Top 10 Side Hustles for Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Nursing Students

Updated: Aug 14, 2021

Ask most medical practitioners, and they'll tell you - without the tireless efforts of nurses around the world, 21st-century medicine would collapse on itself - especially in the era of the pandemic.

Serving as the glue that holds together everything from refugee clinics to big-name hospitals, nursing is a noble, selfless profession that often goes under-appreciated - especially when it comes to paychecks.

Given the weight of a strained healthcare system, many nurses have begun to diversify their income streams - finding novel ways to generate income away from work.

If you're a nursing professional, or even just a nursing student looking for a simple guide to choosing and developing a profitable side hustle, you're in the right place.

First, let's address what to keep in mind before diving into the side hustle market:

Side Hustles for Nurses: What to Keep In Mind

Looking for a side hustle can be tedious and confusing - so it's essential to set a few expectations and parameters before you begin looking for avenues to generate new income streams. Here's what to keep in mind:

Perform an Audit of Your Weekly Schedule

The first thing to do is take stock of your weekly schedules and determine just how much time per week or day you can afford to spend on a side hustle without compromising on your wellbeing.

This process involves asking yourself questions such as:

● On which days do I have the time and energy to spend on a side hustle?

● Would I prefer to hustle after work hours only or spread it across off days?

● Would I prefer to side hustle from home or someplace else?

Nursing is a demanding full-time job, with researchers confirming that the standard 8-hour day is rare for most nurses - over half of all hospital nurses surveyed actually worked upwards of 12 hours.

With this in mind, it's essential to start with modest expectations of when you should hustle to avoid burnout and stress that could affect your mental and physical health.

Consider the Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hustle Days

When considering downtime in your schedule for a side hustle, it might be tempting to discuss changing your actual nursing schedule. Typically, most nurses do this by taking on extra work hours in exchange for a 4-day or even 3-day workweek.

Both sides have their ups and downs. If you choose to shorten your workweek by lengthening your hours, you can:

● Dedicate a day or two directly to your side hustle. Committing your time frees you from distractions and helps your mind compartmentalize your day job away from your new income stream plans.

● Depending on your lifestyle, this can help you maintain a better work-life balance - allowing you to spend more time with family and friends. Any good side hustle needs a motivated, energized person behind it.

On the flip side, here are some cons you would want to consider:

● Working extra-long days can get exhausting very quickly. Since medical personnel are already overworked, adding on more working hours can leave you drained.

● Longer hours can lead to serious emotional issues over time. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a report back in 2007 that suggests night shift workers experienced low serotonin levels across the board - a direct contributor to depression and anxiety disorders.

The truth is that it all depends on you - and your ability to figure out what works best for your circumstances. Consider discussing a trial period with your employer to see how you hold up if you're unsure.

If you do choose to work long shifts for extra days off, remember to keep on top of your nutrition, practice stress reduction techniques, and avoid compromising on sleep as much as you can.

Review Your Licensing Levels

Nursing is a pretty diverse profession and has a comparable list of specializations just like that of doctors. If you're already a nurse, chances are that you will already have one of the following licenses:

● Registered nurse (RN)

● Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

● Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

While these are already useful and can come in handy in several side hustle opportunities, some will require further courses or certifications. If you're looking to rack up more medically relevant experience with your side hustles, make sure to take a look at what additional qualifications you can obtain.

You can go for a simple first-aid certification or even a long-term nutrition science course - anything that matches your interests and time commitments.

Now that we're past initial considerations let's dive into a great list of potential side hustles that can further your career and even turn into fun and exciting hobbies while bringing in additional income.

Top 10 Side Hustles for Nurses: A Comprehensive List

1. Become a Tutor for Nursing Students

Despite the tall order of work med school students have to deal with, nursing school isn't a joke either - thousands of applicants try hard every year to get into a great institution, pursue their academics, and develop their passion for healthcare.

With the ongoing nurse shortages resulting in improved pay for nurses-in-training, thousands of students have now signed up to obtain their RN licenses. They will need all the help they can get to cope with the challenges of the nursing program. If you enjoy working with young nursing students, this could be an excellent opportunity for you.

By sharing personal stories, reviewing key concepts, testing them, and asking unique questions, you can help your students develop a more hands-on understanding of the nursing profession - one that they may not find within a university environment.

Your tutoring comes with an added advantage. You already have hands-on experience at the ground level. Giving examples from real-life experiences can help your students get a more nuanced understanding and, therefore, a better grasp of core or complex concepts.

The benefits of becoming a tutor are pretty straightforward - not only will you better understand and value your profession, but you can also make a decent bit of money while doing so.