5 Best Nursing Jobs for Adventurous Nurses

You’re single and want to see more of the world before you settle down but can’t afford it on a nurse’s salary? Or you want a different and more exciting working experience after a few years in the same job? Your nursing qualifications can open doors to many opportunities across the world, and if the idea of some adventure appeals to you, you may want to consider some of these jobs.

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1. Travel nurse

Want to explore what the USA, from the sunny beaches of California to the beauty of Alaska? As a travel nurse, you get an all-expenses paid trip and can use your days off to discover the variety of attractions your new surroundings have to offer. Another advantage is that you can plan holidays and breaks between assignments instead of the fixed leave that you are tied to in a permanent job. Travel Nursing also offers opportunities for professional growth and development as expressed by a nurse who has made a career out of travel nursing: “It’s cool to get in a hospital and find out what they’re really good at and how they do it. I’ve taken things I’ve learned at one hospital and taken it to the next job.”

Travel nurse jobs are widely available in the USA and are advertised on the web by many different agencies. The job contracts are typically for around 14 weeks, with travel expenses and accommodation paid for. Most of the jobs do require experience of at least one-and-half to two years in a nursing specialty such as in the cath-lab, ER or labor and delivery.

2. Cruise ship nursing

Image via: princess.com
Image via: princess.com

As a cruise ship nurse, you get to see amazing places across the world and lose the sense of time as you put to port in a different country every few days. You can join the passengers in experiencing the sights and smells of the location if the stop happens to be on your days off. You could also save up some cash for the future because your accommodation and meals are provided for.

Cruise ship nurses usually work under the direction of the ship’s doctor to look after the health needs of hundreds of passengers and crew members. As a cruise ship nurse, you will probably do things that you have never done before, from treating everyday ailments and taking X-rays, to providing emergency care without many of the facilities available in a modern hospital.

Requirements for a cruise ship nurse include training in basic and advanced life support as well as experience in the emergency room and general practice. A knowledge of basic to advance life survival skills is a must. Additional qualifications in cardiac and trauma care will be an advantage. Various websites advertise cruise ship jobs.

3. Volunteering with an NGO

MSF midwife Sam Perkins with 21-year-old Mahoro and her premature baby. This is Mahoro's second pregnancy. The first was stillborn but this time, even though extremely premature, both baby and mother are doing well. Image via: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
MSF midwife Sam Perkins with 21-year-old Mahoro and her premature baby. This is Mahoro’s second pregnancy. The first was stillborn but this time, even though extremely premature, both baby and mother are doing well. Image via: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

If you have the yearning to serve the less fortunate while also experiencing other parts of the world and learning about different cultures you could consider volunteering with a non-governmental organization. Some organizations only cover your basic needs while others do pay a stipend. The most well-known voluntary health care organization, Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), provides medical and humanitarian services throughout the world. Taking part in a mass vaccination campaign can be followed by caring for refugees or the wounded in a war zone, or stepping in to help after a natural disaster and during epidemics.

One of the most important requirements for volunteer work is the willingness to make do with very basic amenities, in both your working environment and living conditions. There may be no health care structure in the area, and you could be required to live in a tent and wash in a bucket. You will need basic nursing skills and adaptability, as well as being very resourceful.

4. Wilderness Medicine

Image via: alpineshop.webconnex.com

This field is for nurses who are passionate about and have some experience in extreme outdoor activities. You might join a group on an extreme sports excursion to a remote area or even become the health care provider on a major expedition. You could also serve as a volunteer on an emergency wilderness evacuation team.

In wilderness medicine, you will be responsible for the health care of the whole group and could be faced with caring for critical patients where the response time for evacuation is measured in days rather than hours. Equipment and supplies are very basic, and care might even extend to arranging adequate shelter for the patient against the elements, and monitoring him while he is being evacuated over difficult terrain.

Wilderness medicine requires some emergency care experience as well as a good understanding of the basic principles of medicine so that you can improvise and innovate. Training is available to prepare for the challenges of wilderness medicine, and the Wilderness Medical Society has developed a series of practice guidelines for this field of specialization. Various websites advertise jobs for nurses in this field.

5. Flight nurse

flight nurse

A flight nurse provides nursing care to patients while in the air. This could be supportive care while the patient is being transported from one health facility to another, but is most often pre-hospital emergency and critical care during rescue operations. To become a flight nurse, you need some prior trauma or ER qualifications as well as experience, and also complete courses to prepare you for the particular challenges faced in the air.

