Nursing has consistently been one of the most in-demand careers, with new positions continuing to open up as more people pursue degrees in this field. Before accepting any job offer, however, one essential factor to consider is what type of facility you’ll be working in and what your responsibilities will be.
When people think of nurses, they often imagine that these healthcare professionals work directly with patients in hospital settings. While most nurses do operate in such a setting, other employers may offer more flexibility and better hours than hospitals.
Whether you’re interested in working at home or starting your own nursing agency, plenty of opportunities are available to nurses of all backgrounds and interests. Here is a look at five of the most common employers of nurses and the duties and responsibilities that typically come with each role.
An overview of nurses
Nurses are dedicated professionals who are educated to provide patient care in various settings. These professionals play a vital role in the healthcare system, performing tasks ranging from giving immunizations to drawing blood and ensuring that patients get the care they need.
Depending on their specific role, nurses may be responsible for anything from providing bedside care to assisting with surgical procedures. Below are the five most common nurse employers and nurses’ duties in these institutions.
Many schools worldwide hire nurses to provide care in the school’s infirmary. The primary duty of these nurses is taking care of sick or injured students and those with special needs, such as asthma or diabetes.
A typical day in this job consists of checking students’ health, assisting with medical treatments, overseeing staff support, and handling any emergencies that may arise. Depending on their location, they may also be responsible for providing direct patient care services, such as injections and blood tests.
These duties require a high level of emotional intelligence to interact effectively with children and adults. Some schools offer tuition reimbursement programs to help you study nursing online while working full-time. Therefore, it is not uncommon for nurses to return to school after being hired by a school district.
Palliative care homes
Palliative care treats symptoms of a disease that cannot be cured using approaches such as pain management. Palliative care nurses help manage symptoms to improve the quality of life of their patients.
These nurses work with families to make medical decisions, coordinate social services, and offer support to those faced with chronic or terminal illnesses. At any given time, they may also be involved in emergency care when they are needed.
When they are not at the facility, these nurses may spend time educating people about palliative care and advocating for it with healthcare providers. With this level of responsibility, palliative care nurses should have experience in critical thinking and clinical decision-making.
Individuals in this role need characteristics such as compassion and empathy for others, excellent communication skills, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. As palliative care becomes more prevalent in the U.S., these facilities will hire more nurses to meet their needs.
Many nurses work as trainers, coaches, or medical staff in the sports industry. For example, they may be responsible for onsite care or recovery services at sporting events.
There are also nurse positions with individual teams. These employees usually provide preventive care for their players, but they may also have first responder duties related to injuries and emergencies.
Job titles can vary depending on the team’s needs, but some examples include a nursing director, head athletic trainer, physician assistant (PA), and registered nurse (RN). Some jobs require experience working with athletes and knowledge of relevant injury prevention techniques, such as taping.
These nurses typically undergo special training to fulfill this role. They should be knowledgeable of first aid and CPR, which helps them prepare if someone has an injury.
Nursing directors need strong communication skills because they often interact with other members of the coaching staff, sponsors, physicians, and media representatives.
Nurses employed at a corrections facility can be found either in the infirmary or prison grounds. Those who work in the infirmary are responsible for assessing, diagnosing, and treating any medical emergencies that occur onsite.
These nurses will also provide preventive healthcare measures by:
- Evaluating inmates’ health risks
- Monitoring their physical well-being
- Conducting health screenings
- Offering community education to inmates about various health-related topics
- Maintaining an inventory of medicine
Some of the skills required for these roles include strong interpersonal skills and the ability to assess risk. For example, if an inmate has diabetes, they may need regular blood sugar checks.
A nurse would need to know how much insulin is required, and when and how often they should administer it. Nurses working outside of the facility may find themselves teaching life skills classes such as hygiene, substance abuse prevention, parenting skills, anger management, and more.
Occupational health nursing
Nurses in this specialty are responsible for providing preventive healthcare to reduce the risk of workplace injuries. Occupational health nurses often provide routine screening exams, such as blood pressure monitoring and physical exams, to test readiness for employment.
Some will also conduct drug testing and offer counseling services. These nurses help companies manage workers’ compensation cases by determining if an injury is related to work and assessing job hazards.
They also teach employees about common safety issues with the aim of minimizing accidents at work. Other nurses’ duties include writing reports and documenting injuries, illnesses, and other incidents on the job site.
Occupational health nursing is available in many industries, including manufacturing, construction and government agencies. It’s a competitive field that has a lot of growth opportunities.
Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare system, but the type of position they take determines their day-to-day responsibilities. The variety of nurses’ duties across employers means that individuals should be able to find a role that fits their skills and interests.
Nurses tend to work long hours and require strict standards of professionalism in matters such as being on time for shifts, having excellent communication skills, and demonstrating good judgment in difficult situations. These attributes make nurses a superb addition to any employer’s team.