5 Career Options for Nurses Outside of Hospitals

When many think of nursing, they think of hospitals. If you’re considering a career in nursing, it’s important to remember that your options are not limited to hospitals or even healthcare facilities in general.

2 min read

career options outside of hospital

Nurses work in various settings where their job is equally as important as it is in hospitals. So, what are a few of these areas outside of hospitals where nurses can work? Take a look:

K-12 Schools:

From elementary school to high school, nurses are needed onsite at schools. School nurses care for students who get sick or injured while at school and administer daily medications that must be taken during school hours. According to Salary.com, a school nurse makes an average salary of $44,542. There are many perks to being a school nurse, including getting to know your patients and usually receiving the same benefits and designated time off as faculty members.

Law Offices:

Nurses are needed work in law offices as legal nurse consultants to offer medical advice to attorneys in healthcare-related lawsuits. They may testify as an expert witness in court proceedings and are involved in research alongside attorneys. Payscale.com reported a salary range of $40,500 to $94,734 for nurses working in this role. This career is an excellent option for nurses who want to use their knowledge of healthcare but aren’t interested in being bedside caretakers.

Volunteer Organizations:

Many join the nursing profession to make a difference, and organizations like the Peace Corps and the Red Cross give them an opportunity to do that in a whole new way. Nurses working for non-profit volunteer organizations have the opportunity to travel the world and may even qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs. Opportunities with volunteer organizations are perfect for nurses who want a new and exciting experience every day and seek to have a positive impact around the globe.

Cruise Ships:

That’s right. Nurses are needed on vacation from time to time. Each cruise ship must have medical professionals on board to ensure that all passengers will be well cared for if illness or injury strikes. Cruise ship nurses earn an average salary between $4,200 and $4,900 per month. They also have the opportunity to travel, meet diverse people and usually receive room and board.


Every nurse has to be educated by someone who knows the profession. Many nurses use their skills to train new nurses at colleges and universities. These positions usually require graduate degrees. The average salary according to the AACN is $72,028 and depends on education level and experience. Educating future nurses is a great way to ensure your skills are positively affecting patients even when you aren’t working with them on a daily basis.

Where do you want your nursing degree to take you? The opportunities are endless. Find out more about nursing specialties here.