Careers in Nursing

Advanced Practice Nursing Specialties

Becoming a gerontology or geriatric nurse practitioner (GNP) may be an excellent career choice in advanced nursing if you are a gerontological nurse seeking advancement, or if you hope to become a nurse practitioner and are interested in the gerontology specialization. Gerontological nurse practitioners are sometimes called geriatric nurse practitioners, and they primarily provide nursing care to the elderly. Nurses can specialize by work setting, by health condition, and some specialize by subset of the population. Geriatric nurse practitioners specialize by population, and so the care they provide for this subset of the population can be varied. However, as their patients are older, the care they provide spans not just well visits, preventative care, illness, or injury, but also includes helping some of their patients with aspects of everyday living. They help them maintain their quality of life, both mentally and physically. Geriatric nurse practitioners find jobs in nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and private practices. With their advanced degree, they can become case managers, researchers, or educators in addition to being a practitioner.

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Adult Nurse Practitioner Career

Though adults and elderly patients are the primary focus of an Adult Nurse Practitioner’s (ANP) practice, Adult NPs are trained to care for patients 12 years old and up. Adult nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings including private practice, group provider clinics, community health clinics, hospitals, prisons, specialty practice offices (depending on their area of focus), urgent care, home health care agencies, nursing homes, hospice and many other settings.

Adult Nurse Practitioners practice within their designated scope of practice. They most often practice primary care to adult patients. In general, an Adult Nurse Practitioner will assess adult patients, diagnosis and provide a management or treatment regimen for patients. Health promotion, illness prevention and the management of acute and chronic illnesses are primary job duties for an Adult Nurse Practitioner in most health care settings. Many Adult Nurse Practitioners do choose to specialize in a specific area of care, which requires additional training or courses. Common specialty areas include HIV/AIDS or occupational health. Specialization in gerontology or a related area is also common.

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How to Become a Nurse Midwife?

There are several paths toward becoming a nurse midwife, and more than one level of legal practice in midwifery. Because they are regulated at the state level, the requirements can vary from state to state. Certified nurse midwives are legally able to practice in every state, and are not to be confused with certified midwives, who do not hold the same level of certification.

The main step toward becoming a nurse midwife is to first graduate as a registered nurse from an accredited nurse midwife program, after which one takes a certification examination that is issued by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Alternatively, one could also attend a two-year nursing program and earn an associates degree, and then go through an accredited nurse-midwifery educational program. As of 2010, a master’s degree in nursing, midwifery, or public health will be required to work in a clinical practice.

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What is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner?

An ACNP is a nurse practitioner who focuses on hospital-based care with either pediatric or adult/gerontology patients. ACNPs can assess and treat patients with acute and chronic conditions.

What does an ACNP do?

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) defines nurse practitioners as “licensed, independent practitioners who practice in ambulatory, acute, and long-term care as primary and/or specialty care providers.”

Acute care nurse practitioners can practice in:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Physician offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Adult and neonatal intensive care units

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What is a DNP?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed to prepare experts in nursing practice. It is the pinnacle of practice-focused nursing degrees, building upon master’s programs by providing an educational foundation in quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and systems leadership, among others.

For nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), the DNP aligns with the predominant model in healthcare where advanced practitioners with demonstrated expertise hold doctoral-level degrees. In this sense, it can be compared to the doctor of medicine (MD), doctor of physical therapy (DPT), doctor of psychology (PsyD), and doctor of pharmacy (PharmD), among others.

DNP Nurses: Advanced Practitioners, Clinical Leaders, Change Agents and Much More …

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), DNP nurses possess a blend of clinical, leadership, economic, and organizational skills that puts them in a unique position to deftly critique nursing practice and design programs of care delivery that are economically feasible, locally acceptable, and that significantly impact healthcare outcomes.

Nursing practice for DNP nurses can include both:

  • Direct patient care in an APRN role (nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist) and patient population focus (family/individual across the lifespan, adult-gerontology, women’s health/gender specific, neonatal, pediatrics, psychiatric/mental health)
  • Aggregate/Systems/Organizational role (public health, healthcare policy, nurse education, executive leadership/ administration, informatics)

This means DNP nurses are prepared to perform nursing interventions that influence healthcare outcomes for individuals or populations by:

  • Providing direct patient care
  • Managing the care of patients and patient populations
  • Administrating in nursing and healthcare organizations
  • Developing and implementing health policy

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Family Nurse Practitioners, also known as FNPs, are professional registered nurses who complete a master ‘s in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track or specialization. Family Nurse Practitioners become nationally certified to practice in their field through a national accrediting body, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Family Nurse Practitioners are trained to assess, diagnose and treat acute and chronic health conditions seen in children, adults and the elderly. They promote health awareness and disease prevention as well as provide counseling and teach their patients about various aspects of the patient’s or a family member’s health. FNPs prescribe medications within their scope of practice and within their state’s prescribing laws and regulations. Family Nurse Practitioners work in a variety of settings including clinics, retirement communities, schools, as educators, community health clinics, AIDS clinics, primary care/family practice clinics, private physician practices, HMO companies, large corporations, public health departments and at many other facilities and organizations. Read this interview with a currently practicing Family Nurse Practitioner that provides a more personal view of the career and what she believes the future holds (Nurse Practitioner Interview).

In most states a Family Nurse Practitioners work in collaboration with a licensed physician with whom they will consult with about certain patients and cases that fall outside the FNP scope of practice. A recent survey found that their are currently 11 states that allow for a nurse practitioner to run an independent practice or a practice with no collaborating physician. There are additional states that have legislation pending that would allow for nurse practitioner independent practice. This could be an exciting opportunity for the entrepreneurial FNP. Whether the FNP is independently practicing or practicing in collaboration with a physician, they increase access to health care in any community they serve. Rural communities, medically underserved communities and densely populated urban communities all benefit from the Family Nurse Practitioner.

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What is a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics Degree?

Master of Science in Nursing Informatics Degrees provide bachelor’s degree holders with the skills and tools that are needed to enhance and administer the technology-based components of the nursing industry. Professionals who possess these advanced degrees use the nursing, information, and computer sciences to improve the quality of patient care and record keeping services in medical facilities around the world.

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    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    Psychiatric nurse practitioners (NPs) are certified advanced practice nurses who administer to the mental health needs of individuals, families, groups or communities. To become certified as a psychiatric NP, nursing professionals must hold a Master of Science in Nursing degree specializing in psychiatric healthcare, current Registered Nurse licensure and certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Nursing professionals who wish to further specialize may choose from programs in child, adolescent, gerontological, substance abuse or forensic psychiatry. Some psychiatric NPs go on to earn a doctoral degree within their specialty, though this is not a requirement.

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      Neonatal NPs work with neonatologists in acute and nonacute settings, supervising and assisting with the treatment and delivery of infants. In the event that an infant is born with health complications due to genetic disorders, drug addiction, premature birth, HIV infection, or any other causes, NNPs are essential to addressing the health issues that arise from these conditions.

      Registered nurses (RNs) may also be neonatal nurses, and they attend to births and care for newborn infants in most Level I nurseries. Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs), by contrast, generally care for newborn infants who may have complex health issues in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Neonatal NPs have more comprehensive training than neonatal nurses and may take on greater responsibilities in terms of diagnosis, treatment planning, and prescribing medications—the scope of which varies by an NNP’s state of residence (i.e., practice authority).

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      CRNA Job Description and Duties

      CRNAs practice with a certain amount of independence, though they work together with other medical staff and physicians. They provide anesthesia care to patients, educating them about it beforehand, monitoring them during operations while under it, and caring for patients recovering from surgery under anesthesia. They remain with patients and continually monitor them and check their vital signs to ensure safety and comfort. In many rural hospitals, they are the main anesthesia providers. They may work in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, or ambulatory clinics.

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      If you are registered nurse interested in pediatrics, or a pediatric nurse seeking advancement in your career, pursuing a master’s degree with a pediatric nurse practitioner track or specialization can open up a variety of advanced practice nursing options.

      Pediatric nurse practitioners are licensed registered nurses who have completed a graduate or doctoral degree in nursing, usually with a specialty in pediatrics or family practice. Pediatric nurse practitioners are generally also choose to become a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. These pediatric nurse practitioners specialize by treating children, from infancy through adolescence. They provide preventive care, as well as care for those with acute or chronic illness.

      Unlike pediatric nurses, a Pediatric NP can not only treat, but can also diagnose, perform or interpret tests, and prescribe medication. They may work as part of a healthcare team, but can also treat patients independently. These nurses need to be very good with children of all ages since they will be interacting with them on an almost daily basis. A pediatric nurse practitioner can work in clinics or private family practices, or wards of larger hospitals. They can also work in schools, supervising pediatric nurses, or for government health agencies, and may also be found teaching at colleges or universities. Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner holds many options.

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      Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner

      A women’s health nurse practitioner is a nurse with a master’s degree or doctoral degree who focuses on providing healthcare for women of all ages and stages of life. Women’s health nurse practitioners (WHNP) can work in a variety of women’s health specialties, or can work in a primary care setting. Women’s health nurse practitioners focus not just on women’s health, but are also often supporters of women’s rights and women making their own choices in healthcare. They want to ensure that a women’s right to make those decisions about their healthcare, considering their personal, cultural and spiritual and beliefs, are not overlooked.

      Women’s health nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RN) who have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited nursing school, and continue on to earn their Master’s of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a specialization in women’s health. A women’s health nurse practitioner works closely with physicians, but can independently be a patient’s primary care provider. Women’s health nurse practitioners perform many of the typical nursing duties, such as obtaining medical histories, examining patients, and ordering and performing tests. However, due to their advanced training, they can diagnose, plan treatment, and even prescribe medication. They may find work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, hospice centers, physicians offices, schools or college clinics, walk-in clinics, nursing homes, or private nurse practitioner offices. Becoming a nurse practitioner focused on women’s health will involve providing contraceptive care, gynecological care, care during and after menopause, pregnancy testing and prenatal care, midwifery, and overall health and wellness visits for women of all ages.

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      Hospital Specialties

      An ambulatory care nurse provides care for patients in clinics or physicians’ offices. Because they specialize according to setting, they can treat a variety of patients as well as a large scope of injury or illness. There are even ambulatory nurses who provide care for patients through the internet, telephone, or other electronic communications. This is called telehealth.

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      The Clinical Appeals Specialist is responsible for managing medical denials by conducting a comprehensive analytic review of clinical documentation to determine if an appeal is warranted. Where warranted, the Clinical Appeals Specialist will write sound, compelling factual arguments for review to appeal each unique case.

      ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

      Core duties and responsibilities include the following:

      Review patient medical records and utilize clinical and regulatory knowledge and skills as well as knowledge of payer requirements to determine why cases are denied and whether an appeal is required.

      The review criteria and what is needed for each appeal will be dictated by your employer’s policies and procedures.

      Utilize pre-existing criteria and other resources and clinical evidence to develop sound and well-supported appeal arguments, where an appeal is warranted.

      Prepare convincing appeal arguments, using pre-existing criteria sets and/or clinical evidence from the medical records.

      Search for supporting clinical evidence to support appeal arguments when existing resources are available.

      Discuss documentation-related and level of care decisions with, hospitals, clients, and other facilities, as required.

      Proficiently read and understand abstract information from handwritten patient medical records.

      Ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations, to include confidentiality, as required.

      Other duties will be required as they are assigned.

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      Behavioral health nurses treat patients with various issues, ranging from mental illness to addiction, to patients who simply need counseling as part of their healthcare. They can work with patients of all ages and walks of life, using behavioral therapies and knowledge of psychiatric nursing to help heal them mentally and physically. The nurses can help counsel individually and in groups. Sometimes they perform standard nursing duties while assessing patients’ psychological response to treatment or medications. Assessment and evaluation can also be an important part of their duties. Their patients may be coping with chemical dependency, mental illness, may be victims of violence or abuse, or coping with grief. They can work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and also community health centers.

      If you are interested in behavioral health nursing, you will need to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). You need to find the right nursing program for you, and make sure it is accredited. You will also want to make sure that the nursing program you choose is approved by your state’s Board of Nursing. You can earn an associate degree in nursing (AND) or an associate of science in nursing (ASN) in just two years. Earning a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) in four years from a college or university is preferable, but an associate degree credits can also be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. If you already have a degree in another field, you can even find a nursing degree program that is accelerated for students with a Bachelor’s in another field.

       

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      Job Description

      Cardiac care nurses work with patients who have heart disease. This can include patients of all ages, though they are primarily older people who suffer from high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, or stroke, which are some of the most common cardiovascular diseases. Cardiac care nurses usually work in hospitals in critical care or cardiac care, and under the supervision of a cardiologist. However, they can also work in operating rooms, intensive care units, in rehabilitation facilities, or even with patients in their home.

      A cardiac care nurse performs some routine procedures, such as monitoring their patients, performing stress tests, keeping patients’ records, communicating with the family, and administering medications. They might also respond to cardiac emergencies, assist the physician with procedures, perform diagnostic testing, or educate the patient about preventive care, medication, or post-operative care. Reducing stress is also particularly important for these patients, so the nurse’s traditional role of providing comfort and empathy is especially important for the cardiac care nurse in addition to their more clinical duties.

