NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination, is the nationwide examination for licensing final year nursing students in the US. After graduating from a nursing school, a graduate must take the NCLEX to get a nursing license, which will grant them permission to practice nursing.
Passing the NCLEX is not an easy feat, though. Many aspiring nurses have a hard time passing the exam. You must be fully prepared to pass the NCLEX. This involves plenty of time to study, reviewing NCLEX formats, and using online resources such as Daily NCLEX Challenge to practice answering questions the right way.
Passing and conquering the NCLEX is a monumental victory. Now that you’ve passed the NCLEX, you can consider various career options.
Since being a nurse inside the hospital is not for everyone, you can always look for other nursing career options. In this article, we’ll explore some other career options you can take after passing the NCLEX.
1. Legal Nurse Consultant
A legal nurse consultant is a good career option for nurses who like medical problem solving, analyzing information, and doing tons of research. You’ll be providing valuable information, consultation, and expertise to lawyers about legal medical issues.
If you become a legal nurse consultant, you also have to be willing to work with others as this job entails you to be part of a legal team. You’ll be working together with the legal team on medical-related cases which involve medical fraud, malpractice, worker’s compensation and much more.
Part of a legal nurse consultant’s job is to help attorneys understand different medical records and terminology. There are also some cases where a legal nurse consultant will be asked to become an expert witness and testify in court.
2. Forensic Nurse
Forensic nursing is a critical job that plays an important role in the healthcare and criminal justice systems. A forensic nurse works to gather medical evidence and provide expert testimony if needed. This is a unique specialty as it combines nursing, science, and the legal system into one job.
Forensic nurses often work as part of an investigative team to help crime victims get justice. If you just passed the NCLEX and have a passion for crime victims and criminal justice, being a forensic nurse is an excellent career option for you.
You’ll be working side by side with coroners and pathologists to gather evidence and identify the true cause of death of crime victims. It is both a challenging and rewarding career option. Forensic nursing is a hands-on job and you’ll be tasked to investigate in various kinds of crimes such as domestic violence, physical and sexual assault, child abuse, and accidental death.
3. Correctional Nurse
Correctional nursing is a specialized field of nursing that involves taking care of detainees and prison inmates’ medical needs. Correctional nurses treat an array of medical problems that detainees and inmates suffer from inside correctional facilities.
Correctional nurses go behind prison walls every day to do their jobs. They treat acute illnesses and even perform emergency medical procedures.
However, because of the working environment required by this nursing career, being a correctional nurse is not the best option for everyone. You must be exceptionally compassionate and patient to become a correctional nurse. Because being a correctional nurse means you’ll be taking care of individuals who committed crimes (and sometimes heinous crimes). You must be objective and do your work with respect and compassion.
4. Nurse Educator
The skilled nurses we see in hospitals and other medical facilities today wouldn’t have become who they are without the help of nurse educators.
Nurse educators are also registered and licensed nurses who use their clinical and academic experience to teach and train nursing students. They develop educational curriculums and standards for nursing students to help them become fully skilled and knowledgeable upon graduation.
Nurse educators can be employed to teach or train nursing students in colleges, universities, hospital-based nursing programs, technical schools, and research facilities.
5. Informatics Nurse Specialist
Nursing information technology (IT) careers, such as the informatics nurse specialist, are among the highest paying careers in the nursing field. Your main responsibilities as an informatics nurse specialist are to provide systems preparation, training and user support, and other IT-related services. This role is an essential part of the healthcare system, as informatics nurse specialists help promote safer and high-quality patient care.
Informatics nurse specialists often serve as liaisons between technology and healthcare providers. Their job is to help healthcare providers make smarter decisions based on the accurate data.
To become an informatics nurse specialist, you must be a registered and licensed nurse first. This will help you understand the work of nurses and their working environments in various settings. If you are a nurse who is knowledgeable about technology and has a passion for improving patient care, becoming an informatics nurse specialist is a perfect option for you.
6. Military Nurse
If you’re an aspiring nurse and want to serve your country, consider becoming a military nurse. The job of military nurses is similar to traditional registered and licensed nurses who treat civilians, except for the fact that their patients are mostly military personnel.
A military nurse treats and monitors wounds for infection, prepares patients for surgical procedures, and provides preoperative and postoperative care for all military patients. They also monitor the pain and comfort levels of their patients and provide emotional support.
During peacetime, military nurses often look after active-duty military personnel and military retirees and their dependents. There are also some cases wherein they are tasked to provide emergency care to civilian patients. During wartime, military nurses are tasked to provide medical care near the battlefront, making this job interesting but dangerous and very stressful.
Nowadays, there are many nursing career opportunities waiting for you when you pass the NCLEX. Nursing is one of the most diverse medical professions. You can always find a nursing career that is best suited for you and you are passionate about. Explore your options before you settle into a nursing career of your own liking.