Career Change Ideas for Nurses (Including Non-Clinical Roles)

Is your nursing career fulfilling? Is it your time to switch your nursing career?
90% of nurses are considering leaving the profession in the next year. Does that stat grab your attention?
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Is your nursing career fulfilling? Is it your time to switch your nursing career? 

Many people are concerned that they won't be able to manage without that job, but when things get to a certain point, it's a sign that it may be time to go on to your next career.

Take some time amid your busy schedule to reflect on your career goals and follow our walk-through guide to help you transition from Nursing into your next career!/to get some career change ideas for Nurses.

Let's dig deeper into this!

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

Tell-tale signs it is time to start looking for another career!

All of us have days when we don’t want to go to work. There's a difference between being unhappy with your job occasionally and being unsatisfied with your job every day.

There may be a lot of factors that lead to your job satisfaction, but no matter what the underlying cause of your job dissatisfaction is, only you can change your situation. Even though quitting your job could be challenging, there are times when it's the only thing you can do to be happy.

Before here are telltale signs in your nursing career that you’ve reached a point where it’s time to look for something new.

1. Lack of/inadequate Support-Training: 

Sometimes people are unhappy with work because they feel trapped in their current role and find it difficult to continue working. You are in a gray area when they have promised training and you don’t get it, or there just hasn’t been any training or leadership support.

2. Ethics Don’t Match with Company or Disrespectful work environment 

You should reevaluate where you work if the leaders at your place of employment and the organization do not share your values.

3. Lack of Financial Reimbursement/compensation 

Do the tasks challenge your abilities as a nurse, yet the compensation is the same? You must pay close attention to what is happening. Cost Figures quote that nursing school costs around $40,000 to $100,000 a year, and that amount is no joke.

4. No Passion/You aren't growing

Even the finest employees can become bored, which results in slumping, a glazed-over look, and a lack of passion for everything. It’s human nature always to want to grow and learn. But if you stop getting better, you stop being good.

5. The Dread/exhaustion/burnout

 We spend most of our lives at work. It's important to stand back and reassess your circumstances if you frequently end your shift in tears or struggle to fall asleep because of work stress.

6. Risky situations 

Nurses are exposed to more bacteria and viruses than normal people since they care for sick patients. Their chance of getting sick may rise as a result. 

Are you experiencing any of these red flags? If yes, then it’s high time you quit your nursing career. It’s time to utilize your professional experience in something new. Probably, a career change! 

Focused woman with documents in hospital
Photo by Laura James

How to plan your next career change as a nurse?

Career change is not an easy move, even if you want to change your nursing career at 30 or 40 or any age, planning a career change from nursing can take some time for you to validate your concerns and ask some serious questions. Let's explore what can be helpful to you as you consider leaving nursing. 

Assess your Transferable skills: 

Identify and develop the skills you use day-to-day that can open up career options.

According to Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, a well-known author, lecturer, and career coach for nurses, “Many nurses assume their options are limited,” But nursing is the most diverse profession on the planet, and nurses have many transferable skills.”

The following are some transferable skills that are practically relevant to every other industry:

  • Medical Diagnosis/knowledge
  • Functioning in a highly pressured environment
  • Conflict management
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Problem Solving
  • Adaptability 
  • Organized

Identify Your Strengths: 

Do you enjoy educating others and helping other nurses? Perhaps a career as a nurse educator is the ideal choice for you. Are you born to be a leader? Then you might consider moving up to a management position.

Some of the key strengths nurses have are : 

  • Attention to detail
  • Empathy
  • Record keeping
  • Communication & people skills
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking

Look into Your interests: 

Forensic nursing should be on your list of potential careers or perhaps you want to help people feel and look their best, so you might choose a job in aesthetic nursing. It all depends on your personal interests.

Some of the career interests available to nurses include:

  • Social Activities
  • Activities where they can promote learning and personal development
  • Investigative activities
  • Problem Solving activities
  • Conventional Interests - activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards

What do you want to change about your current role? 

“What do you need in your next career?” may be the most significant question on this list. This might be a number of things, but only you will know what is most important to you in this new role and what matters most to you.

Your options are endless.  It's okay if your current workplace doesn't suit your needs. There are lots of alternative careers to look into!

Doctors and Nurses in The Hospital
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Best High Paying Career Change ideas for Nurses in 2022

Nursing is your area of expertise, and healthcare is your passion. However, continuing your career as a nurse is not necessary! 

You now have the option to pursue careers in healthcare that are not limited to nursing with the variety of training options and jobs that are available to you. As a certified nurse, there is a myriad of options to choose from.

With your knowledge of the industry, you can still work in some non-clinical & non- bedside jobs in healthcare in 2022, and these positions will pay well. Here are some most common career changes for nurses.

  • Jobs away from bedside roles
  • Career options other than health care/Non-clinical roles 
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Jobs away from bedside roles

1. Physical Therapist

Highlights/overview

You can work as a Physical Therapy Assistant. While getting a particular degree or qualification may be required to become an assistant, becoming an aide is still possible without one.

Payscale

The average salary for a physical therapist in the US is $49,180 per year & $23.64 per hour.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Benefits

Physical therapy assistants can do a variety of tasks around the clinic or office. They have greater opportunities because they can be found in numerous medical departments.

2. Health Educator/Nurse Educator

Overview

Your responsibility would be to instruct the public on how to enhance their wellness and health. Offering advice on their fitness routine, food, and lifestyle enhancement would fall under this category.

Nurse educators are MSN-prepared nurses who typically work in academic settings. So what does an educator for nurses do? Nurse educators create course curricula, instruct classes, assess educational initiatives, manage clinical rotations, and conduct research.

Payscale

According to BLS, Heath Educators take home up to $43,000 annually. 

Benefits

Through 2022, this field is predicted to grow by 19%. 

3. Dental hygienist

Overview 

Dental hygienists are also qualified to independently diagnose a few other conditions in some states. An associate degree, which may be earned in two years or less, and state licensing are all you need to get started.

Pay Scale 

Median pay: $77,810

Benefits

Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 11%  from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Patient with a dentist in clinic
Photo by Anna Shvets

4. Forensic Nurse Consultant

Overview

Work with law enforcement agencies as a Forensic Nurse. This position is a hybrid of the legal system and the medical industry.

Payscale

The average salary for Forensic Nurses is $35.00 per hour or $72,659 annually.

Benefits

A nursing or forensic nursing degree is also required for this job. Your degree will offer your CV a boost.

5. Clinical Informatics Specialist

Specialists in clinical informatics work in healthcare facilities that must manage a large volume of medical records. They might also create and propose management plans to enhance these procedures.

Pay scale

Average Salary: $78,183 (March 2022)

Benefits

Job Growth from 2020-2030: 9% projected for medical records and health information specialists

Non-clinical Roles for Nurses 

1. Technical Writer

Overview 

This focuses on producing articles for medical publications and involves technical writing. You will be expected to use your medical expertise when writing on regulatory or research issues in this role.

Payscale

According to Indeed, Medical writers make around $62,454 per year in 2022.

Benefits

If you enjoy writing and have a keen eye for detail, this position might be right for you.

You may also work as a freelance medical writer, which would provide you with a lot of flexibility with regard to scheduling.

Join our technical writing certificate course to get a leg up on this lucrative career path.

2. Web Developers

To create websites, mobile apps, and other digital applications, web developers write code. While back-end developers design the data and processes required for websites to run, front-end developers build the user interfaces that users interact with.

Payscale

The average salary for a web developer is $77,868 per year in the United States.

Benefits

Due to the high salary and flexibility of the work, web development is one of the most sought-after careers.

Enroll in the web development Bootcamp to kick start your web development career, today.

3. Sales Representatives

To market medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and people, another career option you have is to work as a medical sales representative.

Pay Scale 

Medical Sales representatives make $72,021 per year.

Benefits

Benefits include enhanced family care benefits, career growth, and reward packages.

4. Product Designer

You can work as a product designer if you're interested in both IT and design. Product designers build, test, and refine websites and apps. For the delivery of healthcare, they create software, websites, or apps for both patients and professionals. Your experience as a nurse is advantageous to both.

Pay scale 

The national average salary for a Product Designer is $76,225 per year in the United States.

Benefits

Due to increased innovation in the healthcare industry, designers of healthcare products are in great demand.

Try these Product design boot camps to help you get your foot into the door.

5. Digital Marketing Specialist

Online ads, social media, and website content are just a few of the marketing methods that specialists in digital marketing managers do. This may be an ideal job for you if you enjoy being creative and producing written or graphic content. An organization involved in healthcare or consumer wellness/fitness could benefit from your expertise in health.

Payscale

The national average salary for a Digital Marketing Specialist is $50,482 per year in the United States.

Benefits

According to a report released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 11.3 million job openings in the U.S.

Upskill yourself with the Digital Marketing Course to make your career move into the digital marketing world.

6. Health Services Managers

Overview 

They are healthcare administrators who do clerical duties at clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions. Coordination of the provision and caliber of healthcare services is their key duty.

Pay scale 

Avg Salary for Health and service managers is $101,340 per year.

Benefits 

Medical and health service managers have the benefit of Remote availability.

Download Checklist " 10 Simple Steps to Smooth Job Change"

7. Healthcare Recruiter

A healthcare recruiter is in charge of organizing and managing all aspects of an organization's hiring process, including posting job ads, interview scheduling, candidate screening, and salary negotiations.

Pay scale 

A healthcare recruiter typically makes around $75,000 a year, though commissions could increase earnings.

Benefits 

Over the past few years, the healthcare recruiting sector has experienced rapid expansion. Healthcare is not just the sector with the fastest rate of growth in the United States, but it also has a constant demand for skills. you also have the option to work virtually or in person.

8. Social Worker

Clinical social workers work closely with patients to maintain and improve their emotional, mental, and physical health. They concentrate on identifying patients' mental disorders, emotional problems, and behavioral difficulties and working to prevent them.

Payscale 

The best-paid clinical social worker made $72,120 per year.

Benefits 

The Best Social Services Jobs list places clinical social workers at #19th position. Jobs are rated based on their capacity to provide a difficult-to-compute combination of characteristics. 

9. Risk Management 

Risk management nurses pinpoint practical methods for putting a risk management program in place in healthcare facilities. To reduce potential hazards to the institution's safety and security as well as to the health and safety of the patients, they collaborate with the medical staff and administration.

Payscale

In the US, the typical salary for a risk management RN position is $98,496 annually. According to PayScale, nurse consultants made a median pay of roughly $87,500 as of July 2021, with a salary range of $65,000 to $123,000.

Benefits

This job has a remote availability option with hospital and non-hospital jobs.

10. Medical biller/Insurance Nurses

Patients and insurance companies' payments are collected by medical billers. They can create medical bills and mail them to the patient's address, or they can use health codes to submit claims to the insurance provider.

Payscale 

Medical Billers make up to $33K in the United States and an insurance nurse can get $73,016 per year.

Benefits

Career growth and other commission benefits.

11. Legal Consultant

The advice made by the legal nurse consultants is used in court trials, police investigations, or insurance cases. Registered nurses have a number of other job opportunities, including legal consulting.

Pay Scale

Average Legal consultants who had a nursing background can make up to $80,720

Benefits

The future is highly promising, and RNs can complete law degrees to become attorneys.

Get a jump start on your legal consultancy career, and reskill with this course.

12. Informaticians

Informatics is a rapidly growing field. informaticians communicate between clinical, technological, and systemic teams and systems. They conduct data analysis and create health IT procurement, implementation, and optimization strategies.

Pay scale

The majority of healthcare informaticians make an avg salary of $108,223.

Benefits

Along with your nursing expertise, a certificate in data analytics or data science will provide you with a competitive advantage in your earnings.

13. Director of Case Management

For the staff they oversee, case management directors create policies and procedures. They may also manage budgets. Directors of case management are often certified social workers or registered nurses with a bachelor's degree or above. 

This training in safety and health management can give a head start to nurses looking to change careers.

Payscale  

Average Salary: $97,560(March 2022)

Benefits

Job Growth from 2020-2030: 32% projected for medical and health services managers

The Bottom Line

There are obviously many different careers available for nurses who don't wish to work as nurses. 

Many opportunities exist for you to put your nursing skills to use and with so many opportunities waiting for you, which would be the one most suitable for you? Find your direction yourself and remember, nowadays, there is no dearth of choices!

We wish you all the best.

Frequently Asked Questions

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