Non-Traditional Nursing Jobs You May Never Heard
Are you interested in pursuing a career in nursing? Do you like work environments that are considered challenging or unconventional? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then this list of nursing jobs is made for you. Whether you’ve just completed your RN to BSN online or have an associate’s degree in nursing, we’ve got the information you need to pursue the healthcare career of your dreams. Before you take that run-of-the-mill RN job, consider these 30 highly unusual nursing jobs.
Legal Nurse Consultant
One of the most unusual jobs you’ll find with a nursing credential is the occupation of a legal nurse consultant. These positions are unusual nursing jobs because they don’t require typical nursing tasks such as taking patient vitals or preparing patients for procedures. In fact, legal nurse consultants don’t work in a healthcare setting at all. Instead, they assist lawyers with legal cases that involve medical issues. Their responsibilities may include analyzing and interpreting medical documents, researching current medical literature, writing legal briefs involving health and medical issues, and even testifying in court as nurse experts.
To become a legal nurse consultant, you’ll need several years of experience as a registered nurse. Depending on your employer, you may also need to become certified as a Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) by the American Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).
Although a Bachelor of Science in Nursing isn’t necessary, it can give you a competitive edge during the hiring process and give your salary a boost as well. Many nursing schools offer convenient online RN to BSN options to give prospective legal nurse consultants a convenient way to earn this valuable credential.
Utilization Review Nurse
One of the more obscure and unusual nursing jobs you’ll find anywhere is that of a utilization review nurse. These types of nurses won’t be seen on the front lines of the nursing profession. Instead, they work behind the scenes to monitor the use of hospital services, ensuring maximum efficiency and optimal use of healthcare resources. Utilization review nurses are responsible for conducting routine audits, making sure that healthcare facilities aren’t stretching their resources unnecessarily by extending hospital stays, for instance, or prescribing medications that aren’t beneficial.
Utilization review nurses will need an associate’s degree in nursing or preferably a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. For the latter credential, there are many RN to BSN online programs nurses can consider. In addition, extensive experience in nursing is essential.
Some utilization review nurses pursue professional certification from the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.
Once hired, utilization review nurses can expect to undergo extensive on-the-job training to become proficient at their duties.
The occupation of a psychiatric nurse may also be considered one of the more unusual nursing jobs. Instead of attending to the physical needs of patients as most registered nurses do, psychiatric nurses also take care of a patients’ mental health. Specifically, they work with conditions such as anxiety and depression, addiction, and dementia.
Psychiatric nurses in the United States can be found in a variety of different settings, including psychiatric hospitals, schools, prisons, and outpatient mental health clinics. Within these various settings, psychiatric nurses are responsible for many different tasks. These can include providing mental health counseling, educating patients and their families about medications and other mental health treatments, and monitoring patient progress. They may also be responsible for providing assistance to psychiatric patients as they go about daily tasks like getting dressed, practicing routine personal hygiene, and taking their medications.
The requirements for becoming a psychiatric nurse include an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Increasingly, employers are preferring the latter credential. Candidates will also need to become licensed as a registered nurse and have at least two years of experience in the field. Professional certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) may also be required.
Some colleges and universities have programs designed specifically for psychiatric nurse hopefuls. For instance, Maryville University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program with a psychiatric nursing specialty as well as an online BSN to DNP for aspiring psychiatric mental health nurses. There are also numerous online RN to BSN programs for nurses who want to make themselves more appealing to employers.
Wound Care Nurse
Looking for an unusual nursing job? Why not consider a specialty in wound care nursing? Also known as wound care, ostomy and continence (WOC) nurse, these types of nurses deal with serious wounds that involve skin breakdowns such as bedsores, burns, and ulcers. Wound care nurses may work in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care facilities, home health care settings, and more.
To become a wound care nurse, you’ll need at least an associate’s degree in nursing, though many employers prefer a BSN credential. You’ll also need to be licensed as a registered nurse (RN). In addition, you may need to pass an exam to become certified by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB).
In addition to the many online RN to BSN options students have to gain the credentials necessary to pursue a career in wound care nursing, many schools have targeted programs for aspiring WOCs. Some of the colleges and universities offering such programs include the University of Washington, Emory University, and Rutgers University, for instance.
Diabetes Nurse Educator
Another nursing job outside of the norm is that of the diabetes nurse educator. Considered an unusual nursing job due to its highly specific nature, this occupation requires registered nurses to teach diabetes patients and their families about the disease itself as well as various treatment plans. This can include signs and symptoms of diabetes, the importance of diet and nutrition, and how to administer insulin and other medications.
In addition to becoming licensed as a registered nurse, you may also need professional certification from the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) in order to work in the field.
Some schools offer advanced programs for nurses interested in becoming diabetes nurse educators. For example, Columbia University offers a Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management program that can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Core course titles comprising the program’s curriculum include Assessment of the Person With Diabetes, Preventative and Therapeutic Interventions in Diabetes Management, and Pharmacology of Diabetes, for example.
Aspiring diabetes nurse educators looking for the educational requirements necessary to become employed may consider the many convenient RN to BSN online programs available.
One of the most well-known (though still unusual) nursing jobs is the position of a nursing informaticist. These nursing professionals are skilled in the area of information technology and use their knowledge of computer science to improve healthcare technology and efficiency. Depending on their specific terms of employment, this may include developing new systems and technologies, instructing other nurses in the use of new applications, and assessing the effectiveness of existing applications.
There are many paths to becoming a nursing informaticist, including a convenient online RN to BSN program. At a minimum, though, you’ll need to be a licensed RN and have some experience working in the field.
Many schools offer graduate programs for aspiring nurse informaticists who want to advance their education. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the University of Maryland – Baltimore’s MSN in Nursing Informatics as the top program of its kind in the nation. The 40-credit hour program is offered completely online and is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It includes courses such as Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care, Information Technology Project Management, and Healthcare Database Systems.
Another top program is Duke University’s online Master of Nursing Science in Health Informatics. This program combines synchronous and asynchronous content delivery for a truly immersive learning experience. Students enrolled in the program will take classes such as Health Information Technology Leadership, Population Health in a Global Society, and Data Analytics, for example.
The job of a nursing informaticist is not only a unique and engaging one; it’s also a high-paying position. Many nurse informaticists make over six figures per year, according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
If you’re adventurous by nature, you’ll definitely want to consider travel nursing. This unusual nursing job requires only an associate’s in nursing or a convenient online RN to BSN and an RN license. You may also need a year or two of nursing experience before you can qualify for a gig as a travel nurse.
If your specialty happens to be in a high-demand area such as labor and delivery or ER nursing, then your chances of lucrative, secure employment as a travel nurse will be even greater.
As the name implies, travel nurses travel from place to place and work short-term contracts. These contracts can vary in length but often span thirteen weeks. Travel nurses are often needed to fill staffing shortages in certain geographical areas.
Travel nursing is a well-paid nursing job, and employers often pay for travel and lodging expenses as well. Some even offer benefits and retirement packages that rival more standard nursing jobs.
Infection Control Nurse
If you’ve never researched unusual nursing jobs, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of the position of an infection control nurse. These healthcare professionals are burdened with the challenging responsibility of preventing infection from spreading in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Their day-to-day tasks may include researching infectious disease prevention, developing plans to prevent infection, and educating other hospital staff on prevention protocols.
Most employers prefer infection control nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing credential at a minimum. Fortunately, there are numerous RN to BSN online programs available via distance learning technology for students interested in pursuing this degree. Some employers may also require certification from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
Graduate programs specifically designed for infection control nurses are available. For example, Loyola University-Chicago offers an MSN in Infection Prevention from its Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. The program features course titles such as Advanced Concepts in Community Health, Methods for Infection Prevention, and Introduction to Epidemiology.
American Sentinel University also offers an MSN with a specialization in Infection Prevention and Control. The curriculum for this option includes classes like Clinical Epidemiology, Design of a Surveillance System, and Introduction to Identification of the Infectious Disease Processes.
Another popular, yet unique nursing job is the occupation of a nurse-midwife. These nursing professionals deliver babies and provide professional care to their mothers before, during, and after labor. This can include performing gynecological and other prenatal examinations, preparing a mother for labor, coaching the mother during the birth of the baby, and providing postnatal care.
To become a nurse-midwife, you’ll need more than just an online RN to BSN or similar credential. You’ll also need a master’s or doctoral degree in nurse-midwifery. Students have many options when it comes to pursuing these advanced credentials. For example, East Carolina University offers an MSN program with a specialty in Nurse-Midwifery. The program features course titles such as Health Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice, Human Physiology and Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice, and Clinical Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice.
Another option is Georgetown University’s Online Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program. This 49-credit hour option requires 27 months of study and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Three on-campus intensives are also required prior to graduation.
