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  • 05 April 2022
  • 15 min read

Alternative Roles In Nursing

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    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Jp Prince
  • 1
  • 13286
“So you are not less of a Nurse because you're taking a different route, because you're taking a slightly alternative role, a bit of a controversial role sometimes, who knows, but it doesn't make you any less of a Nurse.”

Have you ever wondered what alternative nursing roles are out there? Claire is here to take you through an array of different nursing roles you may never have considered before.

Topics Covered In This Article


GP Nursing

Sexual Health Nurse

Nurse Lecturers

Disability Assessors

School Nurse

Research Nursing

Care Home Nurse

Cruise Ship Nurse

NASA Nurse

Final Thoughts

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Hi everyone and welcome back to another video.

Today's video is all about alternate roles in Nursing that you might never have heard of.

And I really wanted to do this video because at university as a Student Nurse, they sort of focus a lot on hospitals and ward-based care, secondary care but we don't hear about the alternate roles in Nursing that you can do, which are amazing.

GP Nursing

So first up, community, primary care, general practice Nursing, district Nursing.

I bring this up because I was a general practice Nurse for two years.

I was a newly qualified Nurse and I went straight into GP Nursing.

I have done some other videos on this and blogs and things like that, so go check them out.

But a lot of people don't think that you can go into GPs as a Newly Qualified Nurse, and some of the vacancies as well sort of mention you need to have that sort of Nurse experience to apply.

However, they won't get very many experienced GP Nurses applying, so apply anyway, if you see that out there.

However, they won't get very many experienced GP Nurses applying, so apply anyway, if you see that out there.

But just have a think about the role itself and how amazing it is.

Being a GP Nurse is fantastic, you know, it's so varied.

You see so many different patients, all ages, all fields of Nursing, all different conditions and things like that, like no two days are the same.

It's amazing, and I know I definitely upskilled by being a GP Nurse.

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Sexual Health Nurse

Next up, sexual health Nursing.

So I worked in sexual health for almost six years as a Healthcare Assistant. This was an amazing, amazing place to work.

It does have my whole heart.

I love sexual health and contraception services.

It's such an amazing service and not many people think that they can go into that as a Nurse, but they do have Nurses, and you will be seeing patients, doing history taking, doing any tests that they might need, providing medications and things like that for different infections that they might have, and they might present with.

A lot of health promotion as well with the role. It's such an amazing and interesting and also varied role.

Like, no person that walks through your door is the same as the next person.

Every day is different, even though the role is similar each day, and what you'll do.

It's so varied, and the different people that come through and that you talk to is really, really interesting, and it's just amazing.

I really loved Sexual Health and talking about infections and stuff like that with patients.

It was just amazing.

So it's another role.

And also with that role, they will train you up as well.

So I know within the Birmingham and Solihull area, they will take on Newly Qualified Nurses as well, and they will train you up.

They have, at the minute, they have their two-year program.

So you go in as a Band 5 and they give you all the training and all the needs to be able to progress to a Band 6 role, in sexual health, I know, but yes, they have got that in place to give you all the training, all the support that you need to be able to become a Band 6 within two years.

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Nurse Lecturers

Next up on my list, a Nurse lecturer.

So if you think about, if you are at uni or you're thinking about uni, if you're going to be a student Nurse, think about your lecturers.

Most of them are Nurses or ex-Nurses that do the teaching.

So there's massive need for Nurses in lecturing and teaching across the board, whether it's university, colleges, anything like that.

So have a look at that as well. It's such an amazing, amazing role.

It's something I've definitely thought about myself because I love teaching and helping students and stuff like that, so it's a very good role.

Have a look, have a little research around the role.

It's just something else that you can think about if you're thinking about future goals or a different type of Nursing that doesn't necessarily means clinical hand-on with patients type of Nursing.

This is an amazing role.

And not only that, the way I think about Nurse Lecturer roles in university, especially if you're teaching student Nurses as well, is that we think about being a Nurse in clinic and helping a patient and making a difference to a patient's lives and saving lives and stuff like that.

But the way I see a Nurse lecturer role is you're going to make a difference to so many lives all at once.

It's going to be widespread because you are that person teaching the student Nurses, and then they're going to go out into clinics and how they treat their patient based on what you're teaching them, if that makes sense.

So you are going to have that knock-on effect and that positive impact on the future of Nursing as a result, which I think is incredible.

I would love that type of role.

Disability Assessors

So I recently discovered this role.

I'd never even thought about it, but this type of role is for patients that might have comorbidities, for example; they might have different health conditions where it really affects their daily living and their life, and they might need Carers.

