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10 Great Non-Hospital Nursing Jobs for Nurses

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Nontraditional nursing jobs provide many rewarding opportunities to work outside hospital settings, in other clinical environments, such as nursing homes and community out-patient clinics, or in administrative or educational positions. These career paths, often non-bedside nursing jobs, offer unique possibilities to pursue specialized interests.

Non-hospital nursing jobs offer possibilities both within the healthcare industry and in non-medical fields. These types of jobs enable nursing professionals to apply their knowledge and people skills in positions as supervisors, educators, and advocates within the healthcare industry, in businesses, and in community and private settings. Nurses might work in coaching, academia, legal roles, or in public health and policy positions.

RNs looking for non-bedside nursing jobs within healthcare facilities may still develop meaningful connections with patients by providing patient care. These professionals can find an array of rewarding employment opportunities in out-patient facilities, community clinics, and in other non-hospital settings, including roles as hospice nurses, dialysis nurses, and nurse midwives.

This guide offers an overview of alternative careers for registered nurses in non-hospital settings.

10 Great Non-Hospital Nursing Jobs

  • Nurse Health Coach

    Nurse health coaches work one-on-one with clients to help them achieve wellness goals, maintain healthy lifestyles, and prevent future health conditions. Working in healthcare facilities, insurance companies, and social service agencies, their duties include developing diet plans, establishing safe exercise routines, and monitoring and motivating their clients. Depending on the employer, nurses may enter this field with an associate degree, although the best paying positions require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and/or a certificate in nutrition.

    Median Salary: $47,000

  • Academic Nurse Writer

    Among the many alternative nursing jobs 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 relevant nursing-related content for websites, training manuals, and textbooks, customizing the information for intended audiences, from the general public to nursing professionals.

    Because most positions require a strong background in written communication, research, and health sciences, entering this field typically requires a BSN.

    Median Salary: $72,000

  • Legal Nurse Consultant

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

    Licensed RNs who have completed at least an associate degree may enter this field. Employment options increase for RNs who hold a BSN and a record of clinical and case management experience, paralegal training, or specialized legal certification.

    Median Salary: $78,000

  • Hospice Nurse

    Because hospice nurses provide end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and assistance to their families, they often find employment in home settings. Hospice nurses administer pain medication, monitor vital signs, and maintain the overall comfort for their patients. These specialists also provide educational and emotional support to family members and caretakers.

    Licensed nurses 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 (CHPN) certification.

    Median Salary: $67,000

  • Public Health Nurse

    One of the most desirable non-hospital nursing jobs, public health nursing addresses the healthcare needs of communities. Public health nurses work in government and social service agencies, schools, and nonprofits, identifying at-risk individuals and groups and developing preventive care programs.

    Many employers seek public health nurses who have earned a master of science in nursing (MSN) in addition to their RN license. To expand employment and salary potential, professionals should consider a dual MSN and master’s in public health and the advanced public health nursing certification (PHNA-BC).

    Median Salary: $59,000

  • Occupational Nurse

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

    Licensed RNs who have completed a BSN earn the most competitive salaries for this role, one the best nursing jobs outside hospital settings. Employers generally prefer to hire professionals holding specialized certifications from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

    Median Salary: $69,000

  • Nurse Case Manager

    Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes hire nurse case managers to work with medical providers and staff to coordinate long-term care for patients. These administrators typically enter the field with at least 1-2 years of prior nursing and case management experience, after earning their RN license and a BSN or MSN.

    Although licensed RNs often find employment without completing one of the certification programs offered by various nurse credentialing organizations, certified nurse case managers attract better career opportunities and higher salaries.

    Median Salary: $72,000

  • Dialysis Nurse

    The field of dialysis offers one of the most specialized alternative careers for registered nurses. Employed in hospitals, nursing facilities, and dialysis clinics, these skilled nurses provide care to patients with kidney-related illnesses, developing their treatment plan and managing the dialysis procedure to cleanse the patient’s blood. Licensed RNs who seek employment as dialysis nurses should hold at least a BSN. Some employers prefer candidates who have obtained either the certified nephrology nurse or the certified dialysis nurse credential.

    Median Salary: $70,00

  • Nurse Midwife

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

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

    Median Salary: $97,000

  • Nurse Educator

    The demand for nurse educators has expanded as more students enter nursing school and as working nurses seek out 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, increasingly at the doctoral level. In addition to clinical experience and advanced graduate training, candidates for nurse education positions must obtain the certified nurse educator credential.

    Median Salary: $76,000

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Which nursing jobs offer more traditional hours?

Depending on the employer, nurses typically work 8-12 hours a day, in daytime shifts or evening and weekend rotations. Non-hospital nursing jobs, including those in nurse education or legal nurse consulting, typically offer traditional eight-hour, five-day shifts.

Which nursing jobs are least stressful?

Some nurses may find the least stressful and easiest nursing jobs in non-clinical settings working as nurse administrators or nurse educators. While these kinds of alternative jobs for nurses may offer less emotionally and physically demanding working conditions, every nursing career involves challenges and stress, even for nurses that do not deal with patients directly.

What are good jobs for older nurses?

Because clinical positions require long shifts with large amounts of standing, walking, and lifting, older nurses sometimes look for less strenuous work environments. Nontraditional nursing jobs, such as nurse health coaches, nurse educators, and occupational nurses, offer less physically demanding employment options.

What jobs can nurses do from home?

Although many clinical positions still require in-person patient care, work-from-home nursing jobs have become more common. Non-hospital nursing jobs, such as academic nurse writing, legal nurse consulting, and even nurse case management, often involve remote work.

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