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18 BSN Nursing Careers to Consider

Staff Writer
Reviewed by Dr. Clancey Sollis
Dec 13, 2023

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) nurses are Registered Nurses (RNs) with a BSN degree. A BSN takes longer to earn than an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), which also qualifies you to become an RN. At Joyce, a BSN can be earned in as few as three years. Advantages of earning a BSN include giving graduates more work opportunities, increasing flexibility, and improving salaries over other associate-level colleagues. Joyce’s CCNE accredited RN-BSN program can help you land great jobs quickly.

From positions in clinics and hospitals to classrooms and helicopters, BSN-prepared nurses have the opportunities to work in all types of industries. Once you earn your BSN and qualify as an RN, there are an array of opportunities for things you can do with a BSN degree. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of 18 nursing career paths you can take to put your nursing education into practice.

BSN Nursing Specialties in the Clinical Setting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BSN nurses working in the hospital settings have the highest level of employment than any other industry. If the fast-paced and exciting environment of a hospital or clinic is where you want to be, here are some specialties you could consider working in with your BSN degree.

1. Hospital BSN Nurse

What Do Hospital BSN Nurses Do?

BSN nurses build their professional careers and gain experience in hospitals and clinics. Hospital nurses take on a wide-variety of bedside roles. Daily life for hospital nurses includes making rounds, taking vitals, evaluating patients, making treatment plans, and collaborating with other hospital staff.

In a hospital, you may have the opportunity to practice in a variety of roles before finding the right specialty for you. Management roles are another BSN nurse career path, and this opens the door to a higher salary and more schedule flexibility.

Education Requirements for Hospital Nurses

While hospital nurses must have at least an ASN degree and have obtained an RN license, some hospitals now only prefer hiring BSN-prepared nurses. These nurses can qualify for pay increases and more opportunities by earning a masters degree. Joyce’s flexible online Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program helps students gain this experience in as little as one year.

Hospital Nurse Schedules

Hospital nurse schedules can vary depending on the specialty or shift. Full-time nursing shifts in a hospital can include five 8-hour shifts, four 10-hour shifts, or three 12-hour shifts per week. Many hospital nurses also work night-shift schedules, so depending on your lifestyle, there’s likely a shift that will work best for you.

How Much Do Hospital Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, hospital nurses make between $57,000 and $86,500 annually, with an average yearly salary of $77,000.

2. Labor & Delivery Nurse

What Do Labor & Delivery Nurses Do?

Labor and delivery nurses care for laboring parents and their newborn babies. As a labor and delivery nurse, you’ll educate parents, monitor labor progress, keep a close eye on vital signs, administer medication, and help with comfort measures. These specialized nurses work closely with nurse midwives, obstetricians, and anesthesiologists to coordinate patient care.

Labor and delivery nursing is a great career path for BSNs who are passionate about patient advocacy and skilled at establishing trust with their patients. Childbirth is a very vulnerable, intimate time, and labor and delivery nurses have the power to make a huge impact on new parents.

Education Requirements for Labor & Delivery Nurses

Labor and delivery nurses need to graduate with an ASN or BSN degree, and your time gaining real-life experience in Joyce’s simulation lab will prepare you for labor and delivery nursing. Students can deepen their labor and delivery nursing practices and can earn additional certifications in life support, inpatient obstetric nursing, neonatal resuscitation, and electronic fetal monitoring.

Labor & Delivery Nurse Schedules

Most labor and delivery nurses work three 12-hour hospital shifts each week.

How Much do Labor & Delivery Nurses Make?

According to, labor and delivery nurses make between $72,300 to $90,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $79,500.

3. Pediatric Nurse

What Do Pediatric Nurses Do?

Pediatric nurses treat and administer medication to babies, children, and teenagers. As a pediatric nurse, you’ll also educate children and their parents about health-related topics.

Pediatric nurses need to be skilled at physical assessment because most children are not able to verbalize what’s wrong. These nurses can work with a diverse range of ages and developmental stages, from infancy through teenage years. If you love working with children, pediatric nursing could be the right nursing career path for you.

Education Requirements for Pediatric Nurses

Pediatric nurses need to graduate with an ASN or BSN. While earning your BSN at Joyce, you’ll learn how to treat and interact with children. Pediatric nurses can deepen their expertise and earn more pay by studying for and passing a pediatric nurse certification exam.

Pediatric Nurse Schedules

Most pediatric nurses work 8-hour days in outpatient clinics. Inpatient hospitals and pediatric nurse shifts are often 12 hours.

How Much Do Pediatric Nurses Make?

