Nursing careers are stimulating and often very inspiring for those who, on a daily basis, help care for patients. From performing basic care duties to caring for the critically ill, nurses are at the core of the health care system. If you have been a nurse for some time, you may be wondering about other more advanced nursing careers that would allow you to develop your skills further.
Advanced nursing careers provide many professional development opportunities as well as increased clinical duties. You could branch out into many disciplines: nurse practitioner, anesthesia, psychotherapy, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, administrator, legal consultant, infection control, managerial positions, or even midwifery. Each position offers its own set of challenges and requires you to acquire in-depth knowledge in a specific clinical field of practice.
If you feel ready on a professional and academic level to pursue an advanced nursing career, there are many paths to consider. If your current level of education is an Associate of Science Nursing degree, you will have to start by obtaining a Bachelor's degree in nursing. If this is what you already hold, many universities offer Master of Science Nursing degrees with various specialty branches. Obtaining a Master's degree will open up various advanced nursing career opportunities. Aside from completing another degree, many nurses enroll in continuing education classes to obtain a variety of certifications.
If you prefer to get involved in research and academic teaching, you may pursue doctoral studies. Many universities have Doctorate in Nursing programs, and some offer post-doctoral studies. Nurses that complete these programs generally work as researchers, contributing to the development of new practices and regulations. If you have a passion for training the future generation of nurses to enter the workforce, a position as a college or university professor could be an excellent career choice.
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