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7 Best Non-nursing Careers To Pursue After Getting Your Nursing Degree

by Lois R. Earles
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Your time as an RN can be the best years of your life, and you have many more career opportunities available to you than just nursing.

Plenty of other professions allow you to take advantage of your medical knowledge and experience in the medical field to impact the lives of people.

As the economy changes, there are more and more new ways to grow in your field and make an impact outside of your original scope of practice.

Read on to learn about the best non-nursing careers you can pursue after your nursing degree.

Medical science liaison

A medical science liaison (MSL) is an individual who helps pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with their clinical research. An MSL will typically have a science and clinical research background.

They are responsible for developing new drug therapies by providing expertise in drug development, project management, regulatory guidance, and medical writing. MSLs work closely with the medical community and other stakeholders, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.

One primary function of the MSL is educating physicians about new treatments and medications. Most major pharmaceutical and biotech firms hire their own in-house MSLs.

It’s worth noting that this job doesn’t require a nursing degree but an advanced science degree such as molecular biology or pharmacology.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants can perform many tasks, including conducting physical exams, ordering and analyzing lab tests, diagnosing illnesses and injuries, prescribing medications, and providing treatment.

These professionals are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions. They provide comprehensive medical care while also focusing on prevention and wellness.

To become a physician assistant, you need at least two years of college or an associate degree in pre-medicine from an accredited university.

Individuals may also enroll in the Baylor University online DNP program to achieve one of the most respected degrees in nursing education today.

By achieving your doctorate through this online program, you will access other high-demand jobs, such as working with geriatric patients, obstetrics, and pediatrics.

Pharmacy technician

A pharmacy technician can work in various settings, such as retail pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes. They are the link between pharmaceutical manufacturers and providers.

These technicians provide medication information and counseling for patients with healthcare professionals. They also answer customer questions about prescription medications, among other duties.

If you want to pursue this profession after earning your nursing degree, you must complete both schooling and licensing requirements in the state where you want to practice.

It is an excellent alternative for those who want to continue working in healthcare but don’t want to go back to school or get another degree.

Pharmaceutical representative

A pharmaceutical representative has a lot of flexibility in where they work and what they do. These individuals usually market and sell drugs but can also offer medical education services.

They are responsible for product marketing, research and development, sales management, and regulatory affairs. Pharmaceutical representatives may need a degree in areas other than nursing, but many companies will provide on-the-job training.

Training consists of learning about new drugs that come onto the market and getting certified as an expert. In addition, professional organizations offer certification programs that teach about specific aspects of medicine, like diabetes care.

Once you have completed this certification program, you will be qualified to apply for a job with your company. As a pharmaceutical representative, you will spend time in public pharmacies and doctors’ offices trying to sell your drug.

Clinical nurse educator

A clinical nurse educator works primarily with nursing students and recent graduates. They instruct on the latest techniques, provide clinical experience opportunities and monitor their students’ progress.

Their responsibilities also include teaching new procedures to physicians and healthcare providers. They must be able to understand medical terminology in order to teach effectively.

Some qualities needed in this position are excellent communication skills, creativity, a love for teaching, knowledge of medical terminology, and good organizational skills. In addition, clinical nurse educators must be compassionate, patient, and committed.

To become an educator, you must have completed at least one year of clinical work or education. Many schools also offer scholarships if you’re willing to commit to educating others about nursing for five years after graduation.

Nutritionist

Nutritionists advise clients on healthy eating habits and ways to improve their lifestyles. The job is demanding, requiring many hours of research and hands-on work, but it can also be rewarding in terms of helping people make lasting changes.

They can work in various settings, including hospitals, health clinics, schools, or private practice offices. Registered dietitians and nutrition specialists typically have a master’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree will also suffice.

If you’re considering becoming a registered dietician or nutritionist, you might also want to consider becoming an RN first since they usually go hand in hand with each other.

You may want to take some time to explore these options after graduating from your nursing degree program and decide which is right for you.

Nurse consultant

A nurse consultant manages and provides oversight for the nursing care of patients in a healthcare facility. When you work as a nurse consultant, you assess the patient’s needs and ensure that an appropriate level of nursing staff meets them.

You also monitor the quality of care the nurses deliver and provide education on improving it. No degree is required for this position, but many employers require previous experience in healthcare or a related field.

A hospital is just one place where you can find jobs as a nurse consultant. Other settings may include rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, hospices, home health agencies, public health departments, and schools.

Wrapping up

With a nursing degree, nurses work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or even at home with patients.

If you are interested in a career as a nurse but don’t feel ready yet, there are plenty of other jobs that you can pursue first.

Some people have succeeded as teachers, social workers, and even accountants. Whatever your desired profession is, it’s essential to research the field before making any commitments.

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