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Non-Traditional Job Opportunities for Nurses

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You’re unique, and that’s a good thing. And, if you’re in a nursing career, you’re in the perfect place to explore your one-of-a-kind interests. 

Even as a registered nurse (RN), there are many ways to specialize and advance your career. But, on top of the more than 100 specialization career paths, there are many non-bedside nursing jobs that will get you out of the hospital and into new and exciting working environments. 

One of the greatest challenges healthcare professionals face is the grueling nature of the work—long hours, odd shifts, and emotional investment. These alternative types of nursing jobs allow you to take control of your schedule and even provide home-health or telehealth services. So, not only are these career opportunities a bit “off the beaten path,” they may just be among the happiest nursing jobs out there. 

Check out our list below to learn about some of the most common career changes for nurses facing burnout or who just want to refresh their working life. It’s time to craft a tailor-made career. 

What kind of non-traditional nursing jobs can professional nurses get?

Feeling like it’s time for a change of scenery or a new challenge but don’t want your MSN, BSN degree, or clinical experience to go to waste? Here are some unconventional nursing career paths where you can put your skills to good use. And no, you don’t have to change out of your comfortable scrubs just because you’re no longer in a traditional nursing role. 


Health coach

This role has a focus on fitness and wellness. You’ll use your nursing knowledge to help your clients reach their goals and lead healthier lifestyles. If you’re the encouraging, upbeat type, then get in the game. 

Legal nurse consultant 

If you’re a fan of the series “Suits” and love living the legal lifestyle, you can do just that as a legal nurse consultant—but in scrubs. In this non-clinical nursing career, you’ll help compile important medical data and evidence that affects the outcome of court cases and insurance company disputes. 

Camp nurse 

Who wouldn’t want to go back to camp? Live the eternal-summer dream by providing first aid and basic medical care to patients in retreat settings. While fun, this role is essential. Often retreats are purposely located far from the stress of the city and hospitals and care centers.

Nurse researcher/scientist 

This role is for the introverts out there. Put on your lab coat and hit the books. And don’t worry about giving up the direct patient-care aspect of your career. In this role, you’ll be indirectly reaching more patients with your research findings. 

Nurse educator

If you’re called to teach but not ready to leave the clinical care environment entirely, this role provides the perfect solution. You’ll use your advanced nursing skills to teach nursing courses in educational programs and guide students through clinical practice.   

Pharmaceutical sales representative

This is one of the highest-paying nursing jobs (well, technically non-nursing jobs) because of the commissions you stand to earn as a salesperson. If you have solid pharmacological knowledge and interpersonal skills, perhaps it’s time to take the leap and start a lucrative career as a pharma rep.   

Home/hospice nurse

Hospice nurses perform delicate and important work, providing palliative and end-of-life care. As you can imagine, this role isn’t always easy but it is rewarding, and you get to know your patients on a deeper level. 

Medical reporter

Put your writing skills to work on a bit more interesting (and less tedious) projects than maintaining patient charts. You’ll use your healthcare knowledge to write news articles on medical topics.

Military nurse

Members of the military often perform dangerous tasks. When they get injured, they need the help of a skilled medical team. As a military nurse, you’ll form part of this life-saving team. 

Forensic nurse

Forensic nurses seek justice for victims of violent crimes by analyzing evidence for court cases. You’ll work alongside pathologists and coroners to correctly determine the cause of death. 

Nurse lobbyist

If you’re fascinated by life on Capitol Hill and want to make far-reaching changes to the country’s healthcare systems, consider becoming a lobbyist. You’ll help influence lawmaking and consult on some of the most important issues that affect communities and society. 

Community organizer

Community organizers also make widespread changes but at a grassroots level. Use your nursing skills to determine what public health issues affect your community, and help improve the health of those around you through non-profit work.   

IT Nurse

Medical environments depend more and more on tech to assist healthcare professionals in their work. As an informatics nurse, you’ll help entire hospitals and other medical facilities determine what technology will support their work. You’ll also help nurses and doctors understand how to use it. 

Hospitality manager 

If you love watching travel shows and fantasize about having a career in a far-flung destination or on a cruise ship, put your hard and soft nursing skills to work within hospitality. You’ll ensure travelers have a good time and a safe one, too. 

Even if your nursing practice technically takes you out of a healthcare environment, we won’t leave your side, even after you’re off the clock. Come to us for comfortable loungewear that you can throw on after a long day of work.


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