People become nurses for a variety of reasons. Some love the blend of science and caretaking; others desire the rewarding experiences of the work; and given the high demand for nurses in most parts of the country, the job security of the career appeals to just about everyone. Most of all, though, at Joyce we find that our nursing students want to make a difference in the world and help their communities be a better place.
When most people think of nurses making a difference, they conjure up an image of nurses interacting directly with sick patients and worried family members. While nurses are tremendous patient advocates, they also have many opportunities to create a positive impact on the world that doesn’t include direct patient care. Some healthcare professionals might feel guilty leaving their patient-centric jobs for something nontraditional, but there are tons of benefits in doing so, starting with the ones list below.
Hospitals can be tough places to work, even without worrying about those long 12-hours shifts. While some nurses enjoy the flexibility of rotating schedules, weekdays off to run errands, or four-day weekends, some nurses, especially those raising kids, find they enjoy a set 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule.
By working in a non-direct patient care position — and there are many in the field of nursing — your hours will be more in line with those of the traditional workplace. Traditional hours are great for people who want spend time with family in the evening, or spend time with friends or colleagues after work. And another benefit: You’ll probably even have holidays off, too!
Healthcare work is demanding and takes its toll and the mind, body, and spirit. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re questioning your career path, the stress of patient care is leading to empathy fatigue and burnout, or you have the urge to travel, you should consider looking for positions outside a hospital or clinic.
There are plenty of wonderful career opportunities for nurses in non-clinical, non-direct patient roles where you use the same knowledge, expertise, and compassion you learned in school and on the job. Putting your gifts to work in a different setting, though, can bring new, exciting challenges and experiences to invigorate your career. As a nurse, you have the ability and freedom to work in an array of settings and places — and still help people in the process.
Related Resource: How to Combat Nurse Burnout
Clinicians have a vast amount of medical expertise, but a lot of nurses also have a variety of skills they aren’t able to use everyday. In a non-clinical role, nurses are exposed to different areas of study, such as analytics, writing and research, and law practice. Coupled with their clinical experience, nurses have the opportunity to excel and grow hidden talents and skills they might not be able to do in a hospital or clinic, and do so at their own pace. Non-direct patient care positions allow nurses to put more of their organizational, writing, and research skills to work!
Related Resource: Why Be a Nurse Manager?
Many nurses love the routine and tradition of putting on scrubs and driving to the hospital for every shift. Someone in scrubs is the first image most people envision when they think of nurses, but that isn’t the whole picture. Some nurses wear suits; some work in lab coats; and some dress like anyone else on the street when they head off to work. A different work environment can expose nurses to other industries and interests.
These nursing positions outside of hospitals and clinics can also feel more relaxing, especially when you take a lunch break. While the energy and pace of hospitals is exciting, non-direct patient care work allows nurses to let their guard down occasionally. It isn’t always life-and-death, but the work remains impactful, and necessary.
Related Resource: Serving in the Service: Healthcare Careers in the Military
When our students graduate our RN, BSN, and OTA programs, we ensure they’re equipped with the skills they need to succeed, whatever path they decide to pursue. Learn more about our nursing and health science program offerings.