Nursing is one of this country's fastest growing professions, with a projected growth rate of 16 percent over the next decade. As the profession blooms, the opportunities for nurses to work outside of a traditional hospital setting also are expanding. Whether you are interested in working more closely in a community or becoming involved in the theoretical side of nursing, a multitude of possibilities is opening up for nurses--particularly those who have their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.
Because a BSN degree helps demonstrate to potential employers skills in leadership, critical thinking and case management, completing your RN to BSN degree empowers you to explore more options within the nursing profession. The following four types of employers and nursing specialties provide exciting potential career development for nurses who have completed their RN to BSN.
Public health institutions
With a focus on public health, nurses operating within this specialty work in a community with an aim to better the general health of the population of that community. Specifically, public health nurses may be employed by health departments, school districts or departments of corrections. Often public health nurses will seek to resolve a particular health issue facing a community such as a low immunization rate or a high STD or obesity rate. In some cases, public health nurses may assist in preparing their communities for natural disasters or aiding in relief efforts.
Within the fields of medical and pharmaceutical research, nurses work closely with physicians and scientists to evaluate, refine and create treatments and procedures for a variety of medical issues. Depending on their specific practice area, a research nurse might be tasked with studying a particular disease, refining a new treatment plan or testing a new medication. Research nurses can work in a number of different settings including universities, teaching hospitals, research organizations, pharmaceutical companies and governmental agencies.
Travel nursing companies
Travel nurses typically work with placement agencies who find nurses temporary assignments in hospitals and other medical institutions. Assignments for travel nurses typically last between one to three months within the United States. If an assignment is out of the country, the contract can be for a year or more. As compared to their non-traveling counterparts, travel nurses typically earn a higher hourly rate and have significant opportunities for professional development and growth; many travel nurses are offered permanent positions at the end of their temporary assignments as well.
Legal nurse consultants can serve as a medical expert in a variety of legal cases. As a legal team's medical expert, legal nurse consultants are called on to explain terminology, review records, and provide medical expertise through testimony at depositions and trials. Becoming a legal nurse consultant provides a wide range of career opportunities.