More than 200,000 nursing jobs are filled each year. Most are in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities, and other mainstream healthcare settings. But what happens to qualified practitioners looking for a little more in a nursing career?
There are unique jobs for nurses in America. There are not as many as regular nursing jobs, but they exist, and if you have the right qualifications, you stand a good chance of snagging one of them.
These jobs pay more and have flexible hours, making them more competitive. Most of them require NP skills which can be acquired from an online nursing program offered through a reputable institution such as Rockhurst University. Students learn how to assess and diagnose patients and create treatment plans. With 100% online coursework in addition to clinical placements, students learn to provide patient education, gain IT skills, interpret research, advocate for patients, and coordinate care providers.
Nursing school graduates who have these skills and would like to try their hand at something different may want to consider unique career opportunities, such as:
Mobile medical nurse
A mobile medical nurse travels to their patients rather than vice versa.
These nurses often serve homeless populations in large cities. Because they lack medical insurance and because of their transient nature, most of these people do not seek medical help when needed.
A mobile nurse travels in a fully equipped vehicle seeking them out and offering whatever treatments they need.
Mobile nurses can also be found in rural areas where the population doesn’t have easy access to hospitals and clinics.
Travel nurses move around from one place to the next fulfilling staffing needs as they arise. The job was created in the 1970s when some parts of America experienced severe nursing shortages.
Travel nurses rarely stay in one place for very long.
Private clients or private institutions often hire health coaches to help patients get into shape.
If someone is recovering from an illness or an accident, they can hire a health coach to help them with physical therapy, diet, and medication until they return.
Health coaches also work with people looking to lose weight under supervision.
These nurses large companies employ to take care of the workforce.
In many work settings, especially manufacturing plants, workers are exposed to risks and fall ill.
A corporate nurse offers first aid and other treatment before the patient is taken to the hospital.
Cannabis clinic nurse
As more states legalize the use of marijuana, vendors are taking steps to ensure that users are safe and have the necessary knowledge to use products safely.
Some employ on-site nurses to talk to users about usage, dosage, side effects, allergies, and interactions.
Movie set nurse
Ever wondered what happens when someone falls ill or is injured on a movie set? Most production houses employ a medic, and because doctors are too expensive, they prefer to hire highly qualified and experienced nurses.
These nurses are often found on movie sets with small children or older people, so it helps if a nurse has experience with pediatrics and elder healthcare.
Clinical research nurse
Every medical research project needs a nurse. They are tasked with monitoring patients, administering medications, recording test results, and analyzing and interpreting data.
These nurses are often employed in university labs but can also be found in research centers around the country.
Cosmetic surgery nurse
The United States registers the highest number of cosmetic surgeries every year. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 15.6 million procedures carried out in cosmetic clinics in America in 2022.
During these procedures, a nurse was present to prepare the patient and care for them afterward.
Nurses working in these settings are usually paid well and enjoy flexible hours.
Forensic nurse practitioner
These are nurses with training in collecting and analyzing forensic evidence.
When someone is raped, for example, they are taken to the hospital, and a forensic nurse administers a rape kit.
They also work in crime scenes, helping police collect evidence of serious crimes. These nurses are trained in evidence collection, much like crime scene investigators.
Cruise ship nurses
This job is great for anyone with NP skills who loves traveling. As the name suggests, this nurse works on cruise ships. They step in when travelers on board fall ill or are injured.
Just like we have sports doctors, we also have sports nurses. They work with athletes to ensure that they are healthy, and they also treat injuries.
Sports nurses dispense medications when needed and educate athletes about diet and other factors that affect performance.
School and college nurse
These practitioners work in educational institutions and are the first line of care for students who fall ill or become injured. They play a significant role in schools that cater to mentally and physically disabled students.
Private duty nurse
These nurses care for chronically ill patients in a non-healthcare setting, usually in their homes. These jobs are quite lucrative because nurses negotiate their contracts. They are also rather flexible.
A private duty nurse takes care of all the patient’s needs. They dispense medications, clean and feed them and sometimes even provide companionship for the very old or ill.
As healthcare moves online, the role of the telehealth nurse is growing. These are nurses who care for patients remotely.
If someone doesn’t feel well, they can schedule a video call with a nurse rather than visit the ER, explain their symptoms, and get a diagnosis.
Nursing has a range of interesting work opportunities outside the mainstream hospital and clinic roles. They often pay better and offer more flexible hours. If you are looking for a unique career or are an experienced nurse looking for a change, any trades discussed here are worth looking into.