Least Stressful Nursing Jobs | A Top-10 List

December 18, 2023
4 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 12/18/23

Discover the least stressful nursing jobs here. We’ll cover the top 10 low-stress nursing career paths, job descriptions, and answer a few frequently asked questions.

Embarking on the journey to nursing school admissions is an exciting yet challenging endeavor. While nursing is a noble profession, it's no secret that it can be demanding and stressful. The long hours, high-stakes decisions, and emotional toll of patient care can lead to burnout for many aspiring healthcare professionals.

However, not all nursing careers are created equal when it comes to stress levels. In this article, we'll explore a list of the 10 least stressful nursing careers. 

Whether you're a seasoned nurse seeking a change of pace or a budding healthcare enthusiast looking to enter the field, understanding these low-stress nursing roles can help you chart a fulfilling career path while maintaining a healthier work-life balance.

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Top 10 Least Stressful Nursing Jobs

So, what are the least stressful nursing jobs? Keep reading to find out. 

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1. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators shape the future of nursing by teaching and training aspiring nurses, all within an environment known for its reduced stress levels and reasonable work hours. Working predominantly in academic institutions, they use their expertise to craft nursing curricula and lesson plans that provide comprehensive training to budding healthcare professionals. 

One of the hallmarks of their role is the ability to impart valuable clinical knowledge and real-world experience, ensuring that the nursing workforce is well-prepared to navigate the challenges of the healthcare landscape.

Along with being one of the least stressful positions, nurse educators are also among the highest paid nurses, making an average of $82,040 per year

2. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers are instrumental in propelling healthcare forward through their dedication to scientific inquiry and meticulous data analysis. 

Their unwavering commitment revolves around enhancing patient care, formulating evidence-based practices, and conducting vital studies that underpin medical progress. The distinct advantage of this role lies in its departure from the high-pressure frontlines of direct patient care.

For those considering a career in nurse research, the future looks exceedingly promising. With a projected job growth rate of 28%, this profession demonstrates a substantial demand for the specialized skills and expertise these professionals bring to the table. These professionals enjoy an average annual salary of $94,859.

3. Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators, also known as nurse managers or healthcare administrators, oversee the operational aspects of healthcare facilities. Their responsibilities include staff management, budgeting, and ensuring the smooth running of healthcare units. 

These professionals work in hospitals to manage healthcare facilities and oversee the operations of nursing departments. This job tends to be less stressful because it typically involves regular hours and less direct patient contact. 

Nurse administrators enjoy a competitive average annual salary of $101,340, reflecting the significant responsibilities they undertake in managing healthcare organizations and ensuring the delivery of high-quality patient care.

4. Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses hold a pivotal role in the corporate world, overseeing business environments and crafting robust health and safety programs to safeguard employees. They champion workplace well-being, diligently work to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, and promote a culture of health and safety.

Occupational health nurses typically maintain flexible schedules and work outside the confines of traditional healthcare facilities, making it an attractive option for those seeking a less stressful and unconventional healthcare environment.

On average, occupational nurses make $77,600 per year and enjoy competitive compensation packages that serve as a testament to the value they bring to their organizations.

5. School Nurse

School nurses are a vital presence in educational settings, where their compassionate care extends to students' well-being. Their daily responsibilities encompass tending to minor injuries, managing chronic conditions, and actively promoting health education within the school community. 

The structured school environment significantly contributes to the role's lower stress level, as they typically encounter non-emergency cases and can rely on established procedures and resources.

School nurses also enjoy an average salary of $52,546, which can vary based on factors such as location and experience.

6. Home Health Nurse

If the hustle and bustle of hospitals are stressors for you, consider a career as a home health nurse. These professionals provide essential care to patients within the familiar comfort of their homes, creating a significantly less stressful work environment compared to the traditional hospital setting.

Home health nurses have the chance to forge deeper connections with patients while providing one-one-one, personalized care. These nurses have more flexible schedules and take on responsibilities such as administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and providing wound care. In return, they enjoy a competitive annual salary, averaging $77,600 per year.

7. Hospice Nurse

For those seeking a nursing career that combines a less stressful atmosphere with profound fulfillment, becoming a hospice nurse is an ideal choice. Hospice nurses specialize in providing comfort and support to terminally ill patients and their families, focusing on pain management and ensuring patients' wishes are honored. 

Compared to many other nursing roles, hospice nursing operates within a more relaxed setting, significantly reducing stress levels. These nurses make competitive salaries ranging between $67,000 and $91,000 annually, depending on factors such as experience level, qualifications, and location.

8. Public Health Nurse

Public health nursing presents an exceptional career path for nurses seeking to step away from the challenges of direct patient care in hospital settings. These nurses operate on the belief that a person's health is influenced by various factors, such as genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment. 

Public health nurses concentrate their efforts on prevention and education at a broader scale. They thrive in designing programs that promote healthy living within communities. On average, public health nurses make an average base salary of $65,660.

9. Nursing Informatics Specialist

For nurses who have a preference for technology over direct patient interaction and seek a low-stress career path, becoming a nursing informatics specialist can be just the job you’re looking for. These professionals seamlessly blend their nursing expertise with proficiency in information technology to elevate patient care and enhance outcomes.

Nursuing informatics specialists often find their niche in various healthcare settings, frequently within medical record companies. The demand for experts in this field remains consistently high as healthcare continually embraces new technological solutions for record keeping and data management. 

These professionals make $79,531 per year on average. 

10. Nurse Case Manager

For nurses seeking a career that allows them to maintain a connection to patient care while adopting a more personalized approach to assistance, the role of a Nurse Case Manager offers the perfect blend. These professionals are highly regarded for their job satisfaction, attributed to the profound impact they have on their patients' lives.

Nurse case managers also report high levels of job satisfaction due to the meaningful impact they have on their patients’ lives. These nurses make an average salary of $67,906 per year.

FAQs: Low-Stress Nursing Jobs

Still have questions about the least stressful nursing jobs? Take a look at our answers to these frequently asked questions for more information.

1. Why Are Nursing Jobs Stressful?

Nursing jobs are stressful due to the demanding nature of providing care in critical situations, often involving long work hours and complex medical tasks. Nurses must cope with the emotional challenges of dealing with patient distress and making critical healthcare decisions.

2. What Type of Nurse Job Is the Least Stressful?

The least stressful nursing job is a nurse educator. This position involves teaching and mentoring aspiring nurses in academic settings, typically offering a more predictable work schedule and less direct patient care, which can contribute to lower stress levels compared to other nursing roles.

3. What Is the Happiest Nurse Job?

School nurses are among the happiest in their profession, largely due to factors like flexible schedules, regular working hours, and the ability to enjoy time off during evenings, weekends, holidays, and summers. 

They also have the opportunity to form valuable relationships with teachers, parents, and students; which can be incredibly fulfilling. 

4. What Is the Easiest Job for a Nurse? 

The easiest job for a nurse can vary depending on individual preferences, but roles like nurse educators are often considered less clinically demanding. These nurses focus on teaching and developing curriculums and have more predictable schedules.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right career in nursing can be a challenging task, but it's important to consider options that offer a healthier work-life balance and lower levels of stress. With a range of opportunities available, the least stressful nursing jobs can provide a fulfilling experience for those who are dedicated, hardworking, and possess exceptional skills.

While each nursing job has its unique challenges and demands, aligning your skills, interests, and values with a specific nursing job can bring a sense of joy and fulfillment in your work. Ultimately, the nursing profession offers numerous opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of others while prioritizing your own well-being.

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