8 Career Alternatives for Nurses: Part 2

8 Career Alternatives for Nurses: Part 2

8 Career Alternatives for Nurses: Part 2

Our previous post tackled the eight career alternatives for nurses that you can choose to work in if you are looking for a career change. In this second part, we have added other nursing career options that you might enjoy doing in this second part. 


What are Your Choices?

If you want to boost your career as a nurse, trying these alternatives may work out for you. Here are eight choices to choose from:


1. Academic Nurse Writer

Have you heard about this position? An academic nurse writer is a job where nurses work outside of patient care. Nurse writers often enjoy a lucrative career in healthcare-related companies like pharmaceutical, insurance, and other patient care services. 

What they do is create nursing-related content for websites, like training manuals or textbooks which tailors the information to the general public or other nursing professionals. 

It is an excellent opportunity for nurses with a good background in research, writing, communication, and health services. And the best part of this is that all you need is a BSN to qualify. The average income for an academic nurse writer is $73,500 each year. 


2. Nurse Health Coach

Do you have an interest in working with one client or patient at a time? How about helping people achieve their health goals? If yes, becoming a nurse health coach is one of the career alternatives for nurses to pursue. 

A nurse health coach is a nurse who works one-on-one with clients to help them keep a healthy lifestyle and prevent health conditions from happening. They usually work in healthcare facilities, insurance companies, and social services.

Nurses in this job often create a diet plan, monitor clients, and establish safe exercise routines. It is also part of their work to help motivate clients to be in their best health. 

To qualify for the position, you should have a BSN. However, some employers don’t mind. Nurses with an associate degree can also be eligible for this position. If you want to earn more, it would be best to have a BSN degree instead. The average income for this position is $49,000 per year.


3. Public Health Nurse

Another exciting career alternative for nurses is to work as a public health nurse. This job addresses community health care, and nurses who choose to work in this area have the opportunity to be in social service agencies. They can also work in schools and nonprofit groups. 

The main job of nurses in this profession is to identify at-risk groups and individuals and develop preventive care programs. These programs have also been proven helpful, especially now that we are experiencing the stress of this pandemic

For a nurse to qualify for this job, one must have a Master of Science in Nursing degree in addition to their RN license. Both degrees are needed to earn more in this nursing field. The average income for public health nurses is $59,500 per year. 


4. Hospice Nurse

If you are interested in taking care of patients with Alzheimer’s, and terminally ill patients, and providing assistance to their families, being a hospice nurse is the ideal job for you. As a hospice nurse, your job is to administer pain medication, provide nursing care, and monitor the patient’s vital signs. 

If your patient is at the end stage of life, maintaining comfort is also an essential part of your job. The hospice nurse also must provide emotional and educational support to the patient’s family. 

A BSN degree is needed for a nurse to qualify for this job. Additional hospice care and palliative nurse certifications are also helpful for nurses seeking employment. The average salary for a hospice nurse is $70,000 each year or more, depending on the certificate and training. 


5. Dialysis Nurse

One of the most in-demand jobs for nurses belongs to this area. Usually, dialysis nurses work for nursing facilities, hospitals, clinics, or private dialysis nurses. They care for patients who have kidney-related illnesses, where they develop treatment plans and conduct dialysis procedures for the patients. 

It would be best if you had at least a BSN and RN to qualify for the job. Other employers may also require candidates to be certified nephrology nurses or have nurse dialysis credentials to further allow for the position. The average salary for dialysis nurses is $71,100 per year. 


6. Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant is a nurse who specializes in researching medical and disability cases, employment records, and other legal documents. They also make recommendations that give legal proceedings. Insurance cases and law enforcement investigations the information they need. 

Interested nurses must be licensed RNs who have completed an associate degree in this field. You can also be a legal nurse consultant if you have a BSN with clinical and case management experience, specialized legal certification, and paralegal training. 

You might also consider becoming a nurse attorney if you are interested in pursuing a law degree if you already have a BSN. The average income for a legal nurse consultant is $79,000 to $80,000 per year. 


