Nursing Jobs Beyond the Bedside: 15 Alternatives

Nursing Jobs Beyond the Bedside: 15 Alternatives

Registered nurses (RNs) have diverse career options beyond traditional bedside roles. Their education, skills, and background equip them for various healthcare positions. RNs might opt for non-bedside nursing jobs based on specialization, career preferences, and workplace settings.

Working outside hospitals allows RNs to explore more conventional work hours and diverse job environments. Given the strain experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, some nurses seek less demanding job alternatives to bedside nursing.

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Regardless of their workplace, RNs develop essential skills across different domains, including:

– Critical thinking
– Effective communication
– Compassion
– Attention to detail and accuracy
– Emotional resilience
– Organization
– Adaptability

Frequently Asked Questions

What can an RN do besides bedside?
RNs can pursue numerous careers beyond bedside nursing, including roles in informatics, telemetry, education, and coaching. They can also venture into legal consulting or establish businesses in nurse recruitment or home healthcare management.

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What else can I do with a nursing degree?
A nursing degree opens up diverse career opportunities, whether it’s an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree. Options include becoming a case manager, working in community settings as a public health or school nurse, or pursuing leadership, teaching, and research roles with advanced training or certifications.

What are the least stressful nursing jobs?
For RNs seeking less stressful work environments, non-bedside roles in areas like case management, administration, community health, and education are worth exploring. School nurses, in particular, enjoy manageable caseloads and stable work schedules compared to clinical settings.

What other jobs can I do as a nurse?
RN roles extend to telephone triage, insurance claims, research, legal work, freelance writing, and education. Nursing offers versatile career paths across various sectors and specializations.

15 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs to Consider

Transitioning into non-bedside nursing roles allows RNs to apply their skills without direct patient care. Below, we outline common non-bedside nursing jobs, detailing responsibilities, work environments, salary ranges, and education/licensing requirements.

1. Nurse Health Coach

Nurse health coaches operate in healthcare institutions, insurance companies, and social service agencies. Their role involves:

– Assisting clients in achieving wellness goals
– Guiding healthy lifestyles
– Preventing future health issues
– Creating diet plans
– Developing safe exercise routines
– Providing motivation and monitoring

Education: Entry-level roles may require an associate degree, but higher-paying positions often demand a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and/or nutrition certification.

Salary Range: $34,000-$73,000 (Average: $50,210)*

2. Academic Nurse Writer

Academic nurse writers contribute to various healthcare sectors, including patient care services, pharmaceutical firms, and insurance companies. Their tasks involve:

– Crafting healthcare-related content for journals, websites, and manuals
– Conducting research and fact-checking
– Interviewing medical sources and industry experts
– Adhering to client instructions and style guidelines

Education: Strong written communication, research skills, and health sciences background are necessary. A BSN is typically required.

Salary Range: $57,000-$116,000 (Average: $77,150)*

3. Legal Nurse Consultant

Legal nurse consulting offers alternative paths for RNs. Responsibilities include:

– Researching medical and disability cases
– Summarizing and preparing legal documents
– Providing recommendations for legal proceedings

Education: RNs with associate degrees can enter, but those with BSNs, clinical/case management experience, paralegal training, or legal certification have better prospects.

Salary Range: $65,000-$204,000 (Average: $81,430)*

4. Hospice Nurse

Hospice nurses provide end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, often in home settings. Duties encompass:

– Administering pain medication
– Monitoring vital signs
– Ensuring patient comfort
– Offering support to families

Education: A minimum of a BSN is required, with added benefits from certified hospice and palliative nurse certification.

Salary Range: $49,000-$87,000 (Average: $72,730)*

5. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses operate in social service agencies, schools, and nonprofits. Their tasks involve:

– Identifying at-risk individuals and groups
– Addressing community health needs
– Developing preventive care programs

Education: Many roles seek MSN degrees alongside RN licenses, with dual MSN and master of public health degrees increasing employment and salary potential.

