Nursing provides a rewarding career for millions of registered nurses across the globe. With a wide range of workplace choices and great salaries, nurses have short-term and long-term career options to choose from. But this is not the only benefit that registered nurses enjoy.
For most nurses, the ability to shape their career to fit their interests comes in handy. This is because the license they hold allows them to craft unique career paths for themselves as time goes by.
Besides nurturing a nursing careers, there are numerous online side hustles you can engage in to earn money. These include serving as flight attendants to ensure the safety of travelers and cabin crew. You can also earn money advocating for patient rights as a nurse lawyer or preparing healthy meals for your customers. You can share what you know by writing expert articles or by training people who want to take up nursing careers.
But even with all these side hustles, nursing is doing much better than other occupations when it comes to earning and job growth. If you are a nursing graduate, below we show you some nursing career choices you can tap and how you can earn money from them:
1. Become An Intensive Care Nurse
An intensive care nurse is responsible for caring and monitoring patients who are in the intensive care unit. Often, these are patients who have complex diagnoses and are on life support. These nurses work in the different intensive care units including neonatal, trauma, cardiac, neuro, surgical and burn units.
As a nurse in the intensive care unit, you will work closely with physicians and report even the slightest change in the condition of patients. You are expected to administer medications to the patients and undertake skilled diagnostics.
The beauty of taking this nursing specialty is that the demand is high because the need to provide care to patients who are seriously injured or ill is always there. To succeed in this nursing career, you need to be highly efficient, organized and able to pay attention to the most minute details.
2. Work For An Agency As A Travel Nurse
If you enjoy moving from one hospital facility to another while working, then you can be a great travel nurse. Travel nurses can either be specialized in specific areas or generalists. They work on contract with agencies and are paid an hourly rate in addition to a living stipend over for the contract period.
The good thing about being a travel nurse is that health facilities often experience staff shortages. This coupled with the fact that there are many baby boomer nurses who are retiring boosts the demand for nursing services in different parts of the world.
To be an effective travel nurse, you need to be willing and capable of working in different healthcare settings and cities. People who like living in new places, are flexible and don’t mind starting over with each contract tend to make the best travel nurses. Prior to submitting an application to serve as a travel nurse, you need to get one-year experience working in a hospital setting.
3. Be A Cardiac Nurse
Cardiac nurses specialize in providing care to patients who suffer from pulmonary and cardiac conditions. Since heart diseases can happen at any life state, cardiac nurses can choose which patients to work with including adults, infants and children.
As a cardiac nurse, you provide assistance during diagnostic procedures and educate families and customers on how to prevent or manage their conditions. They are also responsible for monitoring patient progress.
Cardiac nurses work in diagnostic centers, hospital facilities, rehabilitation centers and clinics. Due to the rising number of cardiac patients and the different work settings available, the demand for cardiac nurses is always rising.
The cardiovascular specialty is a highly sensitive area to work in. It is a fast-paced area because cardiovascular medicine is updated regularly. At the same time, cardiac conditions are life-threatening and therefore require precise treatment. To work as a cardiac nurse, you need to constantly update yourself about new developments in the field and specialize in a subspecialty in cardiovascular medicine.
4. Help The Elderly As A Geriatric Nurse
A significant number of people develop chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. These conditions require continuous care where families play an important role in treating patients. There are different places where geriatric nurses work from – these include clinics, memory centers, hospitals, home health and nursing homes.
As a geriatric nurse, you will be expected to coordinate provision of patient care with other health professionals including physical therapists, physicians, social workers and nurse practitioners.
Geriatric care specialty is great because it has a high demand. To excel in this especially, you should have patience and ability to pay close attention to patients. Elderly people desire to be treated with respect and dignity in the settings they are in. You should be able to connect with them and their families while maintaining their independence.
5. Provide Theatre Support As A Surgical Nurse
Theatres bring together medical practitioners from different disciplines – one of them is nursing. The main roles of surgical nurses in operating rooms include preparing patients for surgery, setting up the operating room, helping surgeons with supplies and instruments, clearing the surgical room and documenting procedures. Surgical nurses are also responsible for providing patients with care before and after surgery.
With the expansion of operative and surgical procedures from hospitals to outpatient settings known as surge-centers, the demand for surgical nurses has increased. This means that the demand for highly qualified surgical nurses is on the rise.
To excel as a surgical nurse, you need to be a meticulous, detail-oriented person. You should be able to stay calm under pressure and be ready to learn and stay abreast of frequent changes in the industry. A career in surgical nursing will see you working closely with surgeons and other health professions. As such, teamwork and collaborative skills are a must have.
6. Help Patients Fight Cancer As An Oncology Nurse
Cancer has become wide spread and people of all ages are developing it. By becoming an oncology nurse, you can provide emotional support to cancer patients during treatment. You can help with treating cancer symptoms, administering chemotherapy and keeping tabs on the progress that patients make.
Due to the rising cancer cases across the globe, demand for this nursing specialty has increased significantly. You can identify a treatment area like radiation, pediatric or chemotherapy and specialize in it.
Due to the emotional investment required, oncology nursing is among the most demanding specialties. Opt for this specialty only if you are capable of developing close connections with cancer patients and their families. Chances of cancer patients passing on are relatively highly. To manage this, you should also feel comfortable with providing end-of-life care to patients while maintaining their dignity.
7. Offer Emergency Care As A Trauma Nurse
Anytime patients are involved in an accident, they require quick emergency care. This is where nurses who opt for trauma specialty come handy. Ideally, trauma nurses are trained to act fast even without having full knowledge about the history of the patient. Often, the aim is to evaluate and get the patient into a stable condition.
The nurses do this by administering initial treatment and coordinating with teams in other departments. Job opportunities in this specialty are on the rise as hospitals and other organizations that provide health care expand their clinics and emergency services. Free standing centers that run round the clock need trauma nurses to handle emergency situations.
But not everyone can serve as a nurse in this nursing specialty. You are better placed to work as a trauma nurse if you can handle high levels of pressure in a fast-paced environment that is constantly changing. Be ready to work in shifts and provide care to a wide range of patients.
8. Care for Terminally Ill Patients As A Palliative Nurse
Palliative nurses play the critical role of providing care to patients who are terminally ill so they can die in a dignified manner. While there are hospice units in hospitals where such patients can stay, there are many that opt to spend their final days with their families at home. Palliative nurses offer pain management support to terminally ill patients.
Palliative nursing has gained traction in recent years as more and more people appreciate the need to support patients during their end-of-life period. As baby boomers age and approach death, the demand for palliative care nurses is growing considerably.
To succeed as a palliative care nurse, you need to be able to come to terms with the inevitable end-of-life and feel comfortable supporting patients who are on the verge of death.
Nursing is one of the most versatile professions. As a nursing graduate, you can choose to work in different environments or build a career in a specialty of your choice. Of importance to note is that it is a field that is always evolving. As a registered nurse, the career you choose will either see you work by the bedsides of very sick patients or provide care to patients who are not as sick.