10 nursing jobs not in a hospital


Originally published by AZ Big Media on March 13, 2024.

Nursing is a wonderful career path. But sometimes, people have a limited view of nursing and only envision nurses working in a hospital setting. While more than half of all nursing jobs are in hospitals, the nursing field offers many practice areas in diverse and sometimes unexpected settings!

1. Med Spa Nursing — Nurses in a medical spa often work in lavish settings. Rather than treating patients for medical conditions, nurses assist in aesthetic procedures. They may give injections, advise on beauty products, and administer intravenous fluids and medications under a provider’s direction.

2. Home Health Nursing — Nurses in this area go to patients’ homes to perform assessments, provide treatments and services, and educate patients and families, often building relationships with them. They travel to patients’ homes and work within a specific city and county area.

3. Public Health Nursing — Public health nursing focuses on serving entire populations. Nurses work in community centers and health organizations, assisting and educating on disease prevention, vaccinations, car seat training, child safety, and sexual health. They may also track infection outbreaks or assist with medication compliance.

4. School Nursing — Nurses working in the school setting provide screenings for hearing and vision, treat children with chronic health problems such as diabetes and asthma, and address acute injuries and illnesses for children at school. If needed, nurses in schools might also be involved in writing policies or providing education to students or parents in the classroom.

5. Case Management Nursing — Case management nurses may work in hospitals but can also work for insurance companies, government agencies, and private practices. Case management involves coordinating care with various providers and advocating for patients. Job functions include chart review, speaking to patients, and assisting with resources.

6. Cruise Ship Nursing — Nurses who like to travel and visit new places can work on cruise ships. This career opportunity is unique and filled with adventure. Nurses on cruise ships care for passengers and crew members who are ill or injured during their travel. They assist with emergencies and routine care, such as seasickness and excessive heat exposure.

7. Flight Nursing — Critically ill patients are sometimes transferred to specialized facilities for care. Nurses care for patients on trips to different facilities. Patients range in age and may need advanced support with airway and circulation interventions. Flight nursing is best for individuals who perform well in high-stress situations.

8. Forensic Nursing — Forensic nurses can work in hospitals, prisons, domestic violence centers, and psychiatric centers. They collaborate with the legal system to provide compassionate care, collect evidence, perform evaluations, and testify in court on findings. Some states require forensic nurse courses and certification as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE).

9. Telehealth Nursing — Nurses use telecommunications, such as email, phone, and video, to provide high-quality care to patients. They treat minor health problems and provide wellness education and services. They may refer patients to urgent care or emergency services as needed. Telehealth care can bridge the service gap for patients who live in rural areas or do not have access to transportation.

10. Hospice Nursing — Hospice nurses may work in a facility or in the patient’s homes to provide comfort and care for patients in the end stage of life. They may monitor vital signs, administer medications, and notify physicians of changes. Hospice nurses provide compassionate care, often providing emotional support to patients and their families.

Nursing jobs outside of the hospital offer benefits such as flexible scheduling, adventure, and autonomy. Some roles may require extra certification or additional classes. Nursing is a multifaceted career path, not limited to the hospital setting, opening many doors in varied specialties and settings.

Author: Sarah Deshler, MSN, RN, CNE, is a full-time faculty member at Arizona College of Nursing. She has been a nurse for 23 years, working in various settings in and outside of the hospital setting, and a nurse educator for more than 15 years. She practices nursing in an endoscopy clinic and surgery center to maintain her skills and offer students a real-world perspective. A lifelong learner, Sarah is pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).