Sports medicine largely deals with trauma and injuries resulting from an athletic competition or during training. A sports medicine nurse is essentially a nurse practitioner who helps physicians care for sport-related injuries.
Common sports injuries include torn ligaments, dislocations, bone fractures, joint strains, and muscle strains. A sports medicine nurse career can be very rewarding and gives you the opportunity to work in a field you’re truly passionate about. But how can you become a sports medicine nurse?
Education and Training
There is a lot of demand and competition for nurses in the field of sports medicine and you will, therefore, need an advanced nursing degree if you want to be able to compete.
To get a masters in sports nursing or nursing practitioning, you will need a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) for entry. In case you currently do not meet the requirement, then you could get an online nursing degree provided by several well-established universities and institutions.
Experience as an orthopedic nurse practitioner will also be of great help. The Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board offers an Orthopedic Nursing Certification in order to allow nurses to show their knowledge and competence in the sports medicine field.
In the event that you don’t want to pursue a BSN, then you would require a bachelor’s in either exercise physiology, athletic training, or kinesiology to get into the masters in sports nursing program.
After you finish your program and you become licensed, try to work with an orthopedic physician to get experience. Also, try to meet and interact with people in various sports fields in order to get your foot into the sports medicine world.
Examples of Job Opportunities
As a certified sports medicine nurse, there are several job opportunities options available for you to choose from. Here are a few of them.
1. Fitness Centers
There are several fitness centers hiring sports medicine nurses to provide accurate information on exercise, nutrition and stress management to their clients. You will also be able to treat and give accurate advice on various injuries sustained during training.
2. Sports Teams
Several institutions such as schools, hospitals, and companies have sports teams and need a sports medicine nurse to take care of injuries and offer exercise advice. You could also work for professional teams on a contract basis and the pay is usually quite good.
3. Cardiac Rehab
Cardiac rehab nurses help individuals who may have had heart-related issues including heart attack recovery. They are required to teach their patients how to correctly exercise and what types of diet are favorable for them. The main focus is on monitoring the patient’s progress and ensuring a full recovery.
Becoming a sports medicine nurse requires a lot of patience, sacrifice, and commitment. However, it can be a very fulfilling career path with lots of high paying jobs which makes it all worth it. If you feel this is for you, make sure that you get the credentials needed and consider interning in the orthopedics field to get some much needed experience.