Whether due to age, injury or a simple desire to try something new, some nurses may find themselves wanting to complete their BSN degree and experience a different job in the health care industry. Fortunately, the skills and experience gained through nursing and an accredited RN to BSN degree completion program can prove highly relevant to other areas within the field. With opportunities in education, sales or administration, the following fields offer nurses a great deal of room to explore a different career that suits their interests.
With the strong interpersonal and communication skills that are typically developed during a nursing career, recruiting can be an excellent option. As recruiters, nurses work to staff offices and medical centers with temporary and permanent employees. Healthcare recruiters usually have the options to work in hospitals, local clinics, healthcare companies or recruiting firms.
For nurses with an interest in technology and information management, informatics is a relatively new field with potential for massive growth. Informatics professionals streamline access to patient information in medical offices, hospitals and other health care organizations. With the recent move to digital patient records systems, informatics workers are in particularly high demand. While informatics tends to require a certification or degree as a requirement for employment, it favors those with related experience. Nursing provides strong experience in patient care and medical records systems — two areas of strong interest to informatics departments.
Education can be a rewarding career choice for nurses who enjoy the idea of training new generations of healthcare professionals. There is currently a strong demand for nursing school faculty in both Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs, with opportunities for practicing clinicians of all specialties. While some teaching positions may require an advanced degree, any necessary training or qualifications can be obtained while continuing to work as a nurse. Furthermore, education has a benefit of allowing continued clinical work while teaching, making it an attractive option for those who want to remain a part of both worlds.
With an interest and skill in writing, nurses can contribute to the body of textbooks and articles that are used by medical professionals and educators. Medical writers can work for publishers, websites, large healthcare companies or as freelance writers from home. While there may be certain degree requirements for some of these opportunities, such as in textbook publishing for nursing programs, there are plenty of other opportunities for competent writers.
Experienced nurses have years of direct practice in a complicated healthcare system. The knowledge gained through this experience can be extremely useful for patients who may struggle to understand the details of a particular healthcare plan or medical procedure. The interpersonal skills gained through nursing are also a great benefit for future advocates. By interacting with patients and families and helping them understand their rights in the medical system, advocates provide essential and often rewarding support.
Nurses interested in management can transition from patient care to overseeing nursing teams. Healthcare administrators set policy goals, manage budgets, hire new employees and direct teams of practitioners in their work in hospitals and medical centers. Administrative positions may require an advanced degree and training in business management, leadership and healthcare policy.
Experienced nurses have spent years communicating with patients and submitting insurance information for administrative processing. With this background, nurses are well-positioned to transition into the insurance industry if they so choose. Insurance may be a particularly appealing option for those with an interest in sales and who enjoy communicating with others. As with the other listed professions, the interpersonal skills developed through nursing are a great fit in the insurance field.
Nurses also have the option of working in sales of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Here, the years of direct experience using equipment and administering products to patients give nurses a strong central point from which to advertise and sell to hospitals and firms. Sales can be a rewarding field for those who enjoy giving presentations, working with others and keeping up-to-date with the latest product developments in the health care industry.
The options listed in this article represent just a small portion of the opportunities available to nurses who have completed their BSN degree. If any of these options appeal to you, you may wish to research the individual qualifications that may be required, particularly in terms of any additional education or training you may need. With the right education, such as the RN to BSN degree completion program offered by the renowned Villanova University School of Nursing, you could find ample opportunity to showcase your skills and experience.