Nursing is an exciting career because of the opportunity you get to make a difference to people’s lives. However, despite hundreds of nursing specializations, only a few get significant attention. Whether you are a bachelor’s holder about to begin your master’s or you want to venture into nursing as a newbie, it is important to be exposed to some lesser-known NP specializations.
Before considering enrolling in a nursing degree, here are a few lesser-known courses that might interest you.
Utilization review nurse
A utilization review nurse is one of the most unusual nursing jobs you’ll ever find. These experts are not seen in the frontline of the nursing profession but work behind the scenes to monitor hospital services and ensure the optimal use of healthcare resources. These nurses also conduct routine audits to ensure that the facilities are not overstretched and that patients do not overstay at the hospital.
To become a utilization review nurse, you need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an associate’s degree in nursing. There are online programs that offer this course. Besides getting an additional degree, you need extensive experience in nursing. After gaining an additional degree and subsequent employment, a utilization review nurse undergoes extensive on-the-job training to become an expert in their field. Before choosing this course, ask the necessary questions to weigh the pros and cons.
Wound care nurse
A wound care nurse specializes in serious wounds ranging from bedsores to ulcers and burns. They work in nursing homes, hospitals, care facilities, home healthcare settings, and other health facilities.
To become a wound care nurse, you must be registered and certified by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board. Many online and offline colleges offer degrees in wound care, but only a few people know about them. Rather than settle for the courses that are already saturated, why not find something less common and build your career around it? Also, this is a highly paid role as there are relatively few practitioners.
A nurse informaticist is a professional skilled in information technology. They use this knowledge to improve healthcare technology. Depending on their job specification, they can also teach other nurses to use new applications, assess the effectiveness of existing apps, and develop new systems and technologies to ensure that the facility runs smoothly.
Like most nursing careers, you must first become a nurse before getting an additional degree in nursing informatics. This job role is not only a unique one but also a high-paying one. NP specializations in rare courses allow you to earn more than regular nurses. Graduate degrees in these fields allow you to advocate for your patients more than you would do with a bachelor’s degree.
Travel nursing is a career path that’s specially made for people who are passionate about nursing but wish to travel. As the name suggests, these nurses travel from one state or country to another to work short-term contracts. These contracts vary in length but could be between one and 13 weeks. Within this period, these professionals fill staffing shortages in those places. If you are lucky to specialize in a high-demand area, you will get more bookings than normal, and you will be very well paid. You are not only paid for your services, but employers also pay for your travel and lodging expenses. You might also get a retirement package and better working conditions than in many nursing jobs.
This area of specialization requires you to complete an RN to BSN program and get an RN license. You may need a year or two of nursing experience to qualify as a travel nurse.
Nurse navigators have multi-faceted roles in the healthcare system. They help patients navigate the system to get the help they need. Most patients are admitted to the hospital without an idea of what to do next. These professionals counsel them through serious diagnoses and help them understand their treatment options. Most nurse navigators work in the oncology department, where they help cancer patients through the rigorous treatment process. Students looking forward to doing things differently can consider this career path.
Of course, a bachelor’s degree in nursing is the first step, followed by a master’s and a doctorate. Aside from getting regular degrees, you might also need professional certification from organizations such as the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators.
Forensic nurses are not only an asset to the healthcare industry but are also vital to criminal justice. These professionals treat victims of abuse and violence while acting as expert witnesses in the courts. Other sub-areas of specialization in forensic nursing include elder neglect, child abuse, and sexual assault.
An advanced degree in forensic nursing paves the way for high-paying placements in medical facilities. With the recent fame around this course and its benefits, more people are beginning to get the urge to venture into it.
A parish nurse is tasked with providing a faith-based community with medical and spiritual care. They employ religion in delivering their duties because they believe that both aspects are interrelated. Finding a course on parish nursing is hard, as they are available in just a few selected schools. This certification is designed for religious people who are passionate about delivering excellent healthcare to the sick.
While nursing is a rewarding career, some specialties get more rewards but remain under the radar. Why not consider taking a relatively unknown course and building credibility within it?