Nurses are typically thought of as professionals that work within hospital walls or are employed in health care facilities, but this is not always the case. In the health care industry, nurses have the ability to take on a variety of different roles while still utilizing their education and skillset. Many professionals are choosing non-traditional paths in nursing, including careers in writing and reporting to share their expertise and provide insight into the field.
A Unique Path
Nurses are able to complete their education in a variety of different formats and time frame; they have more options than were seen by prior generations. In the health care industry, nurses are finding that those who have pursued an RN-BSN degree program are often times ready to move on from traditional patient care to different roles in the health care sector.
There are a plethora of health care related publications and other significant industry outlets that require qualified, knowledgeable writers that have expertise in the field. Nurses that would like to share experiences, research and share information with the public may consider choosing a writing career in the health care sector.
These professionals must have the ability to write, edit and proofread technical material to ensure accuracy. There are opportunities in educational writing, sales, training manuals and other methods of communication in medicine for nursing professionals. In each of these areas, most professionals are responsible for not only the writing aspect, but also fact-checking and consulting on different industry topic areas.
Magazine or Journal Writing
Nursing professionals have many opportunities to write for well-known and established nursing magazines and journals. These publications are often times looking for editorial content writers and industry experts to provide compelling pieces of writing for an experienced and involved nursing audience. Some of the most popular magazines that offer writing opportunities include:
Nurses can speak to an audience that others without industry experience cannot. Providing information that is not only applicable to fellow nursing professionals but informative, nurses have the ability to apply both their knowledge and experience to the health care industry.
Working as a medical writer is another way that nursing professionals can find fulfillment in a writing career. Writing about a variety of topics from research and regulatory issues to general medical topics, these writers write for many different types of media:
- Medical textbooks
- Product packaging
- Marketing brochures or advertising materials
- Insurance document writers
- Research/grant writers
- Healthcare websites
- Patient handbooks
- Technical writing for various aspects of the industry
Medical writing, depending on the outlet, requires professionals to research and write about those findings in a way that can be understood by average readers, yet is informative to those in the industry. This task can be difficult, yet those with a background in science and medicine are better equipped to effectively write to both audiences.
Depending on an individual’s expertise level, nurses can effectively provide health tips and information to readers. These roles are typically not limited to just writing but also performing editing, copyediting and proofreading.
The National Association of Science Writers
The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) was founded in 1934 and includes both freelance writers and other professional writers to provide accurate information related to science and medicine to the public. The association also produces the Science Writers magazine that offers first-hand reports from journalists that cover major science issues. For nurses who also have prior journalism or writing experience, the NASW is a chance to be involved with a high-level publication relevant to the health care industry.
When considering a non-clinical career in the health care industry, experienced nurses can find many opportunities to become involved with health care and nursing publications, associations and organizations. These openings are not limited to writing for publications as there are a plethora of careers in writing within businesses and education. Through Sacred Heart University’s online RN to BSN degree program, registered nurses can develop their professional skills and move into specialized roles that can be applied to non-traditional nursing roles.