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Is it possible to graduate from nursing school and pursue a career other than hospital nursing?

I am enrolled at Liberty University for fall 2016 and am hoping to get into their nursing program. My mom is a nurse and has done hospital nursing for many years. I see that it is long hours and physically draining. I love helping people and really want to pursue this path but, if it's an option, I may prefer to work somewhere other than a hospital floor. I wasn't sure if the hospital experience was required for new nurses. nursing registered-nurses nurse-practitioner nurse-management

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Subject: Career question for you


5 answers

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Amy’s Answer


Yes there are many different paths to take other than a hospital bound nurse. Long-term care, home health care, hospice, missionary nurse, school nurse, camp nurse, clinics, urgent care, doctors offices, traveling nurse, military, forensic nurse, etc. Keep in mind that there are a lot of way to specialize as a nurse and work in a non-hospital setting such as a cardiac center, women's health, burn center, etc.

Here in a link to 104 different types of nursing specialties that will hopefully help:


no it is not possible to do it sana F.
thank you! farheen B.
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Anup’s Answer

People who are interested in helping other people and having plenty of job security should consider getting a nursing degree. It is believed that there will be a need for at least one million new nurses in the US by 2018. By selecting an exciting nursing career, you will be sure to have a rewarding future of personal growth, good earnings and increased responsibility.

Exactly what your duties as a nurse will be depends upon your specialty, but generally, the different types of nursing have much in common. What can be said is that a nurse usually will provide and monitor care of patients and will educate patients and family about various health conditions and diseases.

Also, nurses provide certain treatments and medications to patients under the supervision of a doctor in most cases. Further, they provide health advice to patients and offer much-needed emotional support. Many nurses also work with people in good health to provide them with tips to live a long and healthy life.

The majority of nurses work in hospitals, but some also may work in private clinics, schools, nursing care facilities, prisons, military bases and more. Nurses also often provide supervision of other nurses, teach essential nursing skills to students, handle administrative tasks and even conduct research.

If you are considering a nursing degree, you may want to know what sort of skills and traits tend to make the best nurses. The best nurses are patient, organized and compassionate. They need to be able to think critically on their feet and pay close attention to detail. A good nurse must be able to handle high stress health care situations, such as in an ER, and embrace opportunities to learn new skills every day.

Below is a list of 100 things you can do with a any number of different types of nursing degree. Some of these positions do require specializations and many will need you to hold a master’s degree (MSN) at least.

  1. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse

Work with people with psychiatric problems in hospitals or psychiatric wards and prisons.

  1. Physician’s Office Nurse

Work directly with people and the job tends to be 9 to 5.

  1. Nurse Case Manager

You will need an MSN degree for this role.

  1. Nursing Informatics Specialist

This requires an MSN degree specialization.

  1. School Nurse

Work directly with children. You will have some time off during school holidays.

  1. Legal Consultancy Nurse

Relates to the handling of medical malpractice cases.

  1. Research Nurse

Gives you the opportunity to pave the way for the future.

  1. Diabetes Management Nurse

Work directly with people with diabetes, helping them manage their condition.

  1. Cruise Ship Nurse

This is a fantastic opportunity for those who want to travel the world. You will generally have a reasonably low workload, but you do have to be on call around the clock.

  1. Camp Nurse

Work in summer camps involving children. However, there are also increasing numbers of health-related camps, such as those for people who are overweight.

  1. Parish Nurse

If you have a religious affiliation, this will allow you to integrate health and spirituality.

  1. Staff Nurse

Work regular hours with reasonable pay in a hospital or any healthcare setting.

  1. Nurse Midwife

Help deliver babies. You will also be involved in providing ante- and post-natal care.

  1. Insurance Firm Nurse

Insurance companies often need nurses to assess claims.

  1. Keep Studying Towards a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate Degree

Nurses are committed to the furthering of the professional education. From being a nurse assistant, you can move on to license practical nurse, to an associate’s degree in nursing, to a bachelor’s degree, to a master’s degree and finally a Ph.D. in nursing.

  1. Work Abroad

The nursing degree that you obtain in this country can be transferred to a license to practice in most other countries.

  1. Prison Nurse

This is incredibly hard work and not for the faint of heart.

  1. District Nurse

Take responsibility over health delivery and health promotion in a specific district.

  1. Learning Disabilities Nurse

Work with children and adults who have various levels of learning disabilities.

  1. Occupational Health Nurse

Work in large companies or in hospitals. You will ensure people can work in a mentally and physically safe manner.

  1. Pediatric Nurse

Work with children between the ages of 0 and 19.

  1. Pharmaceutical Nurse

This is an interesting field for nurses who no longer wish to work directly with patients. Working for pharmaceutical companies is a very interesting alternative.

  1. Public Health Nurse

This is reserved for those with an MSN degree.

  1. Plasma or Blood Bank Nurse

You will take plasma and blood from donors, encourage others to donate, test blood and more.

  1. Army Nurse

The army is always looking for nurses, particularly since we are still involved in a number of different conflicts.

  1. Home Health Nurse

You get to build a long lasting relationship with your patients, whom you will see in their homes.

