When people think about healthcare, the first image that might enter their minds is one of a doctor treating patients in a hospital. But it is actually nurses who comprise the majority of the healthcare workforce, and a variety of nursing careers exist outside of traditional nursing environments. Many opportunities for nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are available in areas that offer flexible schedules and autonomous working styles.
What Are Alternative Nursing Careers?
Nurses are skilled healers, nurturers, teachers, and caregivers. Alternative nursing careers involve nursing in non-hospital settings. Whereas nursing jobs in traditional frameworks include an ICU Nurse providing care to hospital patients in critical condition, an ED Nurse providing treatment in fast-paced emergency medical situations, or a Bedside Nurse providing hands-on care to patients they are assigned to, many nursing opportunities also exist outside the hospital environment. Some alternative nursing careers include:
- Nurse Educator
- Public Health Nurse
- Hospice Nurse
- Forensic Nurse Consultant
- Home Health Nurse
- Nurse Navigator
- School Nurse
- Informatics Nurse
- Occupational Nurse
- Dialysis Nurse
- Nurse Health Coach
- Academic Nurse Writer
- Mental Health Nurse
Advantages of Non-Traditional Nursing Careers
Nursing careers for nurses outside the traditional framework of a hospital are appealing for a variety of reasons. A flexible schedule or a preference to care for patients in their homes is one potential benefit. For others, it’s an opportunity to work more independently and have more of a say in patient care.
A Nurse Navigator, for example, owns her or his own business and utilizes an in-depth knowledge of insurance policies, while a Nurse Coach provides health coaching services. An Occupational Nurse works within businesses, and an Academic Nurse Writer authors books or textbook chapters.
Public Health Nurses are motivated by a personal calling to serve their communities and perform a diverse range of services. Their work can involve administering immunizations, providing screening tests, educating populations on health and well-being, and monitoring health and safety issues. Carson-Newman’s Online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) program focuses heavily on community health nursing, resulting in a large contingent of dedicated Public Health Nurse alumni.
Salary Growth Potential in Alternative Nursing
Sector Monster.com has listed salaries of alternative nursing careers that can range from $49,501 to $84,230 for a Nurse Case Manager position. Salaries can climb significantly for nurses with at least a BSN and RN experience who go into nurse education. A Nurse Educator makes an average of $67,025 annually according to PayScale, and salaries range from $49,602 to $93,742 per year.
Doors to Alternative Nursing Jobs Open For Nurses with Bachelor’s Degrees
There are many alternative nursing career opportunities available to nurses with a BSN. The next time you want to experience new professional challenges or create a change of pace in your nursing career, think “alternative” and upgrade through an online RN to BSN Program.