Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

What Can Retired Nurses Do?

If you have been a nurse for several years, and perhaps even many decades (since nursing is often viewed as a job for life, this is entirely possible), you might wonder what you can do once you retire. A job that is so far-reaching, long-lasting, and asks so much of its workers (in a way they are willing to agree to, of course) often means that those who worked in that profession feel at something of a loss once they have retired and no longer have to attend their job each day.


Retirement is wonderful since it allows you time to relax, to take up hobbies, to travel, and to generally have much more time to do the things that were difficult or even impossible when you were working. However, for some, retirement is not all they wished for; they miss work too much, and they want to continue to do some good – after all, they made such a difference when they were nursing, it might seem far too mundane now to sit back and essentially do nothing.


If you were a nurse and have now retired, or you are a nurse who is facing retirement, what can you do to keep yourself busy, motivated, and engaged? Here are some ideas.



We always need more nurses, and if you are retiring, it’s worth thinking about passing your knowledge on to the next generation. If you are thinking about teaching, perhaps on a part-time basis, as something you can do after retirement when you are a nurse, you may well have found the ideal path for you. There will be very little you don’t know about health and wellbeing, and whether you teach new nurses, teach in a high school, or give your own health and wellness classes, these are all ideal jobs for retired nurses.


To do this in the most effective way possible, you may choose to go back to school yourself for a short while. Methods of learning will have changed since you studied, especially if it has been a good number of years since you were at nursing college. Therefore, to be the best teacher you can be, you can go back to school via an online course and learn the most up to date ways of teaching. With this knowledge combined with your decades of experience, your classes will be unmissable.


First Aid Classes

If you don’t want to commit to another job after retirement, whether it’s full time or part-time, you might consider giving periodic classes instead. You can pick your own time and place, arrange the venue, and sell tickets in your local community or online, meaning it is entirely flexible and will be something to look forward to as well as (assuming you are charging for your time) a small boost to your retirement income periodically.


You will have in-depth knowledge of life-saving first aid skills, and by teaching others these skills, you could still be saving lives even if you’re no longer working as a nurse in a hospital. Not only is it useful for everyone to have at least some idea of basic first aid such as resuscitation techniques and how to bandage a wound, but in some cases, it is required to get a job. Offering certification and ensuring that each student takes a test is one way to allow people to do this.


Once people realize you were a nurse, your courses are bound to be popular, but since you are organizing them yourself, you can do as many or as few as you want to.


Sell Medical Equipment

When you are a nurse, you will get to know a lot about medical equipment and will have gained a huge amount of experience in both using those items and understanding exactly what they are for even if you aren’t the one using them yourself. So, after retirement, you might choose to start selling medical equipment for commission.


This kind of job can be done on a part-time basis, and if you find a company that allows you to run your own diary, you can work around any other commitments you might have. As long as you meet your sales targets, you can work during the day or in the evenings, or perhaps at weekends (depending on your clients), allowing you plenty of free time for other things. Working in this way can bring you a good amount of money, and since you already have the experience required, you won’t need any training either.


Health Writer

In today’s digitally-focused world, online content is incredibly important. It is what sets one business or website apart from its competition, and the better the content, the more well regarded that company will be. For websites and companies specializing in healthcare, having a qualified nurse writing their articles for them is going to be high on their list of hires. After all, who knows more about the ins and outs of medicine and health than a nurse?


If you understand grammar and spelling and can set your thoughts out in a coherent way, then your medical knowledge could make you an excellent health writer whose skills will be required on a variety of different websites. You might even want to send articles to journals and magazines; the more you can get your name online as a writer, the more chance there is of being hired by others.


The useful thing about writing is that it can be done from anywhere as long as you have a laptop to write on. You won’t be stuck in one office or even in your home if you don’t want to be, meaning you can enjoy the fresh air or explore your local community and still be making money and staying occupied after you retire from nursing.


Write A Book

With your knowledge of nursing, you might not want to write blog posts and articles, but instead, you might be more interested in writing a book. Whether fiction or non-fiction, your knowledge is going to come in extremely useful when it comes to writing down your thoughts and putting together an interesting story.


Writing a book is a great way to stay occupied, and it’s something that you can do whenever you have some free time. It might not bring you any money (and it won’t do so while you are writing it) unless you find an agent and publisher or choose to publish it and promote it yourself, but that’s not always going to be the sole aim of writing. You might simply want to enjoy the process and create a great story. Writing in this way can be extremely therapeutic, and you can relive some wonderful memories as you start to get your ideas down on paper.


Mark Exams

If you remember when you took part in your nursing tests, you might recall that those tests weren’t marked immediately and didn’t get a grade right away. Instead, you had to wait, and you would hear back in a few weeks. This is because those tests had to be sent to a qualified marker which was completely unbiased when it came to the school and the student. They would be marking the answers only, without any background knowledge, making the entire process fair and proper.


This is still how it is done today, and markers are always needed to speed the process up. Once a nurse has taken their final exams, they want to get to work as soon as possible, and the hospitals and clinics employing them want the same thing. The faster the tests can be checked, and the results sent back, the sooner the student nurses can qualify and start their all-important work.


As a qualified, retired nurse yourself, marking these tests could be your role. You would be able to help out in getting more nurses into work more quickly, and since the work is entirely flexible, you can fit it into your new retired lifestyle.


Offer Nutritional Advice

Many people have a sedentary lifestyle due to the work they are doing. This can lead to poor choices when it comes to exercise and diet, and sometimes it can be useful to get some advice on how to change things and start being healthier.


Who better to offer than advice than a retired nurse? As a nutritionist (which will require qualifications) or a counsellor, you can help people lose weight and get fit and healthy. You will need to:

  • Create diet plans
  • Help with rehabilitation
  • Speak to patients about their issues
  • Be there to offer advice and support


Many of these skills will have been picked up during your nursing career, and gaining any additional qualifications needed will be a relatively simple task since you will have more time to study now that you are retired.



Yes, it’s true; something that a retired nurse can do is go back to nursing. For some, this is the ideal solution to being bored during retirement, and it does seem a shame to let that knowledge and experience go to waste if the nurse is willing to return to work.


By working on a part-time basis in shifts that suit you, you can often find that you can return to nursing in a more limited capacity once you have retired, keeping you both active and happy for as many years as you choose.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash