Becoming a nurse is a process that involves many hours of reading, lectures and learning hands-on skills by providing patient care. Learning environments range from hospital settings like a medical-surgical floor to community settings like homeless shelters and schools. After graduation, nurses take the NCLEX exam, receive their license and go to work in a hospital setting. But some nurses take a different route. They go beyond the hospital walls to work in different settings. Some of those professions are unique and require an entrepreneurial mindset.

The online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) prepares nurses for success in whatever career they decide to pursue, in or out of the hospital. The following are nine unique careers for nurses outside the hospital setting. All the following salary data is from ZipRecruiter as of March 2024.

1. Nurse Writer

Nurses who can turn medical jargon into terms patients understand excel in this role. The nurse uses skills from nursing experience and knowledge to write. The types of writing vary from blog articles on the internet, like this one, to study questions for the NCLEX exam, medical journal writing and more.
Salary: $28,500 – $137,500

2. Hospice Nurse

Hospice nurses may travel throughout their local area to provide hospice care in patients’ homes or hospice centers. Hospice nurses also go into the hospital setting to meet with patients and their families to discuss what hospice does and what to expect.
Salary: $41,500 – $143,500

3. Public Health Nurse

The state hires public health nurses to care for people within a community, including those in schools, homeless shelters and community healthcare clinics. Public health nurses are required to respond to disaster situations in the community.
Salary: $42,000 – $127,500

4. Occupational Nurse

Hospitals and corporate offices hire occupational nurses to coordinate injury-prevention and wellness programs for employees.
Salary: $43,767 – $136,721

5. School Nurse

School nurses are employed by the school or state to provide care as needed to children within the school. The school nurse’s duties including administering scheduled medications like insulin or behavioral medications. School nurses also perform yearly exams on children.
Salary: $21,500 – $101,000

6. Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant may have to obtain a law degree or special certification to work with lawyers. Lawyers count on nurses to know the medical side of the law to ensure their client is taken care of. Legal nurses often work in the office with the lawyer and have to be present at court cases.
Salary: $50,000 – $126,000

7. Nurse Case Manager

Nurse case managers often work from home and are employed by different companies to help provide indirect care to people. Case managers help set up nursing home options, home care and more. Many nurses become certified as case managers.
Salary: $57,303– $140,123

8. Informatics Nurse

Informatics nurses work in IT settings to help hospitals and doctors’ offices run electronic medical record systems, and they give input on other projects within the information technology departments. These nurses do not provide direct patient care. Their work in a hospital is usually in an office.
Salary: $42,500 – $166,500

9. Research Nurse

Nurses take on research roles to help find and enroll clients into studies and follow them along the way. They are employed by the hospital, university or company performing the study.
Salary: $43,493 – $135,646

These are just a few of the many nursing career options away from the bedside. Many of these jobs can be done on an as needed basis. Nurses can choose to start a side job and see if they like being away from the hospital setting. This keeps them from burning out in their own unit if they need extra money and do not want to work overtime at their hospital job.

Regardless of what direction a nurse’s career goes, the skills they’ll take from EMU’s online RN to BSN program will be essential. Graduates will have diverse knowledge and can pursue several careers. Few professions offer such varied opportunities, so embrace your knowledge and step outside the hospital walls.

Learn more about the Eastern Michigan University online RN to BSN program.