Nursing is a diverse profession with a wide range of career options inside and outside the traditional hospital setting. Nurses are increasingly exploring non-traditional careers to apply their expertise innovatively and make a global impact.
There are many reasons why healthcare workers might choose to pursue a non-traditional career. Some healthcare workers seek a more flexible work schedule or autonomous role. Others are drawn to the challenge of working in a new or unfamiliar setting. Still, others are passionate about a particular healthcare or social justice area and want to use their skills to make a difference.
Whatever the reason, non-traditional nursing careers can offer a variety of benefits. Healthcare workers who work outside hospitals often have more control over their work hours and workload. They may also be able to work in a more collaborative environment with other professionals from different disciplines.
Many non-traditional healthcare careers offer the chance to make a real difference in the lives of individuals and communities. In this article, we explore non-traditional nursing careers and highlight the advantages of choosing these roles.
Nursing informatics is a specialized field that combines healthcare science with information technology to improve patient care. It uses data and technology to develop and implement systems and processes that help nurses provide better patient care.
The field of nursing informatics is experiencing rapid growth, offering numerous career opportunities for nurses. Nursing informaticists can find employment in a range of settings, including research institutions, public health agencies, clinics, and hospitals. However, according to a survey by HIMSS in 2023, 62% are employed by hospitals or health systems with multiple facilities.
Nursing informaticists can play roles such as clinical informaticists, research informaticists, and public health informaticists, harnessing data for healthcare improvement. Also, some nurses become entrepreneurs, creating and marketing nursing informatics products and services.
Legal Nurse Consulting
Legal nurse consulting (LNC) is a non-traditional healthcare career combining healthcare knowledge and legal expertise. LNCs work with attorneys to review and analyze medical records, identify medical issues, and develop expert opinions on medical cases.
LNCs are pivotal in the legal system, aiding attorneys in comprehending intricate medical matters and constructing robust cases for their clients. LNCs may also testify as expert witnesses in court.
It is a growing field, and nurses have many opportunities to pursue careers in this area. LNCs work in various settings, including law, insurance, and consulting firms. They may work on medical malpractice, personal injury, and workers’ compensation cases.
As per Glassdoor, the annual income for legal nurse consultants in the United States is $105,000. On top of this base salary, they typically receive additional cash compensation. These compensations average $11,421, ranging from $8,566 to $15,990.
Legal nurse consulting requires precision, medical expertise, and dedication to upholding top-tier patient care standards legally. It allows nurses to use their clinical expertise to advocate for justice and contribute significantly to the legal profession.
Traditionally, these educators teach in medical schools and universities. However, as the educational landscape continues to evolve, so do the opportunities for nurse educators, particularly through online healthcare doctorate of nursing programs.
In recent times, there has been a significant rise in the demand for exceptionally skilled nurse educators. These experts play a pivotal role in guaranteeing that aspiring medical professionals receive top-notch education and training. Nurse educators impart knowledge and serve as mentors, guiding aspiring nurses toward becoming proficient healthcare providers.
Nurse educators usually hold a master’s degree in nursing. However, many nurse educators pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, also available online. Online doctorate of nursing programs offer nurses the opportunity to earn their doctoral degree while continuing to work full-time.
These programs have revolutionized the way nurse educators can advance their careers and impact the healthcare profession. As per Wilkes University, nurses equipped with a DNP degree possess the capacity to impact healthcare results. They can lead systems and help implement health policies.
Public Health Nursing
Public health nurses work to improve the health of populations and communities. They may work in government agencies, schools, and non-profit organizations. Public health nurses may focus on disease prevention, health education, and environmental health.
Public health nurses play a vital role in protecting the public’s health. Public health nurses are dedicated to curbing the spread of diseases, educating the public about health concerns, and encouraging healthy living. They also champion policies and initiatives that bolster community well-being.
Recent global health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the pivotal role of public health nursing. Their work is data-driven and pivotal in shaping public health policies and interventions.
Pharmaceutical and Research Nursing
Pharmaceutical and research nurses play a vital role in testing and developing new drugs and treatments. They collaborate with pharmaceutical firms, research institutions, and clinical trials to advance medical knowledge and enhance patient treatments with innovation.
Pharmaceutical and research nurses may also work on projects like drug development and patient safety research.
Pharmaceutical and research nurses are integral to the development of breakthrough treatments and medications and have the potential to transform healthcare. Their proficiency in patient care and research methods connects science with clinical practice, advancing patient outcomes and medical research. This path allows nurses to lead in medical innovation and contribute to global healthcare improvement at the forefront.
Case Management Nursing
These nurses work with patients to coordinate their care and ensure they receive the needed services. They specialize in assisting patients with complex medical conditions, often aiding transitions from hospital care to home health agencies. Their expertise ensures a seamless continuum of care during critical transitions in a patient’s healthcare journey.
Case management nurses are significant in helping patients navigate the healthcare system and receive the care they need. They work with patients to develop care plans, identify resources, and overcome barriers to care. Case management nurses also advocate for patients and their families.
A study by the NIH indicates that case management is a strategy employed to assist patients in finding and managing healthcare resources. It also aims to improve communication between patients, families, and healthcare systems. Nurses have played an effective role as case managers in reducing healthcare expenses for patients with chronic illnesses.
Embracing Diversity in Nursing Careers
Nursing has long been synonymous with hospital corridors and clinical settings in healthcare. However, the landscape of nursing careers has evolved dramatically in recent years. It offers a rich tapestry of non-traditional opportunities that extend far beyond the confines of hospital walls.
Ultimately, the world of healthcare is expanding, offering a multitude of avenues for those willing to explore. Non-traditional nursing careers expand the profession’s adaptability, empowering nurses to reshape the healthcare landscape effectively. They underscore that nursing’s essence extends well beyond hospital walls.