3 High Stress, High Reward Jobs In Nursing

The field of nursing encompasses many vastly different fields. There are a few specialized nursing jobs that require a high level of commitment but award those who choose to specialize in them with a high sense of accomplishment. The following three jobs are a few of the best high-stress and high-reward nursing jobs available:

Neonatal Nurse
A neonatal nurse specializes in caring for critically ill and premature newborns. They provide life-saving medical attention to a baby moments after delivery and for his or her immediate future. Their goal is to stabilize the baby and help them breathe and eat on their own. Sometimes, they must provide breathing assistance and IV feeding lines to sustain their tiny patient’s life.
Emergency Room / Health Care
Once the baby is stable, a neonatal nurse teaches the parents how to properly care for their at-risk baby once they leave the hospital. The high-stress part of the job is present due to the real possibility that a neonatal nurse will have to witness a newborn baby die. In some situations, there is nothing they can do to save a baby’s life, and although they have fought valiantly, ultimately they will have to admit defeat. The high-reward part of their job comes into play when a neonatal nurse struggles for hours to coax a baby to breathe, and they finally begin to breathe on their own. Having the joy of knowing that they aided in sustaining a newborn’s life is very rewarding.

Emergency room nurse
An emergency room nurse is another nurse who has a high-stress but high-reward career. Their job is to quickly access patients in an emergency room setting and properly administer the medical attention they require. The high-stress portion of the job comes with facing a variety of situations daily and having to process information almost instantaneously in order to sustain a life. Emergency room nurses will also have the unfortunate experience of having to watch someone die that they could not save.

The high-reward aspect of the job comes when they are successful in saving a life and have the pleasure of seeing that person live another day and know they had a part in assuring that would happen. In addition, there will never be a dull day at work for an emergency room nurse because there is always action and unexpected events occurring within the confines of an emergency room.

Hospice nurse
The third type of nurse that has a high-stress and high-reward job is a hospice nurse. Their job is to care for patients who are terminally ill and facing their last months, weeks or days of their existence. A hospice nurse administers comfort to a grieving family and keeps the patient as comfortable as possible during their last moments on earth.

The high-stress part of a hospice nurse’s job is dealing with death on an almost daily basis and having to watch each of their patients pass away. The high-reward aspect to their job comes into play when they are given the opportunity to help a family that is going through a difficult time or make someone’s final days on earth more pleasant.

The three types of nursing careers listed above represent a few of the most high-stress but high-reward nursing jobs obtainable. Each has its own unique set of challenges, which makes them considered high-stress, and they each have differing rewards for the nurse who chooses to specialize in that category.

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Karen Black worked many years in a hospital as an RN before obtaining her BSN in order to become a nursing instructor. She has also contributed to affordable online RN to BSN programs for other nurses who desire to gain a higher degree in order to enhance their career opportunities.

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