3 Alternative Career Options for Nurses With a BSN Degree

Friday - December 1, 2023

Nursing is a lucrative career. A bedside nurse earns between $63,000 and $99,000 in the United States, reveals Glassdoor. Besides, the emotional rewards you receive for caring for patients outweigh the financial rewards.

Nevertheless, working as a nurse can be extremely exhausting, both mentally and physically. About 33% of nurses reported working overtime in a recent national survey. Working under such conditions can result in fatigue. As demanding work schedules don’t allow sufficient rest for nurses, it results in burnout.

Do the long hours of nursing take a toll on your health? Or are you seeking something that isn’t as demanding as nursing? Either way, you’re in for luck. A degree in BSN opens up a wealth of career opportunities for registered nurses.

Continue reading to find out alternative career options that you can consider as a nurse.

#1 Camp Nurse

Nursing graduates who enjoy working with kids but prefer a non-bedside job can pursue a career as a camp nurse. This could involve working at summer camps or other camps that last for days, weeks, or sometimes even months.

Nurses are required in camps because they are located in settings far from healthcare facilities or hospitals. Moreover, they house administrators, staff, and children, and that’s what makes nurses crucial in camps.

The responsibilities of camp nurses are as follows:

  • Maintain health office and equipment
  • Conduct pre-camp health assessments
  • Treat staff and campers who exhibit signs of illness, such as allergies, food-borne illness, and flu
  • Provide first aid to everyone at the camp with injuries like burns, cuts, and broken bones
  • Prepare for potential communicable disease outbreaks by developing a plan
  • Offer emotional support and address issues like homesickness and bullying
  • Educate campers on topics such as bug bite prevention and sunburn

Becoming a camp nurse is financially rewarding. In the U.S., the salaries of camp nurses range between $50,500 and $82,700. 

Having a BSN degree is a prerequisite to becoming a camp nurse. But an Associate’s Degree in Nursing will do if you don’t have a BSN. However, you will be eligible to become a camp nurse only if you’ve passed the NCLEX-RN exam and are a registered nurse.

#2 Legal Nurse Consultant

Instead of patients, legal nurse consultants or LNCs work with attorneys and other legal professionals.

LNCs bridge the gap between the medical and legal professions, as they help doctors understand the legal jargon and lawyers comprehend the medical ones. They assist lawyers in cases related to medical malpractice by defining medical terms and evaluating medical charts. 

The University of Indianapolis asserts that nurses with a strong interest in legal and ethical issues can work as expert witnesses.

Unlike traditional nurses, LNCs work outside the hospital or healthcare facilities. This includes law offices, especially those that specialize in medical malpractice and personal injury, and insurance companies, particularly those that handle workers’ compensation.

Many government agencies also hire LNCs to help with government-funded healthcare billing or claims and defend state agencies.

While the specifics of LNCs vary from case to case, their typical day-to-day activities include:

  • Reviewing medical records to see if proper measures were taken
  • Determining whether or not a patient received appropriate care
  • Communicating with legal and healthcare professionals
  • Review medical evidence
  • Prepare documents related to medical care
  • Attend medical examination

LNCs earn three to four times more than traditional nurses. On average, LNCs earn about $1,12,069 annually, reveals Glassdoor.

If you plan to become an LNC, you must meet certain requirements. A BSN degree is required to pursue a career as an LNC. However, if you don’t have a BSN, an ASN will do.

However, you can earn more than other LNCs if you hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). If you already have an MSN degree, a post-master’s certificate in nursing leadership will help you gain an edge over other LNCs.

For individuals already working as nurses, earning an MSN or a post-master’s certificate might seem challenging, but it isn’t. Many universities offer online nursing programs, allowing nurses to earn degrees remotely while working.

Registered nurses are advancing their careers and enhancing their skills by enrolling in online degrees for nurses offered by universities.

One of the significant benefits of online nursing programs is flexibility. You can plan your course according to your schedule and watch lectures whenever and wherever you want. Plus, studying online is cost-effective, as you don’t have to bear the traveling and living expenses.

#3 Health Writer

If you love writing, why not pursue a career as a health writer? You can write health articles for academic journals, magazines, newspapers, websites, and nursing publications.

Having a BSN degree makes nurses desirable because they have the insight of a nurse. Their knowledge and experience help them compose quality articles with accurate information, so there’s no room for error.

Health writers are responsible for the following:

  • Developing content on an array of topics, including medical reports and press releases
  • Proofread materials and review content to check its quality as well as scientific accuracy
  • Help junior writers reach their full potential

Unlike bedside nursing jobs, you can choose to work as a freelancer, whereas many work as full-time writers for universities. On average, a medical writer earns about $100,000 per year.

Ready to Get Started?

Bedside nursing isn’t the only career you can pursue with a BSN degree. There are a lot of non-traditional nursing career paths you can embark on. Everything that you’ve learned in nursing school, as well as in clinical settings, can be applied in a multitude of ways in non-bedside careers.

With a BSN degree, you can also work as a pharmaceutical nurse, nurse educator, insurance nurse, and healthcare compliance specialist. Still in doubt? Reaching out to a career counselor will be the best bet.

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