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Many avenues exist for your nursing career

One of these 5 unique nursing jobs may be for you

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Bedside nursing is a common entry point for many nurses. And many enjoy rewarding careers. But there are times when we all feel that itch to venture out and try something new. We’re taking a look at the growing number of unique nursing jobs and certifications. See if any of these jobs appeals to you.

By Elise Oberliesen

In this role, nurses have one foot firmly planted in healthcare and the other in criminal justice. A forensic nurse works with victims of crime, abuse and domestic violence. These nurses also gather evidence for law enforcement professionals. Forensic nurses work in hospitals, psychiatric departments or the coroner’s office. And some of these nurses lead community programs that promote non-violence. For those who want to specialize, one option is a sexual assault nurse examiner’s certification. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic nurse jobs are growing faster than the national average, at 16% through 2024.

ER psychiatric nurse and interim occupational health nurse

This is a dual role title with Arnetta Shaw’s name on it. The Philadelphia RN counsels psychiatric patients — and her coworkers — as a way to provide extra support during crisis times. In her uniquely calming voice, Shaw articulates each word with detailed thought and sometimes tells her teammates, “It’s OK if they have to cry.” But then she politely reminds them, “Still, we have to get things done.” That’s her duty as the occupational nurse helping coworkers. As for patient care, a psychiatric nurse also helps patients struggling with mental health issues, such as schizophrenia. This helps patients communicate with their physicians more easily, and it allows physicians to better understand underlying medical issues, such as heart disease and dementia. The position often requires nurses to step into patient advocacy territory. Shaw suggests that nurses visit the acute inpatient psychiatry department to learn from patients and understand how this department operates. Keep in mind that these patients are likely to end up on your unit sooner than you might realize, Shaw said, as a cardiac patient, for example.

About the Author

Elise Oberliesen is a freelance writer.

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These nurses are like interpreters who explain and report on complex healthcare information for law firms, government agencies and insurance companies. Using their clinical skills, LNCs evaluate medical issues, which helps their client build legal cases. They provide expertise from cases related to elder law, forensics and medical malpractice to regulatory and compliance issues. The American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board is a certifying body for obtaining the credential known as legal nurse consultant certified or LNCC.

Online Clinical DNP Programs
Nurses are needed on the front lines now more than ever. Baylor University is committed to educating active RNs seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice. With Clinical tracks in Family, Neonatal, Pediatric, and Nurse-Midwifery, our Online DNP programs prepare graduates to be exemplary nursing leaders and visionary nurses who can actively improve patient outcomes, influence policy and truly transform the future of nursing. BSN or MSN required. Clinical placements and preceptors provided.
Transcend the average DNP in 2020 with Baylor University. Designed for RNs with a BSN or MSN seeking preparation at the highest level of nursing practice, our Online Clinical DNP programs prepare graduates to be visionary nursing leaders who can actively improve the future of nursing. Clinical placements provided.

Forensic nurse

Legal nurse consultant

Clinical research nurse

Family nurse practitioner with dermatology specialization

It takes a lot of education to fill these nursing shoes. MSNs can become nurse researchers, but often the clinical research nurse is a PhD or DNP. Jobs range from running clinical trials for pharmaceutical research or medical devices to inventing new products or health programs. Carol Essenmacher, MSN, RN, DNP, also has a tobacco treatment specialization, which means she has lots of experience developing tobacco treatment programs. She also counsels patients and writes prescriptions and reports on measured performance indicators within these programs. The job is similar to a health behavior coach, a position found in insurance companies that hire RNs to help patients quit smoking, she said. Essenmacher obtained her certification from Mayo Clinic. The specialty allows RNs to counsel patients, “but nurses cannot prescribe medications until they have nurse practitioner credentials, either MSN or DNP,” she said. Essenmacher spent 33 years working at a Veterans Administration hospital in Michigan. She now lives in Indianapolis and works as a consultant with plans to teach in an academic setting.

It can be said that dermatology nurses have it all. It is often considered a fun job because of having access to some of the latest technology that can help patients look and feel good. Christina Smitley, MSN, BS, ARNP, FNP-C, works for Advanced Dermatology PC, a private group practice with board certified dermatologists and surgeons, in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Smitley became board certified through the AANP and carries her state licensing. When asked about growth potential in the job, she said “dermatology is a dynamic and growing field which is very rewarding.” She was drawn to the profession because of a cystic acne condition she experienced as a teen. Now she treats patients with similar skin issues, plus those who want to tap into the fountain of youth. “I treat a wide variety of skin-related conditions, such as acne, vitiligo, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, cysts … and I’m also experienced in cosmetic treatments.” Whether patients want fuller lips, fewer wrinkles or more ways to blast fat, Smitley helps patients get these results, too. Nurses interested in dermatology careers can find jobs in private practice or nursing homes.

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