Many people have never stopped to think that many of the illnesses we suffer from are actually caused by environmental factors. When working as a nurse, you will encounter all sorts of environmental illnesses (EI) stemming from anything from allergens to pollution and even the conditions under which people work on a daily basis.
In recent years, computers and technology have been added to the list of factors which contribute highly to environmental illnesses and as a result, nurses understand that there is much they can do to have a positive impact on the health of those suffering from EI. If you are an RN and at a point in your career where you are asking yourself, “what can I do with an MSN?” then consider these three ways you can be a part of the solution to EI, sometimes on a global level.
1. Promote Awareness Through Education
If you are wondering what you can do with a Master of Science in Nursing, one of the paths you could take would be to become an educator. So few people really understand the impact of the environment on the state of their health, and as an educator you can promote improved health through awareness. With an MSN, you can teach at college or university in the field of nursing or in health education within the general curriculum.
2. Go into Practice as an FNP
With a solid understanding of just how the environment in which a patient lives impacts on the state of their health, you may want to go into practice as an autonomous FNP. In some states this is allowed, while other states may require you to work under a licensed medical doctor. In either case, you could work directly with patients suffering from EIs. Some FNPs may even want to specialize in environmental illnesses in children.
3. Commit to Working in Underdeveloped Nations
Another way you can have a huge impact in the field of environmental illnesses on a global level would be to commit to working in underdeveloped nations. There, you will find everything from unsafe drinking water to unsanitary living conditions causing illnesses those countries are not well-equipped to deal with. You will be able to educate patients on ways to avoid getting ill from the conditions in which they live as well as helping to treat those who have become ill. Millions of people fall ill each year from EIs and even the WHO (World Health Organization) recognizes this as one of the leading health issues globally. With a severe shortage of doctors in most countries, an FNP can have a huge positive impact.
These are just three of the ways in which nurses pursuing an MSN can have a positive impact on environmental illnesses, but bear in mind that RNs and LPNs also play a huge role in the education and treatment of patients. However, with that MSN, you can better focus on EIs because of the autonomy the degree offers.