What career progression opportunities exist for registered nurses to target?

Staying up to date with the latest health news is something everyone in Pennsylvania loves to do. This is especially true around Pittsburgh, where residents are always keen to find out the latest advice about living a healthier lifestyle. 

Staying up with the latest news in health is also something medical professionals who work in and around Pittsburgh like to do. For registered nurse in the area, this can mean researching how to move on with their career and step into more advanced roles.  You may wonder, what career progression choices are there for registered nurses to consider? 

Family nurse practitioner 

Although there are many advanced roles for registered nurses to target in terms of career progression, this specific NP position is perhaps the most popular. As the name suggests, this APRN job involves providing primary care in a variety of healthcare settings for families. This sees FNPs delivering high-level care to patients of all ages – from the very youngest in a family to the very oldest. 

Common tasks family nurse practitioners carry out include:

  • Patient examination
  • Diagnosis of conditions 
  • Ordering and reviewing diagnostic tests
  • Prescribing medication
  • Referring patients to specialist colleagues
  • Developing treatment plans 

How do you become an FNP and what benefits does moving into this role bring? 

To move into this senior nursing position as an already qualified/licensed RN with work experience, a master’s degree is required. Once this has been gained, you must pass the national board exam to attain your FNP license and apply for a license to work in your state. 

Once you have completed this sort of course, it can help you access the many benefits working as an FNP brings. The expected family nurse practitioner salary is an obvious perk and you should find increased rates of pay in this job, compared to working as a registered nurse. The online MSN-FNP program from Carson-Newman University is an illustration of the type of advanced qualification that prepares current RNs for life as family nurse practitioners. It offers affordable tuition fees, and high-level academic learning, and 100% online learning (excluding clinical placements/residencies) for true flexibility. 

What other advantages does qualifying to become an FNP offer? 

The truth is that stepping into this role comes with some other attractive benefits for current registered nurses to consider. Many family nurse practitioners for example can enjoy a more independent working environment (depending on state law where they are based) and have more autonomy in their professional life. 

FNPs can also enjoy more regular working hours which do not involve shift work or overtime hours. This role is also in demand currently and offers not only good opportunities in terms of vacancies to fill but also excellent job security. This type of nursing position means you track a patient’s health journey throughout their life. It also enables you to forge close connections with them. 

What other career opportunities exist for registered nurses? 

If you are currently qualified and working RN in the Pittsburgh area, you may wonder if there are other interesting roles to target in terms of career progression. The truth is that there are lots of rewarding nursing positions to think about in this regard. But which are some of the most popular? 

Pediatric nurse 

If have an interest in children’s health and like working with younger patients as an RN, specializing to become a pediatric nurse is a smart move. This is because these kinds of nurses focus on providing the best direct care to younger patients and offer support to their families. 

This is a popular career move for current registered nurses as it offers the chance to foster long-term connections with patients/their families. In addition, it offers a good rate of pay and the chance to work with the patient demographic which gives you the most enjoyment. 

Nurse educator 

This is a really good option if you fancy moving away from direct patient care and helping to inspire the next generation of nurses. Nurse educators work in higher education to train student nurses and prepare them to move into the nursing profession. 

This can see them working in both clinical and classroom environments to deliver top-class education to their students. Nurse educators may also conduct their academic research to stay on top of current trends in nursing to bring into their teaching. With the chance to work more regular hours, competitive rates of pay, and the opportunity to have a direct, positive impact on the sector, this is one career option for RNs to think about. 

Critical care nurse 

If you enjoy the fast-paced nature of working directly with patients in clinical settings, stepping up to become a critical care nurse is worth thinking about. This more advanced position sees you working in specific settings, such as cardiac units or ICU units. 

As a result, it involves caring for people with very serious conditions which may be life-threatening. When you see that the average salary for a critical care nurse is around $83,000 and factor in the buzz working in such a busy role brings, it is easy to see why so many registered nurses step into critical care. 

Public health nurse 

This role is open to experienced registered nurses who hold a valid RN license and a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  It involves caring for entire communities/populations and is normally focused on preventative care. This can involve educating communities on living a healthier lifestyle and how changing their lifestyle can help them stay in better shape. 

Public health nurses may also become involved in educating patients about health initiatives in their area, such as national vaccination programs. This is a good choice in terms of career progression if you enjoy working with large numbers of people and interacting with them to offer health education. It is also a role that offers good job satisfaction and offers the chance to move away from direct clinical care work as a nurse. 

Many career progression opportunities for registered nurses

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and currently work as a registered nurse, you may well be looking at how to move on in your career. The reality is that there are lots of exciting options in terms of career progression for qualified, experienced RNs. While the above are just some of the most well-known, they give a good idea of the kind of opportunities registered nurses can target.  

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