Nursing also offers many non-clinical specialty areas or nursing roles that do not usually include direct patient care. Here's just a few of the many opportunities that are available to nurses! Management or education -related specialties will be not be covered in this area!
Case Manager - The management and coordination of patient care across the health care spectrum has become an important role for nurses as health care reform, HMOs, and other industry changes have impacted patient care delivery. Case Managers are nurses who assist health care providers with the management of patient care services and serve as patient advocates within the health care environment.
Consultant - Nurses with expert skills in a particular specialty or area of health care practice will find that their opinion and problem solving skills are in demand. These roles generally demand an advanced practice degree and several years of experience.
Forensics - Nurses who have an interest in forensic medicine can have an important role with law enforcement agencies and public health. Working with these agencies, the forensic nurse may help determine a cause of death or examine and evaluate evidence related to health care-related crimes.
Infection Control - Nurses who have an interest in infection control are needed for hospitals and other health care providers. Monitoring infection rates, research related to infectious diseases, and working with other health care providers to establish policies and procedures related to the control of infections are just some of the daily activities of the Infection Control nurse.
Legal Consulting - nurses who serve as legal consultants assist lawyers in evaluating patient care delivery and standards of practice. These nurses usually will have an advanced practice degree and many years of clinical experience.
Nursing Informatics - one of the newest specialties in nursing, the informatics nurse blends an expertise in nursing science, computer science, and information management to design, develop, implement, and evaluate technology-related or information systems used in the health care environment.
Parish Nursing - working within a congregation or parish, the Parish Nurse uses local community and congregational resources to provide care for the body, the mind, and the spirit of the congregational member. Faith traditions of the congregation are an integral part of this health care ministry so the Parish Nurse should be a member of the congregation or parish served.
Patient Care Auditor - nurses who work in this role focus reviewing the patient care delivered by other health care providers for appropriate care and appropriate billing for services.
Research & Clinical Trials - nurses who have a keen interest in research can work with other health care providers and scientists to explore a myriad of topics and applications within the health care and patient care delivery. Working with a biometric company, the research nurse could lead a project that would lead to the development of a new patient care delivery device that would be used in hospitals or other health care settings. This role will generally require an advanced practice degree.
Risk Management - all nurses are patient advocates, but the risk management nurse has the responsibility in a health care organization to monitor patient care situations, policies, and procedures for increased risk and then develop policies and procedures that will minimize this risk.
These are just some of the non-clinical roles for nurses. While most of these roles require some direct patient care experience, they provide an great way to grow and expand your career as your grow and gain new experiences. Nursing provides so many opportunities, you should never be caught in a rut!
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