Nursing is the perfect job for you in many ways. You get to help others and make a difference; plus you’re setting a good example for your kids. But there comes a point for some nurses where the stress of the job becomes just too much to handle.
Does this mean you have to turn your back on the job of your dreams just so you can enjoy a little calmness? Good news – The answer is no!
Nursing has a reputation for being stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use your medical skills to help people without the long shifts, difficult patients and tricky medical situations.
We rounded up a list of seven of the least stressful nursing jobs. Maybe one of them will be the perfect next step on your nursing career path!
7 (nearly) stress-free nursing jobs
1. Nurse educator
Nurse educators are medical professionals who train licensed nurses in continuing education and healthcare best practices. They may also work in degree programs, teaching aspiring nurses. It’s the perfect option for nurses who crave a less stressful environment but want to retain their medical training and stay on top of new developments in the healthcare world.
The switch from hospital to classroom is a huge stress relief for many nurses. RN Carolyn Mallon spent years working in psychiatric nursing and the OR before making the leap to nursing education.
“Both specialties were stressful for different reasons. Also, as a single parent, I really wanted to find something more flexible,” Mallon says.
A nurse educator job might be right for you, even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a teacher. You can leverage your in-field experience to help prepare the next generation of nurses.
2. Nurse administrator
Nurse administrators still work in healthcare facilities, but they take a step back from the hustle and bustle of direct patient care. Instead, they spend their days “planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Nurse administrators have the opportunity to work in calmer environments, such as group medical practices and nursing homes. Their job duties include organizing records, staying up to date on healthcare laws and regulations, creating schedules and managing patient billing and other finances.
3. Nurse researcher
Nurse researchers spend their days researching and analyzing data to compile reports that will help improve patient care across the board. These nurses are able to leave the hectic hospital scene behind while still knowing they’re making an impact on the healthcare industry as a whole.
“I find it very rewarding because I’m able to help the patient from a broader perspective,” says Jamie L. Williams, BSN, RN and clinical analyst at MD Buyline. The reduced stress of her nurse researching job has made a world of difference in her lifestyle.
“At the bedside, you never know what to expect next or what kind of workload you’ll have,” says Williams. “In this career, I can set my own pace. I know what to expect for the day.”
4. School or summer camp nurse
Nurses who love kids couldn’t ask for a better position! Schools and summer camps often hire RNs to provide basic care for their staff and students. These nurses can expect to handle basic first aid situations, as well as administer daily medication (such as allergy medicine), according to Nancy Brook, MSN, RN and nurse practitioner and educator at Stanford Hospital and Clinics.
These nurses are avoiding the hectic atmosphere of hospitals, but they’re still able to practice their medical skills in an energized environment. The ailments they treat are usually run-of-the-mill, so they’re also steering clear of stressful medical emergencies.
5. Travel medicine or resort nurse
What could be more relaxing than working at a vacation resort? Not much! Nurses who work for a vacation resort just might forget they’re actually working.
“These nurses are encouraged to participate in the guest experience and often provide basic first-aid care for sunburn or other minor issues,” says Brook.
If the full-time resort lifestyle isn’t for you, travel medicine is another option to consider. Travel medicine nurses typically work in clinics and are “responsible for administering immunizations to and sharing information about upcoming travel with their patients,” according to Brook. This low-stress environment is perfect for nurses with a passion for adventure and education who still enjoy the clinic setting.
6. Home healthcare nurse
Home healthcare nurses enjoy a fulfilling career giving back to their patients without the stress that usually comes with the territory. Home healthcare nurses work with patients in their own houses. They assist patients with mobility issues and daily tasks like dressing and feeding, as well as managing their patients’ medication. Most home healthcare nurses assist the elderly, but some children also require an in-home nurse.
Home healthcare nurses reap the benefits of having a fairly routine workday instead of the long, unpredictable shifts they’d expect in a hospital. Most work with the same patients long-term, so they have the added benefit of developing relationships with their patients as they care for them on a regular basis.
7. Public health nurse
Nurses who choose this rewarding career path get to leverage their medical expertise to make a positive impact on their community—without the stress of working in a hospital.
Public health nurses develop strategies to correct public health issues facing their communities, such as obesity or STDs. They typically work in government departments of health, correctional facilities, schools or businesses as they educate citizens in their community. Their daily job duties are an ideal blend of patient work, education and problem-solving. Consider this career path if you’re looking for variety without the pressure of medical emergencies.
Prepare to stress less
Now you know being a nurse doesn’t have to mean working crazy hours and burning out under too much pressure. These least stressful nursing jobs prove that you can lead a stress-free life while making a difference for your patients and setting a great example for your kids.
Your dream nursing job is out there – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in a hectic hospital. Learn about even more alternative nursing jobs that go beyond the hospital.