10 Least Stressful Careers for Registered Nurses

The least stressful jobs for registered nurses are generally non-bedside care careers.

Most people think of hospitals when it comes to where registered nurses work.

However, there are many domains in healthcare, and nurses can select from over 100 occupations.

This article covers some of the most popular jobs for nurses who want a stressless career.

It includes administration, education, research, public health, travel, and non-bedside care patient settings.

Keep in mind that every job has its share of stressful activities.

However, nurses consider these careers more relaxing than hospital care. So, let’s get started with administrative nursing.

1. Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators work in the background of healthcare facilities.

These experts institute policies, manage hospital systems, perform data collection, and handle other organizational duties.

They also develop nurse training questions, assist with the hiring process and manage department budgets.

Those who work as administrative nurses must be well-organized, team-oriented, and fantastic trainers.

That said, it’s an excellent career for nurses who want slower pace work in a busy healthcare setting like a hospital.

2. Case Management Nurse

Case management nurses develop, implement and review healthcare plans for patients with injuries or illnesses.

These healthcare professionals monitor their patient’s medical history, track health progress, schedule appointments, and identify areas of improvement for patient well-being.

Ultimately, case management nurses ensure patients receive proper treatment and recover effectively from their illness or injury.

Although this profession does have its challenges, many nurses prefer it to bedside care.

Unlike bedside nursing jobs, there is no bedside care.

As a result, you don’t have to manage numerous stressful responsibilities nurses in hospitals and long-term care facilities perform.

You get to enjoy complete work/lunch breaks, operate at a steady/uninterrupted pace, and manage everyday duties comfortably.

3. Clinic Nurse

Clinic nurses provide patient care to those in need of medical services.

However, there are numerous benefits to working in these healthcare settings compared to hospital care.

For instance, nurses working at clinics typically receive holidays off and have more traditional work hours.

These medical professionals avoid working long 12-hour shifts, which are commonplace in many hospitals.

Depending on the facility, they may receive weekends or a weekend day off.

Nurses who work at clinics also manage patients with less severe medical conditions.

They typically treat patients with minor health issues resolved with a clinical visit and manage less stressful duties.

Patients with more severe health situations requiring more intensive care receive aid at a hospital or emergency care facility.

Clinical Nurse Duties

  • Consult/educate patients
  • Provide emotional support
  • Document medical records
  • Conduct screenings
  • Perform vaccinations
  • Administer flu shots
  • Sanitize and prepare equipment

Finally, patient turnaround times are significantly faster and last only a few minutes to an hour.

Hospital visits last hours and include overnight stays, requiring nurses to manage numerous patients for extended periods.

Accordingly, the workload for clinic nurses is much lower than for hospital registered nurses.

4. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators use their clinical experience to educate and train nursing students in educational/faculty and clinical settings.

These healthcare professionals typically work in colleges, universities, clinics, and hospitals.

Nurse educators prepare courses, create exams, and teach educational programs to help students learn essential topics.

They also perform hands-on training to develop students’ critical thinking skills to make effective healthcare decisions.

It’s a fantastic career for nurses who prefer an educational environment with students instead of a patient-focused setting.

Nurse educators receive numerous benefits, including stable work schedules, weekends/holidays off, and other perks.

These factors vary depending on the college, university, hospital guidelines, policies, and educational programs.

However, nurse educators have more accommodating schedules/careers than hospital or emergency care nurses.

5. Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses work independently visiting patients at their homes to ensure their well-being.

During a home visit, nurses monitor their patient’s health, collect medical data, provide consultation and assist with various patient needs.

It’s a fantastic job because clients remain happier since they receive care in the comfort of their homes.

Most patient stress and confrontation come from waiting at a hospital for medical care with other patients.

Visiting them at their home ensures they receive one-to-one care at a time that best suits their availability.

Nurses also enjoy the lighter professional environment of providing home health care.

It’s less intense than hospital work, and they don’t need to spend hours managing multiple patients simultaneously.

Patient visits may last only an hour, and home health nurses can see several patients on a given day.

Another significant aspect of working as a home health nurse is that work hours are more stable.

These healthcare professionals have more control over their work schedule, providing a better work/life balance.

6. Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses work for insurance companies/organizations and provide preventative care to employees.

These healthcare providers educate employees on various topics.

It includes making better health decisions, disease management, emergency preparedness, facility procedures, and other topics.

As a result, employees make better work and lifestyle choices, making them less likely to need significant medical care.

