A career in nursing gives you the opportunity to combine personal compassion with professional skill.
It’s also a career with great earning potential and job security. Following are five nursing fields expected to be in high demand for years to come.
1. Travel Nurse
What They Do: Travel nurses fill in the gap when health care facilities are shorthanded. A travel nurse may take short- or long-term assignments with hospitals, health clinics, and medical offices. Although travel nurse jobs are available worldwide, the highest paying positions are in the U.S. and the Middle East.
Why You Might Like It: Travel nursing appeals to people who like flexibility, want to meet new people, and of course, like to travel. Depending on your location and interests, you may find numerous opportunities near your home, or you may find yourself traveling long distances.
Job Outlook: The nursing shortage has created a strong demand for travel nurses. The field is expected to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future.
Education Requirements: An RN license, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a basic requirement, and most travel nursing agencies prefer candidates with one year of professional experience.
2. Virtual Nurse
What They Do: Virtual nurses (also called telenurses) use the Internet and/or telephone to care for patients at a distance. Nurses can monitor home medical equipment, help patients administer self-treatments, and provide health education.
For example, virtuwell, an online health care provider that operates in several states, allows people with basic health concerns to speak with a nurse practitioner and receive a treatment plan online, without the need for an in-person visit.
Why You Might Like It: Virtual nurses must enjoy personal interactions via telephone and technology, and exercise good judgment on when to advise patients and when to ask a patient to seek personal medical attention.
Job Outlook: As health care costs rise, virtual nurses are expected to be in very high demand. They can help contain the cost of care by reducing the number of in-person visits at hospitals and medical offices.
Education Requirements: This field is new and open to people with a variety of backgrounds. An RN license, ASN, or BSN is often required. Knowledge of pharmacology, poison control, and crisis management is helpful. Familiarity with health information technology is a plus.
3. Critical Care Nurse
What They Do: Care for the most seriously ill patients, often in Intensive Care Units. Critical care nurses work with the most advanced health care technology to monitor patients, provide life support, and intervene if a patient faces a health crisis.
Why You Might Like It: Critical care nurses work in a fast-paced environment that calls for experience, expertise, and fast decision-making skills. They have the chance to apply the most advanced medical technology and techniques in the service of saving lives.
Job Outlook: On average, employment for registered nurses is projected to grow much faster than other occupations. Many factors can determine job growth of particular nursing specializations. We encourage you to research opportunities for critical care nurses where you live. (Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm)
Education Requirements: Requirements are a BSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), an RN license, two years of experience, and passing the certifying exam offered through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.
4. Nurse Care Coordinators
What They Do: Nurse care coordinators ensure that patients get the quality care they need in a cost effective and efficient way. Care coordinators work as liaisons between providers and patients in order to offer the best care possible to patients—as well as a comprehensive understanding of their chronic or complicated medical condition.
Nurse care coordinators (also called nurse care managers, nurse navigators, patient care coordinators, patient case managers, etc.) function as a hub for information, navigation, and reassurance—serving patients with the best quality care and rewarding providers with a process that is effective and efficient.
Why You Might Like It: Nurse care coordinators work closely with their patients and the patients’ families, as well as in collaboration with a clinical management team. They’re heavily involved in the total care of the patient, and how that care is delivered. Additionally, nurse care coordinators have more ownership of their schedules.
On average, employment for registered nurses is projected to grow much faster than other occupations. Many factors can determine job growth of particular nursing specializations. We encourage you to research opportunities for care coordinators where you live. (Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm)
Education Requirements: Basic requirements include an ASN or BSN and RN license. As the field of nursing care coordination grows, many care coordinators may find a master’s in care coordination beneficial.
What They Do: Combine nursing knowledge with computer science and information technology to manage information flow to simplify documentation and improve quality of patient care. A nurse informaticist is a skilled nurse who can both interpret medical data and analyze how it is being shared and used. Nurse informaticists work in a wide variety of environments, from hospitals, home care, and skilled nursing facilities to universities and corporations.
Why You Might Like It: Nurses who are enthused and knowledgeable about technology and see its beneficial applications in health care are good candidates.
Job Outlook: As technology advances rapidly and continues growing as an integrated part of health care, nurse informaticists will be in demand.
Education Requirements: Basic requirements are a BSN, RN license, two years of RN practice and 30 hours of informatics work, completion of one of three practice hour requirements, and passing the board certification exam offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Many informatics nurses also obtain a master’s degree in nursing informatics.
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