Career Options for Nurses

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already in nursing school, and perhaps you already shopped for all your scrub tops, pants, and supplies for clinicals!

But what kind of RN are you planning to be? A nurse practitioner? A correctional nurse? There are numerous nursing specialties today; so many different options, that nearly anyone can find a nursing position that suits him or her.

Today, we’re going to explore the options of the top nurse specialties in the US. Once you’ve gone through this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make an educated choice and charter the course of your career.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioners can diagnose conditions (by means of physical exams and diagnostic tests) and prescribe medications in some states. As an FNP, you’ll be able to work with people from many different age groups, and of varying ethnicities and backgrounds. FNP’s can bring in a much higher paycheck than RN’s can; the average registered nurse salary is $68,450, while the median FNP salary is $105,546.

Informatics Nurse

This is one of those careers that evolved after the advent of technology in the twenty-first century. Informatics nurses develop technological innovations to enhance the patient’s outcome. Nursing informatics is a field for the tech-savvy introvert; it requires usage of computer, nursing, and informative sciences to maintain medical data and design medical systems. Informatics nurses make about $85,000 per year.

Medical-Surgical Nurse

The best Med-Surg nurses are uber-capable multitaskers and possess high-level critical thinking skills. Med-Surg nurses are primarily employed in hospitals, and care for critically ill patients, and those who have undergone surgery. These nurses are the ones in charge of coordinating multiple client assignments, from when the patient is admitted until the patient is discharged. Med-Surg nurses also plan out the patient’s discharge; i.e. transportation home, or helping the patient figure out home health care options. Medical-Surgical nurses get paid within the same range of a standard nurse upon entering the field, but over time, the salary will increase. 

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

If you don’t mind spending time with seniors, or if you find such to be an enjoyable activity, you may want to look into becoming a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. These nurse practitioners work with the elderly population and provide them with quality care. The average yearly salary for GNP’s is $95,070.

Flight Nurse

A flight nurse provides emergency care for patients who are being airlifted to the hospital. Flight nurses must be extremely coolheaded, logical and efficient, with an ability to perform perfunctorily even under stress. This career is known to be extremely pressurizing, yet quite rewarding; these nurses are directly involved in saving lives. The average salary fully accredited entry-level flight nurses earn is over $69,000.

Travel Nurse

Most students training to become an RN have heard of travel nurses. Travel nurses leave home to work in far off locations, generally for short stints at a time. This is a job for nurses who love to visit new countries, meet new people, and learn how medical facilities operate in different countries. If you hate routine, and need constant change in your work to keep you stimulated, this is likely the best nursing career option for you. A travel nurse’s salary will depend on how much work she puts in; working 10 months a year can have one earn over $100,000.

Certified Nurse Midwife

If you’re interested in obstetrics and would love to help mothers deliver their babies, this is a great career choice for you. This career can entail assisting during labor and delivery and monitoring the future mother’s health, prenatal care. CNMs provide health care and wellness care to women, which may include family planning, gynecological checkups, and prenatal care, and may even involve family planning.

Pain Management Nurse Practitioner

These nurses first assess and then assist patients who suffer from chronic pain, or those who have recently undergone surgery, in managing and reducing the pain. They also teach patients how to avoid getting addicted to their pain medications. Most Pain Management Nurse Practitioners earn between $90,000 & $110,000 annually.

Orthopedic Nurse

Orthopedic (also spelled orthopaedic) nurses help doctors before, during, and following orthopedic surgeries. They also help patients with musculoskeletal disorders and orthopedic conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, bone fractures, and genetic malformations. The average orthopedic nurse salary is $76,282 annually.

Legal Nurse Consultant

To be a legal nurse consultant, you need the ability to retain information, and you must be able to research, strategize, analyze data. Legal nurses often act as the liaison between lawyers, healthcare providers, and clients. Legal nurse consulting requires intelligence, patience, and the ability to give over information and advise lawyers in a clear, straightforward manner. The median income of legal nurse consultants is $75,328 per year.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric nurses work in children’s hospitals and pediatric doctors’ offices. Most if not all of their patients are under 18 years of age; they care for children, infants, toddlers, and teens. Since many pediatric patients often have issues or conditions that are specific to children, pediatric nurses get a special education that will enable them to serve their patients in a most knowledgeable way. Being a pediatric nurse is a great choice of career for those who love kids! The pay is about $85,000 per year.

Something for Everyone

We’ve gone through several different popular specialties; there are still many more to discover, and the list of nursing specialties grows longer every year! With such an array of options, nearly every student, regardless of personality or preference, can find a nursing career that will bring out his talents.

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