Seven More Alternative Careers for Nurses

Here are seven alternative careers for nurses to pursue in addition to the seven career options mentioned in my other article, Seven Career Options for Nurses.

In my article, Seven Career Options for Nurses, I mentioned seven alternative careers which nurses can pursue. After some research, I have come up with another seven jobs which nurses can apply for in lieu of the traditional nursing practice in clinical settings.


These seven alternative careers which nurses can try to pursue include:


Alternative Nursing Career 1: Medical Transcriptionist


The advancement in technology and the mandate of governments requiring the conversion of all medical data into electronic form have paved the way for the creation of this job. Basically the job entails listening to audio recording of clinical data and transcribing them into a computer database for electronic storage.


Medical data may include surgery proceedings, clinical cases and other patient records. Since this involves complex medical terms and drug names, nurses and other paramedical professionals have an edge over those who have no medical background.


Alternative Nursing Career 2: Company Nurse


If you want to pursue a nursing career in a less clinical setting, then being a company nurse might be for you. Although your domain still looks “clinical,” with all its stuff for first aid treatment and health promotion, your overall function as a nurse does not involve taking care of critical patients.


In general, your nursing responsibilities include providing first aid treatment to minor emergencies, giving over-the-counter drugs for the relief of minor illnesses, and referring patients needing hospital care to hospitals. Most often your other functions would be administrative in nature.


Alternative Nursing Career 3: School Nurse


The responsibilities of a school nurse are generally the same as those of a company nurse. However, your responsibilities may vary a little bit, especially if you’re a school nurse at a grade school or high school as you will be dealing with young children and teenagers.


Alternative Nursing Career 4: Clinical Data Manager


This is a clinical research post. A Clinical Data Manager is usually someone with a degree in computer science or IT. However, a Registered Nurse who has a moderate to extensive background in computer operations may be more suitable to fill the post than IT individuals without medical background.


As the term suggests, a Clinical Data Manager is responsible in managing data gathered in clinical trials. This job entails creating case report forms (CRFs – paper or electronic) to be used in a clinical study, creating a database to store the data, handling the data gathered, clarifying issues to facilitate analysis, as well as locking the database. If a nurse fills this post, each task is facilitated because of his/her medical background. This is a great alternative for nurses with an inclination toward clinical research or the IT niche. 


Alternative Nursing Career 5: Drug Safety Analyst


Although primarily held by pharmacists, nurses can also fill this job which is mostly offered by pharmaceutical companies and other agencies that deal with pharmacovigilance. The position involves monitoring publications that mention adverse events of a drug after its release in the market, and creating reports to regulatory bodies as needed.


Alternative Nursing Career 6: Medical Writer


A Medical Writer is also considered a clinical research post. The job entails writing study protocols as well as case study reports (CSR).  Although usually filled by professional writers under the guidance of medical study monitors and biostatisticians, nurses with technical writing skills can also try to pursue this career. What’s nice about this job is that you can do it part-time.


Alternative Nursing Career 7: Medical Abstractor/ Indexer


Although not a very common job, the Medical Abstractor / Indexer post is perfect for nurses. This job involves reading medical or scientific articles, creating abstracts and categorizing them in a database for the purpose of easy and scientific retrieval by researchers.


But aside from being rare, this job is only for those with medical background who have high analytical and comprehension skills. I used to hold this job for 10 years until the top management decided to bring the project to another city where the pay is quite low to what they were paying us.


These additional seven alternative careers for nurses only prove that there are other paths that nurses can take in order to pursue their career. Gone indeed were the days when nursing is only confined within the white walls of a hospital.

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  1. Informative piece, Mel. Showcases the many different options for nurses to pursue.

  2. Real shortage of registered nurses in many areas. Some of the alternatives could be handled by well-trained high school grads.

  3. Nurses should read this. We have a lot of brain drain in the Philippines mostly because people can’t find jobs suitable to their education.

  4. A must read for all nurses.

  5. Hmm .. some wonderful opportunities and postitions for nurses who have the relevant specialist qualification or equivalent work experience Melody :-)

  6. Some people find it difficult to have a career as a nurse, once they start their family life. These are great options for them.

  7. Good ideas. My favorite “doctor” is a nurse practicioner. She really cares and is a great diagnostician.

  8. Unique, brief and informative. Thanks for sharing. clicked you “liked it”

  9. very nice information

  10. Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

  11. These are good ideas for nurses to step up or having difficulty finding a job. Great work!

  12. Tx for the great information.

  13. Very elaborate analysis of the applications of your profession. Nice one, kabayan.

  14. You did some really great research on this. There are a lot of different options for nurses if they want to stay in the profession, but try something new.

  15. a very helpful article. i’ll pass this on to my nurse friends :o )

  16. Wow. Very interesting to know.

  17. A very extensive and effective review of the career potentials for those in the nursing field. Well done.

  18. I enjoyed reading this.

  19. Nice to read your Article, Keep writing more about it. Is is really Gracefully and very well written skill. Thanks for sharing.


  20. Interesting Piece.

    Today I know more about it. Good subject selection for writing article.

    Thanks for sharing good one.


  21. Or, just like many of the BSN graduates nowadays, they work for call centers.

  22. wonderful share. Nice information

  23. I am pursuing medical writing

  24. Good information!

  25. wow, i can recommend these fields to my cousins. they’ve been taking up nursing since then.. nice sharing, thanks! :)

  26. Melody, thanks for the information for alternative careers for nurses.

  27. great job! great job!

  28. Thank you, I got exactly what I was looking for.

  29. Thanks for sharing! Very informative! :D

  30. To add onto that list, I found this article that lists a few more options:

  31. Thanks for sharing.

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