Nurse Health Coach
A relatively new addition to our list of unique nursing jobs is the occupation of a nurse health coach. These healthcare professionals counsel, educate, and motivate patients to take control of their own health and practice wellness strategies. Health coaches may assist relatively healthy individuals to achieve optimal wellness, or they may coach chronically ill patients as they learn to administer treatments and make necessary lifestyle changes.
One of the things that make the role of a nurse health coach so unusual among nursing jobs is its propensity towards self-employment. Unlike other unique nursing jobs, the role of a nurse health coach can be entrepreneurial in nature as coaches open up their own businesses to the public.
The educational requirements for becoming a nurse health coach include a bachelor’s degree in nursing, such as those that can be obtained through convenient RN to BSN online programs. Professional certification is also available through the International Nurse Coach Association (INCA) and the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC).
For those interested in an advanced degree in the field, the University of Minnesota offers a Master of Arts in Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching. The program is available via a blended learning format and features course titles such as Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine, Business of Health Coaching, and Coaching People with Clinical Conditions.
Another unusual nursing job is that of a nurse navigator. Nurse navigators have multi-faceted roles in the healthcare system. Ultimately, though, it is the job of a nurse navigator to help individual patients “navigate” the system and get the care that they need. This can include counseling them through a serious diagnosis, helping them understand their treatment options, and coordinating their care. Many nurse navigators work in oncology, helping cancer patients as they undergo treatment.
The first step toward a career as a nurse navigator is a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students looking for a convenient pathway towards this necessary credential should consider one of the many online RN to BSN programs currently available from colleges and universities across the country.
In addition to a BSN, nurse navigators may also need professional certification from organizations such as the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators.
Occupational Health Nurse
Interested in workplace health and safety? Then, the unusual nursing job of an occupational health nurse may be ideal for you. These specialty nurses are responsible for planning and implementing health and safety programs for employees in a wide variety of industries. These programs may address issues such as stress management, fitness and nutrition, smoking cessation, and workplace hazards. It is the job of the occupational health nurse to educate workers about these programs, monitor their progress throughout program implementation, and advocate for employee health rights and wellness benefits.
Occupational nurses must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students can earn this credential through a variety of different on-campus programs, or by pursuing a convenient RN to BSN online. Professional certification is also available through the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc.
For students interested in an advanced degree in the field, the University of Cincinnati offers an online MSN in Occupational Health. The curriculum for the program features course titles such as Occupational and Environmental Diseases and Injuries, Healthcare Policy for the Advanced Practice Nurse, and Principles of Occupational Exposure Assessment, for instance.
A similar program is offered through the University of California-San Francisco. Students who elect this option will take classes like Occupational Health and Diverse Worker Populations, Advanced Health Assessment, and Issues in Occupational Health, for example.
Also called a telephone triage nurse, the occupation of an advice nurse makes our list of the most unusual nursing jobs. These types of nurses are trained to give medical advice over the phone or by other forms of non-contact communication like text messages or teleconference. They must also assess a patient’s health condition, determine the next steps for care, and schedule appointments or emergency medical care.
To become an advice nurse, you’ll need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You can obtain this credential through a traditional on-campus program or via one of the many flexible online RN to BSN programs now available. In addition, you may need to seek professional certification from the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing.
If you enjoy conducting scientific research, then the unusual nursing job of a research nurse—also called a nurse researcher—may be a suitable position for you. These healthcare professionals aren’t usually found at a patient’s bedside. In fact, they’re more likely to be discovered with their nose in a scholarly medical journal. Still, research nurses make important contributions to the medical field by planning and conducting studies, writing grants to fund studies, and publishing findings, for instance.
The first step to becoming a research nurse is to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing through an on-campus program or through an online RN to BSN. Students must also become licensed to practice as a registered nurse and go on to complete an advanced degree, usually a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
Drexel University offers a specialized MSN program designed specifically for nurses interested in the field of research nursing. This Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Clinical Research can be completed entirely online and covers topics such as ethics of clinical research, FDA rules and regulations, and human subject protection, for example.
One of the better-known, yet still unusual nursing jobs is the occupation of a forensic nurse. Forensic nurses are not only important to the healthcare industry, but they are vital to the criminal justice field as well. These healthcare professionals treat victims of abuse and violence, and they also act as consultants and expert witnesses for the legal system. Some forensic nurses specialize in a certain area of the field such as sexual assault, child abuse, or elder neglect, for example.
The first step toward pursuing a career path in forensic nursing is to become a licensed RN and complete a bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Many nursing students find the most convenient avenue to credentialing to be an RN to BSN online program.
An advanced degree in forensic nursing may also be helpful for employment. One option is the MSN in Forensic Nursing from Duquesne University. Offered through the school’s Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law in collaboration with its School of Nursing, the 36-credit hour course of study can be completed entirely online. A post-master’s certificate is also available.
Oakland University offers a similar option. Its MSN in Forensic Nursing features courses such as Interpersonal Violence and Maltreatment, Forensic Nurse Death Investigation, and Systems Leadership & Health Policy for Advanced Nursing Practice, for instance.
Public Health Nurse
If you tend to see the forest rather than the trees, so to speak, then you may be interested in the unusual nursing job of a public health nurse. Public health nurses focus on solving the larger problem of community health rather than attending to individual patients. This doesn’t mean they don’t ever treat patients, however. In fact, many public health nurses routinely administer immunizations. Still, these types of nurses spend most of their efforts toward improving community health as a whole. They may accomplish this by tracking infectious disease trends, educating the public on wellness practices, developing nutrition programs, and the like.
The recommended level of education for entry into the field of public nursing is a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students can obtain this credential via a local college or university or through one of the many online RN to BSN programs available. Public health nurses must also be licensed registered nurses, and a professional certificate in public health nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center may also be required.
Some public health nurses also opt to pursue an advanced degree in the field. Though not required, a master’s degree can improve your job prospects and potential earnings. Those nurses interested in this path may want to consider Grand Canyon University’s online MSN in Public Health Nursing. Offered through the school’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, the program features core courses such as Application and Interpretation of Public Health Data, International Perspectives in Community Health, Organizational Leadership and Informatics, and Translational Research and Population Health Management.
Johns Hopkins University also offers a dual MSN in Public Health Nursing/ MPH joint degree program. The program is offered on a full-time or part-time basis and features classes like Population Dynamics and Public Health, Statistical Reasoning in Public Health, and The Social Determinants of Health, for example.
Commonly referred to as a complementary health nurse, a holistic nurse makes the list of unusual nursing jobs due to its non-traditional approach to health care. Holistic nurses treat the “whole” patient as opposed to an isolated disease or condition. They do so by developing a comprehensive treatment plan that includes spiritual care, nutrition, lifestyle changes, and mental health therapies.
To become a holistic nurse, you’ll need to be licensed as a registered nurse and earn a degree in nursing, preferably at the bachelor’s level. Many nurses fulfill this academic requirement through a convenient online RN to BSN program. Professional certification for holistic nurses is also available through the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation.
A few schools offer bachelor’s programs in nursing specifically designed for those who aspire to work in the field of holistic nursing. For example, the University of Maine-Augusta’s RN to BSN degree completion program emphasizes career preparation for the holistic nurse and can be completed fully online or via a hybrid format.
An advanced degree in holistic nursing, although not necessary, can position nurses for more coveted positions in the field as well as higher salaries. Those prospective holistic nurses interested in earning a master’s degree may want to consider the Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Advanced Holistic Nursing from Florida Atlantic University. Offered through the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, this graduate program features specialty course titles such as Foundations of Holistic Nursing, Integrating Expertise in Holistic Practice, and Developing Expertise in Holistic Healing Modalities.
One of the more unusual nursing jobs on our list, a parish nurse usually works in a church setting rather than a clinical one. Parish nurses are tasked with providing a faith-based community with not only medical care, but spiritual care as well. In this way, a parish nurse is similar to a holistic nurse. The difference is that a parish nurse is more religious, whereas a holistic nurse focuses on non-denominational spirituality.
To become a parish nurse, you’ll need to be licensed as a registered nurse and have a nursing degree, preferable a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This credential is available through hundreds of on-campus programs across the nation or via an RN to BSN online program.
Academic programs specific to parish nursing are hard to come by, but they are available. For instance, Concordia University-Wisconsin offers a parish nursing certificate designed for those nurses who desire to work for a faith-based institution.
Cruise Ship Nurse
One of the more exotic positions on our list of unusual nursing jobs is that of a cruise ship nurse. These healthcare professionals provide medical treatment for passengers aboard a cruise ship. This includes everything from routine first-aid to emergency life-saving measures.
Many nurses find the idea of working on a cruise ship very appealing, and there are benefits. For example, you may be able to travel to places you might not get the chance to otherwise. However, the duties of a cruise ship nurse can be very challenging. You never know what conditions you may have to treat or how many patients may get sick while on the ship, for example.
