5 most common career changes nurses are expected to make in 2023

Although some health care professionals might want to get away from the stress and burnout, others might just want to learn new skills or make more money

No one would really blame a nurse for adding “change career” to their New Year’s resolutions. Although some health care professionals might want to get away from the stress and burnout, others might just want to learn new skills or make more money.

Whatever your reason, there is no need to throw away your education and training just because you’re unhappy in your current role. There are plenty of careers that would welcome your skills.

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Here are the five most common options, provided by Nurse.org:

Health care recruiter

With the ongoing nursing shortage, it’s not just hospitals looking to hire more staff. A recruiter helps companies and agencies find qualified applicants and then helps those candidates through the hiring process.

Your experience working with patients and other health care professionals and their specialties will aid you in this role. Being a recruiter isn’t as lucrative — annual median income of $56,725 — as being a nurse — median annual income of $77,600 — but it comes with better hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 13% increase in the demand for health care workers through 2031. The need for more staff means there will be a need for more recruiters.

Social worker

Many nurses enjoy working with patients, and social work lets them continue that connection. “Social worker tasks may include counseling, providing referrals for social programs, arranging social services, educating clients about psychosocial impacts on their lives, and providing social services,” Nurse.org wrote.

To become a social worker, you’ll need to earn at least a bachelor’s in social work. With that, you can expect a median annual salary of $50,390, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS expects this profession to grow by 9% through 2031.

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School nurse

Your knowledge and experience as a nurse transfers easily to the educational setting. In addition to accidents that can happen at school, nurses help children manage their medications.

Salary will depend not only on which institution you work for, but also where that school is. Salary.com lists the median annual salary for school nurses at $33,035-$80,500.

The BLS projects the demand for school nurses will grow by 6% in the next nine years.

Diabetes specialist

Diabetes specialists can work practically anywhere, from hospitals to the patient’s own home. Your knowledge of the disease, along with your experience working with patients, their families and doctors, can make this an easy transition.

You’ll need to have a registered nurse license, but you’ll also be able to earn a median annual salary of up to $96,719, according to ZipRecruiter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 11.3% of the U.S. population — more than 37 million people — have diabetes, with that number expected to increase in the coming years.

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Health education specialist

Health education specialists can work at the same places nurses do: community centers, hospitals, people’s homes and more. According to Nurse.org, their goal is “to help people and communities make better health choices and adopt behaviors that allow them to live optimally healthy lives.”

Although there are no licensing requirements, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing to get one of these jobs, which pay a median annual salary of $60,600, according to the BLS.

The growth potential for health education specialists is expected to be 12% in the next decade, BLS reported.

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