dressed in white. While hospitals are typically the largest employers of nurses around the world, they are not the only ones. There are several other non-traditional career paths that a nurse can choose from. Working as a school nurse, occupational health nurse or clinical research nurse are two of the more popular options amongst many others that are out there. Take a look at what each of these specialties involves:

School Nurse

Most people think all school nurses do is clean minor scratches and bruises and put a band aid on minor open wounds. That’s not true at all. This is in fact a fast-paced nursing career. School nurses are responsible for a large number of children who may present with a wide range of physical and emotional health issues. 

Some of the diseases you may find yourself working with as a school nurse could range from asthma and diabetes to ADHD and cystic fibrosis. One aspect of this specialty that many people tend to overlook is the high incidence of medical emergencies. Far from just applying salve and band aids on minor bruises and wounds, you could find yourself tending to allergic reactions and compound fractures in kids of all ages as well as strokes or heart attacks of adult staff members. School nurses often have no back-up when awaiting medical assistance. 

Most school nurses admit that this can be a tough, busy and challenging specialty but for those who choose it, it can be immensely rewarding. If you love working with and caring for children, this nursing specialty could be a great fit for you. 

Clinical Research Nurse 

Clinical research nurses typically work with pharmaceutical companies that are testing their potential product on humans for the first time. These are drugs being tested for approval by the authorities.

As a clinical research nurse, your work will include receiving a protocol from the pharmaceutical company and then identifying research participants that fit the protocol criteria. There are multiple stages during any such research trial and you will have to plan the entire project in great detail. For example, you may have 25 participants in the trial and according to the protocol their blood needs to be drawn and tested exactly 20 minutes after the new drug is administered. Precision is crucial and you will be responsible for keeping precise timing between the drug administration and the blood draws. Some protocols may call for multiple blood draws at specified intervals over a certain period of time. This means, close supervision may be required over other aspects such as the participants’ diets and other lifestyle factors. The challenge of this job is obvious! Even though the drug may have been tested on animals, the reaction it will have on humans would be an unknown factor. Dealing with situations that could change in a split second and being able to think on your feet are vital aspects of this job description. If you think you possess those two attributes you will find this specialty particularly stimulating and invigorating.