8 Alternative Careers for Nurses

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If you’ve been keeping up with the latest healthcare news, you know the nursing profession is continually making headlines. From the nationwide shortage to fast employment growth and career diversity, nursing is a topic worth talking about. In this post, we’ll cover eight different types of alternative careers for nurses. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) besides nursing, this is an article you won’t want to miss.

When you enter the nursing profession with a BSN degree, you can practice in a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient settings as well as pursue certification in any number of specialty areas. While you may find your perfect fit in a traditional hospital role, you may also find non-bedside nursing careers that interest you as well. With a BSN from Felician University, you have options.

Nurses with BSN degrees have plenty of career options outside the traditional hospital setting. For instance, direct patient care is needed on/at:

  • Airplanes
  • Campsites
  • Correctional facilities
  • Cruise ships
  • Military bases
  • Public health offices
  • Schools

Alternative nursing careers can also be those that don’t involve direct patient care at all. However, these job titles often require education or training outside of a BSN. Let’s look at some of these more out-of-the-box nursing roles.

Nursing students in lab coats

1. Telemedicine Nurse

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an even greater need for care without close contact — resulting in telehealth visits increasing by 50% in March 2020.

Telemedicine nursing uses technology such as video chats to treat patients no matter where they are. Telemedicine can have a huge impact on people who live in rural areas, have chronic conditions, are experiencing transportation challenges or those who may be physically unable to visit a medical professional in person.

Recently, telehealth has also been a great resource for rural schools that may not be able to staff a school nurse in person.

2. Nurse Researcher

If you’d rather compile data and delve into research for laboratories, universities, or a business than make rounds at a hospital, a career as a nurse researcher might be perfect for you. As a nurse researcher, you’d spend your days studying diseases, treatments, prevention, and analyzing, recording, and presenting data.

Nurse researchers who take the steps to earn advanced degrees can even become authors, teach classes, act as consultants, and speak as experts at events.

3. Forensic Nurse

If you are a “CSI” or “Law and Order” fan, you probably have an idea of how vital a forensic nurse’s skills can be. Forensic nurses generally provide compassionate care to victims of violent crimes. These nurses also compile medical evidence for court proceedings. A forensic nurse has a multifaceted skillset that includes public speaking (forensic nurses often testify in court), the ability to provide trauma care, and a meticulous attention to detail. These nurses can work in hospitals, criminal justice facilities, and more.

4. Camp Nurse

Who doesn’t miss going to summer camp? As a camp nurse, you won’t have to. If you’re passionate about working with kids, this may be the perfect role for you. In fact, many school nurses work as camp nurses in the summer when school is out.

Camp nurses are generally always on call at the camps they work for and may be expected to stay on campus at all times if working an overnight camp. They provide first aid and treat campers and staffers.

5. Medical Journalist

Have you ever wanted to see your name in print? As a medical journalist, you could write for publications and journals. Nurses who become medical journalists use their knowledge to inform articles about the medical field, weigh in on current healthcare issues, or write columns giving advice or perspective from a nursing standpoint.

Nursing student on the computer

Medical journalists typically work for universities or on staff at medical journals, but freelance or contributor roles are also well within reach.

6. Health Coach

A career as a health and nutrition coach can be a great option for someone with an BSN who wants to start their own business or work with an established business.

Health coaching is a great option for nurses who have a passion for whole body wellness. They often work with individuals to help people reach their personal health goals, but they can also lead classes or workshops. Health coaches usually help their clients goal set and then use their nursing background to map out an achievable plan to help the client become as healthy as possible in a realistic timeframe. They can work in gyms, for corporations, or out of their own offices.

7. Nurse Lobbyist

If you’re interested in putting your nursing skills to work in the lawmaking arena, a career as a nurse lobbyist is sure to keep you on your toes. Nurse lobbyists usually work for government agencies to impact lawmakers and give input on legislation. These nurses work to improve laws regarding healthcare, patient rights, and other issues at play relating to healthcare. They also analyze the latest data and research to inform lawmaking.

8. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses work tirelessly to address community healthcare needs. This can include working for organizations and nonprofits, schools and universities, and other entities. These nurses also help to treat at-risk individuals as well as implement preventive care programs. RNs do have the expertise to become public health nurses, however a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually attained to do this job well and grow within the role.

Of course, the first step to any of these alternative careers for nurses is to complete a reputable nursing program, like the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Felician University.

How to Accelerate Your Nursing Career

If you have a confirmed non-nursing bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 60 credits with a cumulative 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate coursework, you may qualify for our Accelerated Bachelor of Science (ABSN) in Nursing program in New Jersey. It’s always best to speak with one of our admissions counselors to know for sure. Your admissions counselor will make sure you’re a good fit for our ABSN program and vice versa. He or she can also explain what it takes to be successful in the program.

When you apply to the School of Nursing at Felician University, you can choose to accelerate your nursing education by way of our Hybrid ABSN program or On-Ground ABSN program.

Felician ABSN students working in skills lab

No matter the program option you choose, you can expect to:

  • Receive an accredited nursing education from a respected university with award-winning and nationally recognized programs.
  • Learn how to provide competent, compassionate care to diverse patient populations.
  • Develop your nursing skills and clinical judgment in a state-of-the-art learning facility.
  • Gain real-world clinical experience in diverse areas of patient care.
  • Graduate prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN® exam with confidence.
  • Enter the workforce as a practice-ready nurse.

Ready to Get Started on Your BSN?

If you’re ready to take advantage of all the career options a BSN provides and start your career in nursing sooner, contact our admissions team today. Be prepared to speak with a dedicated ABSN counselor who is more than willing to help you set your nursing education in motion.