Jobs Similar to Nursing and Their Degree Requirements

Modern nursing jobs can be more versatile than traditional bedside roles. Some nurses want to change jobs because of income, burnout, or an issue with their work setting.

Where a nurse ranks with their education, specialization, and where they decide to work, all play a role in job requirements and expected salary.

In this article, we discuss where to look for jobs similar to nursing, explore some jobs you may qualify for with your nursing background, and discuss alternative medical jobs you might consider.

Where to look for jobs similar to nursing

There are many jobs similar to nursing with non-bedside responsibilities. Jobs in disease study and testing new medications within research laboratories require working alongside doctors and scientists and still working closely with patients. Hospitals and clinics may also have open administration or managerial positions.

For a more unique experience away from traditional bedside nursing, consider a job with a pharmacy or pharmaceutical company where a background in nursing strengthens your abilities in patient education and sales.

Many nurses turn to occupational roles in private companies or become nurses in private or public schools. This allows them to educate entire communities, and often these are state or government institutions where benefits and pay compare with traditional nursing.

If a nurse is looking for something completely different from their traditional roles, they may look for opportunities with insurance and law firms.

Here, they can assist in legal cases relating to worker’s compensation, medical malpractice, or accidents. If you’re interested in jobs with similar atmospheres to nursing but without a nursing degree, there are several options there too.

4 non-bedside jobs similar to nursing for a BSN degree

There are jobs for those with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) who want to work in a non-bedside work environment. Here are four examples of jobs you qualify for with a BSN degree:

1. Legal nurse consultant

National average salary: $40.94 per hour

Primary duties: Legal nurse consultants are analysts, strategists, researchers, and educators with in-depth knowledge of medical laws.

They give expert opinions and analyses of adverse medical events for prosecution or defense in malpractice lawsuits. They are often liaisons between healthcare staff and lawyers.

2. Nurse manager

National average salary: $99,812 per year

Primary duties: Nurse managers and administrators plan and manage day-to-day operations in nursing departments. They hire, supervise, and provide strategic direction to nursing staff. They also oversee the scheduling for their staff and address patient complaints as needed.

This role typically requires some experience in a bedside nursing role but can be an excellent career advancement opportunity that involves more team management than patient care.

3. Organ transplant coordinator

National average salary: $43.30 per hour

Primary duties: These specialists conduct clinical assessments and evaluations while working with families and remaining consistent with established guidelines.

They facilitate ongoing communication with a healthcare team during the donation process. Organ and tissue donation coordinators also negotiate operating room resources to support the donor organ surgeries.

4. Director of care

National average salary: $92,257 per year

Primary duties: The director of care interprets policies to educational institutions, prospective agencies, and government organizations. They liaise with other registered nursing regulatory bodies internationally. Directors of care are executives who focus on a community and apply all registration processes and procedures.

4 non-bedside jobs similar to nursing for an MSN degree

If you have a master of science in nursing (MSN) and want to work in a non-bedside work environment, you qualify for some unique positions. Here are four examples of non-bedside jobs you qualify for with an MSN degree:

1. Nurse researcher

National average salary: $37.46 per hour

Primary duties: Nurse researchers facilitate, enhance, and promote research and development activities. They provide information and advice to researchers about the preparation of the research findings and results. Nurse researchers are liaisons between researchers, patients, and pharmaceutical companies.

2. Clinical nurse leader

National average salary: $109,718 per year

Primary duties: A clinical nurse leader provides clinical expertise, mentoring, and oversight to a nursing team. They provide leadership in cultural safety, reflective practice, and trauma-informed care. They’re also responsible for completing documentation in partnership with clients.

3. Director of Nursing

National average salary: $99,389 per year

Primary duties: A director of nursing ensures high-quality personal care for their residents. They assume responsibility for the smooth operation of nursing staff and housekeeping departments. They’re a senior member of the management team and need an in-depth understanding of facility operations.

4. Nursing advisor

National average salary: $64,567 per year

Primary duties: Nursing advisors support nursing departments in understanding and applying practice standards. They are leaders with strong critical thinking and communication skills.

They also interact with external stakeholders and the public to show the facility’s professionalism and responsibility to the nursing practice.

