Nursing Outside the Box: Why a Different Specialty Might be Good for You
Nursing is an incredibly broad occupation with a wide range of potential paths and specialties. While clinical nursing is what most people think of when it comes to traditional jobs for RNs, opting for a different path altogether may better serve your personality or background.
For nurses experiencing burnout or boredom in their current positions, these unique nursing jobs may help reignite the passion they once had for their chosen field of study and lead to more meaningful work. Also, many of these specializations offer higher salaries than traditional nursing jobs.
Going into a different specialty may better utilize your individual talents or skill set, as well, These positions oftentimes mean more exciting day-to-day experiences — and they definitely provide fun conversation starters for parties and get-togethers.
5 Unique Nursing Jobs Worth Considering
- Cosmetic Nursing
Job Overview: Sometimes referred to as aesthetic nurses and plastic surgery nurses, cosmetic nurses or Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialists (CANS) help with beauty-based treatments such as injections, fillers, laser hair removal and non-invasive procedures such as body contouring. They play a vital role during clinical procedures as well as in pre- and post-operative patient care.
Benefits of Cosmetic Nursing: One of the primary perks of cosmetic nursing is its freedom and flexibility. Unlike traditional hospital settings, most of these procedures take place during standard daytime hours. This is especially ideal for nurses with families who crave job stability or perhaps part-time work. Even better, this is a constantly expanding field with a strong outlook.
- Correctional Nursing
Job Overview: If binge-watching the latest season of Orange is the New Black is your idea of the perfect pastime, then correctional nursing may just be your calling. These nurses provide medical services to inmates housed in correctional facilities like jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers.
Nurses in this field must be comfortable treating a wide range of conditions, including drug and alcohol withdrawal, infectious and communicable diseases, emergency injuries and chronic conditions. Correctional nurses face unique challenges and must undergo specialized on-the-job training with a focus on safety measures and security protocols.
Benefits of Correctional Nursing: Healthcare workers in this setting will have the opportunity to use a wide range of skills in order to treat various conditions. You’ll experience the diversity of an ER setting at a slower pace, which is especially ideal for more seasoned nurses.
- Flight Nursing
Job Overview: If the idea of working on an emergency flight response team sounds exciting, flight nursing will take your career to new heights. These trained professionals deliver medical care to patients in need via aircraft such as helicopters, planes and jets.
Because of the nature of the job, flight nurses are required to provide emergency medical care to their patients — and they must also be familiar with navigation basics.
Flight nurses work alongside other medical professionals like physicians, flight medics and respiratory practitioners and are usually the first responders to accident scenes. This nursing field includes both civilian and military career paths, and the median annual salary for a flight nurse hovers around $80,090. Flight nurses working in the military earn higher salaries than those in the civilian sector, but these jobs naturally come with more risk.
Benefits of Flight Nursing: On top of its excellent pay and high demand, this field is a fantastic choice for thrill-seekers (or anyone who just gets bored with the same old 9-to-5 routine). There’s never a dull moment with this career, and you’ll be part of a small team of professionals that saves lives each and every day.
- Forensic Nursing
Job Overview: Forensic nurses play a vital role in helping victims of violent crimes, from sexual assault and domestic violence to child abuse, elder abuse and neglect. These compassionate nurses are frequently called upon to deliver testimony in court and provide their patients with emotional and clinical support following trauma.
Many of these cases include sexual assault, and you’ll be responsible for collecting DNA evidence and ensuring its chain of custody. You’ll need to be comfortable performing exams as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and will likely work closely with advocacy groups in your area. These nurses can work for hospitals, non-profit organizations or police departments, and many forensic nurses find employment in hospital nursing rooms.
Benefits of Forensic Nursing: This is a challenging but rewarding career for nurses who are interested in the judicial system, and it lets you help patients seek justice against their perpetrators.
Although emotional, this work has a great deal of benefits. You’ll not only get to make a significant impact on your patients’ lives, but you’ll also have the opportunity to educate the public about violent crimes and potentially help convict perpetrators. Forensic nurses enjoy an above-average median annual salary of $81,800, as well.
- Legal Nurse Consulting
Job Overview: When legal cases involve medical malpractice claims, attorneys oftentimes turn to legal nurse consultants (LNCs) to guide them through the complexities of medical jargon and terminology.
These highly respected consultants can be current or former nurses as well as retirees. A newer field that developed in the 1980s, legal nurse consulting is used in criminal cases (especially ones centered around worker’s compensation and medical or insurance fraud).
Benefits of Legal Nurse Consulting: Many LNCs run their own businesses, although some are employed by insurance companies, law firms, forensics labs, government agencies and private organizations. This means you have the opportunity to be your own boss for a change and make your own schedule. Even better? You can set your own rates.
Do you work in one of these unique nursing fields, or are you considering one for a career change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!