nursing jobs non bedside

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28 Best Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs For 2023

Are you a nurse who has worked a traditional bedside job? Have you considered a change in your role and wondered what it would be like to have a non-bedside job? Perhaps you have asked yourself, “What are the best non-bedside jobs for nurses?” If this sounds like you, this article is for you! As you continue reading, you will discover the 28 best non-bedside nursing jobs for 2023, find answers to some frequently asked questions about them, and learn ways to choose the one that is best for you.

What Exactly Is A Non-Bedside Nursing Job?

Is it hard to find a non-bedside nursing job, 3 pros of non-bedside nursing jobs, 1. there is less likelihood of a job being understaffed., 2. you will be a vital link between patients, nurses, and other healthcare professionals., 3. nurses who work in non-bedside positions often have fewer reports of bullying in the workplace., 3 cons of non-bedside nursing jobs, 1. lack of assistance in an emergency., 2. there may be fewer opportunities to advance., 3. staff relationships may not be as strong., what are the best non-bedside nursing jobs for 2023, 1. camp nurse, what is the job role of a camp nurse:, where does a camp nurse work:, who is a good fit for this job:, requirements to become a camp nurse:, average salary of a camp nurse:, 2. certified diabetes educator, what is the job role of a certified diabetes educator:, where does a certified diabetes educator work:, requirements to become a certified diabetes educator:, average salary of a certified diabetes educator:, 3. correctional nurse/prison nurse, what is the job role of a correctional nurse/prison nurse:, where does a correctional nurse/prison nurse work:, requirements to become a correctional nurse/prison nurse:, average salary of a correctional nurse/prison nurse:, 4. cruise nurse, what is the job role of a cruise nurse:, where does a cruise nurse work:, requirements to become a cruise nurse:, average salary of a cruise nurse:, 5. environmental health nurse, what is the job role of an environmental health nurse:, where does an environmental health nurse work:, requirements to become an environmental health nurse:, average salary of an environmental health nurse:, 6. flight nurse, what is the job role of a flight nurse::, where does a flight nurse work:, requirements to become a flight nurse:, average salary of a flight nurse:, 7. forensic nurse, what is the job role of a forensic nurse:, where does a forensic nurse work:, requirements to become a forensic nurse:, average salary of a forensic nurse:, 8. health policy nurse, what is the job role of a health policy nurse:, where does a health policy nurse work:, requirements to become a health policy nurse:, average salary of a health policy nurse:, 9. hospice nurse, what is the job role of a hospice nurse:, where does a hospice nurse work:, requirements to become a hospice nurse:, average salary of a hospice nurse:, 10. infection control nurse, what is the job role of an infection control nurse:, where does an infection control nurse work:, requirements to become an infection control nurse:, average salary of an infection control nurse:, 11. informatics nurse, what is the job role of an informatics nurse:, where does an informatics nurse work:, >requirements to become an informatics nurse:, average salary of an informatics nurse:, 12. legal nurse consultant, what is the job role of a legal nurse consultant:, where does a legal nurse consultant work:, requirements to become a legal nurse consultant:, average salary of a legal nurse consultant:, 13. nurse administrator, what is the job role of a nurse administrator:, where does a nurse administrator work:, requirements to become a nurse administrator:, average salary of a nurse administrator:, 14. nurse case manager, what is the job role of a nurse case manager:, where does a nurse case manager work:, requirements to become a nurse case manager:, average salary of a nurse case manager:, 15. nurse educator, what is the job role of a nurse educator:, where does a nurse educator work:, requirements to become a nurse educator:, average salary of a nurse educator:, 16. nurse health coach, what is the job role of a nurse health coach:, where does a nurse health coach work:, requirements to become a nurse health coach:, average salary of a nurse health coach:, 17. nurse lobbyist, what is the job role of a nurse lobbyist:, where does a nurse lobbyist work:, requirements to become a nurse lobbyist:, average salary of a nurse lobbyist:, 18. nurse manager, what is the job role of a nurse manager:, where does a nurse manager work:, requirements to become a nurse manager:, average salary of a nurse manager:, 19. nurse navigator, what is the job role of a nurse navigator:, where does a nurse navigator work:, requirements to become a nurse navigator:, average salary of a nurse navigator:, 20. nurse recruiter, what is the job role of a nurse recruiter:, where does a nurse recruiter work:, requirements to become a nurse recruiter:, average salary of a nurse recruiter:, 21. nurse researcher, what is the job role of a nurse researcher:, where does a nurse researcher work:, requirements to become a nurse researcher:, average salary of a nurse researcher:, 22. nurse writer, what is the job role of a nurse writer:, where does a nurse writer work:, requirements to become a nurse writer:, average salary of a nurse writer:, 23. nutritionist nurse, what is the job role of a nutritionist nurse:, where does a nutritionist nurse work:, requirements to become a nutritionist nurse:, average salary of a nutritionist nurse:, 24. occupational health nurse, what is the job role of an occupational health nurse:, where does an occupational health nurse work:, requirements to become an occupational health nurse:, average salary of an occupational health nurse:, 25. parish nurse, what is the job role of a parish nurse:, where does a parish nurse work:, requirements to become a parish nurse:, average salary of a parish nurse:, 26. public health nurse, what is the job role of a public health nurse:, where does a public health nurse work:, requirements to become a public health nurse:, average salary of a public health nurse:, 27. school nurse, what is the job role of a school nurse:, where does a school nurse work:, requirements to become a school nurse:, average salary of a school nurse:, 28. telehealth nurse, what is the job role of a telehealth nurse:, where does a telehealth nurse work:, requirements to become a telehealth nurse:, average salary of a telehealth nurse:, what are the 5 best non-bedside nursing jobs for new grads, 5 ways to know which non-bedside nursing job is right for you, 1. what population of patients do you want to serve, 2. do you enjoy teaching others, 3. how much money do you want or need to make, 4. do you enjoy finding out how and why things happen, 5. what kind of schedule do you desire, 5 tips to help you find a good non-bedside nursing job, 1. use social media to your benefit., 2. go to conferences and workshops., 3. keep your resume’ up-to-date., 4. visit company websites and search for job openings., 5. get certified, how much can you make with a non-bedside nursing job, top reasons why there is a growing demand for non-bedside nursing jobs, 1. reduced overhead cost for employers:, 2. non-bedside nurses can reach clients that bedside nurses cannot., 3. nurses want more freedom., 4. more nurses are reaching retirement age., my final thoughts, frequently asked questions answered by our expert, 1. are non-bedside nursing jobs part-time or full-time, 2. what is the typical work schedule for non-bedside nursing jobs, 3. are there any remote non-bedside nursing jobs out there, 4. as a new grad nurse, is it a good idea to start my career with a non-bedside nursing job, 5. what are the least-stressful non-bedside nursing jobs, 6. what are the most fulfilling non-bedside nursing jobs, 7. what are the highest paying non-bedside nursing jobs, 8. how do i get back into bedside nursing after a non-bedside nursing job.

nursing jobs non bedside

Nurse Money Talk

15 Unique Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

a nurse talking to a patient in their home

 Are you tired of spending your days bedside nursing?

Is nurse burnout knocking on your door?

Don’t let that feeling affect your love for the nursing profession.

You can always opt for another nursing specialty that gives you better time flexibility or just different nursing duties.

In fact, the healthcare industry is full of unconventional nursing opportunities that don’t even require a hospital setting.

Here’s an overview of interesting non-bedside nursing jobs that nobody talks about:

*Disclosure: This article on alternative nursing jobs may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see  my disclaimer .

Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs Quiz

To get you started, try out our non-bedside nursing quiz to see which non-traditional nursing job you should really look at.

Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

1. nascar nurse.

nursing jobs non bedside

Fast, furious, and fun.

Joining NASCAR’s medical staff is guaranteed to be an adventure like no other.

You’ll be providing medical attention to drivers, crew members, officials and spectators present onsite ( source ).

The infield medical station will be equipped to address minor and major medical emergencies.

These range from stitches, removal of foreign objects from eyes to trauma cases ( source ).

Additionally, you can serve as part of the first responder’s team to provide medical attention to drivers on the crash site.

Other duties will include following up on the injured driver’s recovery as they prepare to return to extreme racing.

You can also work as a medical liaison coordinator (MLC). As an MLC you’ll work with NASCAR Research and Development to improve the safety standards of each event.

What are the requirements?

NASCAR nurses need professional experience in ER, cardiac, trauma or intensive care before applying for the job.

Having some exposure to ambulance care will also be appreciated.

Like all other nursing jobs, the registered nurse (RN) must provide a valid state approved license to practice. 

Routine training sessions and obtaining more certificates in relevant medical fields is a plus.

Expected Salary:  $45,000-$80,000 /year

➡️ Find NASCAR nurse positions on the nurse job board.

2. Disney Nurse

Disney castle

Is this a real nursing job? Will you have to wear a costume? Is experience in pediatric care mandatory?

These are some of the most frequently asked questions applicants ask when they see the posting for a Disney Nurse.

The job might sound whimsical, but it demands a serious work ethic and standard nursing skills to excel.

The nursing staff usually assists physicians and medical practitioners appointed by the firm.

Your duties will include offering patient-care for guests/staff of the resort and attending to medical emergencies in the theme park.

The only setback is that you may have to work during the holidays because that’s the busiest time of the year.

However, you can look forward to meeting many Disney characters and work with them to spread smiles during your time there.

Here’s a general overview of job requirements:

  • 3+ years of nursing experience
  • BLS certified
  • Teamwork and communication skills
  • Exposure in ER and pediatric care is desirable

Expected Salary:   $60,000 per annum including many perks ( source )

➡️ Find Disney nurse positions on the nurse job board.

3. Cruise Ship/Yacht Nurse

nursing jobs non bedside

Want to travel around the world?

Then you’ll love working as a nurse on a cruise ship or a yacht.

A lot can go wrong during a long voyage, especially when you’ve got passengers that are prone to get seasick.

Keeping this in mind, many cruise ships have an operating medical facility on board.

As a nurse, you’ll provide patient care while guests and staff are treated for both minor health issues and emergencies.

You can expect the vessel to be stocked with necessary supplies and proper medical wards with required equipment (e.g. X-ray machines) ( source ).

The shortage of staff means you’ll have to perform additional duties whenever required.

If you’re not up for a long voyage, then you can apply as a yacht nurse for shorter trips.

How to get this job?

The basic qualifications for this job are similar to general nursing jobs.

The only difference is that you’ll be practicing in the middle of an ocean instead of a clinic or hospital.

Most cruise lines want applicants to have:

  • Minimum of 3 years of working experience
  • Experience in an emergency setting e.g., acute care or ER
  • Training in advanced cardiac life support

If necessary, some cruise lines will request their candidates to enroll in various emergency training courses to prepare them for critical situations.

Expected Salary:   $3000 to $5000 per month

➡️ Find cruise ship and yacht nurse positions on the nursing job board.

Find Your Next Nursing Job

Use our nursing job board to start looking for and applying to great nursing jobs near you.

4. Flight Nurse

an emergency helicopter

Can you keep your cool when you’re over fifty feet above the ground?

Flight nursing takes your career to great heights as you reach critical care patients via a helicopter.

In most cases, you’ll offer them immediate medical care and attention at the site.

At others, you’ll accompany them while they’re being transported to the nearest medical care facility.

Most flight nurses paired with paramedics, act as first respondents ( source ).

Being a flight nurse requires teamwork, patience, and courage to work in these time-sensitive scenarios.

Many flight nurses are part of teams that organize search and rescue missions to find lost hikers/mountaineers in remote areas ( source ).

Does this job require special training?

Yes. Flight nurses are supposed to provide advanced critical care and make autonomous decisions without the aid of doctors.

For this reason, candidates must have extensive knowledge and professional practice in trauma.

Basic requirements include:

  • 3-5 years of experience in advanced critical care or trauma units
  • Completion of Department of Transportation Air Medical Curriculum
  • CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) certified
  • Passing a fitness test to meet the physical and weight requirements

Apart from this, employers may request you get certified for Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) or Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) and other relevant courses or certifications.

Expected Salary:  $65,000 to 70,000/ year

➡️ Find available flight nurse positions on our nursing job board.

5. Forensic Nurse

nursing jobs non bedside

If you’ve ever watched a crime show (let’s say Bones or Law & Order: SVU) then you’ve probably seen a forensics team in action. Believe it or not, this is a potential career for you!

Forensic nurses are on the front lines of criminal justice that deals with abuse, violence, or trauma ( source ).

They provide medical care and emotional support to the victims of the crime.

It’s also their responsibility to collect and document forensic evidence present on the victim’s body.

The evidence is later presented to the jury for which you may have to testify.

You also get to collaborate with law enforcement officials and district attorneys during the case.

Courses in medical law, psychology, and criminal justice will all come in handy for a forensic nurse.

You should also be capable of working under pressure and confident enough to appear in front of the judge.

The basic qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in nursing with forensics as a specialty
  • Training in law and criminal system
  • Required certifications depending on the firm
  • Job experience in trauma units/ER

Expected Salary:   $46,509 to $90,960/year

➡️ Find available forensic nurse positions on our job board.

6. Nurse Informatics

nursing jobs non bedside

Digitization is rapidly taking over the medical world which means hospitals are in dire need of medical professionals who know tech.

Here is where nurse informatics comes in bringing their strong aptitude for technical information and advanced IT skills to the workplace.

Your role is to supervise digital documentation of medical records and register frequent IT complaints.

Sometimes you’ll work on the floor to help troubleshoot problems and fix software glitches.

At others, you’ll be asked to train the nursing staff as the department embraces changes related to technology.

All in all, the work will require maximum screen time and zero bedside nursing responsibilities.

Similar to forensic nurses, this job requires specialization in the field. That’s because you’re being employed for an exclusive position within the team.

The basic requirements include:

  • BSN/MSN degree in Informatics
  • Informatics Nursing Certification by ANA
  • Advanced technical skills

According to ScrubsMag getting your nursing informatics degree usually requires fewer clinical hours than other MSN degrees ( source ).

Expected Salary:  $60,000-80,000 annually

➡️ Find available nurse informatics positions on the nursing job board.

7. Esthetic Nurse

nursing jobs non bedside

Esthetic nurses assist doctors in performing cosmetic procedures in clinics and medical spas.