  1. Hospice Nurse

Hospice nursing is hard, as you will be dealing with people who are dying. Your role will be to allow them to do so comfortably and in a dignified manner, and supported by their loved ones.

  1. Surgery Nurse

Assist surgeons during procedures, as well as look after patients during recovery.

  1. Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nursing is one of the most fast-paced jobs.

  1. Emergency Room Nurse

You will never know what sort of cases you are going to get. Expect long, unsociable hours in a fast-paced environment.

  1. Managed Care Nurse

For those with chronic or terminal conditions, who require specialized care at home and/or in health care settings for the rest of their lives.

  1. Dermatological Nurse

This allows you to treat skin conditions.

  1. Plastic Surgery Nurse

Plastic surgery is often done for cosmetic reasons, although it is also done for people with disfigurements and scars.

  1. Burns Unit Nurse

Work with people who have suffered burns, including fire burns and acid burns.

  1. Oncology Nurse

Work with cancer patients.

  1. Rehabilitation Center Nurse

Help people who have had an accident or other physical issue to regain as much mobility as possible.

  1. Missionary Nurse

Spread the word of God throughout the world, while at the same time deliver health care to impoverished countries.

  1. Charity Nurse

Numerous charities employ nurses, many of which provide disaster relief.

  1. Traveling Nurse

Traveling nurses are sent from one place to the next for short durations of time to cover in hospitals and care settings with an acute shortage of nurses.

  1. Inspire Others

Be an inspiration to other people by showing your care and dedication to others.

  1. Rural Nurse

Many nurses work specifically in areas with poor access to health care.

  1. Outpatient Care Nurse

Outpatient care is one of the easier sides of nursing, as it allows you to treat patients ad hoc and then send them back home.

  1. Nurse Anesthetist

Assist surgeons and anesthetists during procedures.

  1. Health Administration Nurse

Health administration allows you to work in a range of healthcare fields, where you can influence policy development.

  1. Clinical Nurse Specialist

A CNS has a specialization in a very targeted area of nursing practice, such as women’s health.

  1. Clinical Nurse Leader

This is the newest nursing role, whereby your goal will be to improve safety outcomes and care quality for patients.

  1. Family Nurse Practitioner

Work with everybody in the family, seeing them as a full unit rather than groups of individuals.

  1. Health Visitor

Health visitors mainly focus on working with women who have had babies in the past two years, ensuring the development of the babies and infants is as expected.

  1. Paramedic

Paramedics provide acute emergency care. It is a stressful job with long, unsociable hours, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

  1. Licensed Nursing Facility Administrator

Handle the administration in facilities like nursing homes. Generally, you will have very little direct contact with patients.

  1. Health Coach

Teach others how to obtain and maintain optimum health.

  1. Nutrition and Fitness Nurse

Work directly with individuals who hire you on a personal level.

  1. Nanny

Although perhaps far removed from nursing, many nurses can become a nanny as it allows them to work on a one-one-one basis with a young child.

  1. Acute Care Nurse

Adult-gerontology acute care is a very popular field of work, where you take care of adult patients with various problems as and when they present themselves.

  1. Community Nurse

Represent an entire community of people, usually underserved ones.

  1. Obtain Further Non-nursing Related Education, Such as Counseling, Social Work or Law

Many nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree go on to achieve another bachelor’s or a master’s degree in an non-nursing field.

  1. Health Programs Nurse

The development of health programs allows you to make a true difference across the world, improving outcomes while reducing costs at the same time.

  1. Health Representative at Conferences and Media

Whenever decisions are made in the field of healthcare, they have to be presented to the rest of the world and questions have to be answered about this.

  1. NGO Nurse

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) often help to improve the world on a very personal level and offer very rewarding career options.

  1. Procurement Nurse

You will purchase the equipment needed for nurses to do their jobs properly, always trying to find the lowest price and highest quality.

  1. Nursing Students Mentor

New students require mentors to look up to. This is something anyone with a nursing degree should aspire to be.

  1. Grant Writing Nurse

Grant writing means you are directly responsible for applying for funding in the hopes of improving health care delivery.

  1. Health Facilities Survey Nurse

This will allow you to ensure health facilities are fit and will actually improve the health of the people they serve.

  1. Commissioner for Health Products and Programs

More and more services are now outsourced and by working in commissioning. You will ensure that the right services are used.

  1. Quality Nurse

Quality improvement can be achieved in all areas of nursing.

  1. Public Health Research Nurse

See whether certain initiatives have actually improved the health outcomes of the population and why.

  1. Disease Prevention Nurse

Help stop the spread of infectious diseases.

  1. Epidemics Research Nurse

There is a significant worry that we are on the brink of a new epidemic or pandemic, like Ebola. Nurses are needed to research the various new illnesses and come up with cures and techniques to prevent spreading.

  1. Asylum Nurse

Asylum seekers often have highly complex health needs, including psychological needs.

  1. Nurse for At Risk Populations

Certain populations are classed as “at risk,” such as veterans and the homeless. They often require specialized health care.

  1. Nurse Lobbyist

You will speak to Congressmen and Senators in the hope of encouraging certain health care ideas to be legislated and receive funding.

  1. Federal Health Care Nurse

Work on federal health care development programs to affect outcomes for various populations.

  1. Continuous Professional Education Coordination

All nurses are dedicated to their continuous professional education. Coordinating this and keeping on records on further education is an interesting and varied role.

  1. Bioterrorism Research Nurse

Bioterrorism requires extensive knowledge on development and behavior of pathogens.

  1. Medical Journalist

Investigate and report on healthcare issues around the globe.

  1. Disaster Management and Relief Nurse

Provide health care to affected populations after a disaster.

  1. Toxicology Nurse

Having an understanding of poisons and their effects on humans is hugely important.

  1. Environmental Health Nurse

Environmental health, how our behavior affects the planet and how the planet affects our health are very important issues to look at for a nurse.

  1. Hazardous Waste Nurse

Hazardous waste could have devastating consequences on the health of entire populations.

  1. Industrial Nurse

This is closely related to occupational health, although this type of nurse will look more at overall risk and hazard prevention.

  1. Forensic Nurse

Forensic nursing is often required after crimes have been committed.

  1. Study Programs Development Nurse

Develop programs for the next nursing generation.

  1. Vaccine Research Nurse

Ensure that people are immunized against various illnesses, and review their effectiveness and possible side effects.

  1. Ambulatory Care Nurse

With ambulatory care, cases that would usually require stay in hospital are resolved on an outpatient basis.

  1. Flight or Transport Nurse

Help treat people who have to be expatriated due to illness or injury.

  1. Certified Nurse Assistant

Support the workload of other nurses and ensure they can perform their job properly.

  1. Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nurse

Help to insert catheters into aortas to diagnose heart conditions.

  1. HIV/AIDS Nurse

HIV/AIDS continues to be a significant health issue that requires research, development and care.

  1. Genetics Nurse

You will research genes and their effects.

  1. Holistic Nurse

Holistic nurses believe everything is interconnected and needs to be addressed in order to provide great health care.

  1. Mind, Body and Spirit Nurse

Very similar to holistic nursing but you often use Eastern and Oriental care techniques, including Reiki and acupuncture.

  1. Legal Nurse Consultant

Provide consultation on legal matters within the health care field.

  1. NICU Nurse

Work with very sick and premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

  1. Peri-Anesthesia Nurse

Help patients who are coming out of anesthesia.

  1. Peri-Operative Nurse

Look after patients who are recovering from surgery.

  1. Radiology Nurse

Work extensively with cancer patients.

  1. Registered Nurse

Most of those who have a nursing degree simply begin work as an RN before choosing an area of specialization.

  1. Transplant Nurse

Work with people who require organ transplants.

  1. Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing

This is a highly specialized field of nursing where you deal with patients who have problems with wounds, ostomy and continence. Only some 4,000 nurses worldwide have specialized in this field to date.

  1. Focus on Improved Health Care Outcomes

Have you considered obtaining a nursing degree? As you can see, there are many different employment options out there for you. It would be a mistake to think all nurses provide bedside care and have to work in shift patterns. Rather, the field is so wide and varied that it would be impossible to list every single option nurses can choose from.

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Shelley’s Answer

Hi Megan, The above answers are a good cut and paste answer but to complete your question, if hospital experience is required for new nurses for other areas of nursing outside of a hospital setting, the answer is most likely yes. Hospital experience exposes the new nurse to a variety of types of patient personalities, patient disease states, patient family conflict/education/support. Working in a variety of situations hones your nursing skill in critical thinking, time management, learn to cope with various stress situations and builds your confidence of your skills and what your interests are for your career. It is challenging but worth the effort for growth personally and professionally.

Most specialized nursing postions require previous experience to prepare for that specialized field. Movement or change in nursing specialities is very common and usually encouraged for those who seek a change.

I am currently working as an endoscopy nurse and the prerequisite for this position was experience in ICU and or ED, plus post anesthesia as the nurse occasionally will sedate the patient (instead of an anesthesiologist). When you do your clinicals, you will definitely learn what your strengths and interests are for your nursing career.

After some nursing experience, it is possible to become a pharmaceutical or medical device rep. I have worked in this field as well. This requires an outgoing personality, good speech and communication skills as well as ability to work independently and be very organized. Some nurses are able to consult on the side with these companies while they work full time/part time bedside or procedure nursing.

Once you start working in nursing, you will have endless opportunites to train, and/or transfer into an area that interests you. People seek you out.

My recommendation is get some experience in nursing, decide what you want to do for the moment (you can always move to a different area of nursing), then create or update your LinkedIn account and you will be able to connect to influencers, and/or recruiters in your area of interest. Good luck!

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Yolonda’s Answer

I agree with the comment above. You can also work at a prison.

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Lisa’s Answer

Opportunity for nurses are very extensive. Outpatient areas and abundant. Ambulatory surgery, radiology, radiation oncology and chemotherapy as well as clinics are all non hospital type settings. School nursing is another avenue. Insurance and case management are yet another. There are many options for you !