Least Stressful Nursing Career Options
Working with patients in fast-paced medical facilities can be stressful for nurses, but there are some nursing-related positions that are less stressful. These positions may work in slower-paced environments, have less contact with patients and/or provide more administrative duties instead of the often high-pressured medical-related responsibilities. Learn about some of the least stressful nursing careers here.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Writers and Authors||$61,240||8%|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$96,540||20%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Career Information for Least Stressful Nursing Jobs
Although many registered nurses (RNs) do work in stressful environments, some RNs may work in schools, at camps or as traveling nurses for cruises and other similar adventures, which tend to be slower-paced and less stressful. RNs examine patients, use medical equipment, conduct diagnostic tests and administer medications. They must be able to carefully explain to patients and/or their families how to continue care at home and answer any questions they may have. RNs need a license, but may hold a diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing.
Nursing assistants do work in fast-paced medical facilities, such as hospitals, but their job duties are typically slower-paced and less stressful and they also refer much of their patients' medical needs to a nurse or physician. Nursing assistants take their time helping patients eat, bathe and dress all while talking with them and listening to any concerns they may have. They pass these concerns along to nurses, but do help monitor patients' vital signs and may transport and move patients as needed. Nursing assistants need to pass a competency exam after finishing a state-approved education program.
Some nurses may work as health educators, which is usually less stressful as these educators work to educate community members instead of treat patients. They may still work in medical facilities, as well as businesses, nonprofits, colleges and other organizations, but focus their efforts on creating community-specific programs to teach people about a particular health topic. Health educators consistently train staff members to help run the programs, evaluate the programs and learning materials to find ways to improve them, connect the public with health resources and advocate for any additional needed resources. Health educators need to hold at least a bachelor's degree in health education or a related field, but may hold a master's or doctoral degree and/or a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.
Writers and Authors
Although not typically thought of as a nursing career, some nurses do make a career writing blogs, books or articles about nursing and related health topics and experience little to no stress in these jobs with the flexible schedule and no interaction with patients. Many writers and authors perform detailed research to prepare their piece and then work with editors to have another pair of eyes check their work for readability and spelling or grammatical errors. Once a final draft has been approved the piece is ready for publication. Writers and authors generally need some writing experience and a bachelor's degree, and although it is not required, a degree in communications, English or a related field may be preferred.
Medical and Health Services Managers
Nurses who still wish to work in a medical facility but would like to have more administrative duties instead of medical ones may work as a medical and health services manager. These managers may have less stress working in a slower-paced environment creating goals for their department or organization, managing the finances and developing work schedules. They have little to no interactions with patients, but do oversee and train their staff, attend meetings and serve as a liaison between departments and management/staff. Medical and health services managers may need a bachelor's or master's degree, depending on the facility, in nursing, health management, health administration, business administration or a related field.