The nursing practice is not confined only to hospitals. Instead, nurses can provide care to patients in many different settings. Why would nurses forgo working in a hospital? Their reasons may vary. Newly graduated nurses may want to bypass employment in a large healthcare organization. Seasoned nurses might desire a less demanding environment that allows for more personal time and a reduction in caseloads. No matter what an RN decides to do, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers preparation for many career opportunities.
Why Would Nurses Say No to a Hospital Job?
Nurses may avoid or leave a hospital job because it can be repetitive as well as stressful. Nurses working in hospitals are exposed to the following:
- Long shifts that include weekend and night hours
- Mandatory rotations between shifts
- Required overtime or on-call
- Taxing workloads
- Complex clinical procedures
- Difficult patients
What Are 7 Non-Hospital Jobs for Nurses?
Nursing allows for plenty of job options. Nurses can apply for both direct patient care and non-clinical positions. However, some employers may require at least a BSN and a few years of clinical experience to consider nurses for employment. Here are seven non-hospital nursing jobs:
- Corrections Nurse
Nurses provide emergency and preventive care to inmates in jails, penitentiaries and juvenile detention centers. They administer care to patients with chronic illnesses, mental health issues and medical problems related to substance abuse. The average annual median salary for a corrections nurse is $66,335 (PayScale.com, as of July 2021).
- Flight Nurse
As a flight nurse, you may work for a hospital but your job is performed on planes or helicopters. You have to love flying and be comfortable providing emergency care to patients. You will encounter life-or-death situations. Sometimes you will accompany ill patients to specialty clinics or deliver organs for transplants. The annual median salary for a flight nurse is $72,539 (PayScale.com, as of July 2021).
- Home Health Nurse
Assisting patients in their homes by providing postoperative care, which may include wound care, pain management and administering IV antibiotics, is among the duties of a home health nurse. Additionally, nurses monitor and care for elderly and disabled patients to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization. A home health nurse earns an annual median wage of $64,339 (PayScale.com, as of July 2021).
- Legal Nurse Consultant
Attorneys hire nurses to be part of their legal team. Nurses interpret medical records and help attorneys understand healthcare terminology, standards of care and administrative practices. They may also work for insurance companies and financial institutions. Specialties include life care planning and work compensation case management. Nurses need certification from the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC). The median annual salary for legal nurse consultants is $79,308 (PayScale.com, as of June 2021).
- Nurse Educator
Of course, most nurse educators teach at colleges and universities, but not all jobs are linked to the classroom. Medical device manufacturers, community clinics, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and research facilities also employ nurse educators. Income varies depending on the type of industry. The average median pay for nurse educators is $77,451 (PayScale.com, as of July 2021).
- Occupational Health Nurse
Nurses are employed by companies to inform employees about healthy living, preventive measures and safety. These onsite nurses are available to treat any workplace illnesses or injuries that may occur. Some employers may prefer RNs to be certified as occupational health nurse specialists. The average median income for occupational health nurses is $74,184 (PayScale.com, as of July 2021).
- School Nurse
Nurses in schools provide first aid, administer medication, check immunization status and educate students about healthy lifestyle choices. Furthermore, nurses may conduct vision and hearing tests and evaluate cognitive development. School nurses are vital to ensuring the well-being of students so they can achieve academic success. The annual median income for school nurses is $48,550 (PayScale.com, as of June 2021).
Work settings are varied for nurses because there is a need for healthcare wherever there are patients. Not all patients are hospitalized. You may wish to work in a relaxed environment where you have autonomy and independence. Nursing is not just about acute care — it also consists of educating patients, monitoring their health and promoting wellness. A multitude of options exist for nursing careers outside of a hospital.
Learn more about Lamar University’s online RN to BSN program.