Get Hired: 10 Rewarding Jobs for Nurses Without a License

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Nursing Jobs & Interviews | 0 comments

For nurses who find themselves without a license, whether due to disciplinary actions, career transitions, or other circumstances, navigating the job market can feel daunting. However, there are still numerous career paths available that will allow you to leverage your nursing skills and experience.

In this article, we’ll delve into 10 rewarding jobs for nurses without a license. From roles within the healthcare industry to alternative career paths, we’ll explore options that offer meaningful work and professional fulfillment.

Get Hired: 10 Rewarding Jobs for Nurses Without License

1. Medical Scribe

Scribes document physicians’ notes during patient encounters. They listen attentively, translate medical terminology into clear documentation, and ensure the accuracy of medical records.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your knowledge of medical terminology and disease processes is invaluable for this role. While it doesn’t involve direct patient care, it allows you to utilize your medical knowledge in a different and new capacity.

2. Phlebotomy Technician

Phlebotomists are specialists trained to draw blood samples from patients for various tests. They may also perform other procedures, such as collecting blood sugar samples or administering vaccinations. Obtaining phlebotomy certification can allow you to utilize your clinical skills in a specific area outside of direct patient care. This path requires additional training and certification.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ In nursing school, you likely learned phlebotomy basics, can carry on conversations with patients, and are not afraid of needles.

3. Medical Sales Representative

These professionals promote medical devices, equipment, or pharmaceuticals to healthcare providers. They build relationships with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff, educate them about product benefits, and facilitate sales.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your nursing background gives you an edge in understanding the needs and challenges faced by healthcare professionals. You can leverage your clinical knowledge to market medical products effectively while leveraging medical jargon to assimilate into the culture with ease.

4. Unit Clerk/Patient Access Representative

Hospitals and clinics need staff to handle administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, updating patient records, and managing insurance information. Your healthcare knowledge makes you a strong candidate for these roles.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your experience in the healthcare setting and understanding of medical terminology makes you a strong candidate for these roles. They don’t require direct patient care and instead focus on the administrative side of healthcare operations.

5. Community Health Worker (CHW)

Community health workers bridge the gap between healthcare and communities. They provide education and outreach on various health topics, promote preventative care, and connect individuals with available healthcare resources.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your nursing knowledge and understanding of health issues are valuable assets in promoting public health initiatives. Community health worker positions often require a high school diploma or associate’s degree, with some flexibility depending on the specific program and state regulations.

6. Medical Coding Specialist

Medical coders translate diagnoses and procedures physicians document into universal medical codes used for billing purposes. They ensure accuracy and compliance with insurance regulations.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your understanding of medical terminology and disease processes can be an asset in this role. However, some medical coding programs or certifications might be required. But fear not, these certifications are nowhere near as detailed as a nursing program.

7. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Being a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) typically requires a certification or completion of a training program, but it doesn’t necessarily require an active nursing license. However, regulations can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific requirements set by employers or state licensing boards.

CNAs provide basic care to patients, assisting with daily living activities like dressing, bathing, and toileting. They may also help with mealtime, ambulation (walking), and taking vital signs.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ If a nurse’s license is revoked due to patient abuse or neglect, she likely does not meet the eligibility criteria for employment as a nursing assistant. However, if the license revocation is due to unprofessional conduct, the possibility of working as a nursing assistant may still exist, contingent upon his or her state’s specific circumstances and regulations.

Working as a CNA allows you to stay connected to patient care while potentially working towards regaining your license if allowed in your case.

8. Health Writer

Health writers create informative content about health topics for various audiences. They may write for medical websites, patient education materials, healthcare publications, or even marketing materials for pharmaceutical companies.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your knowledge of medical terminology, disease processes, and patient care is invaluable for writing accurate and informative health content. Also, your nursing background lends credibility to your writing, especially when you focus on topics related to your area of expertise. Patients and readers appreciate insights from someone with a healthcare foundation making this a great option of jobs for nurses without a license.