      Becoming a cardiac nurse requires first becoming a registered nurse (RN). You can become an RN either by earning a four year bachelor’s degree in nursing science at a college or university, or you can earn an associate degree in two to three years at a community college or vocational school. Once you earn your undergraduate nursing degree, you are required to pass the NCLEX exam (National Council Licensure Examination) given by your state’s board of nursing. Learn more about how to become a Registered Nurse.

       

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      WHAT DO CASE MANAGERS DO?

      Do you like helping people get through tough times? Do you have a compassionate heart and critical thinking mind? Then you might be a great case manager. Also called social and human service assistants, case managers help people who are in difficult situations with advice, figure out what kind of help they need, help them find the services they need, create plans for treatment or recovery, work with other health and human service providers, and keep tabs on client’s progress with treatment plans. Case managers may work for or in concert with a social worker, psychologist or similar health and human service authority.

      Case managers work in many aspects of people’s lives, and may work with children and families, senior citizens, those with disabilities, recovering addicts, the mentally ill, immigrants, ex-offenders or the homeless. Each of these jobs have their own specific needs and requirements.

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      A cardiac catheter laboratory nurse (aka cath lab nurse or cardiac cath lab nurse) helps treat cardiac patients, working closely with a cath lab team. Cath lab nurses work in cardiac units, intensive care units, or in an outpatient clinic where catheterizations are done for cardiac patients. Catheterization is a diagnostic procedure that patients often undergo before getting a pacemaker, defibrillator, or angioplasty. During a catheterization, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel and threaded to the heart, so that the physician can perform treatments or diagnostic tests on the patient’s heart. Some duties of cath lab nurses might include prepping the patient and the room, assisting the physician during the procedure, monitoring the patient and their vitals, and assisting in their recovery and continuing to ensure that they are stable. Like many nurses, cath lab nurses are also often responsible for communicating with the patient and their family, educating them about the procedure, answering questions, and offering comfort.

      This is a specialized nursing position, and to practice as a cath lab nurse you will need to be a currently licensed, registered nurse with additional training and some nursing experience. Certification through the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine’s Board Certification Opportunities is also highly preferred and recommended.

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      The Clinical Nurse Leader

      Clinical nurse leaders are advanced generalists. They are adept at providing direct patient care and also coordinating care in situations where healthcare experts must pool their knowledge. Clinical nurse leaders, or CNLs, typically have a cohort of patients and a particular unit that they are responsible for. They communicate with a variety of professionals in order to provide quality care and do so in a way that uses hospital resources efficiently.

      CNLs use evidence-based practices to evaluate risks and determine effective practice. They may educate patients and health professionals alike. Possible job titles include Outcomes Manager or Patient Care Coordinator. Job duties are often broader than those of a case manager employed in a hospital setting. The clinical nurse leader role is sometimes described as lateral coordination or horizontal leadership. While a clinical nurse leader may take on some supervisory duties, this isn’t the main function.

      Clinical nurse leaders work for large hospitals and medical centers, both public and private. The Department of Veterans Affairs uses them to coordinate care for veterans. In fact, the VA is self-described as being at the forefront of the movement.  Clinical nurse leaders hold master’s degrees.

       

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      Clinical Nurse Specialist

      According to the American Nurses Association, a CNS is an “expert clinician and client advocate” who specializes in a particular field of nursing. They may specialize by type of care given, type of illness or disease, by patients, or by setting, such as emergency room or critical care. Their job duties span education, clinical practice, as well as medical research, administration, and consultation. They can practice in many different healthcare settings, and they not only provide basic nursing care for patients, but they are involved in consultation of nursing staffs, influencing healthcare systems, medical diagnosis, and treatment of illness, injury or disease.

       

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      Critical Care Nursing Career

      Critical Care Nurses care for acutely or critically ill patients, which are patients with life threatening health conditions. Critical Care Nurses work primarily in the hospital setting. Critical Care Nurses are found in the pediatric ICU, neonatal ICU, cardiac care units, cardiac catheter labs, transitional care units, emergency rooms, post-op and recovery units, progressive care units, telemetry units, and recently Critical Care Nurses can be found working in home health care and out patient surgical clinics. Critical Care Nurses, depending on where they are working, may also have the title ICU nurse. Over a third of Critical Care Nurses in the United States work in a hospital setting.

      The majority of professional nurses working in Critical Care received critical care training during pre-licensure educational program clinical rotations. Advanced practice nurses, like Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Practitioners, are also found working in the critical care setting. Advanced practice nurses have at least a master’s in nursing with a specialization in Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist and a sub-specialty in critical care/acute care or related area.

      Critical Care Nursing Certification (CCRN) is offered through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses in the areas of Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal critical care nursing. Certification is not required to work in the field of critical care nursing however, it does demonstrate dedication to the field as well as superior knowledge and skill sets in the field of critical care nursing. Requirements for eligibility to sit for the Critical Care Certification exam include having worked in a critical care setting for at least 1750 hours during the previous two years. You can learn more about the certification exam requirements and benefits of certification by visiting the AACN website.

       

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      Diabetes Nurse Educator

      Nurses can specialize in different ways, and one way is to specialize by specific health issues or conditions. Diabetes nurses are registered nurses who specialize in caring for patients with all types of diabetes and help them manage their health. Like other registered nurses, they also provide routine examinations, monitor a patient’s condition, record a patient’s medical history and vitals, and administer medication or explain treatment. As part of their specialty, they teach patients with diabetes how to manage their condition, such as by educating them on nutrition, or demonstrating how to test their own blood sugar and how to administer their own insulin. Many diabetes nurses focus specifically on diabetes education, and are referred to as diabetes nurse educators. Diabetes nurses usually work in hospitals or in clinics, often with an endocrinology practice.

       

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      Emergency Room Nurse

      Registered nurses can specialize in different ways, and one way is by work setting. Emergency room nurses work in hospital emergency rooms or stand-alone emergency departments or trauma centers, and they treat patients of all ages and will deal with any type of condition or injury. They provide assessments and treat patients with life-threatening conditions. Some ER nurses are qualified to further specialize as transport nurses, who care for patients who are being transported to a medical facility by plane or helicopter. It can be an exciting, adrenaline-filled job that is fast-paced and requires quick-thinking, teamwork, and someone who works well and remains calm under duress. ER nurses are sometimes referred to as trauma nurses and usually consider the same types of certifications and career advancement opportunities.

       

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      Flight Nurse Job Description and Duties

      Flight nurses provide critical care for patients on helicopters or airplanes as they are transported from a trauma or accident scene to a hospital or from one medical facility to another. At times they may be hired by airlines or by individuals who require nursing care in order to travel. In most flight nurse positions, they need to possess very good assessment skills, quick thinking, and good acute care skills. A flight nurse could be dealing with any patient demographic and a wide variety of emergency care. They must provide nursing care from the first assessment until the patient is fully in the care of the destination facility, and must document fully and communicate carefully their assessments. It is an acute care nursing job that can be high stress and filled with adrenaline, yet these jobs are also very sought after and competitive. The nurses might work for a hospital, medical disaster team, the military, an airline, or even a private individual. Trauma nursing is a good area to gain the experience and qualifications that employers are looking for.

      For specializations such as flight and transport nursing, a BSN or even an MSN is ideal, and some experience and added training are mandatory. Click here to find an accredited nursing program now.

       

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      Gastroenterology Nursing

      Gastroenterology nurses specialize in providing care for patients with gastrointestinal disorders. This can include chronic illness or injury of the intestinal or digestive systems. Illnesses they treat could be cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, abdominal bleeding, or acid reflux, to name a few examples. Gastroenterology nurses can work in inpatient or outpatient departments in hospitals, in ambulatory endoscopy centers, or in private practices.

      Gasteroenterology nurse duties vary based on their training and the extent of their nursing education, but can include cleaning equipment, performing screenings, taking medical histories, checking vital signs, aiding the physician in making diagnoses and treating, or preparing a patient for surgery or procedures. Some nurses assist in endoscopies, which is a procedure that enables the health care provider to look inside the gastrointestinal tract by using a tube equipped with a tiny camera that takes pictures. Some gastroenterology nurses might also work on case management for these patients. Educating patients about their illness and how they can manage it at home is another important part of the gastroenterology nurse job.

       

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      Gerontological Nurse

      Gerontological nurses, also referred to as geriatric nurses, are nurses who specialize in caring for the elderly. They are licensed registered nurses who have pursued either continuing education or training and possibly certification in care for the elderly. These nurses can work in many different settings, ranging from nursing home facilities, hospitals, to providing home care as well. Typical duties go beyond the standard RN duties, because these patients generally need help with everyday living in a way that healthy patients do not. They also assist physicians’ with exams, promote self-care, administer medications, and are integral in educating patients and their families and in forming patient care plans.

       

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      ICU Nurse Job Description

      ICU nurses usually specialize by either providing care for babies in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), or for adolescents in a Pediatric ICU (or PICU), or for adults in an intensive care unit. With the right training and education, an ICU nurse can specialize further into other categories, focusing on diseases or parts of the body, like oncology or cardiology, or trauma. The ICU nursing job can be one with potential high stress for nurses, because of the critical situations and many potential end-of-life scenarios that they may face. Nurses who go into ICU nursing will have to be comfortable shouldering that job responsibility as well as with the emotional toll of possibly losing patients. However, this job is not without its rewards, as ICU nurses are extending the life and health of those who truly need it most. For those who are passionate about pediatric nursing, working in a neonatal ICU, caring for adolescents or caring for adults in an acute care setting the ICU nursing career path could be especially fulfilling.

       

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      Infection Control Nursing

      An infection control nurse works doing just what it sounds like, helping to control and prevent the spreading of infectious diseases. Because the risk of infectious diseases spreading is particularly high in medical settings, the role of the infection control nurse is an important one. The primary concerns of an infection control nurse are identifying, monitoring, and controlling the outbreaks or spreading of infectious diseases, as well as developing policies and procedures to prevent them. Infection control nurses can also participate in research that identifies and helps implement changes to infection control practices in hospitals or clinics. Often, an infection control nurse plays a key role in educating healthcare providers about ways to prevent the spreading of diseases and how to implement procedure in the case of an emergency. Prevention, surveillance, and control are key components of the infection control nurse specialty. The role of an infection control nurse can be further specialized into sub-categories such as bioterrorism, public safety, or drug-resistant organisms, to give a few examples. Specialization will often require additional coursework, continuing education and certifications.
      During nursing school most nursing students will learn about infectious diseases, but these nurses will need some training in microbiology, antibiotic use, and epidemiology as well. A BSN program will most likely cover these topics in greater detail than an associate degree in nursing program will. Interning in a facility where infection control nurses work is a great way to learn more about the infection control nurse duties as well as gain valuable experience to add to a resume. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control can also provide continuing education opportunities for nurses looking to go into this field.
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      Neonatal Nurse

      The neonatal nursing career is a relatively new career in for the nursing profession. Neonatal refers to the first 28 days of a newborn’s life. Neonatal Intensive Care Units became part of hospitals in the 1960’s and are now prevalent in just about every hospital in the U.S. and Canada. Neonatal nurses are in high demand and the profession has been hit hard by the nursing shortage plaguing the majority of the U.S. and Canada.

      As a neonatal nurse in a hospital setting you will work in one of three different types of neonatal nursery facilities. Level I is for healthy newborns. Level II nursery is for premature babies or those with an illness. The Level III nursery is usually found in larger hospitals or children’s hospitals. Neonatal nurses in the Level III nursery (NICU Nurse) take care of newborns with critical health issues that can not be taken care of in a level II or Level I nursery. So, as a neonatal nurse you can be working with perfectly healthy newborns and mothers or newborns with more serious illnesses.

       

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      Nephrology Nurse

      Nephrology nurses care for patients who suffer from acute or chronic kidney diseases. Nephrology nurses patients’ illnesses may be caused by hypertension, diabetes, or substance abuse. Nurses who specialize in a certain organ or body system, like nephrology nurses, usually work in hospitals, specialty clinics, outpatient clinics, or critical care units. There are many paths a nurse working in the nephrology nursing specialty can take. Nephrology nurses can work with patients who suffer end stages of renal/kidney disease (ESRD), patients who need dialysis, or patients who have had kidney transplants. Providing pertinent healthcare or patient education can also play a large role in their job duties. Educating patients, their families, and communities about chronic kidney disease and decreasing the risk factors can be an exciting way to contribute to this field. A nephrology research career pathway is also within the realms of nephrology nursing with the right combination of work experience and education.

       

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      Neuroscience Nurse

      There are many challenging specialties you can pursue in the field of nursing, neuroscience nursing being one of them. Neuroscience nursing has become a broad specialization, with these nurses helping patients who may suffer from neurological disorders, brain tumors, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, in addition to patients who have suffered spinal cord injury or head trauma. A neuroscience nurse must have good assessment skills, and also provide care for patients before and after neurosurgery. They also educate the patients about their illness or disorder with instructions and treatment plans to aid their recovery or adjust to their conditions.

