non-clinical nursing???

Nurses General Nursing


Can you suggest any jobs for someone with an RN/BSN who does not want to practice in-patient clinical nursing? I'm much more an analytic, paperwork, research, organizing kind of a person.

I asked this before, but didn't get many specific suggestions, so I'm asking again. I realize how crucial that year or two of floor experience can be, but, seriously, it's not for me. And since lots of non-clinical nursing jobs make use of the nurse's previous clinical expertise, that rules out a many of the non-clinical jobs that most folks suggest.

For example, I like the idea of being a nurse educator - whether diabetes, dialysis, whatever. I'm good at teaching and encouraging. But these positions usually require years of in-patient clinical experience even if the job primarily deals with maintenance issues. The same goes for outpatient clinics; they almost always require years of in-patient experience.

I am also very interested in research, but again, nurses are usually hired to run the clinical component of the study.

Shool nursing and public health nursing seem to fit my interests and strengths well, but both of those areas are facing extreme budget crises and are not opening new positions.

I don't care if the job is specifically in nursing; I have applied for administrative work at insurance companies, hospitals, etc. However, I am finding that employers are reluctant to hire someone to an entry-level admin job who theoretically could just run out and pick up a nursing job paying almost twice as much per hour. I know that I could easily get into a new grad hospital program and make good money, but I know (trust me, I know) I wouldn't last that necessary year or two.

I've applied to dozens, I mean dozens, of non-clinical, health-related jobs these last few months and have only gotten 3 inverviews and no job offers. I guess it makes sense that competition for jobs outside of clinical practice increases substantially since it's an all around tight job market these days. I haven't given up yet, but I can certainly use some fresh perspective and am open to new ideas.

Specializes in School Nursing, Ambulatory Care, etc..

What about teaching nursing at the university level?

jjjoy, LPN

2,801 Posts

Well, I certainly wouldn't be teaching any of the clinical courses! I'm all for pursuing a graduate degree, which is necessary for university teaching, but haven't narrowed my focus. And I want to work a few years before investing in more schooling. But at this rate, it might make more sense to just go on with school. If I'm still looking in another few months, I will have to change strategies regardless!

UT offers a graduate degree program over the Internet with 3 tracks for nursing: education, administration and Advanced Practice Nursing (NP). They even offer a combined MSN/MBA which might be good for you. Call a headhunter or look online for types of jobs, call a Human Resource person and ask what exp/edu is required for those jobs. I feel for you. I had to get off the floor for health reasons and it is HARD to find the right niche.


73 Posts

If you can make it through a year or two in the hospital the nursing world will be your oyster. It will be nearly impossible for you to be hired in another settings based on your degree alone without solid experience.

School nursing requires clinical experience. It's not just handing out bandaids. Many children in schools today have plenty of health problems - diabetes, life threatening allergies, seizure disorders, cardiac disease, etc. They & their parents depend on the school nurse to manage those problems. They deserve a nurse with the experience & the confidence to know what to do when something is really wrong.

Public health nurses are often rotated through various clinics- immunization, prenatal, tuberculosis, etc. Many health departments have received emergency grants from homeland security for smallpox vaccine, anthrax response etc. They want experienced nurses to deal with these issues.

You worked hard for your degree & I hope you can find your way in nursing but if you really believe that you can't make it through a year or two of basic nursing experience maybe you can apply some credits to a second bachelors. PT? OT? Cytotechnology?

Maybe a masters in something other than nursing. Social Work? Psychology? Speech therapy?


1,173 Posts

I agree with valk; it is going to be pretty tough for you to do much without at least 1-2y of clinical exp. somewhere. Without it, you don't have anything to bring to the position other than a degree.

What drew you to nursing to begin with? I'm not suggesting that everybody has to be working in direct pt. care, but certainly, you had to know that working with patients makes up a large part of the profession.

I just have a hard time imagining where you would be taken seriously within nursing without having some basic clinical proficiency (something that doesn't happen automatically when you get your degree/license).

You can't teach that which you haven't learned.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

"It will be nearly impossible for you to be hired in another settings based on your degree alone without solid experience."

And for very good reasons. With only an academic background and very little practical experience, you would not have much to draw on to benefit your employer. Think about it--with many nurses who have a lot of patient care experience also looking for non-clinical positions, what would you have to offer an employer that these experienced people would not?

SharonH, RN

2,144 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics.

Valk, fab4 and sjoe are right. You are going to have to bite the bullet and do that one to two years and then you will have your choice. But a nursing degree alone without any clinical experience will not get you the job you want. And most grad schools will want you to have at least one year of experience also. Good Luck.

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Maybe QI/Compliance? I have done that at two agencies. Unfortunatley I was laid off from both. I did P&P, financial report evaluations, budgeting, patient satisfaction, tons of audits and I loved it.



1,173 Posts

I did that for a bit when I worked for a home care agency; I definitely needed my clinical skills for it, too. I don't see how you can write policy and procedure without clinical skills, either.

You can't build a stable house without a foundation; like wise, you can't build a career in nursing without the basics.


58 Posts

TO be honest with you, there are a few jobs out there i guess that have mostly paper work but aren't well open right now. But if you think of going to a head nursing job or a teaching job it really won't be too great considering you wouldn't know what your employees or students are doing. Ofcourse it's not the most wonderful job out there, but you really need the clinical experience just to have it and know what its about, because you will never know otherwise.


36 Posts

Have to agree with the rest of the replys. Ya got to pay your dues before you can move on to another type of nursing job. I always tell new nurses that the only thing good about that first year as a new nurse is that you only go through it once. Hang in there you will get through it:)

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