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11 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs You Might Not Know About

Whether you've lost your job in the pandemic, feeling burned out, or are just looking to pivot your career, here are some great non-bedside options to consider.

Asian-American nurse educator helping student on computer

Maybe you're craving a new experience, or maybe you’re just curious about the kinds of non-bedside nursing jobs that are out there. No matter what’s driving you to look for a new position, we've rounded up 11 non-bedside options that you might not have considered before. We've also provided you with all the important information you'll need in order to plan your next career move, including an overview of the different roles, their earning potential, and any additional skills and requirements you might need for them. We've also provided you with links to job boards where you can find open roles for each type of position.

1. Healthcare Consultant

Job Overview

As a healthcare consultant, you would work directly with medical organizations to improve their efficiency and processes. Some healthcare consults may also work independently and do things like:

  • Provide insight for medical websites
  • Assist in developing sales strategies for pharmaceutical companies
  • Offer career consultation to professionals in the field

Earning Potential

Depending on where they live, healthcare consultants can make an average of about $78K annually. According to Money CNN, if you have 5 years’ experience, you could earn over $97K.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is usually required and healthcare consultants often have a strong background in business. If you’re interested in legal healthcare consulting, a law degree may be required.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of healthcare consultant positions you can find as a nurse.

2. Medical & Pharmaceutical Sales Rep

Job Overview

As an RN, you’re in a unique position to pivot into a role as a medical device or pharmaceutical sales rep because of your background in healthcare. And chances are good that you’re probably pretty familiar with this role, too — they often sponsor lunches or bring in free samples of relevant products to nursing units. Medical device and pharmaceutical sales reps sell medical products to doctors and medical facilities, as well as provide any necessary preliminary information and education on the products. RN sales reps can work in a variety of fields selling a variety of products, whether it’s medical supplies for dental offices or home infusion devices to hospice care facilities.

Earning Potential

Earnings can really vary with this type of job, depending on what you’re selling and your own skillset as a salesperson. The latest Pharmaceutical Sales Salary report lists an average annual compensation (including bonuses) of over $143,000 in 2019.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

Most medical sales reps have a bachelor’s degree, along with a background in business.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of medical and pharmaceutical sales representative positions you can find as a nurse.

3. Nursing Instructor

Job Overview

As a nursing instructor, you will work to prepare the future generation of nurses, teaching everything from class instruction and lab practicum to clinical skills. You could tailor a role as a nursing instructor from something as simple as a part-time job providing nursing tutoring to searching for full-time staff positions with accredited universities.

Earning Potential

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists an average of $74K for nursing instructors, although no specific wage is given for instructors who teach exclusively online.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

Many colleges require a master’s or higher to teach, but some positions require only a bachelor’s degree.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of online nursing instructor positions you can find as a nurse. You might also have some luck searching individual schools’ job postings as well.

4. Health Informatics Nurse

Job Overview

As a health informatics nurse, you will work on technology solutions and platforms in the medical field. For instance, you may work on developing, maintaining, or trouble-shooting electronic medical record (EMR) systems or training providers on how to use them. Health informatic nurses may also work in the data end of the systems, analyzing data in order to implement solutions.

Earning Potential

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an informatics nurse is about $65K. However, keep in mind that it’s a specialized role so you would have the potential to make more, depending on where you work and your level of experience.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

At a minimum, you’ll need a BSN and several years of experience. That said, most roles require candidates to have a Masters in Nurse or Health Informatics.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of health informatics positions you can find as a nurse. When you do your own search, try using both “nurse informatics” and “health informatics.”

5. Chart Reviewer

Job Overview

As a chart review nurse (sometimes referred to as a “utilization review” nurse”), your primary focus is on quality assurance. You’ll be meticulously reviewing charts to assess and analyze nursing care, recommend improvements, and perform risk and standards analysis.

Earning Potential

According to Ziprecruiter, the average salary for a utilization review nurse ranges anywhere from $50K to $76K, depending on the state. (For example, chart review nurses in New York have the highest annual salaries.)

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

There is no formal degree required beyond having a nursing license. That said, to succeed in this role, you’ll need to have a high level of attention to detail, as well as years of clinical experience.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of chart/utilization reviewer positions you can find as a nurse. When you do your own search, try using phrases like “utilization review nurse” and “quality analysis nurse.”

