What Is Fitness Nursing?

Sports or fitness nursing is a developing and relatively new field. However, despite being new, it’s gaining a lot of attention, particularly from nurses who are looking for an exciting job.

While there is not yet a professional or academic fitness nursing specialty, nursing practitioners are increasingly pursuing acute care nurse practitioner programs. It allows them to combine their medical skills with knowledge of exercise.

The Role of Fitness Nursing

According to Indeed, “Fitness nursing combines nursing practices and medical knowledge with personal fitness training.” It may integrate physical training, wellness, rehabilitation and disease prevention.

How to Stay Fit as a Nurse

Where do fitness nurses work?

Fitness nurses work in a variety of medical, athletic or wellness facilities. A fitness nurse may work in the following locations:

What is fitness nursing?

Fitness nursing combines nursing practices and medical knowledge with personal fitness training. A fitness nurse is a licensed nurse with additional experience in physical fitness, sports medicine, personal training or a related field. Fitness nurses help patients create customized fitness and wellness plans based on their current health conditions and goals.

Importance of fitness nursing

Most people can benefit from creating and maintaining fitness regimes. Patients of fitness nursing, however, often have additional health challenges, conditions or concerns that complicate traditional fitness. Fitness nurses can help these patients navigate or improve their conditions while creating realistic fitness plans and goals.

Maintaining fitness can provide people with a variety of benefits, including:

Who can benefit from fitness nursing?

Depending on their work environment, nursing license and other factors, fitness nurses work with a variety of patients. These patients may want to improve or manage a particular health condition, prevent disease or maintain overall wellness. Here are some of the many types of patients who can benefit from fitness nursing:

How to get into fitness nursing

Here are the five steps to help you become a fitness nurse:

1. Decide which nursing license to pursue

Aspiring nurses can become either licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). Determine which license to pursue in order to become a fitness nurse.

Both LPNs and RNs assist physicians and other medical staff in caring for patients such as monitoring vital signs, recording medical histories and helping patients bathe. However, RNs have more nursing responsibilities than LPNs, including administering medications through IVs and creating nursing care plans. Because of these additional duties, becoming an RN requires further education and a bigger time commitment. RNs typically also earn a higher annual salary, have more job opportunities and can more easily rise into advanced or supervisory nursing positions.

When deciding whether to pursue an LPN or RN license, consider multiple factors such as:

Some aspiring nurses decide to first earn an LPN license before getting an RN license. These individuals can then work as an LPN while continuing their education to become an RN.

2. Earn an associate or bachelors degree

Advance your education with an associate or bachelors degree. Aspiring fitness nurses who decide to earn their LPN license must receive an associate degree. If you pursue your RN license, you need a bachelors degree.

Most people who want to become nurses major in nursing. Some choose to major in other science or health fields such as health sciences, biology, public health, chemistry or bioethics. Students hoping to enter the fitness nursing field may want to either major in or take additional classes in sciences related to fitness. Exercise physiology, biochemical nutrition, sports management, kinesiology and exercise science, dietetics, health promotion or related fields can all help fitness nurses better understand how to merge fitness regimes with medical practices.

3. Take the licensing exam

Take the appropriate licensing exam. Students who wish to become LPNS must complete the NCLEX-PN exam. Those who hope to become RNs must successfully take the NCLEX-RN exam. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing creates and administers both exams.

4. Receive your license

Once you pass your nursing exam, get a license in the state you hope to practice nursing in. Requirements for nursing licenses vary by state. Some state licensing departments, for instance, may want your school transcripts or they may want to run a background check. States also differ in when and how they expect nurses to renew their licenses.

5. Get relevant credentials or experiences

Compared to most nurses, fitness nurses generally have additional experiences in or knowledge of fitness. Depending on where you hope to work as a fitness nurse, you may want to earn additional credentials such as a personal trainer, orthopedic or nutrition certification.

Continuing education classes can also help you become a fitness nurse. Most state licensing departments require nurses to take continuing education classes, so focusing on classes relevant to fitness nursing can help you both renew your license and advance your career.

Newly licensed nurses might also gain work experience relevant to their fitness nursing goals. If you want to eventually work with cardiac rehabilitation patients, for example, you might start by working in a radiology department at a hospital.

Considerations for fitness nursing

Fitness nurses can work in a variety of environments with many types of patients. If youre interested in fitness nursing, consider what kind of fitness nurse you want to be. Think about what you want from your fitness nursing career such as:

Skills for fitness nursing

Fitness nurses need to have knowledge of both medical and fitness practices, tools and techniques to create personalized fitness plans for their patients. Besides getting your degree, license and knowledge, focus on developing the following skills:


What is a physical nurse?

A physical therapy nurse is a registered nurse specializing in the rehabilitation of patients who have been injured or are suffering from a debilitating illness. They work with patients to help them regain their mobility and independence.

What is an athletic nurse?

A sports medicine nurse is a registered nurse who has specialized training in the care of athletes and other active individuals. Sports medicine nurses work with athletes and active individuals of all levels, from recreational to professional. The main goal of a sports medicine nurse is to prevent and treat injuries.

What is wellness nursing?

A wellness nurse is a healthcare professional who focuses on promoting healthy living and preventing illness. They commonly work with individuals or groups to help them make positive changes in their lives, such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

Is nursing a physical job?

It’s physically demanding

They transport patients, sometimes having to physically move them from bed to bed. Even when using proper lifting techniques, the weight and occurrence of lifting put nurses at serious risk for back strain. And back pain is certainly painful enough to miss work when shifts are demanding.

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