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Alternative Nursing Careers for Older Nurses

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For an older nurse, working as a staff nurse in the hospital can be stressful to mind and body. Fortunately, there are many opportunities for an experienced older nurse in different specialties. Nursing jobs well suited to an older nurse include those that don’t require much heavy lifting and turning of patients, constant walking, or use of high tech equipment--though of course many older nurses continue to work and excel in these areas.

School Nurse

School nurses are very important, and an older nurse has the compassion and patience for this role. These nurses provide care and some health maintenance to students in elementary through high school; examples of duties include hearing screening, scoliosis screening, and diabetic management for children with diabetes. In addition, when a child in school is injured or gets sick, the school nurse is responsible for evaluating the student and deciding if he should go home, or even to the hospital. According to The National Association of School Nurses, a school nurse also can organize health fairs for the faculty and student body to promote wellness.A school nurse is generally a registered nurse, but requirements vary by state.

Psychiatric Nurse

With jobs in hospitals and public or private mental health facilities, psychiatric nurses work with people of all ages who have mental health issues, including substance abuse, depression and bipolar disorder. An important quality for a psychiatric nurse is the ability to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts. These nurses need a broad knowledge base, because patients with mental health conditions often also have other medical issues that require attention.

Telephone Triage Nurse

Telephone triage nurses speak with patients and give advice on whether they should seek further treatment at an emergency room or wait to see their regular physician. This position requires nursing experience and being a registered nurse. The working environment includes desk and computer work and lots of phone contact.

Nurse Educator

Nursing educators teach new nurses and continuing education for experienced nurses. The role of the nurse educator varies, but they can advise student nurses, teach nursing courses, including fundamental nursing skills, and conduct research. They might do clinical work with their students, evaluating and grading them on specific nursing skills. says nurse educators need at least a master’s degree if they work in a college setting.


A South Carolina native, Taryn Mathis, has been writing since 2007. She holds an associate's degree in nursing from Piedmont Technical College and maintains her license and continuing education in her field.