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11 Jobs for Retired Nurses

Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
Updated May 4, 2023
    It's never too early to plan for your retirement. Discover how these jobs for retired nurses can help financial stability and offer an outlet for your education and experience.
    Credit: ChayTee / Getty Images
    • Nurses enjoy many benefits by working part time or full time after retirement, like a steady income and interaction with people at work.
    • Jobs for retired nurses may be less physically intensive but just as mentally stimulating, such as legal nurse consultant, nurse writer, or insurance case manager.
    • One foundational nursing skill is teaching patients, which retired nurses can continue if they choose to instruct in a nursing program, tutor nursing students, or teach community classes.

    Are you looking for an “encore job” after retiring from nursing? Most nurses have spent years, if not decades, being productive in the healthcare field. When it’s time to retire, it can be difficult to know what to do with your days.

    Many retired nurses take on a part-time position that isn’t as physically intensive as bedside nursing but can be just as mentally stimulating. A part-time job also helps pad the budget and allows you to do more of what you want during retirement. Explore 11 encore options in and out of healthcare for retired nurses.

    The Benefits of Jobs for Retired Nurses

    After retirement, many nurses think about taking a part-time or full-time job. Interestingly, a systematic review of the literature found 73.2% of Australian nurses reported a high intention to find employment after work, while only 18.3% from Singapore wanted to work after retirement.

    The analysis also identified benefits the participants expressed in working after retirement. These included the ability to continue contributing to nursing and the desire to engage with new people.

    According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, the average age of a registered nurse is 52 years. The inference is that a large wave of nurses will be retiring within the next 15 years. Some of these nurses plan to launch into a second career, work part time, or begin volunteer work.

    Nurses who choose to continue working after retirement may experience several benefits, including:

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      Boredom prevention

      Although some people spend years planning for retirement, it can sometimes lead to boredom when they are suddenly no longer productive. A part-time job or volunteer work can help reduce this potential.

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      Financial support

      The economic downturn and challenges with the stock market have created a deficit in many people’s retirement savings. A job after retirement can help provide some financial stability.

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      Work provides daily exposure to colleagues, informal gatherings, and the ability to make new friends. After retirement, nurses may feel isolated and alone, which can lead to depression. Considering a job for retired nurses can help offset this potential risk.

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      For most people, their job is part of how they identify themselves. After retirement, they may feel irrelevant or not needed. Continuing to work in a position where an employer values your strengths and efforts can help boost your self-esteem.

    11 Jobs for Retired Nurses

    Jobs for retired nurses do not necessarily need to be in the healthcare field. Some nurses are interested in exploring other interests or using their education and experience in a new field. Check out the following 11 jobs for retired nurses where your education and experience are highly valued and sought after.

    1 | Home Health Nurse

    A growing population of elderly who need care at home has ensured there are many opportunities for nurses who want to stay in the nursing field. Home health nurses perform regular visits to assess a patient’s condition, write reports, and communicate with the patient’s physician. They administer medication, educate patients and families, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to offer patients the best care possible.

    2 | Nurse Writer

    Years of experience and education can be used to become a freelance or ghostwriter in health and wellness. With a growing number of telemedicine practices and an emphasis on preventive care, content is required to educate patients and families.

    Nurse writers can choose to work with government agencies and content agencies, or they can get their own clients. Most writers are contract employees and choose how much work they take each week.

    3 | Ear Piercer – Rowan

    Rowan is an ear piercing studio with locations in 18 states. They offer ear piercing performed only by licensed nurses with a focus on infection prevention and understanding skin integrity and structural needs for several piercings.

    Available jobs: Piercing studio nurse positions are listed in multiple cities. Applications can be completed online.

    4 | Legal Consultant

    Legal nurse consultants advise attorneys on legal claims and healthcare benefits. Many consultants work with personal injury attorneys and advise them on the medical aspects of a claim. They can serve as an expert witness, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case, and identify when standards of care were not followed.

    You can choose to take the certification examination, which requires a current license, five years of experience as a registered nurse (RN), and 2,000 hours as a legal nurse consultant in the past five years.

    5 | IV Infusion Nurse

    If you’re looking for a part-time or full-time job with variety and a little travel, an intravenous (IV) infusion nurse position may interest you. The position requires you to be licensed as an RN. You can work in a healthcare institution or for a private company.

    If you work with a healthcare organization you may choose an oncology clinic, outpatient clinic, home health, or within a hospital. Mobile IV infusion nurses bring hydration options to a patient’s home, including vitamin and electrolyte solutions or a recovery blend after an intensive endurance workout.

    6 | Insurance Case Manager

    Insurance companies use case managers to collaborate with medical providers to develop care plans and ensure the patient receives cost-effective care that leads to positive patient outcomes. Insurance case managers can also work for life insurance companies where they process new application paperwork. They may also assess the insurance company’s risk in much the same way as an underwriter.

    The required qualifications are dependent on the type of insurance.

    7 | Nursing School Educator

    The nursing faculty shortage extends from the classroom to clinical preceptors. Retired nurses can become clinical preceptors for bachelor’s and associate degree nursing programs. Those with a master’s in nursing degree can also consider teaching in the classroom or teaching an online class.

    As a teacher, you are inspiring and molding the next generation of nurses and can continue to participate as a leader in the profession.

    8 | Educator Outside of Nursing

    If you enjoy teaching but don’t want to work with fledgling nurses, consider teaching first aid classes, community-based cardiopulmonary resuscitation, classes for new mothers or guardians, or labor and delivery classes. If you have experience as a lactation nurse consultant, you can continue in a part-time position or start a consulting company that travels to your patient’s home.

    9 | Telephone Triage Nurse

    Telephone triage nurses work for large physician groups, insurance companies, and healthcare organizations. They play a vital role in providing care, guidance, and advice to help resolve issues without a clinic or hospital visit. You must have excellent communication and interviewing skills, be able to quickly assess symptoms, and make recommendations.

    10 | Medical Equipment Sales Representative

    Nurses are experts in the equipment they use each day. They can use that expertise when selling the equipment. These positions usually offer flexible hours, include some traveling, and can earn you a sizable income.

    Medical device sales positions can be found in nearly every major city. You may be responsible for presenting and demonstrating the equipment, handling the client’s questions or concerns, and providing the client with comprehensive training after the sale.

    11 | Tutor

    Nursing programs are working hard to expand their programs to address the nursing shortage. As you remember, nursing programs are rigorous and require several skills to complete. Not all nursing students are prepared to be successful and may need tutoring in a subject or help to develop critical thinking or communication skills.

    You might also consider helping prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs.

    Should You Maintain Your Nursing License in Retirement?

    After retirement, you may have thought about retiring or inactivating your nursing license. This is a personal decision you must make based on your circumstances. It’s important to consider that many of the jobs for retired nurses are seeking those with an active license. If you place your license on inactive status, you can longer use the RN credentials after your name.

    In some states, you must have completed enough practice hours to renew your license, so it’s crucial that you understand the requirements to keep your RN license active in your home state. If you choose to keep your license active, you might consider picking up a part-time job as a triage nurse, home health nurse, or other less physically intensive position than a bedside nurse to meet those requirements.

    Whatever your decision, be sure to consider all the advantages and disadvantages carefully since the requirements to reactivate your license later are often more challenging than meeting the requirements to renew.