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Beyond the Bedside: 10 Nurse Opportunities Outside of the Hospital


Nurses are highly skilled professionals, even beyond the bedside. The possibilities are endless. A Sumner College nursing degree opens doors in many career fields. Learn about 10 nursing opportunities that nurses can explore outside of the hospital.

For most nurses, landing your first hospital job right out of school is one of the high points in your career. As you become more skilled, you may move around to try new specialties and find your niche in the hospital. Some of you will quickly figure out that hospital nursing is not where you want to spend most of your work days. You may dabble in it for a few years and then begin searching for your place beyond bedside nursing. But, what are some of the jobs outside of the hospital that you can use your nursing brain, without being confined to the halls of the unit? Let's explore!

10 Nursing Jobs Beyond the Bedside

1. Home Health Care Nurse: If you enjoy clinical care, but wish you could have more time with each patient, home health is a great option for you. 

As a home health nurse, you will work with patients in their homes. Most patients are elderly; however, you may work with mid-life patients who have chronic illnesses or who are recovering after surgery. There are also opportunities to work with chronically ill children. Home health nurses enjoy flexibility in scheduling and lots of autonomy. 

2. Certified Coder: If you are looking to start a business and enjoy billing, becoming a certified coder is a great option. Coders are computer savvy and detail oriented. You can do training online that will help develop your skills in coding and then work as an independent coder or for a company. 

Coders work with doctors to ensure proper codes are applied to the bills prior to going to private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Your clients may be hospitals, medical labs, physician offices, or diagnostic centers. 

3. Telehealth: Telehealth is a growing niche in healthcare. It helps patients stay healthy in their homes and decreases the risk of hospitalization.

Nurses work telephonically with patients with chronic health concerns. Common patient populations are those with Diabetes, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). You may choose to work for a telehealth company or start your own telehealth nursing agency. 

4. Blogger/Healthcare Writer: If you love to write, you can combine your passion of writing with your love for nursing and healthcare. Bloggers find their niche and then attract traffic to their website through compelling blog posts. 

As a healthcare writer, you can write articles for other companies and get paid for your work. You can also write eBooks, books, or training courses. The possibilities are endless if you are willing to work hard and explore the many possibilities. 

5. Speaker: Do you love to talk to large crowds? Do you have a healthcare or nursing story to share? 
If so, becoming a public speaker is a great opportunity. You can teach people about disease processes, healthy living, or any number of other niches. You can start using this as a side hustle and increase to a part or full-time job. 

Public speakers offer their services to hospitals, colleges, universities or civic organizations. Start off by choosing your niche for your speaking business and speak for free to a few community organizations. As you become more comfortable, you can offer your services for a fee. 

6. Sales/Marketing: Nurses make great healthcare sales reps. You understand what doctors need and how they work. You know how to get your foot in the door and optimize the 5 minutes of facetime you may get with a busy doctor. Many sales jobs come with flexible hours and high earning potential. 

7. Life Care Planner: As a nurse life care planner, you can work for law firms, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), insurance companies, or as an independent practitioner. Life care planners work with people who have had catastrophic injuries or those suffering from chronic illnesses who need long-term care. 

You can find training programs online to become a certified life care planner. The out-of-pocket expense to start an independent practice is relatively low. Hourly rates range from $80-$400 per hour. 

8. Coach - Nurses are natural coaches. You can offer many different services as a coach. Common areas of practice are health and wellness, chronic illness, or career help. 

You can start a coaching business for little out of pocket expense. Some coaches go on to get certifications and further specialize in a niche to meet career goals. 

9. Nurse Consultant: The possibilities are endless as a nurse consultant. If you have specialized in one area of nursing, you have invaluable knowledge that others may need. You can work with physician practices, established businesses, or entrepreneurs in multiple industries including technology, manufacturing, and sales. 

10. Nurse Recruiter: As a nurse, you understand what other nurses are looking for in career opportunities. Nurse Recruiters work with hospitals and other facilities to find nursing staff during times of need. You may work for a recruiting company or start your own business. You can work from the comfort of your home to collaborate with healthcare facilities around the world. 

Nurses have skills that go far beyond the bedside. This is just a small sampling of the opportunities that lie ahead of a nurse with a mission to find their niche. If you are a nurse entrepreneur or considering becoming one, check out the National Nurses in Business Association. This organization is a springboard for nurses transitioning from traditional nursing to small business ownership and self-employment. 

Are you a nurse entrepreneur or considering opening a business? Or, maybe you are just looking for an opportunity away from the bedside, but want to continue working for someone else. We would love to hear what you are looking for and how you see yourself changing the 
face of nursing in the future.

Article Written by Melissa Mills, BSN 

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