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30 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs (That Also Pay Well) in 2022


Written By: Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN

Most nurses would love a job that does not have the typical stress associated with many nursing positions. Even if such a job was available, would you have to sacrifice pay to work in an environment that does not lead to burnout?

What if there are jobs available that are both low stress and compensate nicely? Would you be asking the question of what are the least stressful nursing jobs that pay well?

I am here to tell you that you can find a lucrative RN job that is low-stress that you will love! By reading “30 least stressful nursing jobs that pay well in 2022”, you will be amazed by the variety of intriguing nursing positions that offer great wages and a minimal pressure.

Read on if you are ready to refresh your career as a more relaxed and happier nurse in one of the high-paying (and low-stress) jobs listed in this article.


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What Exactly Is A Low-Stress Nursing Job?


Let’s face it. Most nursing jobs are stressful! This tense environment and pressure can make you want to flee your position or leave the profession altogether.

To answer the question of what is a low-stress nursing job, let’s define issues that contribute to typical nursing stress at work.

Areas that create hardship and anxiety on the job can be:

• Inadequate staffing levels
• Feeling undervalued
• Working long or rotating shifts, including holidays and weekends
• Mandatory over-time (or pressure to work extra hours)
• Having to punch a time clock
• Inflexibility of your time while on the job (i.e., cannot take personal phone calls, come in late on occasion or take breaks when needed)
• Demanding or nasty co-workers
• Administrative demands
• Inability to get the job done in the time allotted
• Lack of time off (or unable to use time off due to staffing shortages)
• Unrealistic expectations (unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios, etc.)
• Unsafe conditions for nurses
• Lack of support


As nurses, we know that this lengthy list can go on and on. Unfortunately, there can be nursing jobs that would check off many of the boxes on this topic.

However, there is no reason to have to suffer daily frustrations as a nurse. There are plenty of positions out there that are less stressful nursing jobs.

So, to answer the question of what constitutes low-stress nursing jobs, look to the list above. A happy, low-stress nursing position does not include most of the negative factors pointed out.


Are Low-Stress Nursing Jobs That Pay Well Hard To Find?


The question of finding low-stress nursing jobs is key at present as record number of nurses jump ship from their conventional jobs to find positions that are less demanding. A 2022 NSI National Healthcare Retention Report states that last year, “the turnover rate for staff RNs increased by 8.4% and currently stands at 27.1%”.

With so many nurses trying to enter the pool of low-stress nursing jobs that still compensate well, are these type jobs hard to find? Fortunately for those looking for RN jobs, the demand for nurses remains high for most areas of nursing and therefore you should be able to find a lower-pressure job that still compensates well.

For example, having worked as a school nurse, I can attest that the stress and demands in this job are less than that of many hospital floor nurse positions. When I first began school nursing, you had to wait years to get a job of this type. Older school nurses held onto their jobs until their senior years due to their passion for this field. When a job came up, there typically were many qualified candidates to choose from.

Now-a-days, schools cannot find even one applicant. School nurse jobs go unfilled or are staffed through a temp service. At the onset of this school year, our local school has 6 current openings for RNs with no applicants in sight.

So, nursing jobs that are not as stressful are out there. There are lots of jobs that you can do with your BSN degree that are not your typical bedside nursing positions. You just need to know how to find them. Read on for help in locating a position that will be less demanding and still compensate well.


What Are The 5 Main Causes Of Stress In A Nursing Job?


As we all know, there are numerous stressors in nursing that can push even the most steadfast and experienced nurses over the edge. Each of us have our breaking points on the job.

5 main reasons that contribute to stress in a nursing job can be due to the following:

1. Inadequate training-

This point is a big one for new grad nurses. Nothing is worse than being thrown into a complex and sometimes frightening job without the proper instruction and support.

I recall my first nursing position at a small-town hospital where I was the only BSN nurse on the pediatric floor. With my 4-year degree, I was hired as the 2nd shift charge nurse. Working with experienced LPNs, AD nurses, and CNAs (who all knew more than me at this point in my fledging career) put me at a significant disadvantage when I was expected to lead this staff.

After a 1-week general orientation, I began my job as the RN in charge of the pediatric wing. As you may expect, it was a steep and unhappy learning curve for a brand-new nurse. I remember many evenings in the staff bathroom, in tears over my frustration with the job and the not-so-nice staff.

If I could have eased into a floor nurse position with a proper orientation and preceptorship, my first job may have been a different and more pleasant experience. If I was aware of less stressful nursing jobs in the area, I certainly would have welcomed that option to eliminate the tremendous job stress that I was experiencing.

2. Inadequate staffing-

Working in an understaffed workplace leads to all sorts of problems.

Poor staffing causes nurses to feel stressed in the following ways:

• Unable to complete workload
• Unable to take breaks
• Unsafe work conditions for both the patients and the nurses
• Mandatory overtime
• The entire staff feels stressed and is sullen and withdrawn as a result
• Unable to take allotted time off


3. Administrative demands-

Working for administrators who make unreasonable demands on the nursing staff can be quite frustrating.

I recall a scenario where I worked for a facility that was admitting a large number of patients all at once due to a transfer of patients to our medical campus. The plan was to wisely have a team of staff at the ready to process the admissions at a scheduled time. I was not working at the “admission site” on this particular day but was assigned as the lone nurse in our outpatient triage clinic.

As it happens, many of the patients did not show up at their scheduled time but instead came earlier than planned. They were turned away from the admission site since it was not their scheduled time. Instead of telling them to wait their turn or trying to fit them in at the well-staffed admission area, administration sent these folks to the triage clinic to be processed.

I had patients and families lined up both inside and outside the facility waiting to be processed by one lone nurse, me! When I contacted our administrator for help, I was told to do the best I can. You can guess that I was very unhappy with my leaders that day!

4. Feeling undervalued-

This is a big problem in nursing. Some even blame our current nursing shortage on this reason. Nobody wants to feel undervalued and unappreciated in their jobs.

Nurses need to have a voice in their jobs. Many wise and low-stress nursing jobs take nurses opinions into consideration. By putting nurses on committees and in positions where their needs and ideas are taken into consideration, nurses feel valued and appreciated. By incorporating regular nursing input and showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication, employers can create a happier nursing environment.

5. Conflict-

We all want to work with our buddies. But what happens when we pull a shift with nasty, snippy colleagues who are difficult to work with? Even worse, imagine a scenario where you are permanently assigned to a job where you have to partner with “the” person everyone hates to work with due to their negativity and poor work ethic! Even the best workplace can become very stressful and unhappy in those instances.

The same goes for administrators. We all have our favorite supervisors and bosses. There are times where we just do not see eye to eye with certain administrative staff. Life can be more difficult when you are under an administrator who views everything from a different lens or is overlay demanding or unreasonable. Dealing with job conflict as a nurse can be the straw that breaks the so-called work-camel’s back.


7 Benefits Of Low-Stress Nursing Jobs


One of my most highly stimulating and rewarding jobs was at a local hospital. This position was also fraught with stress and pressure. During this period in my work-life, I kept focusing on the great satisfaction that the challenges and patients brought with the job. It was not until I left that position that I realized that the trade-off for the job was not worth the stress and adverse effect on my home-life and health.

It is beneficial for any nurse to self-examine your work environment and recognize the potential for burnout at your current job. Your overall well-being is paramount if you want to remain in this career long-term.

Let’s examine the benefits of low-stress nursing jobs to help you to recenter your priorities as a nurse.

1. Less mentally draining-

At the end of the day, everyone wants to have enough energy to enjoy life and family outside of work. A job that drains you emotionally, leaves you crabby and tired by the time you get off work. This mental drain may linger ruining your free time plans.

2. More time for your work-

One of the more stressful aspects of a tough nursing job is not being able to finish what you need to do for the day. I recall many jobs where I begin my to-do list at the start of my shift, only to have it deeply buried by the end of the day with more pressing issues. Nursing jobs that are not stressful usually allow the staff enough time to complete their workload.

3. Co-workers are more pleasant-

Having time to exchange pleasantries, joke around or provide a listening ear to co-workers makes a much more pleasant environment than that of hurried and frustrated nurses.

4. Better health-

A 2022 nursing study states that,” Job stress has a negative effect on the quality of life-related to nurses’ health”. No kidding! Although deep down we all realize that our jobs may be slowly killing us, many do not take action and allow our jobs to literally drain the life out of us. It seems that of late, nurses have finally had it and are wising up! Nurses are now demanding better work conditions or leaving their current jobs.

5. Work-life balance-

Along the same lines of better health, work-life balance is critical for nurses who want to survive in this occupation long-term. Many low-stress nursing jobs consider the whole nurse. Wise employers know nurses need proper time off and flexibility in their careers.

With the pandemic also came an increase in work-from-home jobs in nursing that now offer RNs the flexibility to work the hours and environment that is best for them and their lifestyle.

6. Life is sunnier in general-

I remember one job that had such an overwhelming workload that I would go in hours early, work through lunch, stay late and bring work home. On the weekends, the office was closed so I would haul a carton of work home Friday night and made my poor husband help me with some of the more menial paperwork just to get it done by Monday.

When I left that job for a less stressful position, I felt like I had won the lottery! Life was good and I viewed everything with fresh eyes as I had shed a terrible shadow that had overtaken my life. I smiled and laughed more and became my old self once again.

7. Less job hopping-

Obviously, it is much easier to stay with a job than having to go back into job search-and-change mode. Typically, switching jobs involves a lot of effort and disruption. When you have a less stressful nursing job, you are more likely to stick with it, keeping job hopping (and stress) to a minimum.



WHAT ARE THE LEAST STRESSFUL NURSING JOBS THAT ALSO PAY WELL?

(The following is a list of 30 least stressful nursing jobs that also pay well in 2022.)

1. Occupational Health Nurse

About the Job:

Some consider a position in occupational health one of the least stressful nursing jobs.

Occupational health (industrial health) nurses are hired by large corporations, HMOs, insurance companies, and factories to provide workers with first aid, preventative care, and safety services.

The organizational goal of hiring an occupational health nurse is to keep workers safely on the job and minimize time off due to injury and illness. Industrial health nurses may in-service staff on safety measures, treat minor disease or injuries, and be onsite for catastrophic events.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Typically, the workload of an occupational nurse is appropriate for the work-day. An occupational health nurse rarely has to work overtime or bring work home to complete job tasks.

This type of job allows a nurse to work on day-to-day tasks without constant interruption, numerous admissions, too high of a patient assignment or frequent emergencies. Having a less hurried schedule with ample time to finish your work can be highly satisfying for a nurse.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter lists the national average salary for an occupational nurse to be $115,441 annually.

Job Outlook:

The job outlook for an occupational health nurse is very good. Nurses in this position save their employers money by keeping the workers on the job. An industrial health nurse also is a benefit to organizations as their expertise and input prevents lawsuits over unsafe work conditions which in the long-run helps with the employer's bottom-line.


2. Research Nurse

About the Job:

As one of the least stressful nursing jobs, research nurses utilize their medical knowledge and nursing expertise to study health conditions and find ways to improve patient outcomes in the long run.

In this field of nursing, RNs meet with patients for interviews, examinations, take blood samples and run other tests as needed for the research study. They then may sit down and help to analyze their findings as a team to categorize their data and reach a conclusion of their findings.

Research nurses can work in hospitals, labs, pharmaceutical entities, universities, and private research companies.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Research nurses are highly valued members of the research team.

Working as a cohesive team where you are respected is very satisfying for a nurse. In addition, stepping away from bedside nursing naturally provides a more relaxed environment for a nurse. Having team members for support in an unhurried and low-pressure workplace makes a research position one of the least stressful nursing jobs around.

Average Salary:

The average annual salary for a clinical research nurse is $76,408. Oncology research nurses are quoted at a higher salary of $83,798 according to ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

Pharmaceutical and medical research is a very hot and lucrative commodity at present. With spending on the rise for this industry, research nurses can be reassured that their jobs will remain in demand for years to come.


3. Case Management

About the Job:

Low-stress nursing jobs include those in case management.

RN case managers are hired by insurance companies, Medicare, residential care facilities, and hospitals. These nurses guide cases to provide their clients with cost-effective, timely, and medically necessary care. Nurse case managers work remotley with patients or behind the scenes on chart reviews to plan and implement patient care.

The nurse’s expertise is valued to cut costs, decrease hospital stays, surgeries and admissions and overall ensure quality medical care without excessive cost.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Working in an office or professional business setting naturally lends itself to lower stress than a bustling hospital unit. Dealing indirectly with patients when providing overall guidance can be less frustrating than the immediate onsite demand for care of sick patients.

Having the ability to grab a cup of coffee when you want or leave early for a dental appointment is a perk that case management nurses typically can take for granted.

The flexibility afforded in this environment certainly is a refreshing change for many nurses.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter lists the annual average salary in the US for a case manager nurse to be $83,475.

Job Outlook:

Jobs for nurses in case management have been around for many years. With nurses in this field saving their employers money, case management RNs should remain needed in the future.


4. School Nurse

About the Job:

School nurse jobs involve more than meets the eye. Busy school health clinics with lines of children and teens needing medication and medical attention are not unusual.

These RNs are behind the scenes making sure that the school is a safe environment for the staff and students as well as educating these same people on many issues such as food allergies, CPR, asthma and numerous other medical and psychological conditions.

When there is a serious medical emergency on campus, everyone is relieved to have a nurse onsite!

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Typically, school nursing is one of the least stressful nursing jobs but with the pandemic RNs in this specialty came under tremendous pressure from the staff, parents, and community. Hopefully, as life settles back into its (near) usual routine, the school health clinic will once again be a more laid-back and calm environment for nurses to work.

RNs who work as certified school nurses typically remain in their jobs for their entire professional career.

The love for the children that they serve and the friendly school environment and regular office hours makes this job satisfying.

Average Salary:

School nurses on average make an annual salary of $61,430.

Job Outlook:

School nurses have been around since 1902. It is unlikely that this vital public health nurse will disappear in the future. Some schools have tried to cut back on nurses due to budgetary limitations only to reinstate this essential staff member once their value was realized in hindsight.


5. College Health Clinic Nurse

About the Job:

Nurses who work at university health clinics enjoy an autonomous job where they treat a myriad of health conditions in the young adult population.

As one of the least stressful nursing jobs available, nurses in this position mainly deal with mental and sexual health issues such as STDs, pregnancy testing, and depression. A university health nurse may also hold educational seminars and clinics for the college population.

This type of nurse may work varied hours such as weekends and evenings but also has extended time off for holidays and summer breaks.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Although college health clinic nurses deal with emergencies on occasion, the primary job duties are less urgent. Working in an outpatient atmosphere with a healthy population creates a less stressful environment that many nurses enjoy.

Average Salary:

The average annual salary of a college health nurse is $74,616 per ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

Colleges will continue to need nurses to staff their health clinics as student health and support is a top priority for parents and students.


6. Community Health Nurse

About the Job:

Sometimes called a public health nurse, community health RNs work for the Department of Health or other government entities.

This type of nurse works in an office or clinic to administer immunizations and STD testing and provide programs to support the community’s health and wellness. Programs such as TB, HIV, and STD prevention are a primary role of a public health nurse.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

A public health position is typically a less stressful nursing job due to the regular office work hours, limited hands-on nursing duties, and slower-paced environment.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter lists the average annual salary for a community health RN to be $71,231.

Job Outlook:

The job outlook for a public health nurse is good. This nursing specialty has been around for many years and as long as there is community health outbreaks and illness, there will be jobs for public health nurses.


7. Nurse Writer

About the Job:

One of the more unique nursing jobs is that of a nurse writer.

Nurses who write can find work as freelancers or be employed by health corporations, medical suppliers, or pharmaceutical companies. Nurses can write for nursing and health education sites, health and medical journals, or in business advertising. In addition, research always needs writers to capture data for public consumption.

RNs are also highly sought to write CEUs, test questions, and courses for nursing.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Having the ability to work from home (or while on vacation), make your own hours and choose what you want to write about, makes the position of an RN writer a low-stress nursing job.

Average Salary:

PayScale lists the average salary of a health writer to be $56,472. However, RNs with the medical expertise in specific areas such as oncology, obstetrics and informatics, can make over $100,000 in this niche as a writer.

Job Outlook:

The job outlook for a nurse writer is good as there will always be a need to write nursing journal articles, courses, CEUS, and test questions. Although non-medical people write in the health realm, nurses with clinical expertise have a unique and in-demand background that will keep them writing well into the future.


8. Parenteral/Enteral Nurse

About the Job:

Nurses who work in parenteral/enteral nutrition support might work in a hospital, clinic, patient home, or via telemed. Depending on the job, nurses may directly administer parenteral nutrition or be in a more educational and advisory role.

Nurses in this field will serve as an expert on all types and forms of nutrition and provide follow-up care and guidance pre and post-nutritional surgical intervention.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Typically, parenteral/enteral nurses enjoy a more leisurely schedule and have ample time allotted to meet with patients and complete necessary paperwork. As with many low-stress nursing jobs, having the ability to work from home in many instances makes the job even more desirable.

Average Salary:

Mayo clinic offers a parenteral nutrition nurse a salary between $32.11 to $48.16 per hour.

Job Outlook:

A nurse who works in a parenteral/enteral nutrition program is a specialty nurse who is in demand. There are very few nurses who are trained in this niche and therefore needed to help patients with specialized nutritional issues.


9. Stress Test Lab Nurse

About the Job:

Nurses who work in a cardiac stress lab bring their considerable cardiac expertise to a more ambulatory setting. Stress lab RNs work regular office hours in a controlled and non-hurried clinic or hospital lab environment. Here the nurses assess patients before, during and after their assay to make sure that they can safely get through the stress testing.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Some of the least stressful nursing jobs are ones where you know the job well. Stress testing labs hire seasoned cardiac nurses to staff these positions; thus, the learning curve and unwanted surprises are kept to a minimum. In addition, the workload is reasonable for the job as well.

A slower-paced and subdued environment leads to job satisfaction in this position.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter indicates that the average annual pay for a stress lab nurse is $80,673.

Job Outlook:

Cardiac nurses are currently in demand and will continue to be so due to the ongoing need for nurses who can care for heart patients.


10. Vaccine Nurse

About the Job:

Prior to the pandemic, vaccine nurses were mainly utilized for flu shot clinics and the occasional “other” type of vaccine. When Covid hit, the need for nurses to administer Covid vaccines skyrocketed.

Currently, vaccine nurses can work for the government, private immunization businesses, hospitals, pharmacies, and community organizations. Hours are typically 9-5 with weekends necessary in some situations.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Being a vaccine nurse for a generally well population is one of the least stressful nursing jobs due to the low urgency level of care. Dealing with cooperative clients who are eager (on the most part) to be vaccinated makes this job low-stress.

Average Salary:

Immunization clinics typically pay their nurses $50 per hour.

Job Outlook:

Currently, the trend towards administering vaccines outside the primary care provider's office is rising. If this tendency continues to be the case, vaccine nurses will be in demand in the future to staff vaccine clinics.


11. Hospice House Nurse

About the Job:

Hospice nurses can work in extended care centers, hospitals, patient homes, or hospice facilities.

One of the least stressful nursing jobs in hospice is a position at a hospice-sponsored home.

Here RNs work with a small number of patients in their last days in a home-like and serene atmosphere. Typically, patient friends and families are close by to assist and comfort their loved ones. Nurses administer medications, provide comfort care to their charges, and thoughtfully lead families through the dying process.

This position is necessary around the clock, so hours may vary for nurses.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Hospice houses are designed to be a calming and comfortable environment. Due to this peaceful workspace and the nature of allowing for a natural death, these RNs' jobs are typically low-stress and unhurried. Nurses have enough time to educate families and comfort patients, which is satisfying in our profession.

Average Salary:

Nurses working in any hospice facility or organization make approximately the same wages. ZipRecruiter quotes the average annual salary for a hospice nurse to be $80,290.

Job Outlook:

Hospice nurses are in demand at present and should continue to be so in the future. People will continue to die and the need for end-of-life care is growing, in fact, probably more so as hospice care is gaining acceptance across the country.


12. Informatics Nurse

About the Job:

Some nurses find a more technical role, such as an informatics nurse, to be a low-stress nursing job.

Informatics nurses work with technology to develop health-related computer software such as that found on hand-held medical devices and electronic medical records. The nurses in this role can either develop the programs or provide valuable input for medical software companies about how nurses can best utilize this technology.

Technology organizations or hospitals hire informatics nurses.

Additionally, there has been a recent trend of nurse entrepreneurs developing their own software.

The majority of nurses in this field hold a certification for this specialty.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

It is estimated that about half of the nurses working in informatics can work from home. Work satisfaction, pride in the specialty, and flexible work schedule and environment all make a position as an informatics nurse a minimally taxing job.

Average Salary:

According to the HMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey 2022, “56% of nurse informaticists who hold certification in informatics have a salary greater than $100,000”.

Job Outlook:

The need for technology, especially in the health and medical domains, continues to increase. Nurses are a little late in entering into this field, but now that they are here, our profession should continue to be an integral part of the medical technology team.


13. Clinic Nurse

About the Job:

Nurses can work in clinics of all sorts. Clinic jobs are available for nurses interested in pediatrics, orthopedics, cardiac rehab, gerontology, and family medicine, to name a few. Clinics are typically associated with hospitals and are outpatient ambulatory centers where nurses provide an assortment of treatment based on the specialty.

Work hours are regular office hours.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Low-stress nursing jobs many times are in an ambulatory care setting such as a clinic. This is due to the fact that nurses are not providing as much hands-on care, and their workload is more controlled than in a hospital. The number of staff is typically small, so close connections and support become available in a clinic workplace.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter lists the average salary of a clinic RN to be $68,442 annually.

Job Outlook:

Clinics are here to stay, and RNs will be needed to fill the nursing positions in the future. In fact, ambulatory care is seeing the highest job growth in the healthcare sector, according to one 2022 report.


14. Nurse Recruiter

About the Job:

Nurse recruiters help employment agencies and hospitals to find qualified nurses to fill job vacancies.

Nurses in this occupation work regular business hours in an office atmosphere. Nurse recruiters typically have several years of nursing experience for this position. Once the nurse recruiter has initially interviewed a suitable nurse, she sets up the next steps (interview) with the appropriate administrator for the particular job.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Many of the least stressful nursing jobs are those that do not involve direct patient contact. Nurse recruiters have virtually no patient interaction, so the urgency level of the job is considerably less than most. Working office hours (potentially from home) makes the position of a nurse recruiter particularly appealing.

Average Salary:

Salary.com indicates that the pay for a nurse recruiter is $85,992 on average annually.

Job Outlook:

Nurses are best suited to talk “nurse” to RN applicants. Therefore, recruiters that are nurses are the obvious choice and will continue to be needed to help fill nursing vacancies.


15. Nurse Educator

About the Job:

Frequently topping the list of the least stressful nursing jobs are that of nurse educators.

Nurse educators are RNs who hold an advanced education degree; however, it is not required in all instances. Typically nurse educators teach in universities but may also work in trade schools and community colleges. RNs in this field teach nursing and medical courses to nurses and other students in the health science field.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Nurse educators do not have contact with patients unless they are clinical instructors. Working away from constant patient demands and instead with nursing students is less emotionally taxing and is often just as rewarding as working in direct patient care.

In addition, nurse educators enjoy regular office work schedules with the occasional flexibility of working remotely.

Average Salary:

Salary.com indicates that a nurse educator makes an average annual salary of $104,347.

If an administrative job in education is more your style, you can realize an even higher six-figure salary.

Job Outlook:

There is an ongoing need for nurses. Thus, nurse educators are needed (badly) to educate and prepare our upcoming RNs.


16. Laser Hair Removal Nurse

About the Job:

Many low-stress nursing jobs are in the field of aesthetics.

A nurse performing laser hair removal is one of the numerous positions in this specialty where you work with a set schedule performing beauty-enhancing procedures. Laser hair removal nurses educate patients about the laser removal treatment and perform the technique in a safe and painless manner.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Working in an ambulatory atmosphere with regularly scheduled patient appointments removes much of the job stress of nursing positions. In addition, these patients are typically pleasant and willing to have the treatments that the nurse performs.

Average Salary:

The average salary for an aesthetic RN (laser hair removal included) is $88,341 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

Laser hair removal is popular and should continue to be the future trend. Nurses are skilled at medical procedures and patient teaching and are therefore sought after for this specialty.


17. Nurse Entrepreneur

About the Job:

One of the most interesting latest trends in nursing is that of nurse entrepreneurship.

Nurse innovators are increasing in all areas, with new ideas for risk-taking enterprises popping up constantly. With low-stress nursing jobs harder to find, many burned-out nurses are turning their medical knowledge into self-owned businesses for revenue. The list of possibilities for a self-owned nursing business is unlimited.

Examples of innovative business ideas are:

• Cannabis shop
• Medical Spa
• Homecare Agency
• Acupuncturist
• Nurse influencer
• Nurse tutoring
• Public speaker


What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

As your own boss, you can design your schedule to fit your needs. In addition, many of these jobs can be done remotely, allowing you even more flexibility. Even better, administrative demands are non-existent.

Average Salary:

Salary for an independently owned nurse business varies depending on the venture type and your financial goals. The enterprises mentioned here all have the potential to make upwards of $100,000 per year.

Job Outlook:

The job outlook should be good if you do your homework before starting your business. To be successful, wise start-up ventures should fill a gap and need. Stay away from a saturated market, and there is a good chance your business will thrive.


18. Medical Supply/Device Educator

About the Job:

Nurses are the perfect candidates to educate other medical professionals and patients about medical devices and supplies.

Working as a medical device educator is an interesting twist on nursing where you represent a supply company in an educational role for those who prescribe or utilize the products. Items can range from smart beds, TNS units, and CPAP equipment to more technical devices such as surgical implants.

Nurses in this role can work remotely and visit hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and patient homes.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Nursing jobs that are not stressful frequently step away from direct patient care. Removing patient responsibility such as in this type of job lends itself to a much lighter environment. Additionally, a uniquely different type of job like that of a medical device educator can prove to be fun and more flexible than a traditional nursing job.

Average Salary:

Private industry often compensates its nurses at a higher rate than in the healthcare realm. The national average RN medical supply educator wage is $95,208 annually per ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

The medical product industry has a bright future, and nurses will be needed to educate others on these valuable products.


19. Health Coach

About the Job:

Health coaching can be one of the least stressful nursing jobs since many RNs work for themselves in this capacity.

Nurse health coaches help clients realize their physical and emotional health goals in areas such as weight loss, smoking cessation, and exercise. You can find work in this field in private homes, corporations, insurance companies, medical and beauty spas, and fitness centers.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Working in a serene environment with motivated and primarily healthy clients creates minimal job stress for nurses. In addition, work hours are flexible and have the potential for remote patient interactions.

Average Salary:

The annual earning potential for an RN health coach is $64,340 per ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

Nurse health coaches are becoming more popular. With preventative wellness beginning to take off, careers such as health education specialists are expected to grow by 17% through 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.


20. Resort/Cruise Nurse

About the Job:

Working as RNs on cruise ships or resorts seems like low-stress nursing jobs by their title alone. Tropical beaches, infinity pools, and pretty drinks with umbrellas immediately come to mind.

Although cruise ship nursing may not be as glamorous as some may think, the job itself many times is not overly taxing. A typical day involves seeing a limited number of patients for mild injuries and illnesses such as motion sickness and sunburn. There is an occasional heart attack and other more urgent situations, but these are far and few between.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Dealing with essentially healthy patients in a pleasant and unhurried environment can constitute a very satisfying position for nurses.

Average Salary:

Pro Sea Staff has this to say about RN compensation on a cruise ship. “Registered nurses on cruise ships can expect to earn anywhere between $4500 and $4800 monthly”.

Job Outlook:

With the pandemic, the hotel and entertainment industry has taken a pretty stiff hit these last few years. Fortunately, vacationing is back on target this year. However, it is hard to predict the job outlook for resort/cruise nurses due to uncertainty with our current economy.


21. IV Team Nurse

About the Job:

Nurses on the IV team are skilled venipuncturists whose primary job is to take care of any new IV starts in a hospital.

Some hospitals also give the IV team other responsibilities such as inserting external jugular devices, PICC lines, hanging blood products, and occasionally administering chemotherapy. Some positions are 9-5 Monday through Friday, while other institutions have an IV nurse present at all times.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Some RNs may rank a position with an IV team as one of the least stressful nursing jobs. The ability to space out patients to fit the needs of the nurse's schedule bears up this theory. In reality, if the IV team does not get to a stick in time for surgery or emergency medication, the floor (or pre-op) nurse will likely do the job (albeit not happily).

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter lists an IV RN salary as $65,925 annually on average.

Job Outlook:

Hospital nurses are very much in demand in any capacity. For hospitals that prefer an IV team, the job of an IV RN is very secure and will remain so due to the need for intravenous access of all types.


22. Pre/Post-Op Nurse

About the Job:

Pre- and post-op nurses work with patients before and after surgery to ensure they have a safe and successful outcome from their procedures. This can be done in a hospital surgical unit or ambulatory surgery center.

Pre-op nurses do an initial assessment, start IV’s and administer any pre-op meds, check vital signs and explain procedures and perform necessary surgical paperwork.

Post-op nurses help ease patients out of anesthesia while monitoring vitals, surgical dressings, incisions, and IV fluids. For outpatient procedures, the nurses perform post-op teaching as well as ensure that discharge paperwork is explained and signed. Work hours are typically weekdays from 7 to 5.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Unless the OR is overscheduled, pre-and post-op positions are one of the more low-stress nursing jobs due to office work hours, slower pace, and manageable patient load.

Average Salary:

Pre- and post-op nurses enjoy an annual average wage of $103,422, according to ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

Patients will always need surgery, so the outlook is very bright for nurses working in pre- and post-op.


23. Infusion Nurse

About the Job:

Nurses who work as infusion RNs can work in a hospital, home health, or for private infusion companies.

These nurses provide patient assessment and education about their medication and procedure, along with administering and monitoring their infusion. Some infusion centers are open only on weekdays, while others may be 7 days a week. There are now even infusion centers for “well” patients to receive IV “cocktails” full of vitamins and nutrients.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

An infusion nurse typically has only one or possibly a few patients at a time, depending on their employer. This low nurse-to-patient ratio makes the position of an infusion nurse one of the least stressful nursing jobs for RNs. Also, working in a “drip bar” with eager and healthy clients helps to make this niche enjoyable and non-anxiety producing.

Average Salary:

An infusion RN makes $82,581 annually on average per ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

People need infusions for a variety of reasons. Home infusion therapy is especially gaining popularity for all types of IV medication but especially for patients who are ill or not close to an infusion center due to the convenience. Additionally, the new trend of “drip bars” for rejuvenation is just taking off in most major cities in the US.


24. Wound Care Nurse

About the Job:

Wound care nurses take care of hard-to-heal wounds, ulcers, and sores that a provider feels need additional care and expertise.

Wound care nurses are more knowledgeable about the care of wounds than many physicians and nurses and employ all kinds of specialized techniques to help in the healing process, especially for diabetic skin conditions and pressure sores. Some positions also include ostomy care within this specialty.

Nurses in this field may work in hospitals, dermatology, podiatric offices, home health agencies, and extended care facilities.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Wound care nurses are sometimes a forgotten specialty when it comes to the need for appropriate referral. Many physicians are just beginning to realize the expertise and benefit of wound care nurses for their patients. Thus, the patient load is somewhat small and typically manageable, which lends itself to this position being listed as one of the least stressful nursing jobs.

Average Salary:

According to ZipRecruiter, a wound/ostomy nurse makes an average salary of $127,569 annually.

Job Outlook:

Many physicians and hospitals are just beginning to see the need for wound care/ostomy nurses. This specialty is gaining popularity as more and more clinicians recognize that there is specialized care for patients with hard-to-heal wounds and ostomy issues.

Wound care nurses can now fill the care gap that was previously an unfortunate black hole in the medical field for patients with these issues.


25. Office Nurse

About the Job:

RNs working in a physician/provider office are termed office nurses. Nurses in this capacity assist providers in procedures, administer immunizations, provide patient education and perform certain techniques and procedures such as suture removal, venipuncture, and EKGs.

Office nurses usually work regular business hours, although some offices do offer Saturday and evening hours. A nurse in this position can work in a wide variety of specialty areas such as pediatrics, obstetrics, cardiology, and family medicine.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

A slower pace and intimate office atmosphere make for a more relaxed job. In addition, business hours are a perk that many office nurses appreciate.

Average Salary:

Indeed.com lists an RN office position wage as $67,499 annually on average.

Job Outlook:

Commonly considered one of the least stressful nursing jobs, office RNs may be going out of vogue in the healthcare industry. Replaced by less educated nurses and office staff, RNs find it more difficult to land jobs in an office.

However, certain specialties still utilize nurses in this capacity due to the specific medical expertise necessary for the job, such as dermatology, cardiology, and obstetrics.


26. Post-partum Care

About the Job:

Being a post-partum RN is one of the more low-stress nursing jobs that are hospital-based. Caring for an infant right after birth is a rewarding experience that many RNs enjoy.

In this position, nurses are the first to handle a newborn, weighing, measuring, and bathing the child. Post-partum nurses use their specialized skills to monitor and care for the infant while in the hospital, along with educating new parents on how to care for and feed their baby.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Once a nurse is experienced working with this tiny population, the job can be quite serene and enjoyable. Low lights, quiet rooms, and a low patient-to-nurse ratio (typically) make working in post-partum care less stressful than many other nursing positions.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter lists a whopping salary for a post-partum nurse to be $148,604 on average per year.

Job Outlook:

The job outlook for a post-partum nurse is excellent. This role is in great demand, and many jobs are currently open for post-partum nurses. Although the US population growth is slowing, an increase of 1.8 million per year is still projected through 2060.


27. Clinical Educator

About the Job:

Typically found in hospitals, clinical nurse educators can also work in extended care facilities and home health agencies.

RNs in this capacity are tasked with educating the staff about all types of healthcare topics. CPR and first aid are among the more common classes to teach. Clinical nurse educators may also orient new nurses and teach and assess basic nursing skills such as IV starts and performing and interpreting EKGs.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

As one of the least stressful nursing jobs in a hospital, clinical nurse educators are no longer bedside nurses. They utilize their clinical expertise to educate (mostly) eager nurses and other staff to learn new skills.

These RNs often can schedule classes to suit their own agenda and do not deal with the day-to-day emergencies and interruptions of floor nurses. Much of the time, their hours are daylight shift, with an occasional class offered in the evening.

Average Salary:

According to ZipRecruiter, RN clinical educators make an average yearly salary of $92,394.

Job Outlook:

Nurses are in demand and should remain so. Since they need to be oriented and regularly educated to stay current in their practice, the job of a clinical nurse educator is secure and should remain so in the future.


28. Private Duty Nurse

About the Job:

A private duty nurse works one-on-one with the patient assigned to their care exclusively. Nursing care can range from minimal nursing tasks for a dying elderly patient on hospice to the complex care of a child on a ventilator. Private nurses can work in patient homes, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities.

As the nurse, you will take care of all needs of your patient while on duty.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Low-stress nursing jobs typically have a low patient-to-nurse ratio. Working one-on-one lends itself to a slower-paced day for a nurse, allowing ample time to complete charting and all necessary tasks. Completing your assigned work without staying late is a bonus for nurses.

Average Salary:

ZipRecruiter indicates that the yearly salary for a private duty RN is $74,828.

Job Outlook:

As long as there is a need for nurses (which there is), private duty RNs will be in demand. With the current US trend of families being scattered across the country, family care for an ill or dying loved one is declining. Many families employ private nurses to care for their loved ones in their absence or while they work.


29. Virtual Helpline Nurse

About the Job:

Sometimes called a hotline or telephone triage nurse, a virtual helpline nurse provides advice on demand via phone to patients in doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, and managed care corporations.

Hours can be daylight or different shifts and weekends depending on the need. Much of the time, virtual hotline nurses work from home. Nurses are needed in all areas of expertise for this type of job, with mental health nurses, especially in demand.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Jobs where you can work from home away from the hectic hospital environment lend themselves to some of the least stressful nursing jobs. Offering help guidance virtually is lower stress than in-person contact, where emotions tend to run higher.

Many nurse hotlines provide templates and scripts for nurses to guide them in their decision-making process. This system helps remove some of the stress regarding virtual care.

Average Salary:

Although some specialties pay higher than average, a nurse who works in telephone triage makes an average salary of $77,285 per ZipRecruiter.

Job Outlook:

The popularity of virtual medicine has been proven through the pandemic. The rise in virtual care has extended beyond the pandemic due to the convenience for both the patient and the provider. Virtual triage and nurse hotlines are on target to continue and even expand in the future.


30. Legal Nurse Consultant

About the Job:

Legal nurse consultants work alongside attorneys to help organize and decipher medical records and testimony. They work with malpractice and workers’ compensation cases and auto accident victims. Nurses in this capacity may provide expert testimony, and their medical expertise is well-respected.

What Makes this Job Less Stressful:

Working in a professional legal office on a team that holds the legal nurse in high regard promotes confidence and self-esteem. The work is typically in a less hurried and lower urgency environment. Due to these factors, a legal nurse consultant is one of the least stressful nursing jobs.

Average Salary:

Salary.com lists the annual average pay for a legal nurse consultant as $78,317.

Job Outlook:

Medical malpractice cases are trending upwards. Therefore, legal nurse consultants will continue to be needed to assist in the medical aspect of these lawsuits.



5 Ways To Know Which Least-Stressful Nursing Job Is Right For You


Think about your current and past jobs. Which ones made you happy and feel satisfied? What aspects of your work did you love or hate?

You can’t expect every day on the job to be perfect, but it should be a positive experience overall.

Here are some tips that may help you to decide which least-stressful nursing jobs may be your best fit.

1. Are you passionate about the work?
2. Does it fit your current lifestyle and needs?
3. Am I compensated enough?
4. Does the job align with my values?
5. Are the employees respected?


It is often hard to know if a prospective job is the right one for you before actually starting work. However, you can fashion your interview questions around topics that will help you to get to know what is crucial for you in a job. If finding less stressful nursing jobs is your goal, tailor your queries to fit your needs.


BONUS! 5 Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Landing A Low-Stress Nursing Job That Pays You Well


Once you have found some low-stress nursing jobs that suit your goals, you will want to improve your chances of landing the position.

Here we give tips to successfully get your foot in the door of your dream job.

1. Prepare a top-notch resume.

A resume that impresses a future employer takes some thought and time to perfect. Don’t make the mistake of rushing this essential step in your process to a job. Employ an expert on resume prep or research tips and examples for quality nursing resume construction.

2. Include an amazing cover letter.

Your application is not complete until you attach a cover letter. This letter is your chance to personalize your application and briefly highlight why you are the best candidate. Once again, it is wise to review strategies and best nursing cover letter examples to wow the reader.

3. Do your research.

We all get excited when we locate a nursing position that appears to be the perfect fit. However, don’t rush to jump into a job before you do your research. Take time before the interview to learn about the company. Get on Facebook, look at the corporation's website, talk to others and read reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed.

4. Prepare interview questions ahead of time.

Once you have done your research, you will have a better idea about specific questions you may have during the interview. Having smart questions to ask during the nursing interview will help you clarify the position and environment and show a future employer that you did your homework.

That is sure to impress!

5. Ace your interview.

Few nurses can just walk into an interview and execute an extraordinary performance. Thus, it is best to spend time preparing for the meeting. By reviewing nurse interview questions ahead of time, you should be prepared to successfully answer many of the more commonly asked questions with finesse.

Also, research nursing interview tips for other insights such as proper attire, punctuality, mannerisms, and etiquette that will polish your interview to perfection.


My Final Thoughts


Are you beginning to get the idea that it is possible to find a job where you will be motivated to show up to work each day without the burden of overwhelming stress? And even better, you can be compensated well for your expertise without sacrificing your soul! Hopefully, this article has given you hope and helped you to answer the question of what are the least stressful nursing jobs that also pay well?

Nursing is a great profession, and with limitless opportunities for nurses, there is little reason to quit the nursing field altogether. Instead, by rethinking different types of nursing jobs and reading 30 least stressful nursing jobs that pay well in 2022, you may want to look in new directions for your next position. Take the tools and tips provided here to realize new and unexpected job goals. Your health and well-being will thank you!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Are Least Stressful Nursing Jobs Fulfilling?

Working in a low-stress nursing job does not mean that you need to sacrifice job satisfaction. Find a low-stress job that you love, and you most likely will be even more fulfilled.


2. Do The Least Stressful Nursing Jobs Have Flexible Work Schedules?

Low-stress nursing jobs come in all types of sizes and shapes. Many are work-from-home jobs that provide much flexibility.


3. What Is The Highest-Paid Least Stressful Nursing Job?

Inpatient nursing typically pays the highest, with post-partum nursing, wound care, and surgical positions being the highest paid lower stress nursing jobs.


4. What Least Stressful Nursing Jobs Have The Most Promising Career Outlook?

All hospital jobs such as a surgical nurse have a promising career outlook, in addition to those in nursing education and public health.


5. In Addition To Salary, Do Least Stressful Nursing Jobs Offer Additional Benefits?

The least stressful nursing jobs offer the same benefits as any other job for RNs.


6. Where To Find Least Stressful Nursing Jobs?

Once you have an idea about which jobs are less stressful, search online at employment sites such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Monster.

Consider nursing sites such as iHireNursing.com and nursingjobs.org. Check out jobs on LinkedIn and consider signing up with a nursing employment agency (there are many).


7. What Are The 3 Least Physically Demanding Nursing Jobs?

There are plenty of nursing opportunities that use your expertise and not your muscles. Consider a virtual position such as a hotline nurse, legal nurse consultant, or case manager, if you seek a non-physical nursing job.


8. What Are The Top 3 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs For New Grad Nurses?

New grad nurses are needed in all capacities. However, some employers prefer RN with little experience. New grad RN jobs that are low stress can be in private duty or vaccine nurse and post-partum care.


9. What Are The 3 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs That Are Also The Coolest?

There are plenty of pretty cool jobs for nurses. Working on a cruise ship, as a legal nurse consultant, or owning your own nurse enterprise are all glamorous jobs that will impress your friends and family.


10. What Are The Top 3 Least Stressful Non-Clinical Nursing Jobs?

Many non-clinical jobs in nursing are lower stress than their clinical counterparts. The top least stressful non-clinical jobs are in nursing informatics, education, and case management.


11. What Are The Top 3 Low-Stress Work-From-Home Nursing Jobs That Pay Well?

One of the features of low-stress nursing jobs is that many are work-from-home opportunities. Employment as a nurse writer, health coach, and virtual nurse hotline are the top jobs in this area.


12. What Are The Top 3 Least Stressful Hospital-Based Nursing Jobs?

Working as a wound care nurse, on the IV team, or as a nurse recruiter are great lower-stress hospital-based nursing jobs.


13. What Hospital Units Offer The Least Stressful Environments For Nurses?

It may be less stressful to work as a hospital RN in a post-partum, pediatric, or post-op surgery unit.


14. Which RN Specialty Is The Least Stressful?

Specializing as a school nurse, legal nurse consultant, or nursing informaticist offers the least stressful work environment.


Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
Donna Reese is a freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience. She has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing.