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Nursing Careers Beyond the Bedside

Nursing Careers Beyond the Bedside

Cindy Mehallow / Monster Contributing Writer

Risk Managers

Closely tied to quality improvement, risk managers also search for the root causes of mistakes to help improve systems and processes. With the upsurge in medical malpractice suits, opportunities for risk managers are increasing at hospitals, insurance companies, ambulatory-care surgical centers, long-term-care facilities and home-care companies.

Working with top medical and administrative staff members, risk-management nurses review patient records before and after lawsuits are filed. These pressure-cooker jobs require immense patience, tact and political savvy plus excellent communication and writing skills. “Risk managers need to be leaders with good conflict-resolution skills,” says Kenneth Nanni, PhD, program director of the healthcare risk-management certification program at the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center.

Most risk-management nurses hold at least a bachelor’s degree and risk-management certification, which is available from the American Hospital Association Certification Center, the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians and colleges, such as the University of South Florida.

Other Options

Experienced nurses can fill these other nonclinical positions typically found in hospitals:

• Chart Auditors: Financial chart auditors review patient charts after discharge to ensure appropriate documentation for proper billing and coding. Others work in quality management.
• Patient Advocates: Working on the customer-service front lines, patient advocates handle patient complaints.
• Mentors or Preceptors: More and more hospitals are creating formal positions for experienced nurses to guide new nurses through that critical first year on the job.

More Resources for Nurses

Reduce Nursing’s Physical Strain
Nursing Reality Shock: The New-Nurse Survival Guide
8 Ways to Manage a Complaint (and Protect Your Nursing License!)

Become a Nurse!

Career Guide: Licensed Practical & Licensed Vocational Nurses
Career Guide: Registered Nurse
Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides
Career Q&A: Licensed Practical Nurse

Informative Quiz: Nursing: Should I Give it a Try?

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