Many nursing school graduates will go on to work in a hospital or other large health care center. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28 percent of the employees in a hospital setting are registered nurses; they are the backbone and the support staff needed to ensure everything runs smoothly. And because they offer great benefits packages, one of the highest average annual salaries for nurses, and flexible schedule, most nurses are happy to sign on for employment with these major corporations.
However, if working in a hospital isn’t in your plans, there are still plenty of nursing jobs out there. Here are just a few nursing careers you can consider:
Community Health Organizations: All big cities (and most small ones) have some type of community health center. Funded by government bodies or non-profit agencies, these organizations are responsible for providing health resources, education, and outreach to the population. This may include providing disease testing, giving parenting classes, visiting local schools, or even helping in emergency situations.
Holistic Health Care: Although your nursing degree will be in Western medicine techniques, some nurses go on to work in a more holistic nursing capacity. Whether you work for a provider of alternative health care options (such as massage, acupuncture, herbalism, or reflexology) or you go on to specialize and get advanced degrees, you may find that going beyond traditional medicine is more your style.
Correctional Facilities: Working in a prison or juvenile detention center might not be everyone’s dream-come-true, but it can be a great place for those who want autonomy in their nursing career as well as great benefits and pay. Most of these jobs are unionized, and may be difficult to get.
Insurance Companies: More and more insurance companies are keeping registered nurses on staff. Doing everything from helping manage policies and selling insurance to providing 24-hour over-the-phone assistance to families who have policies with the company, these nurses can develop a truly unique career path that includes a large helping of business and administration.
Educational Setting: Whether you go on to get a Master’s degree in nursing to become an instructor, or if you simply want to work in a high school setting as the school nurse, there are plenty of opportunities for work in the educational field. Nursing instructors typically have advanced degrees and work for a college or university, and school nurses often travel between locations to care for a large population of students. Either way, the hours tend to be good, and the physical strain on the body lower.
Although this is a good starting list for nursing careers outside of the hospital setting, it’s certainly not all of the options. As more and more people look outside traditional avenues to achieve an active, healthy lifestyle, qualified medical professionals have increased career opportunities. Sports teams, private consumers, social welfare organizations, and big businesses are all finding ways to use nurses on their staff.
As long as you get a good education from a reputable nursing school, get licensed in your state, and stay current with your continuing education credits, your career has ample of opportunity for growth.