5 Alternative Medical Career Paths for Nurses

Being a nurse is a challenging and exciting vocation, but it’s only natural to feel as though you need some variety in your job. From mental-health nursing and child nursing, to careers in the armed forces and hospitals, there are so many paths open to nurses.

Mental-Health Nursing

As many as one in three people will have a mental illness at some point in their lives, and most people with mental illnesses find it hard to cope or do not know where to turn. By joining the increasing numbers of mental-health nurses in the UK, you will be providing a vital service.

In this area of nursing, you can expect to treat people who are suffering from a wide range of illnesses, from psychological and personality disorders to neuroses and psychoses. This means that you will learn a significant amount about the developing areas of mental healthcare, and means that you will be an essential part of your patients’ recovery.

Learning-Disability Nursing

People who suffer from learning disabilities often have debilitating physical and mental-health issues. As a learning-disability nurse, you will be expected to deliver the vital care that your patients need, but you will also help to break down barriers, encourage your patient to integrate with others, and stop them from feeling isolated.

Learning-disability nursing is delivered in many places, including schools, adult-education facilities, community centres, schools, and workplaces, so you can choose which setting suits you the most. You will also work alongside GPs, psychologists, therapists, teachers, and social workers, so you will have plenty of support in order to deliver the best care possible.

Defence Careers

By working in the army, you will come across many unique and challenging situations every single day. From working in NHS and defence medical group (DMG) hospital units, to medical regiments and field hospitals, you can expect to have a challenging and exciting career. By working to save, treat, and care for injured soldiers and civilians, you will be providing a unique and essential service that saves lives on a daily basis.

You can even take advantage of the opportunity to study and progress to MSc level as an military nurse, which is fully funded by the government. You will also be able to travel the world, take part in adventure training, and play in exceptional sports teams within the army.

Child Nursing

Treating children is a highly rewarding job – from taking care of newborn babies to responding to road-traffic accidents involving teenagers – nurses who work in this field face new and varied challenges every day.

A key part of this job is reassurance and care. You will liaise with families to discuss the best course of treatment for their children, talk openly about the ongoing care their children may need at home, and work with other professionals such as social workers to ensure that the children in your care are given the best possible futures.


If you thrive on delivering essential care to people in need, becoming a paramedic could be the career path for you. As a paramedic, you will be the first on the scene to save lives, treat injuries, and care for people who are suffering from severe illnesses.

Day-to-day, you can expect to resuscitate, stabilise, and transport patients to hospital when they are in grave need. You will also use defibrillators and apply splints, in addition to administering drips, medicines, and oxygen. Although you will always be working in a fast-paced environment, your job will feel rewarding as you will always be delivering vital emergency care.

Take the Right Career Path

Whether you decide to specialise in child nursing or you begin your next adventure as a nurse in the armed forces, choose something that suits you and can offer you a real challenge. Take the path you want by searching for the wide range of nursing jobs we have available, or get in touch with us today so that our team can find the ideal job for you.

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