Completing your associate degree in nursing and getting your nursing license is only the first step in a rewarding nursing career. Within the nursing field, you have many different career options, although many of them require additional education and experience beyond an associate degree. What’s the best nursing career for you? If you’re ready to find your calling, here’s a look at some exciting nursing careers for a heart that wants to help others.

Pediatric Home Nurse

If you like the idea of practicing nursing outside the doors of an institution and working with children, pediatric home nursing is an excellent choice. The job is challenging, requiring you to assess and respond to the needs of children without any professional peers nearby with whom you’re able to consult, so you’ll need to be experienced and comfortable making decisions. Working with pediatric patients can be very rewarding, but their complex health needs, particularly when they’re chronic, can be emotionally draining. It takes a positive attitude and a love for children to succeed in this job, and you’ll need some institutional experience working as a nurse before taking on a home nursing job.

Oncology Nurse

It takes a big heart and personal strength to succeed as an oncology nurse, since caring for patients with cancer can present many challenges. Compassion and sensitivity will be just as important as good phlebotomy and nursing skills. Not only will you be offering support to patients, but you’ll also need to offer compassion and understanding to family members as you work with patients.

Certified Nurse Midwife

Although you won’t need as much education as an OB/Gyn physician, being a certified nurse midwife often allows you to be far more involved in the care of expectant mothers. The role doesn’t end after delivery, since you may also be involved in providing follow up care for the newborn and the mother. In some cases, you may be able to work under the direction of a physician. While a love for babies is a requirement for this career, you must also be prepared to deal both with happy endings and difficult outcomes as well.

ICU Head Nurse

The ICU is one of the most stressful places for nurses to work, and being the head nurse in the ICU comes with plenty of challenges. Not only will you need to deal with staffing needs, you’ll need to be able to maintain supplies, document performance, and continually upgrade your own knowledge. Maintaining team spirit and being a good leader will be required for this role. You’ll need to be prepared to be under constant pressure if you take on this fast-paced job. Not only will you need an advanced degree, you’ll probably need specialized certification to be considered for the job of ICU head nurse.

MD Office Nurse Practitioner

With a shortage of primary care providers in the country, MD office nurse practitioners are in high demand today. You may work in a family-oriented practice, pediatric practice, or even an OB/Gyn practice. While you’ll be working under a physician, you’ll independently diagnose and treat patients, although being a team player will be essential for your success. Working in a practice gives you the ability to stay involved in the lives of your patients, which can be very rewarding. To work towards becoming a nurse practitioner (NP), you’ll need to go through an RN to BSN program, then you’ll need to get a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Then you can get licensed as an NP, although the specific requirements for getting licensed vary from state to state.

Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner

Although a nurse practitioner may not have the same amount of independence in the ED as they would in a family clinic, emergency department NPs still have more latitude than a staff nurse working in the ED. While your role will involve doing triage, ordering tests, interpreting test results, and offering input, your job will involve other professionals as well. Not only will you need an advanced degree, an MSN or DNP, along with your license of a nurse practitioner, you’ll need significant experience to be able to handle the often hectic, unscripted life of working in the emergency department. The ED is fast paced and very demanding, and you’ll need to be able to stay calm in mass casualty or crisis situations if you choose this career path.

Of course, these are only a few career options within the field of nursing. Many other careers are available for nurses, both in and outside of the hospital. Follow your heart and your dreams to find a nursing career path that allows you to serve others in a meaningful way.

If you’d like to learn more about nursing careers that will allow you to serve others faithfully and wholeheartedly and you’re interested in a Christ-centered education, we’d love to introduce you to our Christian perspectives in nursing at OKWU. To learn more about how Oklahoma Wesleyan University can help you pursue your calling as a nurse, call us today at 918-335-6200 or email us at