Once you retire from nursing, you’ll eventually lose your license if you don’t renew it according to your state’s regulations. Most states require nurse license renewal every two years following a set number of continuing education credits. If you want or need to return to work, you may apply to take a renewal test so you don’t have to repeat your schooling or you can choose to use many of the transferable skills you developed during your career for a number of other opportunities.
Medical Practice Office Work
A big part of your job as a nurse was filling out reports and maintaining medical records, which medical records clerks or health information technicians processed or recorded. No one knows and understands the importance of medical records as much as a nurse, so it makes for a perfect transition from clinical practice. You’ll be well-suited to review records to ensure their accuracy, organize the data and make sure medical coding is correct for billing purposes.
Hospitals, doctors' offices and clinics all rely on receptionists to make appointments and manage waiting rooms. Your nursing skills will make you a welcomed addition to the front-office team because you’ll understand how to care for and treat people who are sick and suffering. Nurses are often compassionate, which can make the experience so much more comfortable for patients when they are seeking help. Efficient and effective customer service is vital for medical practices to thrive, and your skills and ability to talk with patients can boost a practice’s customer-service levels substantially.
Managed Care Intake Operator
Insurance companies that run managed insurance policies rely on telephone operators to take the initial calls from subscribers. After listening to the caller’s description of symptoms, the operator then makes referrals to an approved provider. You can work directly for an insurance company or for a specialized managed care operation that screens calls for insurers. The industry typically prefers to hire nurses in the position, though you don’t need a license, since you won’t be seeing patients or providing any clinical care.
Medical or Pharmaceutical Sales
Take all your expertise and practical knowledge of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to a manufacturing company. The medical lingo and communication skills you developed as a nurse will serve you well when you call on doctors, nurses, medical facility administrators and patients to make sales. In many cases, you may have actually used the equipment in your nursing practice and can offer clients a personal example of how it worked. You also can speak directly to how the equipment makes work more efficient for nurses and more effective for patients. Earning potential can be unlimited when you work on commission.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses
- Lippincott’s Nursing Center: State-by-State Guide for RN License Renewal Requirements
- American Nurses Association: Electronic Health Record
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Receptionist
- Nurses Learning Network: Alternative Careers
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images