They might not need Carers, but something in their life has been affected by something going on, some sort of health condition.

So then they will apply to the Department of Work Pensions for funding or some sort of allowance, which is called the PIP, Personal Independent Payment allowance.

And then when they apply for that, it then goes through to a Nurse.

So the Nurse will come in, they will assess the person, their conditions, their medications, how it affects every aspect of their life, their daily living activities, how they wash, dress, how they prepare meals, how sociable they are, can they read, can they write?

What's really affecting them?

And how they live each day, and what sort of funding they need, if that makes sense.

So the Nurse Assessor pretty much does, not just physical observations and documenting and assessments but the mental assessments as well, so mental health reviews and things like that.

And then they will just, once they've got all of their information from the patient, they'll write up a full assessment and then put it to the Department of Work Pensions, and then they will say, "okay, you need this level of funding because this is affecting your life so, so much, you need like max funding."

Or if they're able to do things and things, then they just get like a standard rate of allowance, if that makes sense.

There's different rates, I don't fully understand it, but there's different rates and things like that that they can get, based on what the Nurses assessed them with.

So I think this is such an amazing role.

And at the minute, it's all working from home as well.

So a lot of people are working from home.

They're doing video calls to patients to gather all of that information to be able to write their assessments.

So it's a really good work-life balance, 'cause it's Monday to Friday.

You don't have to work bank holidays, that sort of thing.

Really good for work-life balance, if you want to work from home, if you've got children, things like that.

And again, it's not so hands-on clinical, but you're still you'll seeing your patients, you're still doing the assessments.

You're still doing report writing. You're still doing all of these things to still be a Nurse, if that makes sense, but without having to insert cannulas and IVs

School Nurse

A School Nurse, so this is a Nurse that works within a school for children.

This always sounds like such a nice role, I think.

And I always think, oh, I wonder if they get holidays off and stuff like that. it sounds like such a nice role, but again, another role that maybe people don't think about.

And it just seems like such a nice, varied role. I imagine there to be a lot of vaccines, maybe some wound management, if they've fallen over and things like that.

Things like assessment, observation skills, safeguarding as well, because we could be dealing with some vulnerable children as well, and a lot of things like that.

Research Nursing

Next role, Research Nursing.

So these are Nurses who undertake research.

So if you think about our latest one, the COVID vaccines, there would've had to have been a lot of studies and stuff like that to be able to get the vaccine out there safely.

So if you think about our latest one, the COVID vaccines, there would've had to have been a lot of studies and stuff like that to be able to get the vaccine out there safely.

So this is a Nurse that will go out there, they'll participate in research, different studies, cooperating with patients, getting them on board making sure they're safe, making those observations and assessments as well to make sure that they're safe if it's like a medication sort of thing or a vaccine sort of thing.

I know within sexual health, we had our own research team that looked into things like our Gonorrhoea resistance.

If you haven't heard of it, there is a Gonorrhoea resistance.

They're becoming resistant to antibiotics.

So there's a lot of research around that.

Also, things like, I'm just talking sexual health now, sorry guys, sexual health, thrush, and bacterial vaginosis.

So there's a lot of studies around that and what treatments are going to work best for people, 'cause people were getting really reoccurring thrush and BV as a result, and they wanted to manage it better and make people's lives more comfortable as a result.

So they did a lot of research.

They put people on treatments, see what worked for them, what didn't work for them, and then they reassessed it.

They reviewed it.

And then that just helps plan future treatments and future management of different conditions as well.

So little things like that you can do. If you have not already thought about it, definitely think about that one because that, to me, sounds really, really interesting and really fascinating.

Care Home Nurse

Another role is Care Home Nurses.

And I don't think a lot of people really thought about this role.

Maybe more so through COVID and things like that.

We've seen it a lot on the news as well with care homes being in lockdown and infection rates and things like that.

Care Home Nurses are amazing.

I used to work in a care home. I was in a care home for, again, nearly six years,

I think, as a Carer, I was going to say Healthcare Assistant, but they're called Carers back then, as a Carer.

And we worked with Nurses as well in the homes and it was just amazing.

They did a lot of care planning, a lot of medications, a lot of catheters, some of them had IVs and things like that 'cause they were set up in the care home for them and the Nurse just managed that.

It's just such a nice role, it's really nice.

You really get to know your patients, like you are basically in the patient's home because the patient lives there.

It's a really, really nice role.

So if you haven't thought about that type of role either, have a look into it as well because it's so rewarding.

I really, really loved care homes and it's just great, yeah.

So have a look at that one as well.

Now I've got two extra ones that I found recently that are really exciting.