       

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      NICU Nurse

      A NICU nurse (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse) works in the neonatal intensive care unit with newborns in the first 28 days of life who are critically ill or born prematurely and need advanced medical attention. There are 3 levels of neonatal care, and a NICU nurse usually works in level III, which admits infants who require extra care, involving ventilators, incubators, or surgery. Often they are premature babies, but they can also suffer from other factors, such as infections, seizures, illness, birth injury, or the need for a blood transfusion. A NICU nurse provides direct nursing care and careful, diligent monitoring for these babies. NICU nurses continually assess their patient’s condition, checking their respiration, vital signs, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Blood tests, urine testes, and x-rays may also be required and the NICU nurse will perform these or assist the technician. NICU nurses are also responsible for basic tasks like feeding the baby, changing their diaper, and if possible, bringing the baby to the parent for contact and showing the parents how to feed and change the baby’s diaper without disrupting any tubes or monitoring equipment. As a NICU nurse, you’d work closely with a healthcare team involving neonatalogists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, lactation consultants, social workers and pharmacists.

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      Nurse Manager / Administrator

      Nurse Managers and administrators, sometimes referred to as a head nurse, can work in many locations, be it a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or physicians’ office, to name a few. They are basically the head nurse for that facility, and are ultimately responsible for the nursing staff there and the care they provide. In some workplaces they might be the main nurse manager, but in larger settings they can have assistants who they oversee as well. Their responsibilities are varied, but are not different in scope from managers at non-medical facilities or companies. Nurse managers’ duties can encompass many things, but might include hiring, training, and evaluating staff nurses, coordinating the nursing staff’s work schedules, and ensuring they are providing optimal care. Additional duties can include keeping on top of developments in their field and incorporating them into their work setting, overseeing use of equipment and inventory, or communicating with hospital administration. They need to also be comfortable as practicing registered nurses in their field. They need to not only have their BSN and some nursing experience, but they need to be organized, efficient, innovative, and comfortable in a leadership role.

      Becoming a nurse manager begins with becoming a licensed, registered nurse. Usually nurse managers are nurses who have earned a bachelor of science in nursing, and often have a master’s degree. You can even become a certified nurse manager and leader (CNML). This would be a voluntary certification, but one that would increase your leadership skills and marketability. It would demonstrate your commitment to your leadership role in nursing. To become certified, you would need to be a licensed, registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as a minimum of two years of nursing leadership experience. Some nurse managers might also have a degree in nursing administration or health administration, which are offered at colleges, universities, and schools of business administration or public health.

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      Nursing Case Managers

      If you are interested in advancing your nursing career, becoming a case management nurse may be the career path for you. If you are already a registered nurse, this can be as simple as earning a case management nursing certificate online. This is not a requirement, but would give you a competitive edge in the field.

      According to the Commission for Case Management Certification, case management is a “collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services” necessary to meet people’s healthcare needs. They are both advocates for patients, as well as agents working toward the most efficient, cost-conscious care on behalf of the insurance provider and the medical facility.

      A case management nurse works together with the patient and their providers, helps develop a plan of care, monitors progress, assesses their care, and makes changes or suggests alternative treatments if necessary. They ensure that the quality of care is high, that the care best suits their needs, and that it is all done cost-efficiently. They will work with the patients and their families, as well as with the provider and the physicians. They analyze data, conduct research, and compare treatments. Additionally, case management nurses often specialize in one area of healthcare to better serve their clients.

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      Nurse Manager / Administrator

      Nurse Managers and administrators, sometimes referred to as a head nurse, can work in many locations, be it a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or physicians’ office, to name a few. They are basically the head nurse for that facility, and are ultimately responsible for the nursing staff there and the care they provide. In some workplaces they might be the main nurse manager, but in larger settings they can have assistants who they oversee as well. Their responsibilities are varied, but are not different in scope from managers at non-medical facilities or companies. Nurse managers’ duties can encompass many things, but might include hiring, training, and evaluating staff nurses, coordinating the nursing staff’s work schedules, and ensuring they are providing optimal care. Additional duties can include keeping on top of developments in their field and incorporating them into their work setting, overseeing use of equipment and inventory, or communicating with hospital administration. They need to also be comfortable as practicing registered nurses in their field. They need to not only have their BSN and some nursing experience, but they need to be organized, efficient, innovative, and comfortable in a leadership role.

      Becoming a nurse manager begins with becoming a licensed, registered nurse. Usually nurse managers are nurses who have earned a bachelor of science in nursing, and often have a master’s degree. You can even become a certified nurse manager and leader (CNML). This would be a voluntary certification, but one that would increase your leadership skills and marketability. It would demonstrate your commitment to your leadership role in nursing. To become certified, you would need to be a licensed, registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as a minimum of two years of nursing leadership experience. Some nurse managers might also have a degree in nursing administration or health administration, which are offered at colleges, universities, and schools of business administration or public health.

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      Nursing Informatics

      The first step toward any nursing specialty is to become a registered nurse. Nursing requirements vary from state to state, but a nursing degree from a state-accredited nursing program is necessary. You can earn your degree by getting a bachelor’s of science in nursing through a four-year university or college, or an associate degree from a community or junior college. After earning your degree, you must pass a state licensing exam. Additional training or coursework in computer science is then necessary to become a qualified candidate for an informatics nursing position. To be competitive, graduate-level technology coursework, whether or not it is integrated with nursing, would give a competitive edge. MSN – Informatics degree programs are available for current registered nurses at a number of schools.

      According to the International Medical Informatics Association, nursing informatics is “the integration of nursing, its information, and information management with information processing and communication technology, to support the health of people world wide.” It is a specialty of nursing that combines nursing, computer science, and information to communicate and manage data and nursing knowledge.

      Nurse informatics can perform a variety of jobs within healthcare organizations, including insurance companies, hospital, or clinics. They might be responsible for implementing medical databases, computerizing nursing stations or tasks, or training nursing staff in utilizing technology. They also work with data, collecting and interpreting information to ensure that healthcare is given in the most beneficial and cost-efficient manner. They often are responsible for presenting this data to healthcare executives as well.

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        Gynecology and Obstetrics Nursing – OBGYN Nursing

        Gynecology and obstetrics (OBGYN) nursing covers women’s reproductive health, from when menstruation begins, through pregnancy, childbirth, and through menopause. Gynecology nurses can also treat women who suffer from disorders or illnesses affecting their reproductive system, such as cancer, endometriosis, or sexually transmitted diseases. There are subspecialties under this title as well, including perinatal nursing, and labor and delivery nursing. Obstetrics nursing specifically focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and a woman’s postpartum health. Gynecology nursing focuses on a woman’s reproductive health, and the two types of nurses often overlap within a hospital, private practice, or health clinic.

        Working along with supervising physicians and midwives, OBGYN nurses will have a varied list of duties, ranging from preparing exam rooms, taking medical histories, assisting the physician with procedures, prepping a patient for a screening or procedure, assisting during birth, or educating patients. Regardless of where they work or what their focus is, OB or Gyn, education is an important part of this job as these nurses make sure their patients are informed about birth control options, sexually transmitted diseases, or important prenatal care.

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        Utilization Management

        A utilization review (UR) nurse, also known as a utilization management nurse, is a registered nurse who must decide what level of care is necessary and appropriate for patients within her area of responsibility. Most UR nurses work for health care insurers or large health care institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes. They are routinely faced with potentially life-altering decisions to either approve or reject a specific mode of treatment, diagnostic test or medication. Such decisions may cover health insurers’ policyholders, as well as uninsured or underinsured patients in a managed care environment. UM nurses match patient care needs to available resources, ensure that they stay at appropriate levels and make adjustments if necessary. She adds, “Probably the most difficult aspect for any care provider is when you come upon that point where an insurance policy or whatever form of reimbursement—whether it’s Medicare or whether it’s private or anything else—might not be covering certain aspects of care.”

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        Community Specialties

        Advice Nursing

        An advice nurse is a nurse who works at a physician’s office, clinic, student health clinic, hospital, or even insurance company who specializes in answering calls to advise patients over the phone with basic medical evaluations and treatment advice. Often, an advice nurse will help a patient determine whether or not they need to come into the doctor’s office to see a medical professional. If not, an advice nurse may give some basic advice about treating minor injuries or illnesses, and provide follow up instructions. Advice nurses must adhere to state and federal regulations, protocol and guidelines with nursing advice, and follow up with paper work and physician consultation if necessary. The advice nursing service can be tremendously useful for busy patients and can also streamline the time physicians and nurses spend treating patients. The advice nurse position or service is also referred to as clinical nurse triage telephone service in some settings or as telephone triage nursing. Sometimes it is an ideal job position for experienced nurses who are disabled or otherwise incapable of practicing nursing traditionally in an office or hospital, but have the knowledge to still help patients.

        The current economic downturn has lead to a significant rise in the number of unemployed individuals without health insurance. Advice nurse hotlines have proved to be a great resource for those without insurance and who have concerns about their health and the health of their family. Some of the advice nurse hotlines are also providing assistance with health insurance questions.

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        Camp Nurse

        The camp Nurse will evaluate and treat campers and staff for minor injuries and illnesses, supervise and ensure implementation medication policies and procedures at camp, keep a log of Health Center visits, give supportive advice to counselors and other camp staff if requested, and identify health problems serious enough to require a physician’s attention.

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        WHAT DO CASE MANAGERS DO?

        Do you like helping people get through tough times? Do you have a compassionate heart and critical thinking mind? Then you might be a great case manager. Also called social and human service assistants, case managers help people who are in difficult situations with advice, figure out what kind of help they need, help them find the services they need, create plans for treatment or recovery, work with other health and human service providers, and keep tabs on client’s progress with treatment plans. Case managers may work for or in concert with a social worker, psychologist or similar health and human service authority.

        Case managers work in many aspects of people’s lives, and may work with children and families, senior citizens, those with disabilities, recovering addicts, the mentally ill, immigrants, ex-offenders or the homeless. Each of these jobs have their own specific needs and requirements.

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        Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist Career

        A forensic clinical nurse specialist is a type of advanced practice nurse who is in the specialized field of forensics. Forensic nurses often help victims of violence, but they can perform many jobs in subspecialties. According to the International Association of Forensic Nurses, it is “the application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings.” They are a key component linking medical care and the law, providing care to victims or perpetrators, gathering evidence, documenting it, and sometimes helping solve crimes and testifying. Forensic nurses can be nurse death investigators, psychiatric nurses, or certified sexual assault examiners, to name just a few concentrations. Forensic nursing is a field that is still very much in its infancy, but it is an important one that is gaining ground, recognition, and more interested nurses.

        Clinical nurse specialists are one of four kinds of advanced practice nurses, and it’s a position that requires at least a master’s degree. They often work in hospitals and their job duties span education, consultation, and direct patient care. They usually specialize in a particular field of medicine. A forensic CNS can have very different roles in different hospitals. Regardless of their duties or job title, a forensic CNS will be knowledgeable and trained in the evaluation and treatment of victims of violence, evidence collection, documentation and preservation of evidence, as well as testifying in court. A CNS is also a resource for others in the hospital because of their advanced training in forensics.

        Forensic nursing is the newest specialization in nursing and is still very much a growing field. One of the reasons that it has developed is because there is more awareness now about interpersonal violence and the proper treatment of victims. There is also more awareness about the importance of evidence collection for effective prosecution. It was not until1995 that forensic nursing officially became recognized as a specialty of nursing by the American Nurses Association. The field of forensics in nursing was in fact established and publicized by nurses in forensics with advanced degrees, such as clinical nurse specialists.

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        Community Health Nurse

        Community health nurses serve a community, providing healthcare, education, and promoting preventive healthcare to the underserved in communities. They are a huge part of improving overall public health. As they get to know the communities that they serve, they focus on the main health problems arising in that community and strive to educate the population and help prevent whichever diseases or health problems they encounter the most. Community health nurses often go out into the “field” and do not often stay within a hospital or health clinic. A community health nurse may work for hospices, public health agencies, or home health services. Community health nurses see any age range within a population and treat a variety of health problems. Community health nursing work can focus on many different health topics, ranging from nutrition education, domestic violence, substance abuse, or sexually transmitted disease or teen pregnancy. Sometimes a community health nurse may work to help pass legislation that will improve the health care available to their community, like a health care policy nurse might do. Often a community health nurse may serve a segment of the population that struggles with poverty and has few resources to turn to for the healthcare they need.

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        Complementary and Alternative Health Nursing

        Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a growing branch of medicine, and nursing in this field can be an exciting route for you to take in your nursing career if you are interested in integrating holistic living and alternative healing practices into your nursing care protocol to better treat patients. More and more Americans are turning to alternative medicine to complement the conventional western medical care they receive. This type of nursing is considered holistic, looking at the whole person and their lifestyle instead of just at the symptoms. It focuses on prevention, nutrition, alternative forms of healing, and places faith in the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

        Complimentary health nursing can focus on a variety of approaches, including Chinese medicine, supplements, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, breathing exercises, hypnotherapy, or spinal manipulation, to name just some of the approaches encompassed by CAM. The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine states that it is difficult to define the scope, because more and more therapies are being integrated into mainstream medical practices, and more and more therapies are being employed by complementary and alternative healing nurses and care providers.

