The BSN Advantage: Start a Diverse Career as a Nurse
When you envision yourself working in the field of nursing, what do you see? Perhaps you’re wearing scrubs and a stethoscope while caring for patients at the bedside. Or maybe you’re wearing a power suit while advocating for patients behind a desk. The good news is, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, you have the BSN advantage and may be qualified for either nursing career, or many more outside the hospital setting.
Earning a BSN will give you the advantage to change and adapt your nursing career as you go. The question is, how do you get there? And what nontraditional jobs can a BSN prepare you for?
Concordia University-Portland’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program can help fast-track your nursing career, regardless of where you choose to take it. Here are six diverse nursing careers that you may be well suited for after earning your BSN.
1. Travel Nurse
If you enjoy adventure, freedom of choice, and flexibility, then travel nursing may be for you. At any given time, hospitals and other healthcare institutions can experience gaps in their workforce due to staff training, lengthy absences, staffing shortages and more. This is where travel nurses come into play. As a travel nurse, you’ll have the freedom to choose when and where you want to work. For example, if it’s your dream to work as a nurse on the big island of Hawaii, there’s a good chance a travel nursing company can make it happen, depending on availability of positions and shifts.
Your job placements can range anywhere from 4 to 13 weeks or 1-2 years, if you choose to work internationally. Your job duties will more than likely remain the same, but with added perks. According to Johnson & Johnson, many nursing companies offer higher salaries and a full array of benefits; this includes 401k saving plans, clinical support, and continuing education. Along with achieving your BSN, it’s best to have at least one year of experience working in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facilities before seeking out a travel nurse recruiter.
2. Informatics Nurse
If you enjoy clinical IT systems, health records and data, and improving patient outcomes, then informatics nursing may be for you. The AMIA defines informatics nursing as the “science and practice (that) integrates nursing, its information, and knowledge, with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families, and communities worldwide.”
As an informatics nurse, you will spend your day managing, illustrating, and communicating important medical data. You will work alongside IT, vendors and staff to ensure that everyone is using the technology to its full potential. In addition to working in hospitals, you could work in pharmaceutical and research facilities or healthcare consulting firms. Along with achieving your BSN, you will need to get your informatics nurse certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
3. Nurse Risk Management
If you enjoy communicating with others, learning new things, and thrive in the midst of ongoing change, then nurse risk management may be for you. As a nurse risk manager, you will be responsible for identifying high-risk areas that could cause harm to patients, employees, and visitors. Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- investigating patient complaints and medical malpractice claims
- examining medical records for liability issues
- acting as the middleman for liability claims, and more.
You will have the chance to work in a wide variety of settings including private medical practices, long-term care facilities, and insurance companies. Along with achieving your BSN, you will need to demonstrate proven leadership skills. Most importantly, if you’re looking to advance within nurse risk management, you can benefit from legal training and seminars relating to healthcare risk management and regulatory compliance cases.
4. Forensic Nurse
If you are detail oriented and enjoy investigative problem solving, forensic nursing may be for you. You can think of forensic nursing as a cross between a healthcare profession and a judicial system profession. As a forensic nurse, you will spend your days investigating sexual and physical assault crimes as well as accidental death. You will be assigned to victims of domestic, child, and elder abuse, so it’s critical that you show empathy toward your patients on a daily basis.
In addition to working in hospital emergency rooms, you can expect to work in laboratories or in court. You may be asked to testify in court about your patient’s medical information and evidence collected. Along with achieving your BSN, you may wish to specialize in areas like sexual assault nursing, expert medical witness or community education.
5. School Nurse
If you can’t get enough of the school environment and enjoy working with students of all ages, then school nursing may be for you. As a school nurse, you will provide direct care to students and spend the majority of your day promoting health and education. You can even teach health and nutrition classes at the junior high and high school level.
You will be needed in all school levels, from elementary to college. Along with achieving your BSN, you will need to pass your school nurse certification exam. This can be done through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses.
6. Nurse Recruiter
If you have a passion for the human resources side of healthcare, then nurse recruiting may be for you. As a nurse recruiter, you will be responsible for executing and filling job openings, negotiating salaries, staying up-to-date on the latest job search trends, and more. It’s important that you present yourself well and have excellent written and oral communication skills while selling your employer’s job openings to qualified nurses.
A positive attitude and tenacity will serve you well as a nurse recruiter. You can expect to work anywhere from an office to your home, to various career fairs around the country. Along with achieving your BSN, it’s crucial that you understand human resource laws along with healthcare facility policies and procedures.
Getting Started on Your BSN
As you can see, there are a variety of ways a BSN from Concordia University can expand your career opportunities within the field of nursing. Whether you choose to work in a traditional nursing setting or in one of these six nontraditional nursing careers, our rigorous curriculum strives to prepare you with the clinical and critical thinking skills to succeed in any type of environment. So what are you waiting for?
If you’re ready to make the first move toward a nursing career, contact an enrollment specialist to find out how you can get started.