In nursing school, it can feel like getting your RN is the ultimate achievement and that you can rest easy once you have passed your board certification exams. Once they have attained their RN, some people realize that they want to take the next step academically and professionally.
The RN degree is incredibly versatile and has many different professional paths 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. Building up the necessary experience to become a manager can take years. Still, nurses interested in this route can take the first steps toward a leadership role by offering to train new hires and do tasks such as designing 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 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 careers. An MSN degree opens up numerous professional avenues for nurses. It will enable you to specialize as a nurse ethicist, forensic nurse consultant, psychiatric nurse, nursing informatics specialist, pediatric nurse practitioner, and more.
Public health and services
Some nurses realize after a few years of service that they would 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 passionate about.
After gaining practical experience, many nurses will pursue 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 many doors.