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Jobs in Nursing- Alternate Career Paths for Nurses

Jobs in Nursing- Discover exciting new paths

Many nurses e-mail me asking about alternate career paths that are available in this profession. 

Most that I communicate with ask me about working from home, but there are many others who don't mind working outside the home, however, they're looking to see what else is out there for them.

I was happy and amazed to discover that there are so many varying career paths available for these strong and resourceful professionals.

Here is a list of 33 alternative career paths for nurses:

Jobs in Nursing
1.   Remote Area Nurse

 Not for the faint of heart, this job opportunity may take you to remote parts of the globe. 

Currently, I know of three websites that offer this type of work, however, you may be able to find more opportunities by googling the phrase "Remote Area Nursing". 

Here are the websites that I found that offer a bit more info on the subject:

Nursing-with-the-Yupik-Indians-in-Alaska (Canada)

Jobs in Nusing
2.   Work as a film set nurse

 Seriously, how fun would this be?

Now, my husband worked in the entertainment industry for a (very short) while and I do have to warn you that it is a different world for sure.

Your ego may have to be left at the door, if you know what I mean. However, being a nursing professional you may get a little less of that.

These types of gigs are not easy to get. You have to either know someone who knows someone, or start networking like crazy! Either way, here are some resources to get you started: (U.K.)

Jobs In Nursing
3.   Risk Manager 

 I see job leads for this position on constantly.  The biggest requirement for this type of position is that you are a registered nurse with at least 3 years of clinical experience, or experience in a hospital setting.

You may work as a Risk Manager for a small clinic or a large independent company, regardless, you will receive training from the company/clinic on how to discharge the duties of the job. 

For more info, please see the following:

Care Quality Commission (UK)

American Society of Health Risk Management

Jobs in Nursing
4.  Work as a flight escort nurse

 Flight escort nurses will typically escort an insured traveler who may have become ill while on vacation and now needs to be flown home for medical treatment.

You would typically need to be ready, on standby, in case the patient suddenly takes a turn for the worse.

Apparently, there may be some major perks for Flight escort nurses, such as waiting a few days at a 4 star hotel (all expenses are paid, of course) while your patient is readied for the trip back home.

Not bad, right?

Air Travel Companion (Australia)

Flying (U.S.)

Royal College of Nursing (U.K.) (U.K.)

Jobs in Nursing
5.  Foreign Aide Nurse

 World Vision or the Red Cross are typically the types of organizations that hire nurses to work in this capacity.

The pay is a little lower than the pay that you can expect in other specialized fields, however, for many health care professionals, working for these organizations may be about more than making money, rather making a positive difference in others lives in a huge way:

American RedCross Career Opportunities

WHO- Opportunities for international work in nursing and midwifery

Jobs in Nursing
6. TESOL Teacher

 There are many foreign trained nurses who would like to work in the U.S. but hospitals have requirements that their nurses show a certain level of aptitude for English. 

Mostly, they use a certification program named IELTS. 

In order to be qualified to teach this certification program, however, you have to be a nurse, but you also have to have your CELTA certification (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of other languages).

As you may have guessed, schools are desperately in need of CELTA certified teachers which can be a great opportunity for you.

Many times, you can get certification to teach this from the comfort of your own home:

Academy of Languages and Training (Canada)


Jobs in Nursing
7.  Work as a midwife

 Independent Midwives have become more popular in the last decade, with many new moms opting for this brand of healthcare, which is really a package deal that starts from the beginning months of pregnancy, through to the delivery and birth of the child and beyond.

Midwives are trained practitioners, who are self-employed but are also required to have a good working relationship with Medical doctors who can assist with the birth should anything go wrong:

Jobs in Nursing
8.  Aged Care Nurses

 This is the area that my own mom worked in for many years.  It has its pros and cons , but for the most part, it was hard, back-breaking work and the pay was not very good. 

That may all change in the coming years because the demand for aged care nurses is expected to rise by 300%.  Yes, 300%.   And, the bottom line is, with up to 60% of the nursing workforce expected to retire within the next 30-35 years, there will be a huge shortage of nurses in the coming years. 

That may mean better compensation packages and work environments for the nurses who decide to go into this field.  For more info, please see: (in the U.K.)

 In the U.S., see your local aged care facility

Jobs in Nursing
9.   Armed Forces Nurse

 All branches of the armed services in countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand have nurses who are employed as commissioned officers.

These nurses may be called upon to deliver care in field hospitals, military bases or war zones.

