7 jobs for nurses that aren't in nursing
Your training puts you in a prime position for a career move.
As a nurse, you don’t need anyone to tell you that nursing can be a rewarding but highly stressful job that can make you prone to burnout. But even though 95% of surveyed nurses said they’re glad they became a nurse, about 20% said they’d choose a different career if they had the chance to start over again, according to a study by Medscape. So what can you do with a nursing degree that makes good use of your existing skills? A lot of things!
If you’re in that 20% group and you’ve thought about greener pastures, you should know your nursing training and experience could translate to a number of other positions. In many cases, your new role could still involve working with patients in one form or another. Or, you could go a different direction and work with medical professionals and researchers.
Monster used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to round up seven non-nursing jobs in which you can put your training and experience to work in a new way.
What you’d do: Physical therapists work with people who have suffered illness or injury, with the goal of managing pain and improving movement, flexibility and strength. If you’re hoping to continue direct work with patients regularly, this may be the outlet you’re looking for.
What you’d need: A doctorate of physical therapy is required, and most states require licensing.
What you’d make: $84,020 per year
Find physical therapist jobs on Monster.
Clinical social worker
What you’d do: Clinical social workers focus on diagnosing and treating emotional and behavioral issues. Settings can include schools, mental health clinics and government agencies.
What you’d need: A master’s degree and two years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting are needed, and most states require licensing.
What you’d make: $45,900 per year
Find clinical social worker jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Health educators teach the public about how to improve their health and wellness, including by offering suggestions regarding diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices. The role can involve working with individuals, groups and the broader community, so public-speaking skills can come into play.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is generally the minimum, and certification—such as becoming a certified health education specialist—may be required.
What you’d make: $43,840 per year
Find health educator jobs on Monster.
Corporate wellness consultant
What you’d do: Corporate wellness consultants perform a similar role to that of health educators, but in a corporate setting. Consultants help employees improve their health through changes to their diet and lifestyle. The role can also include incorporating healthy actions and activities into the workplace and work schedules.
What you’d need: As with the health educator requirements, a bachelor’s degree and certification are common requirements.
What you’d make: $43,840 per year
Find corporate wellness consultant jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Sales may not be top of mind when you're asking what can you do with a nursing degree, but it should be. Medical and pharmaceutical sales representatives answer questions and promote products—including medications and medical devices—that will be prescribed or used by medical professionals. Sales and relationships are obviously a major focus, but your medical expertise and clinical experience can be a big selling point.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is a baseline in many technical sales roles.
What you’d make: $59,080 per year
Find medical/pharmaceutical sales jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: This is the perfect landing spot for a foodie looking for a post-nursing option. Nutritionists focus on food as a tool for improving health, both in terms of the right types and the right amounts, based on the client’s activity level and physical condition. The work can be performed in settings such as schools, clinics and nursing homes.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree and a completed internship often is the minimum, and some states require licensing.
What you’d make: $57,910 per year
Find nutritionist jobs on Monster.
What you’d do: Medical writing is a specialization within technical writing, with a focus on creating articles for medical journals on topics such as regulatory issues or research. This could be a great choice if you’ve got a way with words and love delving into the details of technical issues.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree and experience with the subject usually is the baseline for medical writers.
What you’d make: $70,240 per year
Find medical writer jobs on Monster.
What can you do with a nursing degree aside from being a nurse? Plenty. As a nurse, you're uniquely qualified for a number of jobs that go far beyond traditional nursing roles. Ready to take the first step? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of health care jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads.