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The 10 Easiest and Lowest Stress Nursing Jobs According to Nurses

12 Min Read Published December 14, 2023
easiest nursing jobs

Nursing is stressful and mentally and physically exhausting. Because of this, bedside nurses are leaving in high numbers.

Nurses are consistently looking for less stressful positions or “easier” nursing jobs. Truth be told, there really are no EASY jobs in nursing, but there are some positions that require less physical and mental strength. 

What Makes a Nursing Job “Easy” or Low Stress?

“Easy” is a relative term, and the ease of nursing jobs will be highly dependent on the individual. For example, some might find 12-hour shifts extremely difficult, so finding a position that is more days a week but for fewer hours would be considered “easier.”

There are some key things that CAN make a nursing job easier or less stressful. These include:

  • Shorter work hours
  • Flexible hours
  • Safe working environment
  • Indirect patient care
  • No patient lifting
  • Lower nurse-to-patient ratios
  • Adequate staffing

10 Easiest/ Lowest Stress Nursing Jobs

1. School Nurse 

What Does a School Nurse Do?

Students experiencing illness or injury during the school day or at after-school activities will report to the school nurse for further care. School nurses are responsible for assessing these students and determining if a higher level of care is needed.

Why is Being a School Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

School nurses have weekends, summers, and holidays off, which can help alleviate stress and burnout. School nurses also have a significant amount of downtime throughout their days and will have to complete large quantities of paperwork. 

School nurses work the same hours that school is in session, so there are no 12-hour shifts or night shifts. 

School Nurse Requirements

  • Obtain an ADN or BSN 
  • Successfully pass the NCLEX examination
  • Minimum of two years of bedside experience, specifically pediatric nursing
  • Completion of a school nurse certification program

School Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, school nurses make $51,532 annually or $31.04 an hour. 

2. Nurse Researcher

What Does a Nurse Researcher Do?

Research Nurses primarily conduct evidence-based research through quantitative and qualitative research. 

Why is Becoming a Nurse Researcher Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Nurse researchers rarely deal directly with patients, which can reduce stress. Furthermore, they do not have to interact with families and oftentimes are only working directly with those involved in the research study. 

Nurse Researcher Requirements

  • Obtain an ADN or BSN 
  • Successfully pass the NCLEX examination
  • Minimum of two years of bedside experience
  • Continue your education and earn an MSN, DNP, or Ph.D. 
  • Earn your clinical research advanced certification

Nurse Researcher Salary

According to Payscale, nurse researchers make $81,500 annually. 

3. Case Management Nurse 

What Does a Case Management Nurse Do?

Case Managers generally work with patients who have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, seizure disorders, and COPD. They are involved in the coordination of care of an individual patient to identify resources and services best suited for the patient.

Why is a Case Management Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Case managers often work 9-5 hours (or 8 hours a day), which can eliminate a lot of stress by working fewer hours per day. Additionally, case managers work with a lot of different patients over the course of their day rather than a specific assigned number. 

Case Management Nurse Requirements

  • Obtain an ADN or BSN 
  • Successfully pass the NCLEX examination
  • Minimum of two years of bedside experience
  • Pass advanced specialty certification in case management

Case Management Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, case management nurses earn $78,236 annually or $37.59 hourly. 

4. Outpatient Clinic Nurse

What Does an Outpatient Clinic Nurse Do?

Outpatient clinic nurses may be responsible for vital signs, vaccination administration, medication teaching, and reviewing the patient’s chart. 

Why is an Outpatient Clinic Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Outpatient clinic nurses work alongside doctors in private offices and/or clinics. Generally, the hours are shorter, with weekends and holidays off. Nurses are not generally responsible for the overall care of the patient as this is handled by the healthcare provider. 

Outpatient Clinic Nurse Requirements

  • Obtain an ADN or BSN 
  • Successfully pass the NCLEX examination
  • Minimum of two years of bedside experience

Outpatient Clinic Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, outpatient clinic nurses can earn $67,168 annually or $30.75 per hour. 

5. Occupational Health Nurse 

What Does an Occupational Health Nurse Do?

Occupational Health Nurses take care of employees at their place of work. They work closely with both employers and employees to ensure safe working environments and to ensure workers are appropriately taken care of after suffering from workplace-related injuries and illnesses. 

Why is Being an Occupational Health Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Occupational nurses work shorter shifts and deal directly with employees, especially during the hiring process. They do not have to deal with the family dynamics of patients or worry about the physical and mental challenges related to bedside nursing. 

Occupational Health Nurse Requirements

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing program
  • Become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX examination
  • Gain at least 2 years of nursing experience
  • Obtain a position that specializes in occupational health nursing
  • Become certified as an occupational health nurse

Occupational Health Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, occupational health nurses can earn $79,060 annually or $36.33 per hour. 

6. Camp Nurse 

What Does a Camp Nurse Do?

Camp nurses look after campers, communicate with parents and counselors, administer medications, and prepare all needed medications and equipment for outings. 

Why is Being a Camp Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Camp nurses work during the summer and live at the camp with the campers and counselors. Usually, summer camps are in interesting locations, like the beach or wilderness. This can be less stressful than working in a hospital setting. 

Camp Nurse Requirements

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing program
  • Become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX examination
  • Gain at least 2 years of nursing experience
  • Obtain a position as a camp nurse

Camp Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, camp nurses can earn $68,955 annually or $29.75 per hour. 

