Explore unique career ideas for burned out nurse practitioners looking for flexibility, personal fulfillment, and better work-life balance in nontraditional work opportunities.
Nurse practitioners have valuable skill sets and experience that can be leveraged in industries and careers outside of the traditional clinical setting. Clinicians experiencing burnout can take a step back from the hospital or clinic, to consider opportunities that incorporate other interests or passions like traveling, teaching, or writing.
Whether you are a retiring NP, an NP looking for a second career, an NP wanting to work from anywhere remotely, an NP interested in telehealth, or simply a nurse practitioner experiencing burnout and looking for a career alternative, we’ve created a list of unique jobs for you to explore.
Why are nurse practitioners leaving traditional clinical roles?
After a strenuous year for healthcare professionals, many nurse practitioners are burned out and in need of a change of scenery. With high education costs, time-consuming bureaucratic tasks, and long working hours associated with the job, nurse practitioners are reconsidering the trajectory of their chosen profession.
Nurse practitioner burnout rates
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners published a recent study analyzing burnout among NPs and how environmental factors play a role.
The study revealed nurse practitioners working in favorable practice environments with adequate support, resources, autonomy, and optimal relations with colleagues, may be less susceptible to burnout. On the other hand, poor practice environments have been shown to contribute to clinician burnout.
Here are some key statistics from the report:
- 25.3% of NPs who participated in the survey were burned out.
- Higher scores on the following favorable environment subscales were associated with an up to 58% lower risk of nurse practitioner burnout; professional visibility, NP-physician relations, NP-administration relations, independent practice, and support.
From this research, it’s clear nurse practitioners experiencing burnout may need to reevaluate the environment where they work and seek alternative career opportunities with more favorable conditions.
Non-traditional nurse practitioner careers
The traditional career path for nurse practitioners typically involves providing patient care in a clinical setting. However, clinicians cultivate diverse skill sets with knowledge in many areas of care, making them highly sought after candidates for nontraditional roles. Instead of feeling stuck in the status quo, nurse practitioners can find positions that exercise their transferable skills and fulfill both their personal and professional interests.
15 types of alternative jobs for nurse practitioners
1. Online nurse practitioner jobs
Online nurse practitioner jobs allow clinicians to create a flexible schedule that works for their lifestyle. There are innovative telehealth companies all over the country looking for NPs to provide remote synchronous and asynchronous care for a wide variety of treatment areas for diverse patient populations. With the flexibility telemedicine offers, it can be leveraged as a part-time position to supplement income or can provide a full-time salary.
2. Start a mobile medical clinic
Minority populations within low income communities have disproportionate instances of health conditions and less access to proper medical care. NPs looking to serve these areas can make a measurable impact by running a mobile health clinic. These programs work with vulnerable communities to provide critical health services, primary care, screenings, treatment for conditions common among homeless populations, and more. Mobile clinic owners can further expand these efforts by partnering with local community organizations such as food pantries and rehabilitation facilities to give people access to resources they need beyond the mobile clinic. This entrepreneurial endeavor requires securing a medical vehicle, creating a business plan, hiring a team of culturally knowledgeable staff members and clinicians, and logistical planning. NPs looking to start a mobile health clinic can raise funding to support these efforts through commercial financing, grants, organizational contributions, and service contracts.
3. Nurse researcher
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a faster than average growth rate for nurse practitioners in the coming years. The role of a nurse researcher involves developing and implementing scientific studies to explore the different aspects of healthcare and illness and identify ways to improve patient outcomes based on data analysis and reported findings. Medical research is typically funded by grants, so nurse researchers can be tasked with writing grant proposals with specific reporting requirements. Nurse practitioners who want to enter the field of research but need more experience in a clinical research setting can begin as a research assistant, clinical researcher monitor, or clinical data coordinator.
4. Yacht medical staff/crew nurse
Chartered luxury yacht staff members get to travel the world while catering to clients. Crew nurses often serve as deckhands or stews in addition to providing on-demand medical care to everyone on the vessel. Although living quarters for staff are often tight, the earning potential and opportunity to visit new and exotic locations are what draw nurse practitioners to this profession.
5. Corporate health nurse practitioner
Many companies offer employee wellness programs to give employees access to a range of basic health services. These corporate clinics often hire nurse practitioners to assess, treat, and help prevent acute illnesses and conditions of employees so they don’t have to miss time at work for off-site appointments.