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        Correctional Nursing Career Profile

        You’ll find nurses with all levels of education and experience working in the correctional facility setting including Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), LPNs, LVNs, Registered Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Nurse Practitioners. Depending on the education and training level of the nurse, each will have a set of specific duties relevant to their training.

        Professional staff nurses working in this setting will frequently see inmates with acute illnesses or injuries, such as trauma, infection and flu. They also commonly treat inmates with critical chronic disease or illness, such as, HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, detox, mental/psychological illness, kidney failure, pulmonary disorders, cancer and related health ailments. In general, an RN, LPN/LVN will conduct the physical health and medical history of each inmate as they are admitted to the facility and refer any medical concerns to the medical director or on staff physician/nurse practitioner. Nurses will assist the nurse practitioner or physician with “sick call” assessing patients and participating in minor procedures. Nurses also assist the NP/Physician in the dispensing of prescribed medications, always cognizant of the potential of drug hoarding and trafficking amongst inmates. Nurses do rounds on their patient/inmates recording their observations, evaluating their symptoms and progress, charting and reporting anything out of their nursing scope of practice to the medical director or on-site NP/Physician. Frequently the RN will supervise the LVN/LPNs in the facility. The ultimate goal is to provide medical and mental health care, which results in improved health of the inmates.

        Experience as a critical care nurse, trauma nurse or medical surgical nurse is often times beneficial, as the experience in a fast paced and high stress environment can emulate what will be found in the prison environment. Skills and personality traits such as working well in an autonomous environment, confidence, excellent communication skills and problem solving skills are all strengths in correctional nursing. It is not uncommon for nurses in the correctional facility to be exposed to violence, vulgarity, and related situations. Nurses in this setting must be competent and confident when faced with any crisis intervention, physical assessment, medical emergency and any medical or psychiatric nursing care scenario.

        To become a correctional nurse you will first need to pursue the relevant nursing education pathway, registered nurse or LPN/LVN, CNA or Advanced Practice Nurse and hold the appropriate license and credentials for your position. The most popular professional certification in this field is offered by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). They offer a basic and advanced Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) certification. All nurses, understandably, will have to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment in a correctional facility. Based on a recent query for correctional nursing jobs, there are hundreds of job opportunities throughout the country in local, state and federal correctional systems. The correctional system includes juvenile correction facilities, penitentiaries, prisons, detention centers and other related facilities. Nurses can be found working in most any correctional facility or related facility. The majority of correctional nurses report that their favorite part of the job is the autonomy.

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        Ship Nurse Job Description

        The ship’s nurse is an experienced Registered Nurse (RN) responsible to provide appropriate day-to-day health care to passengers and crew members aboard the cruise ship. The cruise ship nurse reports and works under the direction of the ship’s lead nurse, ship’s physician and ship’s chief doctor. She/ he is called first in case of medical emergency aboard the cruise ship providing first aid care until arrival of the ship’s physician. The ship nurse performs nursing care in a proficient, calm and professional manner during routine work shifts as well as duringa crisis, increased workload or emergency situations. She/ he initiates nursing intervention for non-urgent patients, such as but not limited to ice application, dressings, splints and bandages, calculates correct drug dosage and administers medication as per physician’s prescription/order. She/ he also assist the physician with procedures/ treatments, document nursing interventions/ observations and sets up treatment rooms, checks emergency equipment, maintains established par levels of medical supplies/ medications.

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        Dermatology Nurse Career Profile

        Dermatology nurses are nurses who care for patients who are seeking medical help for skin conditions or disorders. These conditions can include psoriasis, cosmetic issues, acne, and the more serious health problems such as skin cancer. Many of these nurses focus on skin cancer, educating patients about early prevention and focusing on treatment.

        Dermatology nurses can work in different settings, including a private physician’s office, a hospital, clinic, or health care center. Duties for these nurses include basic nursing skills such as monitoring patients, assessment, filling out medical records, and educating patients about treatment, medications, and conditions. They may also assist in surgical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, or help treat minor skin conditions such as infection, wounds, psoriasis, or acne.

        Taking the dermatology nurse certification exam is optional, and requires first becoming an RN and earning the required experience, but would be a great advantage for you career. Certification not only provides you with essential knowledge, but demonstrates your commitment to the field and its standards. With certification, you will have more respect from both your patients and other healthcare professionals. Passing the Dermatology Nurse Certification (DNC) exam given by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board will earn you the right to use the DNC title and requires renewal every three years.

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        Disaster Preparedness Nurse Career Profile

        Disaster preparedness has attained a higher level of importance in this country. Properly trained nurses help ensure that in any type of disaster, a community will have organized and effective emergency medical care. Nurses have always played an important role in disaster response, be it a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or an intentional attack like those on Oklahoma City or the World Trade Center. Disaster response nurses are there, offering triage, working with physicians, providing leadership, emotional support, and making decisions.

        Disaster response nurses need to be prepared to deal with potential biohazards that they don’t see in hospitals or clinics, such as anthrax, plagues, or smallpox. They need to be prepared for mass casualties, and know how to set up emergency shelters and treat large numbers of injured persons in situations where medical facilities or equipment are not readily available. Some duties of a disaster nurse include giving medical care in adverse situations, receiving patients, staging temporary medical facilities, and preparing patients to be evacuated. Earthquakes, hurricanes, bioterrorism, nuclear, or chemical attacks are all scenarios that would require the immediate help of vast numbers of prepared emergency teams, including nurses.

        Many nurses in various specialties are trained to some extent to providing care in a disaster. However some nurses are specifically focused on disaster nursing. Civilian registered nurses who have received disaster response training can be part of a volunteer community disaster response team. Many nurses are also part teams who are deployed to sites of disasters to help the local emergency teams deal with the magnitude of large emergency situations. This includes the Red Cross Disaster Assistance Teams (DAT) and the Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT). These are teams that can be dispatched anywhere in the nation in any kind of disaster that overwhelms the local emergency teams. Nationally, there are also nurses employed by the U.S. Public Health Service Nurse Corp and the U.S. Military Nurse Corps.

        Ideal qualities in a disaster nurse include commitment, flexibility, preparation, calm under duress, and strong preparation skills. Becoming a disaster response nurse begins with becoming a registered nurse. Whether you are an RN with an associate degree in nursing (ASN) or you earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), or are a specialty nurse with an advanced degree, you can join a disaster response team with extra disaster medicine and management training. Disaster medicine and management training courses are offered in many undergraduate nursing programs as well as in graduate programs. Certification and training is very important for disaster response nurses, because organized response efforts are integral to a disaster response team’s success in an emergency situation. There are standardized response systems in place, and all disaster nurses need to be aware of them for the operation to run smoothly in a high stress and possibly dangerous time. There are also graduate and doctoral educational nursing programs covering emergency preparedness and disaster response at major nursing schools.

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        Disney Nurse:  The Happiest Career On Earth 2018 New Positions!

        Beginning January 22, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort will have a new ‘temporary’ staff member – an onsite nurse. According to a report, the addition to Mickey’s team is part of their newest pilot program.

        The staff nurse will be available to care for sick or injured guests in the resort lobby from 7am-11am. The nursing job description posted to Disney’s career page states that nurse duties include, providing medical care by taking vital signs, assessing the patient’s injury, illness, document findings, formulate and educate on treatment plans, and perform medical interventions within the RN scope of practice.

        The pilot program is set to run for 90 days. Upon completion, the program will be reviewed. If it is successful Disney will implement the program throughout their resorts nationwide.

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        Domestic Violence Nurse

        Domestic violence nurses, often called domestic violence nurse examiner (DVNE), are specialists in the very new field of forensic nursing. Forensic nursing is still emerging, and is the most recently recognized nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association. Despite this, it is a very important field that links healthcare with the criminal justice system. People tend to associate the word “forensics” with murder and detective shows on television. But forensics can imply any association with criminality, and forensic nurses can also work with surviving victims of violence. These nurses are so important because not only do they provide the necessary medical care for victims of domestic violence, but they also are well trained at identifying and documenting evidence. This is very important to help victims when their abuser is tried in court.

        All nurses are trained to spot signs of abuse in patients and are obligated to report signs of domestic violence, but these nurses focus specifically on helping this vulnerable population. Domestic violence can be defined as any abuse committed by an intimate partner. However, women, children, and the elderly make up the largest percentages of domestic violence victims. It is an insidious public health issue and is generally far more pervasive than most people assume, affecting people of all backgrounds, with millions of women affected every year.

        Domestic violence nurses can work in many different places. Most of them work in hospital emergency rooms, but many also work in clinics or for advocacy groups that serve victims of domestic violence. Their duties are multi-faceted. Because it can be stressful for victims to see police officers, doctors, therapists, and nurses, domestic violence nurses can take on many of these duties. These duties typically consist of examining victims, assessing the extent of their injuries, documenting the injuries, and also providing the victims with information about intervention agencies and other resources. Mental health assessment is also part of their job as their patients have often been through traumatizing experiences. It is also imperative that they have good empathic and communication skills. Part of their job is providing care with empathy and making traumatized victims comfortable as they reveal their injuries and experience.

        Many domestic violence nurses also train to be certified as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE). This is a more focused domestic violence nurse, and one of the most common sub-specialties of forensic nursing.

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        Ethics Nurse: Nurses On Hospital Ethics Committees

        One unique avenue your nursing career can take is becoming part of a hospital ethics committee. Nurses working on hospital ethics committees serve the patients and their families as patient advocates, while also operating as a hospital representative. While serving on the committee, they offer their perspective to the committee and also offer the patient assurance, information, and support regarding important ethical issues that arise while providing medical or nursing care.

        The role of these ethics committees is to review specific situations that arise, involving moral or ethical aspects of medical care. These situations can cover a variety of things, including informed consent, advance directives, resuscitation directives, or organ and tissue donation. One particularly important one is end-of-life situations where the family of the patient has to decide whether or not to continue life support. Other times, patients or their families may feel that their rights have been overlooked and feel they need recourse for those actions. The ethics committee would attempt to remedy any such conflict as well. Additionally, ethics committees usually publish an ethics handbook for their employees, outlining patient rights, code of ethics, and professional conduct and guidelines for bioethical issues. These committees have only come into being in the last three decades and are still essentially growing and forming, particularly with the continual advancement of health care technology and the accompanying bioethics issues that have arisen with these advancements.

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        Forensic Geriatric Nursing Career

        Forensic geriatric nurses care for elderly patients, often in cases of abuse, exploitation, or neglect. These nurses often work in retirement communities or in nursing home facilities, but they can have their own practice as well. Similar to pediatric forensic patients, geriatric patients depend often on caretakers who help them with tasks associated with daily living. Therefore, they are in a vulnerable position and not always in a position to advocate for themselves when they are being harmed or mistreated. Forensic nurses working with this subset of patients are there to help them, recognize abuse, and help law enforcement in the case.

        Forensic nursing is still a developing field. While it was officially recognized by the American Nurses Association in 1995 and certification programs have been available for several years, not all hospitals and institutions employ forensic nurses, and many people are not familiar with the work they do and its value. All specialties of forensic nurses incorporate law enforcement into their nursing care. Whether they are assisting victims of violence, treating the dangerously mentally ill, or investigating a suspicious death, they are well trained in not only medical exams and sensitive nursing care, but also in evidence collection and preservation, and in the importance of medical exams in prosecuting offenders. Their expert testimony is extremely important in successfully prosecuting offenders, and they are often called to testify in court. Forensic nurses usually choose a specialty, be it by crime (such as sexual assault) or by patient population (such as pediatric or geriatric) and focus exclusively on that.

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        Forensic Nurse Educator

        Forensic nursing is the newest specialization in nursing and is still very much a growing field. In fact, it was not until1995 that forensic nursing officially became recognized as a specialty of nursing by the American Nurses Association. Despite its newness, it is an extremely important component in nursing, connecting healthcare and nursing with the law. Often people are uncertain as to what forensic nursing is about. Generally, forensic nurses examine and evaluate victims of crime, gather evidence, investigate cause of death or assist survivors, and often testify in court. They are trained to be aware of evidence during their healthcare work, and bring their healthcare expertise to the judicial side and help solve crimes and testify. There are many subspecialties as well, with some FNPs focusing on aiding sexual assault victims, or the dangerously mentally ill, or investigating suspicious deaths. Forensic nurse educators tackle people’s misperception of forensic nursing by educating not only nursing students, but also physicians, other nurses, attorneys, teachers, law enforcement officers, child services workers, and other medical workers.

        Forensic nurse educators not only teach what forensic nursing is about, but they also teach continuing education and certification courses. They can teach classes in pediatric and adult SANE certification (sexual assault nurse examiner), as well as classes focusing on child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence. They teach the history of forensic nursing, violence and vicitmilogy, criminology, courtroom testimony, as well as evidence collection, preservation, and documentation. Because forensic nursing covers so much ground, they often bring in experts or real-life specialists to lecture and provide more detailed insight into specific forensic nursing jobs, such as nurse death investigators, forensic psychiatric nurses, or forensic nurse examiners.

