What can you do with a nursing degree? - NCC Blog (2024)

Becoming a nurse is one of the most fulfilling job roles that a person can take on.

However, professional nurses with a wealth of training and experience can find just as rewarding work in a range of other related career paths. Many nursing workers don’t want to feel stuck in one place for their whole careers. If this sounds like you, don’t panic! Because nurses are in such high demand, you have the option to pick and choose where, how and when you work.

So, to help you decide where to go next, here is our guide on what you can do with a nursing degree, alongside tips on how you can change your speciality without too much hassle.

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Careers you can pursue with a nursing degree

There are plenty of alternative careers for nurses. Your training and expertise will have equipped you for much more than you likely realise, and many nurses take advantage of the wide range of opportunities available and often change their position in the field. Nearly four in ten nurses feel that it’s acceptable for them to change jobs every one or two years, and at least 87% say it’s okay to switch within five years[ii]!

Take a look at what you can do with a nursing degree to help you decide which path to take.

1) Physical Therapist

Average Salary: £27,650

Becoming a physical therapist is the most common career change for nurses in the UK because they already have most of the correct training. A physical therapist examines patients and puts together a treatment plan to improve their movement, reduce pain or prevent disability. Since your nursing training has already educated you in branches of maths and science, you already have the basic skills required to become a physical therapist. However, walking this career path requires extra training. You will need to complete an approved degree level qualification in physiotherapy and register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)[iv].

2) Adult Nurse

Average Salary:£38,971

An adult nurse differs from a regular nurse since – you guessed it! – they only work with people over 18. The main focuses of an adult nurse are to provide care to adult patients, formulate recovery plans and evaluate the patient’s needs. In addition, adult nursing is a branch of regular nursing, meaning you won’t require any additional training.

3) Health Visitor

Average Salary:£39,027

As a health visitor, you would be expected to work with families that have a child aged 0 – five to identify any early health needs. In addition, you would support the parents with any questions or issue they are facing regarding their newborn. In this role, you may be required to work with at-risk or deprived groups, such as addicts or the homeless. To become a health visitor, you must be a registered midwife or nurse. This allows you to apply toSpecialist Community Public Health Nursing – Health Visitingcourse, the UK’s health visitor training programme,[vii]

4) Health Care Assistant

Average Salary:£17,881

A health care assistant works under the guidance of a health care professional, and it can be a varied position. Depending on where you work and who with, you may find yourself doing various tasks, such as caring for patients, taking blood samples, doing health education work and ordering supplies. Employers expect previous experience in health care or care work for this role.Health care assistant coursesor apprenticeships can provide you with the right knowledge and experience to give you a boost in this speciality[ix].

5) Midwife

Average Salary:£36,295

Midwives provide care to women and their families during pregnancy, labour, and immediately after the baby’s birth. As a midwife, you would primarily be dealing with pregnant women in need of professional support. This means your responsibilities will be diverse but pregnancy focused. To become a midwife, you must complete an approved degree in midwifery, which can take up to 3 years. However, if you are a nurse, you can apply for a shortened 18-month programme[xi].

6) Mental Health Nurse

Average Salary:£31,527

Mental health nursing is a special branch of the nursing career that allows you to connect with people suffering from mental health issues and support their recovery, encouraging them to live fulfilling lives. You would build relationships with those who use mental health services, plus their relatives and carers, and work as part of a team to formulate recovery plans. Becoming a mental health nurse requires no more than a regular nursing degree. Alternatively, you could take a mental health nursing apprenticeship[xiii], or even an mental health course online to build your knowledge.

7) Paramedic

Average Salary:£25,870

This fast-paced role isn’t for everyone, but you could save lives on the spot if you can work well under pressure and take charge of situations. You will be trained on dealing with a range of emergency and non-emergency services and will find yourself working alongside various other first responders. Plus, you will be expected to support members of the public as well as your patients and their relatives. To become a paramedic, you’ll have to complete a degree in paramedic science. If you are a registered nurse, you can take one of the pre-registration courses to gain registration as a paramedic quickly[xv].