6. Camp nurse
Nurse practitioners experiencing burnout or who are seeking a change in environment can practice in the great outdoors working as a camp nurse. Churches, agencies and private organizations host residential and day camps for all different types of populations that need readily available access to medical care such as people and children with cancer, mental disabilities, or other specific conditions. Camp nurses conduct health assessments, treat illness and injury for campers and staff, and administer medication, and more.
7. Clinical writer/editor
There are plenty of writing and editing opportunities for nurse practitioners to leverage their extensive knowledge and experience to create and review clinical-based content.
Scholarly journals and publishers produce content such as textbooks, peer-reviewed articles, editorial pieces, and educational materials that need to be checked for technical accuracy by experts like advanced practice nurses. There are also opportunities through credentialing services for test-writing and test review services.
Nurse practitioners can also find opportunities as CEU and CME writers, serving as subject matter experts to create timely and relevant continuing education courses for practicing healthcare professionals.
Many, if not all of these roles, can be done remotely.
8. Nurse practitioner blogger or freelance writer
Clinicians with a knack for storytelling and passion for writing may find fulfillment in maintaining a personal blog. Nurse practitioner bloggers have the freedom to write about their experiences and unique perspectives on any number of healthcare topics, with total autonomy while generating income through advertising and affiliate marketing. As freelance writers, nurse practitioners can be paid to produce and publish work on other blogs and platforms in need of expert medical opinions.
9. Expert legal witness
Nurse practitioners diagnose and treat a wide range of common conditions that patients can experience throughout their lifetime. This level of experience and exposure to the medical system make nurse practitioners effective expert witnesses in medical-legal cases. In this type of role, qualified NPs help legal teams by evaluating the medical records, witness testimonials, and material facts of medical-legal cases to provide expert commentary in court. Nurse practitioner expert legal witnesses can be responsible for providing unbiased and objective opinions to help the court make decisions for either side of a medical-legal claim.
10. Health policy nurse
Healthcare reform in America is currently seeing a lot of action and health policy nurses have the power to enact positive change in the healthcare system without working in a clinical setting. These opportunities exist within healthcare organizations, government offices, and research firms, where nurses are needed to conduct research, create and enforce healthcare policies and advocate to make care more safe, accessible, and affordable for all.
11. Nursing professor or education consultant
Schools and educational programs frequently hire doctorate-level nurse practitioners as instructors and professors to teach in-person and online courses. This is a great way for providers to gain teaching experience by instructing foundational classes such as anatomy & physiology, chemistry, and epidemiology among others. Some nurse practitioners maintain a full-time clinical practice while teaching part-time to supplement their income.
Nurse practitioners who want to work in education, but do not want to teach, can find opportunities as an education consultant working for public or private universities. In these roles, consultants can contribute to the development of curriculum or lead department-wide projects and assessments. Nursing schools also hire nurse practitioner consultants to serve as career coaches for students and nurses.
12. Tech start-up consultant or product manager
Healthtech is a fast growing industry within the healthcare space, with innovative companies creating tech enabled products and services that can be used outside of a hospital setting. Oftentimes, these companies are not operated by people with medical training or experience, so they call on nurse practitioner consultants to help navigate and offer critical insight on the current healthcare system, policy and regulations as well as assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for common health conditions.
Nurse Practitioners can also be hired as product managers to conduct research and partake in strategic planning and implementation of health related products. Organizations in and beyond the healthtech space such as EMR vendors and patient engagement companies, seek clinicians with an entrepreneurial spirit to develop effective healthcare products and services.
13. Flight nurse
If you’re not afraid of flying and enjoy treating advanced critical care patients, becoming a flight nurse may be a good option for you. Responsible for ensuring patients safely reach their destination, flight nurses or transport nurses work with paramedics and physicians to provide direct care during patient transport. This role required nurse practitioners to go through a curriculum by the Department of Transportation Air Medical where they learn how to administer treatment for acute trauma and life support while in an airplane or helicopter.
14. Correctional care nurse
Are you interested in helping underserved populations and using your experience to serve your community? Consider a career providing health promotion and services to inmates in a correctional facility. A meaningful and rewarding position, nurse practitioner opportunities in correctional healthcare often involve assessing and treating common health concerns as well as conditions relating to mental illness, suicide prevention, and substance abuse. With overcrowding being a persistent issue in today’s prison system, many correctional facilities are in demand of medical providers such as nurse practitioners.
