Direct patient care can be both mentally and physically exhausting. With the demands made on nurses by everyone from the patients and families to doctors and coworkers, nurses are continually under pressure. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that depression is higher in hospital-based nurses than in the general population. A registered nursing degree can lead to a host of other jobs, however, that may be less stressful and prove just as rewarding.
It’s often the high patient loads that stress nurses when staffing is low, peers call in sick and funding is reduced. When working for a home health agency, nurses get to give a single patient their full attention. Occasionally, a nurse may have to deal with a family member in the home, but her focus is the well-being of a single client. Nurses can build satisfying relationships with patients in their homes and enjoy a flexible schedule, working as much or little as they choose. Often, nurses with home health agencies simply oversee home health aides and supervise their work, seeing patients for a couple of hours on a weekly basis.
Nurses can work in a corporate environment, assessing the needs of workers as an occupational health nurse. The OHN is a nurse who reviews companies’ health policies to make sure the workplace provides a safe environment. The profession requires a combination of nursing and business acumen. An OHN might manage a case load of sick or injured workers at a specific company or assist HR departments to stay in compliance with federal workplace regulations like the Family and Medical Leave Act or the array of Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
Medical Journal Editor
Medical journals such as Clinical Research Nurse and Transplant Research Nurse utilize the expertise of nurses to edit their publications. Medical journal editors help choose the content of the publication and then read entries to fact-check their content. The role of medical editor requires extensive experience in a specific field and a talent for writing and editing. Experience with academic writing and medical research provides an ideal background for a nursing medical editor.
Nurses who want to stay connected to direct patient care without the pressure of a large hospital or nursing home case load can find stress-free work as clinical researchers. The field is primarily funded by pharmaceutical companies when they run drug trials or other clinical trial studies. Clinical research nurses recruit patients for studies and interview applicants to find suitable candidates. They collect samples and provide support at the site of the collections. Nurses with research backgrounds are ideally suited for the job, which may also require nurses to make presentations and answer questions about various clinical trials for the media or other medical professionals.