Beyond the Hospital: Health Care Work Environments

An RN to BSN qualifies nurses for diverse work settings

The health care industry remains one of the healthiest sectors in today’s economy. The industry has seen steady growth in recent years despite a devastating economic recession, and it continues to draw professionals looking for job diversity and security. Nursing positions have the highest growth rate in the industry; the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the United States will add nearly 600,000 new nursing jobs by 2018. Sectors outside the hospital setting will also experience this dynamic growth.

While hospitals once provided the most numerous and best-paying jobs in the health care industry, recent budget issues, cost pressures to decrease patient stays, advances in treatments and reductions in patient recovery time have all pushed care outside the hospital setting. This trend has spurred the growth of new sectors, including home health care, and has opened the door for new career opportunities beyond the hospital. Professionals can now more easily find nursing jobs outside the hospital setting, which can lead to a more fulfilling career in health care. 

New Health Care Work Environments

The BLS reports that nurses held nearly 2.7 million jobs in 2010, and it expects job growth to reach 26 percent in the next decade,which makes nursing the largest occupation in the health care industry. The abundance of career opportunities and the diversity of work settings make it an attractive career for professionals interested in a job in health care. Nurses who seek careers outside the hospital setting have a variety of positions from which to choose. When initiating your job search, consider one of these growing health care sectors.

Home Health Care

Many nurses choose to pursue careers in home health care for schedule flexibility and a more personal patient experience. As the name implies, home health care nurses go to patients’ homes to provide treatment services. The home health care sector continues to expand because hospitals increasingly send home patients who need follow-up recovery services and treatment. Home health care nurses also work with elderly patients who choose to live in their own home instead of a nursing home or assisted living center.

Physicians’ Offices 

Many nurses choose to pursue a career in the private practice sector of health care because it provides a daily routine and steady schedule. Office nurses work closely with patients during their appointments and provide a variety of routine services prior to physicians’ examinations. In some instances, office nurses perform administrative duties and bookkeeping to keep the practice operating efficiently. Entry into this sector of the industry can be competitive. Many nurses move out of the hospital and into private practice because of the hospital’s irregular schedules and long hours. Most physicians seek experienced, educated and well-trained nursing professionals to help support their practice. However, demand for office nurses should grow as the health care industry continues to push patient services into the private practice sector, which increases physicians’ work and need for additional support.nurse1

Correctional Facilities

You may not have considered applying for a nursing job at a correctional facility; however, these facilities are hiring at a rapid pace and need qualified,trained and educated professionals to work in their on-site medical facilities. This unique health care setting requires open-minded nursing professionals who are willing to treat inmates as patients regardless of their criminal history. Because the federal and state governments operate correctional facilities, these jobs may offer substantial pay, which makes this sector more enticing to nursing professionals.

Public School System

school nurse
Nurses in a school setting support the wellness of students and staff members to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment. In many schools, nurses not only provide care and treatment to students and staff, but also serve as coordinators of school health programs and initiatives. Many nurses lead health education programs for students, staff members and parents and take charge of health initiatives that include nutrition, physical education and counseling.  Nurses work at all levels and in all types of schools, including elementary, middle and high schools as well as private and parochial schools.

University Setting

university nurse

As the demand for nursing professionals continues to grow in health care markets across the country, so does the demand for quality nursing programs and instructors to educate and train the new generation of nurses. Many experienced nursing professionals enter the education field to share their knowledge and experiences with new students interested in a career in health care. Many nursing programs require their professors to possess a master’s degree and, in some cases, a doctorate in nursing.

Nursing Abroad

Many foreign countries face a similar deficit of qualified nurses and seek American-trained and educated professionals to lead and manage health andnursing abroad wellness initiatives at medical clinics in their country. Many of these countries that seek nursing professionals lack supplies and personnel, and these lacks require nurses to make on-site management and treatment decisions that may create a stressful work environment. Nurses who have an adventurous spirit, compassion and a strong desire to help people find this work setting ideal.

Nurses can find employment in a variety of settings beyond the hospital for ultimate career satisfaction. However, educational standards for nurses in many of these expanding health care sectors now require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which helps nurses keep pace with innovations and advances in patient care and treatment services. For registered nurses (RNs) looking to enter these diverse work environments, earning a BSN can be the best solution. RN to BSN programs offer an accelerated path toward career advancement through continued education. Many programs transfer credits earned in associate programs and accept work experience credits to provide a seamless transition into higher education.

Notre Dame College allows nursing professionals to earn a BSN through its convenient RN to BSN Online program.