        Many forensic nurses do not work full-time in this specialty, but work part-time or on call in addition to another full-time nursing job. This applies to nurse educators as well. The jobs are not plentiful, but it is very much a growing field and has a secure future in nursing. A forensic nurse educator is likely to travel to teach at professional conferences, or conduct online distance learning as well. These teaching opportunities are important because not all universities or colleges have forensic nursing programs.

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        Forensic Nurse Examiners

        Forensic nurse examiners (FNE) are responsible for collecting evidence from victims of crime as well as testifying in court as expert witnesses. They are there to not only examine, but also support and help victims of violence or sexual violence. They can work with adults or children, and are usually trained specifically for whichever group they focus on helping. They have advanced knowledge of evidence collection, preservation, and documentation, all of which are extremely important for the prosecution. They understand the legal proceedings that will follow and what is necessary to effectively prosecute the perpetrators. They are also trained in sensitivity. Previously, victims of any violent crime were most likely in an ER or examined by a medical professional who was not trained in sensitivity or in collecting evidence. This results in not only a higher likelihood of the perpetrator walking free, but can also leave the victim feeling further victimized, vulnerable, and can make victims less likely to seek help when they need it.

        One of the largest subsets of victims is sexual assault victims. For this, FNEs need to have their SANE certification, which stands for sexual assault nursing examiner. This can be further specialized as SANE-A or SANE-P, which stands for adult or pediatric. Interpersonal violence is an insidious and pervasive problem throughout the country, and proper examining is an integral part toward tackling this in hospitals as well as courtrooms. In 1995, the American Nurses Association officially recognized forensic nursing as a specialty of nursing. In April 2002, the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) held the first international certification exam.

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        Forensic Nursing

        Forensic nurses are RN’s that practice in a number of fields including domestic violence, emergency trauma, child and elderly abuse, and sexual assault. Forensic Nurses are responsible for gathering evidence quickly and efficiently so that it can be used in a court of law. The employers of forensic nursing specialists vary as well. They include acute healthcare facilities, correctional institutions, county prosecutors, coroner’s offices, medical examiner’s offices, insurance companies, and psychiatric facilities. Another opportunity is to start your own forensic nursing business and act as an independent consultant to all of these employers.

        A lot of forensic nurses work as nurse examiners in hospital emergency rooms. In cases like a shooting or a stabbing, the forensic nurse works to collect bullets and other debris left in the body that will help in the investigation. They also have to photograph and measure the wounds of the patients. If the victim dies, the forensic nurse is responsible for working with the medical examiner as well. In addition to gathering forensic information, forensic nurses are also responsible for testifying in trials as an expert witness or a fact witness. As an expert witness, the nurse may give their opinion on the findings of forensic evidence. However, if they are called upon as a fact witness, their testimony should be objective, state their findings, and shouldn’t include their personal opinion.

        If you are already an RN, the next step is to enroll in a Forensic Nursing Certificate or Degree program. Such programs are not required for entry into the profession, however, breaking into the field of forensic nursing without a specialized degree or certification can be extremely difficult. There is a growing number of nursing schools that offer certificate programs for current registered nurses that focus specifically on forensic nursing.

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        Forensic Psychiatric Nurse

        Forensic nursing is still very much a developing specialty in nursing, but a very important one and a key component linking healthcare and the judicial system. Normally a forensic nurse works with victims of crime, examining them, preserving evidence, and testifying in a court of law. A forensic psychiatric nurse adds psychiatric evaluation to the professional combination of law and nursing. They may be performing physical examinations, but they focus on the mental health of their patients, often treating the offenders more than victims. A forensic psychiatric nurse (FPN) is responsible for evaluating individuals who require court-ordered psychiatric evaluations. They are also responsible for evaluating and treating criminal offenders in an institution who may be mentally ill, much like correctional nurses. Sometimes they evaluate the victim of a crime, determining their mental state as a result of the crime. They can also work with juveniles in juvenile correctional institutions. Sometimes they connect their patients with the social or medical services they need, assisting in an offender’s rehabilitation.

        Education and Training for Psychiatric Forensic Nurses

        Being a successful forensic psychiatric nurse requires many important skills. They often work with patients who have committed violent offenses, yet they are required to appear nonjudgmental, supportive, and must act in the best interest of their patient. They must concern themselves with the safety of their patient, as well as those around them. In 1995, forensic nursing officially became recognized as a specialty of nursing by the American Nurses Association. In 2002, the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) held the first international certification exam. Not many states, however, have the classification of psychiatric forensic nursing.

        Forensic psychiatric nurses are highly specialized and usually have master’s degrees in forensic or psychiatric nursing. However, the road toward becoming a forensic psychiatric nurse begins with becoming a registered nurse (RN).

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        Genetics Nurse

        The field of nursing provides an amazing array of specialties that allow you to research and find an area that is the right fit for you. Genetics nursing is an exciting and ever changing option that is worth learning about if you are either already working in nursing and are looking for a nursing specialty, or if you are just getting started on your nursing degree. There is a great deal of potential for nurses in genetics.

        Genetics nurses are registered nurses who work with patients who either have a hereditary based disease, or are possibly at risk for one and want to do genetic testing. Cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s are just some of the many diseases that doctors and researchers now understand can have a genetic component. These nurses’ main duties include assessing patients’ risk factors, providing early detection screenings, and providing counseling or treatment plans for patients with genetic disorders. Conducting research is another large part of many genetics nurses’ job profiles. Genetics nurses can work in many different settings, including clinics, prenatal centers, oncology clinics, pediatric clinics, as well as in private or public research centers.

        Becoming a certified genetics clinical nurse(GCN) involves first earning not only a nursing license, but also five full years of experience as a clinical genetics nurse. Certification is valid for five years before it must be renewed again. The Genetics Nursing Credentialing Commission (GNCC) is the organization responsible for overseeing the genetics clinical nurse certification process as well as maintaining a database of the certified Genetics Clinical Nurses. With a graduate degree in nursing (Master’s or Doctoral) and 300 hours in genetic nursing, you can become an advanced practice nurse in genetics (APNG).

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        Health Care Policy Nursing

        If you are a licensed or registered nurse with an advanced degree, or planning on becoming one, there are many different nursing specialties that you could pursue. Most people are aware of the nursing shortages that are facing our nation with its expanding aging population as the baby boomers grow older. However, many people aren’t aware of the enormous variety of niches existing in nursing and how nurses are gaining more power in shaping the very healthcare system that they work within. If you are passionate about nursing and healthcare, and are interested in public health policy or health care policy, an advanced degree with a focus on health care policy nursingwould be an excellent choice for you.

        Health care policy nurses are nurses who research, analyze, and study existing healthcare policies and regulations and how they affect the population. They use their direct nursing experience and their training in health care policy, economics, communication, and ethics to help form new healthcare and government policies. These nurses can work for different types of employers, including universities, colleges, government health agencies, research firms, legislative or regulatory offices, advocacy organizations, or other health care organizations.

        These nurses learn how to become researchers, analysts, educators, and advocates. They analyze and research existing health laws and policies. They can help develop effective health policy initiatives and research ways to successfully implement those measures. Health policy nurses can become leaders in forming health policy at not just the local level, but at the state or national level as well.

        Generally, health policy nurses have a PhD or a master’s degree in nursing, with a focus on health policy.

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        The Registered Nurse working in a correctional facility, clinic, AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) or hospital, will be delivering care to individuals infected or affected with HIV/AIDS and counseling those involved promoting health and welfare strategies. They will also help infected persons with the administration of their medications. The medications available today are extremely complicated to take and have many painful adverse events and without a nurse’s or other experienced health care provider’s counseling about the medications the infected person’s compliance has been found to be non-existent. The HIV/AIDS nurse is an integral part of the health care team and often has constant personal contact with infected persons from the time of diagnosis through the time the infected persons pass.

        The Nurse Practitioner (NP) working in HIV/AIDS settings generally provides primary and specialty care to the infected person as well as counseling the person about their health and welfare and the medications the NP will be prescribing. Other roles an NP may find in this field include HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention, Community Health Care Manager, or Health Care Services Planner for HIV/AIDS care.* Nurses with master’s and doctoral degrees in the field of nursing and HIV/AIDS work in education in addition to HIV/AIDS research or advanced practice. Education allows for more sharing of information and gives a fresh generation of nursing students a chance to expand their knowledge in HIV/AIDS nursing.

        HIV/AIDS nurses ultimately aim to improve care of the infected and prevent further spread of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS nurses are proud of what they do. They must work hard and study to maintain their credentials, which in turn keeps their knowledge and skill sets current. To learn more about this career visit the ANAC or HANCB websites.

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        Holistic Nursing Practice

        According to the American Holistic Nurses’ Association, holistic nursing is described as a nursing practice that heals the whole person, acknowledging the totality of an individual, with a connection between their body, emotions, mind, and spirit as well as environment. Holistic nurses strive to make a personal connection with their patients, treating them as a “whole person” and not just a patient with specific symptoms or problems. They may work to combine alternative medicine with typical clinical practices to treat their patients. They do not just treat symptoms with western medication, but also look at potential causes, a patient’s nutrition, stress levels, environment, and often incorporate non-Western healing practices as well. These can include massage, touch therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, or meditation.

        Certification is possible for holistic nurses, and is highly preferable, though not a requirement. Certification is often optional in most nursing specialties, but is looked on favorably as a sign of commitment to your field. Certification often brings with it more job opportunities, respect on the job, proof of competency and qualifications, as well as knowledge for you to bring to your career. Holistic nursing training programs and the certification exam is offered through the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation (AHNCC). Passing the examination makes you an HN-BC (holistic nurse- board certified), formerly known as HNC (holistic nurse certified).

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        Home Health Care Nurse

        Home health care is one of the fastest growing sectors of health care in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are numerous job openings for registered nurses and LPN’s looking for an autonomous nursing career in home health care. Salaries in home health care nursing are very competitive as a result of the great need for home health nurses.

        As a home health care nurse you will provide in home care for patients that are acute or chronically ill, elderly, recovering from surgery, recovering from child birth, recovering from an injury or one of a number of other medical conditions. Because of the nature of a home health care nurse job, many of the public and private home health care agencies require their registered nurses to have had some hospital based work experience preferably in an acute or critical care environment. Some like to see actual home health experience and depending on the nature of the home health visits some may even want their nurses to have previous medical/surgical nursing experience. A geriatric care management certificate for registered nurses is also desirable for employment and specialization. Those registered nurses with a BSN or MSN will make significantly more money in this position than those with lesser education.

        Home Health Nurses must be autonomous, have excellent communication skills, possess excellent clinical skills, be able to teach and communicate to patients and caregivers how to self-care and perform certain procedures such as changing wound care materials. Nurses in home health must be astute in their patient assessment in order to detect any potential health problems and to also be able to communicate any changes in patient well-being to the attending provider. Home health nurses are on-call many weekends and nights and the work can be very demanding, but for the right individual this can be a very flexible, independent and lucrative career.

        Many home health care nurses advance their career by moving into a home health care nurse district manager or regional manager position with responsibilities for overseeing a geographical area and the home health care nurses working there. Earning a master’s degree in health care management or health care administration can open more career opportunities in public and private home health companies, including executive type, high-paying positions.

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        Hospice and Palliative Nursing

        Hospice and palliative care nursing has come about in recent decades as a specialty that focuses on providing care and quality of life for patients with progressive terminal illness. While similar, hospice nursing focuses on end-of-life care, and palliative nursing focuses on providing care for patients at any stage of illness. Both provide comprehensive care that consists not just of medical care but also counsel, guidance, and support. These nurses usually work in home or hospice settings, but can also work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and even prisons. Palliative and hospice nurses spend more time with their patients than any other healthcare team member and are involved in every aspect of their care. They supervise nursing aides, licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN). According to stoppain.org, it’s an interdisciplinary occupation that focuses on the “comprehensive management of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients with progressive incurable illnesses and their families.”

        A palliative care nurse is required to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing the licensing exam.

        According to HPNA, many hospice and palliative nurses have earned their graduate degree in hospice and palliative nursing. National Board for Certification for Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN) is responsible for official certification of this specialty. Candidates are registered nurses and must take an examination in order to become certified. Certification goes beyond earning one’s necessary education to practice, but demonstrates a commitment to this occupation and expertise in this area of nursing. Through certification, one officially becomes a certified hospice and palliative nurse (CHPN).

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        What is a hyperbaric nurse?

        The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) describes hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO2) as “an intervention in which an individual breathes near 100% oxygen intermittently while inside a hyperbaric chamber that is pressurized to greater than sea level pressure.”

        “In certain circumstances, hyperbaric oxygen therapy represents the primary treatment modality while in others it is an adjunct to surgical or pharmacologic interventions,” Gwilliam says.

        Research is very important in hyperbaric medicine, and many centers are studying the effects of 100% oxygen under pressure on various diagnoses, including traumatic brain injuries.

        What is a hyperbaric treatment, and who can it help?

        Treatment can be carried out in either a mono- or multi-place chamber. The former accommodates a single patient. The entire chamber is pressurized with near 100% oxygen, and the patient breathes the ambient chamber oxygen directly, Gwilliam explains.

