Registered nurses can be found working in environments outside of the traditional hospital or clinic. The United States top-paying industries for RNs are non clinical nursing jobs.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while the highest concentration of nurses works for clinical jobs, the highest-paid RNs are those holding non-clinical jobs.
Below are 10 non-clinical registered nurse jobs. The first 4 positions belong to industries that pay RNs significantly more than what employers in the clinical healthcare industry pay on the average.
1. Other Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation industry – only 50 nurses work in this industry per the latest BLS data.
Positions include nurse practitioners and supervisors. They earn an annual mean wage of $86,780 (or $41.72/hour), significantly higher than the annual mean wage of nurses working in medical and surgical hospitals which is $70,590 ($33.94/hour).
2. Federal Executive Branch – there are 69,810 nurses working in the federal executive branch.
They make up only 3.48% of the people working in the this branch, earning $38.07 as hourly mean wage and $79,190 annual mean wage.
RNs working in this branch of the government hold varied positions and responsibilities, including healthcare administration, rural health assistance, healthcare research, disease control and prevention, and Medicare and Medicaid services.
3. Insurance and Benefit Funds RNs – because of their medical background and knowledge with how the healthcare system works, nurses are often sought by insurance agencies and institutions to work with them.
Around 80 nurses work in this field and they earn an annual mean wage of $78,600.
They are often given responsibilities in underwriting, assessing claims, reviewing policies, and many varied administrative and managerial functions.
4. Aerospace Products and Parts Manufacturing industry – 180 RNs work in this industry earning an annual mean wage of $74,200.
There are even nurses working in NASA. In the aerospace products and parts manufacturing industry, they are usually responsible for providing healthcare and emergency services to people working in the sites.
5. Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Sales – RNs find additional opportunities in the sales aspect of health-related products, such as medical device and pharmaceuticals.
Their background definitely puts them at an advantage in this lucrative industry. They have the credibility and ability to articulate how the products can be medically beneficial to patients.
RNs are also employed by manufacturers in the product development phase, where they are responsible for testing and evaluating the products.
6. Healthcare Administration – registered nurses, especially those with management degrees and supervisory experience, find better-paying jobs as hospital executives, healthcare administrators, and chief nursing officers.
Their nursing background allows them deeper understanding of how things are in the clinical setting. They are, therefore, the best choice for the position of executives tasked to ensure efficiency of the facility.
RNs entering this field must be prepared to handle issues coming from politicians, lawmakers, the public, physicians and nurses, employees and staff, and corporate owners. They will have to deal with costs, government regulations, revenues, benefits, and labor issues.
7. Healthcare Recruitment – nurses may also find opportunities in recruiting and screening applicants for healthcare jobs.
The medical recruitment process involves evaluating CVs and resumes, doing interviewsthrough person-to-person settings and phone calls, and verifying credentials and experience.
Those looking to become a medical recruiter may find job openings at recruitment agencies, hospital HR departments, or staffing firms.
This job usually entails 40 hours of work per week, but may require work during evenings and weekends because of the irregular work hours of most clinicians.
8. Healthcare IT – nurses and even physicians have been known to make the shift from their clinician roles to non-clinician IT roles.
In their latter job, they responsibilities include the use of digital technology in the medical setting.
Healthcare IT covers the use of electronic coding of medical services and integration with the billing system, digital medical records, and various digital imaging procedures.
Healthcare professionals may find these jobs in the specific areas of service line analysis, clinical process evaluation and upgrade, and nursing informatics.
9. Medical Writing – more and more nurses find jobs working as writers for healthcare-related industries.
The medical writers’ responsibilities may include medical research, general medical topics, healthcare websites, marketing or advertising literature for medical products, white paper, books and medical references.
Writers can do freelance writing or work for employers, including publishing companies, healthcare corporations and government agencies.
According to the 2007 data from American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) the average annual salary of medical writers ranges from $69,000 to $110,000.
10. Legal Nurse Consulting – These RNs with the appropriate experience and educational background may work as consultants for paralegals and attorneys.
They offer their expertise relating to medical forensic, medical testimony, medical liability and malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death, compensation in the healthcare profession, products malfunction and liability, toxic tort, and sexual assault.
Legal nursing consultants may be called to testify during trials, help in formulating medico-legal case hypotheses, interpret physicians and nurses’ notes, and analyze medical records.
Whether you are looking around for non clinical nursing jobs to lessen stress and burnout, or to grow professionally in other fields, there are countless rewarding jobs for you out there.