5 Common Career Changes for Nurses

By nature, nursing is a stressful and demanding line of work. In recent times, the long hours and immense workloads have led to widespread burnout across the industry.

Luckily, your options are not constrained in the slightest. A background in nursing work is a desirable trait in several different industries. 

If you are second-guessing your future in clinical work or you simply want a change in scenery, you have come to the right place. This article will go over a handful of good jobs for ex-nurses. 

Medical Writer

Your nursing knowledge will be highly sought after, in content marketing spaces. Medical content writers are tasked with writing informed and well-researched healthcare pieces of varying types. This makes it a great career change option for nurses. 

From research papers to clinical trial reports, to medical equipment manuals and more, you will be dealing with various assignments and duties. With the BLS projecting a 6% growth rate in the technical writing space in 2021-31, and a median salary of $78,060, the future of medical content writing is bright.

Nurse Educator

As a nurse educator, you will be in charge of assisting HCPs with their Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and developing/updating nurse training programs for facilities. Outside of hospitals, you can even find work in educational institutions, nursing facilities, laboratory settings and more. 

You will need a bachelor’s degree in health education or nursing and a valid RN license at the bare minimum. Depending on where you apply, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) may increase your hiring ability.

In the wake of the ongoing nursing shortages, facilities are looking to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. Since training and onboarding is a vital part of that process, nurse educators are expected to surge in demand over the coming years. 

The BLS currently estimates a median annual salary of $79,640 and a staggering 22% growth rate from 2021-31. This is undoubtedly one of the most promising new nursing careers. 

Clinical Informatics Specialist

Hospitals handle all kinds of sensitive, classified data regularly. As a Clinical Informatics Specialist (CIS), you will be in charge of managing these digital databases, maintaining their security and integrity, and proposing and implementing plans to improve the pre-existing data framework.

CIS nurses are also in charge of creating user-friendly interfaces and teaching HCPs how to navigate them, to access the needed information. At the bare minimum, you will need a couple of years of nursing experience and a background in IT. 

As the healthcare world continues to digitize, CIS will remain hotly demanded. The BLS predicts that the profession will grow up to 7% over the next decade, while Payscale estimates a median salary of $78,234. 

Director of Care Management 

Understandably, several hospital administrators have a base of nursing experience. As Director of Care Management, you are tasked with ensuring that your hospital’s care meets a certain standard of quality. This involved developing hospital policies and staff procedures while considering feedback on all levels. 

On paper, you need a bachelor’s degree at the bare minimum. Master’s degrees are also common, and undoubtedly provide an advantage to your application. 5 years of clinical or administrative experience in hospital settings is highly recommended.

With regards to median salary, directors top the list at $101,340 annually. The profession is also set to grow by 28%, from 2021-31. 

Social Worker

Social workers are a perfect fit for nurses looking to “make a difference” with their labor. You will be in charge of providing care and much-needed guidance to the underprivileged and marginalized. This includes (but is not limited to) low-income families, incarcerated individuals, and people afflicted with crippling disabilities. 

Though regular social workers just need a bachelor’s degree, clinical social workers need at least a master’s. Compared to other professions, the median annual salary sits at a modest $50,390, with a 9% projected employment growth rate. If this is a concern, keep in mind that a background in social work can serve as an avenue to higher-paying positions in the future. 

Go out There! 

This just scratches the surface of career change options for nurses. For HCPs looking for different scenery, the options are vast and numerous.

It may seem daunting initially but fret not. With enough time, patience and dedication, you will find a new nursing career that suits you best.