        The latter holds two or more people (patients, observers, and/or support personnel); the chamber is pressurized with compressed air while the patients breathe near 100% oxygen via masks, head hoods, or endotracheal tubes.

        There is science to prove that the 14 indications recommended by the UHMS (and covered by Medicare and most insurances) are effective and can help heal patients, she says. Those include: air or gas embolism; carbon monoxide poisoning; gas gangrene; crush injury; decompression sickness; arterial insufficiencies and problem wounds; severe anemia; intracranial abscess; necrotizing soft tissue infections; refractory osteomyelitis; delayed radiation injury; compromised grafts and flaps; acute thermal burn injury; and idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

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        Intravenous Nursing / Infusion Nursing

        Nurses working in this area are often go by the title intravenous nurse or infusion nurse, this type of nursing is about providing care by administering medication, fluids, nutrition, or blood through injections or arterial catheters. Infusion therapy has become highly specialized. It involves monitoring patients, maintaining tubing, and careful surveillance, watching for any potential complications or adverse reactions. Infusion nurses have knowledge of infection control, pharmacology, and specialized skills administering IVs.

        Infusion nurses can work in a variety of healthcare settings where nursing care is present, such as hospitals, clinics, home care or private practices. However while infusion therapy is used in most hospital patients, it is no longer confined to the hospital and is practiced often in long-term and residential care facilities as well as home health agencies.

        If you are already a registered nurse (RN) and seeking a career in the infusion nursing specialty, you could pursue Infusion nurse certification/IV Certification and/or seek an entry-level job in infusion nursing. Employers of infusion nurses like previous work experience in the areas of Med Surg. nursing and Telemetry nursing where nurses learn maintenance and insertion of PICC lines, chemotherapy administration as well as IV insertion skills.

        Infusion nursing certification through the Infusion Nursing Certification Corporation will help make you more competitive and demonstrate your knowledge and dedication to your job. You can take the exam to become a certified registered nurse infusion (CRNI) and will have to recertify every three years.

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        Learning Disability Nursing

        These nurses, sometimes called special needs nurses or learning disability nurses, work with patients who have physical or mental disabilities. They receive special training in addition to the standard LPN, ADN or BSN nursing degrees to help patients who have chronic or permanent physical or mental disabilities. The disabilities are usually severe, and the work these nurses perform is an important part of enabling their patients to live an active, fulfilling, and possibly more independent life. Their patients often have conditions that they were born with or that developed early on in life, and they can include autism, spina bifida, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, or severe behavioral disorders, to name a few examples.

        A certified developmental disabilities nurse (CDDN) may work with many patients in a group home, institution, long-term care residential facility, or can visit individuals in their own home. They may work with a variety of patients, or assist the same patient every day. They help them go about their daily lives, managing their limitations and aiding them in achieving as much independence and autonomy as possible. Their duties can include basic caretaking tasks like helping them dress, eat, or take care of bodily functions. They also perform medical duties like performing lab tests, taking vital signs, and other duties that nurses generally perform in clinics or doctors’ offices.

        The Developmental Disabilities Nursing Association offers a certification exam to become a certified developmental disability nurse (CDDN). Certification is rarely a requirement in nursing once you are a licensed nurse, yet it is always a very shrewd step in career advancement. Certification not only better prepares you for your specialty, but it signals your dedication to the field and your commitment to keeping up with the field’s developments and advancements. Patients and potential employers alike will appreciate the proof of you abilities in the form of voluntary certification through an accredited institution. In order to become certified in developmental disability nursing, you will have to meet the eligibility requirements before taking the exam. This includes a minimum of 4,000 hours of work experience in developmental disabilities nursing as either a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse within the past five years. Additionally, certification needs to be renewed every two years. You can become certified if you are a registered nurse, or as a licensed practical nurse or vocational nurse.

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        Legal Nurse Consultant

        Interested in becoming a legal nurse consultant (LNC)? Registered nurses with any background are candidates for becoming a legal nurse consultant. Current legal nurse consultants have backgrounds in telemetry, cardiology, labor and delivery, obstetrics, med-surge, intensive care and many other fields. Many legal nurse consultants develop an interest in this career without expecting to. What is meant by this is that often nurses are asked to review medical records in the hospital or office setting to assess risk or help determine a defense for a malpractice case and find it is exactly what they have been looking for in a career. Legal nurse consultants in the past conducted their own “crash course” in legal education while on the job. Now days there are legal nurse consultant programs and seminars that will prepare you for this exciting and new career path. Read this interview with a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to get an in-depth look at this career: Legal Nurse Consultant: Using Nursing Skills in a New Way

        Legal Nurse Consulting Job Description

        Legal nurse consultants work in a variety of environments including hospitals, law firms, attorney general’s offices, insurance companies, consulting firms and related areas. Many Legal nurse consultants have started their own consulting firms and hire themselves out to the previously mentioned organizations.

        Legal nurse consultants conduct many different research and presentation duties including, locating and preparing witnesses, researching the validity of psychological or neurological symptoms, developing evidence discovery plans, review and screening of cases, preparation of opinion reports, summaries of medical records, conduct medical and forensic literature research, and countless more exciting and challenging duties. Consulting comprises a large part of a legal nurse consultant’s job description but legal nurse consultants are also educators. LNCs prepare child protective programs and help educate families about legal issues.

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        How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

        To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) as it is called in some states, one only has to complete a state-approved nurse training program that typically lasts one year. A high school diploma is usually required prior to entering a training program. These programs are offered through vocational and technical schools as well as junior colleges, and sometimes through high schools, hospitals, or universities. Learn more about available state board approved LPN and LVN programs. Once training is completed, prospective nurses must pass an exam to earn their license and begin practicing. The exam is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

        LPN Job Description and Duties

        Licensed practical nurses, or licensed vocational nurses, are nurses who care for people who are injured, disabled, or ill, under the supervision of registered nurses or doctors. The degree of direction or supervision may vary, however, based on the patient or employer and degree of care. LPNs sometimes work in specialized settings like doctor’s offices or nursing homes, but many work in hospitals. The care they provide can vary as well, but includes many generalized tasks such as taking vital signs, caring for them bedside, taking laboratory samples, taking health information, keeping records, or filling out forms. At times they might assist a nurse or physician carry out an exam or other procedure. They also assist patients with basic care like bathing, feeding, and dressing.

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        Nurse Life Care Planner

        A nurse life care planner is a licensed, registered nurse who works with patients who suffer from a chronic illness, a sudden onset of a debilitating illness, or a traumatic accident or injury, or birth injury. Their patients may have suffered a brain injury, spinal cord injury or even a debilitating burn or amputation. These nurses are special case managers and advocates who help the patient and their family plan for the patient’s future and their ongoing healthcare needs.

        Life Care Planner Job Description

        These nurses can work as independent contractors, or for hospitals, law firms, or insurance companies. A good nurse life care planner has good medical and pharmacology knowledge, as well as familiarity with rehabilitation services, financial projections for continued care, and legal recourse options. Life care planners will assess a patient’s condition, research treatment options, community resources, rehabilitation facilities, and compile them for the patient’s family to make the decisions. The essentially use their knowledge in care planning and in nursing to provide the options, and assist in developing a long-term plan for the patient. They are the patient’s advocate, and coordinate communication between the patient’s family, physicians, insurance companies, and attorneys. They help the family make informed decisions, keeping in mind cost-effectiveness, resources, and patient needs. Their financial projections of life-long care may also assist the patient’s attorney research a settlement in a malpractice case. Their efforts are integral at helping a victim of a catastrophic accident or sudden illness attain the medical care and services and legal or financial recourse they need in a time of acute stress and recovery.

        If you are already a nurse, certification is also a possibility for this nursing specialty. Becoming a certified nurse life care planner (CNLCP) is possible through the certification board, recently incorporated in 2009. In order to sit for the certification, you must be a licensed, registered nurse who has practiced nursing for a minimum of five years. You must also have acquired a minimum of two years of full-time case management experience, plus at least 60 hours of continuing education in this field, or 500 hours of actual life care planning work experience within two years of applying for certification. Recertification is required every five years. This is a specialty that could be very trying and it will be necessary to be able to perform your work under stress and with great compassion for the families involved. However it is nursing work that is especially invaluable for those affected by traumatic accidents and unexpected illnesses.

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        Long Term Care Nurse

        Long term care nurses (LTC nurses) are nurses who care for patients with chronic physical or mental disorders or illness, as well as for patients with injuries or disabilities. Because long term care nurses are specializing by type of nursing treatment and work setting, their patients can be varied and of any age. However, the largest number of LTC nurses work with elderly patients. Many of their patients live in long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, or nursing homes. These long term care nurses’ duties will involve a lot of standard nursing, such as health assessment, monitoring, checking vital signs, administering medication, taking medical histories, and coordinating with other medical professionals, but will also focus on helping their patients with day-to-day activities that they require assistance with. Education and assisting patients and their families to cope with and adjust to living with their conditions is also an important part of long-term care nursing.

        Long term care nursing certification is also possible for the ltc nursing specialty. You can earn certification as a director of nursing in LTC (DON-CLTC) or as a staff development specialist in LTC, or as a registered nurse (RN) in LTC. The American Association of Long Term Care Nursing offers additional information on these long term care nurse certifications and others. Unlike a nursing degree or license, certification is voluntary in the long term care nursing specialty. However, it is often considered a hiring requirement by many competitive healthcare employers, and it will benefit you in many ways should you choose to pursue certification. Not only does certification better prepare you for your job, it shows that you are qualified according to national standards in this field, regardless of where or when you earned your nursing degree. It will likely inspire confidence in your patients and respect in your co-workers. Certification usually requires a small amount of work experience should you pursue it, and professional associations often offer preparatory courses for the exam.

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        Managed Care Nursing

        Managed care nurses are slightly unique, in that instead of working directly with patients, they work on the business aspects of healthcare. They use their nursing experience and medical knowledge to work with healthcare providers, insurance companies, managed care organization, and HMOs, striving to facilitate patient care in the most cost-efficient manner possible, while also focusing on quality patient care and patient satisfaction. Their job is to weigh the fiscal cost of medical choices as well as weighing the health risks and benefits that are likely to accompany those choices. They must be familiar with Medicare, Medicaid, and other healthcare systems, and have knowledge of insurance compensation in healthcare. Interacting with physicians, patients and their families, and medical bill payors is part of the job, and managed care nurses must have good analytical and data management skills. Their work serves all healthcare patients, but will often primarily focus on the poor and the elderly, as they are often recipients of government health benefits like Medicare and Medicaid.

        If you are interested in becoming a managed care nurse, you will have to first become a registered nurse if you are not already. In just two years, you can earn your associate degree of science in nursing (ASN), which you can also use as a step toward your bachelor’s degree through an RN to BSN program. If you choose to go to a four-year college or university, you can earn a bachelor of science in nursing, which often times will make you more competitive when seeking a managed care nurse job. Earning a nursing diploma from a participating hospital nursing program is also an option, although this is frequently seen as less competitive and is now less common with the growth of associate programs. If you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you can pursue an accelerated bsn degree program for those with non-nursing degrees, and this requires just one to two years. All of these degrees will involve clinical and hospital training and classroom study in subjects such as anatomy, chemistry, pharmacology, and microbiology. Once you graduate from an accredited nursing program, the final step is to pass the state’s board of nursing licensing exam, which is called NCLEX (national council licensure examination). Passing the NCLEX is the final licensing step in most states to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). There is also opportunity for nurses to become nurse practitioners in managed care. The additional education at the master’s or doctoral level can help them assume a higher degree of responsibility and a more important role in forging new, more efficient health care systems.

        Managed care nurses who undertake voluntary certification will be able to use the title Certified Managed Care Nurse (CMCN) as a way to demonstrate their commitment to excellence and knowledge in managed care nursing specialty. Managed care nursing certification is not required, but it proves to those you are caring for and to other medical professionals who you work with that you are qualified according to national standards of care. Eligibility requirements for managed care nursing certification consist of taking study courses, such as curriculum from the American Association of Managed Care Nurses, or from a similar and equivalent institution. Certified managed care nurse certification must be renewed every three years. With a master’s degree in leadership and management or additional work experience or education in case management, such as a nursing case management certificate, you can also sit for the more advanced case management certification exam, with the opportunity to become a certified case manager (CCM).

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        A LONG HISTORY OF MASSAGE IN NURSING

        Since Florence Nightingale pioneered modern nursing, nurses have been trained in massage therapy and have routinely administered massages to patients. In 1882, the “American Florence Nightingale,” Anna Maxwell of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, began instructing nursing students in the art of massage, ultimately prompting the head nurses at the hospital to request a course at their own expense and inspiring physicians to prescribe massage for their patients. Several early nursing texts described massage as a basic nursing skill, and writings from the 1920s indicate that massage was at that time still firmly embedded in the nursing process-seen as an essential part of patient care plans, with site and frequency based on medical diagnoses. Throughout the 20th century, evening back massages were considered routine care in hospitals and elsewhere, and massage was taught in U.S. nursing schools, though it lost ground with the increased reliance on analgesics, technologically based protocols, and increased monitoring and documentation demands on nurses’ time.

