Nursing is by no means a dead-end job. It is a varied and extremely deep field with plenty of opportunities for research and innovation. Registered nurses have the opportunity to spend more time in education: gaining a specialism while picking up a master’s or doctorate degree. Senior nursing roles are as varied as the nursing field itself. Increasing amounts of nursing talent are being drawn into the informatics and medical technology sector. Public health nursing has once again become a hot topic. Senior nurses are responsible for developing schemes to keep populations safe from viral outbreaks.

Since Florence Nightingale first implemented changes in the treatment of injured and diseased soldiers during the Crimean War, nurses have been making a difference on a structural scale. They are not just responsible for the treating of patients. Instead, they have a hand in changing the way in which patients are treated as a whole. The sheer variety of jobs that junior nurses are expected to undertake makes them perfect candidates for conjuring up innovation when they reach a senior role. Nurses that stick in the game are hugely experienced and able to make very qualified judgments on caring practice and medical treatments. Here are some of the most exciting and in-demand senior nursing roles:

Clinical Quality Reviewer

Clinical quality reviewers are tasked with constantly auditing and suggesting improvements to clinical practice. Slipping standards make the difference between life and death for patients under the care of an organization. Identifying when standards are slipping, or medication is misused is vitally important. Senior nurses are perfect for roles in clinical quality review. As they have risen through the ranks, they have taken part in both hands-on care and data-driven management projects. This varied skill set puts them in good stead to conduct auditing and quality improvement work.

Public Health Advisor

Disease doesn’t just take hold in an individual: it takes hold in a society. The field of public health is concerned with the improvement of conditions in society as a whole in order to prevent suffering.

Nurses play a huge part in the public health world. Public health nurses were key figures in developing sanitary housing strategies in order to combat the spread of cholera in the 19th century. Today, the importance of public health nurses has been spelled out once more in unmistakably large letters. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the way in which medical practice is not enough to avert catastrophe: social measures must be implemented as well.

Senior public health nurses have become advisory members of organizations such as the Centre for Disease Control in the United States. They help senior medics understand the social dynamics of disease prevention so that humanity as a whole can be free of the scourge of communicable disease.

Clinical Strategist

Nurses working as clinical strategists need to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. They need to use qualitative and quantitative data to build realistic plans for the future in healthcare settings. This is very senior work indeed, and nurses taking on these roles typically have a doctorate gained through one of the country’s high-level DNP programs.

Clinical strategist nurses work in collaboration with procurement strategists and researchers in order to build coherent future-proof plans for the continued improvement of care. Their lived experience of nursing practice makes them perfect for planning improvements in caregiving.

Informatics Specialist

Nurse informatics specialists analyze data to improve the way in which technology can be harnessed to help patients. They are part of the streamlining process that constantly improves care quality in medical settings. Informatics specialists help improve the relationship between nurses and technology. This is an absolutely essential role. It is becoming more important as hospitals look to implement machine learning and Internet Of Things technologies into their structures.


A great deal of very important research work is carried out by senior nurses working at the top of their fields. Although becoming a research nurse does mean stepping away from some of your vocational caring duties, the work carried out in research can help change things for the better for millions of patients.

Nurse researchers have a completely different set of perspectives to call upon compared to doctoral researchers. Their specialism is often in improving care protocols, hospital efficiency, and community health programs. Nurses are incredibly valuable as researchers partially because they have first-hand experiences of being front-line care and medical staff. In the UK, there is a growing movement of nurses conducting important scientific research.