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Jobs for Nurses Outside of The Hospital

Are you feeling a bit burned out by your traditional nursing job? 

Maybe you’re tired of the demands – commuting to and from the hospital, working long hours, lacking the impact you deserve as a holistic wellness expert.

Or, maybe… 

  • Your own health is suffering from the stress
  • You see the limitations in the conventional medicine approach 
  • You want more freedom & flexibility for your family

And here you are, googling things like:

  • “jobs for nurses outside of the hospital”
  • “jobs for RNs to work from home”
  • “how to start an online practice”

Whatever it is that brought you here, we see you.

There are tons of jobs for nurses outside the hospital, but one in particular makes a fantastic option, and you may not have considered it yet.

Functional Health Coaching!

As a Functional Health Coach, you’re able to optimize your clients’ health and well-being through a holistic approach that addresses the root-cause of their health issues.

Unlike other career alternatives for nurses, this option also gives you the freedom to start your own practice (AKA, be your own boss!), replace your income, and swap your scrubs for sweatpants.

Plus, while you’ll need some training, it requires no schooling

Sound like the dream?

Keep reading!

In this article, we’re breaking down:

  1. What Is Functional Health Coaching?
  2. The Difference Between Being an Employee vs. Starting Your Own Practice
  3. The Benefits of Starting Your Own Functional Health Coaching Practice
  4. 5 Steps to Go from Hospital Nurse to Functional Health Coach

Here at Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN), we’ve helped 4,000+ people build thriving online health businesses – many of whom started as traditional health professionals who never dreamed they’d leave the clinic and work for themselves one day!

If you’re curious about making the jump, we’re here to support you.

Can Nurses Become Functional Health Coaches?

When you think about becoming a “Functional Health Coach,” what comes up for you?

It’s possible you were once skeptical of this approach. Or maybe you thought health coaching was only a side-hustle used to bring in some extra spending money – not pay your bills. And while the career certainly lends itself to flexibility… 

Rest assured, health coaching is ALIVE and WELL!

In fact, it’s part of a 7 billion dollar industry! Popular job listing sites like Glassdoor report that the average health coach is earning ~$79,259 per year. 

That’s because as a Functional Health Coach, you have the opportunity to transform people’s lives. Your ability to do that, of course, impacts the level of income (and fulfillment) you’re able to earn.

Depending on your training, functional health coaching can involve:

  • Evaluating your clients’ health history and habits
  • Ordering functional lab tests
  • Analyzing data and looking for patterns
  • Creating protocols with diet and lifestyle recommendations (food, sleep, movement, etc.)
  • Providing education and empowerment

One of the coolest things about this career path is the ability to make it your own.

Here’s what we mean…

As a nurse, you’ve had a step-by-step path laid out for you since you left nursing school. 

Your days might even feel monotonous at this point.

If you’re sick of that rigidity, you’re in the right place!

As a Functional Health Coach, you have more options, starting with whether you want to work for someone else, or yourself.

Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Employed Health Coach: Want to stay in a traditional healthcare setting? Hospitals and clinics hire health coaches to work one-on-one with patients to maintain healthy lifestyles and prevent future conditions. Depending on the specific job title, certain certifications or degrees may be required.
  • Private Health Coach: If you’re looking for jobs for nurses outside of the hospital, starting your own online practice is the way to go. Having a private practice gives you the freedom to work from home, set your own hours, and choose WHO you want to help.

We’d argue that starting your own functional health coaching practice is your ticket to having the most fulfilling career in healthcare.

It’s 2024 – and change makers are transforming lives in their pajamas!

Sign me up!

The Benefits of an Online Practice for Nurses

Aside from ditching scrubs and fluorescent lights (big one!), here are a few more reasons why starting a functional health practice is a great job alternative for nurses:

  1. Take a Holistic Approach. In all your time working with patients, you’ve likely wished for a long time that you could do more to help than offer medication. If you’ve found yourself researching holistic remedies, or thinking about how silly it is that “nutrition” is hardly covered in the traditional healthcare conversation, you’ll love 
  1. Earn an Uncapped Income. With your own practice, you’re not locked into a set salary. If you want to take on more clients, you can raise your income. Want to work less? You have that flexibility, too.
  1. Be Your Own Boss. Basically what we’re saying is, you make the rules! Including when you start work, sign-off, and take a vacation (say, over the holidays?). You don’t need approval from anyone but you. 