        TOUCH AND THE NURSE-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

        Massage both positively affects patients and strengthens the relationship between patient and nurse. First, it provides the simple pleasure of human touch. When routine nursing care includes starting iv lines and inserting indwelling catheters, it is often unpleasant and painful for patients, though medically necessary. Such impersonal tasks can distance patient and caregiver during hospitalization. Massage offers a direct contrast to these routine nursing interventions. By helping patients achieve a relaxed state, massage can make difficult conversations possible, or help patients process bodily or circumstantial changes. Simply administering a massage can positively influence a patient’s psychological state. It can also quickly promote the establishment of a nurse-patient bond in settings in which patients are very sick, lengths of stay are very short, and time is very scarce.

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        Have you seen how many new medical television shows are running on network and cable stations? And think of all of the movies you’ve watched which have dramatic scenes in hospitals.

        In order for these to look and feel authentic, nurses and other healthcare professionals are often consulted to make sure their usage of medical equipment, vocabulary, and procedures is correct.

        While this job is certainly glamorous, like most Hollywood jobs, it’s about who you know. Greg Spottiswood, creator and executive producer of the Canadian drama, Remedy explains.

        “What you do is you meet with that person, you talk about the show and you take their temperature in terms of their interest in doing this kind of work. It’s not like one puts an ad in the newspaper.”

        This is a great career if you can keep getting work, but you would probably be wise to keep your day job as well.

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        Medical Writer/Medical Editor

        Medicine is a field where research is always being done, discoveries are constantly being made, and new innovations are often brought into the health care sector. Because of the constant need for sharing research results, updating information, and for education, there is huge opportunity for healthcare workers to work on this informational side of the medicine, writing or editing.

        A medical writer or editor could write for foundations, associations, hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies, managed care organizations, or websites, just to name some examples. Writing for these employers could include writing content, newsletters, public relations materials, marketing materials, proposals, grants, training manuals, internet content, and of course proofreading or editing these materials. A medical editor can copy edit, proofread, and fact-check various material, written by or for healthcare professionals or patients. Editors often work closely with the writers, with art directors, and have to have a good handle of language, medical terminology, and be good at making the end product honed toward the target audience. Many medical writers or editors also work as freelancers. Working as a freelancer has both disadvantages and advantages. While you would forgo benefits and a steady paycheck and steady work, you could also be your own boss and have complete flexibility about which work you choose to do. Often, gaining experience in the field, networking, and building your contacts while working on staff is the best way to segue into becoming a freelancer, should you decide to forge that path.

        A good medical writer should have some knowledge of medicine, good writing skills, and the ability to know their audience, to work as a team, and to meet deadlines. Generally, medical writers start out with either a college degree in science or medicine, or in journalism or English. If you are a nurse with the medical background, preparing yourself by polishing your writing skills, pharmacology knowledge, and taking continuing education courses in medical writing would be beneficial. Joining professional organizations like the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) is also a good first step. They offer continuing education programs, workshops, and certificate programs. Many colleges and universities also offer medical writing courses. You could also look directly at job hiring sites and healthcare company websites for entry-level writing jobs requiring medical knowledge.

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        Military Nurse

        Are you interested in military nursing? A military nurse is basically a nurse who also serves and holds rank in the military. All of the military services: the army, navy, air force, and coast guard, have nursing branches, or corps, which means it is slightly separate and independent part of the military. These nurses work in peace and war-time settings. They can be classified as active duty, reserves, or as civilians.

        Military nurses can work at all levels of nursing, whether it is as nurse practitioners, or as educators, specialists, case managers, or administrators. They can also work in whichever specialty they choose and are trained in, be it pediatrics, psychiatric, perioperative, emergency trauma, critical care, neonatal, or midwifery, to name some options. However, critical care, trauma, and operative nursing are especially crucial to military nursing.

        A military nurse holds rank as other officers do in their service branch. A new nurse is a second lieutenant in the nurse corps. They work up through the ranks the way a standard soldier would. They can work in a military medical facility state-side or stationed in different countries around the globe, working with military physicians, using the latest in technology and medical developments.

        One great benefit of becoming a military nurse is the generous financial scholarships and assistance. If you are a high school student or high school graduate and considering the nursing field, the military can cover the full cost of your nursing degree schooling. You can also complete your education or training with no military obligation until your degree is completed. Another benefit is the opportunity to see different parts of the world. Many military nurses cite travel opportunities as one of the most exciting part of this career. However it may not be for everyone. Of course these nurses can be emotionally affected by the enormous toll that combat can have on the troops.

        If you have not yet begun your nursing degree, it might be wise to talk to a recruiter before getting started, to explore your options for possible tuition funding. But you will need to complete a nursing degree program from an accredited nursing school before going to work as a military nurse.

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        Missionary Nursing

        Missionary nursing also referred to as refugee nursing is a unique nursing path that combines nursing and healthcare with traveling as a missionary or as an aide to refugees. Missionary nursing is described as nursing cross-culturally to provide nursing care for the suffering and to present religion to those they are serving. Indeed, they believe that physical and spiritual healing go hand in hand. Both types of nursing are more than a career, but a calling and vocation for those who feel drawn to it.

        Missionary nurses can work throughout the world, but often work in third-world countries. Missionary nurses / refugee nurses bring basic health care to communities worldwide that are generally poor and underserved. Many of the duties of the missionary or refugee nurse involve education about healthcare and nutrition. They may assist in setting up or creating health clinics where none have ever existed. Often, rather than providing direct healthcare, missionary nurses and refugee nurses will work alongside local nurses, providing training and education to them so that they can better serve their community in the long term. There are many organizations to look into that include both the religious and nonreligious, such as Doctors without Borders, the Peace Corps, Red Cross, WHO (World Health Organization) and Unicef, just to name a few major organizations providing healthcare worldwide. Often, the work for missionary nurses does not end when they return home, but extends to include raising awareness and money for medical supplies, clean water, the building of schools and medical facilities and related causes in the country where they served.

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        Nurse Administrator

        Nurse Managers and administrators, sometimes referred to as a head nurse, can work in many locations, be it a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or physicians’ office, to name a few. They are basically the head nurse for that facility, and are ultimately responsible for the nursing staff there and the care they provide. In some workplaces they might be the main nurse manager, but in larger settings they can have assistants who they oversee as well. Their responsibilities are varied, but are not different in scope from managers at non-medical facilities or companies. Nurse managers’ duties can encompass many things, but might include hiring, training, and evaluating staff nurses, coordinating the nursing staff’s work schedules, and ensuring they are providing optimal care. Additional duties can include keeping on top of developments in their field and incorporating them into their work setting, overseeing use of equipment and inventory, or communicating with hospital administration. They need to also be comfortable as practicing registered nurses in their field. They need to not only have their BSN and some nursing experience, but they need to be organized, efficient, innovative, and comfortable in a leadership role.

        Becoming a nurse manager begins with becoming a licensed, registered nurse. Usually nurse managers are nurses who have earned a bachelor of science in nursing, and often have a master’s degree. You can even become a certified nurse manager and leader (CNML). This would be a voluntary certification, but one that would increase your leadership skills and marketability. It would demonstrate your commitment to your leadership role in nursing. To become certified, you would need to be a licensed, registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well as a minimum of two years of nursing leadership experience. Some nurse managers might also have a degree in nursing administration or health administration, which are offered at colleges, universities, and schools of business administration or public health.

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        Nurse Attorney

        A nurse attorney is a professional who holds both a nursing degree and a law degree, combining their knowledge of both fields. Becoming a nurse in any specialty requires becoming a registered nurse (RN). To become an RN, students must earn a degree from a state-approved school of nursing. This can be an associate’s degree from a community college, or a bachelor’s of science in nursing from a four-year college or university. For specializations such as this, a BSN or even an MSN is ideal. To become an attorney, you need to earn a Juris Doctorate, or JD. Becoming a JD requires taking the LSAT to gain acceptance to a law school and earning a law degree, which requires three years.

        Nurse Attorney Job Description

        A nurse attorney has many career possibilities to pursue. They might practice law on their own, specializing in health law, malpractice, or personal injury. They could work in a law firm, offering medical expertise for any relevant cases. They can also work in hospital administrations, insurance companies, or companies in the health care field. Working in the government at local, state and federal levels, they can help form healthcare policy, educating lawmakers and pushing for better policies for patients and medical workers.

        Job Outlook and Salaries for Nurse Attorneys

        The combination of these specialties is becoming increasingly important as our society becomes more litigious and there are an increasing number of laws regulating the medical professions and insurance coverage. A nurse attorney has the medical background and necessary knowledge to effectively handle these intertwined topics of health and law, and brings that to the legal community. The average salary can very greatly depending on the avenue of work you pursue.

        The American Association of Nurse Attorneys is a professional organization with chapters throughout the country. This can be a great resource for career information, job seeking, networking, and continuing education opportunities. Whether you are an attorney interested in pursuing your nursing degree or a registered nurse with an interest in law, this career path can be a rewarding one with many options once you complete your degrees. Like many specializations though, it requires advanced training and education. Get started now and this specialized career path with many options can be in your future.

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        Nurse Coroner

        A nurse coroner is a type of forensic nurse who assists the coroner in determining the cause of death, time of death, if there was foul play. They can also assist police at a crime scene. In addition to their medical knowledge, they have a good understanding of evidence collection, forensic photography, and subsequent legal proceedings. A successful nurse coroner will need to be skilled in pathology, physiology, observation, preservation, and documentation of evidence, and in understanding subsequent legal and criminal proceedings for violent crimes should they be needed to testify.

        Forensic Nursing is one of the most recently recognized nurse specialties by the American Nurses Association. The International Association of Forensic Nurses was not formed until 1992, and it was officially recognized as a specialty by the American Nurses Association in 1995. It is still very much a developing field, but one of importance that is gaining ground and respect. Forensic nursing is the link between healthcare and the criminal justice system, and a nurse coroner is one of the more common jobs in forensic nursing.

        How to Become a Nurse Coroner

        The path toward becoming a nurse coroner begins with becoming a registered nurse (RN). If you are not yet an RN, the time is now to pursue your options for earning your associate degree in nursing (ASN, ADN) at a community or vocational college, or earning your bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) at a four year college or university. Once you have completed your nursing degree and earned your nursing license from the state in which you want to practice, you can pursue continuing education in forensic nursing. There are forensic nursing programs available through both distance learning and through many nursing schools around the country. Specific courses detailing nurse coroners are available, in addition to broader forensic nursing courses.

        Certification is the next step. The Forensic Nursing Certification Board (FNCB) was created in 2002, helping those interested in this field gain credibility and establishing guidelines for forensic nursing sub-specialties. Certification as a forensic nurse is not required, but is looked upon very highly and would make you more competitive in this field. Certification not only strengthens your resume in the job market, but it demonstrates to colleagues that you are committed to expertise in your field and up on the latest developments in forensic nursing.

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        Nurse Educator

        A nurse educator is a registered nurse who has advanced education, including advanced clinical training in a health care specialty. Nurse educators serve in a variety of roles that range from part time clinical teachers to deans of nursing colleges. Nurse educators have master’s or doctoral degrees and practice as faculty in colleges, universities, hospital-based schools of nursing or technical schools, or as staff development educators in health care facilities.

        Nurse educators play a pivotal role in strengthening the nursing workforce, serving as role models and providing the leadership needed to implement evidence-based practice. Nurse educators are responsible for designing, implementing, evaluating and revising academic and nursing continuing education programs for nurses. These include formal academic programs that lead to a degree or certificate, or more informal nursing continuing education programs designed to meet individual learning needs. Some of the benefits of a career in nursing education include access to cutting-edge knowledge and research, opportunities to collaborate with health professionals, achieving a high level of satisfaction from their work, an intellectually stimulating workplace and flexible work scheduling.

        Learn about the Master’s in Nursing Health Care Education Degrees offered through nationally accredited programs.

        Nurse Educator Career Outlook and Salary Info

        Given the growing shortage of nurse educators, the career outlook is strong for nurses interested in teaching careers. Nursing schools nationwide are struggling to find enough faculty to accommodate the rising interest in nursing careers among new students. The shortage of nurse educators may actually enhance career prospects since it affords a high level of job security and provides opportunities for nurses to maintain dual roles as educators and direct patient care providers.

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        Nurse Researcher

        Their main purpose and focus covers a lot of ground: They focus on improving end-of- life care, managing disease and symptoms of illness, patient safety, comfort, and the delivery of healthcare in an effective and cost-efficient manner. Like many nursing specialists, nurse researchers are expected to have an extensive education. In addition to becoming a registered nurse, most nurse researchers earn their Master of Science in Nursing, or often their doctorate. There are also many levels of expertise within the world of research. For instance, it often requires many years of experience assisting others with their research before you can design your own studies, raise funds for them, implement protocol, and apply that knowledge toward nursing. However, even a newly registered nurse can contribute to the field and gain valuable insight and knowledge.

        According to Nurse Week magazine, mixing clinical care with research is a good and unique combination for many reasons. Practicing nurses see everyday how patients are reacting to treatment, medication, and what their needs are. They often know where care could be improved to increase patient comfort and responsiveness to medication or treatment. Likewise, if they are engaged or have been involved in research or educated on the results, they are able to implement improvements into their care.

