Nursing is an incredibly versatile profession. Not only do you have your pick of medical specialties (ER, pediatrics, geriatrics), but you can pick the kind of environment that best suits you (hospital, private medical practice, nursing home). This blog will explore five different career paths to follow if you’re entering the nursing field.
What Are 5 Different Career Paths Nurses Can Take?
An operating room (OR) nurse, also known as a perioperative nurse, works in the operating room of a hospital or other healthcare facility. OR nurses are responsible for providing patient care before, during, and after surgery. These tasks include preparing the patient for the operation, assisting the surgeon during the procedure, and monitoring the patient’s vital signs and comfort level during and after surgery. OR nurses must be knowledgeable about various surgical procedures and be able to anticipate the needs of the surgeon and the surgical team members. In addition to direct care, OR nurses may inventory and order supplies and medications and coordinate OR operations.
An emergency room (ER) nurse works in the urgent care area of a hospital or other facility. ER nurses provide nursing care to patients with acute illnesses or injuries that require immediate medical attention. ER nurse duties can include medical triage, administering medications and treatments, and performing diagnostic tests. ER nurses must be fast on their feet and quick thinking because they never know what next emergency they’ll experience. They must know about various medical conditions and communicate well with doctors, patients, and their families. In addition to providing direct care, ER nurses may coordinate the department’s overall function.
An intensive care unit (ICU) nurse provides care to critically ill patients that require close monitoring and support. ICU nurse tasks include administering medications, performing diagnostic tests, and monitoring vital signs. ICU nurses must recognize and respond to potential complications and be skilled in using complex medical equipment such as ventilators and monitoring devices. These nurses may also order supplies and coordinate with other multidisciplinary team members.
Cardiac nurses care for patients with heart conditions. Cardiac nurses may work in private practices, hospitals, and clinics. They may be responsible for providing nursing care to patients before, during, or after cardiac procedures, such as heart surgeries and angioplasties. Cardiac nursing tasks include patient assessments, medication administration, and other treatments. Cardiac nurses also educate patients and families about the complex nature of cardiac conditions and can recognize and respond to any patient health complications. They may also work with patients to coordinate aftercare.
Dialysis or nephrology nurses have a precise role in administering dialysis treatments to patients with kidney diseases. Dialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine. Dialysis treatments are very technical, so nurses must be detail orientated and comfortable with dialysis equipment. These nurses also must educate patients on aftercare and their condition. The dialysis nurse may also prepare the patient and equipment for the procedure and monitor the patient during and after treatment.
Looking for a New Career as a Nurse?
While these are five examples of the career paths available to nurses, we could name a dozen more specialties for you to consider. If you are looking for a change in 2023, consider talking with our team about the opportunities available for skilled nurses. We can help you get there.
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