As a new grad nurse, I feel like nursing school and the general stigma has pushed going into bedside nursing as the best thing to do after graduation. For several reasons, I did not want to go into bedside right now (read more on that here in my inpatient vs. outpatient post). There is generally much more stress, longer hours, and more burnout. In this post, I am covering 10 non-bedside new grad nursing jobs. These jobs require no prior nursing experience, although they also work for nurses with experience that are burnt out in bedside, but don’t want to leave the profession.
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10 Non-Bedside New Grad Nursing Jobs
1. Primary Care or Specialty Outpatient
This is the option that I personally chose working at an outpatient family medicine clinic. It is also what most people think of as a non-bedside new grad nursing job. I am so happy with my decision because I have normal work hours, weekends/nights/holidays off, it’s low stress, and I am happy to go to work every day! You get to build relationships with patients over time, as well as with your coworkers since you are working with the same people every day. You can make as much as an inpatient if you apply to outpatient hospital residencies, or slightly less if you work for an independent clinic.
There are plenty of options to choose from as far as departments. To name a few, you can go into family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, cardiology, podiatry, etc. Pretty much any specialty you can get into in the hospital and more. You can work full or part-time, and some clinics even do 4x 10s or 3x 12s!
2. School Nursing
This is another job that I looked into after graduating. I will say that most of these jobs do pay less (and sometimes significantly less) than working at the hospital or even a clinic. However, this job is also low-stress, you get summers/weekends/nights/holidays off, and there is a lot of flexibility in the position. Some school nurse jobs required previous experience, but I did find several jobs in my area that had no experience required.
3. Ambulatory Surgery Clinic
If surgery interests you, but you don’t want to work at the hospital, there are ambulatory surgery clinics that bring in patients and discharge them home same day. These jobs typically pay the same as inpatient jobs at the hospital starting out, and there are different roles you can take. You can work as a scrub nurse, circulatory nurse, pre-op, or post-op nurse. There are also different settings such as at a plastic surgery office, or in orthopedics.
4. Infusion Nursing
Another option with a lot of flexibility is working at an infusion clinic! You can work 5x 8s, 4x 10s, or 3x 12s. There are also options to do home infusions where you go to the client’s house, or in a clinic. Generally, you will be infusing chemo, antibiotics, or other IV fluids. To be an infusion nurse, you do need to be closer to a city because more rural areas may not have an infusion clinic nearby.
5. Corrections Nursing
Working at a jail or prison is definitely an option for new grads! While looking for new grad positions when I first graduated, I saw a few options in my area that were specifically advertising to new grads. With this role, you are providing care to a vulnerable and underserved population. You will also be able to establish great boundaries in this role.
6. Aesthetic Nursing
Aesthetic nursing and working in med spas is becoming more popular. While this can be a harder field to get into as a new grad, it doesn’t disqualify you. To get into aesthetics nursing you may have to take additional certification classes for injecting and techniques unless you find a job that will train you. Look at med spas, plastic surgery offices, and stand-alone clinics to find a job in this field if you are interested. Networking can also help you if you are wanting to go in this field since it is more competitive.
7. Camp Nursing
If you’re looking for a seasonal nursing job, you can be a camp nurse in the summer. Dependent on the camp, you don’t need to have any prior experience as long as you have your license and BLS training. This can be a fun seasonal job on it’s own, or in combination with being a school nurse if you do want an income during the summer. With this position, you may need to stay at the summer camp for however long it is running, especially if you don’t live nearby.
8. Vaccination Nurse
There are year-round vaccination nursing jobs, but there are also seasonal vaccination nurses like during flu season or in pandemics (like now). This is a fairly easy, and low-stress job. Your job is just to prep the vaccines, administer them, and document them. This can also be a great option if you want a side job and don’t want to pick up overtime at your current position because the hours can be flexible and can be part-time.
9. Community Nurse
If you’re interested in mental health, community nursing might be for you! I did a clinic in community nursing and thought it was a great experience. In community nursing, you are generally part of a team that goes around to different areas to meet the patient where they are. This is generally for those who aren’t able to leave to seek help. These can be individuals living in shelters, that are homeless, or other vulnerable populations. You provide both nursing care and mental health resources. Generally, it pays lower than other nursing jobs, but it makes a huge difference in the lives of your patients!
10. Home Health Nursing
If you want just one or two patients that you see on a consistent basis, home health nursing might be for you. With home health nursing you go to your patient’s homes on a regular basis (whatever your schedule is) for a long duration. They generally have chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis. You can specialize in both pediatric or adult home health. The hours can also be flexible where you are working nights, days, or swing shifts.
Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs
There are so many different options that you can do if you are looking for a non-bedside new grad nursing job. These are only 10 of the non-bedside new grad nursing options. Some of the benefits of non-bedside nursing include lower levels of burnout, lower levels of stress, consistent schedules, flexibility, working in teams and building relationships with your coworkers.
Looking for more new-grad nursing-related posts? Check out one of my other posts below:
- What to Expect During Your Final Quarter of Nursing School + Nursing Senior Practicum
- How I Studied to Pass the NCLEX in 75 Questions
- What I Bring to Nursing School Clinicals