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Unusual Nursing Careers

Nurses are licensed by the state. Although many work in traditional health-care settings, nurses can work in a wide variety of fields. If you hold a nursing license or are thinking of entering the nursing field, there are many atypical nursing careers that you may not know about.

Travel Nursing

If you like to try living in different places, consider a career as a travel nurse. Travel nurses fill hard-to-staff positions in different locations, usually for a few months at a time. They may work in one state for three months, then travel across the country to fill a different position in a hospital in another state. Some travel-nurse agencies provide stipends to defray some housing costs or even grant the nurse a housing stipend. Travel nurses may be paid on an hourly basis or a weekly salary, and often earn more than they would being staff nurses at hospitals. They also can earn bonuses when they have filled the terms of a contract. Being a travel nurse requires one to be adaptable to different work environments. Travel nurses have to learn quickly and follow instructions with minimal supervision. This can be an ideal way to see the country if you have few other commitments.

Nursing Staffing Agency

Many travel nurses work for nursing agencies. If you want to combine your business skills with your nursing career, consider opening up a nursing staffing agency yourself. A nursing staffing agency is an employment agency for nurses. Nursing staffing agents work with hospitals to help meet their staffing needs. Someone with a background in nursing may easily understand exactly what hospitals seek in candidates. In order to open up a nursing staffing agency you should have a good understanding of basic business skills such as interviewing techniques and management of personnel.

Nurse Midwife

If you have always liked working with pregnant women and newborns, consider a career as nurse midwife. Nurse midwives help women with low-risk pregnancies have their babies at home. They also perform check ups on pregnant women and assist them in recovering from a birth. In order to become a nurse midwife you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then complete a master’s degree in the subject.

Legal Nurse Consulting

A legal nurse consultant is paid to give lawyers advice about the medical details of cases such as malpractice and wrongful-death lawsuits. Becoming a legal nurse consultant requires completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing and at least two or three years of full-time nursing experience. Potential nurse consultants then take additional classes and complete a certification course in the field of legal nursing. Legal nurse consultants can work full time or part time.

Flight Nursing

Flight nurses assist patients while they are in transport via helicopter or airplane, either from the scenes of accidents (especially in rural areas) or to transport patients from one facility to another. Being a flight nurse can be exciting and fast paced, but also emotionally and physically challenging. In order to become a flight nurse the candidate must have a nursing license, two or three years of full time nursing experience and additional certifications in areas such as pediatric life support and trauma nurse training.