If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of nursing is a hospital, think again. While the typical career path for many graduate nurses may lead to a hospital, Registered Nurses work in many places far removed from the walls of the ward. We’ve rounded up five examples.
On a cruise ship
If you’re interested in sailing around the world on a floating 5 star hotel, exploring cities across Europe, the USA, Central and South America, the Middle East and Asia (and let’s be honest – who wouldn’t be interested!) then you’ll be pleased to learn that all cruise ships have a fully equipped medical team, including two or more registered nurses on board. Nurses aboard cruise ships work with a team of doctors and paramedics in a clinic that’s open 24 hours. Cruise ships can carry more than 5,000 passengers (not to mention thousands of crew members), so the medical team can deal with all manner of health issues – from motion sickness and stomach bugs, to critical and emergency situations.
At a school
If you don’t like the idea of shift work, then the prospect of working at school might be appealing; regular office hours, weekends, and of course – school holidays! In Australia, there are some differences in what’s required to work as a Primary School Nurse or a High School Nurse, however overall, school nurses are required support development, health and wellbeing of school children. At high schools, nurses may be expected to be more involved in health promotion and prevention, and at times, liaise with groups of students and one-on-one.
In areas of conflict or crisis
You might have heard of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) – the international medical humanitarian organisation that delivers on the ground medical assistance to people and communities across the world facing conflict, epidemics and disasters. And despite what its name would suggest, Doctors Without Borders includes medical teams broader than only doctors, including many nurses. This kind of work can take a nurse across the world, responding to and working at the forefront of some of the greatest medical crises occurring on earth.
Remotely via phone or video conference
Known as telehealth, this can involve the flexibility of working from home, and advising callers on how best to manage their immediate health concerns; for example, whether their described ailment is best handled by an appointment at the GP, or if they should go to an emergency department immediately. In other settings, consultations may occur via email, chat or video conference to rural and remote areas.
From an aeroplane
Organisations such as The Royal Flying Doctors Service and CareFlight provide emergency medical care to Australians living in the most rural and remote areas of Australia. Both organisations use helicopters and jets to provide medical care to people who are critically ill or injured, and employee Registered Nurses and midwives in addition to doctors and paramedics. Flight nurses enjoy an incredible amount of diversity in their work and relish the opportunity to use a very broad set of nursing skills.
Interested in studying nursing? Apply now for CDU's Bachelor of Nursing. You can study online or on campus, part time or full time - and once graduated, you'll find that a career as a Registered Nurse can take you nearly anywhere!