When most people think of nurses, their mind is instantly drawn to the kind hospital nurses who are responsible for checking vital signs and drawing blood, or the nurses in doctors’ surgeries who are in charge of performing routine checkups. However, nursing is a much more varied career than these two scenarios would have you believe. If you are planning on obtaining a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, but are more interested in the diet and fitness side of healthcare, you could consider working towards a career as a fitness nurse.
A Growing Need
Obesity is becoming a pandemic in the United States, and there has never been a greater need for nurses with a specialty in fitness and nutrition than there is right now. As opposed to helping patients who have already succumbed to diseases like diabetes, a fitness nurse works with patients in a preventative manner. A fitness nurse will not only advise people on the best lifestyle choices to make and how to go about doing this, but he or she will also motivate people to achieve these outcomes.
How to Become a Fitness Nurse
In order to become a fitness nurse, you will need to complete the DNP online course and may also need to undertake further training in exercise physiology, wellness and nutrition. Mental health training is also a bonus.
What to Expect from Your Career
Diet and fitness nurses can work in a variety of locations from health companies and managed care institutions to sports clubs, and even inside the corporate workplace. The coaching that is performed could either be done on a one-to-one basis with patients or in a group scenario. This coaching doesn’t even have to be done in person. Many fitness nurses will set up meetings with patients over the phone, or even online. This makes this type of nursing career much more flexible than some of the other specialties. Nowadays, aspirants can avail such nursing or LPN Online Programs in order to be licensed, practical nurses.
When working with a patient, a fitness nurse will work with the patient to determine their current level of risk. Once they know this, they are able to determine the type and level of support a patient will need. So long as the patient is ready and willing to make a change to their lifestyle, a fitness nurse will then put a plan in place to help the patient succeed. This could include a customized diet plan and a coaching schedule. Fitness nurses may also be required to work through mental health issues with their patients.
According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, around 2% of nurses currently work in the diet and fitness sector. Whilst this figure may seem low, fitness nursing is expected to become a more sought after career in the next decade as the country seeks to lower the amount of people suffering from obesity and the diseases related to it. So, if you have an interest in diet and fitness and have been thinking about becoming a nurse, it’s definitely worth looking into fitness nursing as a career.