4 Best Non-Clincial Nursing Careers

If you spend much time on Healthgrad.com, you will see we have a lot of detailed information about the benefits of being a nurse today. Namely, you can find a lot of work and make good money.

However, much of the focus is often on the clinical side of nursing. With all of the rising demand for health care services around the country, there are other needs in the nursing field, including many non-clinical roles. All of those clinical nurses and patient and healthcare customers need to have administrative support. The facilities themselves need to be overseen and operated.

Demand is naturally increasing for many non-clinical nursing roles as well.

The most in demand today include these:

Nurse Administrators

Nurse administrators have a major impact on health care and nurses today. This is becoming more acute as there is more focus on reducing costs and improving care. Nurse administrators are leaders of departments and facilities, and also have to deal with complex administrative matters such as management, policy, finance and HR issues.

Nursing will always need leadership professionals who are able to create more effective and efficient systems to deliver nursing care to patients, and also who are able to lead a more productive nursing workforce.

Some responsibilities are:

  • Improve the quality and efficiency of delivering patient services in nursing
  • Development nurse staff goals and objectives
  • Make sure that the nursing staff area is up to date and is fully compliant with relevant laws and regulations
  • Recruit, train and supervise nursing staff
  • Manage the staffing and finances of the nursing department or staff
  • Create nursing work schedules
  • Prepare and monitor nursing budgets

Salary for all medical and health managers according to the US government is $94,500. This includes nurse administrators. Job demand is strong with 17% more jobs expected by 2024.

To become a nursing administrator, you need to earn your Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in nursing administration. A program to consider is Liberty University, which is accredited by the CCNE, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Required courses:

  • Research
  • Health Policy and Ethics
  • Managing Population Health
  • Nursing Issues
  • Nursing Theory and Advanced Practice
  • Nursing Administration I, II and III

Nurse Educators

If you are an experienced registered nurse with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, a good option is to become a nurse educator. With an MSN degree, you can train the next generation of nursing professionals.

Nurse educators are members of the faculty at nursing schools or teaching hospitals. They share their skills and knowledge to ready new nurses to practice effectively. Some common duties:

  • Teach nursing courses
  • Develop curriculum
  • Evaluate nursing education programs
  • Oversee clinical practice of students
  • Be a role model for your students

You may teach general classes in nursing or focus on certain areas including geriatrics, pediatrics or nursing informatics.

Most nursing educators have many years of clinical experience, and you may decide to continue to be a nurse after you become a member of teaching faculty. Even if you are not practicing anymore, you will need to stay on top of changes in the nursing field, including new methods and technologies.

After you have been in nursing education for a few years, you may eventually move on to writing and reviewing nursing textbooks or developing continuing education courses for students.

Payscale.com states that the average salary for nursing educators today is $70,186. Job demand for nurse educators should be very strong, as is the demand for other advanced practice nursing professionals.

As noted above, a master’s degree in nursing is required to become a nursing educator. An excellent MSN nursing educator program online is at the Duke University School of Nursing.

This is a two year, CCNE-accredited program that will prepare you for academic or staff development settings. At the end of the program, you will complete an intensive practicum in your home area, which consists of at least 168 hours. You will collaborate with a master educator to complete this practicum.

Highlights of the curriculum:

  • Work with master nursing teachers from top schools of nursing throughout the US, including Duke University.
  • Nationally recognized nursing education experts teach all of the online classes
  • Development of all nursing education classes were guided by nursing education competencies that were set up by national education organizations in nursing.

Your nursing educator classes include:

  • Professional Transitions: Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Facilitating Student Learning
  • Advanced Concepts of Health Assessment
  • Innovations in Clinical Teaching and Evaluation
  • Trends in Management of Major Health Problems
  • Innovative Curriculum Development in Nursing

After you complete your program, it is recommended that you earn your Certification for Nurse Educators, or CNE, from the National League for Nursing. This certification shows students, peers and your employer that you have met the highest standards of nursing education excellence.

Nursing Informaticists

Nursing informatics is another booming career field for professionals interested in non-clinical nursing. However, your work will strongly influence patients, if indirectly.

This field is defined as the practice and science that integrates nursing information and knowledge with managing information and communication technology, as to promote health for patients. Using technology and nursing informatics enables healthcare management professionals to achieve better care and outcomes for patients.

One of the major reasons that nursing informatics is becoming so important is that new federal laws have required how nurses and hospitals keep patient records. The paper records system that has been used for more than 100 years is coming to an end.

A new federal law in 2009 required all medical providers to start switching their healthcare records to electronic data collection by 2014. Of course, this transition is still ongoing. But within a decade, paper records in most medical treatment facilities around the country will be a thing of the past. As of 2015, 83% of doctors are using electronic records, so you can bet this will continue in all health care, including in nursing.

Electronic healthcare records have many advantages; they make all patient information more easily available by medical personnel at different facilities. It also streamlines payment and transactions with insurance companies and government organizations.

Given the importance of electronic health records and the electronic management of patient data, the salary for nursing informaticists stands at $93,000, according to a recent nursing informatics workforce survey.

If nursing informatics sounds like it is your career, you should take a look at the master of science available at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. This program has been ranked #1 in nursing informatics by US News and World Report for 2017.

This program will teach you how to analyze different nursing requirements; design systems in different ways depending upon your workplace’s needs; manage nursing IT effectively; and design and implement new strategies for user training.

Required online courses in this CCNE-accredited program are:

  • Managerial Health Finance
  • Biostatistics for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Systems and Health Policy
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Information Technology Project Management
  • Healthcare Database Systems
  • Nursing Informatics Concepts and Practice Systems Adoption
  • Practicum in Nursing Informatics

Legal Nurse Consultants

Another growing area of non-clinical nursing today is legal nurse consulting. This professional is a licensed registered nurse who performs a professional, critical analysis of clinical issues in many settings in a legal arena.

This field is responsible for using nursing and medical system knowledge to help in medical/nursing legal cases and claims at all types of health care facilities, including hospitals.

A legal nurse consultant maintains, summarizes and reports on health and nursing records and also handles collecting, auditing and managing records. You also will play a vital role in talking to health care staff about potential legal risks in health care and what legal standards of care are.

A legal nurse consultant can work for many different organizations, either as an employee or contractor/consultant:

  • Law firms
  • Government agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Forensics
  • HMOs
  • Patient safety organizations
  • Health care facilities

Payscale.com states that the average salary for this field is $72,500.

To become a legal nurse consultant, you should have an active RN license, have several years of nursing experience, and hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and possibly a master’s degree.

You do not need to earn a full degree to become a legal nurse consultant. There are many online certificate programs available: