5 Early Career Nursing Jobs to Consider

5 Early Career Nursing Jobs to Consider

The health care industry is expected to grow over the next decade, and some of the top gainers are either entry level or early career jobs with only a few years of experience required, which is good news for prospective nurses looking to gain some experience while studying to become a nurse and for those who already have their licensure and are looking to launch their career.

HospitalCareers.com recently put together a list of some of the best early career hospital jobs for health care professionals. Here are five of the best hospital jobs to consider as a minority nurse.

1. Home Health Aides

Home health aides help play an important role in providing care for patients who are stuck at home. These patients still require careful monitoring, and assistance doing basic tasks that others would normally take for granted. Some of these basic tasks include helping patients with bathing, dressing, bathroom assistance, eating, and repositioning. The training that nurses receive will pay off in this entry level career as home health aides are also asked to check vital signs and record pulse, respiration patterns, and temperature readings from time to time.

In addition, nurses are needed for these roles as increasingly home health aides need to spot more symptoms. The training that registered nurses receive help spot symptoms with greater efficiency than those who just receive a certification. In this role, you can help identify challenging care behaviors, home safety, and aging disorders such as dementia.

Typically, home health aides will transit back and forth between a hospital to update necessary physicians and maintain close contact with those who oversee the care plan of individual patients.

Over the next decade, home health aides are expected to grow roughly 47%, which makes it a great hospital job to consider for nurses looking to get their career started.

2. Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work closely with physicians in hospitals, medical offices, and smaller clinics. Currently, there is a surge of elderly patients who will require care from medical assistants, and nurses can find a great career starting point as a medical assistant. Medical assistants typically play a key role in preparing patients for examinations.

In addition, medical assistants help with measuring vital signs, maintaining accurate medical records, authorizing prescription refills with the authorization of a physician, and the collection and preparation of a laboratory specimen.

New nurses are needed for medical assistant roles to help assist physicians during examinations, draw blood, remove stitches and dressings, and instruct patients about medications and diet plans.

Nurses can start a career with a positive trajectory by becoming a medical assistant, as they are expected to grow roughly 29% over the next decade.

3. Licensed Practical Nurse

Becoming a licensed practical nurse is perfect for those who would like to start their career in nursing and garner some experience with an entry level job. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) typically work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Working under the supervision of a registered nurse is great for those nurses who would like to gain some valuable experience working firsthand with patients, and also see the future opportunities that their nursing career might hold.

LPNs typically take vital signs, provide treatment for bedsores, prepare and administer medications, monitor catheters, observe patients, collect lab samples, and record food and fluid intake/output.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12% over the next decade.

4. Health Coach Nurse

Health coach nurses are essential in educating patients about taking care of themselves moving forward. Often referred to as health coaches or wellness coaches, health coach nursing is a great way to gain some experience interacting with patients. Health coach nurses provide vital education to patients about their future treatment plans, and how they can best stick to those plans.

Essentially, health coach nurses educate patients on dealing with chronic conditions, improving overall well-being, and promoting various healing options. Health coach nurses typically work closely with physicians to ensure that the recommendations and coaching they provide are accurate and best meet the patient’s treatment needs.

To become a board-certified nurse coach, you’ll need: a current RN license, a minimum of 2 years of experience as an active RN, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), and completion of at least 60 CNEs in order to be eligible for the exam. To learn more, visit the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation’s website.

5. Informatics Nurse

Becoming an informatics nurse is a great way to combine big data and nursing expertise for those who are looking to have a job that combines technology and patient care. Informatics nurses incorporate big technology from various clinical settings into readable data that can help predict future care trends or opportunities to change existing care.

As more health care facilities and hospitals look to treat patients more efficiently, informatics nursing will continue to become more vital. While informatics nurses typically don’t work closely with patients, they do work with data that will impact patients in the long run. You will get to see firsthand why some policies are implemented based on data trends.

While some informatics nurse jobs may not require clinical experience, employers often prefer to hire a licensed nurse who has a few years of clinical experience under his or her belt and at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). You will also need to become certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. For those interested in advancing in this field, you may also wish to pursue an advanced degree, such as a master’s in health informatics.


As you can see, there are plenty of great early career jobs to consider as you begin your nursing journey. These jobs offer a great way to gain experience that can be useful for finding future RN positions that require more experience and offer additional skills that can be used to separate yourself from other qualified candidates when job hunting.

5 Steps to Get You Ready for the Job Hunt

5 Steps to Get You Ready for the Job Hunt

Are you tired of going to your job?

Nursing might be one of the most exciting and dynamic careers, but that doesn’t mean you are in the right role. With so many options available in the nursing field, there’s no reason to be stuck in a job you don’t like.

