The Top 10 Work Environments for Registered Nurses

The Top 10 Work Environments for Registered Nurses

While a considerable number of registered nurses (RNs) work within hospital settings, there are numerous other gratifying career paths available in diverse and stimulating workplaces. Roughly 39% of RNs with either an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) opt for roles outside of hospitals.

Our assessment factored in criteria such as average salary, accessibility, employment projections, and overall workload to establish the ten most favorable work environments for nurses. For those intrigued by a nursing career or contemplating a change of employers, delve into the following sections to explore the settings where nurses can make a substantial impact on patients’ lives.

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1. Hospitals

Approximately 61% of RNs secure employment in state, private, or local hospitals. Nurses operating in hospital environments engage in a diverse range of responsibilities and care for a variety of patients daily.

In hospital settings, nurses often adhere to longer shifts lasting around 12-15 hours, which affords them more days off than the standard 9-5 schedule.

– Salary: $76,840

Key Duties:

Collaborate with doctors and fellow nurses for patient care
Attend to multiple patients throughout the day
Conduct blood sampling and lab work

2. Telehealth

As telecommunication becomes increasingly integrated into healthcare, certain nursing roles have transitioned to full remote work. Telehealth nurses perform remote patient consultations, contribute freelance writing to medical journals, provide legal counsel, and engage in research.

Remote positions enable nurses to work from home, necessitating adept time management and self-motivation.

– Salary: $64,220

Key Duties:

Arrange telehealth appointments and meetings with patients and clients
Utilize video technology for patient assessment and treatment
Establish and adhere to a consistent work schedule

3. Emergency Rooms

Emergency rooms (ERs) deliver immediate care to patients in urgent need. ER nurses collaborate with physicians and other nurses to stabilize critically ill or injured individuals. The complex nature of their work requires robust critical thinking skills.

– Salary: $69,080

Key Duties:

Maintain composure in high-stress situations
Administer medications and treat injuries
Stabilize patients in critical condition

4. Physicians’ Offices

Nurses working in doctors’ offices often experience a more structured workday compared to their counterparts. Their patients require appointments and generally do not have life-threatening conditions. These nurses support physicians, collect patients’ vital signs and information, and manage appointment scheduling.

– Salary: $57,940

Key Duties:

Gather samples for lab work
Arrange patient appointments
Assist physicians in patient treatment

5. Secondary Schools

Similar to RNs, nurse educators are in high demand. Nurse educators teach courses in nursing schools and training hospitals. A majority are expected to hold a master’s degree, and some institutions require educators to possess a doctorate.

– Salary: $77,300

Key Duties:

Develop lesson plans and lecture content
Structure the curriculum
Share extensive knowledge of the nursing profession

6. Birthing Centers

Nurse midwives offer assistance throughout various stages of pregnancy. Collaborating with gynecologists and obstetricians, they support pregnant women and their unborn children during childbirth.

Nurse midwives must hold an RN license, a graduate degree specializing in nurse midwifery, and certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board.

– Salary: $97,787

Key Duties:

Collaborate with medical professionals to care for pregnant women
Evaluate and assess patients’ health information
Educate patients on healthy practices pre-, during, and post-pregnancy

7. Public Health Clinics

The role of a public health nurse is particularly fitting for RNs who aspire to serve and enhance their communities. Social services agencies and community centers hire public health nurses to educate citizens about local and national health crises. Additionally, they design and implement programs to promote health-conscious behavior and prevent illnesses.

Typically, public health nurses are required to possess a master of science in nursing or a doctoral degree. Some nursing programs offer accelerated tracks that allow prospective public health nurses to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees concurrently.

– Salary: $59,560

Key Duties:

Offer health-related services and education to communities
Develop and implement programs to enhance local health
Collaborate with community members to address prevalent diseases or health concerns

8. Correctional Facilities

Nurses employed in correctional facilities attend to inmates with chronic illnesses and medical emergencies. These nurses must be prepared, both physically and mentally, to manage a range of demanding and stressful scenarios.

Most correctional facilities maintain a 24-hour nursing staff, and nurses may work more than 40 hours a week. A correctional nurse’s responsibilities might encompass collecting samples from patients, administering medications to chronically ill inmates, and treating injured or unwell inmates.

– Salary: $54,000

Key Duties:

Conduct drug screenings and lab tests
Monitor inmates’ well-being
Assess and treat health conditions and injuries

9. Law Firms

RNs working in law offices leverage their professional expertise to contribute to malpractice suits or legal cases involving healthcare. They assist attorneys in building cases, reviewing medical records, and researching medical law.

Legal offices typically prefer to hire RNs with relevant experience and paralegal training. The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants certifies RNs before they can offer legal counsel.

– Salary: $78,070

Key Duties:

Prepare documents and records for court proceedings
Provide medical expertise during legal hearings
Deliver informed testimony in court

10. Home Healthcare

Home healthcare nurses maintain or enhance patients’ health within the comfort of their own homes. Some work extended hours, remaining close to the patient for extended periods. Home healthcare nurses constitute a significant portion of RNs, with approximately 12% providing in-home healthcare services.

This role often entails prolonged

hours spent with the patient. RNs can bolster their career prospects by obtaining certifications from organizations such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

– Salary: $67,020

Key Duties:

Monitor patients’ vital signs and general condition
Administer medications
Provide assistance and companionship to patients

FAQs: RN Work Environments

What are the options for RNs in terms of job roles?

RNs have a plethora of rewarding job prospects within the healthcare sector. For instance, those seeking a dynamic environment where they can save lives might consider becoming ER nurses. Others may specialize in specific patient populations, such as nurse midwives or correctional nurses.

Aside from hospitals, where else can RNs work?

There are numerous opportunities for RNs outside the conventional healthcare settings. Nurses who prefer a less stressful atmosphere may find telehealth roles appealing, as well as positions with insurance companies or legal firms. Legal offices and publications often require experienced nurses’ insights into the healthcare industry. In-home care is becoming increasingly popular among older individuals, and some nurses excel in roles within correctional facilities, schools, and birthing centers.

What is the optimal work environment for an RN?

The ideal work environment varies for each RN, and every healthcare setting comes with its own advantages and challenges. Certain nurses may thrive in administrative tasks and document-oriented roles in legal offices, while others may excel in roles that foster interpersonal connections. Aspiring nurses need to assess which setting aligns best with their skills and preferences.

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