April 2, 2024

7 Career Pathways for Nurses in Hospital Settings


Career Pathways for Nurses

There are many different ways to grow professionally within the hospital. We’ve outlined a few and their responsibilities below:

Bedside NurseNurses who provide face-to-face patient care in a hospital setting among many specialties. They perform nursing skills at the bedside.

Responsibilities include:

  • Administers medications
  • Develops care plans
  • Works with providers
  • Cares for patient’s acute needs

Nurse PreceptorNurses who have experience and can teach others at the bedside. They can be utilized for new hires or nursing students. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Shares knowledge
  • Models professional practice
  • Evaluates performance and gives feedback

Charge NurseNurses who oversee the operations of their specific unit during a set period of time, usually for that shift. They ensure that all nursing functions within the unit run smoothly. They can also be a resource for other nurses.

Responsibilities include:

  • Ensures that all nursing functions in the department are running smoothly and efficiently
  • Assigns admissions
  • Creates team assignments for next shift
  • Supervises nursing staff and assesses their needs

Nurse LeaderA nurse leader is someone who runs the daily operations of the department (manager) or may oversee several departments (director). Leaders in nursing work to inspire and influence their team to realize their full potential. Through a broad view, they help the department impact the overall goals of the healthcare organization.

Potential Roles:

  • Shift coordinator
  • Nurse Manager
  • Nurse Director
  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
  • Nursing Administrator

Nurse Educator – Nurse educators serve as role models of effective patient-centered care. They share expertise and offer support, enabling new to practice or new hire nurses the opportunity to be competent caregivers.

Responsibilities include:

  • Creates education modules
  • Competencies
  • Onboarding
  • Continuing education

Nurse ResearcherThe nurse researcher is a scientist who studies various aspects of health, illness, and healthcare to improve healthcare outcomes.

Responsibilities include:

  • Design and implement scientific studies
  • Look for ways to improve health, healthcare services and outcomes

Advanced Practice RN – These nurses have an advanced education and training in nursing. They are utilized in the hospital as either a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse practitioner (NP), nurse anesthetist (CRNA) or nurse midwife. 

Potential Roles:

  • Advanced Practice RN (APRN)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP/ DNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the demand for skilled and passionate nurses remains steadfast. Whether you’re just beginning your journey in nursing or looking to advance your career, the pathways available are diverse and promising. Embrace the journey, stay curious, and never underestimate the impact you can make as a nurse. Whether you find yourself in a hospital, clinic, research facility, or beyond, remember that your dedication to caring for others is invaluable.

Becoming a United States Registered Nurse is only the beginning. We look forward to you joining our team of compassionate nurses and will remain dedicated to your professional advancements! Click here to apply.