When you are in nursing school, it can feel as if getting your RN is the ultimate achievement and that you can rest easy one you have passed your board certification exams. For some people, once they have attained their RN, they realize that they want to take the next step academically and professionally.
The RN degree is incredibly versatile and there are many different professional paths that RN degree holders can pursue. Below are just a few of the various career options open to those who have their RN.
Step into a leadership role
One avenue for new nurses to pursue is to take on leadership positions and transition toward being a manager on a floor. Individuals who enjoy working with people, designing workflows, and managing activity to optimize efficiency will likely feel drawn to becoming a manager.
There are many different levels of management in the healthcare sector. It can take years to build up the necessary experience to become a manager, but nurses who are interested in this route can take the first steps toward a leadership role by offering to train new hires and do tasks such as design the holiday calendars.
Moving on to postgraduate study
Another possibility is to further your academic career by pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. Master’s degrees can seriously elevate your profile as a potential hire and give you access to new roles in healthcare.
For example, Wilkes University has an Online RN to MSN program that offers students a fully flexible, online course that will allow them to kickstart their career. An MSN degree opens up numerous professional avenues for nurses and gives you the opportunity to specialize as a nurse ethicist, forensic nurse consultant, psychiatric nurse, nursing informatic specialist, pediatric nurse practitioner, and more.
Public health and services
Some nurses realize after a few years of service that they would actually like to do something that has a bigger impact than working with individual patients. One way to make a significant amount of change is to start working for public health services.
A first step toward working in public health is often gaining “on-the-ground” experience as a community nurse in a local healthcare center that serves community members. This is a great way to determine if working in public health is something you are really passionate about.
After having gained practical experience, many nurses will then choose to move on to a master’s degree in nursing or public health as postgraduate education can create many opportunities for healthcare professionals.
Nursing degrees: a doorway to the world
For passionate nurses who have strong interests in a particular area or want to improve the world, the possibilities for specialization and other career routes are expansive. Regardless of where your RN degree takes you, it will undoubtedly serve you well and open up many doors for you.