Job Title: Nurse
Type of Company: I work for a school district in a socio-economically and culturally diverse suburb of Boston.
Education: BA, Psychology, University of Pennsylvania BSN, Nursing, University of Pennsylvania MSN, Nursing, University of Pennsylvania Post-Masters Certificate in Nursing, Drexel University
Previous Experience: I have worked as both a staff nurse and nurse practitioner in women's health and adolescent medicine.
Job Tasks: Currently, though, I work as an adolescent health nurse in a high school and 3 middle schools, providing classroom training and independent tutorials on the subjects of sexuality, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and relationships. I monitor all pregnant and parenting students in our school district, working closely with faculty, social workers and administrators to help them achieve academic success. I also bring them into contact with outside agencies like the WIC, Healthy Families, Public Assistance, etc. that can help improve their lives, and, in general, serve in much the same way as a case manager would.
I also work within the community to reduce teen pregnancy by helping to publicize and disseminate information about adolescent health, sexuality and pregnancy.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love working with teens. I also really enjoy the other woman with whom I work. And I have plenty of autonomy.
I find the constraints of working in a school system to be trying at times. Though trained as a nurse practitioner (in essence, a substitute doctor) I am limited by the school to what an ordinary school nurse could do. For instance, though I'm allowed by law to prescribe medicine, the school, pointing to my job description, refuses to let me do so.
1.) Interview lots of people in the field and learn about the paths they took themselves.
2.) Nursing allows you to do all sorts or work, including research, teaching, and work for pharmaceutical companies and you should investigate your options.
3.) You may be required to work the off-shifts at a hospital or clinic, but it's worth getting onto a unit that you are interested in.
Additional Thoughts: I have been pleasantly surprised by the flexibility of my career choice. I have worked all 3 shifts as a staff nurse. I have worked traditional Monday through Friday, 9-5 hours; I have worked full time and part time. I feel as though this is a great career choice.
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