If you’re starting to think about finding a new place to work or even just changing roles in your current organization, it helps to plan ahead.

Here are five things to do now if you’re thinking of getting back in the job market.

1. Decide What You Want

It won’t do you any good if you just jump from one job to another without understanding why you are making the big move. Decide what’s most important to you. Is it a bigger salary? More benefits? A less pressured environment? Are you looking for more or less work hours? Or is your work environment abrasive and difficult? Once you know why you’re leaving and what you really want, you can move forward.

2. Polish Up

Get your resume ready. If you’ve been in your current role for a while, list all of your responsibilities, duties, successes, and accomplishments. Decide how you can show what you did rather than just tell what you did. Talk about a successful change you made at work and if it saved your team time or money. Did you work with a specific population and increase their health outcomes? Did you manage an increasingly larger staff? If you aren’t sure where to begin, hiring a pro will be a good investment. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated with a current photo (no selfies allowed!) and that your social media sites are professional.

3. Find Your Cheerleaders

You will need references, so think of the people who have worked with you successfully. Maybe you worked on a team, were the lead on an initiative, or even were active in charity work outside of your day-to-day job. You need to ask colleagues if they will act as a reference before you list them in any job application process,

4. Play Detective

Investigate the companies where you are applying for a job or where you would like to work. Find out about recent (or planned) major changes. You wouldn’t want to look for a shorter commute and find out that a facility is moving. Do they have a new leadership team of highly respected leaders? How is their financial history and do they have any recent layoffs? Google searches reveal lots of information. A thorough investigation will give you a good perspective on the place you could be going.

5. Network Your Tail Off

Job hunters can’t underestimate the importance of getting out there, making an impression, and adding to the professional and industry conversations. If you can’t get to networking events, being making well-placed, thoughtful comments on LinkedIn or Twitter. Do the best you can to connect with people, but not just for what they can give you. The best networkers are finding out how they can make positive and long-lasting contributions to the nursing industry. They are seeking ways to enhance their careers, of course, but also for ways they can add their talents. They know a solid network is multifaceted and will exist long after they find a dream job.

A well-planned approach to job hunting will save time and effort in the long run. Focusing on what you want, how you can get there, and what you have to offer to the larger profession is a great first step.

Advice for Older Nurses Seeking Jobs

Advice for Older Nurses Seeking Jobs

Are you a seasoned nurse applying for jobs and finding it difficult to get interviews? You are not alone. Understanding job market demands and the differences of the multigenerational workforce are among the tips for older nurses who are job hunting.

Target your searches

While seasoned nurses are valued, leveraging your experience may depend on where you look. Before applying, understand market changes and assess what a facility is looking for and match your experience with those needs.

“A lot of the magnet facilities want staff nurses to have a BSN or at least be working on it,” says Al Rundio, PhD, DNP, RN, APRN, CARN-AP, NEA-BC, and associate dean at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Experienced nurses with an associate degree are at a disadvantage at these hospitals. “The reality is they may not hire them, even though they have a wealth of experience. The best advice I give people is learning is lifelong. You want to add on a degree that will help you the most.”

Some job markets prefer experience, says Rundio, who works as a nurse practitioner in a residential addiction treatment center that is not tied to a bachelor’s degree. “Certainly a nurse there with experience would get a job sooner than someone brand new out of school,” he says.

Stay current

Older nurses will benefit if they understand technology and how things have evolved in the nursing world, advises James Ballinghoff, chief nursing officer of Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

“A good thing for [older nurses] to probably be prepared for during an interview is to understand the different generations,” and how they communicate and work, he says.

Read journals and attend seminars to learn each generation’s strengths and workplace styles to be better prepared to work side by side with them, Ballinghoff suggests.

Embrace your strengths

While some nurses may feel the need to dye their gray hair or weed out phrases and resume information that dates them, Ballinghoff suggests that mature nurses should “be yourself and be proud of the experience you have and what you bring to the table.

“I always look for experienced nurses. Although things do change and evolve rapidly, there is still that core skill of caring for a patient. They have that and they should be proud of what they have,” Ballinghoff says.

Patients appreciate the maturity of older nurses, says Deb Zimmerman, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer at the VCU Medical Center.

“In the health care world I think the more senior nurse actually has an advantage,” says Zimmerman, noting older adults who graduate from the university’s accelerated nursing programs tend to do well in the job market.

Instead of viewing your age as a liability, accentuate your experience and capitalize on it during a targeted search.

Robin Farmer is a freelance journalist with a focus on health, education and business. Visit her at RobinFarmerWrites.com.