So the first one, I'm going to leave the best 'til last.

Wait for the last one.

Cruise Ship Nurse

So the next one is Cruise Ship Nurse.

And I recently saw this because I saw someone on social media posting about their journey, and the fact that they were a cruise ship Nurse.

And I was like, I didn't even think about this. You could actually be working on the cruise ship, being a Nurse, traveling the world, getting paid for it and obviously doing your job as well, obviously.

It just looks amazing.

Like on this video that this person showed, it showed that they had, it's like a GP surgery.

Like they had the clinic room, but it also had the couch to do like procedures on and things like that.

They had x-ray machines and all of this.

I just didn't think about stuff like that, being on a cruise ship.

I don't know why.

I don't know what sort of cruise this was, but it was massive.

And the role itself just looked really exciting.

Like you can combine two things that you love. If you love traveling and you love Nursing, that's possibly one for you as long as you don't get seasick.

That might be an issue.

But what an amazing role.

Now last but not least, this list is not limited to, there are so many different roles that I just can't get all in one vlog because this vlog will be a whole day long if I spoke about every single role in Nursing.

Just wanted to give you some food for thought, what to think about and the roles that are out there.

But this one is something I saw, and I thought, I think that's a bit of me.

I didn't even know this existed, this role.

NASA Nurse

So this role, you can be a space Nurse.


So NASA, that's right, NASA have Nurses.

Of course, they have Nurses.

These are astronauts going into space.

They're going to need healthcare.

They're going to need Nurses.

So they have their own Nurses dedicated to them.

When I looked into this role, you had to have so much experience, though, and like A&E experience, emergency experience.

When I looked into this role, you had to have so much experience, though, and like A&E experience, emergency experience.

You had to be like working on a flight and stuff like that.

You had to have that flight experience as well.

You needed a lot of experience to be this type of Nurse, but how amazing is that role?

I read it and I thought I want to go to space and do my job in space. I could look at the moon whilst treating somebody.

I don't think it works like that, but it sounds amazing, doesn't it?

But if you Google, just have a little search, space Nurses or NASA Nurses, you're going to be wowed.

This is a role I didn't even know existed.

Didn't even think about it, yeah.

So that is it for me. I hope I have given you lots of food for thought with these different roles that you can look into.

Don't just think that you just have to work on a ward because you absolutely don't.

If you want to go and work as a GP Nurse, as a Community Nurse, NASA Nurse might take you a bit longer, but if you want to aim high and you want to go for a NASA Nurse, you go for it.

You get your dreams and you go for it.

Don't let anybody tell you that you can't be a different type of Nurse just because it's not in a hospital.

And I've heard so much negativity around it as well.

Like you're not a real Nurse because you sit doing assessments all day.

I'm sorry. If you are a Nurse, you've gone through that three years degree, four years degree, however long it is wherever you are, you've got your Nurse.

Final Thoughts

You are registered as a Nurse.

You are a Nurse.

It doesn't matter what role you're doing.

We need Nurses everywhere in every sector.

And without you, without the Nurses out there, the country just wouldn't run.

It would not function without any single one of these Nurses.

So you are not less of a Nurse because you're taking a different route, because you're taking a slightly alternative role, a bit of a controversial role sometimes, who knows, but doesn't make you any less of a Nurse.

So don't be afraid to go for what you want.

Don't be afraid to go for your dreams, go for your goals.

Forget the negativity, forget the comments.

You just achieve whatever you want to be.

Because we work, most of our lives, every single day, Monday to Friday or 37 1/2 hours a week.

That's most of our lives. We have to be happy in what we do. We have to love what we do.

This isn't an easy job.

It's quite a tough job.

So we need to be going to work, waking up, excited to work.

And if that's not you right now, have a look around, have a look at something that you will love.

Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do that.

So that's it from me.

I hope you'll have an amazing week, and I shall see you next time.

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About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Jp Prince
  • 1
  • 13286

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    • Fiona Hannigan one year ago
      Fiona Hannigan
    • Fiona Hannigan
      one year ago

      Hi, i found that article very interesting, but at the same time frustrating . As a registered Nursing Associate I ... read more

      • I’m sorry you’ve had that experience :(this is not what I’ve seen in areas however. In my GP practice we have nursing associates. I know of NA’s going into other community roles as well. You are regis... read more

        I’m sorry you’ve had that experience :(this is not what I’ve seen in areas however. In my GP practice we have nursing associates. I know of NA’s going into other community roles as well. You are registered with the NMC and with your experience you’d be a huge asset to these roles! :)keep trying and never give up. Xx
        read less

        Replied by: Claire Carmichael