7. Disease Prevention Nurse

Nurses who want a career in the nursing field but does not require them to be in a hospital setting can work as disease prevention nurse. Their job is to research diseases and how it spreads to patients, the community, and healthcare workers. 

Once they have the data they need, disease prevention nurses will analyze it and decide how to contain it, prevent it from spreading, and more. Nurses in this area can work in nursing homes, hospitals, and even private practices. 

Before qualifying for the position, applicants must have nursing experience first. They are also required to have at least a BSN under their belt. The average income for disease prevention nurses is $85,000 or more, depending on the degree they hold and their nursing experience.  


8. Flight Nurse

Do you enjoy traveling? Are you a nurse who isn’t bothered by flying? If yes, then being a flight nurse is perfect! As one of the best nursing career jobs, this is a popular alternative for nurses who do not want to work in hospitals.
One of your primary duties as a flight nurse is to handle stressful situations while on the flight. It could be an emergency situation, too; for example, a passenger on board had a heart attack. It is your role to provide emergency aid.
Flight nurses can also work on rescue planes, where they help provide emergency care. It usually involves patients transported to hospitals via airlift.
Usually, flight nurses work in trauma centers, hospitals, fire departments, and many others. According to reports, this job will grow by 15% by 2026. Depending on their employers, flight nurses can earn $67,000 to $80,000 per year.


What is the Best Nursing Career Option?

All nursing fields offer unique experiences and may help increase your skills. The best ones are the ones you enjoy working as a nurse.

Whether you choose to be a legal consultant or a dialysis nurse, loving the job and providing the best nursing care to your patients matter most! 

To learn more about nursing career options, click here for the first part.


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5 Qualities of a Good Nurse Leader

5 Qualities of a Good Nurse Leader

5 Qualities of a Good Nurse Leader

So you have the qualities of a good nurse leader? Leadership is a vital foundation for its success. Great leaders are also great managers and are an inspiration to their colleagues. But what are the qualities of a good leader, especially in the nursing field?

We need to improve the quality of care in our healthcare system. It is why there is a call for effective leadership among nurses to help improve individual patient care in the general health sector. 

According to ANA or the American Nurses Association, an excellent nurse leader is passionate about excelling in the healthcare sector by applying nursing leadership skills and principles.

A good nurse leader must focus on the quality of care, safety, and team management among nurse managers and resident nurses. 

Nurse leaders also advocate for their profession and patients while ensuring a positive and professional work environment. But what are the qualities of a good nurse leader? 


Must-have Nurse Qualities

Effective nursing leadership is crucial for nurses who want to advance their careers. Being a leader means focusing on skills that will help them grow. But are these skills? And how can they help you become an excellent nurse leader?

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Excellent and effective communication skills

A good nurse leader must communicate effectively with fellow nurses and patients. When communication is effective, it encourages collaboration among members of all levels and positions within the healthcare sector.

To be an effective communicator, a good nurse leader involves active listening and providing feedback to nurses, especially those in training. 


2. Precise decision-making skills

The nursing field involves situations where decisions are made daily, whether small or big. Junior and resident nurses look up to their nurse leaders for these decisions and seek their advice.

It is why an excellent nurse leader has efficient, effective, and precise decision-making skills to help organize and provide direction to their healthcare team. 


3. Can resolve conflicts

Conflicts cannot be avoided. Every work sector has them, and yes, even in healthcare organizations. Conflict resolution is an essential nursing leadership skill. It allows nurse leaders to improve teamwork and resolve issues within the healthcare sector.

They also help in productivity and patient satisfaction. When conflicts are resolved, developing care plans and diagnoses for patients are easy, even when healthcare team members have different opinions. 


4. Gives guidance

Interpersonal and motivational strategies make individual and group trainee nurses effective under nurse leaders. Through their mentorship, nurse leaders cultivate continuous learning and development within the healthcare system.

An effective nurse leader also sets the standards for new and younger nurses, who can one day grow to become nurse leaders.


