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Nursing Careers Beyond the Bedside

Nursing Careers Beyond the Bedside

Cindy Mehallow | Monster Contributing Writer

Quality Improvement

“Is there a better way of doing this?” Nurses involved in quality improvement constantly ask that question as they review a health care institution’s methods and processes. Their work is evidence-based and outcome-focused. By studying patient populations, they analyze systems to determine how to correct problems and improve quality of care. In short, they strive to prevent future problems by studying past mistakes.

Employers commonly look for a bachelor’s degree in a health care field and possibly a master’s. “Many facilities don’t require certification or even realize that it’s available,” says Joan Boldrey, RN, MEd, MS, a certified professional in health care quality (CPHQ). Employers that do know about certification consider it “the gold standard,” says Boldrey, senior market medical expense management specialist for UnitedHealthcare in Urbandale, Iowa, and a board member of the Healthcare Quality Certification Board, which oversees CPHQ testing.

Risk Managers

Closely tied to quality improvement, risk managers also search for the root causes of mistakes to help improve systems and processes. With the upsurge in medical malpractice suits, opportunities for risk managers are increasing at hospitals, insurance companies, ambulatory-care surgical centers, long-term-care facilities and home-care companies.

Working with top medical and administrative staff members, risk-management nurses review patient records before and after lawsuits are filed. These pressure-cooker jobs require immense patience, tact and political savvy plus excellent communication and writing skills. “Risk managers need to be leaders with good conflict-resolution skills,” says Kenneth Nanni, PhD, program director of the health care risk-management certification program at the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center.

Most risk-management nurses hold at least a bachelor’s degree and risk-management certification, which is available from the American Hospital Association Certification Center, the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians and colleges, such as the University of South Florida.

Other Options

Experienced nurses can fill these other nonclinical positions typically found in hospitals:

Chart Auditors: Financial chart auditors review patient charts after discharge to ensure appropriate documentation for proper billing and coding. Others work in quality management.
Patient Advocates: Working on the customer-service front lines, patient advocates handle patient complaints.
Mentors or Preceptors: More and more hospitals are creating formal positions for experienced nurses to guide new nurses through that critical first year on the job.

This article was originally published on Monster.com.

Nursing Career Profiles:


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    imanedwards2

    about 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I have done Case Mgt. in the Occupational Health setting as well as Home Care, but as of yet, I haven't found any Case Management certification courses that are very accomodating. They all want you to do course work and testing on Saturdays, during which I am not available. Also, accumulating the requisite work hours prior to testing can be difficult. Does anyone have the inside scoop?

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    stssltca

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I like the information in this article, it is quite helpful. However, I am finding it difficult to find any accurate information on how to get training/certification in the field of Chart Review, Quality Assurance, Staff Development. I live in CA, any suggestions. When I do web searches I continually find degree programs that are not relevant to what I need. Thanks for any suggestions.

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    bonbonmad221

    about 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I agree with so many of the comments that were posted concerning these alternatives to bedside nursing. I see lots of articles online about unconventional nursing jobs but how do you get into a different field other than hospital nursing if they don't give you the chance just because you don't have "experience." I think these website should start offering realistic suggestions on how to break into other areas of nursing instead of just dangling the carrot in front of our faces.

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    PEARL

    about 5 years ago

    14 comments

    I think that it depends on where you live if you are able to do the things all of you are talking about. I am from New York, I now live in New Mexico I feel they no how to give you more opportunity here. LPN's are able to do things here they would never think of letting you do in New York. Although it has been hard to get use to this area and I am home sick, I no here I can have opportunity I would never have in New York. I am now looking for a work at home job, but I am also a LPN I want the work at home opportunity to be in nursing. If anyone has info you can reach me at AROSEHARLEE@YAHOO.COM. Pearl

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    BettyDavies

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    If you do not have experience as a case manager, how can you get the position? Is there a course that a BSN can take?

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    misscocomojo

    about 5 years ago

    6 comments

    It always amazes me...all the different jobs out there but seemingly inaccessible. I've been a staff nurse for years, I have a Bachelor's, but, everytime I read the job ads, there is nothing that I am "qualified" for. Frustrating....we handle life threatening situations, hostile and abusive families and patients, advise physicians, but many of these jobs do not even consider us "trainable"? How can you get certified when you cannot even get the hours or experience needed because you are not "qualified" in the first place...am I missing something?

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    lauramfla

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I hear you guiltmagic. I have over 30 years of nursing experience. Most of it hands on, specialty was in the ER and other critical care units although have worked in various settings including case management, occ heatlh, med/surg and a few more. I have a BSN and have been looking to teach for a long time now. It appears that I am continuously overlooked because I've not had any "teaching experience"!! Over 30 years of nursing should be experience enough. In this nursing crisis and in view of the lack of nursing instructors out there you would think they would want someone who has been there and done that to show the new nurses the correct way to do it. It's really quite discouraging.

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    quiltmagic

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    I was an experienced RN in emergency medicine, AND went to anesthesia school. I have been out of the profession for quite a while. I have been contacted by several nurse recruiters, and have actually applied for jobs, but when they find I have been away from the bedside for more than 5 years, I am told that is too long, yet foregin nurses most are new grads, are allowed in the USA with an emergency visa! Our nursing shortage stems from LACK of interest in Re-entry programs for nurses, and the lack of respect for the profession by institutions, pay scale, the media, to mention a few.My mother said, be a nurse they will ALWAYS need you, you will always have a job!
    NOT SO mom, I've wasted your money on an education, and now can't even give a flu shot!-Looking for work in Houston!

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    nursemeri

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    i'm an experienced lvn , 14 years. are there any opportunities for lvn to be a mentor or preceptor to new lvn's ?
    i have loads of hands on experience! thanks, meri

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    delara

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    all topics greatly helped me in understanding w/c option to take however, would you kindly tell me where to get pertinent information on how to register or enrol to obtain those certifcates? I need to seek proper guidance in getting a new leap of faith in shifting to a higher non clinical nursing level where i can utilize my vast nursing experience, skills, trainings & body of knowledge, where i can get satisfaction, stay healthy & happy but of course still have a purpose in life, sharing my blessings to others. Thank you for any help extended. Pls include relevant info on Certified CM, CPHQ CERT, Clinical Nurse Educator, Quality Improvement/Quality Assurance, Risk Manager, Chart Auditor, Patient Advocate, Nursing Educator, DM Educator Cert, Geriatric Counselor - those positions that deals with correcting documentation to be in copliance with the PHS, Stae, Federal, Medicare/Medical & JCAHO guidelines, good writing skills....thanks. Sincerely, Cynthia, RN, BSN - I need to obtain certification for i have done most of them in my career & now trying to avoid bedside bec of age & safety.

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