8) Nutrition Specialist

Average Salary:£24,593

As a registered nurse, you can specialise in nutrition work. This would mean that you work within gastroenterology or oncology departments in a hospital environment, providing expert advice and counselling to patients in need of nutritional support. In addition, you would be required to understand the science of food and help your patients make the right choices about what they eat. Alternatively, you could train to be a fully-fledged nutritionist. This gives you more flexibility in where and how you can work but requires a nutrition degree course[xvii].

9) Biomedical Scientist

Average Salary:£35,000

Biomedical science is the perfect alternative career for nurses who are looking to get away from bedsides for a while. As a biomedical scientist, you would carry out scientific tests in laboratories to help understand the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Biomedical science is a varied career path that requires both analytical and practical focuses, and no day will be the same. Naturally, such an important role requires specific training, but your experience in the field will be vital to get ahead. To become a biomedical scientist, you can:


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Other Careers Where Nursing Degrees Are Useful

If you’d like a complete change in your career, a nursing degree is useful in a varied number of jobs, so don’t restrict yourself when applying! However, there are several careers where a nursing degree will be beneficial, including:

  • Social worker
  • Counsellor
  • Genetic counsellor
  • Health service manager
  • Further education teacher
  • Chemist
  • Police officer[xx]

How To Switch Specialities in Nursing

Now you know what you can do with a nursing degree, it’s time to see how you can switch specialities. Although it may seem daunting to change your nursing speciality at first, it’s very common in the business and keeps your working life fresh and interesting. The change may seem difficult, but several steps will make the whole process easier. And the more you do it, the easier it will get! So prepare yourself for a range of new skills and fulfilling experiences with these tips on making the transition easier.

  1. Begin With Some Self-Evaluation– Considering why you want to switch specialities and what other career paths you’d like to try will increase your confidence and ensure that you’re making the best decision for yourself.
  2. Start Your Application Early– Prepare the basics of your application in advance so you can easily send off for any jobs you may hear about in passing and get in there first!
  3. Research New Specialities– There are plenty of nursing specialities out there, so make sure to do your research on anything that attracts your interest, so you’re sure you’d like to give it a try.
  4. Consider Additional Education– You may be required to get further education depending on the career you want to transition into. Make sure to find this out during your research.
  5. Try and Get Experience– Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, hands-on experience will show you exactly how the job truly is. Ask to shadow nurses in units you’re interested in and get involved with the job!
  6. Network With Specialists– Try and network with others in the speciality you hope to switch to. They can keep you updated on the business, and any job offers that may be coming up.
  7. Transition At The Right Time– Make sure to transition before your current career path grows stagnant but after you’ve mastered your original speciality[i].

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

Nursing is such an important job role, but it’s natural to want a change every now and again. And now you know where your nursing degree can come in handy! Your knowledge and experience will benefit people no matter the role you choose, so start a new career path you’re certain you’ll love today.

Related Article: How to Become a Nurse






















What can you do with a nursing degree? - NCC Blog (1)Nick Cooper

Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care.NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.

What can you do with a nursing degree? - NCC Blog (2024)


What can you do with a nursing degree? - NCC Blog? ›

Because of your healthcare expertise, you'll be able to land a ton of health-related work. Once you understand the basics of digital marketing, you can incorporate them with your nursing knowledge to support health-based companies. If you're interested in going this route, check out our Digital Marketing Bootcamp.

How can a nurse make money from home? ›

Today, there are many ways nurses can work from home.
  1. Telehealth Nurse. Telehealth is becoming much more popular today and can easily be a full-time career. ...
  2. Medical Surveys. ...
  3. Nurse Blogger or Health Writer. ...
  4. Medical Transcription. ...
  5. CPR Instructor. ...
  6. First Aid Instructor. ...
  7. Teach or Tutor Nursing Students Online. ...
  8. Health Coach.
Jul 20, 2023

Can a nurse work in marketing? ›

Because of your healthcare expertise, you'll be able to land a ton of health-related work. Once you understand the basics of digital marketing, you can incorporate them with your nursing knowledge to support health-based companies. If you're interested in going this route, check out our Digital Marketing Bootcamp.

