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Retiring from Full-time Nursing? 5 Jobs for Your Next Chapter

Nurses work hard their entire careers to enjoy the precious fruits of their labor in retirement. Yet nurse retirement can come in many shapes and sizes. It can even evolve over time.

Some retiring nurses choose to hang up their scrubs forever, while others opt to use their nursing skills on a part-time basis without the pressure and commitments of a full-time nursing career. Still others choose to use their knowledge and experience in an entirely new way.

Regardless of the retirement path that you are currently on, the following jobs for retired nurses may be just perfect for those golden years.

5 jobs for retiring nurses

1. Nurse Writer

If you’ve always loved to put pen to paper (or keyboard), becoming a nurse writer could be a great way to spend your nurse retirement. Depending on your background, you can choose from any number of writing avenues. You can work as a freelance medical / healthcare writer, become an author of your own book or curriculum materials, edit other publications, or create your own blog or newsletter.

2. Travel Nurse / Contract Nurse

Picture this: your full-time nursing career is in the rearview mirror. You now have the freedom, financial stability and flexibility to travel from city to city and state to state while still using the clinical nursing skills you worked so hard to earn. No, this isn’t a scene from a new movie; it’s what life could really look like as a travel nurse or contract nurse.

AMN Healthcare specializes in short-term, rapid-response nursing jobs, crisis nursing assignments and other special project contracts, with assignments ranging from 4 weeks to 13 weeks or more. Though most assignments are full-time for the assignment duration, they do allow you take off as much time as you want between jobs. When you take a travel nursing contract, you can enjoy some of the best compensation and benefits in the industry, including free housing and travel reimbursements. Many contract nurses feel like they are “getting paid to travel,” while still doing what they love.

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3. Volunteer Nurse

From blood banks to schools, there are countless organizations that could use the help of an experienced nursing professional like yourself, who has spent years caring for patients and building your expertise and knowledge base. If you miss the environment and camaraderie that comes with working in the hospital or clinic, consider signing on as a volunteer. Your help is needed with everything from greeting and checking in visitors to assisting with fundraising initiatives and vaccination clinics.

Nurse missionaries are also volunteers who travel to underserved areas to provide access to healthcare and education, often overseas. These unpaid positions are a fulfilling way to spend your retirement years knowing that you are helping those who need it most. Some organizations that offer these types of opportunities include Mercy Ships, International Medical Relief, World Medical Mission/Samaritan’s Purse, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, and many others.

4. Medical / Healthcare Exam Proctor

Remember sweating it out when you first went to take the NCLEX? Well, consider being on the other side of the fence and serving as a proctor for nursing and other healthcare practitioner exams. Most proctor positions are part-time gigs offered by universities or third-party testing centers. Retired nurses can sit in on a variety of different tests and earn some extra compensation for just a few hours of their time each month. Contact your local college, medical school or testing center to see how you can get started as a medical exam proctor.

5. Consultant

A nurse consultant can work in a variety of functional areas. Broadly speaking, nurse consultants will use their clinical education, experience and knowledge to help health systems and other organizations improve healthcare programs and standards. Depending on your background, you could serve as an operations consultant, clinical consultant or even a legal nurse consultant. The majority of consultant positions are project- or contract-based, allowing retired nurses to still enjoy their hard-earned time off.

Ready to combine work and play, on your terms?

If you’re interested in seeing the country while using your nursing skills in short-term assignments, talk to the contract nursing experts at AMN. We offer a variety of assignments for nurses at every stage of their career who are seeking flexibility, fulfillment and excellent compensation.

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