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Bedside nursing is the defining, quintessential, role for many Registered Nurses (RN). In my current role I often draw on my bedside experience when approaching problems. Nothing can replace or substitute for a solid foundation in direct patient care. Many employers recognize this as well and are eager to place nurses in other roles that will also benefit patients. There are many career options for nurses and a career choice really depends on the individual’s interest and willingness to invest time. Advanced education may open several doors, but is not necessarily the only path. Experienced bedside nurses already have several options available to them. If you are interested in taking your career in another direction these five options will be useful to consider. Use our healthcare job board to find positions in all these fields.
Also Read: 5 Top Level Alternative Nursing Careers
Tele-nursing: Many healthcare systems, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies are exploring or have established “nursing call-centers”. These nurses are first line clinicians that interact with concerned patients. This type of nurse should be ready to receive a variety of questions, and be comfortable combining critical thinking with established guidelines. New talents and skills in communication will be developed as your knowledge of clinical care is tested in ways that could not be anticipated.
Case Management: This role is common in the insurance industry. Experienced nurses understand the course of care provided in any particular patient visit. This knowledge will ensure that the insurance company appropriately covers procedures and treatments. Collaborating with other nurses and physicians inside and outside the insurance company will be vital. Nurses also have a fantastic opportunity to work directly with patients to help them understand their benefits based on their specific clinical situation.
Medical Transcription: According to the HayGroup, Medical Transcriptionists fall into three categories. An experienced nurse may be qualified at the highest, “Professional” level. This level requires expert understanding of clinical terms and can research complex questions related to documentation. To further establish credibility in this field there are opportunities to pursue certification as a Medical Transcriptionist or Healthcare Documentation Specialist. This role is key to providing consistent documentation of patient care and is becoming more in demand due to the HITECH Act part of HIPAA.
Medical Writing: Perhaps you are the nurse that is quick to understand how to use the newest IV pumps, medications, and other patient care devices. Practically everything used in patient care comes with instructions, Quick Reference Guides, and other written documentation to support its use. Nurses can often translate highly technical procedures into easy to understand terms. This is a critical skill. If you are a good writer, this may be a wonderful opportunity to have a meaningful impact on how patient care is ultimately delivered. Confusing directions can lead to user error, which cannot be tolerated in the clinical setting.
Recruiting: A well-experienced Registered Nurse will have a unique perspective on spotting nursing and clinician talent. Any company who benefits from a clinician staff (in and out of a healthcare facility) will need strong and talented human resources recruiters. Recruiting is a skill in and of itself, so you should not expect to simply walk into a recruiting position. However, if you enjoy working with people and matching skills to unmet needs, this may be the role for you. An effective nurse recruiter will be an asset to the company by creating a mutual benefit between the company and applicants, filling positions quickly with highly talented individuals.
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More Articles by Tim Fish, RN MBA DNP CENP