Six alternate careers in Nursing for Registered Nurses

Are you a registered nurse who wants to explore numerous exciting and non-traditional nursing careers across diverse fields? If yes, then you're at the right place.

Six alternate careers in Nursing for Registered Nurses

Nursing has evolved to accommodate healthcare personnel's shifting responsibilities and diverse roles. It is no longer restricted to a traditional hospital and setting or a healthcare center.

Nurses are equipped with detailed knowledge of the healthcare system, diagnosis, clinical practices, and research methodologies that can be utilized in different fields. 

Registered nurses have the opportunity to work in different settings and locations. These new job opportunities offer personal growth and better monetary compensation. However, most alternative careers require advanced educational degrees and certifications. 

Registered nurses have fundamental, hands-on knowledge of the field, but choosing a different career outside the hospital allows them to focus on their strengths, likes, and skill sets. This is why nurses can explore new career paths with further education. 

For instance, a nurse might find working in a school more rewarding than in an intensive care unit. Another might have a flair for writing. The possibilities are endless! 

We have enlisted below some of the non-traditional nursing careers with flexible timings, workloads, and settings for registered nurses who want to explore new careers. 

1: Nurse Educator/Professor

Registered nurses are perfect for preparing the next generation of nurses as they have the requisite hands-on experience and skills. An MSN in nursing education is ideal for nurses who want to pass on their knowledge to nursing students as educators and professors. 

A prestigious program like can prepare nurses for the teaching role in an academic setting.

An MSN degree offers opportunities for implementing changes in curriculum design and effective teaching methodologies. In addition to teaching, with an MSN in nursing education, a registered nurse can design new curricula and methodologies for the nursing profession. 

Healthcare is dramatically evolving due to medical innovations and discoveries. A nurse educator's role is fundamental in incorporating these shifts to equip the new students for various challenges in the field. 

Although salary depends on the skill set and experience, a nurse educator can expect to earn between $88,775 and $118,575.

2: Freelance Health Writer/Blogger

Internet and social media have opened up new freelance opportunities for nurses. Registered nurses who want autonomy over their workload and schedules can work as medical or health writers. 

They can write articles for medical magazines or journals, medical books, or work with health organizations and manage their print publications like pamphlets. 

Blogging is another significant way to start a health writer career. It allows you to focus on a particular area of interest and connect with people worldwide. You can choose from various topics, from government health policy to new treatments for a specific disease.

Freelance Writing and blogging on the internet is a lucrative option for nurses who want to research and educate while sitting at home! You can earn anywhere between $60,000-$121,000.

3: Health Coach/ Nutritionist

If you have excellent interpersonal skills and are a registered nurse, you can work independently or with any health organization as a health coach or nutritionist. The primary responsibility is to guide and educate people about healthy lifestyle changes.

Health coaches and nutritionists work one-to-one with people for personalized needs and goals. They develop customized exercise and dietary plans keeping in view the medical needs of the people. 

Several job opportunities have surfaced in the corporate sector for health coaches. Multinational companies fire wellness coaches for employees' physical and mental health needs.

As a health coach, registered nurses can work independently in a medical care facility or consider telemedicine for effective time management.  

4: Forensic Nurse

If you want to continue hands-on practice outside the hospital or a medical care facility, the forensic nurse is your calling! 

Forensic nurses work within the legal system to provide medical records of victims in violent cases. They have to provide medical reports and often testimony in court. They also play a crucial role in the judicial system in dispensing justice to the victims of violent crimes. 

As a forensic nurse, you can further specialize in specific areas like domestic abuse or psychiatric forensics. The average salary for a forensic nurse falls between $72,500 and $137,000 per year.  

5: Pharmaceutical Sale Executive

Another out-of-the-ordinary career option for registered nurses with interest in marketing and sale is a pharmaceutical sale executive. Many pharma companies hire registered nurses to work with medicines and usage. They are also tasked to make a marketing and sale plan to engage doctors and physicians. 

Pharmaceutical companies benefit from the nurses' hands-on experience to evaluate the medicine's effectiveness. Their feedback can help companies to improve their products.

Similarly, nurses are better equipped to engage the medical health providers, doctors, and physicians about the value of the particular products of a company. 

6: Nurse Researcher

Medical laboratories of pharmaceutical companies, universities, and health organizations provide registered nurses with another direction to practice their field in the form of research, testing, and evaluation. 

Nurse researchers examine new diseases or work on improving the available medical treatments for existing conditions. They develop diagnostic procedures, treatments, and preventive measures for various diseases in collaboration with doctors and scientists.

Progress and growth in the field of medicine are dependent on nurse researchers. Nurse researchers collect data and do testing and evaluation to treat any disease. They often collaborate with other scientists, like engineers, to make scientific discoveries. 

Nurse researchers' job opportunities are expected to increase by 19% between 2021 and 2022. 


Nursing is an in-demand profession with the potential for endless personal and monetary growth possibilities. Nursing has become a dynamic and exciting profession with new technologies and innovative job roles.

However, if you want to go beyond the traditional in-hospital jobs as a registered nurse, investing in an MSN (higher education degree) is crucial. 

We hope you learned a thing or two from this article. If you think we have missed any new and upcoming career paths for registered nurses, feel free to comment below.