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Not All Nursing Jobs Are in Hospitals

Nurses can work in a variety of non-hospital roles

When you think of nursing, you most likely think of operating rooms and emergency rooms, nurses racing through the hospital to care for patients. While the majority of RNs work in hospital settings, there are many other employment options for nurses who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program or Master of Science in Nursing program. Here are five interesting non-hospital jobs for nurses to consider.

Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses, sometimes called visiting nurses, work with patients in their homes. The patients are typically elderly but may be any age. Home health nurses often provide services following a patient’s discharge from the hospital or other kinds of inpatient care. They help with medication management and wound care, and they evaluate the patient’s home for any physical challenges that may hinder healing and recovery.

Home health nurses account for about 13 percent of the workforce, earning an average annual salary of $68,510.

Medical Writer

With clinical knowledge and experience, nurses who enjoy research and journalism may want to consider employment as a medical writer. A variety of companies hire writers, both as salaried and freelance employees. Medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies may need assistance developing research papers or regulatory reports for submission to certain governmental agencies. Textbook publishers, medical journals, trade publications, websites, or any number of other media organizations covering healthcare topics may hire medical nurse writers.

Medical writers earn an average annual salary of $72,075.

Nurse Educator

While hospitals may employ nurse educators, there are several non-hospital jobs for nurses interested in education. Colleges hire nurse educators as full-time and part-time instructors for healthcare-related courses. High schools that offer healthcare vocational programs also need nurse educators. Any organization that requires training and education of their staff or customers may hire nurse educators too; these include medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies.

The average annual salary for a nurse educator is $70,186.

Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses work in business or corporate settings. Companies, particularly those in manufacturing, may hire an occupational health nurse to oversee the health and safety of employees in the facility. Nurses in this position may develop safety standards and protocols, document worker’s compensation incidents and administer treatment for minor injuries. They may also conduct employee education seminars on topics such as smoking cessation, nutrition, exercise and stress management.

Occupational health nurses earn an average annual salary of $67,136.

Legal Nurse Consultant

For those interested in law, becoming a legal nurse consultant can be a rewarding nursing job. They often work for insurance companies, serving as expert advisers on medical-legal claims or lawsuits. Complainants may file lawsuits for several reasons, including medical malpractice, worker’s compensation or long-term disability claims. Legal nurse consultants use their clinical knowledge and medical background to investigate the validity of each claim. They may need to review months or years of medical records, disability filings or other related documentation and then summarize their findings. Consultants may also need to testify in court, as well as coordinate research efforts with multiple lawyers and litigation teams.

The average annual salary for a legal nurse consultant is $72,510. However, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identifies insurance companies as the fifth highest-paying industry for licensed nurses and indicates that the average salary may be closer to $80,000 per year.

Non-Hospital Careers

As nurses advance in their careers and acquire new skills, it is not uncommon for their interests and career goals to change. For nurses interested in exploring opportunities outside of the traditional hospital setting, there are a number of non-hospital jobs for nurses available. These positions are available not only in healthcare-related organizations but also within the fields of education, law, journalism and beyond.

Learn about the UT Arlington online RN to BSN program.

Sources: Legal Nurse Consultant Salary (United States). (2016, January 12). : Medical Writer Salary (United States). (2016, January 12). Nurse Educator Salary (United States). (2016, January 12).

BLS: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015 – Registered Nurses. (2016, March 30). Occupational Health Nurse Salary (United States). (2016, January 12).

Department of Health & Human Services: The U.S. Nursing Workforce: Trends in Supply and Education (United States). (April 2013).

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