A nursing degree can open doors beyond bedside care. These three non-traditional, non-nursing careers provide nurses alternative options to care for patients while using their unique nursing experience and skills, such as customer service experience, good communication skills, and leadership abilities.
The long hours and intense physical demands of traditional nursing can often lead to nurse burnout. Many nurses explore the options available to them outside the hospital walls.
With plenty of options available in this world of changing healthcare, nurses can choose careers that are a change of pace from traditional nursing.
Instead of working in the clinic, a nurse could work at a desk in a traditional office setting, discussing medical records with patients over the phone. Instead of working long hours at the hospital, a nurse could work independently, choosing his or her own clients. Instead of dealing with the overbearing pressure of work in the ER, a nurse may instead choose to teach in a classroom, mentoring future nurses.
The following non-traditional nursing jobs are only three in a growing number of alternative careers available to the qualified nurse.
Medical Care Coordinator
A Medical Care Coordinator, also known as a Health Assistant, makes sure the patient is getting the best healthcare possible even between visits to the doctor’s office. They help ensure:
- Patients have what they need to follow through on their doctor’s instructions and take action on those instructions
- Medications are reconciled and adhered to
- Barriers to care are removed when possible, such as arranging transportation to medical appointments, identifying local healthcare resources, or finding ways to make medications more affordable
- Patients have access to their personal medical history and understand their diagnosis or treatment plan for a disease or illness
- Communication and the sharing of important medical records is facilitated among all the patient’s healthcare providers, so everyone involved in the patient’s care is working from the most accurate and complete information
- Patients, who can sometimes feel lost and confused moving between different points of care, have the support they need to navigated a fragmented and often complicated healthcare system
- Family members and other caregivers, as requested by the patient, have the information they need to feel informed and supported throughout the patient’s healthcare journey
Who can become a Medical Care Coordinator? An RN, LPN, CNA, MA, Certified Medical Assistant, or someone with an associate's or bachelor's degree in a healthcare-related area could become a Medical Care Coordinator. Different employers may have different requirements. A Medical Care Coordinator should have good customer service skills and have experience working with medical records.
Nurse Health Coach
Nurse Health Coaches help their clients better manage their health through evidence-based conversation and clinical strategies. The goal is to get the client on the right track toward self-care and safely dealing with their health conditions.
Nurses can be health coaches in their area of expertise. For example, one health coach might help people with chronic illnesses. Another may coach clients who have heart conditions.
A health coach can be self-employed or hired in a healthcare setting. In addition, insurance companies may hire health coaches to keep their customers healthier.
Who can become a Nurse Health Coach? Registered Nurses can complete a health coach certification program to become a health coach. A good health coach is someone who is a good listener. The coach will be working closely with individual clients, understanding their needs and communicating their path to wellness.
A Nurse Educator prepares the next generation of nurses for the workforce.
Different options exist for a qualified Nurse Educator, including teaching classes in an academic setting, designing curriculum, writing textbooks, participating in professional associations, and working with student nurses in a clinical setting.
A Nurse Educator often chooses to teach in the area of his or her specialty, such as pediatrics. Nurse Educators not only have a good deal of experience and passion in the nursing field; they also have a mind for the future, training future nurses for the changes occurring in healthcare.
Who can become a Nurse Educator? A nurse with degrees at the Master's or Doctoral level, and who also has strong clinical experience, can become a Nurse Educator. They will have leadership abilities, a passion for their field, and good communication skills.
Are You Right For One of the 3 Best Non-Nursing Jobs for Nurses?
Are you a nurse who is dissatisfied with your traditional nursing career, or maybe someone who has worked a long time in a particular position and is looking for something different and new? Keep your eyes open for these and other great non-traditional career alternatives for nurses in the changing world of healthcare.
If you think you match the profile, click here to learn about CareSync nursing jobs that will allow you to grow and gain professional rewards.