Help! I Want to be a Writer

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I have been a nurse for 3 years and have worked in acute care, assisted living and as a school nurse. However, I am finding that I am wanting to flex my writing and creative muscles and want to slowly transition into medical/healthcare writing. How does one make such a transition? Where do I even begin to look for jobs that does not immediately require years of experience in medical writing?

    Dear Wanting to Write,

    This is completely doable because there are a lot of opportunities for healthcare writers.

    Professional Organizations
    Almost all professional organizations have opportunities for writers. Peruse the sites of professional organizations.

    Get involved with your specialty nursing organization. Here's some examples of opportunities I've seen.

    ANCC calls for subject matter experts from time to time on their site. They may need item (test questions) writers, or content matter writers in your area of expertise.
    Last month I saw a call for item writers on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website. When your submit your name, they keep it in a database of potential writers for when your expertise is needed.

    The Academy of MedSurg Nurses (AMSN) has a newsletter and sometimes posts for contributing writers.

    Allnurses is looking for writers! It couldn't be easier to apply here.

    Read How I Became a Professional Writer which is my story, and How to Get Started as a Writer by Elizabeth Hanes, an accomplished free lance writer.

    Almost all CE sites, recruiting sites, and for-profit university sites have blogs written by nurses. I just wrote an article on Active Shooter for and in the past wrote for, to give you an example of what they look for and publish.

    Finally, any nurse thinking about starting their own business or side hustle should try to attend
    National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) in October in Las Vegas.
    I'll be there with I will share all my secrets of success as a writer and nurse influencer when we meet up

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth
    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,574; Likes: 4,733
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   meanmaryjean
    OP: If you are looking for a full-time salaried gig as a writer, know that those types of positions are rare. You get your feet wet by writing for journals, local newspapers and with what Nurse Beth has supplied above. You won't make a living from it- but you CAN make a name for yourself- and that is the first step.

    Find a niche- a passion - and start writing!
  4. by   Mourtney
    Thank you both so much for your feedback and comments! I will certainly follow up on these suggestions.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Great advice NurseBeth.
  6. by   adventure_rn
    If blogging is up your alley, you could also check out the book The Nurses Guide to Blogging, which is written by the nurses who created the blogs Nurse Eye Roll (now FreshRN) and The Nerdy Nurse. I believe the former has been a contributor on AllNurses, and they actually even mention Nurse Beth in their book. I'm pretty sure that they're now both full-time writers/speakers.

    The Nurse's Guide to Blogging: Building a Brand and a Profitable Business as a Nurse Influencer: Brittney R Wilson BSN RN, Kati L Kleber BSN RN: 9781546566823: Books

    I thought about starting a blog but decided against it for personal reasons. However, I found the book pretty helpful for the logistics of starting and monetizing a blog. As a blogger, you can control what you write and how often you write, although it takes a while longer to actually earn money while you build the brand (as opposed to a site that pays you as a contractor).
  7. by   nurselindah
    Punctuation, please!