The nurses are trained to enhance the patient’s beauty by performing certain procedures. Most of these techniques require little or no surgery.

Common techniques include:

  • Platelet-rich plasma treatment to treat skin conditions
  • Electrolysis to prevent unwanted hair growth
  • Botox injections to remove wrinkles
  • Cool sculpting

How to become a cosmetic nurse?

To become a Certified Esthetic Nurse Specialist, you will require ( source ):

  • Undergraduate degree in nursing
  • Minimum 2 years of work experience as an RN
  • 1000 hours of  training under the supervision of a licensed physician   
  • Specialized certificates and courses depending on the company’s job requirement

Expected Salary: $ 70,000/year

➡️ Find available esthetic nurse positions on the Nurse Money Talk job board.

Related Article: How to Become a Cosmetic Nurse

8. Camp Nurse

nursing jobs non bedside

Want to take a break from an indoor setting?

You can get all the fresh air you want as a camp nurse.

The role requires you to treat and care for residential campers on the site.

The campers come to the clinic for first-aid, upset stomach and an occasional bout of homesickness.

You’re the first part of the triage which determines whether the camper needs hospital care during emergencies.

Overall, being a camp nurse is strictly a seasonal job. It can, however, be part of a medical awareness or recreational program organized for patients and their loved ones.

Securing this spot is fairly easy because you don’t need specialized training for it.

Most camp communities want their nurses to have a BSN or associates degree in nursing.

A BLS (Basic Life Support) and CPR and first aid certificates are a must for the settings you’re going to be in.  

Work experience requirement varies depending on the type of camp you’re joining. If you’ve opted for a weight loss, fitness or mental health camp then you’ll need relevant training.

Expected Salary:  $350-500 per week

➡️ Find available camp nurse positions on the nursing job board.

Related Article: 10 Nursing Jobs that Involve Working With Children

9. Correctional Nurse

nursing jobs non bedside

Prison cells and juvenile detention centers appoint correctional nurses to treat their inmates.

The job involves an experienced nurse to manage medication and treatment of chronic illnesses. They also care for the mental wellbeing of the residents.

The daily duties consist of routine checkups, first aid, and stabilization during emergencies.

Their assessments allow the administration to decide when critically ill inmates need advanced medical attention. They then call in doctors or transfer the patient to a proper healthcare provider.

Correctional healthcare providers are seasoned nurses with:

  • An associate or bachelors degree in nursing
  • 2 years of fulltime practice as an RN or LPN
  • Current CCHP-RN certification in correctional nursing (optional)

Expected Salary:   $68,000/year

➡️ Find available correctional nurse positions on the nurse job board.

Related Article: Tips for New Correctional Nurses

10. Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC)

nursing jobs non bedside

Legal Nurse Consultants are the medium between legal professionals, healthcare providers, and patients.

Various medical facilities, legal firms, insurance agencies, and other organizations appoint them for consultation during medical-legal cases.

They use their clinical background to provide insights into the case.

The job involves researching medical law and interpreting medical documents for legal aids. Their analysis allows attorneys to present convincing evidence during the trial.

How to become an LNC?

The job requires advanced researching, deduction, and analytical skills.  You should also have extensive knowledge of medical law and the judicial system to qualify. 

Educational requirements include:

  • BSN or associate degree in nursing
  • Current RN license
  • Certification from the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants ( optional )

Expected Salary:  $59,686 – $206,906 per year

➡️ Find available legal nurse consulting positions on our job board.

Related Article: Can You Work From Home as a Nurse?

11. Nurse Case Manager

nursing jobs non bedside

As the name suggests, a nurse case manager supervises different aspects of an individual patient’s care.

They usually handle cases of patients transferred from other hospitals, nursing home or assisted-living facilities. 

The role includes:

  • Maintain the patient’s medical record
  • Inform healthcare providers of significant changes
  • Obtain medical history from previous doctors
  • Monitoring quality of the medical care provided
  • Administrating infection control and risk management
  • Developing suitable healthcare treatment plans

Besides this, you’re responsible for corresponding with the patient’s family and answering their queries regarding the patient care plan.

Nurse Case Managers are individuals who like to be in control. Your organizational skills, resourcefulness, and coordination capabilities will all come into play here.

Your qualifications must include:

  • Bachelor’s degree or advanced nursing degree
  • 1-2 years of experience as an RN
  • A valid practicing license
  • Certificate from the Commission of Case Management Certification (CCMC)

Additionally, you can acquire a certificate from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) after a few years of experience in this field.

The certificate will help you get promotions or advanced-level jobs.

Expected Salary:   Annual salary starts from $60,000

This job provides a steady income for anyone who wishes to hold a long-term job.

You can expect the pay-scale to increase with experience and if you continue to participate in extra training courses.

➡️ Find available nurse case manager positions on our job board.

Related Article: 9 Best Work From Home Nursing Jobs

12. Nurse Educator

a nurse educator standing in front of the classroom

A nurse educator oversees the educational aspect of nursing. They are involved in developing lesson plans and training courses for nursing programs.

Most of their work is aimed towards preparing RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPN) for practice.

Other duties involve conducting training sessions and briefing the nursing staff about the latest advancements in evidence-based practice.

They ensure that practicing nurses are aware of the standard protocol and modern procedures in their field.


Nurse educators are academically inclined professionals with strong organization and planning skills.

They should know how to coordinate with different educational departments and adapt lesson plans to align with the developments in the curriculum.

Basic qualifications include:

  • Qualified RN with at least 5 years of experience
  • Post-graduate degrees in general or specialized nursing
  • Doctorate degrees (optional)

Nurse educators are employed in both academic and clinical settings.

Expected salary: $74,591/year

➡️ Find available nurse educator positions on our job board.

13. Parish Nurse

nursing jobs non bedside

Parish nursing integrates nursing with spiritual healing.

The nurses operate within religious communities to treat members of the congregation. They are RN specialists who offer both medical advice and alternative (spiritual) healing methods to their patients.

They often create religiously-inclined health plans for the community.

Additionally, they support and educate congregational families on how to deal with issues of addiction, teen pregnancies, and abuse just to name a few. 

How to become a parish nurse?

After becoming an RN, you’ll have to take parish nursing courses to prepare for this profession.

The programs will provide you with guidelines to combine religious teachings during the practice. You usually don’t need additional certificates to qualify for this job.  

Expected Salary: $71,081/year

➡️ Find available parish nurse positions on our job board.

14. Home Health Nurse

a home health nurse caring for a patient

Home health nurses provide one-to-one care for patients in their homes. Home health patients have a wide range of diagnoses such as diabetes or medical disability.

 Their responsibilities include:

  • Routine checkups
  • Giving  injections
  • Collecting samples for medical tests
  • Managing medication
  • Changing dressings and checking for bedsores

Besides this, they coordinate with doctors to develop healthcare plans for the patient.

Then educate and inform the patient and their guardians on how to follow the set guidelines.

How to become a home care nurse?

Most licensed RN and LPN with a bachelor’s degree in nursing can pursue this career.

They only require a few years of experience to qualify. Employers rarely ask for extra credentials unless the patient requires specialized care.  

However, obtaining an MSN degree could give you better career opportunities.

Expected Salary: $40,617 – $81,685/ year

➡️ Find available home health nurse positions on our job board.

15. Nurse Writer

a nurse writing on a laptop

A nurse writer is someone who researches and writes medical articles for different companies.

Many pharmaceuticals, medical suppliers and healthcare organization hire writers with clinical backgrounds to act as a spokesperson for their publications.

According to one article, even ‘television or movie scripts’ may ask former nurses for editorial consultation to ensure credibility and accuracy ( source ).

It’s an interesting prospect for nurses who have proficient writing skills.

General assignments range from medical articles, marketing content to research papers, with an odd opportunity to give your two-cents on a fictional setting.

At times, nurse writers can perform the duties of editors and proofreaders for their employers.

How to become a nurse writer?

Anyone with a BSN degree and prior nursing experience can become a writer.

You simply need to brush up your writing and communication skills. After this, you can try freelancing for a while before you land a professional project.

However, keep in mind that certain positions do require writers to take advanced writing courses or hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism or media science.

Expected Salary: $47,852 to $125,906 /annum

➡️ Find available nurse writer positions on our job board.

Important Note: We’ve listed average salaries for the non-bedside nursing jobs listed above. The real pay may vary depending on the institution/company you apply to. Your work experience, designation, and the city can also contribute to the total figure.

The Bottom Line

a nurse stethoscope

Nursing is no longer restricted to the bedside. With the right degree and experience, you can apply your nursing education in numerous settings. Whether you’re a new grad and you’ve just sat for the NCLEX-RN or have been practicing for years―this is something you can look forward to when you need a change.

Did any of these non-bedside nursing jobs strike your fancy?

 Share your comments below.

Related Articles to Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

  • 5 Best Nursing Jobs for Introverts
  • 5 Best Nursing Jobs for Single-Moms
  • 5 Best Nursing Jobs for Male Nurses
  • 5 Best Nursing Jobs for New Moms
  • 5 Best Jobs for Retired Nurses

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About the Author

Thomas Uzuegbunem is a registered nurse who graduated with a bachelor’s in business and went on to get his bachelor’s of science in nursing. He’s worked in the ICU, mental health (inpatient, outpatient), & GI specialty areas. He’s the lead editor and founder of Nurse Money Talk.

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15 Nursing Jobs Can Work Instead of Bedside

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NurseJournal Staff

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated March 23, 2023

Reviewed by

Shrilekha Deshaies

Contributing Reviewer

Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
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Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Explore our full list of Integrity Network members.

nursing jobs non bedside

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Registered nurses (RNs) are not limited to just working bedside. Their education, background, and skills apply to many other healthcare roles. RNs may prefer non-bedside nursing jobs depending upon their specialty, career choice, and desired employment setting.

Non-hospital settings allow RNs to work more traditional hours and pursue opportunities in different workplaces. Due to burnout experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic, some nurses are searching for lower stress job options other than bedside nursing.

Regardless of their workplace, RNs develop valuable skills across multiple settings, including:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Accuracy and attentiveness
  • Emotional stability
  • Organization

Frequently Asked Questions

What can an rn do besides bedside.

RNs can pursue several careers beyond bedside options, including in-demand fields such as informatics, telemetry, teaching, and coaching. Nurses seeking a change can also become legal consultants or start their own businesses in nurse recruitment or home healthcare management.

What else can I do with a nursing degree?

Nursing offers versatile career choices, whether you hold an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree . You can work as a case manager or in community settings as a public health or school nurse. If you have graduate training or certifications, you can pursue opportunities in leadership, teaching, and research.

What are the least stressful nursing jobs?

RNs interested in slower-paced and less stressful work environments can pursue non-bedside nursing jobs in fields like case management, administration, community health, and education. School nurses , for example, have much smaller caseloads than those in clinical settings and benefit from stable work schedules.

What other jobs can I do as a nurse?

Other jobs for RNs include telephone triage, insurance claims, research, legal work, freelance writing, and education. Nursing provides diverse career opportunities in many different professional sectors and focus areas.

15 Nursing Jobs Other Than Bedside Worth Exploring

A non-bedside nursing job offers RNs the opportunity to use their nursing training without requiring direct patient care.

Our guide describes some of the most common non-bedside nursing jobs. Learn what nurses in these jobs do, their work environment, salary ranges, and education and licensing requirements.

Nurse Health Coach

Nurse health coaches work in healthcare facilities, insurance companies, and social service agencies. These professionals work one-on-one to:

  • Help clients achieve wellness goals
  • Maintain healthy lifestyles
  • Prevent future health conditions
  • Develop diet plans
  • Establish safe exercise routines
  • Monitor and motivate their clients

Depending on the employer, nurses may enter this field with associate degrees. However, the best-paying positions require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and/or a certificate in nutrition.

Average Salary

Salary range.

*As of November 2022

Academic Nurse Writer

Academic nurse writers can pursue career opportunities in several healthcare-related industries, including patient care services, pharmaceutical businesses, and insurance companies. Academic nurse writers typically:

  • Create content on different healthcare-related topics for journals, websites, and manuals
  • Conduct research and fact-check information
  • Interview trustworthy and respected medical sources and industry representatives
  • Adhere to client instructions, style guidelines, and appropriate tone for intended audiences

These writers create nursing-related content for websites, training manuals, and textbooks, tailoring the information for intended audiences such as the general public or nursing professionals.

Most positions require a strong background in written communication, research, and health sciences. Entering this field typically requires a BSN.

Legal Nurse Consultant

The legal nurse consulting field offers rewarding alternative careers for registered nurses. These specialized nursing professionals often:

  • Conduct research into medical and disability cases, employment records, other documents to prepare summaries and legal documents.
  • Make recommendations that inform legal proceedings, law enforcement investigations, and insurance cases.

Licensed RNs who have completed associate degrees can enter this field. Employment options can increase for RNs who hold BSNs and clinical and case management experience, paralegal training, or specialized legal certification. Those interested in earning a law degree and a BSN might consider becoming a nurse attorney .

Hospice Nurse

Hospice nurses provide end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and assistance to their families, often finding employment in home settings. Hospice nurses typically complete these tasks:

  • Administer pain medication
  • Monitor vital signs
  • Maintain their patients' comfort
  • Provide educational and emotional support to family members and caretakers

A licensed nurse 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 certification.

Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses work in social service agencies, schools, and nonprofits. These nurses work to:

  • Identify at-risk individuals and groups
  • Address community health needs
  • Develop preventive care programs too

Many employers seek public health nurses with master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees in addition to their RN licenses. To expand employment and salary potential, professionals should consider dual MSN and master of public health degrees, along with advanced public health nursing certification .

