3 career options for nurses seeking a change

Nursing is a demanding career, and many health care workers consider changing focus for various reasons. Better hours, less or no bedside work, interest in different types of patients, and less stress are just a few.

If your current job isn’t what you thought it would be, here are three alternatives from Nurse.org where you can put your nursing skills to good use.

Real estate agent

Let’s start with a career you might not have thought about. If you’re working a flexible schedule, you can even start out part time once you get your real estate license. According to Nurse.org, some health care workers even transition to full-time agents once they build a client list.

If you’re wondering how your nursing skills can help you sell houses, take a look at what’s needed to be a good agent:

  • Great communication and active listening skills
  • Patience
  • Customer service skills
  • Time management skills
  • Teaching skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to think on your feet

Sound familiar? You likely already have those skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median annual salary average at $48,700, or $23.45 per hour. However, BLS lumps full-time and part-time rates together. ZipRecruiter, on the other hand, the median annual income at $86,356.

Health care recruiter

Understandably, most nurses love their profession and want to stay in it. That’s why some become recruiters, to help companies find qualified employees and to assess various positions.

Transferable skills include:

  • Direct patient care
  • Experience working in healthcare facilities
  • People skills
  • Experience working with many different ancillaries and healthcare professionals
  • Understanding of the healthcare field and its different specialties

Although ZipRecruiter puts the median annual income for health care recruiters at $54,026, that jumps to $61,319 if you’re recruiting nurses. Income can vary, however, depending on where you live, hiring pool, etc. BLS has a higher median annual income of $77,600, which is $37.31 an hour.

Pharmaceutical sales representative

You already know a lot about meds, so why not be the person who recommends new ones to doctors? Also, having health care experience gives you an edge over other representatives.

Transferable nursing skills include:

  • Great customer service skills
  • A science and health care background
  • The ability to understand complex health conditions and how medications work
  • Educational experience
  • Experience talking to and working with a wide range of physicians and other healthcare professionals

ZipRecruiter says pharmaceutical sales reps earn a median annual salary of $73,282 or $35 per hour. That doesn’t include any company benefits or perks that might be attached.

Things to keep in mind

Changing careers will affect other areas of your life. Nurse.org recommends you keep a few things in mind.

  • Salary: Will you be able to maintain your lifestyle if the new job pays less?
  • Benefits such as retirement, paid time off and insurance
  • Your new work/life balance
  • Potential growth in the new position
  • Will you need to earn another degree for your new desired job?
  • Do you need professional licensure in this new career?

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