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Diversity in Nursing Career Paths

Diversity in Nursing Career Paths

Kathy Quan

In 2005, the theme for Nurses Week was “Nurses: Many Roles, One Profession”. This easily defines nursing’s many diverse opportunities. For some nurses, that first day of clinicals is a defining moment. Some either fall in love with hospital nursing or absolutely hate it.

As students travel through the various clinical rotations, it is not uncommon to fall in love with each one and then to have a difficult time deciding where to work after graduation. Most experienced nurses suggest a year of med/surg to really master skills and become comfortable with being a nurse first.

Not All Nurses Work in Hospitals

Hospital nursing is not the only role for nurses, although approximately three out of five nurses do work in hospitals according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. And many roles in the hospital are changing to accommodate the aging population of nurses.

Other Venues and Roles

Nurses work in industry as health care educators and industrial health nurses; they assist on movies sets providing first aid and medical assistance and sometimes as consultants or coaches for those portraying medical personnel in movies or television.

They work in home health, doctor’s offices, public health clinics, and as flight nurses assisting patients who need to be transported. Nurses are a vital part of the armed forces throughout the world. Research nurses work in areas such as pharmaceuticals, and clinical trials of drugs and other treatment modalities.

Pharmaceutical companies also employ nurses as drug reps to educate physicians and pharmacists on new medications. Medical supply companies hire nurses to educate other nurses and healthcare workers on their products such as wound care supplies.

Insurance companies utilize nurses in a variety of roles from educating patients to case managing care for patients from single episodes to catastrophic illnesses.

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