6. Health Coach

Job Overview

As a health coach, you could play an instrumental role in providing motivation, education, and inspiration to clients who are looking to improve their health. You’d also be responsible for outlining practical plans for them to stick to. Health coaches encompass areas and specialties from wellness and fitness to chronic disease management, so you’d really have the ability to choose a specialty that fits your passion in this role.

Earning Potential

The average salary for health coaches ranges from $50 - $70K, with 10 percent making above $100K, according to the Health Coach Institute.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

The American Council on Exercise offers two courses for becoming a certified health coach, and both are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). As an added bonus, healthcare coaching can be done 100 percent remotely, so it’s a job you can try before permanently quitting your bedside role.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of health coach positions you can find as a nurse. You can find job listings for this role on any traditional job search site, or consider reaching out to your certifying organization: They might be able to connect you to job boards in your field.

7. Medical Writer

Job Overview

As its name suggests, medical writers create written communications for various audiences within the medical field. As a medical writer, you could do everything from write content for a medical website to compose technical information for hospital websites, brochures, or patient information. You could also work directly with healthcare providers on their content needs, or write for literary or professional trade journals.

Earning Potential

Pay can vary based on your expertise and ability, but the American Medical Writers’ Association lists the typical medical writer’s salary range as being anywhere from $52K to over $80K.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

Although there is no standard of education required for medical writing, the American Medical Writers’ Association offers education and testing to earn the Medical Writer Certified (MWC) credential.

Where to Find Jobs

You could get started as a healthcare writer by reaching out to content agencies to advertise your services as a professional in your field, pitching editors on a freelance basis, or contacting websites or publications that specialize in your area to partner with them on content creation. You can also create a profile on sites like Upwork or Contently and allow the content teams to find you—just be warned that when using content sites, they will take a percentage of all of your earnings, and competition can be fierce. It’s a good idea to use content sites to get started earning clips, then work to strike out on your own.

8. Telehealth Nurse

Job Overview

As a telehealth nurse, you would be providing medical assessment and care remotely. You could be employed with a telehealth company, or work for a provider that offers telehealth services.

Earning Potential

GlassDoor lists the average wage for a telehealth RN as $65K. Keep in mind, though, that telehealth interactions have risen dramatically—predicted to hit over 1 billion uses by the end of 2020—so the field offers major opportunity for future earning potential.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

There are programs online you can explore to become certified in telehealth, or you can gain on-the-job training.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of telehealth positions you can find as a nurse.

9. Nurse Educator

Job Overview

As a nurse educator, you can provide education when a patient first gets a diagnosis, along with ongoing support, evaluation, and resources in alignment with the patient’s plan. Some types of nurse educators also work in a clinical capacity, educating staff at hospitals and overseeing continuing education and training.

Earning Potential

According to Payscale.com, the average nurse educator salary was about $75,399 in 2019. That said, your earning potential could vary pretty significantly, depending on where you work and your educational specialty. For example, a certified diabetes educator can make between $51K and $88K.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

If you have a passion for helping people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, you can take this time to explore becoming a certified educator in that particular field. If you’re looking for a more generalized and/or clinical role, an MSN may be required.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of nurse educator positions you can find. When you do your own search, try using the phrases “health educator” or “nurse educator.”

10. Health Blogger

Job Overview

With a background as a medical professional, you can specialize in creating content on certain medical conditions, or go more broadly and focus on writing articles on lifestyle and health tips.

Earning Potential

The pay range really varies with blogging, but top, full-time bloggers can make six figures annually.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

Anyone can get started blogging, but you can also give yourself a head start by taking an online course that teaches you how to monetize a blog, build an audience, and work with companies and brands on ads and sponsored posts.

Where to Find Jobs

As a health blogger, you will be self-employed, so finding a job starts with you.

11. Nurse Researcher

Job Overview

As a clinical nurse researcher, you will dive into research and conduct studies with patients on anything from new standards of nursing care to new medication trials. Your duties could include everything from being the nurse who enrolls patients in studies to the nurse who analyzes the data.

Earning Potential

Payscale lists the average salary for a research nurse as $81K, with reported earnings up to $147K and as low as $63K.

Additional Skills/Educational Requirements

Requirements may vary, but some RN research roles require only a BSN degree, and some clinical care experience. More advanced roles may require a PhD in nursing or another related field.

Where to Find Jobs

Here are some examples of researcher positions you can find as a nurse.


Image courtesy of iStock.com/FatCamera


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Berxi™ or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. This article (subject to change without notice) is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute professional advice.

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