        Because there are extensive education requirements, you should get started now toward earning your nursing degrees. Once you’ve earned your RN or BSN in two to four years and passed your state’s licensing examination, you’ll need at least a master’s degree in nursing if not a doctoral degree. Nurse researchers must also have advanced knowledge of a wide variety of nursing topics, in addition to knowledge of pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology.

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        Occupational Health Nursing Career

        Occupational health nurses (OHN) are registered nurses whose job revolves around workforce health. It is a varied job with many responsibilities. Every year, thousands of U.S. workers suffer severe illness, injury or death on the job or because of their job. This important nursing specialty focuses on assessing risk and potential hazards in work environments, preventing them, and managing and treating cases where injury or illness has occurred. Their goal is to prevent unneeded exposure to such hazards. Their efforts protect not only employees, but also corporations seeking to maximize the safety of their work environment and to manage risk and keep costs down. Ultimately OHNs maximize productivity for companies and ensure that their employees are productive and healthy. Their efforts help reduce absenteeism, on-the-job injuries, and illness claims. According to the American Association of Occupational Health Nursing (AAOHN) “occupational health nursing creates a positive economic impact through worker health and well being leading to optimal performance.”

        Occupational health nurses can work as educators, clinicians, consultants, or case managers, to name a few roles. They can work in manufacturing, construction, the food industry, and even the healthcare industry, to name a few examples of fields where their expertise is needed. Some job duties include working with employers to develop safety and health programs, identifying risks, and finding solutions. They also are responsible for recording complaints, treating patients with illness or injuries, performing screenings or tests, evaluating medical histories or medical complaints, giving examinations, inoculations, and documenting illnesses or injuries. Sometimes they educate employees in health, nutrition and fitness or offer counseling. They are registered nurses who must possess an expansive knowledge about first aid and emergency medicine, as well as environmental health, toxicology, epidemiology, and disease management.

        Training and Certification Requirements for Occupational Health Nurses

        The first step toward becoming an OHN is to become a registered nurse. You can pursue your associate degree in nursing, which generally requires only two years, or earn a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, which will require four. Once you complete your nursing degree through a community college, vocational school, or university or college, you must earn your license in the state you will practice in. Once you are a registered nurse, pursuing certification for this specialty is the best option. Certification is offered through the American Board for Occupational health Nurses (ABOHN). Unlike becoming a registered nurse, certification for this specialty is voluntary. However, gaining the extra training and earning your certification is well worth the effort. You would not only be gaining more knowledge and be better prepared to enter the field, but you would be increasing your competitiveness in the job market and demonstrating to potential employers your commitment and expertise. Certification commands not only more earning power, but also more respect and increases your chance of advancement. It involves enrolling in a certification course and passing the exam given by ABOHN. If you pass, you will become a certified occupational health nurse (COHN). With a bachelor or higher degree and a certification, you can become a certified occupational health nurse specialist (COHN-S).

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        Ophthalmic Nurse

        Ophthalmic nurses provide nursing care for patients with disorders or diseases of the eye and for patients having or recovering from eye surgery. These patients may suffer from glaucoma, blindness, or other sight problems. Because ophthalmic nurses focus on certain health issues, they can work with many types and ages of patients, although the most commonly cared for patients are elderly.

        Ophthalmic nurses can work in eye clinics, hospitals, or private ophthalmologists’ offices. They can work in an ambulatory surgery center, or in an inpatient unit of a hospital that sees eye trauma patients. They have to be prepared in some workplaces to handle emergencies, and must have the knowledge to recognize urgent cases and promptly decide on the method of care. Some of the many tasks these nurses might perform in any workplace include recording visual activity and ocular functions, examining the patient’s eye, checking the pupils, applying drops or ointment, as well as other standard assessment tasks such as checking blood pressure, or recording medical history. Educating the patient and informing them about examinations, procedures, medication or treatment is also a very important component to this job.

        If you choose to pursue this specialty, you will need to take the appropriate educational path. You will need to become a licensed registered nurse in your state, which involves earning a nursing degree and then passing your states NCLEX exam (National Council Licensure Examination), given by the state’s board of nursing. You can earn your nursing degree in two to three years by obtaining an associate degree in nursing (ASN) from a vocational or community college, or you can take four years and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from an accredited college or university. Once you have your degree, you will need to get some nursing experience, or pursue continuing education or graduate education, one of which is needed to pursue certification as an Ophthalmic Registered Nurse. There are continuing education programs offered by the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (ASORN) as well, to compliment your nursing degree, if you did not focus on this area while earning your RN.

        There is a national certifying board for ophthalmic registered nurses that developed the certification process. Certification promotes national standards for optimal ophthalmic care. It encourages professional growth and continuing education, demonstrates your commitment to the specialty, as well as your expertise and level of knowledge to patients and employers. In order to take the certification exam, you will need to not only be a registered nurse, but have a minimum of two years of clinical work experience in an ophthalmic nursing practice. There are many regional locations that offer the computerized exam and expect to pay a fee for the Ophthalmic Nurse certification exam. The content of the exam will cover ocular conditions, pharmacology, professional issues, assessment of an ophthalmic patient, and ophthalmic nursing interventions. Passing this exam and becoming a certified Ophthalmic Registered Nurse will again prove your dedication to this specialty and optimize your career advancement and earning potential. Once you are certified, there are also many regional chapters of the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses, which can be helpful for networking, learning about the most current news and research developments in the field, as well as for continuing education opportunities.

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        Otorhinolaryngology Nursing / Head and Neck Nursing

        Otorhinolaryngology nurses are also known as head-and-neck nurses, and care for patients with chronic illness, disease, or medial disorders related to the head, neck, ear, nose, or throat. This can encompass a variety of issues, such as thyroid problems, tonsillitis, ruptured eardrums, allergies, sinus disorders, cancer, cleft palate or injuries. Otorhinolaryngology nurses or head and neck nurses see patients of all ages, as is typical of nurses who focus on specific body systems. Some of the typical duties for otorhinolaryngology nurses include patient assessment, taking medical histories, and physical examinations of the ears, nose, throat, cranial nerves and neck. Duties also include assisting with treatments like chemotherapy, counseling, medication administration, and providing education and support to the patients and their families. As an otorhinolaryngology nurse or head and neck nurse, you could work in surgical centers, office practices, hospital operating rooms, clinics, or residential facilities. Generally, nurses who specialize in specific areas of the body, such as head and neck work in hospitals or specialty clinics.

        The first step toward entering the otorhinolaryngology nursing specialty is becoming a registered nurse. There are a few different routes to becoming a Registered Nurse. The options include earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN) from a college or university, or by earning your Associate Degree of Nursing from a community college, or by completing a hospital nursing diploma program. Passing your state’s board of nursing NCLEX-RN, which stands for National Council Licensure Examination is the second step. Passing this exam will make you a licensed nurse in your state, ready to practice once any additional state requirements are met.

        Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nursing Certification is voluntary, unlike earning your license, which is legally required to practice. However, most employers deem Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nursing certification necessary to be hired, so earning your Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nursing certification will help get you more respect while looking for jobs in this specialty. Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nursing Certification demonstrates to your future employers and patients that you are committed to your specialty and that your training is up-to-date and on par with national standards. There are sometimes different certifications offered by different professional organizations. Be sure to pursue your options and make this important step once you earn your degree and license, which will definitely provide a well-rounded resume. The National Certifying Board for Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nursing provides one certification exam. In order to take the exam, you must be a registered nurse and ideally have three years of experience in otorhinolaryngology.

        The Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nurses (SOHN) is a professional organization that could help you network and locate continuing education courses as you pursue your education in this field. Professional organizations, such as The Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nurses, are great resources and aids in keeping up with the research, practice guidelines and changes in the specialty, and often have local and regional chapters. Be sure to start investigating the local or regional chapters for otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Nurses once you complete your degree and begin working.

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        Pain Management Nurse

        A pain management nurse is a licensed, registered nurse who treats patients with chronic or acute pain due to an injury or an illness. They assess patients and assist them in learning to manage their own chronic or symptom-related pain. As a pain management nurse, you would coordinate the patient’s care plan with physicians and other healthcare team members, coordinating the patient’s care. You could work in a hospital or in an outpatient clinic, or even in a rehabilitation center or nursing home. Typical duties for a pain management nurse can vary immensely, though they are still about assessing the patient’s level of pain, treating that, and evaluating improvement. Most pain management nurses have additional training in pharmacology, as an important part of their job is administering and monitoring the effects of medication that has been prescribed by doctors. Educating the patient about their pain medication and other measures they can take to alleviate pain is also an important part of their job. These nurses need to demonstrate empathy, appreciate cultural differences in beliefs about pain, be comfortable with alternative pain therapies, and possess good medical assessment skills when evaluating patients’ complaints of pain or discomfort.

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        Parish Nursing

        Parish nursing, or faith-based nursing, is a wonderful specialization choice for those looking to combine their work in healthcare with their faith. It is a newer specialty, rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and has only been recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA) for about ten years. A parish nurse works within the framework of beliefs and values held by their community of faith. They are not primary caregivers, but rather an important link between the church and the healthcare system, connecting spiritual support with healing and medical care. They are trained registered nurses, but work on the church’s staff and as part of the ministerial staff.

        This type of nursing specialty usually has a wide variety of duties that can vary depending on the needs of their church. Parish nurses usually maintain part-time office hours for church members to visit, but they do not always perform the routine exams and assessments that nurses in clinics, physicians’ offices and hospitals do. Some typical tasks include providing medical doctor referrals, visiting church members in the hospital, nursing home, or at their home while they are sick or recovering from illness or surgery. Offering emotional support for members who are ill or their family members is a huge component of this job. Nurses are often associated with empathy and comfort. While they are well trained healthcare professionals, in certain specialties offering this type of emotional support is indeed a key part of their role. Health education is often another big aspect of their job, providing advice, setting up forums or panels on health and wellness topics for the benefit of their congregation.

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        Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse

        Endocrinology nurses provide nursing care to patients with illness or disorders of the endocrine system. Pediatric endocrinology nurses provide this care exclusively to children and adolescents. The major endocrine glands are the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, and the pancreas, testicles, and ovaries. The endocrine system secretes hormones that are necessary for the body’s development, growth, and reproduction. There are many illnesses or diseases that pediatric endocrinology nurses can help their young patients with, such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, and gland disorders or cancers affecting the adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid. These disorders can cause growth delay, and affect sexual development and physical growth.

        A large part of a pediatric endocrinology nurse’s job is educating the young patients and their parents and families how to handle their health issues. Pediatric endocrinology nurses also have typical duties such as taking medical assessments, conducting tests, monitoring patient progress, and taking blood pressure or blood samples. With diabetes, education in particular plays a crucial role so that children and their families can learn how to manage their diabetes and make lifestyle and nutritional changes that can help. Pediatric endocrinology nurses can work in many environments, including private practices, hospitals, and other pediatric health clinics. They can further specialize as diabetes management nurses, or even as diabetes educator nurses.

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        Pediatric Forensic Nurse Career

        A pediatric forensic nurse helps children who are victims of abuse. They often work with young victims of sexual abuse, but it can involve other crimes against children as well. This can mean abduction, witnessing domestic violence, or suffering neglect. These nurses are child advocates, trained specifically to deal with children and trauma. They are experienced in observation, evaluation, treatment, support, collecting evidence, and documentation. Their training covers not just the physical examination, but the psychological and social assessments as well. They have a deep understanding of child development, and must be able to gain the trust of young children in vulnerable positions, understanding that different children will relate to traumas very differently. The nurses address not only the physical harm, but also the emotional harm. They are trained to be a source of support for the victim.

        They are also a key component in connecting clinical exams and law enforcement in these cases. Unlike regular pediatric medical professionals, the nurses are carefully trained to discover forensic evidence, aiding prosecution. In fact, knowledge about court testimony is also something that pediatric forensic nurses are trained in, in addition to spotting signs of abuse and carefully handling interviews. Without sufficient evidence, harmed children could potentially be returned to homes that aren’t safe.

        Training Requirements

        Forensic nursing is a fairly new specialty in nursing, with many sub-specialties quickly developing recognition in the world of healthcare. In 2002 the Forensic Nursing Certification Board was established, and nurses who work with victims of sexual assault can earn a SANE-P credential, which stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners- Pediatric. This voluntary certification demonstrates a commitment to quality training, knowledge, and commitment to any potential employers. They also help pediatric forensic nurses establish their credentials so that their specialty can be fully recognized.

        The path toward this career begins as it does with all nursing paths: You need to first become a registered nurse (RN) and earn a license in the state in which you intend to practice. Becoming a registered nurse can mean completing your associate’s degree in nursing in two to three years, or earning your bachelor’s of science degree in nursing in four years. Three years of nursing experience are also required before you can pursue this path of nursing. Finally, voluntary certification to earn your SANE-P certification is the final step once you have become a registered nurse with a minimum of three years experience. Certification involves 40 hours of training, plus clinical training, and then taking an exam. Once the exam is passed, you will receive your certification. This certification must be renewed every three years, either by passing another examination or through continuing education.

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