Career

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Nurses

Five unusual career ideas for nurses


When most nursing students imagine their future job, it usually involves a hospital ward and a city setting. And there’s no denying that’s a rewarding career choice to work towards. But if you’re thinking about taking nursing in a different direction, you have plenty of interesting options. 

When most nursing students imagine their future job, it usually involves a hospital ward and a city setting. And there’s no denying that’s a rewarding career choice to work towards. But if you’re thinking about taking nursing in a different direction, you have plenty of interesting options. 

We spoke to Susan Gallagher, a registered nurse and ACU senior nursing lecturer, and Alison Hansen, a registered nurse and ACU lecturer, who gave us five alternative nursing careers that might spark your imagination. 

Tech talk

Telehealth nursing is when medicine and technology come together to deliver care online or over the phone to patients who live alone, are located in rural areas or are unable to travel to medical appointments. 

“By monitoring clients remotely, particularly those with chronic diseases, telehealth nurses can actively help patients receive treatment before hospitalisation becomes necessary,” said Susan Gallagher. “While you won’t be rushing around a ward, telehealth nursing still calls on your clinical skills, just like in a hospital.”

In and out

Flying in and flying out (FIFO) jobs are not just for miners in high-vis gear. In fact, entire health care teams are deployed to rural or remote postings around Australia on a FIFO basis. 

“These types of nurses are often working for three or four weeks at a time, providing routine medical treatment and advice for mining staff as well as emergency response, before being flown home again,” said Susan. “They play a vital role in these remote or isolated communities.”

This type of nursing role can be a good fit for those aren’t sure about making a permanent move to a remote setting and want the option of returning home each month.  

Up and away

If flying to work appeals, but a commitment to a FIFO lifestyle doesn’t, a flight nurse lands somewhere in the middle. These nurses are responsible for the nursing and clinical management of patients who are being transported by plane, often between country and metropolitan hospitals and health facilities. 

“As a flight nurse, you’d be responsible for triage, clinical care of patients before, during and after flights, as well as some ground-based administrative duties,” said Susan. 

Forensic work

Forensic mental health is a lesser known, commonly misunderstood career path for nurses. 

“Forensic mental health nursing involves all aspects of care in a therapeutic environment. It’s about working with people who experience serious mental illness and have a history of offending behavior, or who are too high risk to receive treatment in the community,” said Alison Hansen. 

Forensic mental health nurses practice in a variety of different environments. “This could include custodial settings, in secure hospitals, working with the courts or in the community. It’s about supporting all kinds of patients on their recovery journey.” 

Nurses interested in this specialty should consider our postgraduate course offerings, such as the Graduate Certificate in Mental Health (Nursing) or Master of Mental Health (Nursing). “While forensic mental health nursing can be a rewarding, it is a challenging career path,” Alison said. 

In business

Like it or not, health is increasingly seen as a business and many nurses are now opting to move away from bedside care and into middle management roles, which come with new leadership responsibilities in multi-disciplinary teams. 

“If you’re interested in the business side of nursing, you will need to have your head around issues like effective management principles and how to best manage financial resources,” said Susan.

A good option to get you started on this career track is enrolling in the Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Business Administration double degree so you’ll be set to pursue careers in government, management, education and research, or health promotion. 

Learn more about how to make the most of your Bachelor of Nursing, or discover how a postgraduate nursing degree could send you in a new direction.


 

 

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Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright @ Australian Catholic University 1998-2018 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G