5. Adaptability 

The nursing field is ever-changing. A good nurse leader must be able to adapt and evolve to the constant changes within the healthcare industry; every nurse leader has to face the uncertainty of their daily situations.

They must also communicate these changes effectively to their subordinates so they can come up with solutions to these changes. 


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7 Tips on How to Handle Difficult Patients

7 Tips on How to Handle Difficult Patients

7 Tips on How to Handle Difficult Patients

Working as a nurse means dealing with all kinds of patients, even rude ones. That said, you must know how to handle difficult patients if you wish to become an effective nurse. 

Why are some patients rude?

Several factors make a patient hard to handle. It could be due to the stress of the illness or the tensions they feel from being inside a hospital.

Sometimes, a patient can be distressed, angry, scared, demanding, or have unrealistic treatment expectations for their needs.

However, some of these behaviors may also be due to their past experiences in terms of medical treatment. 


How to Handle Difficult Patients

As a nurse, you cannot avoid patients that can test your nerves. However, you can also find ways to deal with them. Here’s how:


Tip 1. Don’t fight fire with fire.

One of the first things you must understand is that patients are sick and need your help, not the other way around. As a healthcare professional, you must try not to respond in anger.

A patient’s offense may not originate from when they were at the hospital but perhaps triggered by something that might have happened in their life. Try to be as patient and understanding as you can. Showing respect is still the right thing to do. 


Tip 2. Listen to them.

Sometimes, an angry patient will tell their story once they have calmed down. When they do, give them undivided attention and listen to what they are talking about. Be sure to collect your thoughts before speaking to them too.

Address them by their first name, acknowledge their concern, talk slowly, and maintain eye contact when talking to them.

Avoid mirroring their words; this could trigger them and may even turn defensive again. 


Tip 3. Take note of your body language.

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. That said, be mindful of your body language when you are dealing with a difficult patient. When patients are angry, they will also find a way to push your buttons.

In return, you become mad yourself. Being mindful of how you react is crucial.

It will also help you choose the right words to say, use the tone of your voice, body language, and overall response. 


Tip 4. Acknowledge the situation at hand. 

Learn to acknowledge the situation. Most importantly, recognize how your patient feels. You can start by saying, “I understand how you feel,” or “I feel like we have a misunderstanding.”

As you do, be sure to keep your feelings aside and stay calm. Avoid using negative words that could escalate the situation. 


Tip 5. Setting the boundaries. 

Patients go to the hospital because they need attention, no doubt about that. However, if you keep giving in to their demands, how can you give attention to your other patients? Be clear with your boundaries.

Make sure to set a time limit, say 15 minutes, then tell them you will see them in the next 30. Inform them as well that you are working on the patient ratio and you are doing your best to help them out.

As you continue to practice this with them, they will soon realize that you have a busy schedule and empathize with your situation. 


Tip 6. Provide a Patient Satisfaction Survey

This survey will allow your patients to share any of their concerns. Tell them that you value their feedback seriously. It also prevents them from leaving bad reviews online. 


Tip 7. Stay proactive.

There is no use ignoring the problem. Avoiding a problematic patient won’t work either. So stay proactive, acknowledge your patient’s situation, identify the source of their anger, and be sure to implement steps to de-escalate the problem.

The more you understand the case, the better it is for you to understand the case and learn how to handle difficult patients. 


Your Takeaway

There will always be unruly patients wherever you go. They will come to you with various ailments, mood disorders, fears, and a mountain of other complications. You must also understand that they come from diverse backgrounds and live different lifestyles you may disagree with.

But it is part of the job, after all. As a nurse, stay professional; you were trained in this field, so use your nursing knowledge and abilities to provide them with the quality care they deserve. 



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4 Tips on How Nurses Can Avoid  Malpractice

4 Tips on How Nurses Can Avoid Malpractice

4 Tips on How Nurses Can Avoid Malpractice

Any nurse will do everything in their power to care for their patients. But sometimes, mistakes can’t be avoided. It happens. And it is also among the common reasons why some nurses face charges of malpractice.