Getting Started as a Health Writer

  • Freelance platforms: Several online platforms connect freelance writers with potential clients like Upwork and Fiverr. You can build your portfolio and experience by writing for various health websites and publications.
  • Content marketing agencies: Many agencies create health content for healthcare institutions or pharmaceutical companies. Consider reaching out to them for writing opportunities.
  • Blogging: Start your own health blog to showcase your expertise and writing skills. Over time, you can attract potential clients or build an audience for your work.

9. Insurance Representative

Another one of the great jobs for nurses without a license is an insurance rep. Insurance representatives sell and explain insurance policies to clients. They assess client needs, recommend suitable plans, and answer coverage options and benefits questions.

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ Your experience in healthcare can be valuable. Nurses understand medical terminology and the importance of health insurance. This knowledge can help you connect with clients and explain complex insurance concepts. Nurses excel at communication and building rapport, which are crucial for success as an insurance representative.

Getting Started as an Insurance Representative

  • Insurance Agencies: Many insurance companies and independent agencies recruit insurance representatives.
  • Training Programs: Formal education requirements for insurance representatives can vary, but a bachelor’s degree is not always mandatory. Some positions might require specific insurance licenses, which can be obtained through training and exams. Sales training is advisable for this role. 

10. Non-Clinical Healthcare Roles

Many healthcare facilities require staff for non-clinical tasks like patient transport, dietary services (meal delivery to the patient), or housekeeping. 

Why this works for nurses without a license ➡️ These roles might not directly utilize your nursing background but can provide valuable experience within the healthcare system. They can be a good option for those seeking to stay connected to the healthcare environment in a non-clinical capacity.

Important Note: Depending on the reason for your license revocation and the state regulations, some of these options might require additional checks or approvals. Researching your state’s specific requirements is crucial before pursuing any path.

Remember, this list is a starting point for jobs for nurses without a license. Depending on your skills and interests, you can perform roles completely outside the healthcare environment, although some will require a different license. Furthermore, if you are willing to pursue a whole new career and go back to college, the possibilities are even broader. 

General Tips to Find New Jobs for Nurses Without a License

  • Research is Key: Investigate specific requirements and licensing restrictions in your state for each job role you’re interested in.
  • Focus on Transferable Skills: Highlight your transferable skills, such as communication, empathy, critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management, that apply across various healthcare roles.
  • Network Strategically: Connect with professionals in your desired field. Attend industry events or join online communities to learn about potential opportunities.
  • Be Upfront: When applying for positions, be upfront about your license status. Explain the situation honestly and professionally. Focus on the lessons learned and your desire to contribute your skills.
  • Tailor Your Approach: Depending on the job and the potential employer, you might choose to address your license status in your cover letter during the interview or only if directly asked.

While losing a nursing license can be a challenging setback, it doesn’t have to mean the end of a rewarding healthcare career. By exploring alternative job opportunities and leveraging their skills and experience, nurses without a license can find fulfilling roles that allow them to continue making a positive impact on patients and communities.

Whether pursuing roles in sales, education, management, or writing, there are diverse paths and jobs for nurses without a license so nurses can embark on new and exciting career journeys.

More Resources

  1. Nurse Arrested: RaDonda Vaught Timeline, Charges, Trial, and Aftermath
  2. RaDonda Vaught Trial – Part 2, Interview with Lorie Brown, RN MN JD
  3. 5 Headline Making Stories of Nurses Losing Their License
Picture of Kati Kleber, founder of FRESHRN

Hi, I’m Kati.

Kati Kleber, MSN RN is a nurse educator, author, national speaker, host of the FreshRN® Podcast, and owner of FreshRN® – an online platform created to educate, encourage, and motivate newly licensed nurses in innovative ways.

Connect with her on YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, and sign-up for her free email newsletter for new nurses.

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