The benefits can be quite tremendous, for example, in the U.S., you may be offered a sign-up bonus of $30,000 and you may be given $120,000 to use towards your student loans. As well, you will be given free dental, medical and life insurance. Other countries may have similar benefits packages. (U.S.) (Australia) (U.K.)

Jobs in Nursing
10.  Aged Care Assessors

   This job may be similar to that of an accreditation consultant (#16 on the list), except that, instead of auditing large hospitals, you may be auditing aged care facilities to make sure that they are up to Federal standards.  For more information, please see the following:
  National Health Services  (in the U.K.)  U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs  (in the U.S.)

Jobs in Nursing
11. Work as a Baby Whisperer

 Seriously, there are so many new Moms out there who can use the services of a good "Baby Whisperer".

A Baby Whisperer should have a way with babies (namely getting them to settle down and sleep well) as well as medical expertise (this is where your nursing education will kick in).

To see agencies who hire nurses with this sort of expertise, see the websites below: (U.K.) (Australia) (Australia)

12. Telephone Triage Nurses  (General Health Issues)

 The demand for these types of telephone triage nurses is very high right now in the U.S. 

I know that I myself have used this service (although I didn't know it at the time) when I called my pediatrician after hours and he used a service similar to that of FoneMed and McKesson

Here is another website to look at if you live in the U.K.:  (in the U.K.)

Jobs in Nursing
13.  Time to go back to Summer Camp!

 A good friend of mine was the Head nurse at our annual Church Camp this past year.

The work was rewarding but tough.

She worked from about 6 am- 10 pm every single day and was pretty wiped out when it was done for the summer. This job is not for the faint of heart, and the pay can be very low. 

However, you'll probably be in a beautiful locale and you may build some pretty good memories: (U.S.) (Canada)

14.  Mental Health Telephone Triage Nurses

   Mental Health is a real issue not just in the U.S., but worldwide, and while our governments are trying to figure out what can be done about it, there are many trained medical professionals (many of them telephone triage nurses trained in this area) that are already doing something about it.

The job may be more than just talking to someone who is thinking of committing suicide.  It is helping patients with their medication doses, talking to parents who have children with anxiety symptoms and other such situations. 

For more please see the following websites:
  The Joint Commission (U.S.)


(in the U.S.)
  (in the U.K.)

Jobs in Nursing
15.  Work as a Prison Nurse

 Working as a prison nurse means helping to deliver healthcare to prison inmates in low to high security prisons.

Before you write this one off, I must point out that working in a correctional facility as a nurse may help you to make an extremely positive impact in the lives of these inmates.   Mostly this is because this may be the first time, ever, that some of these inmates have received medical care and/or health screenings.

Still, it can be a trying and scary environment. You are provided with more than adequate training in advance of any and all situations you may encounter.




Jobs in Nursing
16.  Accreditation Consultant

We all look for that stamp of approval for most major institutions that says that they are "accredited".  As an accreditation consultant, you will be performing audits on hospitals to make sure they are up to snuff. 

Many accreditation consultants are self-employed nurses who have a unique understanding of hospitals and other health care facilities.  To find out more, please see the following:
 Care Quality Commission (U.K.)
 The Joint Commission (U.S.)

17.  Faith Based Nursing

 Faith Community Nursing ( or Church nursing, as it is sometimes called) is tied in mostly with Nuns who have Nurse training.

The American Nurse's Association now recognizes it as a Nursing Specialty with its own code of conduct.

Generally, you do not treat patients in their homes, but rather refer them to outside services. I do have to let you know, that many Nuns do this as a volunteer service only, which means that very few actually get paid for this type of work/ or their rate of pay is very low:



18.  Cruise Ship or Resort Nurse

 Does this sound amazing or what? But don't expect to experience paradise as thoroughly as you would like to while you're there.

That's because Cruise and Resort nurses are kept pretty busy due to people going a little overboard (no pun intended, really) when they're on vacation.

If you're ready to work hard and have pretty good people skills, then it might be worth it to you, on the off chance that you can sneak away for a little sun bathing once in a while. (Ok, you probably can't do that but a girl can dream, right?)

One thing to note is pay. Some resorts/cruise companies will pay very well, others, will consider your room and board your pay.

So it might be worth it to do a little digging before you settle in on an employer: 



Jobs in Nursing
19. Policy Development Consultant

Working as a Policy Development consultant can be a tad bit boring but for those of you who stick it out and gain good experience writing health policies for clients such as major hospitals, this type of career can lead to a pretty lucrative home-based business.

Some policy development consultants make a good $100 per hour, which is not too shabby.

For more info check out the following websites:

20. Practice Nurse

These nursing positions are popular in the UK and Australia however, in the U.S. they still abound.  They are mostly offered in local doctor's offices or clinics.

Many times, practice nurses may be recent nursing school graduates who will be helping with a range of duties such as immunizations, triage, case management, health education and women's health interventions. This is only offered in Australia and the U.K. :

Practice nurses specialize in immunization programs, and they may also work in chronic disease management and education, triage, diabetes education and more. (Australia) (U.K.)

21.   Private Practice Nurse

Working in Private Practice Nursing would entail starting your own business.

Basically you would supply your services to private clients for an hourly fee.

You may work in a variety of different ways depending on your skill set:

Wound care (mainly leg ulcers), check-ups, physical therapy or medication administration.

You may need to think over a couple of things such as getting business insurance and how you will get paid by your clients (some of them will want to pay via their insurance company). (USA) (AUS) (UK)

22. Remote Agency Nurses

For remote area nurses, who are assigned to work in a remote corner of the Earth, replacements are necessary at some point, even if it's only a few times a year to go back home to visit family, etc.

This is where remote agency nurses step in to help, temporarily filling the void until the remote area nurse returns.

For those nurses who are looking to get into remote area nursing, this may be a great way to get your feet wet without committing to a multi-year contract. (USA) (AUS) (CANADA)

23. Emergency Flight Nurse

Who knew that these types of jobs even existed?  I certainly didn't. Although this position may be hard to get into, it may be worth looking into.

Emergency Flight Nurses work to rescue injured people via Air Ambulance.

The pay can be very generous, at about $100,000 per year.

For more information please see: ( U.S.)

24. Research Nurse

There are two variations of this job.  One variation deals in working in the area of Data Entry (in medical terminology).  The other requires more intensive research and thus, higher education credentials and requirements. 

In this second variation, you may be helping to conduct clinical studies or trials on people suffering with specific medical conditions. 

For more, please see the websites below: (U.S.)

and ( U.K.)

Jobs in Nursing
25. Remote Chronic Disease Manager

 The Remote Chronic Disease Manager will help those who have been recently discharged from the hospital.

The goal is to determine whether the patient needs to be readmitted to the hospital.. or not.  Apparently, many patients who have been discharged may get all the help they need via phone with a knowledgeable healthcare professional. 

This may be help to avoid unnecessary (and additional) hospital stays for patients. This job may  sometimes be offered as a home-based position.

For more, please click the link below:

Chronic Disease Management (UK)

Jobs in Nursing
26. Remote Case Manager

 The remote case manager facilitates health, financial and medical services for their clients.

For more, please see: (U.S.)

Jobs in Nursing
27.  Policy Development Consultant

Working for yourself as a Policy Development Consultant can be a very lucrative way to make great money in rather unique way. 

If you have a good grasp of local operational or clinical policy and are able to get a good client such as your local hospital, expect to make upwards of $100 an hour. See the websites below for more info:

Jobs in Nursing
28. Phlebotomist

 This may be a great work opportunity for entry level nurses, and in some cases, you may not even have to be a registered nurse!

You will be drawing blood from patients. Please note that the pay can be very low. (US) (UK)

Jobs in Nursing
29.  Union Organizers

 Working as a Union organizer, the hours can be long and you may have to travel a whole bunch. 

But the hours are usually set daytime hours, which may be nice if you are raising a family.

Job duties would include helping your fellow nurses negotiate fair treatment. 

According to the American Medical Association, while these jobs are not always available, they can be very hard to fill (meaning opportunity for you when there is an opening!).  For more information on this type of opportunity, please see:
Royal College of Nursing (in the U.K.)

30.  Telephone Triage Nurse specializing in oral care

You do not have to have experience in oral care or dentistry to work as a telephone triage nurse in this capacity. 

People calling in with dental issues will never go away unfortunately, as cavities are on the rise in young children between the ages of 6-11. 

And for the elderly, they may have tooth aches, infections or denture issues.  This is a small and specific niche that will need professionals for many years to come.  (in the U.K.)  Fonemed (in the U.S.)

Jobs in Nursing
33.  Nurse Educator

 Healthcare is a profession that's not going to go away.

With the boom in healthcare, there will also be a great need for educators to teach these aspiring nurses/healthcare professionals. 

Currently, the requirements for educators can be pretty steep:  to teach in a University may require a PhD. 

However, many Universities are loosening that requirement a bit to allow educators to be working towards higher education instead. 

For more information, check out your local junior college, college or university (if you are in the U.S.). 

If you are in the U.K., please see the website for the Royal College of Nursing:

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