If you’re interested in helping people via a nursing career, there are many choices open to you. Even before you start your education, you should take the time to consider which career path is right for you. There are many options available to today’s nurses from becoming an emergency room nurse to working in a lab. This guide will help you pinpoint your ideal nursing path.
Are You Action-Oriented or Detail-Oriented?
While a good nurse will be able to act quickly when the situation calls for it, some people don’t like to be in the middle of the action all of the time. Others prefer the pressure of a fast-paced work environment and perform better in that type of situation. If you do like to keep moving and you’re more effective in a high-pressure situation, working in an emergency room or at an urgent care facility may be right for you.
However, if you’re more detail-oriented and like a steady routine upon which you can rely on your day to day duties, you might find more rewarding work in a private office, or in an elder care facility.
Are You an Introvert or Extrovert?
There are nursing careers that are ideal for introverts, where contact with new patients is limited or nonexistent. For example, working as an assistant to a medical malpractice lawyer will limit your exposure to people. Similarly, you can choose to work in a research lab or as a forensic nurse without being exposed to situations that will leave you feeling uncomfortable.
If you love to meet new people and you’re eager for frequent contact with patients, there are also plenty of opportunities for you. These options include working in maternity or children’s wards, intensive care wards, or working in a family care office. You can find the level of human contact that you need by searching the available options in your area.
Consider How You Feel About Physical Contact
Even though you will have to wear specific clothing, such as scrub jackets, you may still look forward to jobs that allow physical contact with other people. If you’re not bothered by physical contact, working in emergency care, critical care, or with elderly patients may be ideal for you. These are situations in which patients need help in performing daily grooming habits and involve other types of care that require close personal contact.
If you’d prefer limited physical contact with others, there are still nursing options open to you. Some options include casework in which you follow up with patients or lab work in which you assist in research or blood analysis. You might decide you like teaching up and coming nursing students, which can also be a rewarding career path.
Choose Your Job Setting
You might be surprised to find out just how many industries rely on having nurses as regular staff members. While working in hospitals, clinics, or private offices are some of the choices open to you, there are many more options. Correctional facilities and schools also rely on keeping nurses on staff, so, if you prefer an institutional setting, these are more options to consider. Some larger manufacturing businesses, law offices, and private care companies also employ nurses.
If you’re the type of person who embraces change and likes to work in multiple settings, there are a few nursing career paths that will appeal to your adventurous spirit. For example, freelancing, or working for a temporary staffing service, will offer you short-term assignments. Typically, you’ll be covering for staff nurses who are out on leave or absent for a day or two. Another option that’s a growing trend is to join a traveling nurse program. These programs offer nurses opportunities to travel to other cities domestically or internationally. If you like to travel and want to explore new cultures, becoming a traveling nurse might be the best option for you.
Even if you have chosen one career path as a nurse, you can always change your career in the future. The wonderful thing about nursing is that there are so many options available to you that you’ll never be tied down to a single experience. Each nurse’s career path is unique and you can mold your career to fit your interests, so you’ll be able to enjoy the work you do.