Nursing is a rewarding career, but it isn’t right for everyone. If you have earned your BSN degree and realized working with patients in a clinical setting isn’t right for you, it is normal to feel disappointed or like you wasted your time (and money) going to nursing school. While natural, though, these feelings are unfounded. Even if you have discovered working with patients is not a good fit for you, there are still other jobs you can apply your BSN to. Before you decide to hang up your scrub jackets once and for all, consider these options.
Chances are, you decided to become a nurse because you have a passion for helping other people. While you may have discovered you do not particularly enjoy working directly with patients, you can still put your nursing skills to good use and help others by pursuing a career as a nurse educator. Teaching is an excellent option for anyone who is driven by a passion for helping others, but doesn’t want to provide care for patients on a full-time basis. It could also provide an opportunity to aid in professional value development among pre-licensure nursing students and make a difference in the quality of care received by future patients.
As a nurse educator, you could work to educate staff members in a clinical environment, or you could teach at a college or university. If you already have a BSN, you will need to obtain a MSN to qualify for a position as an educator. You’ll also need to be someone with extensive clinical experience, exceptional communication skills and an eagerness to share your expertise with others.
Nurse Information Technology
If you want to have an impact on patient care, but do not want to work with patients directly, consider exploring a career in information technology (IT). IT careers focused on nursing are becoming increasingly vital as technology continues to redefine and shape the entire healthcare industry, so this type of work makes a big difference without requiring you to work one-on-one with patients.
If you have a BSN plus strong computer skills, working in nurse informatics may be an excellent fit. As a nurse informatics specialist, you will act as a technology liaison for other hospital staff. You may also perform certain nursing duties, such as testing new solutions or improving patient care through the implementation of updated processes.
If you’ve found working in clinical settings isn’t right for you, but you still want to be a nurse, consider becoming a school nurse. School nurses are in high demand, and the job is very rewarding. Plus, you’ll likely get to keep wearing your favorite modern scrubs since you’ll still be working as a nurse. If you are interested in this career path, though, there are some things you should know before becoming a school nurse.
Leadership Positions in Nursing
For those who have a BSN and have already spent several years working in patient care, pursuing leadership positions could provide the change of pace you are looking for. Working in a management or administrative position will allow you to keep making a difference in people’s lives without having to spend as much time working directly with patients. If you are thinking about making the move to a leadership position, some jobs to consider include nurse manager, director of nursing, chief nursing officer, nurse administrator and healthcare manager.
One of the great things about pursuing a leadership position is you may be able to do so without leaving your current place of employment. Nurses with exceptional knowledge and skills are in high demand, and healthcare organizations are always happy when they can promote current employees to leadership positions rather than hiring someone new.
To qualify for some positions, you may need to have a MSN. The good news, though, is you can usually continue working in the field while earning your advanced degree. The organization you work for may even be willing to foot part of the bill for furthering your education.
At-Home Nursing Jobs
Most nurses work in clinical settings and care for patients face-to-face. Thanks to technology, though, it has become possible to work from home as a nurse. There are several positions that allow you to use your nursing knowledge and skills remotely. You could be a telemedicine nurse, legal nurse consultant, nurse case manager or nurse informatics specialist all while working from home.
The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is working from home requires exceptional organizational, communication and time management skills. It’s a lot harder to stay on task when working from the comfort of home rather than in a clinic, and it takes a lot of self-motivation to be successful in this type of job.
If you are experienced in a certain specialty, you may be an asset to a pharmaceuticals company. If, for example, you have spent several years working with children as a pediatric nurse, you could play a vital role in the development of medications intended for kids and adolescents. You might work as a researcher, consultant, educator or sales representative.
For former nurses, the transition to becoming a sales rep for a pharmaceuticals company is typically a smooth one. Working as a nurse gives you plenty of medical knowledge and experience with medications. It also instills you with exceptional communication skills. Combined, this knowledge, experience and skill-set work well for pharmaceutical sales representatives.
Insurance companies strive to understand healthcare services and costs. This enables them to accurately assess risk and set rates. Nurses are valuable to this process because they are familiar with the healthcare industry. Former nurses working for insurance companies can collect data, interpret it and help providers better understand the information and how to use it.
If you make the switch from nursing to working for an insurance company, you might perform clinical research or help with medical coding. If you would like to use the knowledge and skills you gained as a nurse, but would like to transition away from patient care entirely, landing a job with an insurance company is an excellent option.