4 Creative Ways to Use Your Nursing Degree

December 2, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Nursing is a wonderful profession for those interested in caring for people, treating medical conditions, and stopping the spread of disease. Though the typical idea of a nurse is someone who works in a hospital or a doctor’s office, nurses have many options for diverse careers that combine providing great patient care with things like technology and travel.

Become a Forensic Nurse

Forensic nurses combine their talent and training for patient care with an understanding of the criminal justice system. Their special training helps them to identify injury resulting from a crime as well as treat that injury. Forensic nurses provide care for patients like sexual assault victims, victims of abuse, and even perpetrators of these crimes. After providing patient care, forensic nurses collect and document evidence. They often work with legal authorities like the police or attorneys, and they may testify in court.

Work in Nursing Informatics

The relatively new field of nursing informatics combines a passion for healthcare with a love of computer science. All the data collected during patient care goes into computer systems, and nurse informaticians help manage and store that data. Communication is key with nursing informatics, because nurse informaticians often help manage data practices as they relate to entering and storing patient information, and communicate about the design and execution of new healthcare IT. Nurse informaticians may also provide technical support for hospital computer systems.

Get a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Get a Doctor of Nursing Degree
Nursing Degree

Image via Flickr by COD Newsroom

For someone very passionate about patient care, going back to school for a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree may be an attractive option. Rather than the traditional research-based PhD, DNPs use their doctoral degrees to focus on diagnosis and treatment. Research is still important, however; DNPs use it to inform patient care and clinical practice, with the aim of bringing about positive changes and innovation.

Getting a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree doesn’t have to disrupt an existing nursing career either, as programs are available online. The DNP degree is a terminal degree, and prepares nurses to give independent healthcare. DNPs are licensed to provide primary patient care.

Go Into Travel Nursing

Nurses with a case of wanderlust will want to look into travel nursing. Based on healthcare needs across the country, travel nurses go to locations in need for a period of a few weeks to a few months to provide patient care. The jobs usually provide somewhere to live and pay for travel arrangements as well. Travel nurses get to choose their assignments, which makes travel nursing an excellent opportunity to explore new areas of the country and live in new places for short periods of time.

Nurses can combine their passions for the criminal justice system or information technology with their love of healthcare to create unique career paths. These creative ideas for nurses may lead to new jobs and exciting careers. Whether it’s through innovating new technology practices in a hospital or getting the education to become a primary care provider, a nursing degree opens doors and leads to many possibilities.