Think nursing is all making rounds at the hospital or working at a family practice?
If you want a nursing job that’s off the beaten path, there are lots of interesting options to choose from. Whether you want to travel, do work that’s more tech-related and intellectual or something more adventurous, we’ve got a list of 10 jobs that aren’t your ordinary day at the hospital.
Now before we give the details on these curious careers, you’ll need to at least be a registered nurse (RN), preferably with a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Some of these jobs simply require a certification; for others you’ll need to get a master’s degree (MSN).
So if you’ve got the basic requirements and the itch to try something new, here are 10 nursing jobs that go off the beaten path:
- Camp Nurse
Avg. Salary: $26.34/hour
If you want to get out in the fresh air and sunshine, being a camp nurse may be the perfect path for you. Summer camps, wilderness retreats and outdoor camps all need a nurse on staff to handle the inevitable bumps, scraps, bug bites plus administering medications and observing kids with medical conditions.
You can also opt to work for a camp that caters to children with special physical and mental needs if you want to make an even bigger impact on those you’ll be serving.
Camp nurse positions are usually seasonal and last anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks. That means they pay weekly, the average being $26.34/hour.
- Cruise Ship Nurse
Avg. Salary: $4,500 – 4,800/month
Ahoy, matey. Get ready to set sail as a working nurse aboard a cruise ship. One of the biggest perks is the travel and places you’ll get to visit while in port.
Now, the elephant in the room has to be mentioned here – COVID-19. Why you gotta ruin everything ‘Rona? Yes, the cruise ship industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s bouncing back and will still be there for nurses who want to join up.
You’ll need to be an RN with a BSN to qualify and 3 years post-grad experience in Emergency Medicine, ICU or acute care and an ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification).
Assignments are usually 4 months on and two months off.
- Holistic Nurse
Avg. Salary: $99,621/year
Holistic nurses treat the whole patient, rather than just the symptoms. According to the AHNA (American Holistic Nurse Association), holistic nursing is as much a philosophy as a profession, focusing on unity, wellness and the relationship of the patient to her environment.
Mind, body and spirit are all considered in their patients’ treatments, which include: acupuncture, aromatherapy, wellness coaching, massage and more.
To become a holistic nurse, you’ll need a BSN or ADN then apply for and complete a certification holistic nursing.
- Cannabis Nurse
Avg. Salary: $66,425/year
Depending where you fall on the cannabis as a medicine debate, a career as a cannabis nurse may be just the thing in a growing industry.
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Now, we are seeing a move back to its roots as treatments for everything from epilepsy to nausea caused by chemotherapy.
Any licensed or registered nurse can become a cannabis nurse by taking an ACNA (American Cannabis Nurses Association) accredited continuing education units (CEUs).
- Nurse Health Coach
Avg. Salary: $46,764/year
If you’d like to work one-on-one with patients or coach groups of people on proper diet, exercise and wellness, check out a career as a Nurse Health Coach.
You could work freelance, for companies, healthcare facilities, social services or speak to large groups. Nurse Health Coaches create diet plans, exercise routines and help with psychological health and motivation.
Most positions will require a BSN with a certificate in nutrition as a plus.
- Telehealth Nurse
Avg. Salary: $65,870/year
Telehealth nursing was a quickly growing field even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the changes this has brought, telehealth nursing is moving to the forefront of healthcare solutions.
Telehealth nurses do the same thing regular nurses do – they just do it remotely via video chat on their computer, tablet or phone. They monitor patients’ conditions, do assessments, formulate care plans, coordinate care with local providers, provide counseling and more.
To be a telehealth nurse, all you’ll need is a BSN or ADN and be comfortable with technology.
- Aesthetics Nurse
Avg. Salary: $90,107/year
Want to help people touch up those frown lines or flatten their tummies? Aesthetics Nurses assist in everything from BOTOX injections to liposuctions – it’s a field with a wide variety of specialties.
Not only will you be helping your patients look their best, you’ll be assisting them with their overall health and mental well-being. It will also be your job to monitor a patient’s recovery from surgical procedures.
A BSN is preferred, though some nurses do get their MSN to go into this field. While not required, a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist credential helps.
- Legal Nurse Consultant
Avg. Salary: $75,625/year
Want to bring your nursing expertise into the legal arena as a consultant? You can work with law firms, insurance companies, healthcare providers and more as an expert consultant in medical cases.
If the idea of assisting attorneys with litigating medical cases sounds like a challenge, you’ll need an ADN or BSN and while not necessarily a requirement, a Legal Nurse Consultant certification (LNCC) is helpful.
- Forensic Nurse
Avg. Salary: $57,635/year
No, you won’t be examining a crime scene for a hair sample to nab a killer, but you’ll be doing something just as important and meaningful.
A forensic nurse is trained to identify and treat patients who are victims of violence, sexual abuse and neglect. They not only treat patients, but also collect evidence and give testimony in court to prosecute perpetrators of violence.
There are different paths to become a forensic nurse, with many RNs first getting certified as a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner).
- Informatics Nurse
Avg. Salary: $102,230/year
Want to let your inner nerd shine? Do you love tech, crunching numbers and parsing data?
As an informatics nurse, you’ll be working with the latest technology and information science to help drive innovation in the healthcare industry. You’ll be integrating nursing practice with data and information to help improve workflows, manage treatment and patient data while helping improve patient outcomes.
You’ll need to start with a BSN then either get an informatics certification or go for an MSN or Ph.D. in nursing informatics.
Sources: ZipRecruiter, Proseastaff, Glassdoor, Payscale
There’s a wide, wide world of nursing careers that exist outside the hospital. Wherever you go, just make sure to bring your passion for nursing with you.
Know of some more unique nursing careers? Share them at The Buzz, our online community, and connect with fellow nurses who are just as passionate as you. Or you can email us at email@example.com
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