Flight nurses are used in the military services as well as by civilian emergency services, but there are not many openings. The best way to get into this field of work is to apply as an Air Force reservist. If the hospital you are working at provides an emergency air evacuation service you could also try and get on the team to gain some valuable experience.

Take the plunge

If any of these jobs appeal to you, and you are still independent, take some time and do the research. If you believe you’ve got what it takes why not apply and see where it leads? Life passes by and one day you might regret not being more adventurous while you were young.

12 Best Nursing Jobs for Adventurous Nurses

Nursing Jobs for Adventurous Nurses|You’re single and want to see more of the world before you settle down but can’t afford it on a nurse’s salary? Or you want a different and more exciting working experience after a few years in the same job? Your nursing qualifications can open doors to many opportunities across the world, and if the idea of some adventure appeals to you, you may want to consider some of these jobs.

Nursing Jobs for Adventurous Nurses

1. Camp Nurse

Is the great outdoors your type of office? You might look into camp nursing if you long for fresh air and fun activities.

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The Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) believes that there is a camp for everyone. As a nurse, determine what type of camp would benefit most from your expertise and background. Some camps focus on youths with cancer, adults with mental disabilities, or other special populations.

Camps may also specialize in a type of activity (e.g. horsemanship, trip camping), offer high adventure programs (e.g. white-water canoeing), or provide a broad, general program with waterfront activities, archery, crafts, tenting experiences, and/or various sports. Camps are administered by churches, agencies (such as Girl/Boy Scouts or the YMCA/YWCA), and even private corporations or individuals.

2. NASCAR Nurse

It takes a lot of people to run the NASCAR races and that includes medical staff. As senior director of NASCAR’s Medical Liaison Department, Lori Sheppard, RN manages the day-to-day operations of her department and focuses on the medical needs of the racing series.

“Our team provides a constant line of communication with race teams, monitors their progression through follow-up care and their return to competition. We also work with NASCAR’s Research and Development team in the never-ending effort to improve safety,” she says.

She works with several other full-time nurses at the NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, FL. During the season, her duties also include visiting nearly 30 race tracks in 25 states and in Canada.

3. Medical Script Nurse

Have you seen how many new medical television shows are running on network and cable stations? And think of all of the movies you’ve watched which have dramatic scenes in hospitals.

In order for these to look and feel authentic, nurses and other healthcare professionals are often consulted to make sure their usage of medical equipment, vocabulary, and procedures is correct.

While this job is certainly glamorous, like most Hollywood jobs, it’s about who you know. Greg Spotswood, creator and executive producer of the Canadian drama, Remedy explains.

“What you do is you meet with that person, you talk about the show and you take their temperature in terms of their interest in doing this kind of work. It’s not like one puts an ad in the newspaper.”

This is a great career if you can keep getting work, but you would probably be wise to keep your day job as well.

4. Hyperbaric Nurse

Hyperbaric chambers have been used for decades to treat divers for decompression sickness, but they also serve as therapy for more traditional patient populations.

In fact, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used for minimizing some of the impact of blood vessel diseases which can result from poorly managed diabetes and other chronic conditions.

The primary role of hyperbaric nurses is to diagnose and treat a patient’s response to the altered environment of a hyperbaric chamber. As such, the nurse must have a thorough understanding of the context of the symptom being treated. Chronic disease, acute carbon monoxide poisoning, high blood pressure, burns, or other illnesses can factor into the effectiveness of the treatment.

The Baromedical Nurses Association provides professional support and educational opportunities for those in this very specialized field. Jobs are available in many hyperbaric and wound centers across the country.

5. Disney Nurse

Can you think of any other type of nursing specialty where you can call on Mickey Mouse or a princess to make a patient feel better? Cheryl Talamantes, RN, BSN serves as the Guest Service Manager for the Disneyland Resort. She has been a nurse for 34 years and describes what it’s like to work at the theme park:

“Guests come from all over the country and the world, and there are situations where we are working through language barriers as well as cultural traditions,” she says. “In addition to having First Aid locations in each of our parks, we have a response location for our hotel guests.”

In the job as a Disney nurse, you may find yourself climbing down into a submarine or up the stairs to a tree house to treat someone.

“We work around the entertainment and also support four marathons a year. We have a large population of people in the resort on any given day which means we can see and respond to just about anything. So our nurses need to have strong assessment skills and be comfortable in the first responder roles while working with all age groups,” Talamantes adds.

