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What Are the Not-for-Profit Job Options for Nurses?

Nursing is one profession that offers employment with many different types of companies, including not-for-profit and public sector organizations. Nurses who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program may prefer to establish a career with a public, not-for-profit or charitable organization. They may find it more rewarding, especially when the organization’s mission closely aligns with their own beliefs and interests. There are thousands of nonprofits throughout the United States, so nurses have many options when it comes to employment. Here are some examples of available nursing jobs in not-for-profit organizations.

Public, Nonprofit, and Charitable Organizations

Organizations with a public or non-profit mission serve many demographics and communities. To carry out their missions, although some relay on volunteers, many require full-time employees. Charitable organizations tend to focus on specific health conditions or overall population and community health. These organizations have a number of clinical and non-clinical employment opportunities for nurses.

There are nearly 1.1 million public charities in the United States, accounting for the majority of all registered nonprofit organizations. A report by Urban Institute found that approximately 13 percent of public charities are health-related. Hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers are just some of the organizations included in this category.

While clinical positions with public charities are available to nurses who have completed an online RN to BSN program, nurses may opt to pursue non-clinical or administrative roles instead. Many nonprofit healthcare entities frequently use a charitable foundation to distribute grants and other support to the community. Foundations may need nurses to assist with the administration, design and implementation of community programs such as free or low-cost vaccination clinics.

Healthcare research programs are another type of public charity. They are often affiliated with hospitals or universities and may seek experienced nurses to coordinate clinical trials and other exploratory studies. With thousands of programs throughout the country, researching everything from autism to cancer to infectious diseases, nurses can often find a cause that interests them.

More Nonprofit Jobs

While private foundations are less common than public charities, there are approximately 105,000 private foundations in the United States, and these organizations also offer job options for nurses. Private foundations typically try to achieve goals similar to those of public charities, including research and community outreach programs. Nurses may have both clinical and administrative job options with these organizations.

Nurses may also be interested in nonprofits that coordinate emergency response care. The American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are just two examples of these types of organizations. Nurses may assist in the field, traveling to an area where medical care is needed most. They may distribute vaccinations, triage the sick or injured or deliver food and supplies to local residents. A significant portion of their work can also include managing and training other nurses and volunteers, collecting data, or participating in fundraising efforts and community education.

Nonprofit professional or trade associations can provide yet another employment option for experienced nurses. The American Nurses Association, for example, may have administrative roles available that require the clinical and educational backgrounds of BSN-prepared nurses.

Nonprofit Careers

Due to their valuable skill sets, nurses have a wide range of employment opportunities. They may decide that a career with a nonprofit organization is more fulfilling and leads to increased job satisfaction, particularly when their interests and beliefs align with those of their employer. With thousands of nonprofits operating across the country, public sector and charitable jobs for nurses are available virtually everywhere.

Learn more about the University of Texas at Arlington online RN to BSN program.


Directory of Charities and Nonprofit Organizations. (n.d.). GuideStar

McKeever, B. (2015, October 29). The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2015: Public Charities, Giving, and Volunteering. Urban Institute

Quick Facts About Nonprofits. (2016, April). National Center for Charitable Statistics

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