Career Opportunities for Nurses Interested in Fitness

Opportunities for nurses interested in fitness

Many people think nurses are limited in the type of work they do. Some believe that nurses only take vital signs or run routine check-ups with patients. However, a wide variety of exciting options are available to nurses today. If you are planning on pursuing a career in nursing and also love the idea of being part of an athletic team or helping people attain a level of physical fitness, you should consider working as a fitness nurse.

Career options for fitness nurses
Although there aren't any official academic courses you can take in fitness nursing, there is a growing number of nurses who are finding ways to become involved in this field. Nurses can use their medical knowledge and clinical skills at certain fitness and physical rehabilitation clinics, providing nutritional education, information on exercise, and holding workshops on effective stress management techniques. There are also job opportunities for nurses with college athletic departments and professional sports teams. Hospitals, clinics and private orthopedic practices don't have specific "sports nurse" positions, but opportunities still exist, depending on the health center. If the health center is involved in some sort of sports injury or sports medicine program, nurses can either find full-time work or work part-time on a contractual basis.

A natural transition for nurses interested in the fitness field is working in a cardiac rehabilitation center. They work in a hospital setting, but are still involved in sports-related medicine. Nurses in this position focus on their patients' conditioning. They teach proper exercise techniques and often play the role of motivational speaker when their patients feel sluggish. These nurses are not personal trainers. Employers do not ask their fitness nurses to teach patients how to get washboard abs and powerlift hundreds of pounds. Nurses in cardiac rehab centers focus on monitoring a patient's condition during physical exercise and providing expert dietary information.

Why should I become a fitness nurse?
In addition to helping people reach a level of health that improves their quality of life, these nurses earn a decent living and have great job stability. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses earn a median annual wage of $65,470. Job opportunities for nurses are also projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers.nursing.

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