Skip to main content

5 jobs for nurses off patient floors

Pay for some of these positions reach at least $90,000—no bedpan duty required.

5 jobs for nurses off patient floors

Between unruly patients, distressed family members and demanding doctors, taking care of patients in hospital settings can be physically and mentally draining for nurses.

If you’re a nurse who’s had enough, fret not. Not all nursing jobs require you to be on patient floors.

“Many people would be surprised to know that thousands of registered nurses are employed outside of the hospital setting,” says Nancy Brook, a faculty member and a mentor to nurses and healthcare professionals interested in creating a more meaningful career. “In fact, as patient care moves to a more preventive model and hospitalized patients are most often those who require acute care, a large number of nursing opportunities are available to those who are looking for opportunities beyond the bedside.”

The following five nursing careers will get you off patient floors. You probably need at least one to two years of patient care to make the switch, but after that “just go for it,” says Randi Woods, the founder and principal consultant of Art of Healthcare and a healthcare career coach. “Demonstrate and discuss your clinical ability and your developed skill set and how your skills are transferable." 

Informatics nurse

What they do: Assess a health care facility’s demand for clinical IT applications, and then train staff on using the technology. They foster communications between medical clinical staff and computer and software vendors. 

Median pay: between $49,000 and $91,000 annually, according to PayScale.

Cities with most job openings: Houston, Atlanta and New York

Quality improvement coordinator

What they do: Ensure all nurses in medical environments adhere to quality protocol, service performance and medical record audits. This job can be performed in nearly any health care setting. You might need extra training. “Enroll in professional development courses or return to school for an advanced degree,” Woods says.

Median pay: between $49,000 and $87,000 annually, according to PayScale.com

Cities with most job openings: Houston, Atlanta and New York

Risk management manager

What they do: Create policies aimed at improving patient care and employee safety.  They are required to minimize risks of accidents and miscues that could cost hospitals or other facilities financially. Woods suggests getting certified in risk management to get the job.

Median pay: between $48,000 and $102,000, according to PayScale.

Cities with most job openings: Houston, New York and Chicago

Legal nurse consultant

What they do: Provide support to litigation teams that examine medical cases, working for legal firms, private attorneys, or corporations. This position, which is usually filled by insurance companies, is typically held by registered nurses who have many years of clinical experience. Familiarity with case analysis and medical chronology is needed There’s a specific certification process needed to get this job, but “These nurses often earn more than $150 per hour,” says Brook.

Median pay: between $50,000 and $96,000 annually, according to PayScale.

Cities with most job openings: Houston, Atlanta, New York

Case manager

What they do: Work with patients and providers to determine what sort of care is needed. “You’ll likely work with specific groups of patients, treating people with diseases like HIV/AIDS or cancer,” says Brook. “Or you can work with patients of certain age groups like geriatrics or pediatrics.”

Some also assist patients in acquiring health services, and perform exams and evaluations. 

Median pay: between $50,000 and $82,000 annually, according to PayScale.

Cities with most job openings: Houston, New York and Chicago

Find nursing jobs on Monster.