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Careers in Nursing

Are you interested in a nursing career? Visit the links below to learn more!

Why select a career in nursing?
A nursing career offers limitless opportunities. Nurses work with people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and lifestyles to help them achieve the highest level of wellness possible. Nurses provide and manage care in a variety of settings, such as clinics, convalescent centers, corporations, correctional facilities, emergency rooms, homes, hospitals, industries, intensive care units, mental health and substance abuse treatment centers, military bases, outreach programs, schools, sporting events, summer camps, and worldwide health agencies, to name a few.

Nurses teach people to promote and maintain their own wellness and to prevent illness. Nurses apply principles of physical, biological and psychosocial sciences as they work with individuals, families, and communities. Based on scientific theory and methods, through observation and assessment, nurses make clinical judgments, provide and manage care, and teach people about healthy living and symptom management. Nurses who earn baccalaureate and advanced degrees are also prepared for leadership positions, independent practitioner roles and nursing research.

A career in nursing offers a lifetime of rewarding challenges and opportunities. Consider a career that offers professional independence, public respect and trust, high-tech/high-touch experiences, and a host of personal rewards that come to people helping people.

Interested? Talk to nurses you know about their careers, see your school counselor or nurse, or come to campus and visit us.

Research Nurse Career Profile

"Nurse researchers use scientific theories and methods to uncover new knowledge. Nursing textbooks of the future will contain information on what nurse researchers are studying today. I use interview, observation and physiological measurements to obtain information about the health and illness people experience. I enter and analyze this data by computers in order to generate answers to questions about health and illness. I am currently conducting research in three studies: sleep patterns that occur with aging, hospital intensive care units identifying what helps patients recover, and daily health experienced by women."

Camp Nurse Career Profile

"Having the opportunity to be a part of a summer camp was one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs I've ever had. The purpose of medical specialty camps is to provide a summer camp experience for children who, because of their chronic conditions, might not be able to be at camp at all. Amidst our daily baseball games, swims and horseback riding, we teach the children how to deal with their illnesses. When the children return home, they are not only healthier but better informed and prepared for life. They are also less anxious and depressed as they learn that they are not all that different from other children. And, we as nurses return 100% richer having had the opportunity to learn from them."

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Career Profile

"I worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner, and I also taught at the UW School of Nursing. As a nurse practitioner, I see children from birth through adolescence, when they are well or ill. I teach parents about how to promote their child's health, such as through good nutrition, how to prevent illness through immunization, and how to obtain needed child care and other services. When children are ill, I interview the family, examine the child, diagnose the illness, and prescribe medication if needed. I meet with other health care professionals to plan programs to help people stay healthy. My job is very interesting because I interact with people from many cultures and backgrounds."

Flight Nurse Career Profile

"As a flight nurse in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, I care for patients of all ages and with many medical problems, and have the chance to travel around the world. We transport patients by air in both routine and emergency situations and are called on to assist in natural disasters like earthquakes and floods as well as other national events. I receive special training for in-flight emergencies and survival and use all of the skills I have learned in nursing school and on the job. Flight nursing is truly an adventure and one I dearly love every time I'm called into action."

Hospice Nurse Career Profile

"I am a hospice nurse. I help people and their families cope with terminal illness, focusing on comfort care. I assess the person's physical condition and monitor changes in their symptoms, and teach both the patient and their caregivers how to relieve pain and discomfort. I listen to people talk about their fears, and provide reassurance as best I can. I provide information to help people manage care in the home, and work with other health care providers so the family can obtain the services they need. Hospice nursing means opening your listening heart to emotional as well as physical pains. Hospice nursing involves dealing with death, most times slowly and welcoming, sometimes quickly and sadly. Hospice nursing gives me the privilege of sharing life's end with people who often teach me how to live."

Hospital Nurse Career Profile

"I am a nurse at Swedish Hospital Medical Center. I have worked on pediatric, orthopedic surgery, and bone marrow transplant units. Since people are acutely ill when they come to the hospital, they rely on my ability to make clinical judgments about their condition and to provide the nursing care they need. I also collect and record information about their condition and help decide what they need after they go home, referring them to appropriate community agencies for care.

"Having my degree in nursing has broadened my perspectives. It has given me a firm grounding in social and economic issues. It has attuned me to ethical and quality concerns. It has heightened my awareness of political issues that daily and dramatically impact health care. It has prepared me to become a leader in nursing."

Community Health Nurse Career Profile

"I have worked as a community health or visiting nurse. In this role, I meet with families and am always conscious of being a guest in their homes. Visiting nurses teach people of every socioeconomic and cultural background how to care for themselves when they are living with a chronic illness, recovering from a complicated, acute illness or childbirth, learning to cope with the difficult challenges of raising a family, or at risk of developing a health problem. I support and guide people in establishing and accomplishing their own health goals. I translate medical instructions and describe treatments in everyday language so people can understand and carry out what is ordered. I provide information to help them get the care they need from our complex health care system."

Primary Care Practitioner Career Profile

"I own a nursing and medical practice with a physician here in Seattle. I provide health care for people of all ages, and see patients in the office, in hospitals, and in their homes. I talk with patients about their feelings, diet, family situation, and needs for health care. I diagnose common illnesses and prescribe treatment, including medications and teach people how to manage their illness. I also teach nurse practitioner students at the University of Washington and in my clinic. I consult with home health nurses, physicians, school nurses, social workers, day care workers, and pharmacists about patient needs."