Even if the case was unintentional, malpractice could still be charged. It is why, as nurses, we must know our rights and ensure our job is not compromised.

But how can we avoid being sued for malpractice? And what can we do to avoid the things that could lead to a malpractice lawsuit? 


Why Malpractice Happens

Nurses work in healthcare facilities where workflow can be unpredictable. Add factors like understaffing, unfair nurse-patient ratio, Covid-19, and burnout, and you have a recipe for disaster.

In addition, nurses work in all aspects of the medical field. Their involvement in people’s lives, topped with different responsibilities, puts them in a vulnerable position most of the time.

This position also increases their risk of malpractice allegations, a reality that many professional nurses face every day. 


Avoid Malpractice with These Tips

How can a nurse avoid accusations of malpractice? If you want to avoid this predicament and be careful with your daily patient interaction, here are helpful tips you can follow:


1. Be attentive and mindful of the patient care you give.

Imagine being hospitalized; you are in a vulnerable state where you’re uncomfortable. Not only that, but you’re also in a lot of pain and discomfort. How would you feel? But despite all that, you have the nurse who attends to your needs.

If you are the patient, wouldn’t you love your nurse to be attentive to your needs and provide you with the best care? Exactly. 

Paying attention to the patient care, you give your patients helps ease any anxiety your patient may have. You can execute procedures and nursing care plans properly when you’re focused.

However, there are moments when nurses can’t give the same amount of attention to all patients. And not all patients understand that each patient’s care goes through a triage system where the most severe cases are prioritized first. 

It is challenging for many nurses to make their patients comfortable, especially those waiting in the ward. That said, nurses must build rapport and ensure that patients are treated with respect and etiquette. It will help them ease up and trust you as the nurse caring for them. 


2. Always explain the consent and how patients are processed.

As I have mentioned, not all patients understand the procedures and processes of their healthcare facility. In some cases, some patients may be protective of their health conditions.

You must explain how their data will be used when they consent. Let your patients ask questions and take your time to explain the answer to their inquiries. It will give them a better understanding of their situation and what they should anticipate. 


3. Document your work at all times. 

Many hospitals follow SOPs or standard operating procedures in different situations. To avoid malpractice, know these rules and hospital policies. Ensure that you refer to them when you are making your decisions.

Write them down on your nurse’s notes, especially when giving medications, doing procedures, and complying with patient requests. Always document in detail and make sure you have a copy. It will also help doctors diagnose accurately and ensure the best treatment options. 

Written documentation will protect you and other healthcare professionals should a patient claim malpractice and file a case against your team. While nurses cannot avoid committing mistakes at work, we can’t eradicate them.

Nurses must be vigilant by being mindful of their work, protecting their rights, and defending their actions. 


4. Sign up for training and continued education.

Just because you obtained your RN license, your role ends there. Keep in mind that the healthcare system is continuously changing. And it will continue to do so for many years to come.

Technological advancements and innovations in many hospitals are also changing, which is why training and education must continue. 

In some hospitals, nurses must complete several hours of educational training to increase their competency requirements. It also helps nurses update their skills and knowledge about recent changes and best practices within the nursing field.

With proper knowledge and correct documentation, nurses have a good chance of defending themselves. 


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6 Stress-Relieving Tips for Nurses 

6 Stress-Relieving Tips for Nurses 

6 Stress-Relieving Tips for Nurses 

Being a nurse is a stressful job, and it’s not even a joke! Knowing different kinds of stress-relieving tips can help nurses from all walks of life. 


Why are Nurses Stressed?

As a nurse, your life is extra busy most of the time. As a nurse, the most helpful way to combat stress is to understand what stresses you out.

It is not always easy to identify stressors but we can help you narrow it down, here are the most common causes of stress for nurses:


#1. Constant use of critical thinking  skills 

Being a nurse, you are always critically thinking, either how medication can impact a patient or when a family member has a difficult question. it can be a mentally draining job.

A nurse’s job is demanding, and you do not always have the time to check out, even if you want to.

