Nurses See Bounty of Post-Pandemic Opportunities
In this article, we learn from two of Equiliem’s Healthcare experts, Matt Selverian and Holly McDonald. Both help connect employers with the vast array of medical professionals who deliver services to patient populations.
Post-Pandemic Nursing Jobs-What to Consider Now
Before the world knew about COVID-19, many states were trending toward a nursing shortage, especially bedside nurses. 2020 escalated the shortage issue, while subsequent surges of COVID-19 led to nurse burnout and moral distress, adding fuel to the fire shortage.
As we approach mid-2022 with evidence that the worst of the pandemic is finally behind us, the demand for travel nurses earning ‘crisis rates’ is slowing, and hospitals are recruiting for direct-hire positions. Many may want to switch from travel and find a stable work home.
Matthew Selverian, VP of Healthcare at Equiliem, says, “We are recruiting heavily for nurses in the ER, OR, and maternity and infant specialties.” He adds that pay rates are up modestly from pre-pandemic. At the same time, hospitals are working to ensure that patient ratios land in line with standards.
How to Choose Your Best Post-Pandemic Nursing Position
One of the many great things about nursing is that you have many opportunities to explore different career paths. With the world moving into a post-pandemic era, the point-of-view of nurses has become even more relevant.
With various nursing roles to choose from, you might need to consider a few factors before changing. To help you decide, we sat down with the former RN and Program Manager for Equiliem, Holly McDonald. Holly specializes in assisting nurses in finding their next career fit. She explains that the key to your next opportunity as a nurse is to answer these questions:
- What are your strengths?
- What are your interests?
- What patient demographic do you enjoy working with best?
- What do you dislike about your current role?
- What do you like about your current position?
- What’s your ultimate career goal?
The answers to these questions will point you in the right direction. Perhaps one of your strengths is training others and keeping things organized. If so, a nursing leadership role might be an excellent path to consider. Defining what you want next will give you an idea of what to watch out for, such as further education and other requirements.
Getting Ready to Make a Change
On top of a new role, you might also have to consider where a new path will lead you. It might involve moving to a new city, finding a different healthcare facility, or pursuing further learning. Holly also adds that aside from salaries and benefits, a change of scenery can do wonders for the soul.
If you’re looking for immediate change, switching to a role requiring advanced education may not be viable. Having the necessary experience can also be challenging if you’re a newly graduated nurse looking for the best job. Knowing where you stand with these requirements will help you reach your ultimate career goals.
Best Nursing Jobs Based on Interests
Holly advises that the key to a great job fit is combining your career goals with your passions. Working in a nursing field that interests you and allows you to pursue your passions certainly makes for happier workdays. Here are some career paths you could consider based on specific interests.
If you love working with kids, Pediatric Nursing might be your path. This field specializes in caring for children from birth through adolescence.
If mental health is close to your heart, Psychiatric Nursing might suit you best. This field lets you work closely with patients that need help managing mental illnesses and maintaining mental wellness to live fulfilling lives.
This role is for nurses who love planning, coordinating, and organizing health services within a healthcare facility. If taking charge is your strength, consider this career path.
Emergency Department Nurse or ER Nurse
If you chase a constant adrenaline rush and can fully function under pressure, you might thrive in the ER. It requires being quick on your feet as you are on the front line of providing the most immediate care.
Long-Term Care Nursing
Working in long-term care might be an excellent fit for nurses with a soft spot for aging adults. Long-Term Care often involves caring for patients by assisting them with daily activities such as dressing and bathing.
Best Nursing Jobs Based on Pay
As much as nursing is a calling, an attractive salary is also an essential and valid priority. If your goals are more pay-oriented, you might consider a career path that leads to a bigger paycheck.
For 2022, these are the top five states in the US with the highest annual salary for nurses:
- California: $124,000
- Hawaii: $106, 530
- Oregon: $99,630
- District of Columbia: $98,540
- Alaska: $97,230
If you’re looking to get into the best-paying roles, here are some recommendations from Holly:
Gastroenterology is a field that specializes in treating patients with gastrointestinal tract or digestive system illnesses or disorders. As a nurse in this field, you will manage highly uncomfortable symptoms that can affect the whole body.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
These nurses specialize in caring for women during pregnancies and throughout the birth process. Your job is to ensure the best possible outcomes for mothers and newborn babies.
Neonatal ICU Nurse
If complications occur during pregnancy or childbirth, newborn babies are sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Nurses in this unit specialize in treating newborn infants who were born prematurely or with critical health conditions.
Neurology nurses treat patients who are diagnosed with neurological disorders or illnesses. As a nurse in this field, you will care for patients who suffered a stroke, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries.
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse
For matters of the heart, Cardiac Cath Lab Nurses provide care. You will care for patients with heart or valvular diseases and myocardial infarctions that need percutaneous intervention.
Best Non-bedside Nursing Career Paths
A nurse’s many capabilities and passion for serving also have a place in other professional environments outside the hospital. While they may no longer be in a medical setting, their nursing skills and knowledge are still called upon to handle concerns about health and wellness. Here are some of the best non-bedside career paths you can explore:
This job role is appropriate for tech-savvy nurses who may find comfort in working behind the scenes. If you have technical skills, project management skills, experience in a clinical setting, and an understanding of medical economics, this might be a role for you. Management of information systems has a significant role in promoting public health and patient safety, which explains the demand for informatics nurses.
Telehealth nurses interact more with patients through communication technology than informatics nurses. They can monitor patients’ vital signs and overall welfare through telephone triage setups. Web cameras and web technology allows for greater patient accessibility to health care while offering nurse providers opportunities to go remote.
School nurses are trusted to help promote the health and welfare of students. Aside from teachers, they are also looked upon to take good care of the younger generation.
Bring your nursing prowess to new heights, literally. Providing care during air transport gives a contemporary outlook combining a travel nurse’s perks and a bedside nurse’s responsibilities.
Nurse Case Managers
While this is an administrative position, the role is vital in mapping out comprehensive patient care plans. With clinical data and tools, nurse care managers coordinate the path of healing for the patient.
Training a new generation of nurses is a worthwhile contribution, especially to help alleviate the nursing shortage. Your academic background and professional experience will benefit students interested in taking the same path you took.
Find Your Post-Pandemic Nursing Job
Whatever nursing job you may enter, if you have a heart full of generosity and initiative, you will have opportunities for growth and advancement. Times may have changed, but the need for nurses’ empathy will never wane. There is no better reward than to be a significant part of a patient’s healing journey. And that reward stays true, no matter what nursing opportunity you pursue.
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