Even though nursing is a highly gratifying career path, the unfavourable work environment leaves many nurses mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the day. A job satisfaction survey found that only 38% of nurse practitioners were satisfied with their current job situation.
Nursing and work stress
The continued lack of emotional support and unfavourable work situation has caused many nurses to consider a switch to a less emotionally draining career path that moves them away from inpatient care. However, it’s not wrong to wonder if low-stress nursing jobs exist, especially considering the number of emergencies nurses must deal with on any given day.
The work for inpatient nurses can be stressful, and with no healthy coping mechanisms in place, it’s natural to consider other nursing career pathways for your own mental well-being. Thankfully, there are many rewarding and stimulating career paths that you can opt for as a nursing practitioner that won’t drain you emotionally or physically.
The least stressful nurse practitioner jobs
Would you be interested in becoming a nurse practitioner if it meant having a rewarding and relatively stress-free profession? If the answer is yes, you have come to the right place. There are many different nurse practitioner types with widely different job roles. Today we have put together a list of low-stress nurse practitioner roles within the sphere of nursing. Continue reading to find out!
Clinical nurse practitioner
Working as an inpatient nurse in a hospital is far more stressful than working as a nurse practitioner in a clinic due to long shifts and the increased patient volume. At a clinic, nurse practitioners follow a daily patient schedule, allowing for a steady, unrushed flow of care.
With a set schedule for patient visits, you won’t have to worry about being swamped by urgent calls or rushing through your day. A structured ebb and flow of patients and time set aside for charting can help alleviate some of the aggravation you experience as a nurse practitioner at a clinic. You may occasionally cross paths with some difficult patients while working as a clinical nurse practitioner, but other than that, the rest of your day should be smooth sailing and not a bit stressful.
School nurse practitioner
In some schools, the RN school nurse is joined by a nurse practitioner who works in the school clinic. As a nurse practitioner, you’ll need to conduct regular physical examinations on students, write prescriptions, and follow up on their health. Also, unlike the school nurse, your day follows a structured and organised plan and could go on without any significant disruptions to the schedule.
Schools often provide nurse practitioners with a daily schedule that includes a list of patients to visit that day. There is plenty of time to chart, and the pace is moderate. Unlike the school nurse R.N., who is on call 24/7, school nurse NPs often have a more predictable workday, free from the stress brought on by frequent interruptions, paperwork, and statutory responsibilities of RNs.
Some schools may hire a school NP with no RN to accompany them, which can be tricky, so appropriate research into school districts is mandatory before applying. However, providing your services as a nursing care provider in a school setting is a gratifying experience nonetheless!
Public health nurse practitioner
The public health nurse practitioners create and oversee community outreach initiatives to improve the overall health and conditions of the region’s residents. They put in much effort to ensure those who are healthy remain healthy and help those who are unwell get better. One of the most attractive aspects of working in the public or community sector as a nurse practitioner is their flexibility and independence for taking the lead role in a wide range of services and programs.
The roles and responsibilities of public health nurse practitioners change depending on their working context. As a profession, public health nursing requires a broad range of expertise in clinical medicine, public health concerns, and the social sciences like sociology and psychology to engage with schools, clinicians, and community groups effectively.
A public health nurse practitioner’s schedule is often consistent, and they may see fewer patients each week. Working as a public health NP may be one of the least stressful nurse practitioner careers since there is less pressure to satisfy patients’ needs.
A medical writer is a medical expert with extensive training and knowledge of the medical field, usually a nurse practitioner or a physician.
You can either work as a full-time employee at a pharmaceutical corporation or as a freelance writer with your own time commitments. The freedom and flexibility of deciding your schedule and work make freelance medical writing one of the least stressful career paths for nurse practitioners.
As a freelance medical writer, you have the flexibility to spend time with loved ones, prioritise your health, and take vacations whenever you like. There is no end to the material that a medical writer may create, from CEUs to grant submissions to health content for magazines to research articles and medical books. You have the freedom to create content that interest you. As a nursing author, you have much freedom along with a tremendous sense of fulfilment.
Private nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners are necessary for medical and life insurance businesses because of the requirement for physical evaluations of prospective policyholders. Some nurse practitioners work as independent contractors, while others are hired full time by companies to provide routine and preventive health services to their clients.
Most nurse practitioner positions in the private sector are very adaptable, and they also pay well. The commercial sector offers several low-stress nurse practitioner opportunities, especially for those who thrive in a more independent, non-acute setting.
Palliative care nurse practitioner
Palliative nurse practitioners represent a unique subset of the nursing profession. A palliative nurse practitioner’s work is often fulfilling since they help terminally ill patients and their loved ones live more peacefully in their last days. While some nurse practitioners may find it challenging to care for terminally ill patients, hospice nurse practitioners can channel their empathy and professional expertise into rewarding employment. Palliative nurses have a lot of freedom, frequent one-on-one interactions with patients, and plenty of time to care for them, making this career path one of the least stressful options for nurse practitioners.
Nursing is a broad field that is constantly evolving. With so many career paths, finding one that resonates with you may be difficult.
Consider the career paths discussed above to choose a nurse practitioner job that fits your passion and needs—one with which you can eventually fall in love. Most of these jobs aren’t taxing, so you may get the fulfilment you’re looking for without the stress of working with patients.
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