10 nursing jobs that aren’t in a hospital
When you first picture a career in nursing, you probably imagine working at a hospital, surrounded by lots of other hustling medical professionals, constant PA announcements and fluorescent lighting. But it turns out, nurses actually practice in all kinds of settings—some quiet and cozy, some so crazy they even make the controlled chaos of a hospital seem chill.
We compiled a list of jobs where you could take your nursing skills out of that all-too-familiar setting. To land any of these jobs you’ll need an LPN or RN license, and your salary will likely be similar to the median accounting for all LPN and RN positions: $43,170 for LPNs and $67,490 for RNs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, because these positions can be highly specialized, your pay structure may be too.
Take a look and see if one of these positions outside a hospital seems like a good fit for you.
Where you’ll work: Aesthetic nurses work in dermatology or plastic surgery practices, or in medical spas.
What you’ll do: Aesthetic nurses assist with all kinds of nipping, tucking and smoothing. In general, you’ll be performing nonsurgical cosmetic procedures while working under the guidance of a doctor. Your tasks may include giving Botox injections and performing laser hair removal treatments and cellulite sculpting treatments.
What you’d need: Most practices are looking for RNs with additional cosmetic training. Some offer on-the-job training in this specialty, and they will teach you to give different types of injections or to use lasers.
Where you’ll work: Clinic nurses work in doctor’s offices and specialty treatment centers such as pain management clinics and day surgery centers.
What you’ll do: Clinic nurses perform patient care work, and plenty of it. The actual duties vary depending on the type of facility.
What you’d need: Certification as an LPN or RN, and additional training may be needed depending on the type of clinic. For example, nurses in psychiatric facilities typically need a master’s in psychiatric nursing or a few years of experience in a psychiatric facility.
Where you’ll work: Flight nurses may technically work for a hospital, but much of your time will be spent in the air, either on planes or helicopters.
What you’ll do: Flight nurses provide care in the air. As a flight nurse, you’ll provide critical emergency care in helicopters to ill or wounded people who need to get to the hospital faster than an ambulance allows. You’ll also accompany sick patients on long flights to get to specialty clinics, or transport organs that need to be transplanted as quickly as possible.
What you’d need: A love of flying doesn’t hurt. But also, most flight nurse positions are for RNs with some level of emergency care experience, since they see people in life-or-death situations. You may be required to get additional advanced life-support and transport certifications before being hired or shortly after.
Home health nurse
Where you’ll work: Home health nurses travel to patients’ homes, so they spend much of their day in others’ houses or on the road in between destinations.
What you’ll do: Home health nurses make house calls. You’ll be checking in on patients to assess their treatment plans and see whether they’re working or need adjustments. In this job you’ll also provide companionship to patients who may feel isolated or be homebound.
What you’d need: An LPN or RN degree and possibly additional certification as a home health care provider.
Where you’ll work: Many patients undergoing hospice treatment prefer to do so at home, so as a hospice nurse you may work in the homes of clients or their families. Working in a hospice clinic is also a possibility.
What you’ll do: Hospice nurses assist in the care and comfort of patients who are dying. These patients are no longer receiving curative treatments, but still may require pain and symptom management and assistance in remaining comfortable in their final days. Hospice nurses also provide emotional and spiritual comfort to patients and grieving loved ones.
What you’d need: You’ll need a big, strong heart—it takes a special person to care for terminally ill patients. Most hospice nurses have RN degrees, hospice or palliative certification, and additional training in pain management and the principles of death and dying.
Nursing home nurse
Where you’ll work: Nursing home nurses work in nursing homes or facilities for those who need more care than can be offered at home, but less than what is given at a hospital.
What you’ll do: As a nursing home nurse, you’ll serve the elderly and disabled in this in-between period. Nursing home nurses monitor patients, administer medications and assist with daily life tasks such as bathing and eating.
What you’d need: You’ll need an LPN or RN degree and possibly additional certifications or experience depending upon the facility. Some offer care only to geriatric patients, the chronically ill or disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Where you’ll work: Nurse midwives frequently work in specialized birthing centers. They may see patients at the center up until delivery and then deliver the baby at the patient’s home or at the birthing center. A nurse midwife may accompany the patient to a hospital if necessary.
What you’ll do: A nurse midwife sets the course for safe and healthy births, and then help ensure they happen. So as a nurse midwife, you’ll provide clinical prenatal care for women and assist before, during and after childbirth.
What you’d need: You’ll need an RN degree with significant experience in women’s health, and most facilities prefer candidates with a master’s degree. You’ll also need a certified midwifery license in addition to other typical nursing licensure requirements.
Occupational health nurse
Where you’ll work: Occupational health nurses work on-site at various businesses.
What you’ll do: As an occupational health nurse you’ll bring health care into the workplace of others. Occupational health nurses work at large or industrial companies to assist in the health and wellness of their employees. At this job you’ll work to mitigate the risk of workplace injuries or illness, and to treat any that arise. You’ll frequently handle worker’s compensation issues, perform safety training and you may lAO be in charge of wellness programs..
What you’d need: Most companies require an RN degree with additional Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist credentials.
Public health nurse
Where you’ll work: Public health nurses work in public health clinics or in communities primarily doing outreach.
What you’ll do: As a public health nurse you’ll help people who need care but who often can’t or don’t receive it. Public health nurses often provide care to underserved populations in low-income communities. In addition to seeing patients, many attend outreach events where they educate people on resources available to them and the need for routine medical care. Some nurses only do outreach and work to educate the public on major threats such as the Zika virus.
What you’d need: An RN degree, at minimum. Many public health positions require graduate level work as well.
Where you’ll work: School nurses work in schools, from elementary to university level.
What you’ll do: As a school nurse, you’ll be the face of health care in or near the classroom. School nurses are responsible for keeping students healthy and ready to learn. You’ll assess illnesses and injuries that take place during school hours, give basic medical treatment or recommend further intervention, perform hearing and vision tests, and may also teach health or nutrition courses. In many school districts one nurse covers multiple schools, so you may travel between facilities.
What you’d need: Most communities require school nurses to have an RN degree.