Occupational Nurse

Employed primarily in businesses settings, occupational nurses work with executives and managers to:

  • Ensure employees' health and safety
  • Investigate and treat work-related injuries and illnesses
  • Identify workplace hazards
  • Help management develop safety policies
  • Provide workshops for employees on healthcare issues and prevention

You need an RN license to become an occupational nurse . RNs with BSNs typically earn higher salaries in this non-hospital nursing job. Employers generally seek occupational nurses with specialized certifications from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Nurse Case Manager

Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes hire nurse case managers to work with medical providers and staff to coordinate long-term patient care. These administrators typically enter the field with 1-2 years of nursing and case management experience after earning their RN licenses and BSNs or MSNs. Depending on their employer, nurse case managers:

  • Oversee the delivery of efficient and quality care for patients of all ages and diverse backgrounds
  • Maintain health records and share information with other members of the medical team and with health insurance providers
  • Use advance software and systems to track patient care
  • Monitor legal and ethical aspects of patient care plans and serve as an advocate for patients and their families

Although licensed RNs often find employment without completing certifications, certified nurse case managers' salaries are often higher and they can pursue better career opportunities.

Dialysis Nurse

The dialysis field offers specialized alternative careers for registered nurses . These skilled nurses work in hospitals, nursing facilities, and dialysis clinics. Dialysis nurses often complete the following duties:

  • Develop treatment plans
  • Manage dialysis procedures
  • Provide care to patients with kidney-related illnesses

Licensed RNs wanting to become dialysis nurses should hold BSNs at minimum. Some employers prefer certified nephrology nurses or certified dialysis nurses.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on sales representatives to inform and educate healthcare professionals about new products. They must describe a drug’s uses, side effects, and potential interactions. Pharmaceutical sales representatives usually work in specific geographical areas to:

  • Assess client needs and promote products from certain drug classes.
  • Establish networks, follow leads, and meet with healthcare professionals to persuade them to prescribe products
  • Provide product information and deliver product samples

Nurses in this field should hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers prefer to hire sales representatives with marketing experience or master’s degrees in fields like public health or health science.

Nurse Educator

The demand for nurse educators has increased as more students enter nursing school and RNs seek continuing education credits to fulfill licensing renewal requirements. Working in academic institutions and training hospitals, nurse educators:

  • Teach clinical skills and patient care practices to nursing students
  • Advise and mentor students
  • Design and assess curriculum
  • Engage in scholarly research, publish findings, and speak on various nursing topics at academic conferences

Nursing education careers generally require a graduate degree, sometimes at the doctoral level. In addition to clinical experience and advanced graduate training, candidates must earn certified nurse educator credentials.

Nursing Informatics Specialist

These registered nurses work in hospitals and medical centers to create and manage data systems. Nursing informatics specialists play a crucial role in contemporary healthcare by improving nursing care and establishing efficient processes to control healthcare costs. These computer-savvy nurses:

  • Select and apply technological applications
  • Develop and maintain efficient systems and process implementation
  • Educate nurses on how to use the systems and provide ongoing support
  • Work with IT personnel to improve nursing care and patient outcomes

RNs who want to work in this field should have a BSN degree , strong computing skills, and experience working with electronic medical records. Certification in nursing informatics can lead to broader employment prospects.

Certified Diabetes Educator

The growing number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has propelled the demand for these specialized RNs by hospitals, clinics, and public health organizations. These specialized RN:

  • Teach patients the causes of their conditions and how to monitor and manage their symptoms
  • How to take medications and inject insulin
  • Educate patients, families, and caretakers on diet and nutrition, skin and eye care, and insulin reactions

Employers require these specialists to have a BSN degree and two years of RN experience After working in the field for at least two years, RNs may qualify for the certified diabetes educator or certified advanced diabetes management credentials.

Telehealth Nurse

Telehealth nurses , also called virtual nurses, monitor patients and provide patient care through remote patient monitoring and live visits using audio or video chats. In addition to caring for patients remotely, telehealth nurses also:

  • Consult with other healthcare providers
  • Recommend in-person care when patients need it
  • Monitor patients’ chronic conditions
  • Work to protect patient privacy in the remote setting

Flight Nurse

If you work well in unpredictable situations, flight nurses care for critically-ill or injured patients in airplanes or helicopters. They also respond to emergencies and provide medical transport. Medical transport companies, hospitals, and the military typically employ flight nurses who have 3-5 years of emergency room or intensive care unit experience. Among their various responsibilities, flight nurses may:

  • Assess and monitor critically ill or injured patients
  • Administer medications, IVs, first aid, etc.
  • Prepare patients for medical transport
  • Communicate with other members of the flight team and base of operations.

Flight nurses need a valid RN license and either an ADN or BSN degree . They can increase employment opportunities by obtaining specialized training and certifications through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing or the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association.

Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators manage healthcare operations and budgets and supervise nursing staff. Hospitals, clinics, and medical centers employ nurse administrators to maintain cost-effective, efficient, and safe practices. Nurse administrators typically:

  • Recruit and hire nurses and schedule nursing shifts
  • Set performance goals, conduct performance reviews, and offer professional development opportunities
  • Monitor regulatory and legal compliance issues
  • Create and manage budgets

Although RNs with a BSN may qualify for management roles, most healthcare organizations prefer to hire MSN-holders with certifications in nursing administration . Depending on their educational background and experience, nurse administrators may pursue certifications, including nurse executive, informatics nursing, executive nursing practice, and nurse manager and leader.

Page Last Reviewed on December 13, 2022

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The most challenging roles to fill are in Information Technology. The clinical analyst and clinical specialist roles are subject matter experts for the health record systems. It's a perfect role if you are a “techie” or good with learning and training others on a system. These positions don't have to be nurses, but they tend to be the best at it. Positions are available both at the facility and the division level. Upward mobility is available too!

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nursing jobs non bedside

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18 non-bedside nursing jobs you might not know about.

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Asian-American nurse educator helping student on computer

Nursing is definitely a rewarding field, and with the different paths that you can take throughout your career, it gives you the ability to seek employment in many different non - bedside settings. No matter what’s driving you to look for a new position, we've rounded up 18 non - bedside options that you might not have considered before.

We've also provided you with all the important information you'll need in order to plan your next career move, including an overview of the different roles, their earning potential, and any additional skills and requirements you might need for them. We've also provided you with links to job boards where you can find open roles for each type of position.

Note the salary, education, and job overview will vary depending on location and facility.

1. Cruise Ship Nurse

  • Job Overview: As a cruise ship nurse, you support the medical needs of the employees and guests on the ship while traveling all over the world.
  • Earning Potential: According to ZipRecruiter , a cruise ship nurse can make an average of $65k to $103k annually.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: In addition to critical and intensive care, emergency, and trauma medicine experience, a bachelor’s degree is usually preferred, with BLS certification, passport, and COVID vaccine.

2. Medical & Pharmaceutical Sales

  • Job Overview: As an RN, you’re in a unique position to pivot into a role as a medical device or pharmaceutical sales rep because of your background in healthcare. Medical device and pharmaceutical sales reps sell medical products to doctors and medical facilities, as well as provide any necessary preliminary information and education on the products. RN sales reps can work in a variety of fields selling a variety of products, whether it’s medical supplies for dental offices or home infusion devices to hospice care facilities.
  • Earning Potential: Earnings can really vary with this type of job, depending on what you’re selling and your own skillset as a salesperson. The latest Pharmaceutical Sales Salary report lists an average annual compensation (including bonuses) of over $151,000 in 2020.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: Most medical sales reps have a bachelor’s degree, along with a background in business.

3. Nurse Educator

  • Job Overview: As a nurse educator, you can provide education when a patient first gets a diagnosis, along with ongoing support, evaluation, and resources in alignment with the patient’s plan. Some types of nurse educators also work in a clinical capacity, educating staff at hospitals and overseeing continuing education and training. Tip: When you look online for jobs, try using the phrases “health educator” or “nurse educator.”
  • Earning Potential: According to , the average nurse educator salary was about $78,503 in 2022. That said, your earning potential could vary pretty significantly, depending on where you work and your educational specialty. For example, a certified diabetes educator can make between $51K and $88K.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: If you have a passion for helping people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes , you can take this time to explore becoming a certified educator in that particular field. If you’re looking for a more generalized and/or clinical role, an MSN may be required.

4. Nursing Informatics

  • Job Overview: As a health informatics nurse, you will work on technology solutions and platforms in the medical field. For instance, you may work on developing, maintaining, or trouble - shooting electronic medical record (EMR) systems or training providers on how to use them. Health informatic nurses may also work in the data end of the systems, analyzing data in order to implement solutions.
  • Earning Potential: According to Glassdoor , the average salary for an informatics nurse is about $119K. However, keep in mind that it’s a specialized role so you would have the potential to make more, depending on where you work and your level of experience.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: At a minimum, you’ll need a BSN and several years of experience. That said, most roles require candidates to have a Masters in Nurse or Health Informatics.
  • Where to Find Jobs: Here are some examples of health informatics positions you can find as a nurse. When you do your own search, try using both “nurse informatics” and “health informatics.”

5. Chart Reviewer

  • Job Overview: As a chart review nurse (sometimes referred to as a “utilization review” nurse”), your primary focus is on quality assurance. You’ll be meticulously reviewing charts to assess and analyze nursing care, recommend improvements, and perform risk and standards analysis. Tip: When you search for jobs online, try using phrases like “utilization review nurse” and “quality analysis nurse.”
  • Earning Potential: According to ZipRecruiter , the average salary for a utilization review nurse ranges anywhere from $40K to $95K, depending on the state. (For example, chart review nurses in New York have the highest annual salaries.)
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: There is no formal degree required beyond having a nursing license. That said, to succeed in this role, you’ll need to have a high level of attention to detail, as well as years of clinical experience.

6. Nurse Health Coach

  • Job Overview: As a health coach, you could play an instrumental role in providing motivation, education, and inspiration to clients who are looking to improve their health. You’d also be responsible for outlining practical plans for them to stick to. Health coaches encompass areas and specialties from wellness and fitness to chronic disease management, so you’d really have the ability to choose a specialty that fits your passion in this role. Tip: When looking for jobs, try reaching out to your certifying organization – they might be able to connect you to job boards in your field.
  • Earning Potential: The average salary for health coaches ranges from $50 to $73K, with 10 percent making above $100K, according to the Health Coach Institute .
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: The American Council on Exercise offers two courses for becoming a certified health coach , and both are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). As an added bonus, healthcare coaching can be done 100 percent remotely, so it’s a job you can try before permanently quitting your bedside role.

7. Nurse Writer

Job Overview: As its name suggests, medical writers create written communications for various audiences within the medical field. As a medical writer, you could do everything from write content for a medical website to compose technical information for hospital websites, brochures, or patient information. You could also work directly with healthcare providers on their content needs, or write for literary or professional trade journals.

Tips for finding jobs: You could get started as a healthcare writer by reaching out to content agencies such as Nurses Who Write to learn how to write for healthcare organizations as a freelance writer, pitching editors on a freelance basis, or contacting websites or publications that specialize in your area to partner with them on content creation. You can also create a profile on sites like Upwork or Contently and allow the content teams to find you. It’s a good idea to use content sites to get started earning clips, then work to strike out on your own.

Earning Potential: Pay can vary based on your expertise and ability, but the American Medical Writers’ Association lists the typical medical writer’s salary range as being anywhere from $58K to $100K+.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: Although there is no standard of education required for medical writing, the American Medical Writers’ Association offers education and testing to earn the Medical Writer Certified (MWC) credential.

8. Telehealth Nurse

  • Job Overview: As a telehealth nurse, you would be providing medical assessment and care remotely. You could be employed with a telehealth company, or work for a provider that offers telehealth services.
  • Is telehealth here to stay? Read the 2022 report
  • Familiarize yourself on the risks involved with practicing telehealth

9. Flight Nurse

  • Job Overview: Flight nurses are trained to care for patients in an emergency aircraft during their transportation to a medical facility.
  • Earning Potential: GlassDoor lists the average wage for a flight RN as $86K, which could hit six figures with overtime.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: The more bedside experience the flight nurse has, the better. They have to be knowledgeable in the care of the critically ill for any patient populations, advanced medical devices, and familiar with aircraft operating procedures and safety practices.

10. Health Blogger/Vlogger

  • Job Overview: With a background as a medical professional, you can specialize in creating content on certain medical conditions, or go more broadly and focus on writing articles on lifestyle and health tips. Create your own blog or YouTube channel (for your video blog “vlog”) and let the traffic come to you.
  • Earning Potential: The pay range really varies with blogging, but top, full - time bloggers can make six figures annually .
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: Anyone can get started blogging, but you can also give yourself a head start by taking an online course or workshop that teaches you how to monetize a blog, build an audience, and work with companies and brands on ads and sponsored posts.

11. Nurse Researcher

  • Job Overview: As a clinical nurse researcher, you will dive into research and conduct studies with patients on anything from new standards of nursing care to new medication trials. Your duties could include everything from being the nurse who enrolls patients in studies to the nurse who analyzes the data.
  • Earning Potential: Payscale lists the average salary for a research nurse as $82K, with reported earnings up to $147K and as low as $63K.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: Requirements may vary, but some RN research roles require only a BSN degree, and some clinical care experience. More advanced roles may require a PhD in nursing or another related field.

12. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)

  • Job Overview: SANEs are registered nurses with at least two years of experience who provide care to victims of sexual abuse.
  • Earning Potential: ZipRecruiter lists the average annual pay for a SANE nurse at $63,804.
  • Be a registered nurse
  • Practice clinically for two years in an approved setting such as ER, critical care, or maternal child health
  • Complete an approved SANE program
  • Follow local and state requirements

13. Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC)

  • Job Overview: LNCs help attorneys work on civil or criminal cases that involve the healthcare, nursing, or medical industry. They often serve as expert witnesses, analyze medical information, and consult with attorneys, law firms, or law enforcement.
  • Earning Potential: Payscale lists the average wage for an LNC at $80,432 per year.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: Because LNCs are often called as expert witnesses, they need solid clinical and nursing backgrounds. They must understand medical terminology, procedures, healthcare and nursing policies, and standards of care. Getting experience in med - surge or specialty areas such as intensive care can provide a solid foundation. There are also courses available to help nurses start their journeys.

14. COVID-19 Testing

Job Overview: COVID-19 testing is considered a waived test, or a test that the CDC or FDA determines to present little risk of error. Since the pandemic, a large number of nurses have started businesses operating as mobile waived test labs — commonly known as CLIA labs. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Program regulates labs testing human specimens and ensures they provide accurate, reliable, and timely patient test results.

Nurses who own these testing sites must follow federal, state, and local laws as well as ensure they’re practicing within their scope of practice. As this varies by state, be sure to do thorough research.

Earning Potential: Comparably lists the average salary of a Clia Labs Operations Director at $95,000. Note that in domestic states a nurse cannot be a director.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: To test the public for COVID-19, a nurse should be a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse and understand the principles of infection prevention and control. Additionally, they must know how to perform a nasal, nasla pahrnengy, or oral swab.

If owning a lab doesn't interest you here are a list of covid testing jobs!

15. Infection Prevention & Control Nurse (ICP)

  • Job Overview: ICPs work to prevent and identify the spread of infectious bacteria and viruses. The role varies depending on setting, but the job entails everything from tracking and trending outbreaks to creating policies and procedures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Earning Potential: According to Payscale , the average annual salary is $74,030 per year.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: ICNs can be RNs or LPNs, depending on the setting. They should be detailed and task oriented, as well as have great communication skills. Additionally, some facilities require ICNs to earn their Certification in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC).

16. Occupational Health Nurse

  • Job Overview: Occupational nurses work with employers to make sure that all health and safety procedures are followed to ensure a safe work environment. They may also treat minor injuries, administer drug screens, and screen for COVID-19.
  • Earning Potential: Indeed lists the base average annual salary of occupational health nurses as $70,024.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: LPNs and RNs may find these jobs enjoyable. They should be confident in their clinical skills and therefore should consider gaining experience before transitioning into this role. The American Board of Occupational Health Nurses (ABOHN) offers certification for nurses who wish to go that route.

17. Nurse Consultant

  • Job Overview: The nurse consultant role is vast. Generally, nurse consultants provide support or training to businesses and healthcare organizations. They use their clinical or nursing experience and expertise to guide these facilities. A nurse can consult on everything from infection control and EMR implementation to clinical skills and mental health and well - being. To find jobs, nurses should consider starting their own consulting firms or working as contractors for existing healthcare consulting groups.
  • Earning Potential: Payscale lists the average annual pay for a nurse consultant at $87,521.
  • Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: Nurses need vast experience and expertise in the area they’re considering consulting in. Many nurse consultants go on to earn advanced degrees or certifications, although they are not necessarily required.

18. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Instructor

Job Overview: CNA instructors teach nursing assistant students on nursing fundamentals and basic clinical practice. They train students to do daily tasks such as bed making and obtaining vital signs, as well as observe and record students as they practice clinical skills.

Many nurses start their own CNA training schools. There are programs and courses that guide nurses through the licensing process to ensure their schools meet state requirements. CNA instructors can also work for nursing homes, some colleges, or hospitals.

Earning Potential: According to the average pay for a CNA instructor is $26 per hour.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements: The requirements for instructors vary by state, but generally, the instructor must have a year’s experience as a nurse and have an active, unrestricted license. Keep in mind that many states require that instructors pass their state’s state - approved instructor training course.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of career paths for nurses – venturing outside of bedside nursing. If one of these jobs interests you or something else is on your radar, it’s time to create goals, find a mentor, and put a plan in place. A guide to creating “ SMART Nursing Goals ” could help verbalize your dream and set attainable steps to accomplish. Good luck!

Image courtesy of FatCamera

Last updated on May 05, 2022 .

Originally published on May 05, 2022 .

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Berxi™ or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. This article (subject to change without notice) is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute professional advice. Click here to read our full disclaimer

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I'm Tired of Working with Patients: Now What? 8 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs to Consider

nursing jobs non bedside

There are so many great reasons to get into nursing , and when you ask most nurses, they’ll list the ability to help people as one of their top motivators. After a few decades (or even just a few years) into working with patients, however, some nurses are ready to hang up their stethoscopes and their scrubs so that they never have to work directly with a patient again.

Tired of working with patients as a nurse? Fortunately, there are several nursing career paths still available to you that won’t require you to leave the profession altogether. 

So if you want to stay in the nursing profession but are over the hardships that sometimes come with direct patient care, consider some of these non-bedside nursing jobs. 

Bedside vs. Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs: What Are They? 

Bedside nursing jobs are any jobs in which nurses provide direct care to patients in medical facilities, including clinics, surgical centers, nursing or assisted living homes, and hospitals. You may have job roles like taking a patient’s history, taking their vitals, drawing blood, helping administer medications or procedures, and monitoring a patient’s health.

Non-bedside nursing jobs are those in which nurses aren’t working directly with patient care in a hands-on role. You’re not administering medications, checking their blood pressure, or placing intravenous devices (IVs). 

Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs Involving No Hands-On Patient Care

Want to avoid patient care and interaction as much as possible? These are the eight jobs that will help you do exactly that. 

1. Nursing Informatics 

Nursing informatics is all about monitoring programs, systems, and patient care initiatives to determine what’s working and what isn’t. These nurses analyze extensive data to provide recommendations for the following:

  • New workflows
  • New technology selection and implementation
  • Changes to improve data quality 
  • Improved patient care procedures 

Most nursing informatics positions are within large healthcare organizations.  

2. Legal Nurse Consultant 

nursing jobs non bedside

Legal nurse consultants are registered nurses (RNs) that provide attorneys with essential expertise regarding medical issues for legal cases. Many work in independent consulting practices, though some also work for insurance companies or legal firms specializing in injury-specific lawsuits. 

This job is paperwork-heavy, as you’ll review extensive data. You may also conduct interviews, review medical literature, understand legal standards of practice, and potentially even serve as an expert witness on a jury. 

You may be working on a number of different cases, including (but not limited to) medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability, elder law, and worker’s compensation lawsuits. 

3. Nurse Educator 

Nurse educators teach clinical skills, care methods, and team collaboration practices to nursing students and, in some cases, nursing professionals. They may be employed by nursing programs and colleges, though some may work either as employees or third-party contractors to teach a hospital’s nurses new skills. 

Nurse educators may also be responsible for conducting hospital research, including assessing the competency of nurses in the hospital or the standard of patient care. 

To become a nurse educator, you’ll need at least a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) . 

4. Healthcare Risk Manager 

Healthcare risk managers have crucial roles in medical organizations. They manage clinical and administrative processes, procedures, and reporting structures that are designed to protect patients by monitoring, mitigating, and, ideally, preventing common risk factors.

They may, for example, realize that an abnormal number of falls are happening and that an organization’s “fall-risk” criteria need to be modified or that fall-risk patients need stronger education about risk. 

While healthcare risk managers try to protect patients through improved processes, they also seek to reduce malpractice concerns. 

5. Utilization Review Nurse

It’s not uncommon for healthcare organizations to wind up stretched to capacity when it comes to their resources. That’s where utilization review (UR) nurses come in.

UR nurses are responsible for ensuring that patients in a healthcare setting receive the appropriate level of care, which means getting the treatment they need without receiving treatments or care they aren’t actually eligible for. 

Core job responsibilities include carefully examining a patient’s medical records to determine how appropriate different healthcare efforts are. While you will often have to speak directly to patients and their care providers, you won’t be administering care.  

6. Nursing Administrator 

Nursing administrators work in medical facilities to supervise nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and other members of the care team. They are often responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, and overseeing nurses.

In addition to hiring responsibilities, they’ll also act like managers. They’ll create work schedules, improve team collaboration, and conduct performance reviews. 

If you still want to be in a hospital or healthcare facility setting but do not want to provide hands-on patient care, this is a great role to consider. 

Most nurse administrator roles will require at least a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) . 

7. Nurse Writer 

Nurse writers are nursing professionals who write different types of content about healthcare, nursing, patient care, or the treatment of medical conditions. Their role is often to create content that educates readers about different healthcare topics, so they need to have a strong medical background in addition to writing and editing skills.

Nurse writers may work on a wide variety of projects, including the following:

  • Online content discussing common conditions, treatments, or procedures patients may have questions about
  • Newsletters to keep patients up to date with the latest treatments, new research, or new organization practices
  • Brochures or patient education resources that physicians can share
  • Journalistic articles regarding the medical profession
  • Book manuscripts or movie scripts, either as credited writers or ghostwriters 

8. Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Research or Sales 

Want to get away from healthcare administration? Consider moving into pharmaceutical or medical device roles, which may involve sales or research roles. 

Many pharmaceutical and medical device companies hire registered nurses to participate in the following:

  • Clinical trials 
  • Research protocols
  • Consultations with pharmacists, healthcare organizations, and prescribing physicians 
  • Support for physicians with questions about products 

Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs Involving Some Patient Interactions

If you’re interested in moving away from standard bedside nursing roles in large healthcare organizations but still want to work with patients in some capacity, you may want to consider the following roles:

  • School nurse
  • Certified diabetes educator 
  • Nurse health coach
  • Nurse case managers 
  • Telehealth nursing 
  • Forensic nurses 

Do I Need Bedside Nursing Before Working Non-Bedside? 

nursing jobs non bedside

In the majority of cases, you do not need to be a bedside nurse before becoming a non-bedside nurse. 

There may be some jobs for which you’d be expected to have hands-on experience or for which it may at least be beneficial. Working as a nursing administrator or nurse educator, for example, will often be much more effective if you have that first-hand experience and really know the challenges bedside nurses face.

However, there are plenty of non-bedside nursing jobs that you can begin immediately upon graduation, as long as you have the degrees, licensure, or certifications required for the position.

The best part of non-bedside nursing jobs is that you can still do meaningful work that significantly impacts a patient’s quality of life, whether you never intend to provide (or desperately need a break from) direct patient care.  

What do you think? Have you ever considered taking a break from direct patient care and bedside nursing jobs? Take part in our community discussions , and let us know!  

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Career Advice > Nursing Professions > Nursing Roles > 13 Great Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

13 Great Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

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Are you tired of bedside nursing? Are you a new nurse who recently passed your NCLEX-RN , but you already know you don’t like bedside nursing? Are you looking to leave your current nursing job in search of something new? Non-bedside nursing has plenty of options for you to use your nursing knowledge with little to no patient interaction.

What are non-bedside nursing jobs? Non-bedside nursing — sometimes referred to as non-clinical nursing — is work that doesn’t involve direct patient care in an inpatient setting. In reality, the definition can be flexible and includes a wide range of roles, including some that do involve clinical expertise. Below you’ll find a list of the pros and cons of these paths, and examples of various choices.

Pros of Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

Less patient interaction.

A difficult reality of nursing is that for every gratifying patient interaction, nurses often have at least one other that leaves them physically or emotionally drained. Many people go into nursing to care for others, only to realize that they need to prioritize their own health, too. Sometimes, minimizing or discontinuing direct care is what you need.

Better Work-Life Balance

Let’s be honest — it’s hard to find a nurse who likes working weekends and holidays, working past the time they’re supposed to leave, or carrying emotional baggage home. Regardless of how nurses feel about it, those are often the realities of bedside nursing. With non-bedside nursing, those issues might not disappear entirely, but they can decrease significantly.

More Variety

Technically, there are many varieties of bedside nursing, but they all revolve around direct patient care. With non-bedside nursing, you may perform limited patient care, provide care in a different setting, or forgo direct care altogether. You also have the opportunity to work in sectors not commonly associated with healthcare such as education, marketing, or law enforcement.

Cons of Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

Some jobs pay less.

This is highly dependent on the specific route you take, but leaving the bedside could lead to a pay cut. Keep in mind that the non-bedside nursing jobs that pay well often require some bedside experience, and an advanced degree.

Less Excitement

Non-bedside nursing may have more variety in the types of jobs you can pursue, but the day-to-day tasks have the potential to be monotonous. If you prefer to be kept on your toes, do your research about the specific role and company you’re choosing.

Your Clinical Skills Could Get Rusty

When you stop caring for patients, the skills you learn in nursing school or at the bedside aren’t as applicable. This lack of practice might make it more difficult if you decide to return to a bedside nursing job down the road. If you don’t use it, you might lose it.

Examples of Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

Whether you’re an experienced nurse or are looking for non-bedside nursing jobs for new grads, there are plenty of career paths to suit your needs. Below are examples of non-bedside nursing jobs:

  • Medical sales representative
  • Nurse administrator
  • Nursing home administrator
  • Nurse writer
  • Nurse coach
  • Prior authorization nurse
  • Nurse educator
  • Nurse researcher
  • Informatics nurse
  • School nurse
  • Forensic nurse
  • RN case manager
  • Flight nurse

If you’re looking for some of the most common career changes for nurses , there are a number of roles that can still put your nursing knowledge to use. Here’s a more in-depth look at each role:

1. Medical Sales Representative

What You’d Do: Do you have a knack for business? Interested in sales? Becoming a medical or pharmaceutical sales representative might be a great place to put those interests into practice.

Typical Education Requirements: You don’t have to be a nurse prior to becoming a medical sales representative, but nurses have a significant edge over applicants who don’t have healthcare experience. After you get your RN, at least a year of experience is preferred before transitioning into medical sales.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a medical sales representative is $80,653 per year.

2. Nurse Administrator

What You’d Do: Are you interested in the business side of healthcare? Do you prefer overseeing the big picture of running a department over the minutiae of patient care? As a nurse administrator , you manage finances, staffing ratios, compliance to standards, and other aspects of running a healthcare facility.

Typical Education Requirements: After successfully passing the NCLEX-RN, you must get at least a year of experience. The more experience you have, the better. Then you’ll also need a master’s degree or doctorate.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a nurse administrator is $100,674 per year.

3. Nursing Home Administrator

What You’d Do: Did administration sound good to you? If so, you might also be interested in an administrative position in nursing homes or another geriatric facility. As the elderly population rises , nursing home administrators are especially needed. There are also MDS coordinator positions in nursing homes, which involve managing patient data.

Typical Education Requirements: After successfully passing the NCLEX-RN, you must get at least one year of experience. Like other types of nurse administrators, more experience is preferred. Then you must get your master’s degree or doctorate.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a nursing home administrator is $126,800 per year.

4. Nurse Writer

What You’d Do: If you enjoy writing, you can use your nursing experience to contribute to health blogs, educational materials, or even screenplays. You have plenty of options as a nurse writer . This is a chance to combine your work experience with your boundless creativity.

Typical Education Requirements: Pass the NCLEX-RN and gain at least a year of bedside experience.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a nurse writer is $79,995 per year.