According to, pediatric nurses make between $70,600 and $89,100 annually, with an average yearly salary of $77,800.

4. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse

What Do Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses Do?

Psychiatric mental health (PMH) nurses examine, assess, educate, and support people of all ages with mental health and substance abuse issues. They also help with medication management and work closely with patient families.

Education Requirements for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses

Your BSN qualifies you for a career in PMH nursing. You can earn additional PMH nursing certification after two years as an RN working in the mental health arena.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Schedules

As a PMH nurse, your schedule will depend greatly on where you work. Hospitals have 12-hour shifts, but clinics, mental health facilities, prisons, schools, and other locations keep their own hours.

How Much Do Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, PMH nurses make between $65,500 and $120,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $81,649.

5. Oncology Nurse

What Do Oncology Nurses Do?

Oncology nurses work with cancer patients in day-to-day treatment, pain management, education, counseling and nursing care. A career as a BSN oncology nurse will be challenging, but rewarding. Oncology nurses are there for patients during all stages of treatment, from chemotherapy to celebrations of patient healing.

Education Requirements for Oncology Nurses

BSN nurses are qualified for careers as oncology nurses, and can certify as oncology certified nurses after about two years of work.

Oncology Nurse Schedules

Nurses working on the oncology floors of hospitals should expect to work three 12-hour shifts weekly. You could also work in an outpatient clinic, where 8- to 10-hour shifts are the standard.

How Much Do Oncology Nurses Make?

According to, oncology nurses make between $73,500 and $91,400 annually, with an average yearly salary of $81,800.

6. Pain Management Nurse

What Do Pain Management Nurses Do?

Pain management nurses work with physicians to treat patients with chronic and acute pain. As a pain management nurse, you’ll assess patients, build treatment plans, administer medication, and help with other modalities of therapeutic pain management.

Education Requirements for Pain Management Nurses

ASN and BSN nurses are qualified to begin work in pain management nursing careers. If you want to grow your pain management nursing practice, you can take a few pathways. After about two years of work, you can earn a pain management specialty certification.

Graduate studies are required to become a pain management nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, which can both increase your earning potential and influence.

Pain Management Nurse Schedules

Pain management nurses working in hospitals usually will work three 12-hour shifts each week. If you choose to work in an outpatient clinic, you may have 8- or 10-hour shifts.

How Much Do Pain Management Nurses Make?

According to, pain management nurses make between $99,091 to $153,023 annually, with an average yearly salary of $123,139.

7. Emergency Room Nurse

What Do ER Nurses Do?

Emergency room (ER) nurses, or emergency department nurses, triage and stabilize emergency illnesses, injuries, and wounds. Ready for what comes through the hospital doors, ER nurses work quickly to prioritize care and move patients through the ER efficiently. As an ER nurse, you could work in helicopters as a flight nurse, ambulances, in combat zones, or on the sidelines of sporting events.

Education Requirements for ER Nurses

To work in the ER, you’ll need to qualify as an RN with an ASN or BSN degree. After two years of work, some emergency nurses opt to earn their Board Certification of Emergency Nurses (BCEN) certification.

ER Nurse Schedules

Most emergency nurses work 12-hour shifts in emergency rooms.

How Much Do ER Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, ER nurses make between $53,000 to $102,500 annually, with an average yearly salary of $83,503.

8. ICU Nurse (Critical Care)

What Do ICU Nurses Do?

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses treat patients in critical condition with the goal of stabilizing them. Patients arrive in the ICU after being triaged in the ER or after surgery. ICU patients are very vulnerable, with the potential for multiple IV drips, intubation, or other medical equipment. As an ICU nurse, you’ll work very closely with a small number of patients, keeping detailed charts and records and interfacing with patient families.

Education Requirements for ICU Nurses

ICU nurses must be licensed RNs with an ASN or BSN degree. After two years of work, you can earn additional specialized certification as a critical care registered nurse (CCRN).

ICU Nurse Schedules

Most ICU nurses work 12-hour hospital shifts.

How Much Do ICU Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, ICU nurses make between $55,50 to $129,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $92,568.

Non-Bedside Nursing Careers

Some BSN nurses find that bedside care isn’t for them, however you don’t have to rethink everything and go back to school. These non-nursing BSN careers may be the right fit for you.

9. Clinical Nurse Instructor

What Do Clinical Nurse Instructors Do?

Clinical nurse instructors mentor and teach skills to nursing students. A clinical nursing instructor can work in a lab teaching hard skills, like starting an IV or inserting a catheter, along with soft skills, like critical thinking and problem solving.

