After graduating from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, licensed nurses should acquire a few years of clinical experience. But what happens if you grow tired of providing patient care in a hospital setting? Can you still use your nursing skills in non-hospital jobs? Yes. You can leave the bedside behind because there are plenty of careers for nurses in a variety of industries.
What Non-Hospital Jobs Are Good for Nurses?
If you are looking for a change but want to apply your nursing knowledge to a new position, you have several options. Here is a list of six non-hospital jobs for nurses.
- Cruise Ship Nurse
For nurses who enjoy providing direct patient care but want to get out of the hospital, the cruise ship nurse role may be a perfect fit. Think of it as a floating emergency room (ER). Much of what cruise ship nurses do is the same as working in the ER. Nurses are part of a small medical team. Typically, they work 12-hour shifts administering first aid and caring for sick passengers. Sometimes nurses have to accompany critically ill patients from the ship to the nearest hospital on land.
- Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC)
Lawyers hire nurses to be members of their legal team. They rely on nurses to interpret medical records and testify as expert witnesses. LNCs also help law professionals understand medical terminology and nursing practices as well as the legal policies of healthcare. Nurses consult with lawyers and law professions about situations that may involve medical liability and malpractice, personal injury, sexual assault, wrongful death, medical fraud, and criminal cases.
LNCs may be employed by health insurance companies, law firms, prosecution offices and forensic departments. To become an LNC you need a BSN, nursing license and two to three years of experience as a practicing nurse. While not mandatory, certification from the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) is recommended.
- Nurse Writer
Nurses use their nursing knowledge to write for healthcare-related industries. They may write, edit and proofread textbooks, articles, research papers, clinical documents and marketing materials for medical device manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies. Nurse writers can be freelancers or write for publishing companies, healthcare corporations or government agencies.
- Occupational Nurse
These nurses are responsible for providing care to sick or injured employees. In addition, they educate employees about chemical and mechanical hazards that can cause illness and injury. They appraise the workplace for any unsafe practices and ensure that the company is in compliance with safety laws, standards and regulations. Occupational nurses are employed in all kinds of industries, but especially in manufacturing plants and utility companies.
- Public Health Nurse
Public health nurses care for entire communities. They interact with the public to provide healthcare services and educate community members about health issues. Their mission is to increase access to healthcare, raise awareness about the spread of diseases and promote healthy lifestyle choices. They conduct public forums at schools, clinics and senior centers.
- School Nurse
School nurses care for sick and injured children and perform physical checkups. They teach students about avoiding risky behavior and advise administration about creating an environment which facilitates learning for students with different developmental abilities. A school nurse should be able to effectively communicate with students and parents.
Nurses can contribute their nursing expertise to a wide range of non-hospital careers. Although some non-hospital jobs may still entail providing direct patient care, you can find jobs that do not involve complicated healthcare procedures and heavy caseloads. Whatever your reason for wanting to break out of the hospital setting, there are a few things you should consider prior to making the transition. Pay varies depending on the type of job, years of experience and location. And some positions might require additional preparation and certification.
Learn more about UNCW's online RN to BSN program.
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