Can you work in pharmaceuticals with a nursing degree?
That’s a great question. One of the things that I love about nursing is that you have an almost endless supply of job opportunities with good pay and high demand. If you ever feel yourself doubting your decision to major in nursing, then you should remind yourself of the opportunities that will await once you graduate.
Even if you decide you hate nursing by the time you graduate, you can do so many jobs with a nursing degree that have nothing to do with nursing–and yet you will still have that great degree to fall back on just in case you ever change your mind later.
We recently received a great question about working in pharmaceuticals with a nursing degree:
My question is: How do you get a career in pharmaceuticals with a nursing degree? do you have to do other training for this career option?
Working in Pharmaceuticals as an Registered Nurse
Thanks so much for your question Jamie.
The short answer is yes and no. Yes, there are many possible jobs surround the pharmaceutical industry that you could easily get hired with a degree from an accredited nursing school. At the same time, there are other jobs which would likely required a specialized degree in order to work in specialized areas of the pharmaceutical industry.
Let me give you some examples to help clarify.
When we started using the Levemir Pens at the hospital, we had a pharmaceutical rep come and train us and speak to us about how they work. The representative they sent was actually just a registered nurse.
And that is just one example. Here is a brief sample list of some jobs you may be able to get in pharmaceuticals with just a nursing degree:
Pharmacy Jobs You Can Likely Do With a Nursing Degree
- Sales representative–You can be a sales representative in pharmaceuticals and reach out to doctors and hospitals to recommend new drug lines or treatments. Median salary as of 2010 is $60,000.
- Marketing–You can be involved in marketing projects in the pharmaceutical industry for brand awareness
- Training–You can offer training classes for pharmaceutical industries on how to use new drugs, therapies, or machines
- Technical writer–you can write articles or publications for the pharmaceutical industry
- Manager in pharmaceuticals–if you have a business side to you, you may be able to get a good job as a manager working in a pharmaceutical company. There are many management positions, such as overseeing production, sales, and other jobs. Salary depends on size of company and level of management.
- Pharmacy Tech–A pharmacy tech generally doesn’t require a bachelors degree, and instead may require a short certification or on-the-job training. National averaged salary is
$28,000 as of 2012.
Pharmacy Jobs Requiring Specialized Degrees or Training
- Pharmacist–Working as a pharmacist will require an advanced degree (usually doctoral), which usually takes 3-4 years to complete. The average salary as of 2012 is $111,570.
- Drug Developer–This would likely require specialized knowledge and possible doctoral degree to help engineer new medicines and treatments.
These are just a few sample jobs you may be able to get within the pharmaceutical industry. As I mentioned above, a nursing degree is a great way to springboard into other healthcare occupations. It is a highly respected degree within healthcare, and you will have many career options.
Even if you decide to get an advanced degree in pharmaceuticals, you can always get an undergraduate degree in nursing. If this is what you intend to do, it would be wise to speak with an adviser at a local university to understand what pre-requisites may be required to enter pharmacy school with an undergraduate degree in nursing.
I hope this helped, and best of luck to you in your career.