15. Foreign service health practitioner
Are you a nurse practitioner interested in working overseas? The U.S. Department of State hires NPs to work as foreign service healthcare providers to serve in countries all over the world. Practicing abroad, nurse practitioners have an autonomous role and play a key part in interdisciplinary medical teams that provide primary, emergency, and preventative medical care for U.S. diplomats in foreign countries. To qualify for the foreign service, NPs need to pass a high-level security clearance and obtain medical diplomacy. Although providers may be sent to areas with harsh conditions and limited access to modern medical technologies, this can be a challenging and exciting opportunity for clinicians.
Discover a career in telemedicine with Wheel
At Wheel, clinicians are our focus.
We make it possible for clinicians to access multiple virtual care opportunities all over the country with innovative telehealth companies. After a simple credentialing and training effort, Wheel matches NPs with opportunities based on their interest and experience so they can begin working remotely with increased flexibility and better work-life balance. Find out how a job in telemedicine with Wheel could be the start of your creative clinical career.
Apply to work in virtual care with Wheel.
- Dermatology Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Surgical Nurse Practitioner.
- Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner.
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
- Family Nurse Practitioner.
- Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (OHNP)
- Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.
Which nurse practitioner specialty is in highest demand? The demand for family NPs, gerontology NPs, and PMHNPs is high as more states grant NPs full practice authority to fill the need for primary and preventive care for all age groups.Why do nurse practitioners quit? ›
Overall, more than 60% of NPs reported feeling burned out, with 30% saying that they were both burned out and depressed. A majority of NPs (62%) also report experiencing burnout for at least a year, with 20% saying they have experienced burnout for more than two years now.What is the Chillest nursing job? ›
- Nurse educator. Nurse educators are medical professionals who train nurses and aspiring nurses. ...
- Long-term care nurse. ...
- Nurse administrator. ...
- Clinical research nurse. ...
- School or summer camp nurse. ...
- Clinic nurse. ...
- Nurse informatics. ...
- Lactation consultant nurse.
- Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. ...
- Neonatal nurse practitioner. ...
- Pediatric nurse practitioner. ...
- Emergency nurse practitioner. ...
- Acute care nurse practitioner. ...
- Women's health nurse practitioner. ...
- Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner.
- MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner.
- MSN - Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
- MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.
- MSN - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The job outlook for nurse practitioners is the fastest growing in the medical field. As previously mentioned, NP career has a projected growth rate of more than 50% over the next decade. The second fastest-growing career in healthcare is a physician assistant, at almost a 31% projected growth over the next decade.Is a nurse practitioner a high stress job? ›
My responsibilities of being a NP are significantly more stressful than my RN duties were, no comparison. I was a critical care RN , ICU, SICU, CCU, CVICU, for over 20 years. I am now an inpatient ACNP . I am much more stressed now.Is NP school harder than BSN? ›
Courses and content are more challenging. The level of knowledge you're required to have as a Nurse Practitioner is a huge step up from a RN. You'll take a lot of the same courses as you did with your BSN, but will go into each topic with a lot more depth because you'll be diagnosing and treating health problems soon.
The general difference between family nurse practitioners vs. pediatric nurse practitioners is the patient populations they serve. FNPs provide care for patients across the lifespan, from infants to geriatrics. Meanwhile, PNPs only see patients under the age of 18.Do Pmhnp make more than FNP? ›
The average hourly pay for the FNP is $46.22, while the PMHNP earns around $53 per hour. These numbers are a reflection of the national average for these two job fields. Things that will affect your hourly pay rate are what state you are working in, if you are in a specialty, and the setting in which you are working.Is NP field saturated? ›
Many job markets across the U.S. are saturated for nurse practitioners. Many are not. Regardless of the situation in your area, if you're a new grad you may need to be determined and flexible as you look for that coveted first position.What is the highest paying occupation? ›
|OCCUPATION||2021 MEDIAN PAY|
|General internal medicine physicians||This wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
|Family medicine physicians||This wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
|Emergency medicine physicians||This wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year|
- Leave in accordance with the terms of your contract. Most employment agreements contain language in regards to leaving your job. ...
- Put your resignation in writing. ...
- Keep it simple. ...
- See your commitments through. ...
- Create a smooth transition.
Being a nurse practitioner is worth it because most NPs are highly satisfied with their career and job. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks nurse practitioners as the best health care job in 2022! So, if you are planning to go to school to become an NP, you can expect a pleasurable and engaging career.Can you work as an RN and NP at the same time? ›
Of course. However, as long as you are still a certified NP, you are held to that higher standard in terms of liability.Which nursing specialty has the highest burnout rate? ›
Critical care nursing is typically seen as the most stressful nursing job and is associated with the highest rate of burnout among nurses. In fact, according to a report published by the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC), critical care nurses have the highest rates of burnout syndrome among their colleagues.What's the hardest nursing specialty? ›
- Intensive Care Unit nurses (ICU) ICU is an extremely high-pressure environment and these nurses work with patients who have significant injuries and disease with added morbidity risks. ...