12 jobs similar to nursing without requiring a nursing degree

If you are without a nursing degree, perhaps still considering your career path and wondering what might interest you outside of nursing, here are some jobs to consider:

1. Dental hygienist

National average salary: $45.34 per hour

Primary duties: Becoming a dental hygienist requires licensure by the appropriate provincial or territorial governing body. Their job is similar to nursing because it requires hands-on patient care.

Dental hygienists may remove stains and deposits from patients’ teeth, apply fluoride treatments, and sometimes remove stitches after surgical procedures.

2. Physical therapist

National average salary: $40.64 per hour

Primary duties: Physical therapists work in a similar setting as nurses. They also oversee patient care plans, oversee patient progress, and coordinate work with doctors.

They develop systems to teach, supervise, and evaluate patients on their journey to better fitness and physical health.

3. Mental health technician

National average salary: $33.75 per hour

Primary duties: Mental health technicians, sometimes called psychiatric aides, are typically members of a behavioral support team. They help this team execute positive behavioral support plans with their patients.

Following the lead of psychiatric and physical care professionals, they help implement group and individual goals for clients and help their clients with day-to-day care activities.

4. X-ray technician

National average salary: $33.68 per hour

Primary duties: An X-ray technician explains procedures to patients and answers questions they may have. They also prepare equipment and exam rooms before positioning patients for their imaging exams. X-ray techs monitor patients during the examination process and document information on the clinic’s computers.

5. Pharmacy technician

National average salary: $25.50 per hour

Primary duties: It is up to the pharmacy technician to prepare and distribute prescription medication to patients accurately.

They may also assist patients with choosing an over-the-counter medication. Their daily tasks include sterilizing and preparing medicines, collecting patient information, and processing billing claims with insurance companies.

6. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $42.19 per hour

Primary duties: An occupational therapist helps treat patients by improving their ability to complete everyday activities. They often work in healthcare facilities and problem-solve with patients to help them readjust to normal life.

Occupational therapists work with an interdisciplinary team with a holistic approach and develop care plans with goals like relearning how to walk.

7. Respiratory therapist

National average salary: $34.39 per hour

Primary duties: Respiratory therapists work with patients who have issues with breathing. They understand various methods of oxygen delivery, operate necessary equipment, and assess patients for any potential side effects.

Their job is to set up and monitor machines like ventilators and other respiratory care technology. This includes any invasive and non-invasive diagnostics and learning CPR for emergency resuscitation.

8. Medical Technologist

National average salary: $35.67 per hour

Primary duties: Medical technologists assess body fluids by conducting chemical analyses of blood, urine, or spinal fluids. They determine any normal and abnormal components and report their findings to a doctor. They also calibrate, test, and maintain laboratory equipment and general upkeep of the lab.

Medical technologists must maintain a meticulously safe and clean work environment to protect themselves, their coworkers, and patients.

9. Speech-language pathologist

National average salary: $48.44 per hour

Primary duties: Speech-language pathologists evaluate and diagnose language, communication, speech, and swallowing disorders. They treat these disorders by providing training and education to families and caregivers as well as working with other medical professionals. They collaborate with professionals from multiple disciplines to meet the needs of their patients.

10. Chiropractor

National average salary: $35.97 per hour

Primary duties: A chiropractor consults with their patients about their medical history. They create a care plan that focuses on the patient’s overall health and assess the patient’s spine, posture, and reflexes. Chiropractors provide supplemental treatments to give their patients relief and give advice on how to develop healthy lifestyle habits.

11. Anaesthesia technician

National average salary: $55,212 per year

Primary duties: Anaesthesia technicians check and replace supplies on anesthesia carts and machines. They disassemble used equipment, disinfect machines and supply carts, and replace used products. Their daily tasks also include performing safety checks on all equipment and assisting the anesthesiologist as requested.

12. Paramedic

National average salary: $28.80 per hour

Primary duties: Paramedics provide emergency medical attention in urgent situations. Upon arrival at the scene, they assess a patient’s condition to determine a course of treatment. They may provide first aid treatment or life support care until they can safely transport the patient to a medical care facility.


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