#2. Work environment demands 

There will be constant pacing while working with doctors and other healthcare providers when you are at work. It is common to clash with coworkers and patients at times or have miscommunication, leading to pressure and stress. 


#3. A 12+ hour job

Long shifts can be exhausting, and nurses often work insanely long shifts. Many nurses work 12+ hours a day any extra overtime leads to increased stress and a drain on energy. 

So it is prevalent among nurses to be a little cranky after each shift as it can be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining, especially on the night shift. 

#4. An emotional job

When you look at it, a nurse’s job is to take care of the sick and dying. But while they are caring for sick people, they also take care of the families left worrying or grieving.

It can put an emotional strain on nurses and also be stressful on their part. In addition to that, some families can be challenging to deal with. While nurses are empathetic, coping with demanding families adds pressure to their jobs. 


#5. The Pandemic

We were not prepared for the pandemic, and among healthcare providers, nurses are the most affected. Their responsibilities did not only double but also folded twice.

They deal with the increased workload a pandemic brings while also putting their health on the line. Some are even assigned to do a job they were not adequately trained for to meet the nursing demands.

Because of this, saying a nurse is stressed is underrated. 

Helpful and Stress-Relieving Tips You Can Apply

So, what can you do to release the stress you feel each time you are under pressure at work? Knowing different stress-relieving techniques can help nurses big time. Here are a few:

1. Find a nursing path that you love

Are you stuck in a nursing job that you don’t like? Or are you looking for an option to do something else? If you answered yes to either, it’s time to move on to a different path in nursing.

Keep in mind that nursing is an ever-dynamic field, so there is always something to do. If you love traveling, become a travel nurse, and if you enjoyed your time in the Operating Room as a student nurse, pursue a career in OR nursing.

Maybe you are done with acute care and want to settle down in an outpatient clinic. The options are endless. Just make sure that the path you selected is something you would like to do for the long haul. 


2. Remind yourself why you became a nurse

Earning a high salary is one of the benefits nursing brings, but is it all you want? When things get tough, ask yourself why you became a nurse. Is it because you love helping others? Was it a good route for financial security??

Whatever your reasons are, going back to the reason why you became a nurse will shed light on your darkest hours. So, whenever you feel stressed, use that reason to get back on your feet!


3. Sweat it out!

Another good way to relieve stress is through exercise. Many nurses find themselves sweating their stress out in the gym more often these days, so why not do the same? If you don’t like the confines of the gym, you can always work out at home.

You can follow exercise apps or YouTube videos and burn those calories of frustration! Not only will you feel good, but you will also feel energized again, improve your health, and be pumped for your next shift.

4. Eat Healthily

Since we are talking about exercise, you might as well include your diet. To stabilize your energy, pair your workout with a balanced meal. Your diet must consist of energy-giving foods to keep you on your feet all the time.

Eating green leafy vegetables, fruits, juices, and superfoods like nuts, avocadoes, sardines, berries, etc., must be included in your daily meals. These will keep you healthy and help reduce the stress and anxiety you may feel at work. 


5. Practice meditation and breathing exercises.

Besides doing your workout routines, you must also practice breathing exercises and meditation. When things get crazy, pause, meditate, and be mindful of your breathing. You don’t have to bring a yoga mat!

Breathing techniques can be done anywhere, even at work. So, plan out your day, and take time to meditate and refocus. It will help you get through even the most toxic shifts! 


6. Don’t forget to take time off.

All work and no play make you a dull person. So, relax, take time off, and socialize. As much as you want to sleep on your day offs, set a time to socialize with friends or family.

It is always good to have an outlet and to be yourself without worrying about the next patient chart you need to update. You don’t have to work all the time, find balance, and learn to live a stress-free life as a nurse. 


Your takeaway

As a nurse, facing stressful situations at work is a given. It is part of the profession. It is why you must find ways to destress.

Don’t let the daily chaos of nurse life ruin your determination to help others.

Try and see how these stress-relieving tips for nurses can help you. 


