8 Most Common Career Changes for Nurses After COVID


Last updated on March 27th, 2024 at 02:31 am

The medical job field has gone through the most significant changes after the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes touched every aspect: management, supply chains, and people.  Nurses were the vulnerable medical workers who had to deal with a large amount of stress, exhaustion, and poor treatment. Career change for a nurse is a natural choice in the post-pandemic medical job market, as it is for many people.

Individuals will need professionally crafted resumes if they want to change careers. Resources like skillhub.com will help to organize professional experience. In addition, a good resume demonstrates all the skills and knowledge acquired during the pandemic. This article will explore the professional perspectives of nurses and how they can apply their experience in a new field.

Reasons to Change the Job

Changing a job is a responsible and uneasy step, especially in the medical field. So before taking it, a nurse should consider the reasons which make them change their job:

  • Staff shortage
  • Lack of support
  • Moral distress
  • Underpayment
  • Exposure of the close ones
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion

Modern medical infrastructure was not ready for such overwhelming stress as the pandemic. This lack of preparation resulted in staff shortages, which caused an inability to provide enough support to medical employees of all ranks.

This crisis made nurses face difficult moral choices. They had to deal with underpayment and take extra shifts to keep their facilities working. Such load caused moral and physical exhaustion for many nurses, which could have dire consequences. If one or several of these factors are present, it’s the right time for a nurse to change the job.

Health Educator

Health education has become popular due to high exposure to health threats. A health educator provides primary medical education for the good of the community. For example, a nurse may work for:

  • A non-profit organization
  • A medical facility
  • A religious group
  • A nursing home or any other institution requires a nurse educator.

The specific requirements for a health educator depend on the exact job proposition. However, a bachelor’s degree in health education will greatly contribute to a successful job search in that area.

Social Worker

Social worker responsibilities are similar to the ones of a nurse. Both occupations focus on providing care and support, requiring high empathy and problem-solving skills. In addition, a nurse needs a bachelor’s degree in the medical field for most of the positions in the area. Yet, the close relation of these two fields will make a transition relatively easy.

Physical Therapist

The modern medical job market requires physical therapists. A nurse’s background will benefit entering this career field, but a nurse will also need a doctorate in physical therapy. A state licensure exam is also a must. However, with the high demands come sufficient payment and respectable treatment. Therefore, nurses will land a profitable and respectable position if they meet all the criteria.

Health Service Manager

The pandemic crisis forced many nurses to take on additional duties, including management. A nurse who learned the ropes of a medical facility infrastructure may try a managerial position. Instead of taking care of patients, a health service manager organizes the treatment process on different levels. This position is fairly easy for nurses to transition and may create opportunities to improve the medical infrastructure and embed new managerial ideas.

Health Service Manager
8 Most Common Career Changes for Nurses After COVID

Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is a natural next step in the nurse’s career. Candidates with the necessary academic background can register as practicing nurses. Many nurses have shifted toward this position due to acquired experience and a desire to provide care more efficiently.

A nurse practitioner coordinates the treatment of their patients in primary treatment and specialized services. Nurse practitioners may work online also, which is an additional benefit for job seekers who do not want to expose their close ones to the risk.

The job market expects many new nurse practitioners in the coming years. It is a relevant and prospective position for people who still want to contribute to the community.

Specialist in Clinical Documentation

A documentation specialist is a perfect position for nurses who want to deal with less stress on the job; this position is an evolutionary step in the nurse’s career path. Clinical documentation specialists organize patients’ records and health information.

They review diagnosis codes and ensure they align with the actual patient’s diagnosis. Despite being more of an office than a medical job, it requires at least five years of nursing experience and a license.

Medical Writer

A medical writer is a position for nurses who want to give their careers a fresh start. Medical writers create and publish articles and educational materials related to the health field. A particular demand for a medical writer depends on an exact job proposition. Besides, a nurse can do independent medical writing. So naturally, strong writing skills are a must for this position.

Pharmaceutical Saler

The pharmaceutical field is independent, and any job seeker may apply for a position with sufficient preparation. However, transitioning from the nurse’s role will make the job shift easier, and knowledge of pharmaceutical terms and medication features will greatly boost a nurse’s resume.

A pharmaceutical position may require a scientific or business background and a bachelor’s degree. Besides, networking and strong interpersonal skills will be a plus for a candidate.

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Final Words

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a mass stress test for the medical job field. Nurses were one of the most unprotected medical workers at the time. They experienced mental and physical exhaustion, moral dilemmas, and underpayment. As a result, a career change is a realistic option for many support medical staff.

The modern job market for nurses suggests various positions that offer comfortable conditions and respectable compensation. Nurses may upgrade their careers to several paths, and they can apply as practicing nurses, clinical documentation specialists, or physical therapists.

Otherwise, they can take different career paths, such as social workers, clinical writers, or managers. In either case, a well-structured resume is necessary for nurses who want to change their job position.

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