Your nursing degree will open up many opportunities for an exciting and challenging career, as well as a variety of potential work settings in which you can put your skills to use. While many people may assume that the only place a nurse can work is a hospital or doctor’s office, there are countless other places where skilled nurses are needed.
Certain work environments may be a better fit for your personality type and strengths as a nurse than others. For example, some settings, such as a trauma unit in an emergency room, are fast-paced and high-stress, where you’ll see all kinds of patients and treat all kinds of ailments. On the other hand, you may be more suited to a home care setting, where you work with one patient daily in the privacy his or her own home.
Have you ever thought about your ideal work environment as a nurse? Take our quiz to find out what setting is right for you!
1. Your favorite board game is:
- Hungry, Hungry Hippos
- Catch phrase
2. If you were an animal, you’d be:
- A squirrel
- An orangutan
- A dog
- A dolphin
- A bird
3. Your favorite place to read or study is:
- A busy coffee shop
- A library during finals week
- Your quiet bedroom
- The gym, while walking on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike
- You don’t read – you listen to books on tape while driving in the car
4. Your favorite room in your home is:
- The backyard
- The study
- The bedroom
- The exercise room
- The living room
5. If you weren’t a nurse, you’d be:
- A chef
- A mechanical engineer
- A social worker
- A fitness instructor
- A college counselor
6. Your dream weekend getaway destination is:
- New York City
- Williamsburg, Virginia
- The Florida Keys
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- New Orleans
7. If your life was a movie genre, it would be considered a:
- Thriller, like The Dark Knight
- Science-fiction/mystery, like Inception
- Lighthearted drama, like Forrest Gump
- Action-Adventure, like The Hunger Games
- Romantic comedy/musical, like Mama Mia!
8. The fictional hospital or medical practice you’d most like to work at is:
- County General – “ER”
- Seattle Grace – “Grey’s Anatomy”
- The Lakeside Carolina Nursing Home – “The Notebook”
- Seaside Wellness Center – “Private Practice”
- Sacred Heart Hospital – “Scrubs”
9. When you read the newspaper, the first section you go to is:
- Science and Medicine
- Human Interest Story
10. Your go-to Starbucks order is:
- Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee
- Grande Coffee, Black
- Dirty Chai Latte
- Caramel Macchiato
If you answered mostly As, you probably belong in an emergency room. You’re comfortable in fast-paced settings and require variety to keep you energized and engaged. As an emergency room nurse, you’ll treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. Busy emergency rooms are often high-stress and require long and exhausting hours, but you’ll thrive on the challenge of being prepared to tackle any situation that comes your way and using your critical thinking skills to quickly determine the best plan of action for your patient.
If you answered mostly Bs, you probably belong in a surgical unit. You are precise and detail oriented. Surgical nurses are responsible for preparing the patient both pre- and post-surgery, as well as serving as the patient’s advocate in the operating room. Your attention to detail will help you monitor your patient’s signals throughout the surgery and make sure the doctors have all the necessary tools at their fingertips.
If you answered mostly Cs, you probably belong in a home care setting. You enjoy depth over breadth, so you feel at home in setting where you invest deeply into one patient’s care, becoming an expert on his or her health history and plan of treatment. Home care nurses often develop strong relationships with patients’ loved ones and become a part of the fabric of the life of the family. In a home setting, you’ll enjoy more autonomy over your day-to-day activities, though your role may also include tasks not typical to a nursing career such as light cleaning and preparing meals for your patient.
If you answered mostly Ds, you probably belong in a private medical practice, such as a rehab facility. You enjoy structure and routine, and a private practice will give you an opportunity to maintain a more “normal” work-life balance than a traditional hospital setting. For the most part, you’ll know ahead of time exactly which patients you’ll see and at what time you’ll be finished for the day. You’ll work closely with the physicians in the practice to implement patient treatment plans and may see certain patients on a consistent basis.
If you answered mostly Es, you probably belong in a telephone triage call center. You are an excellent communicator and are able to process information quickly. These traits will serve you as a telephone triage nurse, where you will need to ask patients specific questions in order to assess their situation quickly and accurately in order to provide valuable treatment instructions for them over the phone. Like emergency room nurses, telephone triage nurses must be prepared to treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses.
Ready to start working towards your nursing specialty? Check out Utica College’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program, where you can earn your BSN in just 16 months.