Career AdviceNursing Career

7 Nursing Jobs Away From The Bedside: Explore Your Options

Your Options are endless - Woman holding a clipboard

When you think about what it means to be a registered nurse (RN), you may envision caring for patients in a hospital, clinic or home health setting. But there are plenty of nursing jobs that aren’t bedside. While non-bedside nursing doesn’t involve direct patient care, it does affect the health and well-being of communities. Read on to learn about some of the alternative career paths open to RNs who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. And find out how you can earn a BSN sooner through the Accelerated BSN program at Averett University.

1. Informatics Nurse

These days, the leadership at hospitals and other medical facilities are focused on controlling health care costs. This has led to a need for nurses who specialize in the field of informatics.

Working in hospitals, IT companies, nursing schools and more, informatics nurses evaluate the needs of a facility’s staff and provide recommendations for technology improvements. They also use their nursing knowledge and technical aptitude to advance systems that will improve the quality of patient care.

Average Salary: As of July 2021, informatics nurses earn an average of $102,230 per year, according to

Required Education: To enter the field of informatics, you must have a BSN and experience with electronic health care records. Adeptness at analyzing data and statistics is also helpful.

Nurse using a stylus on a digital tablet

2. Nurse Case Manager

Nurse case managers work in clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities, overseeing the full scope of patient care to help prevent health care readmissions. They can also opt to specialize in pediatrics, immigration, geriatrics, or other practice areas.

Average Salary: According to, nurse case managers earn an average of $64,810 annually, as of June 2021.

Required Education: To become a nurse case manager, you must graduate from an accredited nursing program, pass the NCLEX, gain a minimum of five years of experience as a nurse and earn certification in case management.

3. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators provide nursing instruction to college students and licensed nurses in both academic and clinical settings. Educators’ responsibilities include building and updating program curriculum, having a direct impact on the future of nursing.

Average Salary: According to, the average annual salary for a nurse educator in the U.S. is $101,158 as of June 2021.

Required Education: Typically, you must hold a BSN as well as a good deal of nursing experience and expertise to become a nurse educator. Some employers do require completion of a graduate-level nurse educator program.

4. Nurse Risk Manager

Risk managers are charged with keeping patients and staff safe. They’re employed by hospitals, government agencies, nursing homes and the like. Part of their job is to inform patients about treatments and potential complications. They also handle claims of medical malpractice as well as patient complaints, in compliance with federal and state regulations. According to, there are 264 job openings for nurse risk managers in Virginia as of July 2021.

Three nurses walking and talking together down a hallway

Average Salary: According to, the average annual salary for a nurse risk manager in the U.S. is $114,421 as of June 2021.

Required Education: To become a nurse risk manager, you must have a bachelor’s degree. Some positions require a master’s degree — particularly those responsible for the provision of safety courses to other nurses in a health care setting.

5. Forensic Nurse

Forensic nurses are employed by hospitals, mental health facilities, coroners’ offices and correctional facilities, for example. They can help solve crimes, gather evidence or determine a decedent’s cause of death. They can also help care for victims of crime or natural disasters and provide expert testimony in criminal proceedings.

The demand for these specialists is greater in large metropolitan areas.

Average Salary: According to, the average salary for a forensic nurse in the U.S. is $65,047 annually.

Required Education: To become a forensic nurse, you must earn a nursing degree, pass the NCLEX-RN™ and obtain clinical experience (duration may vary). You may also elect to earn board certification, although it’s not required.

6. Health Policy Nurse

Another example of non-bedside nursing is health policy nursing. If you’re interested in working toward legislative change in areas like tobacco control or elder care, and possess leadership ability, along with strong communication and analytical skills, a career as a health policy nurse might be a good fit for you.

Health policy nurses use advocacy, research and analysis to bring about improvements in our society’s health. They’re employed by research firms, legislative offices, physician or nurse associations and more. They may also hold elected positions in government.

Average Salary: According to, the average annual salary for a health policy nurse is $79,178 as of June 2021.

Required Education: To pursue this specialty, you must further complete a master’s degree in nursing and a 10-week health policy program.

7. Nurse Recruiter

If an administrative role in the field of human resources appeals to you, you might consider becoming a nurse recruiter. These nurses solicit, vet, evaluate and endorse potential new hires in a variety of health care settings. They may also negotiate the terms of employment offers.

The most successful nurse recruiters are good communicators with an aptitude for sales.

Average Salary: The average annual salary for a nurse recruiter as of June 2021 is $86,782, according to

Required Education: To obtain a position in nurse recruiting, you must first earn a BSN and have some clinical experience.

Jump Start Your Nursing Career

Now that you’re familiar with a few of the nursing jobs that aren’t bedside, you’re probably curious about the most efficient way to earn a nursing degree.

If you already hold 60 or more prior college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, Averett University’s 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program can make your nursing future a reality.

While admission to accelerated nursing programs can be competitive, we offer three cohort starts per year — in January, May and August —so you can begin pursuing your nursing career sooner. Once you meet our admission requirements, you can choose a start date that best aligns with your professional goals.

nursing student sitting in class with notebook

A Well-Rounded Accelerated BSN Program

The Averett ABSN curriculum follows a blended learning model comprised of three components.

  1. Online Study: You’ll complete nursing theory coursework online through our engaging e-Learning system.
  2. Skills and Simulation Labs: In skills labs, you’ll practice hands-on clinical tasks, from vital sign assessment to nasogastric tube insertion, all under the supervision of our nurse educators. In simulation labs, you’ll develop the critical thinking skills and clinical judgment necessary to become a professional registered nurse. You’ll participate in mock clinical scenarios that include patients (played by classmates or staff) and lifelike medical manikins that exhibit symptoms and real-time reactions to treatment.
  3. Clinical Placements: During the 500 direct-care hours of clinical experience you’ll complete as an Averett ABSN student through clinical placements at top Norfolk-area health care facilities, you can expect to learn how to:
    • Advocate for patients’ mental, physical and spiritual needs.
    • Work collaboratively with medical professionals across a wide array of disciplines.
    • Navigate electronic records management systems.
    • Comprehend the day-to-day details in complex health care settings.

Pursuing a Nursing Career Beyond the Bedside Starts with a BSN

As you can see, a BSN opens the door to many alternative nursing career options outside the traditional hospital setting. No matter the specific nursing career path you want to pursue, Averett University’s Accelerated BSN program can help you get started.

Take the first step on your path to becoming a nurse by connecting with one of admissions counselors.

Start Today

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