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Ready for Your Encore? 5 Jobs for Retired Nurses

Top Jobs for Retired Nurses and Baby Boomer Nurses Seeking a Change

You’ve enjoyed a long nursing career, and you’ve decided that you no longer want to keep working the same kind of full-time nursing jobs. Yet you’re not ready to completely call it quits in your chosen profession.

So, what are your options?

Luckily, baby boomer nurses and other soon-to-be-retired nurses have several options today, ranging from home health care nursing jobs and volunteer roles to the excitement of touring the country as a travel nurse.

FIND short-term travel nursing jobs in your dream locations. 

5 Fulfilling Jobs for Retired Nurses

Searching for a purpose-driven job isn’t easy at any age, and certainly not beyond midlife. Yet many nurses nearing retirement are hoping to extend their careers with jobs that provide meaning, a well-balanced lifestyle, continued income and/or the chance to try something new.

Here’s a look at five options nurses are embracing for their next chapter after retirement:

1. Volunteer jobs for retired nurses 

You’ve cared for patients your entire career. Now that you’re nearing the end of your time as an employee, you may long to share your nursing skills and some of your time with a specific patient population, or to support a cause that you feel strongly about.

Some volunteer jobs for retired nurses may include:

  • Caring for or fostering babies who need extreme care
  • Joining medical missions in developing countries
  • Assisting with disaster response for groups like the Red Cross
  • Volunteering part-time in a community health clinic
  • Teaching healthy practices to at-risk populations
  • Keeping kids with special needs safe and healthy at camp

2. Part-time or per diem nursing jobs

Nurses near retirement may choose to pursue part-time employment, either through their current employer or in different working environments.

Some part-time RN job options might include:

  • Working per diem nursing shifts a few days each month
  • Serving as an adjunct/part-time nurse educator, in the classroom or for clinical rotations
  • Taking a permanent, part-time shift at an outpatient clinic with regular hours
  • Working a short-term job at a vaccination clinic during flu season
  • Serving as a part-time telemedicine/advice nurse

3. Travel nursing jobs that pay you to travel

Anxious to start traveling as soon as possible, while enjoying free housing and a great compensation package? Then travel nursing jobs might be for you.

Many baby boomer nurses take to the road with their retired spouses, pets or just by themselves, anxious to scratch some dream destinations off their bucket lists. 

Empty nesters can even choose work close to their grown children, grandchildren or other family with short-term travel nursing assignments (usually 8-13 weeks per contract).

Why some nurses nearing retirement are choosing travel RN jobs: 

  • The flexibility to choose when and where you want to work—and how much time to take off between assignments
  • Most nursing specialties are in demand, especially in critical care, L&D, ER, OR and med-surg
  • Travel jobs often allow more time for direct patient care, with less politics and fewer administrative hassles
  • The ability to save for full retirement, thanks to free private housing, travel reimbursements, and bonuses, plus health insurance and other travel nurse benefits that start on Day 1.

4. Home health care nursing jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job growth in home health will continue to accelerate, with thousands of new nursing jobs in the years to come. 

Some advantages of home health jobs for baby boomer nurses nearing retirement:

  • The work is usually less physically demanding
  • Experienced nurses can work more independently
  • There is time to build relationships with patients and provide holistic care
  • Home health jobs often require fewer hours—including part-time schedules—opening up more free time for travel and other things on your wish list.

Travel nursing jobs in home health are also available, offering the additional flexibility of short-term contracts.

5. Interim nurse manager/leader positions

If you have some experience in management but don’t want the stress of a permanent leadership job, something shorter term may be available. 

Some healthcare facilities hire interim or short-term nurse managers and executives directly, while others fill their short-term nurse management jobs with the help of staffing agencies like AMN Healthcare.

Many hospitals and other facilities offer jobs for retired nurses with leadership experience to help supervise nurses and coordinate patient care during specific projects or while they are waiting to fill a permanent leadership position.  

Temporary nursing jobs are also available in specific areas of management, such as case management jobs and managed care/utilization review.

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