Education Requirements for Clinical Nurse Instructors

BSN nurses are qualified to work as clinical nurse instructors. If your time as a clinical nurse instructor opens up a passion for teaching, you could get an MSN degree that would allow you to teach in academic settings and earn higher pay.

Clinical Nurse Instructor Schedules

Most clinical nurse instructors work regular teaching hours. The predictable schedule with weekends, evenings, and holidays off is a huge reason that many BSN nurses choose careers as clinical nurse instructors. This career is a great option for parents or other nurses who can’t work 12-hour hospital shifts.

How Much Do Clinical Nurse Instructors Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, clinical nurse instructors make between $53,000 and $90,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $74,053.

10. Medical Device Sales Representative

What Do Medical Device Sales Reps Do?

Medical device sales reps sell medical technology to hospitals and clinics. In this position, these sales representatives must be well versed in the details on the latest biotech products so that they can answer physician’s questions on the spot. An average day consists of making sales calls, field visits, and filing purchase orders. A career as a medical device sales rep can be a great option for business-minded BSN nurses.

Education Requirements for Medical Device Sales Reps

A nursing degree qualifies you for a career as a medical device sales rep. Some people in this position decide to pursue business degrees, but it’s not a requirement.

Medical Device Sales Representative Schedules

Some medical device sales representatives work long hours and report lots of job stress. This largely depends on who you work for. During the interview process, it’s a good idea to make sure the company you’re considering working for is a good culture fit.

How Much Do Medical Device Sales Reps Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, medical device sales representatives earn from $55,000 to $91,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $64,643. On top of this, most earn commissions that can bump up your earning power.

11. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

What Do Pharmaceutical Sales Reps Do?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives build relationships with hospitals and physicians and sell them medications. As a pharmaceutical sales rep, you’ll know every detail about your medications and products so that you can answer questions and encourage doctors to prescribe them. With all of the laws around various medications, a pharmaceutical sales rep needs to be up-to-date on policies and procedures.

Education Requirements for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

As a BSN nurse, you’re already qualified to work as a pharmaceutical sales representative. Some nurses choose to obtain a business degree to help develop their career, but you don’t need one to succeed.

Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Schedules

Pharmaceutical sales reps usually work regular office hours. Many work from home for part of the day, but you’ll also travel to visit hospitals and clinics for meetings with doctors.

How Much Do Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Make?

Like medical device sales reps, pharmaceutical sales representatives earn a base salary plus commissions. ZipRecruiter states that pharmaceutical sales reps earn from $62,500 to $80,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $73,282.

12. Legal Nurse Consultant

What Do Legal Nurse Consultants Do?

Legal nurse consultants bridge the gap between the legal and medical worlds. As a legal nurse consultant, you’ll oversee medical exams related to legal cases, advocate for patients, and educate legal teams. You will analyze, present healthcare-related case data, and testify in court as an expert witness.

Education Requirements for Legal Nurse Consultants

Legal nurse consultants need to be registered nurses with an ASN or BSN. Along with gaining experience, some legal nurse consultants go on to certify with the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.

Legal Nurse Consultant Schedules

Legal nurse consultants typically work regular 8-hour shifts, though your schedule will depend on where you work. In this job, legal nurse consultants typically can be found working in a variety of settings, from independent consulting practices and legal firms to healthcare facilities and insurance companies.

How Much Do Legal Nurse Consultants Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, legal nurse consultants earn from $90,000 to $100,500 annually, with an average yearly salary of $86,744.

Out-of Hospital BSN Careers

If hospital life isn’t for you, but you still want to interact directly with patients, consider these out of hospital BSN nursing careers.

13. Clinical Research Nurse

What Do Clinical Research Nurses Do?

Clinical research nurses care for patients who have opted into clinical research studies. As a clinical research nurse, you’ll ensure that the people who are part of ongoing medical research studies are safe and have given consent for treatment. Daily activities will resemble other clinical nursing roles, with an emphasis on facilitating research, maintaining patient safety, and keeping detailed charts.

Education Requirements for Clinical Research Nurses

Clinical research nurses must have their RN license, and the research skills you’ll learn in your Joyce BSN program will make you a great candidate for research jobs. Some clinical research nurses earn their MSN, but you can be well qualified without one.

Clinical Research Nurse Schedules

Most clinical research nursing roles are 8-hour shifts, during regular business hours, and don’t require night shifts.

How Much Do Clinical Research Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, clinical research nurses earn from $63,500 to $103,500 annually, with an average yearly salary of $83,747. Nurses with more advanced degrees can earn more in research positions.

