Career Options for Introverts in Nursing
Introverts relax and rejuvenate alone rather than in social situations. Though many nursing positions require significant periods of social interaction with patients and fellow staff, there are opportunities more conducive to the introverted personality. These positions may involve minimal patient interaction, task-oriented work with limited communication, and/or an emphasis on listening rather than speaking. Whether you'd prefer to work with families or in a nationally-recognized hospital, each of these positions presents a chance for success while allowing your unique characteristics to shine.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Family Nurse Practitioner||$100,910||35%|
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructor||$69,130||19%|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Introverts Who Are Interested in Nursing
While many registered nurses interact with patients on a regular basis, there are three specialties that introverts may want to consider - emergency nursing, oncology nursing and renal nursing. Students will be asked to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing as well as complete their state's licensing requirements.
Emergency nurses recognize various life-threatening symptoms and work in a fast-paced environment. These professionals must be completely focused on the task at hand and in control no matter what's going on around them.
Oncology nursing is a career that offers a much slower-paced work environment. Nurses in this field work directly with cancer patients, monitoring conditions and administering medication as needed. Oncology nurses often work alone to care for patients individually and a high level of diligence is required.
Renal nursing focuses on patients with kidney disease. These professionals perform regular assessments, provide recommended treatments and discuss options with patients and their families. An exceptional amount of empathy and listening skills is necessary, and while communication is involved, renal nurses are relatively independent and task-oriented professionals.
Family Practitioner Nurse
Also known as advanced practice registered nurses, these professionals assist local physicians and hospital doctors with a myriad of health care needs for all ages. They are required to obtain a bachelor's degree in nursing and must have a registered nurse license. While many of these positions require continuous social interaction, many introverts have discovered that patients actually appreciate their excellent listening skills. Furthermore, most interaction involves structured one-on-one conversation, which is generally more enjoyable than improvised group conversation for introverts.
Working with a small team of professionals, surgical technologists help to ready operating rooms for upcoming procedures. They ensure all equipment is sterilized before the surgery begins and work alongside the surgeon to ensure the patient is prepped and every tool is in place throughout the process. This career requires a high level of focus and affords little time for small talk and tangential conversation, which would make it a strong choice for introverts. Surgical technologists are not nurses, though they may share a work environment; a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree is all that's needed to secure a position.
The nurses in this profession are asked to administer anesthesia to patients as needed. They work in both local offices and nationally-recognized hospitals. A nurse anesthetist will speak to a patient to determine medication allergies or contraindications; they then provide anesthesia and monitor the patient's response. The nature of this position makes it a good option for introverts in that it requires nurses to be exceptionally task-oriented and doesn't permit significant social interaction with patients. Nurse anesthetists are required to have an active registered nurse license for continued employment. They must also earn a master's degree in the specialty and maintain national certification.
Postsecondary Nursing Instructor
Those who wish to split their time between an office and a classroom should consider a career as a postsecondary nursing instructor. This job allows professionals to continue functioning within the medical field while sharing their expertise with up-and-coming nurses. Teaching university-level students is a very independent, task-oriented job, and the down-time for research and writing provides plenty of opportunity for alone time, making this an exceptional career choice for introverts. A Ph.D. in a particular nursing specialty is recommended for this type of employment.