“Sounds good. Where do I start?”

Here are 5 steps to take you from your current hospital nurse job to a thriving online practice that lets you work from home, contribute to your family financially & live with more freedom.

Step #1. Choose a Health Coach Training Program.

Your first step is to get certified. 

But you don’t want to go with just any certification program!

There are A LOT of options out there. All have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals.

How do you pick the best one?

Here are a few things to look at:

  • Functional lab testing. Will you learn how to analyze functional labs? How will you be supported in this both during and after the program? Will you be able to order labs as a solo practitioner after you graduate?
  • Mentorship. Does the program offer individual support? You’re learning new, advanced information and skills. Where can you turn to ask questions?
  • Graduate support. Learning the science, and actually working with clients and building your business are two separate things. What kind of support does the organization offer to graduates? Is there community? Business or clinical support?
  • Testimonials. What do previous students have to say about the program? What are the themes in their feedback? The mentorship? The community? The results? 

These are all things to think about when picking your program.

Step #2. Become a Certified Functional Health Coach.

Here’s where your journey really begins!

You’re no stranger to this part.

Once you pick your program, you’ll get back to being a student.

You might receive:

  • Course Work
  • Written + Practical Exams
  • Program Mentorship

All in all, becoming a certified health coach can take anywhere from ~6-12 months. 

For example, the FDN Certification program takes students 8-10 months on average to complete. 

Remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re starting a brand new career and skipping more graduate school! 

Step #3. Pick a Wellness Niche.

Now that you’ve mastered the science, it’s time to throw on your business cap!

You’re about to take everything you just learned and use it to actually start your practice.

The very first step?

Pick a “NICHE”! 

Your “niche” is an area of focus you choose for your practice to differentiate yourself from all the other functional health coaches out there.

Do you need to niche-down?

Well, remember when we said health coaching is a 7 billion dollar industry? That means there are A TON of health coaches out there! 

Having a clearly-defined niche helps you stand out as an expert and accelerates your growth.

Trust us on this one. 😉

Here are some examples of niches:

  • Fertility and conception
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Perimenopause and menopause

We have SO much more to say on this topic.

Want to dive deeper? Click here.

Step #4. Tell People About Your Practice.

You’re ready to bring in your very first client.



Start telling people about your new career:

  • Neighbors
  • Friends, and friends of friends
  • Family

If you were talking about your new venture before, make sure to tell them you’re officially in business and taking clients. 

You’ll be surprised at how many people need your help.

And just how prepared you feel after the right high-level training. 

Step #5. Get Client Results.

The final, most important step is to focus on client outcomes.

Like us, we know you’re in the business of wanting to help more people actually get better.

When you learn a system that goes below the surface, and leverages real functional data and holistic strategies, you will ALWAYS get results. Guaranteed.

Which is exactly what we teach here at FDN.

Because results lead to healthy and happy clients…

Which leads to word-of-mouth referrals and a thriving health practice!

Still feeling like you’ll be back to googling “jobs for nurses outside of the hospital”? 

We get it – there is a lot to learn!

But you might find that hearing directly from fellow nurses is just what you need to build your confidence in this department.

Odds are, you NEVER thought you’d be searching for jobs for nurses outside the hospital, or leaving traditional healthcare to be your own boss. 

And it can feel totally overwhelming. 

If you’re ready to dive in deeper, and hear directly from fellow nurses who left their hospital jobs in favor of functional health coaching, we have the perfect podcast episode!

Listen to four registered nurses share why they chose to leave their hospital nursing jobs and start online functional health coaching practices. 

They share how they’ve created lives rooted in:

Holistic Health

Here at FDN, we support nurses on their journey to leaving the hospital for a life of freedom. Our signature FDN Certification Program gives you the advanced training you need to analyze the data from functional labs, put together personalized protocols, and get real, life-changing results for clients.

We hope you stay connected with us on this next chapter of your life!

The FDN Team 

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