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Alternative Nursing Careers: 4 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs

The COVID-19 pandemic has heaped overwhelming responsibilities on nurses in hospitals, leading many to seek new, non-clinical options. However, numerous non-bedside nursing jobs are available to those who remain passionate about healthcare but interested in serving patients indirectly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers for registered nurses are expected to grow 9% until 2030, providing many non-bedside jobs for these healthcare professionals. Here, MVNU discusses four alternative nursing career paths.

1. Nurse Educator 

Although educators do not perform bedside duties, they affect patient care by instructing future nurses. These professionals teach students in nursing school and provide continuing education to registered nurses renewing their licenses. They work in training hospitals and universities and may design courses for multiple programs, including associate, bachelor, master, and continuing education. 

Most nurse educator positions require candidates to have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Individuals can also seek a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree to pursue numerous leadership roles in the healthcare industry. While salaries for nurse educators vary by state and institution, the average annual wage for these instructors is $75,470. Job opportunities for nurse educators are projected to grow 12% through 2030

2. Nurse Manager 

Nurse managers help direct medical services and supervise other nurses. Depending on the specific role, a nurse manager may be in charge of a single department, a subset of physicians and nurses, or an entire healthcare facility. While these healthcare professionals are responsible for a variety of administrative tasks, some duties may include:

  • Developing goals for departments
  • Creating budgets
  • Training new staff
  • Drafting work schedules
Nurse managers keep up with the latest changes in laws and regulations to ensure their organization stays compliant.  They also may serve as representatives of the facility during meetings with investors or government groups. 

Some RNs can enter nurse management positions with only a bachelor’s degree, but many facilities prefer candidates to have a master’s degree and some experience with healthcare administration. Management careers are one of the most financially rewarding nursing jobs, as the average annual salary for healthcare administrators in nursing facilities was $89,880 in May 2020. Additionally, nurse management positions are expected to grow 32% until 2030, providing those interested in this career path with several options to pursue. 

3. Health and Wellness Specialist

The demand for health specialists has increased in recent years due to a greater awareness of health and wellness in the general public. Today, many people request the services of health coaches to improve their overall fitness. Some health coaches work for a single company and guide its employees exclusively, while others operate independently and serve multiple clients. 

After a health coach determines their client’s fitness needs, they develop a comprehensive plan to help that person achieve their goals. Ultimately, these professionals strive to help ensure their clients lead healthier and happier lifestyles. This wellness plan may include the following:

  • Nutritional guidance
  • Exercise routines
  • Strategies for avoiding future health complications 

Nurses with associate degrees can pursue a career in health coaching, but those with bachelor’s degrees may find more rewarding jobs in the field. Some employers may also ask applicants to have a certificate in nutrition. Individuals who pursue health coaching have the opportunity to make a relatively good salary, as well. According to the BLS, the median yearly wage for health education specialists was $56,500 in mid-2020. 

4. Legal Nurse Consultant 

Sometimes, law firms require the assistance of a nursing professional to navigate a medical case. A legal nurse consultant can read through the case documents and suggest how lawyers should progress with their arguments. Legal nurse consultants are often hired by law firms, but they can also receive work from government bodies, insurance companies, law enforcement offices, and pharmaceutical businesses. 

Besides medical cases, legal nurse consultants also examine disability lawsuits and insurance claims. They frequently review records about the case to write legal summaries and guide law enforcement investigations. 

RNs only need associate degrees to follow nursing careers in legal consulting but may find more opportunities with bachelor degrees. They can also obtain additional training from the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC), although these courses are not necessary to find work in consulting. Nursing professionals who seek legal consulting positions often set their own pay rate, making this career path quite profitable. 

Prepare for Alternative Nursing Jobs at MVNU 

With numerous non-bedside nursing jobs available, there is no need for students and professionals to limit themselves to one career path. If you wish to pursue new nursing career opportunities, turn to MVNU for high-quality and convenient educational programs. 

We offer an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program for registered nurses looking to enhance their knowledge of the healthcare industry and provide a Master of Science in Nursing degree program that enables working nurses to seek advanced positions in nursing education, leadership, and administration. Request information online today to learn more about these and other degree programs.

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