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10 Nursing Jobs Nurses Can Work Instead of Bedside

Updated August 29, 2022 · 4 Min Read

Review non-hospital career options available to registered nurses throughout the healthcare community.
10 Nursing Jobs Nurses Can Work Instead of Bedside

Registered nurses (RNs) are not limited to just working bedside. Their education, background, and skills apply to many other roles. Professionals may have many reasons to prefer non-bedside nursing jobs , most of which depend upon their specialty career choice and desired employment setting.

Non-hospital settings allow RNs to work more traditional hours and pursue opportunities in different workplaces. In the wake of burnout experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are searching for lower stress job options other than bedside nursing.

Regardless of their workplace, RNs develop valuable skills across multiple settings, including:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Compassion
  • Accuracy and attentiveness
  • Emotional stability
  • Organization
  • Resiliency

Frequently Asked Questions

What can an RN do besides bedside?

RNs can choose to work in many different settings depending upon their professional goals. Environments such as nursing facilities employ nurses looking to work with older patients. Individuals who prefer to work with younger age groups can pursue employment in educational institutions. Nurses can also select areas that align with their schedules and personal interests.

What else can I do with a nursing degree?

A nursing degree can prepare individuals for various career options. Many pursue work as educators, midwives, anesthetists, researchers, and administrators. Other specialties allow nurses to focus on areas that match their personal and professional aspirations.

What are the least stressful nursing jobs?

Some of the least stressful nursing positions occur in areas that are not as fast-paced as hospital settings or do not require more intense, medically urgent responsibilities. Though school nurses face their own challenges during the pandemic, traditionally, working as a school nurse, researcher, or educator allows individuals to apply their healthcare knowledge in non-bedside nursing jobs, limiting the stresses that can come with bedside nursing.

What other jobs can I do as a nurse?

Other jobs for RNs include telephone triage, insurance claims, research, legal work, freelance writing, and education, among others. Nursing provides diverse career opportunities in many different professional sectors and focus areas.

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10 Nursing Jobs Other Than Bedside Worth Exploring

Here, we've compiled a list of non-bedside nursing jobs, the level of education required for each, and their average salaries.

Nurse Health Coach

Nurse health coaches work one-on-one to help clients achieve wellness goals, maintain healthy lifestyles, and prevent future health conditions. These professionals work in healthcare facilities, insurance companies, and social service agencies. They develop diet plans, establish safe exercise routines, and monitor and motivate their clients.

Depending on the employer, nurses may enter this field with associate degrees. However, the best-paying positions require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and/or a certificate in nutrition.

Average Salary: $48,630 (as of June 2021)

Academic Nurse Writer

Among the many alternative jobs for nurses outside of patient care, academic nurse writers enjoy lucrative career opportunities in several healthcare-related industries, including patient care services, pharmaceutical businesses, and insurance companies.

These writers create nursing-related content for websites, training manuals, and textbooks, tailoring the information for intended audiences such as the general public or nursing professionals. Most positions require a strong background in written communication, research, and health sciences. Entering this field typically requires a BSN.

Average Salary: $73,530 (as of June 2021)

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Legal Nurse Consultant

The legal nurse consulting field offers rewarding alternative careers for registered nurses. These specialized nursing professionals research medical and disability cases, employment records, and other documents to prepare summaries and legal documents. They often make recommendations that inform legal proceedings, law enforcement investigations, and insurance cases.

Licensed RNs who have completed associate degrees can enter this field. Employment options increase for RNs who hold BSNs and clinical and case management experience, paralegal training, or specialized legal certification. Those interested in earning a law degree and a BSN might consider becoming a nurse attorney.

Average Salary: $79,740 (as of June 2021)

Hospice Nurse

Hospice nurses provide end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and assistance to their families, often finding employment in home settings. Hospice nurses administer pain medication, monitor vital signs, and maintain their patients' comfort.

These specialists provide educational and emotional support to family members and caretakers. A licensed nurse interested in pursuing hospice nursing must hold at least a BSN. Employment prospects increase for nurses who have completed the certified hospice and palliative nurse certification.

Average Salary: $69,760 (as of June 2021)

Public Health Nurse

As one of the most desirable non-hospital nursing jobs, public health nursing addresses community healthcare needs. Public health nurses work in social service agencies, schools, and nonprofits, identifying at-risk individuals and groups, and are more valuable than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health nurses often develop preventive care programs too.

Many employers seek public health nurses who have earned master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees in addition to their RN licenses. To expand employment and salary potential, professionals should consider dual MSN and master of public health degrees, along with the advanced public health nursing certification.

Average Salary: $59,560 (as of June 2021)

Occupational Nurse

Employed primarily in businesses, occupational nurses work with executives and managers to ensure employees' health and safety. They investigate and treat work-related injuries and illnesses, in addition to identifying workplace hazards. Occupational nurses help management develop safety policies and provide workshops for employees on healthcare issues and prevention.

Licensed RNs who have completed BSNs earn the most competitive salaries in these non-hospital nursing jobs. Employers generally seek professionals who hold specialized certifications from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Average Salary: $72,630 (as of June 2021)

Nurse Case Manager

Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes hire nurse case managers to work with medical providers and staff to coordinate long-term patient care. These administrators typically enter the field with 1-2 years of prior nursing and case management experience after earning their RN licenses and BSNs or MSNs.

Although licensed RNs often find employment without completing certifications, certified nurse case managers attract better career opportunities and higher salaries.

Average Salary: $73,690 (as of June 2021)

Dialysis Nurse

The dialysis field offers one of the most specialized alternative careers for registered nurses. These skilled nurses, employed in hospitals, nursing facilities, and dialysis clinics, provide care to patients with kidney-related illnesses. Dialysis nurses develop treatment plans and manage dialysis procedures.

Licensed RNs who seek employment as dialysis nurses should hold BSNs at minimum. Some employers prefer candidates with certified nephrology nurse or certified dialysis nurse credentials.

Average Salary: $73,190 (as of June 2021)

Nurse Midwife

Advanced practice registered nurses looking for unique nursing jobs with a specialized focus can find rewarding opportunities and high salaries in nurse midwife roles. Employed in hospitals, obstetric clinics, and increasingly in private practice, nurse midwives specialize in prenatal care, labor and delivery reproductive health, and gynecology.

Although each state maintains its own licensing and certification regulations, a nurse midwife typically holds an RN license, a graduate degree with a nurse midwife concentration, and certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Average Salary: $97,790 (as of June 2021)

Nurse Educator

The demand for nurse educators has increased as more students enter nursing school and working nurses seek continuing education credits to fulfill licensing renewal requirements. Working in academic institutions and training hospitals, nurse educators design and teach curriculum for diploma, associate, bachelor's, graduate, and continuing education programs.

Careers in nursing education generally require a graduate degree, sometimes at the doctoral level. In addition to clinical experience and advanced graduate training, candidates must earn certified nurse educator credentials.

Average Salary: $77,300 (as of June 2021)

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