6. Yacht Nurse

The staff on chartered luxury yachts must provide first-class service to all their guests. One of these services is on-demand medical care. The crew on a yacht is generally small, requiring nursing skills on a limited basis, so nurses choosing this career should be prepared to also act as a stew or deckhand.

Most crew nurses live in very cramped quarters while on charter, but the money they make and the experiences they have on days off, more than make up for it. A similar specialty is being a Cruise Ship Nurse.

7. Flight Nurse

Flight nurses accompany patients as they are being transported by aircraft. Most of these patients require advanced critical care and the flight nurses are ultimately responsible for all direct patient care during transportation.

They often work with flight paramedics in rendering basic and advanced life support and treating acute trauma. Because of the unique setting (helicopters and airplanes), flight nurses are also required to complete Department of Transportation Air Medical Curriculum. There are also weight restrictions imposed in order to safely accommodate the rest of the crew and medical equipment.For further information on certification as a flight nurse, see the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) website.

8. Parish Nurse

Parish nursing or Faith Community Nursing mixes the practice of nursing with the beliefs of a religious community. These nurses encourage physical and spiritual health as part of a holistic health plan which includes wellness, disease prevention, and other therapeutic activities.

According to the Indiana Center for Parish Nursing, Parish nurses serve many roles, including:

Integrator of faith and health.

 Health educator, providing educational programs, health screenings and illness prevention education.

 Health counselor, providing individual health counseling services in the home, long-term care facility or church.

Health advocate, helping others navigate through healthcare systems.

 Referral agent, finding resources and making referrals to agencies, organizations and support services to improve the member’s quality of life.

 The developer of support groups, organizing groups designed to assist the participants with a specific issue.

Volunteer coordinator, organizing, recruiting and training volunteers to provide assistance. 

9. Transgender Youth Nurse

With a greater awareness and acceptance of the transgender population, more and more patients are seeking medical care and at younger ages.

The Center for Tran’s youth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles sees many of these young patients. Bianca Salvetti, a nurse practitioner there says, “We usually have a waiting list of 100 now, and have been adding 5-6 patients per week.”

“Many young people have had these feelings for a long time and just didn’t know how to articulate them.”

The hospital provides hormone treatments, pubertal blockers, chest binders and outpatient surgery.

“The best part of this job is helping somebody become their authentic self. They usually don’t see happiness at the end of the tunnel. I like being part of the team that helps them get to a place where they can be who they really are,” she says.

She helps educate her patients, making sure they understand how to give themselves their hormone injections, apply binders for their chests, or just deal with their day-to-day issues.

10. Health Policy Nurse

With the healthcare system getting increasingly complicated and expensive, some nurses are advocating for change to make it more accessible and affordable. Health policy nurses do not work with patients at a clinical level. Rather, they work to influence and create public policies that will ultimately lead to a healthier population. You can find them in research firms, government offices, and healthcare organizations.

With this wide variety of work settings, an average salary for a health policy nurse is difficult to determine. However, one website estimates that average to be around $95,000 annually. 

In addition, because global health policy requires a broader view of the healthcare system, health policy nurses should hold advanced degrees.

11. Nurse Health Coach

Personal coaches have become increasingly sought after. From nutrition and fitness to careers and business, and even relationships and love, coaches can be found in almost any aspect of our lives.

With a greater focus on the individual, personal health coaches can promote wellness, resiliency, and quality of life by guiding their patients to strategies for a healthier lifestyle. They serve to bridge the gap between your doctor visits and everyday life.

These nurse health coaches work in a variety of settings, including insurance companies, corporations, consulting firms, and many are self-employed with their own practice.

Aspiring coaches should complete some form of healthcare or medical degree. Afterward, they should seek additional certification from organizations such as the National Society of Health Coaches or complete a coaching program at an accredited college. Show Me Nursing Programs

12. Cannabis Nurse

As more states realize the benefits of medical marijuana and make it legal, desperate patients will need guidance on how to properly use these substances to treat their often life-limiting illnesses and conditions. That’s where the Cannabis Nurse comes in.

Because of marijuana’s unique status of federal illegality, cannabis nurses must also assist their patients in navigating these gray areas and empower their patients with information to discuss with the rest of their healthcare team and loved ones.

Any licensed nurse can become a cannabis nurse and the American Cannabis Nurses Association offers a thorough education on this emerging specialty.