The university of tulsa Online Blog

Trending topics in the tu online community

Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs You Can Get With a BSN

Written by: University of Tulsa   •  Jan 17, 2024
Nurse Working on a Laptop in an Office.

Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs You Can Get With a BSN

It’s interesting to reflect on the nursing profession and how it’s developed since the 18th century. During the early days of the profession, nurses learned on the job and worked exclusively in a clinical capacity. Bedside nursing was the industry standard.  

The landscape of modern-day nursing is far broader than it used to be. Of course, clinical nursing remains a staple in the profession, but several non-bedside nursing jobs complement the clinical side of health care. Some nursing professionals have no in-person interaction with patients.

In this article, we provide an overview of six examples of non-bedside nursing jobs that BSN graduates qualify for. It offers some career insight to those who are exploring their options in health care. We also provide useful information about where to receive formal nursing training, such as a RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program.  

6 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs to Explore

Although most people think of traditional clinicians when they think of nurses, several critical nursing roles involve minimal to no direct patient care. BSN graduates who prefer to focus on other areas of health care beyond the clinical aspect should explore the jobs below. 

1. Nurse Case Manager

Nurse case managers coordinate with presiding physicians to help develop patient care plans, update insurance carriers with essential information, and help patients and their families understand their treatment options. In a sense, nurse case managers are like liaisons in that they keep the appropriate parties informed and on the same page.

According to data from Payscale in October 2023, the average nurse case manager makes approximately $78,340 annually. Top earners make around $98,000 annually.  

2. Nurse Educator

A nurse educator is one of the few non-bedside nursing jobs that are purely based in an academic setting. Educators impart their clinical expertise and health care knowledge to the next generation of nurses and, in some cases, serve as nurse mentors or in an advisory capacity. Typically, nurse educators are responsible for creating a curriculum and overseeing the development of nurses as they prepare for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), which is the exam all nurses must take to qualify for licensure.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of postsecondary nursing instructors was approximately $78,580 in May 2022. The BLS projects employment of nurse educators to grow by 8% by 2032, which is faster than the national average.  

3. School Nurse

Although school nurses are expected to deliver some clinical services to the student body, their duties are more rooted in education and preventive services. For example, school nurses may be responsible for helping administer COVID-19 or flu shots on a college campus. They also raise awareness about health-conscious choices, such as maintaining proper hygiene routines or practicing safe sex.

School nurses can address minor health care issues that don’t require significant resources. However, for serious injuries and illnesses, they’ll refer students to their local hospital or health care facility to get proper treatment.

The average school nurse made an approximate annual salary of $51,530 as of July 2023, according to Payscale. School nurses in the 90th percentile made closer to $72,000 annually.   

4. Public Health Nurse

A public health nurse is a non-bedside nursing role that’s primarily concerned with preventing public health issues, such as infectious diseases; exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins; and unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drug and alcohol abuse.

Rather than working one-on-one, public health nurses aim to educate entire populations about public health threats and the health care resources the community has access to. Being a public health nurse has no clinical element, but being an effective communicator is essential to helping populations understand the importance of public health threats and how to mitigate them.

According to Payscale, the average public health nurse made approximately $69,260 annually as of July 2023. The highest-paid public nurses in the country make around $96,000 annually. 

5. Nurse Researcher

A nurse researcher is another non-beside nursing role with no clinical element. Instead, nurse researchers deliver value to the health care industry through the findings of clinical research studies, vaccine trials, and the collection and analysis of health care-related data sets.

When there’s a new strain of influenza, COVID-19, or another communicable disease, research nurses are heavily involved with the research, testing, and development of potential cures and vaccines. Although they have no patient interaction, the work that they do contributes to countless lives saved.

According to Payscale, the average clinical research nurse made $75,800 annually as of October 2023. Research nurses at the top of the pay scale made around $99,000 annually, making it one of the highest non-bedside nursing roles in the health care field. 

6. Occupational Nurse

Occupational nurses typically work for large organizations that require an on-site health care resource for their employees. Although the clinical element of health care doesn’t predominantly define their role, they can provide treatment to employees who’ve been injured or who are experiencing an illness. However, employees with significant injuries or illnesses are referred to the local hospital where they can receive proper treatment.

Typically, occupational nurses provide counseling to employees who are experiencing physical or mental health care challenges related to their jobs. They also conduct substance abuse screenings and rehabilitation services. According to Payscale, occupational nurses made approximately $77,590 annually as of February 2023; top earners made closer to $93,000 annually.

Make an Impact in Health Care in a Non-Bedside Nursing Role

Clinical nursing doesn’t appeal to everyone. Fortunately, the field of health care is so broad that numerous non-bedside nursing roles are available for those who want to do their part. One of the main advantages of the nursing profession is the ability to choose how much patient-facing care you deliver. Additionally, many nursing roles we’ve covered offer competitive salaries and long-term stability.

Those who are ready to carve their career path in health care are encouraged to explore their educational options, such as the RN to BSN program offered at The University of Tulsa. The program is designed for current RNs who are ready to take their careers to the next level. In as little as 12 months, students will graduate from the program with the nursing knowledge and skills to qualify for several high-demand non-bedside nursing roles.  

Find out more about the program so that you can see how it supports your professional aspirations in the health care field.

Recommended Readings

A Nurse Educator’s Role in the Future of Nursing

How to Become an APRN

The Most Important Leadership Skills for Nurses


HCA Healthcare, Non-Bedside Nursing

Indeed, “32 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs (Plus Duties and Salaries)”

IntelyCare, “13 Great Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs”

Nurse Fern, 11 Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs You Can Do From Home

Nursing CE Central, “Seven Non-Bedside Nursing Jobs”

Payscale, Average Clinical Research Nurse Salary

Payscale, Average Nurse Case Manager Salary

Payscale, Average Occupational Nurse Hourly Pay

Payscale, Average Public Health Nurse Hourly Pay

Payscale, Average School Nurse Salary

Trusted Health, “Beyond the Bedside: Alternative Nursing Opportunities”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Postsecondary Teachers

Learn more about the benefits of receiving
your degree from The University of Tulsa