Once you finish nursing school, what careers are available? What can you do with a BSN? Nursing offers a large number of options for using your degree, and a BSN sets you up for hospital, clinic and community nursing roles. You can choose a role that works directly with patients, or you can opt for one that applies your nursing education in other ways.
Once you earn a BSN from an accredited program, such as from the 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track at the University of the Incarnate Word, countless doors will open for you. A BSN prepares you to succeed in a variety of nursing roles, meaning you can choose a specialty that complements your skills and interests.
We’ll discuss eight job options that will help you answer the question, “What can I do with a BSN degree?” After all, a BSN is a gateway to numerous exceptional career choices.
What Is a BSN?
While there are several possible degrees for becoming a registered nurse, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the recommended choice for most students. Compared to an Associate Degree in Nursing, a bachelor’s degree offers more professional opportunities, career growth and job security.
Traditional BSN programs take four years to complete, but if you have non-nursing credits from a prior bachelor’s degree outside of the field of nursing, you may be eligible for an accelerated BSN program like the ABSN track at the University of the Incarnate Word.
1. Inpatient Nurse
The first option that generally comes to mind when considering nursing as a career is bedside nursing in a hospital. However, you might not be aware that within the inpatient world, there are countless clinical specialties to choose from.
Just a few of the places nurses can work in a hospital are:
- Medical/surgical unit.
- Orthopedics unit.
- Emergency department.
- Critical care unit.
- Pediatric unit.
- Labor and delivery unit.
- Cardiac unit.
Inpatient nursing is an excellent way to hone your skills and gain experience caring for high-need patients. New nursing school graduates often choose a bedside nursing role as their first job after graduation because this ensures they gain valuable experience that will serve them for the rest of their career.
If you like the hustle and bustle of the hospital and caring for patients in their moments of highest need, inpatient nursing may be a great fit for you. Another advantage of this type of nursing is that hospitals often have 12-hour shifts, which means you may only need to work three days per week to be considered full time.
2. Outpatient Clinic Nurse
If you have a passion for patient care but prefer the schedule and rhythm of the clinic environment, working in an outpatient clinic may be just the ticket. As an outpatient clinic nurse, you’ll work alongside other health providers, such as physicians or nurse practitioners, to assess and monitor patients coming in for care.
There are a variety of clinics to work in, from primary care to pediatrics to orthopedics. You can even choose sub-specialty clinics like pediatric oncology or maternal fetal medicine — the options are vast with clinical nursing. Because you’ll be in an outpatient clinic setting, you’ll be able to maintain traditional weekday hours, which is ideal for many nurses, especially if you have a family.
3. School Nurse
Do you enjoy working with kids in an educational environment? If so, it’s worth considering becoming a school nurse. School nurses monitor and provide medication to students with preexisting conditions, such as diabetes. They also care for students who become ill or injured during the school day, assessing symptoms and recommending further care at another facility, if needed. School nurses can also advocate for health equality by providing vaccinations and interventions for students in need.
If you have a fondness for students and want to be a health resource for the next generation, consider a career as a school nurse. It’s a great way to build long-standing, meaningful relationships with students as they further their education.
4. Home Health Nurse
Another option for what you can do with a BSN if you prefer seeing patients outside the hospital is home health nursing. These nurses visit patients in their homes on a regular basis to monitor patient health, evaluate symptoms and administer medications. Home health nurses often work with elderly patients who are managing chronic conditions. One of the benefits of home health nursing is that nurses can form close bonds with their patients, often visiting the same patients regularly for years. If you value meaningful, long-term relationships, home health nursing may be a great fit for you.
5. Telehealth Nurse
Given the landscape of this digital era, it’s no surprise that even nursing has an option for telecommuting. Telehealth nurses can fulfill a variety of duties, such as interviewing patients about their symptoms, monitoring patients’ vitals or providing guidance to smaller hospitals on how to optimize care.
Telehealth nursing is a great way to enjoy a remote, online-based work environment while also actively contributing to patient care. Job opportunities within telehealth nursing are on the rise, with technology playing a larger role in improving healthcare efficiency.
6. Nurse Health Coach
Are you enthusiastic about nursing and wellness? If so, becoming a nurse health coach may be a great way to combine your interests and help people stay well. Nurse health coaches often start their own businesses and coach clients individually or in small groups.
This career choice is best if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and like to create your own schedule. Although it’s not a traditional nursing role, being a health coach can be an excellent way to promote preventative measures that keep people healthy and out of the hospital.
7. Travel Nurse
If you have a desire to travel the country and spend time exploring new cities, travel nursing is a great way to do this while earning an income. As a travel nurse, you’ll work through an agency that connects you with healthcare employers looking for short-term assistance. You’ll be working alongside staff nurses at a health facility, and the length of each position varies, lasting just a few weeks or as long as a few months. Travel nursing can be a great way to earn a competitive salary while receiving benefits such as travel stipends and free housing.
8. Nurse Recruiter
Nurse recruiters work with healthcare employers to hire new staff nurses. They are responsible for reviewing candidates, conducting interviews and recommending nurses for hire. This career allows you to apply your nursing skills to an administrative role. Nurse recruiters have an indirect impact on patients because by placing top-quality nurses, they improve the quality of care patients receive.
If you love working with people and being behind the scenes with other nurses, becoming a recruiter is a great direction to take your career.
Earn Your BSN and Start Your Career!
Now that you know how to answer the question, “What can you do with a BSN in nursing?”, you’re ready to start making your future nursing career happen. The first step is earning your BSN. At the University of the Incarnate Word, you can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months through the ABSN track in San Antonio, Texas.
The ABSN curriculum uses three teaching modalities: online learning, skills and simulation labs and clinical rotations. UIW offers three start dates each year for the ABSN track — in January, May and August — so you can spend less time waiting and get started on your degree sooner.
To learn more about how the ABSN track at UIW can accelerate your path to becoming a nurse, fill out our online form, and our admissions counselors will get in touch. A rewarding career as a nurse awaits you!