Nursing is a tough profession, and many of the most common and easily found jobs have many similarities. That makes it difficult for nurses who enter the field, begin working, run into issues, and then get the feeling that they don’t want to be nurses anymore.
If you’re one of those nurses, you likely have many reasons for this feeling. Yes, we all have bad days at work, but this feeling we’re talking about is one that lasts and lingers and follows us to every job and every assignment.
In some cases, leaving the nursing field for another field is the only way to fix it. But for others, finding a nursing job that’s different from many others can help you continue doing the parts you love without the stuff you don’t.
Finding a Job
Perhaps you’ve already tried finding another job in another facility or another specialty. You’ve given it your best, and you’ve enjoyed it for a bit. But then that thought keeps coming back before too long, “I don’t like nursing, and I don’t want to be a nurse anymore.”
Admitting to yourself that you don’t want to be a nurse anymore is difficult. You’ve already put in all the time, money, and dedication to become a nurse.
No matter how much you dislike being a nurse now, there was something about nursing that called to you in the first place. As you search for a nursing job that better fits your interests, answer the following questions:
- What do you like about nursing?
- What don’t you like about nursing?
- What made you go into nursing in the first place?
- What are your other skills and interests not related to nursing?
The answers to these questions will act as rough guides for your job search. When you begin looking for jobs, you’ll use this guide to help you both expand your search to places you might not have considered before and narrow down the choices once you’ve got a feel for what’s out there.
Each nursing career is personal, and there aren’t any right or wrong answers or solutions when finding the job that best fits you.
Uncommon Nursing Job Examples
When assessing jobs, look at your answers to the questions listed above. Is there another career field that holds your interest?
For example, maybe you really enjoy writing. There are jobs out there in marketing departments of health care companies for nurses who specialize in writing. You can continue to put your nursing knowledge and experience to good use as well as work in a completely different environment than you might have before.
Below are industries that often employ nurses in relatively unconventional ways.
Working in the medical field is not without its challenges and mistakes, and sometimes those issues can lead to legal problems. Every so often a case of medical malpractice makes it to the news.
In these particular cases, both the prosecution and defense regularly seek the aid of legal consultants who have experience in the field in question and can serve as an expert opinion to review the details of the case and offer their advice.
For nurses, this type of job is called legal nurse consulting. Nurses in this type of specialty work with law professionals on medical cases in a wide number of ways depending on the case, including serving as or finding expert witnesses and analyzing the details to help build up the case.
Legal nurse consultants also can work in a number of different environments:
- Insurance companies
- Government agencies and organizations
- Legal departments of health care facilities and other businesses
- Consulting firms specifically for legal nurse consultants
- Law firms
- Health maintenance organizations
If you’re interested in becoming a legal nurse consultant, the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants has many useful resources as well as the option for certification to get you started.
Our knowledge of medical treatments, diseases, and technology is always evolving due to constant studies being conducted across the globe. Research is an intriguing field for the scientifically-minded.
If you’ve participated in research studies before while in school, you’ve probably heard some about the drawbacks to research, especially in an academic setting. Funding can be difficult to get, hours can be strange, and many researchers work in other capacities to pay the bills.
But for those who love it, it can be engaging and a big difference from working on the floor. Much of what we do as nurses is evidence-based practice, and as a nurse researcher, you’d be participating in the early stages of establishing those practices by researching them.
There are several places you can look to work as a nurse researcher:
- Laboratories with research departments
- Medical research organizations
- Hospital and hospital systems
- Academic institutions
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Medical device companies.
It’s no secret that nursing is in high demand, and many companies regularly find themselves short-staffed and in need of hiring more nurses.
Some facilities can get by on just posting job ads on online boards or on their website, relying on job searches, word of mouth, and employee referrals to fill positions. Other companies turn to recruitment staff in their sales and marketing departments or contract out to staffing agencies.
Nurses can become nurse recruiters, working in these positions to help companies find long-term or temporary staff to fill facility needs. As a nurse recruiter, you screen and interview job applicants to fit the needs of your organization or the facilities that contract with your agency.
One major skill nurses have is teaching. We teach other nurses and staff who are new to our floors, educate our patients on relevant information about their disease or treatment, and oftentimes our family and friends who ask us questions about their health.
If one aspect of nursing that you love happens to be teaching, then the educational field of nursing needs you.
Educational institutions are constantly trying to keep up with the demand for new nurses to fill shortages. There are nursing programs in almost every university, academy, online school, and trade college, and those nursing programs need class and clinical instructors.
In our internet-heavy society, health care companies employ a wide variety of professionals. One of those types of professionals is writers.
These companies need written content for their websites, social media pages, company functions, and recruitment materials. Sometimes, many of the people hired into these departments on the administrative side have little to no real-world experience working as a health care professional.
That’s where you can come in. Your insight as a medical professional is valuable. We health care professionals can often tell when content is written by someone who has no idea what a day in their life is really like, and many companies know that.
Nurses in this position work as content specialists, freelance writers, bloggers, or marketing specialists, and you can find jobs in a variety of places:
- Freelance writing companies
- Medical magazines and journals
- Marketing departments
- Human resources
- Health care websites and blogs
- Textbooks for medical professions
- Educational and informational material
In these positions, nurse writers create written content that uses their unique experience and knowledge as a health care professional, and they also often review other people’s written content as an expert opinion.
Health care companies are just like any other business with a product to sell — they need sales representatives to contact targeted audiences who might be interested in buying their stuff and their services.
Medical device and pharmaceutical companies are examples of companies you can look to for uncommon nursing jobs. These companies often look for health care professionals with sales skills to use their expertise to sell their devices and medications to hospitals, clinics, and directly to patients.
Other health care companies like staffing agencies also use sales consultants to find facilities to establish work contracts with in order to provide per diem, travel, or contract staff.
Facilities are more likely to listen to someone who has experience being a health care professional in their field. That expertise helps set people more at ease and establish trust long before negotiations really get underway.
Nursing is a vast and varied field, and you don’t have to be stuck doing something you wish you didn’t have to. If you’re finding yourself wishing you weren’t a nurse and wondering what else is out there, take a look around some of the more uncommon jobs for nurses. You might find that perfect nursing job meant for you.