In a 2011 survey by the American Nurses Association, three out of four nurses cited stress and overwork as a top health concern.
Any nurse knows there is risk of burning out, but how do you know when you’re ready to try something besides direct patient care?
Whenever you reach the point of exhaustion, you remember that you became a nurse because you wanted to help people. You don’t see yourself doing anything else. So if you’re still passionate about nursing, what can you do? Is it possible to remain in the nursing field but still get some sort of reprieve from the fatigue and stress?
If you’re tired of working holiday, overnight or weekend shifts, there are other roles for RNs within the field of nursing to explore. These roles offer a change of pace along with a variety of career development opportunities not typically associated with the long hours and stressful conditions of working the floor. Read on to learn about the essential skills, educational qualifications and work environment you can expect to transition successfully into a new nursing role and refresh your motivation.
Nurse educators are responsible for teaching, guiding and preparing the next generation of nurses. Most positions are found within academic settings, like colleges and universities.
Nurse educators may teach a wide variety of age groups, from college-age students planning to enter the field to veteran nurses looking to enhance their skills. They are tasked with documenting educational programs, curriculum implementation, developing learning outcomes for students and applying unique teaching strategies for effective nursing practice, so a master’s degree in this specialty is a must.
On a typical day, you may find a nurse educator in the office or the classroom, giving lectures, overseeing clinical experiences or grading papers. As a nurse educator, you can expect to serve as a mentor to your students, advising them on best practices in the field and sharing your nursing knowledge.
Nurse informaticists are charged with integrating practice with information management in order to effectively communicate data. As more hospital systems and healthcare organizations build stronger IT staffs to manage patient data, nurses who have both IT and nursing experience will be instrumental in ensuring these databases are run efficiently and effectively. Nurses who hold these skills can expect to translate and interpret patient data as well as train, write and support system users, becoming critical resources for their organizations.
Nurse informaticists can be found in a variety of areas. Some work within health systems, long-term care facilities or medical centers as chief informatics officers, data specialists or information specialists. Others may be found in academia or even business, as nurses design these critical databases for use by other nurses.
If you plan to pursue a nursing informatics role, a master’s degree that focuses on the integration of information technology and databases with nursing knowledge would provide you with a comprehensive foundation for the field. These programs will prepare you to handle any current and future challenges as they relate to nursing and healthcare delivery as this specialty continues to evolve with technology.
Nurse administrators lead and manage a facility’s nursing staff as well as other departments directly related to patient care. As healthcare services grow in size and scope, administrators must be able to effectively manage all operations and daily functions of an organization, so a solid foundation in business and nursing is necessary. Much of the position involves hiring and interviewing new staff, recruiting and retaining nurses, and collaborating with physicians and other healthcare members.
Most administrators can often be found as chief nursing officers or vice presidents who oversee patient care in a variety of healthcare settings, including healthcare systems, health-related organizations, nursing homes, doctor’s offices or urgent care facilities.
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree can help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to get started as a nurse administrator, nurse informaticist or nurse educator so you can get off the floor and enjoy nursing again.
Written by Thomas Edison State University