By Elizabeth Hanes BSN RN
Editor & Publisher, RN2writer
November 2, 2021

7 minutes to read


    3 Types of Writing Nurses Can Excel at – and Where to Find Opportunities


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    When you’re first starting out as a writer, the many possibilities available to you can lead to overwhelm. You might see opportunities for “white paper writers” or “health reporters” or “blog post writers.” Where should you start? Should you pursue only one type of writing, or should you take any opportunity that comes your way?

    You can avoid this type of overwhelm by deciding which types of deliverables you’re most comfortable writing, and then looking for those types of opportunities.

    When I started out as a freelance writer, I wasn’t at all comfortable with the idea of writing white papers. I didn’t even know exactly what a white paper was!

    I felt much more comfortable crafting web pages, blog posts, and doing consumer health reporting. So those are the opportunities I chased.

    Succeeding at those opportunities gave me the confidence to expand into other areas. And, eventually, one of my health reporting clients asked if I’d be willing to try writing a white paper. Voila. Instant white paper experience.

    To help you get out of the gate quickly with your new career in freelance writing, I thought I’d offer you three types of writing I think nurses excel at – and where to find opportunities for producing these types of deliverables.

    1. Health journalism

    Health reporting makes a natural fit for nurses because health articles often can be considered a type of “patient education.” Plus, you can write health articles within your chosen clinical niches, which may help you feel more confident. If you’re an oncology nurse, you might write cancer-focused health articles for magazines or websites. If your chosen niche is men’s health, you can write articles centered around that topic.

    If you’re interested in pursuing health reporting, you should look for opportunities with publications and brands known to publish health articles. I suggest these potential clients:

    • Local hospitals and health systems
    • Major health systems (such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, etc.)
    • Health and wellness brands (such as your favorite energy bar maker, outdoor gear retailers, etc.)

    TIP: Google “writer guidelines” and watch what pops up. You’ll have to wade through these and do some research, but you’ll find many outlets to pitch with a health article.

    1. Blog posts

    Blog posts are short and easy-to-construct, which make them an excellent type of writing to build the skills of a novice freelancer. A great many healthcare brands publish blogs; the trick is figuring out who handles their blog – the brand itself, or an agency.

    You can try approaching the brand directly, particularly if there’s someone listed with a title like “content manager.”

    But your best bet for potentially landing many blog writing gigs in one fell swoop lies in contacting healthcare marketing agencies. The best way to do this is by Googling “healthcare content marketing agency.” Identify a likely person (content director, editor, or some related job title) and send them an LOI that calls attention to your desire to write blog posts, specifically. You may want to further clarify that you want to craft blog posts for the agency’s healthcare clients, just to be sure you’re on the same page.

    Lastly, you can try reaching out to local private practices that you know publish a blog. Some of these may have an agency handle their marketing, which is great – you can find out which agency and then approach them!

    1. Infographics

    The reason I think nurses can excel at scripting infographics is because we understand how “flows” and processes work – crucial for writing great infographics. Plus, infographic writing requires the ability to concisely and accurately convey important information – not unlike charting!

    If you’re uncertain what an infographic is, check out these examples.

    In my experience with infographics, the process usually involves the client providing you with source material or asking you to perform research into the subject of the infographic. Then, you’ll compile data and other information into a “script” that may or may not include suggestions for the graphic design portion of the infographic.

    To find opportunities in infographics, I suggest:

    • Offer infographic scripting/writing as one of your services to local hospitals, health systems, etc.
    • Send LOIs to large health associations (like the American Heart Association)
    • Google “health infographics” and find entities that have published them in the past

    And there you have it! Three types of content writing nurses can excel at, and where you can find opportunities for pursuing them.

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    Elizabeth Hanes BSN RN

    Elizabeth Hanes BSN RN is the founder of RN2writer and publisher of RN2writer Daily.