7. Informatics Nurse 

What Does an Informatics Nurse Do?

Informatics nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who work at the intersection of technology and nursing. Nursing informatics is a nursing specialty combining nursing, communications, computer science, and information science knowledge.

Why is Being an Informatics Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Nursing informaticists may work in a hospital as IT support services, or they could work for a large electronic medical record company. Either way, they do not work directly with patients, which reduces the stress burden. Hours may be long, as most larger healthcare organizations will have 24/7 coverage, but most of the time, you will be sitting at a computer instead of on your feet. 

Informatics Nurse Requirements

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing program
  • Become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX examination
  • Gain at least 2 years of nursing experience
  • Obtain a position as an informatics nurse

Informatics Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, nurse informaticists earn $83,901 annually or $36.81 per hour. 

8. Nurse Educator 

What Does a Nurse Educator Do?

Nurse educators teach didactic or clinical nursing courses, develop lesson plans, evaluate nursing educational programs, mentor students, as well as contribute to the academic community. 

Why is Being a Nurse Educator Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Nurse educators generally do not work summers or weekends. However, this might vary depending on your commitment and contract. Nurse educators work closely with other educators in the academic program, reducing the individual burden. 

Nurse Educator Requirements

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing program
  • Become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX examination
  • Gain at least 2 years of nursing experience
  • Earn an MSN, DNP, or PhD
  • Obtain a position as a nurse educator 

Nurse Educator Salary

According to Payscale, nurse educators earn $82,769 annually or $41.02 per hour. 

9. Home Health Nurse 

What Does a Home Health Nurse Do?

Home health nurses provide individualized care to patients in the comfort of their own home setting. These patients can range in age from infants to the elderly. They may be healthy patients recovering from surgical procedures, or they can be chronically or terminally ill.

Why is Being a Home Health Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Home health nurses can often pick their cases and workload. Because home health nurses travel to patient’s individual homes, they can work as many hours in a day as they want. If they are able to finish their entire caseload in a few short hours, then they could have the remainder of the day off. 

Home Health Nurse Requirements

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing program
  • Become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX examination
  • Gain at least 2 years of nursing experience
  • Obtain a position as a home health nurse

Home Health Nurse Salary

According to Payscale, home health nurses earn $69,726 annually or $30.21 per hour. 

10. Vaccine Nurse

What Does a Vaccine Nurse Do?

Vaccine nurses are responsible for administering vaccinations to pediatric and adult patients. This may range from COVID-19, TDap, Flu, and/or Hepatitis vaccinations. The specific vaccines will be determined by your work location. 

Why is Being a Vaccine Nurse Considered Easy and Low-Stress?

Vaccine nurses are solely responsible for administering vaccines and properly documenting the administration. While the hours may vary on location, overall administering vaccines is very easy and requires minimal stress. 

Vaccine Nurse Requirements

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing program
  • Become a registered nurse by passing the NCLEX examination
  • Gain at least 2 years of nursing experience
  • Obtain a position as a vaccine nurse

Vaccine Nurse Salary

According to Glassdoor, vaccine nurses earn between $79,000 and $111,000 annually.   

How to Know If You Need a Lower-Stress Nursing Role

Nurses in the midst of facing burnout might need to consider taking a position that is easier both mentally and physically. 

Additionally, it might be helpful to consider all aspects of your life. 

  • Do you dread going to work? 
  • Do you feel depressed thinking about your next shift? 
  • Do you find yourself disengaged with friends and family? 
  • Do you wish you had never become a nurse?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to consider switching to an easier nursing role. If you find yourself questioning your future in nursing, then consider taking a step back and re-evaluating your current nursing position. If it no longer serves you in any capacity, then consider other positions.

How to Find an Easier/ Lower-Stress Nursing Job

Finding an “easier” or less stressful nursing position can be difficult to obtain, especially as nurse burnout continues to rise. 

Nurses are consistently looking at ways to decrease the mental and physical stress at the bedside. Oftentimes, nurses who find positions that are considered easier stay in them for the remainder of their nursing career. 

It’s important to consider the reasons why you are looking for an easier job. 

  • Are you willing and okay with earning a lower hourly wage for a better work-life balance?
  • Can you work five days a week instead of the traditional three 12-hour shifts?

Remember, there are always trade-offs to things that are easier.

FAQs

  • What is the Easiest Job in the Nursing Field? 

    • Occupation nursing is often considered the easiest nursing field, but it is subjective and depends on a variety of factors.
  • What is the Least Stressful Job as a Nurse?

    • Every nursing job has its own stressors, but occupational nursing is often considered the least stressful nursing specialty.
  • What is the Happiest Field of Nursing?

    • Camp nurses are often some of the happiest nurses because they deal with pediatric patients and do not work with high acuity patients.
  • What is the Hardest Type of Nurse?

    • Intensive care nursing and emergency room nursing are often considered the hardest nursing specialties as patients are critically ill.
  • Which Type of Nurse is Most Prone to Burnout?

    • Nurses working in oncology, ER, or ICU are the most prone to burnout because of the high acuity of the patients and increased incidence of death. 
Kathleen Gaines
MSN, RN, BA, CBC
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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