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Your First Year as a Nurse: Advice for New Nurses

Your First Year as a Nurse: Advice for New Nurses

Your First Year as a Nurse: Advice for New Nurses

Congratulations on passing nursing school and making it into the nursing world! You are now a qualified and registered nurse, so how can you survive your first year as a nurse?

Here’s what you need to know.


On Your First Year as a Nurse

Working as a professional nurse for the first time is an exciting and scary thought. You are new to the job, but at the same time, you have the skills needed to do it.

Your first year as a nurse is a year for adjustments, and I will be honest with you, it will be difficult. It’s like everything you learned in nursing school is poking you all at once!

You will discover different skills and techniques used in the trade, AND you will probably be tired all the time. Long shifts, overtime, and toxic days are ahead of you.

But don’t worry, if anyone before you made it, so can you! Following these pieces of advice will help you survive and thrive in this wonderful career.


It’s OK to not to know everything

One of the anxieties that new nurses experience is that they expect to be good at what they do right away. You are not going to master every technique, procedure, or hospital protocol in one year.

Give yourself some time to adjust to your new environment. Remember, your first year is a year for adjustments, so give yourself some room to learn.

Bear in mind that your new domain is different from nursing school, so relax. It is OK not to know everything. I know you want to be good at your job, but take one step at a time. After all, being a nurse is a job that requires patience, so be patient with yourself. 


Don’t be afraid to ask questions

As a nurse, you must have a curious nature. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Many new nurses are afraid to ask questions because it may sound like they admit to something they don’t know.

However, asking questions is also an excellent way to learn. So, don’t hesitate to ask questions. It will show that you are interested in learning something new and that you are open to new things and not afraid to speak up. 


Develop your time management skills

One of the skills you must develop during your first year as a nurse is time management. Remember that your priority is patient care, but as you do, you must meet the hospital management’s expectations and coworkers.

Learning how to use your time effectively can help you in this situation. 


Get to know who you are working with

Remember your coworkers’ names, and make sure to say hello when you meet them in the corridors. As a new nurse, it is essential to make friends and build relationships with your colleagues. So, be polite and cooperate with your coworkers.

Seek advice from your mentors and colleagues. Not only is this important in your profession, but it will also help in surviving your first year as a nurse. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone you can trust and laugh with on your team when things get tough? Of course!


Sign up for classes or volunteer to enhance your nursing skills

Your life as a nurse does not only revolve around the hospital. During your first year, be sure to sign up for additional classes to enhance your nursing skills.

Volunteering for events, internships, and nursing drives also enhances your nursing knowledge. It will hone your skills and prepare you for your career as a full-pledge nurse. 


Join nursing organizations 

Becoming a member of a nursing organization is beneficial for a new nurse. Being a part of these networks broadens your opportunity to find work and resources.

It is also an excellent way to make connections in the professional nursing world. If you decide to join a nursing organization, make sure that it is close to the chosen area of the nursing field you would like to work.

For example, if you wish to be a part of psychiatric-mental health nursing, you can join the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. 


Prioritize self-care for you. 

Many new nurses experience anxiety and stress during their first year as a nurse. That said, it is crucial to take care of your mental health too. As a nurse, you are the health care provider, but what happens when you are not well yourself?

How can you deliver quality care to your patients? So, take care of yourself; exercise, meditate, eat healthily, and get enough rest. Not only are you taking care of yourself and your mental health, but it will also help you from burning out. 


The Reality of Your First Year as a Nurse

It will be challenging, but it will also be one of the best years of your life! As a new nurse, you are like an infant. You may have a license to work as a nurse and the knowledge to apply, but just like a growing baby, you also need to take small steps. 

Of course, there will be days when everything else is extra tricky, but don’t give up! Stay positive, and instead of feeling down, list the things you don’t know of and see what you can do to correct them.

Read new nursing trends, be updated with the latest in the nursing community, and build relationships in and out of your workplace – anything is possible!

Yes, your first year will be tough, but if you focus on the good things, your time will fly by, and the next thing you know, you’re on your way to better opportunities. So, enjoy the experience, and most importantly, enjoy the opportunity of helping others. Good luck!


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