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Things to Know About Nursing Career Paths

Nursing careers are among the most diverse and interesting of all medical professions because of the variety of different capacities and environments nurses can work in. Most types of nursing careers can be broken down into roughly 3 broad categories: inpatient, outpatient, and alternative services. If you’re a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) interested in exploring new career options, here’s what you need to know about the roles that are possible in these categories.



Inpatient Nursing

Nurses who work in inpatient contexts often do so in a hospital setting. However, they can specialize in a number of specific branches of medicine, and they might work with people of all genders and ages or with a specific demographic. Many choose to work in administrative or staff management roles as well. Some examples of inpatient nursing roles include:


  • Nurse care coordinator


  • Nurse administrator


  • Trauma (ER) nurse


  • Surgery nurse


  • Obstetrics or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse


  • Palliative or hospice care nurse


  • Nurse manager, chief nursing officer, or director of nursing

Outpatient Nursing


Outpatient nurses often work in primary care or specialist doctors’ offices and in other types of medical centers where patients arrive for an appointment and return home afterward. Like inpatient nurses, outpatient nurses may focus on specialty care or work in a more general capacity. Examples of these roles include:


  • Fertility, women’s health, or OB-GYN nurse


  • Physical rehabilitation nurse


  • Geriatric nurse


  • Dermatology nurse

  • Primary care nurse


  • Orthopedic nurse


  • Oncology nurse

Alternative Nursing

If none of the above feel quite right for you, consider thinking outside the box with one of many alternative nursing careers. Professionals in these roles often work outside traditional medical settings and fill needs that can’t be addressed by hospitals and other medical centers. Some alternative nursing job types include:


  • Flight, travel, or cruise ship nurse


  • Military nurse


  • Parish or missionary nurse


  • Nurse legal consultant or attorney


  • Nurse writer


  • School nurse



Private Duty Nursing

Still another alternative career is private duty nursing. These professionals work in patient homes or in residential living and care facilities. They might serve senior citizens or people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs) who need daily care but don’t require hospitalization.


Private duty nursing careers can be particularly rewarding, as work environments tend to be slower-paced and casual, and nurses have the opportunity to care for the same patients over a longer period of time, building strong patient-provider relationships. Private duty nurses get to witness their hard work paying off in the improved quality of life that their patients experience.

Make the Most of Your Nursing Career With Progressive Lifestyles

Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is dedicated to providing innovative support services for people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Oakland County, Michigan.


A primary focus of our organization is to interact with the individuals we support through the “Culture of Gentleness” model. We seek to create a positive environment to help them feel safe and valued while maximizing praise, limiting demands, maintaining consistent structure, and reducing stress during transitions.


We are hiring private duty nurses! Joining the Progressive Lifestyles, Inc, team as a private duty nurse could make all the difference for your career satisfaction and work-life balance. Whether you're looking for a full-time schedule or just hoping to pick up a few extra hours, we would love to chat about the possibilities. Apply now!


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