Should I put BSN RN or RN BSN on my resume? ›

They are both acceptable ways to list your credentials. However, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recommends listing the education level before the license. So, in this case, BSN RN would be the way to go.

How do I write my BSN RN credentials? ›

This means that if you are a clinical practice nurse, you would have an RN BSN signature. And, if you're a nurse educator (or on your way to becoming one), you would use a BSN RN signature. Please note that there is a comma between BSN and RN / RN and BSN, licensure, and certifications.

Do nurse bloggers make money? ›

Starting a nursing blog is one of the best ways to generate some cash these days. You can do it while keeping your nursing job and taking care of your patients. However, as with any job, it requires time and a lot of effort. You can't expect to start a blog today and then begin earning next month.

What side business can I start as a nurse? ›

Medical product sales

This might include products for nurses or for the general medical industry. Some examples include selling scrubs, accessories, medical equipment or medicine. Starting a business in medical product sales is a great way to use the skills you already have as a nurse.

Can you freelance as a nurse? ›

Nurses who provide healthcare services for employers on a temporary, contract basis rather than a continuous, salaried basis are considered freelance nurses. With jobs available in public health clinics, occupational settings, home care, hospitals, and schools, this type of position fills staffing gaps as needed.

Can a nurse be an influencer? ›

Social media influencers are a big part of our lives nowadays. Nurse Influencer are people who really share valuable insights from their everyday lives and create awareness around important topics. Nurse Influencer are becoming more and more popular on different social media channels like TikTok and Instagram.

Is there anything higher than a BSN? ›

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP is the highest degree for nursing practice. In addition to APRN concentrations, DNP programs may prepare graduates for careers in organizational and executive leadership, health policy, or nursing informatics.

How does RN BSN go behind your name? ›

Either way is correct when writing out your name and credentials — Jane Doe, RN, BSN, or Jane Doe, BSN, RN. In the world of academia, the college degree is used first and then licensure and other credentials. But for the rest of us, both ways work.

Why do nurses put BSN after their name? ›

BSN is the abbreviation for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and refers to someone who has earned their bachelor's degree in nursing. It often precedes the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, which is available to BSN nurses who wish to further advance in their careers.

How do I list my RN credentials after my name? ›

For example, a nurse executive might choose Nancy Gordon, MBA, MSN, RN. Note that the highest non- nursing degree is listed first followed by the highest nursing degree. A nurse who has a master's in a non- nursing field might choose Anne Peterson, MEd, BSN, RN.

Does a nurse have to give you their name? ›

It is important that we tell our patients who we are. It's an act of courtesy and respect. Patients also have rights of access to their health records where names of their providers will be included as a matter of default.

Do you put certifications after your name? ›

Those from the academic world use academic credentials first, nursing credentials next, and then certifications — for example, Jane Arnold, MS, RN, CNOR. Either way is correct.

What do nurses do when they work from home? ›

Remote nurses provide telephone support, advice, and follow-up services to patients, and they can also work in case management and recruiting.

How can a nurse make a lot of money fast? ›

  1. Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
  2. Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
  3. Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
  4. Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
  5. Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
  6. Change Nursing specialties. ...
  7. Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
  8. Make sacrifices.

How can I make money from home healthcare? ›

6 Ways to Make Money From Home as a Nurse
  1. Build a profitable blog/website.
  2. Apply to work from home jobs for nurses.
  3. Create, market, and sell products.
  4. Create an online course.
  5. Become a freelance healthcare writer.
  6. Become a tutor or consultant.

Can an RN be a medical transcriptionist? ›

Their nursing training and experience gives them a head start toward being a great medical transcriptionist because they already know the terminology, anatomy, and pharmacology as well as the importance of keeping the records complete and accurate.


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