- Emergency Department nurses. ...
- Neonatal ICU. ...
- OR nursing. ...
- Oncology Nursing. ...
- Psychiatric Nursing.
- 10 Low-Stress Jobs.
- Data Scientist.
- Medical Records Technician.
- Massage Therapist.
- Appliance Repairer.
- Diagnostic Medical Stenographer.
What can a DNP do that an NP cannot? A DNP-prepared nurse has a deep knowledge of evidence-based care and the ability to apply this knowledge in practice. A nurse with a DNP degree can influence healthcare policies, take on administrative roles and provide clinical education for nursing programs.Is NP higher than PA? ›
Is NP higher than PA? Neither profession ranks "higher" than the other. Both occupations work in the healthcare field, but with different qualifications, educational backgrounds, and responsibilities. They also work in different specialties.Which is better FNP or AGNP? ›
Both can act as primary care providers and have similar licensing requirements. The most significant difference between a family nurse practitioner and an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner is that FNPs care for patients of all ages, including children, while AGNPs care only for adolescents through adults.Can a DNP be called a doctor? ›
So, the short answer is yes – a DNP nurse may be referred to as "doctor," however, some states have legislation surrounding this. For example, Arizona and Delaware forbid nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals from using the "doctor" title, unless they immediately clarify their role.Does a CRNA make more than a nurse practitioner? ›
As senior healthcare positions, both CRNAs and NPs often earn competitive salaries. However, working as a CRNA is the more lucrative career path. The average salary for a nurse practitioner is $113,484 per year , while the average certified registered nurse anesthetist makes $176,509 per year .Is getting a DNP worth it? ›
Pros of getting a DNP
A DNP can qualify you for more advanced positions, including director- and executive-level roles in hospitals and health care advocacy organizations. Enrolling in a DNP program can help you stay on top of the latest developments in evidence-based clinical practice.
The national benchmark turnover rate among nurse practitioners and physician assistants is 10% (sullivan & cotter, 2020).What are some related occupations to a nurse practitioner? ›
- Occupational Therapists.
- Physical Therapists.
- Physician Assistants.
- Registered Nurses.
- Adult and Vocational Education Teachers.
- Family and General Practitioners.
- Nurse Anesthetists.
Nurse practitioners are about average in terms of happiness.What do you think is the most challenging aspect of working as a nurse practitioner? ›
One of the biggest challenges of being a nurse practitioner is work-life balance, and a changing schedule or working overtime can impede this.
Yes, nurse practitioner is a prestigious job. Nurse practitioners generally receive high rankings of job satisfaction due to the combination of high earning potential, work-life balance, and lower stress levels than most jobs.Do you have to be smart to be a nurse practitioner? ›
Yes, you have to achieve various levels of education and pass exams and clinical competencies during your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner, but remember that your role is much more than how smart you are. Clinical judgment comes with time.What is the hardest class in NP school? ›
- Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
- Pharmacology. ...
- Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
- Evidence-Based Practice.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-Prepared Practitioner
The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal nursing degree, meaning that it is the highest possible practice-based degree in nursing.
A Nurse Practitioner doesn't have a formal title like a doctor. And, it is outdated to use “Nurse Doe”. It would be appropriate to address them as Ms. or Mr. unless they or the other staff encourages you to use their first name.Can FNP intubate? ›
If the condition deteriorates, the patient has to be shifted to emergency rooms. In those facilities, only the ACNPs can take care of the patients. This way, the FNPs would be able to intubate.What can you do with a PNP? ›
A PNP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who specializes in caring for newborns, infants, toddlers, adolescents and young adults. PNPs focus on well-child care and the prevention or management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions.What is an Anrp? ›
An advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) is a registered nurse who completes a graduate-level educational program. An ARNP can have primary responsibility for patient care. Additional ARNP roles include certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives.Where are the highest paid nurse practitioners? ›
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is the highest paying state for nurse practitioners. Entry-level nurse practitioners in the state earn over $50 hourly and average about $107,310 yearly. NPs with ten to nineteen years can earn up to $165,140 yearly.Where do psychiatric nurse practitioners make the most money? ›
According to Zip Recruiter, the highest paying states for psychiatric NPs include: New York: $138,474 annually, or $66.57/hr. New Hampshire: $124,208 annually, or $64.52/hr.
The demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners is projected to rise as the U.S. population increases. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment of all nurse practitioners will grow by 52% between 2020 and 2030.Which nurse practitioner is most in demand? ›
- Family Practice. ...
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care. ...
- Psychiatric Mental Health. ...
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. ...
- Pediatric Primary Care. ...
- Pulmonology Nurse Practitioner. ...
- Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
- House Call Nurse Practitioner.
- Pursue Continuing Education or Additional Certifications. ...
- Explore New Areas of Nursing. ...
- Gain Work Experience. ...
- Negotiate Better Nursing Contracts. ...
- Produce Medical Writing.
The NONPF said it had “made the commitment to move all entry-level nurse practitioner (NP) education to the DNP degree by 2025.”How can I make 300k a year? ›
- Radiologist. ...
- Chief executive officer (CEO) ...
- Chief financial officer (CFO) ...
- Principal software architect. ...
- Obstetrics and gynecology physician. ...
- Emergency medicine physician. ...
- Psychiatrist. ...
If you're looking for easy high paying jobs, don't discount house sitter. Your main responsibility is simply to be present, ensuring a home doesn't sit empty. Usually, there will be a few more duties, like watering plants, checking the mail, and maybe some light cleaning.
- Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers. ...
- Police and Detective Supervisors. ...
- Commercial Pilots. ...
- Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers. ...
- Firefighting Supervisors. ...
- Transportation Inspectors.
- Plastic surgery: 23%. ...
- Dermatology: 32%. ...
- Pathology: 32%. ...
- Ophthalmology: 33%. ...
- Orthopedics: 34%. ...
- Emergency medicine: 45%. ...
- Internal medicine: 46%. ...
- Obstetrics and gynecology: 46%.
- Medical Billers and Coders. ...
- Medical Laboratory Technician. ...
- Sterile Processing Technician. ...
- Dental Hygienist. ...
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer.
So how many patients an average day? NP in family practice is way more stressful than RN in telemetry, cath lab recovery, PACU, or CICU where I worked for years. An NP is expected to generate profit, which means seeing patients.
The general difference between family nurse practitioners vs. pediatric nurse practitioners is the patient populations they serve. FNPs provide care for patients across the lifespan, from infants to geriatrics. Meanwhile, PNPs only see patients under the age of 18.Which specialty has the highest burnout? ›
Emergency medicine physicians have the highest rates of burnout among all physician specialties, according to a Medscape's 2022 Physician Burnout and Depression report.What is the least respected medical specialty? ›
- Emergency Medicine.
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
- Child Neurology.
- Internal Medicine.
- Music Therapist.
- Medical Scientist.
- Medical Illustrator.
- Forensic Scientist.
- Dance Therapist.
- Biomedical Engineer.
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)
EMTs are the first responders and is #1 for the most stressful jobs. They sometimes deal with gruesome and violent situations that demand immediate medical attention. They're called out to car accidents, heart attacks, gunshot wounds, and a list of other situations.
The survey also suggested that some physicians were at higher risk of burnout, including those practicing emergency medicine, family medicine and pediatrics, as well as women physicians in general. Dr. Shanafelt said this might be because of the shortage of mental health services.What is the highest paid nurse practitioner specialty? ›
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ($114,468) ...
- Telemedicine Nurse Practitioner ($113,883) ...
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ($113,387) ...
- Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner ($112,511) ...
- Neurosurgery Nurse Practitioner ($112,384)
The job outlook for nurse practitioners is the fastest growing in the medical field. As previously mentioned, NP career has a projected growth rate of more than 50% over the next decade. The second fastest-growing career in healthcare is a physician assistant, at almost a 31% projected growth over the next decade.What are the disadvantages of being a nurse practitioner? ›
- Lengthy education path.
- Continuing to work while being in NP school.
- You must pass a certification exam to practice.
- Variability of working hours.
- Working conditions.
- Workplace stress.
- Emotional stress.
- Legal responsibilities.
Both can act as primary care providers and have similar licensing requirements. The most significant difference between a family nurse practitioner and an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner is that FNPs care for patients of all ages, including children, while AGNPs care only for adolescents through adults.
If the condition deteriorates, the patient has to be shifted to emergency rooms. In those facilities, only the ACNPs can take care of the patients. This way, the FNPs would be able to intubate.What can you do with a PNP? ›
A PNP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who specializes in caring for newborns, infants, toddlers, adolescents and young adults. PNPs focus on well-child care and the prevention or management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions.