July 15, 2024
most common career change for nurses uk

Top 10 Most Common Career Change for Nurses UK

Nurses are one of the most essential healthcare professionals. Most healthcare facilities would be incomplete without nursing staff. Nurses are highly-regarded healthcare professionals who work extensively with patients to ensure that they receive the best care possible. Nurses play an important role in healthcare delivery and patient care. They work tirelessly to ensure patient’s safety and comfort, with their primary focus always being the health and well-being of the patient.

Besides working in hospitals, nurses have numerous career options in public health organizations and nursing homes, research centers, nursing schools, etc. As nursing career options are abundant and diverse, there is always room for career growth and exploration.  With this in mind, we’ve created an extensive list for you of some common career switches for nurses in the UK. Read on to find out more!

Top 10 Most Common Career Change for Nurses UK

1. Health Educator

Health Educator

Health education is a thriving field that is projected to expand by 17% from 2020 to 2030. In this role, public health educators teach and encourage good health among community members. Those in the nursing teaching profession are often found in a variety of settings- government agencies, nonprofit organizations, community establishments, hospitals, medical facilities, religious organizations, and nursing homes.

They host events and programming to spread awareness on health-related matters. Additionally, they also serve as teachers to other nurses. To work as a health education specialist, one tends to need a bachelor’s degree in a related field of healthcare, such as health education or even nursing science. Most employers are also amenable to this qualification. Health education is an expanding discipline with a projected growth rate of 17% from the years 2020-2030. Working in this capacity, public health educators share knowledge and help communities foster good health.

2. Social Worker

Social Worker

Nursing and social work have many similarities. Both professions require a lot of empathy and depend heavily on problem-solving abilities. Many medical facilities use them in tandem by having acute care case managers with cross-training in tasks like discharge planning, where speed is of the essence. Regardless of the sector, both roles prioritize helping others and demand quick thinking and strong analytical skills.

Employment for social workers is estimated to surge by 14% by 2035. Licensing criteria vary by state, with the majority mandating either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. For clinical social work, a master’s degree, hands-on experience, and a license are required.

3. Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist

As a nurse, you have the medical expertise to be successful as a physical therapist and the experience of working with patients. Both roles call for patience, understanding, and effective communication skills.

Physical therapy is an expanding field, with prospective job opportunities anticipated to rise by 21% by 2030. Though having some nursing school experience can be advantageous, getting a doctoral degree in physical therapy is necessary to join the profession. Additionally, you’ll need to take and pass a state licensing examination.

4. Medical and Health Service Manager

Medical and Health Service Manager

Experienced nurses have a leg-up when it comes to making the switch to a medical and health services manager position. This career path will shift their focus away from interacting with patients, towards looking after the business affairs of their employer as they relate to insurance companies.

The medical and health services management field is expecting a sizeable 32% increase in job availability by 2030. Those interested in this field need at least a bachelor’s degree, although some employers and certain roles might require graduate education, with nursing being an oft-chosen discipline for aspiring entrants.

5. Online Nurse Practitioner

Online Nurse Practitioner

If you’re considering a career as a nurse practitioner, the initial step is to be a registered nurse. These professionals work to coordinate patient care (both primary and specialty care). Making the switch to nurse practitioner may be ideal for nurses wanting to take the next step in their careers. All that is needed is a master’s degree, and this requirement can be accomplished through online learning. The enormous demand for practitioners from the pandemic means there are plenty of chances in this field.

6. Mental Health Nurse

Mental Health Nurse

A clinical documentation specialist is an ideal job for nurses looking to take the next step. This role entails managing and assessing a patient’s medical records and health information, as well as reviewing diagnosis codes to make sure they accurately reflect the patient’s condition. This job necessitates a bachelor’s degree and nursing licensure. Employers typically look for candidates with two to five years of nursing background.

7. Medical Writer

Medical Writer

Medical writers are ideal for nurses wishing to take a career step in the medical and healthcare domains. This profession requires excellent writing skills. Medical writing is a highly sought-after skill, and positions in the field of medical and technical writing are anticipated to rise by 10% by 2030.

8. Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharmaceutical Sales

You don’t necessitate a medical background to have a flourishing career in pharmaceutical sales, but having one from a nursing job provides an edge. Your comprehension of medical and pharmaceutical companies and terminology from direct exposure will take you further. Except for the technical know-how, it’s important to have solid interpersonal, networking, and communication aptitudes to be successful as a sales agent. Entry-level job positions for medical and pharmaceutical sales reps usually require a business or science degree plus a bachelor’s.

9. Nutritionist


It is an ideal opportunity for nurses with an inclination toward nutrition education to become certified. The Nutrition Certification Board has a convenient affiliate, the Nurse Nutritionist Certification Board, that provides pathways to achieve certification. The board provides certification to any licensed practical nurse, nurse practitioner, and registered nurse who has a valid state license and is interested in becoming a nutrition coach. To be eligible for this program, one must have completed 60 credits at the intermediate or advanced level in nutrition-based courses and an additional 30 credits in coaching-related studies, as well as engaging in a 500-hour internship.

10. Medical Scientist

Medical Scientist

Medical scientists often conduct research and experiments to investigate medical theories, pinpoint the root causes of diseases, look into possible treatments, and test out devices and pharmaceutical drugs. They are usually found in hospitals or laboratories. A nursing degree is an ideal launching pad for a career in this area since it gives you the foundational knowledge necessary for the job. Most medical scientists tend to have a Ph.D., usually in biology or equivalent scientific disciplines. Jobs for medical scientists are predicted to expand by 17% by 2030.


As a nurse, you are likely well aware of the many career opportunities that are available to you. However, it can be tough to decide which change is the right one for you. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 most common career changes for nurses in the UK. By taking a look at this list, you can gain a better understanding of what options are available to you and which path might be the best fit for your goals and desires. Whether you’re looking to switch jobs or move to a new area, this list will provide you with everything you need to make an informed decision.

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