Different Career Paths for Nurses

Nursing is a dynamic career option, especially with the rising popularity of walk-in healthcare clinics and other fast-paced facilities. These days, you can zip into a drugstore’s “care clinic” and grab your prescription and a shot in the thigh in the “blink of an eye.” In all seriousness, though, with more flexible work shifts and increased staffing needs, nursing offers a wealth of opportunity. Many nurses can stay at home with their kiddos during the day, thanks to the graveyard shift, or work part-time daytime hours at a decent hourly rate. Let’s take a brief look at some of the best career paths for both “morning glories” and “night owls”:

Clinical Nursing

For nurses seeking more one-to-one patient interaction, a career as a bedside nurse is demanding, yet fulfilling. Clinical nurses can work in schools, hospitals, and other health facilities, depending on specialization. Clinical nurses can select specialties in high-demand areas such as pediatrics or rheumatology.

A position as a school nurse is also a solid career choice with ample flexibility. At both the elementary, middle, high school or college level, a career as a school nurse is a lucrative way to make a difference in the lives of students. Dependable daytime hours and the academic schedule are two major perks of this specialty.

Education, Legal, and Management Nursing Positions

Since the demands of direct patient interaction can contribute to burnout over time, careers in nursing education or healthcare management are solid options, particularly for established professionals needing some time away from clinical or hospital floor settings. From teaching college classes to developing responsible healthcare policies, these fields are essential for training competent nurses entering the field and for ensuring that healthcare remains ethical and patient-focused.

Family Nurse Practitioner

The family nurse practitioner degree offers nursing graduates flexibility and a wide range of duties. Filling prescriptions, diagnosing illnesses and connecting with patients in a more personal way than a standard doctor could are just a few of the responsibilities afforded to family nurse practitioners. This is a more flexible degree option for many since the family nurse practitioner degree program is geared toward working professionals. For nurses already working in their field, this is a convenient and more family-friendly means of advancing education without disrupting income.

The above are just a few of the popular career paths for nurses. No matter the ages you prefer working with or what environment motivates you the most, the field of nursing is wide open for you as a student or a working professional.