One of the many perks of being a travel nurse is the frequent exposure to new environments and experiences. Sometimes that can also mean trying out unique nurse jobs or specialties that aren’t always on the hospital floor.
If you’re looking to take your nursing career to new places, check out these six unique nurse jobs and specialties with travel potential that you may never have heard of before.
Cruise Ship Nurse
On an ocean cruise in the Bahamas, work is probably the last thing on your mind. But even on the open water, cruise ships need healthcare professionals to treat vacationers and crew members in the case of any emergencies, accidents or illnesses. In 2018 so far, the CDC reported nine vessels had illness outbreaks including norovirus and E. coli. Accidents are also very common onboard.
Cruise ship nurses serve as first-responders on the ship for all medical issues, treat a wide-scope of patients and manage transportation of people to larger facilities if necessary. To provide proper care, ships such as Princess Cruises, have well-equipped medical centers that include critical care areas, X-ray units, lab facilities and a pharmacy. Cruise ship nurses get to see the world all while providing excellent care and enhancing their nursing skills.
Similar to travel nursing, most cruise ship companies require nurses to have at least two years of experience, preferably in an acute-care or emergency setting. Potential cruise ship nurses are also required to earn a certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
Average Annual Pay: $82,883
Theme Park Nurse
Just like cruise ships, vacation theme parks like Six Flags and Disneyland need healthcare professionals onsite in case of emergencies. While typically there are not doctors in place, it’s the theme park nurses who assist guests and staff with various immediate medical needs and manage a large flow of patients. Having diverse experience in emergency room care or fast-paced urgent care clinics is highly recommended.
This year, Disney World & Resorts launched a large primary care center on the grounds specifically to care for more than 40,000 employees and their families. Disney has current nurse openings at its parks in Florida, California and France. If you’re looking for a fun yet challenging workplace, theme park nursing could be one of the most unique and happiest places to be.
Average Annual Pay: Varies By Location
Are you passionate about caring for mothers and babies? Experienced in labor and delivery? A certified nurse midwife handles patient care and safety through the entire process – pregnancy, labor and postpartum.
At-home midwife births are becoming more and more common, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives has seen an increased demand for midwives. Midwifery offers a variety of settings including private practices, universities, military hospitals, birth centers, large facilities or through an in-home agency.
There are also great travel programs for midwives with nonprofit organizations and the World Health Organization. WHO specifically launched a strategic initiative to help strengthen midwife nursing around the world, focusing on poverty and disease-stricken communities. Becoming a travel nurse-midwife brings care to people who need it most.
Average Annual Pay: $107,460
If you’re a fan of the long-time TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, you may be familiar with this healthcare specialty. Forensic nurses treat patients who were victims of trauma, violence or abuse. Playing a role in both nursing and the judicial system, forensic nurses need to be knowledgeable of the legal system while providing the best care to those in vulnerable or dire positions.
The International Association of Forensic Nurses offers a variety of travel opportunities—for example, a pediatric forensic nurse from Colorado participated on an 8-week assignment in Swaziland, Africa to provide care for children and rape victims.
The caseload of forensic nurses can be emotionally draining and even disturbing at times, but they provide an important service for those who are suffering from the impact of violent incidents.
Average Annual Pay: $50,000-60,000
Looking for an exciting opportunity to give back to the next generation of nurses? Consider becoming a Travel Nurse Educator. Also known as clinical educators, these positions are crucial for teaching hospitals and universities to help future nurses or recent grads develop the skills they need. While working in either a classroom or a clinical setting, Nurse Educators design, evaluate, update and implement top nursing curriculums, and act as mentors. To become a Certified Nurse Educator, you must have a BSN, RN, Master’s/Doctorate Degree and pass the National League of Nursing exam. These effective nursing leaders must be driven, highly knowledgeable and attentive for their students to succeed.
Average Annual Pay: $73,265
Public Health Nurse
Public health nurses work outside of the hospital and focus on the health of people in their community. They evaluate health trends, issues and laws, and propose strategies to help keep the population healthy. Public health nursing can vary state to state and is expected to grow by 19 percent, according to the Nurse Journal. Working with a health agency or a government health department, public health nurses educate people about important preventative healthcare, treat patients in public health clinics, work with youth programs and community centers, and help with training.
Tasks can include providing screening tests and immunizations, collecting data from disease outbreaks, responding to natural disasters and community-wide emergencies, assisting patients and families in psychosocial health, and so much more. Every day can be different as a public health nurse.
Average Annual Pay: $56,700
- Agency Reviews
- Ask The Expert
- Continuing Education
- EMR Conversions
- First-Time Traveler
- For A Laugh
- Healthcare Roundup
- Hot Markets
- Industry Trends
- Market Data
- Nurse Contributor
- Take A Break
- Top 10
- Traveler Tips
- Weekly Polls
- Your Photos
- Your Stories