14. Aesthetic Nurse

What Does an Aesthetic Nurse Do?

Aesthetic nurses (also known as cosmetic nurses) consult with patients for aesthetic treatments and assist in cosmetic surgery. As an aesthetic nurse, you’ll administer fillers and injections, apply chemical skin treatments, and use lasers for hair and tattoo removal.

Education Requirements for Aesthetic Nurses

RNs with ASN or BSN degrees are qualified to work as aesthetic nurses. You can further your career and increase your salary by obtaining further certification.

Aesthetic Nurse Schedules

Most aesthetic nurses work 8-hour shifts during office hours. However, some nurses who assist in surgery will have to step into night shifts when emergencies arise.

How Much Do Aesthetic Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, aesthetic nurses earn from $55,000 to $85,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $75,776.

15. Travel Nurse

What Do Travel Nurses Do?

Travel nursing is a great career option for BSN nurses with a sense of wanderlust. As a travel nurse, you’ll work for a staffing agency who will send you to various cities, states, and even countries. Travel nurses fill short-term roles in hospitals and clinics and experience a wide range of specialties.

Education Requirements for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses must be certified as RNs with an ASN or BSN degree. Most staffing agencies also require two years or more of nursing work experience, and you’ll need to be licensed for each place you will be working.

Travel Nurse Schedules

Travel nurses working in hospitals typically work 12-hour shifts, but your schedule will vary greatly depending on your position and staffing agency.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, travel nurses earn from $75,500 to $127,500 annually, with an average yearly salary of $105,021. On top of your base salary, you may earn per diem rates, housing benefits, and other perks. Read more about the highest paying states to work as a travel nurse here.

16. Home Health Nurse

What Do Home Health Nurses Do?

Home health nurses work with elderly patients and others unable to leave their homes for vital nursing care. As the name suggests, home health nurses visit their patients in their homes, which creates a strong bond of one-on-one care. As a home health nurse, you must be devoted to holistic care, including both psychosocial care and physical care. Home nursing can be physical, as you may have to help lift, groom, and bathe some of your patients.

Education Requirements for Home Health Nurses

You can work as a home health nurse as an RN with an ASN or BSN degree.

Home Health Nurse Schedules

Many home health nurses are attracted to this field by the flexible hours. As a home health nurse, you may be able to set your own hours and determine how much you work, which makes it a great position for parents or other BSN nurses looking for a flexible career.

How Much Do Home Health Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, home health nurses who work full time earn from $64,500 to $79,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $74,329.

17. Hospice & Palliative Care

What Do Hospice & Palliative Care Nurses Do?

Hospice and palliative care nurses ease the transition from life to death for terminally ill patients and their families. As a hospice nurse, you’ll emphasize the holistic aspects of nursing. End-of- life care carries different priorities than other areas of nursing, with much of your work involving pain management and psychosocial care.

Most hospice nurses work from their patients’ homes, where they are most comfortable, but you could also work in hospitals, nursing homes, or hospice facilities. As the average age of Americans increases, the demand for hospice and palliative care nurses is projected to increase.

Education Requirements for Hospice Nurses

Hospice nurses must be RNs with either an ASN or BSN degree. Additional certifications can be earned to further your career and increase earning potential.

Hospice Nurse Schedules

BSN hospice nurses work between 8-, 10-, and 12- hour shifts. Hospice nurses are needed at all times of day and night, so you may work some night shifts.

How Much Do Hospice Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, hospice nurses earn from $70,500 to $87,000 annually, with an average yearly salary of $79,301.

18. Nursing Home Nurse

What Do Nursing Home Nurses Do?

Nursing home nurses perform many of the same duties as floor nurses in hospitals, including medication management, daily comfort and care, patient education, forming treatment plans, case management, and charting. Where hospital patients typically leave your care quickly, working in a nursing home will give you the opportunity to form strong relationships with your patients, who live in the facility long-term.

Education Requirements for Nursing Home Nurses

You can start a career as a nursing home nurse as an RN with an ASN or BSN degree.

Nursing Home Nurse Schedules

Nursing home schedules vary from facility to facility, averaging 8-, 10-, or 12-hour shifts.

How Much Do Nursing Home Nurses Make?

According to ZipRecruiter, nursing home nurses earn from $70,500 to $106,00 annually, with an average yearly salary of $91,075.

Earning a BSN degree from Joyce opens doors to a variety of job opportunities with the highly versatile degree. As you’re building your BSN career, remember to think outside the box. The right nursing career path for you might not be the first thing you think of.


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