5. Nurse Coach

What You’d Do: Do you have a passion for holistic medicine? Would you rather take a multifaceted approach to helping people improve their health? Becoming a nurse coach is among the most fulfilling non-bedside nursing jobs. You can use your nursing knowledge without the stressors of being a regular staff nurse.

Typical Education Requirements: Pass the NCLEX-RN and gain at least one year of bedside experience.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a nurse coach is $44,960 per year.

6. Prior Authorization Nurse

What You’d Do: Does the health insurance world catch your eye? Are you open to applying your medical knowledge to utilization review ? Becoming a prior authorization nurse could put your experience to good use.

Typical Education Requirements: After passing your NCLEX-RN, it’s best to gain at least a year of bedside experience before starting this path.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for prior authorization nurses is $71,982 per year.

7. Nurse Educator

What You’d Do: Do you enjoy nurse mentorship? Do you have a passion for guiding the next generation of nurses, or leading continuing education courses ? Of all non-bedside nursing jobs, being a nurse educator may have the broadest impact — because, without them, there would be no nurses.

Typical Education Requirements: After passing the NCLEX-RN and gaining some bedside experience, these nurses must obtain their master’s or doctoral degrees to work as nurse educators.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a nurse educator is $95,159 per year.

8. Nurse Researcher

What You’d Do: If you like crunching numbers or finding patterns across data sets, research might be a good fit. As a  nurse researcher , you can satiate your intellectual curiosity and know that your work has a widespread impact across the profession.

Typical Education Requirements: After passing the NCLEX-RN and gaining a few years of bedside experience, these nurses must obtain their master’s or doctoral degrees to work as nurse researchers.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a nurse researcher is $90,516 per year

9. Informatics Nurse

What You’d Do: You’ve likely used electronic medical records (EMRs), but do you want to know more about how they work? Do you want to use your nursing expertise to improve EMR systems? Nursing informatics jobs can offer the blend of technology and healthcare you’ve been looking for. It’s also among the highest paying non-clinical nursing jobs.

Typical Education Requirements: After passing the NCLEX-RN and gaining some bedside experience, these nurses must obtain their master’s or doctoral degrees to work in nursing informatics.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for an informatics nurse is $97,990 per year.

10. School Nurse

What You’d Do: If you love children and prefer the regularity of a 9-to-5 schedule, then school nursing could be a great fit for you. In this role, you provide first aid to students, and ensure that their required health information is up to date.

Typical Education Requirements: To become certified, nurses must pass their NCLEX-RN. Although prior experience is preferred, this can also be an entry level position.

What You’d Earn: The median salary for school nurses is $54,646 per year

11. Forensic Nurse

What You’d Do: Is justice important to you? Do you wish to use your skills to help law enforcement and crime survivors? Forensic nurses collect biological evidence from victims in criminal investigations. The information they gather may be used in court.

T ypical Education Requirements: After passing the NCLEX-RN, these nurses need at least a year of bedside experience.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a forensic nurse is $61,672 per year.

12. RN Case Manager

What You’d Do: Do you enjoy coordinating plans for care for patients throughout and after their inpatient stays? Want to help them find cost effective care? RN case managers are at the center of the healthcare team . They assist patients with managing the ripple effects of their care, such as the financial and social aspects of their lives impacting their health outcomes.

Typical Education Requirements: After passing the NCLEX-RN, these nurses need at least a year of experience, though more is preferred. Having a master’s or doctorate could increase their chances of being hired and result in more desirable wages.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for an RN case manager is $68,880 per year.

13. Flight Nurse

What You’d Do: Do you revel in excitement? Do you want to help survivors of disasters? You could fit in well in the adrenaline-fueled world of flight nursing . In this role, you provide care while a patient is flown to the nearest hospital.

Typical Education Requirements: After passing the NCLEX-RN, these nurses need at least a year of experience working in the emergency department.

What You’d Earn: The average salary for a flight nurse is $92,900 per year.

Are Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs a Better Fit for You?

Bedside nursing isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Looking for a non-beside role that would be a great match for your skills? Find the jobs that fit all your expectations on IntelyCare.

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Nurse Fern

11 Non-bedside Nursing Jobs You Can Do from Home

11 non-bedside nursing jobs you can do from home

Feeling burned out on bedside nursing?

Many nurses are considering leaving the field altogether. Staff nurses are refusing to continue putting up with poor patient ratios, inadequate staffing, low pay, physical abuse, and mandatory overtime. (And I’m cheering them on!)

The good news is that nursing as a career goes beyond bedside clinical work. You can work in many different areas outside of the hospital setting, and some can be done remotely! With the aid of technology, nurses can communicate with patients and organizations without ever leaving their homes.

If you’re thinking about switching careers or have considered leaving clinical nursing behind for good, this post will help you learn more about non-bedside nursing jobs.

#1 Remote Care Manager/Case Manager 

Nurse Case Managers help patients, typically those with chronic conditions, navigate the insurance system and help them obtain needed medications, care, and durable medical equipment.

You can work remotely as a case manager for many insurance companies, and some hospitals even offer remote or hybrid work.

Nurse Fern considers this role an extrovert position as much of your day is spent on the phone.

Read the complete guide to becoming a Remote Case Manager here .

#2 Remote Utilization Review/Management Nurse

Utilization review/management nurses evaluate patient stays to ensure the care provided is cost-effectively meeting the recognized standard of care. This role requires enormous attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of medical necessity and documentation.

Nurse Fern considers this an introvert position. The majority of nurses who work in UR report little to no phone usage.

Read the Nurse Fern guide to Remote Utilization Review and Management here .

#3 Health Coach

Nurse health coaches work to improve patient health while saving healthcare dollars. They might provide coaching by phone or Skype several times a week or act more like an on-call consultant when needed. Health coaches help patients create and maintain healthy lifestyle choices.

Nurse Fern considers this role to be an extrovert position. You are communicating directly with patients during your workday.

Read the Nurse Fern guide to Remote Nurse Health Coaching here.

#4 Telephone Triage Nurse

If you’ve worked in the emergency department, critical care, home health, hospice, urgent care, pediatrics, or obstetrics, a career as a telephone triage nurse may be right for you.

Telehealth Triage Nurses assess patient complaints telephonically and connect them with the most appropriate resources available, including doctors, hospitals, or medical equipment vendors. Most triage nurses are trained to follow a standardized protocol like the widely used Schmitt-Thompson telephone triage protocols.

Nurse Fern considers this role an extrovert position as your day is spent on the phone directly communicating with patients.

Read the complete guide to Telephonic Triage Nursing here .

#5 Data Abstraction

Data Abstraction is often a flexible role that is great for nurses who have an eye for detail and have been involved in quality improvement or chart auditing on their unit. Many employers look for nurses who have experience, particularly in oncology, or using national registries tracking specific measures.

Nurse Fern considers this role an introvert position as you spend much of your day alone.

Learn more about remote Data Abstraction and Nurse Auditing in our complete guide .

#6 HEDIS Nurse

Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set (HEDIS) is a performance improvement tool measuring individual providers, plans, and institutions on a specific set of indicators. 

Nurses are hired to abstract data from patient charts for these measures and record them in a standardized database.

The role is seasonal and typically lasts from January to May. Nurses can find part or full-time positions, and a few highly ambitious nurses will work their full-time job and part-time HEDIS. 

Nurse Fern considers this role an introvert position as much of your day is spent alone reviewing documents.

Read more about remote HEDIS nursing here.

#7 Denials & Appeals Nurse

Nurses in this role help providers and insurance companies resolve denied claims. Nurses are responsible for reviewing the denied insurance claims and determining whether the patient, in fact, qualifies for coverage on appeal.

 It can be a very satisfying role for nurses when they are able to help patients receive previously denied care and treatment.

Nurse Fern considers this role an introvert/extrovert position as many nurses report phone usage to be dependent on the employer.

Learn more about remote Denials & Appeals Nursing here .

#8 Pre-service review nurse – Prior Authorization Nurse

The Pre-service review nurse reviews and approves requests for tests and treatment. When a test or treatment is denied, it might be reviewed by a denials and appeals nurse for further consideration.

Nurse Fern considers this role an extrovert position as you may have increased communication with providers and insurance companies maintaining additional documentation for care requests.

Read more about remote Prior Authorization Nursing here.

# 9 Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialist (CDIS)

This is what I do! CDI nurses perform concurrent chart reviews to ensure that provider documentation accurately represents the care provided and the patient’s severity of illness. They perform verbal or written queries when clarification is needed to obtain additional information. 

Nurse Fern considers this role an introvert position as most of your day is spent deep in chart reviews.

Read the Nurse Fern guide to becoming a remote Clinical Documentation Integrity Nurse here .

#10 Freelance Content Writing Nurse

Nurse content writers are in high demand. You can work at home writing blog posts for health websites, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Depending on the employer, content writers are paid by the post or by salary. 

Nurse Fern considers this role both an introvert and extrovert position. You must network and find your own writing clients but the actual task of writing is quiet and solitary.

Nurse Fern has two extra guide to help you in your path to becoming a remote Freelance Nurse Writer:



#11 Legal Nurse Consultant

Nurses who are legal nurse consultants (LNCs) work with attorneys to review medical records and provide expert opinions for cases. 

Successful LNCs often have connections with lawyers and law offices that help them get started in this career. There are also courses you can take to help you build your practice.

Nurse Fern considers this role an extrovert position as you must build your own client base by finding law practices to utilize your services.

Learn more about Legal Nurse Consulting here .

If you’re feeling burned out from your clinical nursing job, don’t worry – there are many opportunities for nurses to work from home and away from the bedside!

So whether you’re an introverted nurse looking for some alone time or an extroverted nurse ready to network and collaborate with others, there’s a remote nursing job perfect for you.

Ready to start searching for your first remote nursing job? Check out the Nurse Fern Job Board!

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nursing jobs non bedside

Alternative Nursing Jobs: 31 Non-Bedside Careers For 2023

  • Last Updated: September 15, 2023

Alternative Nursing Jobs

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If you’re considering a move towards a non-traditional and non-bedside nursing career , then this guide to alternative nursing jobs is for you!

In this article, we discuss everything from why nurses are leaving their bedside careers to where the happiest nurses tend to work.

Best of all, we included a list of the 31 best alternative nursing jobs you may want to consider. 

Whether you’re interested in non-clinical or clinical nursing specialities beyond the bedside, we’ve got you covered!

Table of contents

What are alternative nursing jobs, why consider alternative nursing jobs, non-clinical alternative nursing jobs, clinical alternative nursing jobs, what career can you transition to from nursing, where do the happiest nurses work, is an alternative nursing job right for you.

Alternative nursing jobs are careers nurses can pursue outside of traditional bedside care. While some nurses are content to stay in those traditional roles, others want to explore different ways to utilize their degree, knowledge, and skills.

Since nurses require specialized education and critical thinking skills, there’s no shortage of other jobs they can look into. 

These non-traditional nursing jobs can involve a move away from direct patient care, or they can simply involve a change in work setting. We’ll explore both types of alternative nursing careers later in this article.

Remember, just because these roles are considered “alternative” doesn’t mean they’re any less important. The nurses that occupy the roles we discuss in this post play a critical part in making sure the healthcare system is able to care for all kinds of patients.

Nurses explore alternative nursing jobs for a multitude of reasons, from personal fulfillment to higher salary potential. 

Below, we discuss some of the most common reasons for considering a move away from traditional nursing roles.

1. Personal Fulfillment

One of the best reasons to consider alternative nursing careers is to focus on an area you’re really passionate about.

For example, if you’re passionate about patient advocacy, you might want to look at the role of nurse navigator. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in how technology can improve healthcare systems, you may want to consider becoming a nurse informaticist.

Another great example is those passionate about addressing systemic needs in nursing. If this sounds like you, you may want to look into public policy nursing or becoming a nurse lobbyist.

Additionally, passion isn’t the only thing that can produce personal fulfillment. If you have unique talents that other nurses don’t have, this can be equally fulfilling.

For example, if you’re an amazing writer, then you may feel more fulfilled by becoming a nurse writer or journalist. Meanwhile, if you’re great at explaining how things work, you may find it fulfilling to explore a career as a nurse educator.

2. Professional Growth

Exploring alternative nursing jobs is also a great way to expand your technical and leadership skills.

If you’re looking to advance your career or take on more leadership-oriented goals, it’s a great idea to learn how non-bedside areas of nursing work. This helps you understand the broader picture when you step into high-level roles.

For example, if you want to better understand how patients are charged, you may consider a stint a medical biller and coder. On the other hand, if you want to learn about safety and infection procedures, you may want to pursue the infection control nurse path.

Ultimately, the more experience you can gain in diverse areas of nursing will better prepare you to lead teams in the future.

Additionally, gaining experience in non-traditional nursing roles allows you to develop new connections and grow your network.

For example, if you pursue travel nursing, you could forge new connections at different hospitals across the country. This can open you up to a host of new employment opportunities in multiple locations.

3. Work-Life Balance

It’s no secret that nurses are feeling more burnt out than ever in the last few years. In fact, a recent survey found that 81% of nurses said they felt burnt out at some point in 2022. Worse yet, 81% said their mental health has suffered as a result.

Fortunately, there are alternative nursing jobs offering more predictable schedules, remote work opportunities, and less physically-demanding tasks.

For example, working as a school nurse provides you with a pretty predictable schedule, since you only need to be there during the school day. Additionally, having the summer off is a nice perk.

Meanwhile, there are remote work opportunities for those pursuing careers such as a legal nurse consultant, health coach, and many others.

Finally, there are plenty of less physically-demanding non-traditional nurse jobs, like nurse administrators or nurse researchers.

4. Higher Pay

One more reason to consider alternative nursing jobs is the potential for higher pay. While you can still earn a good salary by climbing your way up the traditional nursing pyramid, focusing on other pathways is also a good option.

Since many alternate career paths for nurses require specialized knowledge and experience, the salary potential can be greater.

For example, with their technology expertise, nurse informaticists can earn well over six figures on average, while the average RN salary typically hovers around $82,000.

Similarly, working your way up to the administrative ladder to a position like Chief Nursing Officer can be super lucrative.

Finally, travel nurses can expect to earn a lot more than their resident RN counterparts.

31 Alternative Nursing Jobs

Whatever your reason for seeking an alternative nursing job, there’s no shortage of both clinical and non-clinical roles beyond traditional bedside care.

Now, there is some gray area between clinical and non-clinical roles . In fact, some positions include a mix of both. 

However, in this article, we’ll consider non-clinical positions as those that require no or very little direct care for patients. By “direct care”, we mean medical care. For example, a health coach works directly with clients, but provides no direct medical interventions.

Meanwhile, alternative clinical nursing jobs allow you to provide direct care, albeit in non-traditional healthcare settings.

We’ve broken our list of non-bedside nursing careers into these two categories.

As we mentioned above, we’re considering non-clinical nursing jobs as those requiring no or very little direct medical interventions for patients.

However, these nurses still make a huge impact on the lives of patients and the sustainability of any healthcare system. 

Read on to discover some best ways to use your nursing degree without needing to provide direct care to patients.

1. Nurse Informaticist

A nurse informaticist operates at the intersection of nursing, technology, and data. 

Essentially, they improve patient outcomes by implementing and managing technological systems to store, process, and analyze data. By using various types of data, these nurses help the healthcare system function as efficiently as possible.

As technology and data collection become more ubiquitous in all industries, nursing informatics has never been more important than it is today.

Better yet, many of these nurses can work remotely at least some of the time, making this a great alternative nursing job for those looking for more flexibility.

The average nurse informaticist salary is around $127,051 a year, though some can earn up to $160,263.

2. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators have the incredibly important responsibility of teaching the next generation of nurses. Their duties consist of designing and implementing educational programs, as well as assessing students and providing continuing education opportunities.

While nurse educators often work in colleges and universities, they can also take up positions in teaching hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Ultimately, those undertaking this non-bedside nursing job ensure that students have the skills and knowledge they need to thrive as a nurse.

On average, nurse educators can expect to make a salary of $82,040 per, with some making upwards of $125,930 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics .

3. Nurse Writer

A nurse writer combines their nursing experience and knowledge with their writing skills to create various types of content. Examples of this content include:

  • Patient education materials
  • Medical journal articles
  • Policy documents
  • News reports

There are tons of different types of healthcare writing that writers need to produce. While those with writing degrees also take up these positions, having someone with first-hand experience in nursing is invaluable.

Whether working for publishers, healthcare organizations, or even freelancing, nurse writers are able to explain often-complicated medical concepts in a clear and concise way.

Since there are so many different types of nurse journalists and writers, the salary range can vary a lot.

4. Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant has the responsibility of consulting on medical-related legal cases. Essentially, they act as the bridge between the world of healthcare and law.

Their main function is to help attorneys understand the nuances of medical issues, terminology, and patient care standards. Their specific duties often include:

  • Reviewing medical records
  • Identifying instances when healthcare providers broke from appropriate standards of care
  • Providing expert testimony
  • Turning complex medical terminology into legal insights for attorneys

Ultimately, legal nurse consultants ensure that medical facts and standards are accurately represented in court cases. It’s a great alternative nursing job for anyone with an interest in law, who can also clearly explain complicated information.

The average salary for an LNC is $118,669 per year, with some making upwards of $182,000 per year.

5. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

A pharmaceutical sales representative promotes and sells pharmaceutical products to healthcare professionals. Examples of these products include:

  • Prescription medications (e.g., antibiotics, antivirals, antipsychotics, etc.)
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications (e.g., pain relievers, digestive aids, etc.)
  • Medical devices
  • Nutritional supplements

Essentially, their goal is to educate doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers on the benefits, use cases, and side effects of their company’s pharmaceutical products. Nurses can thrive in these positions since they can leverage their existing medical knowledge. 

By building relationships with healthcare providers and organizing product demonstrations, they act as the intermediary between healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies. Of course, they also have to adhere to strict regulatory rules and guidelines.

The salary expectations for this role are quite impressive. In fact, the average salary for a pharmaceutical sales representative is $129,646 per year, with top earners making over $220,000 per year.

6. Nurse Administrator

A nurse administrator is responsible for overseeing the administrative and managerial aspects of nursing departments. Rather than focus on direct bedside care, they focus more on tasks like:

  • Shaping department policies
  • Managing budgets
  • Supervising staff
  • Ensuring adherence to regulatory standards

The best nurse administrators typically have a lot of clinical experience, as they understand the needs and challenges their staff face every day. Additionally, they often hold an advanced degree, like a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.

It’s also worth mentioning a similar role to nurse administrator, nurse manager . While the jobs are similar, nurse managers typically oversee a specific department or unit. Meanwhile, nurse administrators usually have a broader, facility-wide focus.

The average annual salary for nurse administrators is $101,340 per year.

7. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

The chief nursing officer is one of the highest-ranking nursing positions you can achieve. Typically part of the healthcare facility’s executive team, their responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing all nursing operations
  • Shaping strategic direction
  • Ensuring the best possible patient outcomes

By collaborating with other healthcare executives, they ensure the procedures and guidelines of the nursing department align with the rest of the facilities’ departments. Essentially, CNOs act as the bridge between nursing practice and organizational strategy.

To get to this high-level position, you’ll need an advanced degree. While some only have their MSN, others have a terminal degree, like a DNP.

Additionally, you’ll need lots of leadership experience. In fact, it may make sense to take on a nurse administrator role and work your way up to this alternative nursing job.

As one of the highest-level nursing positions, chief nursing officer is also one of the highest-paying non-clinical nursing jobs. The average annual salary for a CNO is $253,960, with some making well over $300,000!

8. Health Policy Nurse

A health policy nurse has the responsibility of influencing health policy in areas from local communities to nationally. Keep in mind that this is different from another alternative nursing job, public health nurse, which we’ll discuss in our clinical section.

The health policy nurse typically has the following focuses:

  • Policy analysis

They collaborate with legislators and policymakers to ensure the perspective of nurses is represented in the public arena. This ensures nurses have some representation when it comes to the development of health-related laws and regulations.

The typical salary for a health policy nurse is between $70,000 and $90,000.

9. Nurse Recruiter

A nurse recruiter is responsible for identifying, recruiting, and placing qualified nursing professionals. Given their experience and knowledge, former bedside nurses can thrive in this alternative nursing job.

This is a great career path if you’re tired of delivering direct care to patients but want to use your interpersonal skills.

As more and more nurses continue to leave the workforce , this role is becoming increasingly important. Attracting top talent can be a challenge, so this role is vital to the success of any healthcare institution.

The average salary for a nurse recruiter is $105,168 per year. However, since recruiters often earn commissions, this can vary quite a lot.

If we break down the number above, we find that only $64,753 of it is base pay. Meanwhile, $40,415 actually comes from additional pay like commissions.

10. Nurse Consultant

A nurse consultant provides healthcare facilities with specialized insights and guidance on topics like best clinical practices and policy guidelines.

Typically, the consultant has extensive nursing experiences and uses that knowledge to advise on:

  • Patient care standards
  • Operational efficiency
  • Regulatory compliance

They can work in a multitude of settings, from hospitals to legal firms to insurance companies. Ultimately, nurse consulting can take a number of different forms depending on the nurse’s expertise.

Consultants tend to be experts in their speciality, allowing them to answer any questions that may arise. This means you’ll likely need a lot of clinical experience, and maybe even an advanced degree, to pursue this alternative nursing job.

The average annual salary for a nurse consultant is $91,542 per year, with some making upwards of $109,000.

11. Medical Biller and Coder

A medical biller and coder is responsible for coding medical procedures and diagnoses into billable items. This ensures that patients or insurance companies pay the healthcare facility the proper amount of money.

Essentially, these billers and coders are the financial backbone of any healthcare institution. Without them, facilities wouldn’t know how much to charge patients and their insurance companies. They also ensure billing errors are kept to a minimum so there are less financial disputes later.

While we’ve put them together in this list of alternative nursing jobs, they are technically two separate jobs.

Coders review medical data and assign the appropriate billing codes to the data. Meanwhile, billers compile those codes and send the bills to patients and insurance companies. For both roles, however, no post-secondary degree is required.

Overall, these are two great non-bedside nursing jobs for new grads. The average annual salary for medical billers and coders is $46,660 per year.

12. Infection Control Nurse

Infection control nurses are responsible for preventing and managing infectious disease outbreaks in healthcare facilities.

They have the important task of developing, implementing, and monitoring infection prevention safeguards. More specifically, they:

  • Teach healthcare staff about best practices in preventing infectious disease
  • Develop infection prevention policy
  • Track and report infection prevention data

Ultimately, these nurses play a huge role in keeping everyone from healthcare professionals to patients safe while inside the facility.

The average annual salary for an infection control nurse is $75,171, with the top earners making about $110,000.

13. Nurse Entrepreneur

A nurse entrepreneur uses their nursing experience and expertise to start a medical-related business. There’s no shortage of different business ideas, including:

  • Healthcare products and software
  • Consulting services
  • Training programs
  • Private practices

While no advanced degree is technically required, it may be worth looking into getting a Master’s of Business Administration should you want to pursue this pathway. This can help you gain the business skills you need to be successful.

Additionally, you may want to look into nurse business resources, like Nursepreneurs .

If there’s a gap in the healthcare market or you’ve found an innovative solution to a problem, this could be a good option for you.

Since the amount of money businesses can make can vary a lot, we won’t list an average salary for this alternative nursing career.

14. Nurse Lobbyist

Nurse lobbyists advocate for medical and nursing-related issues by influencing legislation and regulations.

Essentially, their role is to meet with lawmakers, government officials, and other stakeholders to ensure nurses’ perspectives are represented.

Some of their more specific responsibilities include:

  • Researching and analyzing proposed legislation and regulations
  • Educating lawmakers on the implications of passing or not passing legislation
  • Building coalitions of healthcare professionals and patient advocacy groups
  • Initiating campaigns to raise awareness or advocate for particular legislation

Extensive clinical experience is typically recommended, and so is an additional degree in a field like public policy or political science.

The average annual salary for lobbyists is $86,273 per year. However, this isn’t specific to nurse lobbyists, so take this number with a grain of salt.

15. Health Coach

A health coach guides their clients in how to achieve their personal health and wellness goals. 

Unlike traditional nurses, they don’t provide any medical interventions. Instead, they provide advice and tools for managing health and preventing medical problems.

For example, a health coach may help someone lose weight by developing a personalized diet plan and fitness regimen. For another client, they may aid in stress reduction by providing guidance on mindfulness techniques or sleep hygiene.

Other examples could include:

  • Chronic disease management
  • Improving physical fitness
  • Dietary changes (e.g., client wants to pursue a vegan diet)
  • Smoking cessation

This alternative nursing job is a great way to continue working one-on-one with people, but without the additional stresses of traditional nursing.

The average annual salary for a health coach is $69,115 per year, but this can vary a lot depending on your services and client base.

16. Quality Improvement Nurse

Quality improvement nurses are tasked with improving clinical outcomes and standards of care in a healthcare facility. 

By collecting and analyzing performance data, they develop plans and policies that:

  • Improve patient experiences and outcomes
  • Enhance the efficiency of operations
  • Adhere to regulatory rules and standards

This role is critical in an ever changing healthcare landscape, where there is always room for improvement.

If you’re a systematic and analytical thinker who’s passionate about improving outcomes for patients, this is a great alternative nursing job to look into.

The average annual salary for a Quality Improvement Nurse is $98,142 per year.

Now that we’ve covered some great non-clinical options, let’s take a look at some of the best clinical alternative nursing jobs.

While these careers do involve providing direct medical care to patients, they are all non-hospital nursing jobs in non-traditional, non-bedside settings.

17. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers conduct scientific studies related to the field of nursing. Their research typically has at least of one of the three following goals:

  • Advancing nursing practice
  • Improving patient outcomes
  • Developing solutions to common issues in healthcare

They are responsible for designing and implementing studies, analyzing data, and publishing those findings for the good of the medical community.

One example of nurse research might include a study on patient safety. For instance, an investigation into the frequency and causes of medication errors.

Another example might include a study on how nurse-to-patient ratios affect both patient outcomes and employee retention.

The opportunities for research are really limitless, and it’s a great way to make an impact on the field as a whole. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to go for an advanced degree, likely a PhD in Nursing, to pursue this alternative nursing job.

The average annual salary for a nurse researcher is $90,771, with top earners making upwards of $109,000.

18. Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses are responsible for promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of employees in workplace settings.

Their main duties include:

  • Preventing work-related injuries and illnesses
  • Conducting health assessments
  • Treating minor workplace injuries
  • Developing health and safety programs
  • Identifying potential workplace hazards
  • Ensuring adherence to health regulations

Ultimately, occupational health nurses have the important task of creating safer work environments.

The average annual occupational health nurse salary is $94,084 per year, with some making up to $140,000 per year.

19. Forensic Nurse

Forensic nurses focus on providing specialized care to victims of violence, abuse, or trauma. To do so, these nurses:

  • Gather medical evidence
  • Document injuries
  • Provide testimony in court

Essentially, forensic nurses are at the intersection of healthcare and law. They have the difficult, but important, task of aiding legal investigations while providing direct, trauma-informed care.

If you’re passionate about helping trauma victims, you should consider this alternative nursing job.

While they can work in hospitals, you may also find them in coroner’s offices and advocacy centers.

The average annual forensic nurse salary is $73,786 per year, though some can make up to $168,500 per year.

20. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses focus on improving the health of populations, as opposed to individuals. Unlike public policy nurses, public health nurse jobs are more hands-on and less focused on shaping broader systemic changes.

Their specific duties often include:

  • Designing and implementing health education campaigns
  • Conducting community health assessments
  • Collaborating with local agencies

Typically, they work in settings like schools, community centers, and health departments, addressing immediate health concerns and long-term public strategies.

Public health nurses make an average annual salary of $65,660 per year, with some making up to $75,740 per year.

21. Community Health Nurse

Like public health nurses, a community health nurse focuses on the well-being of populations rather than individuals. However, community health nurses tend to work with specific communities, as opposed to the larger public.

Their duties typically include providing:

  • Health education
  • Preventative care
  • Early intervention services

Since they work with specific communities, they ensure care is accessible for often-marginalized groups of people.

The average annual salary for a community health nurse is $67,244 per year, with top earners making over $85,000 a year.

22. Telehealth Nurse

A telehealth nurse provides care and guidance to patients remotely. They typically make use of technology such as:

  • Video calls
  • Phone calls
  • Text-based chat apps

This allows them to guide patients on self-care, monitor chronic illnesses, or assist in emergency situations until the proper help can arrive.

Ultimately, telehealth allows patients to access care even when in-person care is unavailable, such as when patients live in underserved areas.

The average annual salary for a telehealth RN is $126,110 per year, with some making as much as $186,000 a year.

23. Travel Nurse

Travel nurses work on temporary assignments to fill critical gaps in healthcare facilities away from their primary residence or tax home. 

Since these nurses take high-demand positions, they’re typically paid a higher amount than resident nurses. In fact, they often even receive housing stipends and other benefits.

Their assignments usually last from a few weeks to a few months, and there are opportunities for just about every kind of nurse specialty.

To find gigs, they usually collaborate with a travel nursing agency who places them in facilities across the country, from urban to rural areas.

The average annual salary for a travel nurse is $106,030 per year. However, depending on the type and location of assignments, this amount can go as high as $179,500.

Overall, travel nurse positions tend to be the highest-paying BSN jobs.

24. Aesthetic/Cosmetic Nurse

An aesthetic nurse, or cosmetic nurse, provides cosmetic treatments to improve patients’ appearances. These procedures typically include:

  • Botox injections
  • Dermal fillers
  • Laser treatments
  • Liposuction

This type of nurse usually works in settings like dermatology clinics, cosmetic surgery centers, and med-spas. 

The average annual salary for a cosmetic nurse is $85,265 per year, while some make up to $100,000 per year.

If you advance your education and become an aesthetic nurse practitioner , you can make even more. In fact, the average annual salary for an aesthetic NP is $94,372, with some earning over $110,000 per year.

25. Nurse Midwife

A nurse midwife is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) specializing in women’s reproductive health and childbirth. Their duties often include:

  • Prenatal care
  • Labor and delivery support
  • Postpartum care
  • Gynecological exams

This alternative nursing job is similar to an OB/GYN, but with a heavier focus on natural childbirth and reproductive care. Oftentimes, they even offer alternative birth settings, like home births and birthing centers.

Finally, this type of nurse goes beyond childbirth care, offering family planning guidance and general women’s health services throughout the lifetime.

The average annual salary for a nurse midwife is $120,880 per year, with the top ten percent of earners making $171,230 per year.

26. Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses provide care within patients’ homes. These patients are often recovering from surgery or illnesses, while others are elderly or chronically-ill patients requiring consistent care.

Their duties typically include:

  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Administering medication
  • Patient education
  • Assisting with hygiene

Ultimately, this non-bedside nursing job allows patients to receive medical care in the comfort of their own homes, a huge advantage for those who struggle to travel to traditional healthcare facilities.

For home health LPNs, the average annual salary is $54,183 per year. Meanwhile for home health RNs, the average annual salary is $82,200 per year. 

27. Hospice/Palliative Care Nurse

Hospice and palliative care nurses provide care to patients in the final stages of terminal illness or those with debilitating chronic conditions. While hospice care refers to patients with a life expectancy of six months or less, palliative care can be provided at any stage of serious illness.

However, for both alternative nursing jobs, the duties are relatively the same:

  • Providing comfort
  • Managing pain and symptoms
  • Improving quality of life for both patients and their families

Not only do these nurses work closely with healthcare teams to deliver medical care, but they also provide spiritual and emotional support. While some do work in hospitals, others work in settings like hospice centers, nursing homes, patients’ homes, and more.

The average annual salary for a hospice nurse is $80,519 per year. However, some can make as much as $111,000.

28. Flight Nurse

A flight nurse is a type of critical care nurse that provides care to patients during aeromedical evacuations or rescue operations. They treat patients while carrying them via helicopters, propeller aircrafts, or jet aircrafts.

Their specific duties typically include:

  • Assessing and stabilizing patients as quickly as possible
  • Providing in-flight emergency care
  • Ensuring safe transport to healthcare facilities

Given the extreme circumstances of this non-bedside nursing job, like limited space and aircraft noise, flight nurses require specialized training and certification .

The average annual flight nurse salary is $91,910 per year. However, some can make as much as $103,220 or more per year.

29. School Nurse

A school nurse provides care to students in educational settings, like K-12 schools, colleges, or universities. Additionally, they act as an intermediary between students, families, school administrators, and traditional healthcare providers.

  • Routine health screenings
  • Providing first aid
  • Managing chronic illnesses
  • Promoting health education

In addition to the duties above, they also play a role in creating a safe and supportive learning environment. This means that, in addition to physical health, they need to be adept at addressing students’ emotional, mental, and behavioral health.

The average annual salary for a school nurse is $54,767 per year, with the top ten percent making about $82,250 per year.

30. Correctional Facility Nurse

A correctional facility nurse provides care to inside jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers. They may be tasked with treating all kinds of conditions, from acute injuries to chronic illnesses.

More specifically, their duties often include:

  • Conducting health assessments on incoming inmates
  • Administering medications
  • Providing emergency care
  • Communicating with other healthcare facilities when advanced care is required

Because of the unique work setting, this alternative nursing job requires a high degree of autonomy. Additionally, they need to operate under strict security guidelines. However, they do play a key role in ensuring inmates are cared for safely and humanely.

The average annual salary for a correctional facility nurse is $62,489 per year, while the top ten percent of earners make around $79,580 per year.

31. Nurse Navigator

Finally on our list of alternative nursing jobs is nurse navigator . This type of non-bedside nurse acts as the intermediary between patients and the healthcare system. Essentially, they act as patients’ guides, performing a number of key tasks:

  • Coordinating care
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Explaining medical procedures
  • Providing emotional support

Given their job title, it’s no surprise that these nurses help patients navigate the healthcare system, making care more accessible and less complex.

The average annual nurse navigator salary is $$96,178 per year, though top earners can make as much as $117,671 per year.

If you don’t want to be a nurse anymore and want to transition to a different career, there are plenty of other ways to utilize your degree.

For example, some of the non-clinical positions we discussed in this article require no patient interaction or direct care. You might consider a career as a:

  • Health coach
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Nurse entrepreneur

While we’ve discussed the most common career changes for nurses above, there are other pathways you can consider. However, they do require a bigger transition away from nursing.

For example, becoming a child care provider is an excellent option. While you don’t technically need a nursing degree for this career, many of the skills are transferable.

Other career options, like a genetic counselor, can also make a great option for former nurses. While this job has its own unique educational and certification requirements, your nursing degree does give you a head start over those starting from zero.

So, while there are many non-nursing jobs you can pursue, some of them may require going back to school.

The happiest nursing jobs will depend on your own personal preferences and skillset.

For example, if you don’t like providing direct care to patients, you should probably avoid any of the alternative clinical nursing jobs we listed in this article.

On the other hand, if you enjoy delivering direct care but are tired of traditional bedside nursing jobs, you’d probably be happier looking into alternative nursing jobs like aesthetic nursing or home health nursing.

According to Beckers Hospital Review , some of the happiest nurses work in the following roles:

  • Informatics nurse
  • Legal nurse consultant
  • Nurse writer
  • Occupational health nurse
  • Research nurse

Whatever your reason for considering an alternative nursing job, there’s no shortage of options to choose from.

Whether you want to flex your writing skills as a nurse writer, or take a more hands-on approach in a new setting, like home health nursing, you’re bound to find a career you enjoy.

While many of these non-bedside nursing jobs require no additional training, some do. For example, if you’re intrigued by nursing administration or working your way up to chief nursing officer, you may need an MSN .

Some positions, like nurse researcher or nurse educator, may even require a terminal degree, like a DNP or PhD in Nursing.

If you’re considering advancing your education, check out our guides to nursing schools where you can find both local and online degree programs.

Nurse Luke is a CRNA who specializes in Nursing content and still enjoys a very busy career with Locum, Per Diem and Travel nursing in the greater midwest. He has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and received his CRNA masters degree from the Mayo Clinic School of Healthcare. He is passionate about helping nurses explore the options of becoming a travel nurse as well as spending time with his Family. 

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Wellness in Healthcare

20 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs for Exhausted & Burned Out Nurses

A bare hospital room with just a bed, some curtains and a chair.

Find the perfect non-bedside nursing jobs for YOU! Nurses, are you looking for a change of scenery? Wondering if switching to another department is the key to job satisfaction or reigniting your passion for nursing? Are you frustrated and ready to leave bedside nursing altogether? Then today’s post is for you!

Check out this list of the top 20 non-bedside nursing jobs. I created this list based on info and interviews from other nurses just like you! They’ve spilled the beans on why their area is the best.

But before we get into it : Make sure you’ve reserved your spot in my FREE Class: The 4 Habits Every Nurse needs to Survive their Next Shift. It’s getting rave reviews and I know it’ll help make your next shift that much better.  Sign up now!

Nurses, are you looking for something new and different? Wonder what the best non-bedside nursing jobs are? Check out this list of the top 20 best kept secrets in nursing!

Alright, without further ado, here are the 20 best non-bedside nursing jobs! For each position, I’ve included a few brief pro’s and con’s as well as a relevant or funny quote from nurses currently working in that area. 

*As with anything, each job and facility is a little different, so do your homework and ask to shadow before you make the leap. Hopefully this post gives you some solid ideas, and a place to start. And encourages you to try something new in your search for a non-bedside nursing job.

Top Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs: Options inside the hospital

Pre op/pacu.

  • Pros: Limited call, small patient ratios, fast-paced, and you see a variety of patients
  • Cons: Can be repetitive, may need ACLS, time is often limited with patients
  • Quote: “You’re the last one to see the patient before you send them home or to the floor…so being detail oriented is a plus.”

Cath Lab/Interventional Radiology

  • Pros: Usually, they block off time for the entire room for lunch, fast paced, not overly stressful
  • Cons: Teams are small, call hours can be very late and busy, wearing lead gets heavy especially in long procedures. 
  • Quote: “Make sure you’re covered (with lead)! And don’t fold it (the lead apron).”
  • Pros: Ability to assist MD with procedures, medicate and sedation certain patients, you have one patient at a time
  • Cons: Fast turn around, little down time, frequent call requirements, balancing priorities is key
  • Quote: “Try not to giggle with all the Farting.”

Operating Room

  • Pros: One patient/surgery at a time, surgical side can be fascinating, especially if you love anatomy, there’s the opportunity to learn to scrub-in and assist depending on your facility, you get to wear fun scrub hats
  • Cons: Not hands-on patient care in the traditional sense, you’re not connected to watching the monitors or the meds, so this can be a change for some, call requirements
  • Quote “No sponge left behind.”

Labor & Delivery

  • Pros: No two deliveries are the same, it’s super rewarding to help bring a life into this world
  • Cons: Sometimes crazy birth plans and birth ‘rules’, both mom and baby are ‘patients’
  • Quote: “Be on your toes: you can go from 0 to 150 mph in seconds.”

====> Before we head into the next section: Don’t forget to grab your seat for my FREE Training: The 4 Habits Every Nurse Needs to Survive their Next Shift! I’m focusing on this training all month, so you’ll definitely find a time that works for your busy schedule. It’s worth it and it’ll make your next day at work that much better. Promise! And if you’re interested in testimonials from other nurses I’ve helped just like you, check ’em out here!

Nurses, looking for a change of scenery? Check out the best non-bedside nursing jobs. Check out this list of the top 20 best kept secrets in nursing!

Top Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs: Options outside the hospital

Urgent care.

  • Pros: mostly minor things, cuts/scrapes/colds, usually no on-call requirement and a more flexible schedule
  • Cons: can get repetitive, fast paced, always more to chart
  • Quote: ‘The days you think you’ve seen it all…something else comes through the door”

Drug Rehab Facility/Residential Treatment Facility

  • Pros: you help with treatment of both the body and the mind with regard to addiction, it’s rewarding to see people progress and recover, often more ‘regular’ hours
  • Cons: you see people at their worst (about to withdraw or detox), everyone’s first few days of detox are different, people can be mean and nasty when they are withdrawing from drugs, alchohol, etc 
  • Quote: “We look past the surface and the detox reactions, and acknowledge the human being inside. We cheer them on to a better tomorrow.”

Dialysis Clinic

  • Pros: consistency of seeing the same patients frequently, easy to find a routine and ‘flow’ 
  • Cons: can be early hours or long shifts, pay can be highly variable
  • Quote: “You’re definitely off every Sunday!”

Teddy bear with syringe, gauze and vial of medication. Looking for the best non-bedside nursing jobs?  Check out Dr's Office jobs! They're on this list of the best kept nursing job secrets.

Dr’s Office

  • Pros: usually routine things: ear infections, colds, smaller issues, nothing too crazy, usually no call requirement
  • Cons: fast paced, over-worried parents, loads of paperwork and charting
  • Quote: “It sometimes feels like a ‘desk job’ but with a really good work-life balance.”

Corrections Nursing

  • Pros: you learned a lot about mental health, inmates are generally respectful and appreciative, you feel like you are actually making an impact
  • Cons: heavy need for collaboration and negotiation to advance patient therapy and care (in prisons, often the top concern is safety not health), you can see some unusual conditions since a lot of prisoners haven’t always had much medical care prior to being in prison
  • Quote: “The inmates are always so grateful for any medical education and I enjoy seeing the difference from when they came in to when they leave.”

Private Duty Nurse

  • Pros: Only one patient, you get to know family and patient very closely, build long term relationships
  • Cons: if things hit the fan, you are the only one there, can be emotionally taxing as you do get very invested in your patients
  • Quote: “Being the stable caregiver and provider for one patient is super rewarding. They become family.”

Community Health/Public Health Nurse

  • Pros: typically ‘normal’ 9-5 schedule, you provide access to healthcare to many who may not have access to medical services, provide much needed education and teaching, creation and carrying out community programs for vulnerable populations 
  • Cons: limited resources or budget funds in many communities, lack of space and supplies for treatment and lack of education materials can be frustrating when you are trying to make a difference
  • Quote: “It may be a long climb, but it’s possible to create measurable, positive change in a community.”

