NEW GRADUATES WITH A BSN HAVE MANY OPTIONS when it comes to specific career types. While working as a registered nurse, recent graduates can explore advanced degrees, work in hospitals, nursing homes or clinics and figure out what type of care setting gives them the most joy and sense of accomplishment. Rather than simply applying to the first job available, new grads should consider starting a career in one of the following occupations to kick start their long-term nursing journey.
1. Work in a Local Hospital.
The simplest option is to apply for a position in a local hospital. Depending on your location, you may have access to large hospitals, caring for patients that range from pediatrics to the elderly. However, hospitals also tend to include more corporate-type business, such as extensive orientations or ongoing meetings with other departments. If you do work in a hospital, select a unit that interests you.
2. Think About Working in Skilled Nursing Facilities.
Skilled nursing facilities, commonly known as nursing homes, give new nurses the opportunity to care for seniors outside of critical care and inpatient hospital settings. New graduates may choose to work in skilled nursing facilities due to their widespread distribution or to be close to home. However, many of the skills learned in nursing school are not necessarily applicable to nurses that work in skilled nursing facilities due to the long-term, residential style of care.
3. Acute Care Settings Can Be Exciting Places to Expand Your Skillset.
Acute care settings include specialty hospitals, intensive care units (ICUs) or long-term acute care hospitals. These settings give new nurses an opportunity to refine advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) skills and critical thinking capabilities. The workload tends to be more fast-paced, and the patient-to-nurse ratio tends to be lower.
4. Research Positions May Be Open to Recent Graduates.
Universities and educational institutions may offer research opportunities for recent BSN graduates. However, research employment tends to be picked up quickly, so if you are interested in this field of nursing, apply as soon as the position is available.
5. Community Clinics May Be Hiring.
Community clinics are critical to ensuring the health of the public, but the wages offered may not be as comparable to hospital staff. In addition, a single physician may privately operate a clinic, so you may have a less-intense workload.
6. Smaller, Decentralized Emergency Rooms Are Becoming Popular.
The trend to go to small, decentralized emergency rooms appears to be growing. These stand-alone facilities offer fast-paced care to those in pain or severe health crises. Due to the increasing number of these facilities, being hired to work in one may be easier than applying to other emergency centers or hospitals.
You Can Always Continue Your Education For Advanced Practice Specialties.
Upon graduation, you have a nearly endless array of career options available, limited only to the health care organizations and facilities of the region you choose to live in. Of course, you do not have to start working full-time either. You can pursue advanced nursing degrees or volunteer to work in non-profit organizations. The options are limitless, and you can combine them however you sit.