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Career Choices Beyond Nursing - What Could Be Next?
While you might have started out your education with the idea of being a lifelong nurse, sometimes things change. Perhaps you want to extend your skills or help people in different ways than in the care setting. Or maybe you simply want to do more with your education and begin to reach out to a wider audience of the general public. You might also choose a different career path in order to reduce your hours or your workload without completely giving up your nursing degree. The choices are endless, but here are a few to consider.
There will always be a need for people to work in the public health sector, but for those with educations founded in health sciences, the demand is even greater. As a nurse, you can provide a more medically founded opinion of matters of public health, from the way illnesses should be handled in an emergency situation to how to care for the homeless and uninsured. Public health is popular field to get into as the rise in health care costs soars and as the number of people who require health care grows. You might simply work in research or extend your role into the community with various city or nationally based programs.
Health Insurance Companies
Of course, when you are dealing with health, you typically need to deal with health insurance in some way. To help insurance companies and hospitals with health insurance, a registered and trained nurse can be a great help. You can provide your own professional opinions on claims, read medical charts, and help to ascertain the condition of a patient and whether or not a claim is realistic or something that is unnecessary. As a part of the health insurance system, you will be able to create a link between patient care and how to pay for it with the benefits the patient has. You will often be fighting for the patient in this position or helping to sort out false claims.
If you're a nurse that still wants the hands on experience without the stability or the pay of a traditional job, volunteer work is a great way to use your skills. By volunteering at the local Red Cross or your local blood bank, for example, you can still interact with patients, but also have time working with those that require the most basic medical care - the homeless, poor, and underserved.
Some nurses also decide that the military life might be a good place in which to use their nursing skills. Since the military will always need medical staff, you can find yourself with unlimited career options here. From a medic to a front line surgical nurse, there are plenty of shoes for you to fill.
Taking that Nursing Degree Farther
But beyond these roles, you might also want to continue your education and get an additional degree in order to help patients. Many nurses are continuing their education to get a Master's degree in order to teach, while others are getting their N.P. or Nurse Practitioner degree in order to have a more independent role in a doctor's office or hospital. Some nurses can also find themselves applying for medical school to complete their medical training and become a doctor.
The options for your nursing career are endless and extend well beyond changing bedpans. What you need to realize is that your skill set is not only rare, but also quite valuable to society. You can take this degree to in a number of different directions, all of which provide an immediate benefit to the patient.
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