The entry-level requirements for a cruise ship nurse are similar to those for other types of nursing specialties. That is, you’ll need to be a licensed RN and hold a nursing degree. Those credentials gained from a convenient online RN to BSN program will suffice.
However, you’ll likely need some experience in the field of nursing prior to being hired to practice medicine on a cruise ship. Most employers require two to three years of relevant work experience. You may also need professional certification in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).
One of the undeniably unusual nursing jobs on our list is the occupation of a hyperbaric nurse. These types of nurses are responsible for caring for those patients undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy for a range of conditions and illnesses. Though many of their duties will be routine nursing tasks, hyperbaric nurses will also need to be skilled in working certain types of equipment unique to a hyperbaric chamber. There are also occupational risks associated with this nursing specialization, particularly the side effects of working in pressurized environments.
To enter the field, prospective hyperbaric nurses will need an RN license and a degree in nursing. Many candidates pursue their academic training in an online RN to BSN program. In addition, most employers will prefer at least two years of experience in nursing and a professional certificate in hyperbaric nursing such as the Certified Hyperbaric Nurse (CHRN) certificate from the Baromedical Nurses Association.
Oil Rig Nurse
Another position one may think of as a strange or unusual nursing job is that of an oil rig nurse. These types of nurses work on offshore oil rigs, taking care of oil rig workers. Because they are often the only medical personnel on the rig, these nurses work independently and must be able to make diagnoses and decisions about treatment plans on their own. Because injuries are common amongst oil rig workers, it’s best that oil rig nurses have emergency room and/or acute care experience.
Licensed RNs are eligible to become oil rig nurses, but they will need a formal degree in nursing. Prospective oil rig nurses can earn an RN to BSN online, or they can opt for a similar on-campus program. No professional certifications are necessary, though employers will prefer experienced nurses over those new to the field.
One of the more challenging and unusual nursing jobs is the position of a flight nurse. These healthcare professionals are trained to provide medical care to patients on an aircraft. Typically, these patients will have serious conditions that require them to be flown to a hospital for immediate treatment or transported from one hospital to another via a helicopter or other aircraft.
Like most of the other nursing jobs we’ve highlighted, flight nurses need an RN license and a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. The bachelor’s credential can be obtained conveniently through an RN to BSN online program, or students may opt to attend classes on campus.
Even with a bachelor’s degree, you’re not likely to be hired as a flight nurse until you gain some relevant experience. Most employers will prefer experience in a trauma setting such as the emergency room or intensive care unit. Professional certifications may also be required.
One of the more low-key entries on our list of unusual nursing jobs is the occupation of a nurse esthetician. These types of nurses work in medical spas or salons, providing advanced skincare treatments and other cosmetic procedures like Botox injections.
The minimum requirements to become a nurse esthetician include an associate’s degree program along with a LPN credential. However, many aspiring nurse estheticians are registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees. Convenient online RN to BSN programs make it relatively easy for nurses to earn the bachelor’s credential. Professional certification by the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations (NCEA)may also be required by some employers.
Medical Script Nurse
Definitely one of the more unusual nursing jobs out there, the occupation of a medical script nurse requires virtually none of the typical duties one might associate with a healthcare professional. Instead, medical script nurses consult with television scriptwriters to ensure their scripts are accurate.
If you are a fan of TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy or The Resident, for example, then you may be intrigued by the thought of becoming a medical script nurse. If you’re hired on, you can expect to spend your days reading over television and film scripts and checking them for their medical exactness. This is a sharp turn from the usual tasks required of a nurse such as checking temperatures and changing bedpans.
Unfortunately, the job of a medical script nurse is also one of the lesser-paying nursing gigs. Thus, you might feel glamorous on the job site, but at the end of the day, you may not be able to afford a posh lifestyle.
One of the newest and most unusual nursing jobs on our list is that of a cannabis nurse. As the name suggests, a cannabis nurse treats patients with medical marijuana. As states across the country legalize medical marijuana, health professionals are needed to help patients determine the best care possible and ensure that their use of the drug is safe and effective.
Any licensed RN can become a cannabis nurse, but it’s beneficial to have some formal training in the field. Professional development courses in cannabis nursing education are available through the American Cannabis Nursing Association (ACNA). These courses can be completed online and cover topics such as Medical Risks and Legal Implications, Dosing, and The Endocannabinoid System, for example.
