5 Non-Bedside Nurse Jobs You May Not Know About
April 1, 2020
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Non-Bedside Nurse Jobs

There are so many career options for nurses outside of the traditional hospital setting.  If nursing is your passion, but doing rounds on the patient floor is not, consider one of these five non-bedside nurse jobs that you may not have heard of before.

#1.  Public Health Advisor

Non-bedside nurse job #1: public health nurse

With the current outbreak of COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control is receiving a lot of attention. Many look to organizations like the CDC for guidance on how to stay safe through when a public health crisis strikes.

Nurses make great public health advisors because they already have experience working directly with patients in a variety of healthcare settings.  They can take their clinical knowledge and years of direct patient care experience and apply it in the public health arena.  

Public health advisors develop and implement public health programs.  Also, they build relationships with all levels of government organizations and project management.  It is also possible to get involved in politics to initiate change at the national level, like former nurse Congresswoman Lauren Underwood.

Working as a public health advisor can be a fascinating new career for nurses.  Who knows, one day we could even have a nurse in the oval office!

Recommended Education Level:  The minimum requirement for a public health advisor is a BSN or three years of comparable general experience; however, specialized expertise or completion of higher education programs like an MSN with a concentration in Public Health are preferred.  You can find more information on job listings and requirements here.

#2.  Clinical Trial Nurse

Non-bedside nurse job #2: clinical trial nurse

Clinical trials are the process by which cures for cancer and other diseases are discovered – and they are at the forefront of the ever-changing field of medicine.

A clinical trial nurse serves as coordinators for clinical trials and implements good clinical practice for the emerging treatment modalities. This job is an excellent fit for nurses who are as passionate about patient rights as they are scientific advancement. 

At this very moment, thousands of trials are being conducted worldwide in all fields of medicine. For example, one clinical trial aims to prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis  – as another clinical trial is testing the efficacy of a swab test to detect neurodegenerative disorders. For the nurse with scrutinizing attention to detail and compassion for helping sick patients, becoming a clinical trial nurse would be an exhilarating position to hold. 

Recommended Education Level: A BSN is required for most clinical trial nurse roles. Advanced degrees — such as an MSN — are critical for those who wish to assume a leadership role within clinical trials and research nursing.

#3.  Movie-Set Nurse

Non-bedside nurse job #3: movie set nurse

Hollywood magic knows no limits. Car crashes, fight scenes, and defying gravity are just some of the ways actors and showbiz execs can get hurt on the job, and it happens more often than we think. This is why it’s so important to have skilled medical professionals on set at all times. Nurses, paramedics, and doctors are all found on the sidelines of silver screen productions to provide first-aid care and more.   

Movie productions must staff large groups of people who work long hours. They often work with heavy machinery, putting them at risk for injury.  Often, very risky work is being performed.  Some action scenes – think the kind with stunt doubles – can cause accidents. 

The medical team on-site needs to be able to act quickly in case of incidents and emergencies — making your ER experience a great asset. The ability to stay calm and focused in the wake of accidents are key strengths many nurses already possess. 

Nursing gigs in the film industry are fiercely competitive, so you’ll want to accentuate your ability to act quickly and efficiently if you get a chance to interview. The pay may not be great at first – often as low as $15/hour –  but there’s no telling where an opportunity may take you.  One nurse even got hired to go on tour with Beyonce!

Recommended Education Level: Minimum requirement of an associate’s degree. 

#4.  Hotel/Resort Nurse

Non-bedside nurse job #4: hotel/resort nurse

People on vacation rarely foresee a need for medical care.  But as health care providers, we know that illness and injury can happen anytime, anywhere. Hotels and resorts employ nurses to be on-site in case guests need first-aid or assistance getting more intensive care at a local hospital.

Resort nurse jobs, like this one at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, can be pretty sweet gigs (pun intended).   Depending on where you find work, you may even be able to spend your days off at the beach or a snowy mountaintop!

Recommended Education Level: Minimum requirement of an associate’s degree. 

#5.  Legal Nurse Consultant

Non-bedside nurse job #5: legal nurse consultant

Legal nurse consultants (LNC) serve as liaisons between the medical and legal fields in a variety of venues.  LNCs can serve as expert witnesses, be employed by law firms that handle medical malpractice or personal injury law, work in forensic environments, and some opt to open their own independent practices. 

The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants has an extensive list of tasks performed by LNCs.  These range from medical research to drafting legal documents and helping attorneys prepare for trial.  In this riveting career, you’ll get to see the legal side of the medical field and use your nursing expertise in the name of justice. 

As an LNC, you can dip your toes in to see how you like the field while building an autonomous career. According to LNC Wendie Howland, any nurse with 8-10 years of experience can serve as an expert witness for an attorney. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn where medical and judiciary interests intersect. 

Recommended Education Level:  An associate’s degree is the minimum requirement, but for certain positions, particularly in forensics, completing a program of higher education like an MSN with a specialization in Forensic Nursing is recommended.

In conclusion

There are so many non-bedside nurse jobs for experienced RN’s who want to advance their careers out of the bedside.  Consider doing a little soul-searching and decide where your nursing career will take you next!

Additional recommended reading:

Aspen Shield

Guest author Pamela Mahler is a content specialist for Aspen University. She is passionate about learning and producing valuable resources that empower others to enhance their lives through education. Aspen University offers CCNE accredited programs at every degree level. Aspen created affordable degrees and 0%-interest payment plans with transparent pricing so that nurses can focus on courses, not the fine print. 

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