School Nurse

  • Pros: your schedule matches the school schedule (so summers and breaks off). Can be lower stress, great if you have small children
  • Cons: low pay, sometimes overbearing parents
  • Quote: “The only nursing job that lets me start the day at 8 am and have summers off!”

Nurses, do you want to leave the bedside? Looking for non-bedside nursing jobs? Check out hospice case and the other top 20 best kept secrets in nursing!

  • Pros:  Ensure that as end of life nears, the patient will be comfortable and maintain their dignity. Help the patient and family enter this final transition supported. Help ease suffering and undue stress or pain. Provide comfort and assurance. Flexibility is key, as disease path and process of death is unpredictable.
  • Cons: Emotionally draining, personal, emotional investment in patients and outcomes leads to heavy compassion toll.
  • Quote: “Our patients are not going to get better, but I help them not be afraid, and be comfortable and reassured.”

Pain Clinic

  • Pros: So much education. Learn about epidural steroid injections, anatomy, nerves associated with certain symptoms, radio-frequency procedures, sedation, stimulators. You get to know each patient well, as most revisit. Small teams-workers, no call
  • Cons: Can be very busy, little to no down time, lots of charting, and patients can be challenging if they’re in pain.
  • Quote: “Helping someone manage their pain, and restore quality of life is amazing.”

Ever wondered what a job with the red cross would be like? Nurses, it's one of the best non-bedside nursing jobs. Check out this list of the top best kept secrets in nursing!

Red Cross Intervention Team

  • Pros: short term care, large amount of role flexibility, exposure to a variety of responsibilities within the organization. For example: blood donations, immunizations, organ donor registration and recruitment, and disaster response.
  • Cons: long, irregular hours, and the need to travel on short notice or unexpectedly.
  • Quote: “We wear just about every hat there is…and the cape is optional.” (A reference to the capes the Red Cross Nurses used to wear).

Allergy/Immunology Nurse

  • Pros: work closely with immunologist and allergist, office setting, learn about immunotherapy, asthma and allergies – both nasal and food. See the same patients often, ability to build rapport, a rapidly evolving field. 
  • Cons: Can involve a lot of time spent on the phone with insurance, obtaining prior authorizations for procedures/medications 
  • Quote: “Being the friendly face in the injection room, and seeing my patients progressing with their therapy is amazing.” 

Home Care/Home Health Nursing

  • Pros: flexible scheduling, one patient at a time, familiarity of the same patients over time
  • Cons: lots of driving/time spent in the car, someone’s home is an unpredictable setting, car is mobile ‘supply closet’
  • Quote: “I really enjoy time with each patient; ensuring they understand their meds and what to expect in the recovery process,” 

Looking for something that can be inpatient or out? Consider being an Infusion or IV nurse. Check out this list of the top 20 best kept secrets in nursing!

Infusion Nurse

  • Pros: ability to work in a variety of settings; both inpatient as well as stand alone facility, serve as an education resource, holistic patient view as you work closely with care team to administer various therapies.
  • Cons: consistency and standardization of practice varies widely, new devices and standards are changing all the time, can be faster paced,
  • Quote: “There are endless options: from administering chemo to a cancer patient to giving extra hydration to someone at a day spa.”

Occupational Health Nurse

  • Pros: care for others in their place of work, low production pressure, help employees made decisions about health concerns, decent pay, positive work environment, variety of job roles; urgent care to OSHA compliance, medical surveillance, setting up wellness and safety programs, pre-employment/post-offer assessments and drug screening.
  • Cons: less hands-on, few on-site colleagues, often work alone, you’re responsible to ensure organization complies with osha guidelines and safety standards. May need to update wardrobe: i.e. no scrubs.
  • Quote: “It’s a professional collaboration in order to keep the worker and their families healthy and safe.”

So there you have it, the top 20 best non-bedside nursing jobs! Did I miss anything? Are you a nurse currently in one of these positions and have advice or suggestions to offer? Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’re on the fence and aren’t sure if a different area or specialty is the key to fighting exhaustion or banishing your burnout…and you know something needs to change: Check out my Ending Exhaustion Course .

And if you’re interested in TESTIMONIALS from other nurses I’ve helped, just like you, click HERE!

====> Don’t forget to grab your seat for my FREE Training: The 4 Habits Every Nurse Needs to Survive their Next Shift! I’m focusing on this training all month, so you’ll definitely find a time that works for your busy schedule. It’s worth it and it’ll make your next day at work that much better. Promise!

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Find a Job You Really Want In

Being a bedside nurse in a hospital is not the only way to become a nurse. While a hospital is where nurses typically start and work, your education as a nurse qualifies you for many positions that might not be top-of-mind.

Keep reading to find out what some of these non-bedside nursing jobs are and why you might want to consider pursuing one.

Key Takeaways

A nurse educator , case manager , or health coach are the top non-bedside nursing jobs if you don’t want to work as a bedside nurse .

Schools, cruise ships, resorts, and even corporations need nurses on duty, which provides many non-bedside nursing job opportunities.

Many nurses choose to get a non-bedside nursing job because it gives them a change of scenery, teaches them new skills, and allows them to pursue their passions and have a better work-life balance.

10 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

10 Non-bedside nursing jobs

Common reasons why you may want a non-bedside nursing job, non-bedside nursing jobs faqs.

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Cruise Ship or Resort Nurse

Average Yearly Salary: N/A

Working as a cruise ship or resort nurse is definitely not the same as working in a hospital, and you’ll rarely have bedside visits. It’s all about keeping the guests happy and comfortable and, ever so often, dealing with an occasional injury or some illness that crops up.

Nurses who work on cruise ships or resorts rarely have to deal with ongoing illness, and their patient care is typically short. That means their skills focus on immediate issues and not long-term care.

If the patient is in a dire situation, they may be transported to a hospital and receive the specialized care they need. If they have ongoing issues, likely, that the nurse will only have to help them overcome roadblocks along the way. Most of your cases will be quick and not very serious, meaning you can get back to enjoying the scenery.

Nurse Case Manager

Average Yearly Salary: $73,000

Healthcare facilities hire nurse case managers to take patients beyond their immediate care needs and put them on the road to long-term health. For someone with an injury, that might mean training them on how to manage and care for their wound and how to avoid that injury in the first place.

Patients with chronic illnesses can meet with a nurse case manager to learn what to expect from their illness and how to manage those symptoms. Then they won’t run to the hospital or the doctor when symptoms flare up.

Case managers can find many different places to work and different specialties. They can be in hospitals or healthcare facilities like we detailed above, or they can also find work in addiction clinics, pediatrics, social services, child welfare, working aging, long-term care facilities, immigration, occupational services, weight loss clinics, and more.

Nurse Educator

Average Yearly Salary: $62,000

Nursing educators spend time in the classroom training future nurses on their job. Nursing responsibilities can be taught through classroom discussions, case studies, and work experience. If your love of nursing is more about your love of learning, this might be the career path for you.

Of course, you’re going to have to go beyond just learning about nursing when you’re in nursing school. Most requirements to become a nursing educator include a Master of Science in Nursing Degree, and some have a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree. It’s not uncommon for an individual who has decided that this is the path for them to pick up teaching classes and certificates along the way.

Risk and Insurance Manager

Average Yearly Salary: $74,000

Healthcare risk managers are nursing professionals who typically work in a hospital or healthcare facility to ensure staff safety, not to be in charge of patients. They evaluate procedures, investigate patient complaints, look out for clinical malpractice issues, and stay on top of federal and state regulations.

The risk managers will be in charge of a lot in a hospital, and it may seem like they’re cracking down on the other nurses, but they’re looking out for their best interests. They’re also looking out for the interests of the patients.

If there is a problem in a hospital that could harm patients, they’ll be one of the first people to hear about it or spot it. They might come up with a solution or look to outside experts for the remedy, but they’ll ensure that something is done to put the patients and the hospital staff in the best position for success.

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School Nurse

Average Yearly Salary: $50,000

Working as a school nurse is a great way to use your nursing skills out of a healthcare facility and into an educational facility. Most elementary, middle schools, high schools, and even universities have some medical staff available to manage immediate healthcare problems.

In some schools, you’ll find that the nursing staff does some double duty and may help in the office, or they may teach a few lessons throughout the year on topics like healthcare, cleanliness, nutrition, etc. Pairing your nursing skills with a few teaching credentials can make you a valuable and sought-after employee, especially for underfunded schools.

Legal Nurse Consultant

Average Yearly Salary: $75,000

Legal nurse consultants are nurse experts who help with reviews and testimonies for law firms specializing in medical malpractice and tort cases. But it’s not just law firms who want a nurse’s expertise.

You might find employment with insurance companies, forensic departments, pharmaceutical companies, medical records companies, government agencies, and law enforcement.

There is training available if this is the field that interests you. You can become certified in legal nurse consulting, but that’s not always necessary. This can be a very interesting profession that requires ongoing education and training but never requires you to do bedside care for patients.

Informatics Nurse

Average Yearly Salary: $65,000

Nursing informatics is a specialty primarily concerned with the financial and logistical aspects of nursing in a facility instead of focusing on patient care.

Rather than treating patients bedside, nursing informatics professionals look at how effective the facility or the procedures are, if the costs are what they should be, and if there is appropriate staffing.

The goal is to streamline the process and for the hospital or medical facility to save money. There can be other benefits from a nursing informatics review, including improved insurance claims processes, time to see patients can be advanced, evaluation of patient care, and even training for the nursing staff.

If you love organizing and structure, then going into nursing informatics might be a great step for you. You get to do what you’re good at, and others have to follow your advice.

Forensic Nurse

Average Yearly Salary: $69,000

Forensic nurses help the victims of crime recover and guide them through the initial steps of gathering evidence. This position can be in emergency rooms in hospitals, or you may also be assigned to work with law enforcement, in correctional facilities, the medical examiner ’s office, on the road during natural disasters, in psychiatric institutions, in colleges, and other locations.

This job requires a very understanding and caring individual interested in psychology, crisis intervention, evidence-gathering techniques, and showing compassion to people who are experiencing the very worst moment of their lives.

Health Coach

Average Yearly Salary: $39,000

Being a health coach can be a rewarding career if you are a nurse who’d rather see people become healthy than manage illness and injury all the time as a bedside nurse.

There’s specific accreditation you need to get if you’re interested in this field, but it can open the door to a lot of options. While managing patients and becoming a mentor of sorts to them is one option, there are others.

Nurse health coaches can also find work in insurance companies, gyms, or large corporations that are looking to help injured people ease back into a life that’s even healthier than it was before.

Corporate Nursing

You can wear many hats if you become a corporate nurse, depending on the size of the company that you work for. As companies grow, they can have campuses larger than small towns meaning they often like to have a nurse or medical professional on staff.

Some companies are large enough that the corporate nurse will only do clinical functions, including routine health and fitness exams, assisting people not feeling well, and dispensing basic medical supplies. But other companies might have their nurse more involved with the staff.

Some corporate nurses give patient education classes to employees to teach them about fitness and nutrition and sometimes to help them with their insurance questions. Other nurses are in charge of reviewing the corporate facilities on an ongoing basis to ensure there are no safety or health concerns.

Some common reasons you may want a non-bedside nursing job include:

To get a change of work environment. Switching your career every once in a while can ensure you avoid burnout. This could mean working in a different environment, having new coworkers, or getting a different schedule.

To learn new skills. Making a career change allows you to push yourself to learn an entirely new skill set. From teaching to forensics to management, there is a lot to learn in non-bedside nursing roles.

To follow your passion. Whether you’re passionate about education, being there for hurting kids or helping people live healthy lifestyles, consider switching to a job that would allow you to pursue that passion. You never know what could come from it, even if it’s simply more fulfillment for you from your job.

To better fit your stage of life. Long shifts at hospitals and healthcare facilities can put a strain on anyone, but this is especially true for nurses with little kids or family members who need their help. Working in a non-bedside nursing role may give you the schedule you need to have a good work-life balance.

Why are so many nurses leaving the bedside?

Many nurses are leaving the bedside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, burnout, and understaffed workplaces. Believe it or not, there are expected to be at least 500,000 seasoned nurses leaving by the end of 2022, creating a shortage of 1.1 million nurses.

Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on nurses all over the country. To stay safe, nurses have had to wear protective equipment like N95 masks for several hours and work with far more patients. Discomfort, stress, and the potential of getting sick have caused many problems in the nursing field.

Understaffing: A huge problem exacerbated by the pandemic, as more nurses leave the field, more nurses find their workloads increase. In this way, understaffing creates a vicious cycle that causes more bedside nurses to leave.

Burnout: Overall, the pandemic and understaffing have led to huge levels of burnout amongst nurses. Nurses are simply overworked and put in hazardous situations, causing them to lose passion. Today, as many as 33% leave the bedside due to burnout.

What is non-bedside nursing?

Non-bedside nursing jobs provide nurses with the opportunity to put their specialized skills to use without needing to do direct bedside patient care. These jobs are typically less stressful than bedside jobs because the number of patients is lower, and the potential for understaffing is reduced.

For instance, if a nurse has experience treating children, they may become a school nurse rather than a bedside nurse. That way, nurses can use their medical and interpersonal skills while avoiding the heavy burdens of bedside care.

Overall, non-bedside nursing jobs allow nurses more freedom in their schedule, education, and interests.

What else is there besides bedside nursing?

There are many jobs out there besides bedside nursing. This list names the top 10, but there are well over 25 career options you can choose from. Here is a more comprehensive list of options:

Flight Nurse

Health Writer

Mental Health Nurse


Occupational Nurse

Research Nurse

Holistic Nurse

Medical Chart Reviewer

Nurse Ethicist

Procurement Nurse

Telemetry Nurse

Do I have to start as a bedside nurse?

Yes, you may have to start as a bedside nurse. Though many bedside nurses end up switching careers due to burnout, mistreatment, or other issues, the job does provide crucial experience. Not only is bedside work readily available (due to understaffing and high demand), but it also pays well.

Overall, we recommend gaining your acute care experience through two years of bedside work right after you graduate. After all, it’s vital for nurses to land a job immediately after graduating so that it’s easier to be hired.

After a few years, you can open up many doors for your future and have the luxury of changing careers.

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Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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  23. Sintering of Industrial Uranium Dioxide Pellets Using Microwave ...

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