Salary Range: $47,000-$91,000 (Average: $64,910)*

6. Occupational Nurse

Occupational nurses collaborate with executives and managers in business settings. Responsibilities encompass:

– Ensuring employee health and safety
– Treating work-related injuries and illnesses
– Identifying workplace hazards
– Assisting with safety policies

Education: An RN license is required, and employers often prefer specialized certifications from associations like the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Salary Range: $51,000-$92,000 (Average: $74,520)*

7. Nurse Case Manager

Nurse case managers coordinate long-term patient care in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Their roles involve:

– Overseeing care delivery
– Managing health records
– Coordinating with medical providers and staff
– Advocating for patients and families

Education: RNs usually hold BSNs or MSNs, and certified nurse case managers often have better career opportunities.

Salary Range: $70,000-$81,000 (Average: $75,680, as of December 2022)

8. Dialysis Nurse

Dialysis nurses specialize in kidney-related care. Responsibilities include:

– Developing treatment plans
– Managing dialysis procedures
– Caring for patients with kidney illnesses


: A BSN is recommended, and certified nephrology nurses or certified dialysis nurses are preferred by some employers.

Salary Range: $60,000-$103,000 (Average: $79,000, as of December 2022)

9. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Pharmaceutical sales representatives educate healthcare professionals about new products. They must explain uses, side effects, and interactions. Responsibilities include:

– Assessing client needs
– Promoting specific drug classes
– Establishing networks and meeting healthcare professionals

Education: A bachelor’s degree is generally required, with some employers preferring marketing experience or master’s degrees in related fields.

Salary Range: $60,000-$112,000 (Average: $91,430, as of December 2022)

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10. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators are in demand due to increasing nursing students and RNs pursuing education. Roles include:

– Teaching clinical skills
– Mentoring students
– Designing and assessing curriculum
– Engaging in scholarly research

Education: Typically requires a graduate degree, sometimes at the doctoral level, and certified nurse educator credentials.

Salary Range: $71,000-$86,000 (Average: $80,720, as of December 2022)

11. Nursing Informatics Specialist

Nursing informatics specialists manage data systems in healthcare settings. Their tasks include:

– Selecting and applying technological applications
– Developing and maintaining systems
– Educating nurses on system use

Education: A BSN degree, strong computing skills, and familiarity with electronic medical records are necessary. Certification in nursing informatics can boost opportunities.

Salary Range: $60,000-$100,000 (Average: $86,240)*

12. Certified Diabetes Educator

Diabetes educators teach patients to manage their condition. Duties involve:

– Educating on monitoring and symptom management
– Instructing in medication administration
– Providing guidance on diet and nutrition

Education: A BSN and two years of RN experience are usually required. Certified diabetes educator or advanced diabetes management credentials are beneficial.

Salary Range: $55,000-$90,000 (Average: $70,810)*

13. Telehealth Nurse

Telehealth nurses offer care remotely through digital means. They consult with providers and monitor patients. Responsibilities encompass:

– Remote patient care
– Consultations with healthcare professionals
– Recommending in-person care when needed

Salary Range: $43,000-$89,000 (Average: $57,500, as of October 2022)

14. Flight Nurse

Flight nurses care for critically ill patients in aircraft during medical transport. Their tasks include:

– Assessing and treating patients
– Administering medications and aid
– Preparing patients for transport
– Communicating with the flight team

Education: A valid RN license and an ADN or BSN are required. Specialized training and certifications enhance employment prospects.

Salary Range: $55,000-$97,000 (Average: $83,750)*

15. Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators manage healthcare operations, budgets, and staff. Their responsibilities include:

– Recruiting and supervising nurses
– Setting performance goals and reviews
– Ensuring regulatory compliance
– Budget management

Education: MSN holders with nursing administration certifications are often preferred for these roles.

Salary Range: $58,000-$136,000 (Average: $89,530)*

*As of November 2022 (Except where otherwise noted)

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