Next Steps after You Have Finished Nursing School

By: JoannaB1

Once you have your nursing degree in hand, what comes next? Actually, there are a number of options you can consider after earning your degree and obtaining your license. Below are some great examples of the career paths that are open to a fully trained and licensed nurse.

By far, the most common option among newly licensed nurses is to secure a position in a healthcare facility such as a hospital or nursing home. Many areas are suffering from a lack of qualified nurses, so there is a good chance you can find work in just about any location you choose to live. As you begin to settle into the routine at the facility, in time you may begin to advance to more demanding and challenging roles, such as functioning as a charge nurse or floor supervisor. Nursing options of this type generally offer excellent benefits along with generous pay. Best of all, you can make a difference in a great many lives during the course of your career.

A similar option to working in the hospital or nursing home setting is to consider a career as a hospice nurse. This career path requires not only quality training but also the ability to provide compassion and care during end-of-life situations. A hospice nurse not only interacts with the patient but also comes into regular contact with family and friends. The nurse is usually a part of an extensive support team assigned to each patient often working with aides, clergypersons, and the patientís family to provide emotional, spiritual, and medical support during the patientís term of medical illness.

There are also a variety of areas of practice available for a licensed nurse to pursue, such as working with patients that are dealing with addictions, those afflicted with disease, or patients suffering with developmental or emotional conditions. As with hospice work, those that choose one of these aspects of nursing must possess an enormous capacity for compassion while also being able to maintain a professional demeanor and carryout all necessary tasks.

For nurses who are not interested in being tied down to one location, life as a travel nurse may be the ideal situation. Some travel nurses prefer to work as independent contractors, arranging their own assignments. Other nurses choose to sign up with an agency that actively searches for work situations on their behalf and makes arrangements for them to interact with clients that would be of interest. One of the benefits of being a travel nurse is that you can choose to take on long term and short term assignments anywhere that your license is recognized. Keep in mind that with this option, chances are that the pay will be excellent, but it will not necessarily include benefits such as hospitalization and sick pay.

You may choose to base the focus of your nursing career on a specific sector of the general population. There are opportunities for nurses to work specifically with families, women, men, or children. In addition, you can choose to focus your attention on providing nursing services to people living in a rural setting or within a given culture or ethnic group. Depending on your skill set and personality, seeking work that focuses on a population sector may be an ideal fit.

Do not overlook the possibility of becoming a teaching nurse. Many healthcare facilities employ nurses who are able to lead a classroom setting as part of their continuing education program. A position like this allows you to stay on top of the latest new developments in the field as they relate to technological support, team building, and general nursing. If you have a gift or passion for teaching others, becoming a teaching nurse may be just what you are looking for.

One of the great things about having a nursing degree is that it opens up so many different doors in terms of a career. You can provide general services to a wide range of people or focus your attention on people with specific needs or specific backgrounds. You can also choose to work in the same facility for your entire career or travel to distant locations and live in many different places. There is even the possibility of securing a private duty position and working with one client for an extended period of time.

Before you make a final decision in where you want to work, take the time to explore all of your options. As you learn more about the pros and cons associated with each position, you may find a career path that you had not considered before and would find very rewarding.

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Joanna Brown is a freelance writer who writes about the nursing industry and products involved in nursing such as scrubs .

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