If you enjoy the outdoors, then the unusual nursing job of a camp nurse may be a great fit for you. Camp nurses are responsible for the healthcare of individuals in a camp or retreat setting. This could range from a senior citizen retreat, a corporate team-building event, or a youth summer camp. Camp nurses must be willing to work independently without a lot of direct supervision, and they must be prepared to treat a variety of illnesses, injuries, and conditions. For example, a camper may have an asthma attack, suffer a broken limb, or become ill with food poisoning, for instance.
Aside from an RN license and an academic credential such as an associate’s in nursing or an online RN to BSN, for example, there are no additional educational requirements to become employed as a camp nurse. Still, online professional development courses are available from the Association of Camp Nursing (ACN). Some of these courses include Physical Assessment at Camp, Camp Orthopedics, and Diabetes Management at Camp. Taking courses like these can help you become more employable as a camp nurse and increase your job preparedness.
Amusement Park Nurse
For the kid at heart, one of the most appealing of the unusual nursing jobs on our list is the occupation of an amusement park nurse. The job is not all fun and games, though. Amusement park nurses often work long hours and must treat a wide variety of different conditions, illnesses, and injuries on any given day. These could include severe dehydration, chest pains, cuts and burns, and other serious injuries and symptoms.
Graduates of RN to BSN online programs will be qualified to work as amusement park nurses. In some cases, an associate’s degree in nursing paired with some relevant experience may be sufficient for entry-level employment.
The pay for amusement park nurses is reportedly on par with the national average for registered nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for RNs to be just over $70,000 per year.
Health Policy Nurse
If you want to make a big difference in the field of healthcare as a whole, then the unusual nursing job of a health policy nurse may be the position for you. These types of nurses don’t usually attend to individual patients. Instead, their roles involve advising state and federal policy makers on decisions related to the health and medical industry at large. Their specific duties may include conducting research on pressing healthcare issues, analyzing current health policies, presenting plans for new policies, and writing health policy briefs, for example.
To become a health policy nurse, you’ll need an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). For most prospective nurses, the journey to an MSN begins with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, such as the kind you can earn through a convenient online RN to BSN program. Once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, you’ll then need to find a graduate degree program, preferably one with a specialty in health policy.
One such program is the online MSN in Health Policy from Liberty University. This 36-credit hour offering is CCNE-accredited option features course titles like Domestic Policy; Leadership, Policy, and Ethics; and Public Policy Analysis.
A similar on-campus program is available through the University of California-San Francisco. The accelerated 15-month offering is comprised of classes like Health Policy Research Utilization, Corporate Influences on Health and Health Care, and Theories of the Policy Process. A 240-hour summer health policy residency is also required for successful program completion.
If you’re numerically inclined, then you may want to consider the unusual nursing job of a nurse auditor. These types of nurses provide financial advice and analysis to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Day-to-day tasks for these health care professionals may include examining a hospital’s budget to look for unnecessary expenses, ensuring the accuracy of a patient’s medical bill, or processing insurance claims.
In addition to an RN license, you’ll need a degree in nursing in order to become a nurse auditor. This can be achieved through an on-campus or online RN to BSN program, or in some cases, an associate’s degree in nursing will suffice. Many employers prefer that nurses also have several years of experience in a clinical healthcare setting before being hired as a nurse auditor. Professional certification by the American Association of Clinical Coders and Auditors (AACCA) may also give prospective nurse auditors a competitive edge during the application process.
Quality Improvement Nurse
The occupation of a quality improvement nurse is another of the “big picture” positions on our list of unusual nursing jobs. These healthcare professionals work to improve the quality of care that patients receive in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and other medical facilities. Their specific duties may include evaluating current hospital protocol, identifying ways to enhance efficiency and patient safety, and researching trends in patient care.
Quality improvement nurses hold advanced positions in the nursing field. Therefore, they’ll need a graduate degree in order to become employed in an official capacity. If you’re interested in pursuing a nursing career in quality improvement, you’ll first need to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. There are numerous online RN to BSN degree programs currently available.
Next, you’ll want to find an accredited Master of Science in Nursing, or MSN, program that emphasizes quality improvement in nursing. One option is Drexel University’s MSN in Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety, and Risk Management. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and delivered via an interactive online format. Course titles comprising its curriculum include Confronting Issues in Contemporary Healthcare Environments, Healthcare Quality and the Legal Context, and Creating a Culture of Safety.
Johns Hopkins University also offers an online Master of Applied Science in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality that can be pursued on a part-time basis. Designed for working nurses, the program features course titles like Statistical Concepts in Public Health, Science of Patient Safety, and Quality Improvement Tools.
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