Insurance companies also reduce costs because employees are less likely to require costly care.

Occupational health nursing is excellent for those who enjoy focusing on preventative care instead of direct patient care.

In this setting, nurses help individuals make better work and lifestyle/health decisions so they won’t need a hospital visit.

It’s a less hands-on occupation centered more on education than first aid or direct medical care.

Occupational Health Nurse Duties

  • Disease management
  • Implement disaster plans
  • Educate staff on proper procedures
  • Give emergency preparedness courses
  • Consult employees on various topics
  • Conduct research to reduce the organization’s expenses

7. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers study various aspects of healthcare by researching publications, clinical trials, medical journals, and other healthcare data.

They also conduct clinical trials and case studies to understand better new medical equipment, drugs, diseases, treatments, and medical practices.

It allows these healthcare professionals to design and implement technologies and medical practices to improve healthcare systems.

This occupation focuses on numerous components of healthcare, including pharmaceuticals, illness, healthcare methods, and treatment plans.

Through research and implementation, nurse researchers minimize healthcare/medical issues resulting in a better quality of life.

For instance, new developments help determine the cause of illness and help individuals/medical professionals prevent/minimize diseases.

8. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses work outside of hospital settings with communities to improve the well-being of local citizens and prevent diseases.

These healthcare professionals monitor healthcare trends within a community and identify risk factors that influence health outcomes.

They also educate the community and determine priorities for health-related interventions to ensure that most individuals receive the most significant health outcomes.

By designing and implementing health education campaigns, educating the public, and advocating better access to health services, public health nurses benefit the communities they serve. 

9. School Nurse

School nurses work for school districts, colleges, and universities, providing primary care to students and faculty.

There are numerous benefits to working as a school nurse.

For instance, these healthcare professionals mostly perform first aid to students/faculty requiring minor medical care.

It includes scratches, bruises, minor illnesses, and other forms of treatment easily handled by most nurses.

If a student requires more substantial treatment, they go to the hospital.

As a result, you don’t concentrate on bedside care or manage severe medical conditions.

Another significant advantage of working as a school nurse is that you receive a lot of days off compared to other nursing professions.

School nurses don’t need to work when school is closed.

Therefore, they typically have off during weekends, holidays, winter/spring break, and summertime.

Nevertheless, you must enjoy working with kids if you want to be a school nurse.

School Nurse Benefits

  • Less stressful work environment
  • Summertime off  (plus winter and spring break)
  • Weekends off
  • Holidays off
  • Shifts end early (4 pm or when school closes)

Finally, some nurses work as summer camp nurses to provide basic first aid to students during summer sessions.

It offers some overlap with school nursing but is distinct in terms of work setting.

It’s also shorter-term employment as summer camp nurses only work a few months out of the year in a camp environment.

10. Travel Nurse

Travel nurses work for various industries, organizations, and healthcare facilities, providing nursing services temporarily.

Although some travel nurses work at hospitals, numerous non-bedside care/non-clinical setting assignments are available that are low stress.

For instance, some travel nurses work abroad or for airlines, resorts, cruise ships, and businesses requiring nursing services.

These healthcare providers perform primary medical care and first aid for minor injuries and manageable illnesses not requiring hospital care.

Patients are sent to a hospital or healthcare facility for more substantial medical care when dealing with significant injuries or illnesses.

It allows travel nurses to work in a less stressful environment because they aren’t managing countless patients with more severe bedside care needs.

Another great benefit of travel nursing is that these healthcare professionals work on temporary assignments.

As a result, they pick jobs they want and avoid office politics because they only temporarily work for a facility/company.

Overall, travel nursing is a great way to have new experiences without the stress of working in a clinical setting long-term.

Travel Nurse Benefits

  • Temporary/short term work assignments
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Competitive pay
  • Travel state to state or abroad
  • Work at a resort
  • Take cruise ship assignments
  • Work for an airline
  • Accept business/company assignments


The least stressful jobs for nurses often focus on non-bedside care careers.

These careers allow nurses to work at a steady, organized pace that suits their personality and workflow.

It also minimizes office politics, limits uncontrollable/challenging circumstances, and allows nurses to work independently in some cases.

The best jobs allow you to leverage your skillset, manage your work/life balance and handle tasks comfortably.

They also complement your training and interests to keep you reasonably happy day-to-day.

It isn’t overbearing and stressful and doesn’t lead to burnout.

Although this list comprises ten low-stress jobs, many other occupations suit nurses’ necessities and preferences.