Finding Your Place in Nursing

One of the things I find so wonderful about nursing is that there are so many different types of nursing and so many different ways to be a nurse. I started out in psychiatric nursing, then moved into public health nursing and eventually into case management. I didn’t even know about the field of case management when I was in nursing school. As a matter of fact, it may not even have existed back then. The field of nursing is changing rapidly and there are more and more opportunities for unique and different roles.

Early in my career I applied for an in-service educator position. As it turns out, these positions were saved for older nurses as a way to provide them a less physically demanding job. I was disappointed not to get the position. When I was in nursing school one of my instructors told me that she thought I would make a great in-service instructor. Now that I am the executive director of the Nurse Entrepreneur Network I have opportunities for teaching and consulting, which provide me an outlet for this desire to teach.

No matter what your personal characteristics might be, you will almost certainly be able to find your place in nursing. Richard Nelson Bolles in his book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” describes three types of people. He asserts there are people who like to work with data, people who like to work with things, and people who like to work with people. Which are you? Regardless of which of these types of people you are you will likely find positions in nursing for which you fit quite well.

Are you the type of person who loves working with words, numbers, ideas, concepts, and delving deeper into the cause of the problem? Then you might find yourself well-suited for the newly emerging profession of nursing informatics. There also nurses employed by biotech companies working on clinical trials. After a few years of experience many nurses also established themselves up as legal nurse consultants.

Do you love working with gadgets, equipment, and the newest technology? If this sounds like you ICU might be right up your alley.

If spending time with patients and their families is something you enjoy, or think you would enjoy you might want to pursue home care or hospice nursing. These are areas where teaching is a major component of your working hours.

Whatever it is that excites you and brings you joy. You can probably find it within a nursing career. There are few fields that offer as much diversity as the field of nursing.

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