Thinking outside of the hospital box can be exciting, especially for registered nurses interested in taking the next step in their career. But, while the setting may change, many of the qualifications employers are looking for will not. For registered nurses and nurse managers alike, having a bachelor’s degree is likely important for job security and career advancement. For some nurses that may mean enrolling in an RN-BSN program before exploring new job opportunities.
In your nurse manager job search, other factors to consider about a new setting are the commute, the size of the team of nurses at the facility, shift times and salary, among others. Talk to friends and former colleagues that have made the switch as you weigh your options, but in the meantime here are some ideas to get you started.
Ambulatory Surgery Center
These healthcare facilities are also known as ASCs or outpatient surgery centers. ASCs only perform surgical procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay. While the working environment may be similar to a hospital, the chances of being assigned a night shift are low.
Clinical settings are often a logical alternative for nurse managers and staff nurses. The benefits include set schedules, more control and more consistency. However, managing a clinical staff is not easy. Patients in a clinical setting may vary signficantly in age and wellness condition, compared to hospitals. Salaries can also be lower in this setting, compared to medical centers.
According to the Pew Charitable Trust, the size, age and health status of the current inmate population influence the need for healthcare at facilities. Correctional facilities tend to be far from hospitals and other providers and, similar to the general population, the average age of inmates is increasing. That means healthcare workers at the facility are more often providing inpatient and outpatient services for offenders.
College Student Health Services
The student health services department provides college students a place to get primary medical care as well as preventative care such as immunizations. The facility typically administers student health insurance plans and international student health insurance mandates on behalf of a third party. A campus student health center also commonly manages programs that provide essential preventative health and wellness information to college students.
Whether it’s in assisted living facilities, home care services, hospice care or rehabilitation centers, there is and will continue to be demand for elder care. Some reports say aging Baby Boomers are responsible for an increase in nursing jobs overall. Managing a team of nurses in elder care requires specialized knowledge about the physiological and psychological changes older patients undergo and can be a rewarding experience.
There are many settings where a public health nurse manager may be needed. Government organizations, non-profits or health foundations or other community entities may run facilities that fall under public health. While these facilities offer individual services the primary goal is to improve the health of the local community through education.
The school nurse team leads the provision of care to students, including addressing chronic health conditions, early identification of new problems, interventions and referrals to other services. The group provides a vital connection between the school and a child’s medical care at home, meaning that ongoing education and appropriate staffing levels of school nurses are important to maintain and foster good health among students.
As you explore which setting might be right for you, think about what you like and don’t like about your current job. You may discover a whole new world of nursing simply by switching settings while also advancing your career!