Nurses and nurse practitioners are the heroes of the medical community. They are more than caregivers; they are the front line. For the nurses and nursing students who could use a little extra cash, this article is for you!
We're going to look at some of the best side hustles for nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students. Here is out list:
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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. Tutor 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.
Tutors can make anywhere between $10 to $40+ per hour. Depending on your skill level, you can even take video call lessons for multiple students to boost income. If you cannot find tutoring assignments closer to your home or place of work, consider using a service such as Wyzant, which is pretty popular with nurses who offer tutelage.
Just remember that tutoring work tends to be seasonal. Very few students look for extra lessons once exams are through. You'll also need to have a solid passion for teaching - not everyone has the patience and foresight to be a good teacher, after all.
2. Start Your Own Nursing Blog
Easier said than done, you might think. The truth is, anyone can make a pretty good blog without even writing the most compelling content - all you need to do is put up exciting content regularly and share your opinions on anything from automobiles to emergency room experiences.
One of the most exciting aspects of blogging is that it allows you to take a break from your professional life and talk about hobbies, sports, politics, and several other interests. On the other hand, as a nurse, you have a wealth of unique experiences in healthcare that may be well worth sharing. Health is relevant to everyone, of course - so a regular and honest series of posts can develop a pretty good following over time.
Here are a few examples of outstanding blogs run by professional nurses:
If you think that you can't mix medicine and art, think again! Julianna Paradisi is an oncology nurse with three decades of experience who blogs about work, her family, and her long-standing association with paintings and the written word.
Run by the prolific and passionate Nurse Beth, this blog covers essential news in the nursing world, unique and exciting stories in medicine, and solid career advice for students and established professionals.
Blogs are pretty convenient to run - you can work on them at home, come up with ideas at work, and even schedule posts in advance - helping you maintain a healthy post schedule even when you are at work.
How Do You Monetize A Blog?
Don't expect a blog to generate income quickly. Blogs can take a fair amount of time and effort to get rolling - it may take several months to a year before you can expect to earn anything substantial from what you write.
Fortunately, there are a few basic things you can do to stimulate a blogging income:
Write to attract business interests, not just readers
Incorporate affiliate links into your content
Get other high-authority websites to backlink to yours
Use 'best of' and 'how-to' articles often - they tend to be more valuable when it comes to monetization
Just remember to keep yourself committed and enjoy the writing process - success will follow eventually.
For more information, check out: "How to Make Money Blogging."
3. Write Content for Medical Publications
If you're still interested in writing but aren't too keen on building up a digital property from scratch, content writing is a fantastic option to consider.
From healthcare websites to guest-blogging and more, content writing is an easy way to build a side income and expand your writing portfolio - and requires a fraction of the time that you'd need to manage a blog.
Pay for freelance writers can vary wildly. The bottom end levels out at around $0.02 per word, while skilled or niche writers can command $1-2 per word. Assuming that you take a day each week to write a 500-word piece, this means an income ranging from $10 to $1000!
Content writing is also one of the most flexible jobs out there - you can essentially set your own hours and delivery dates and pick assignments depending on how packed your week or schedule is.
Content writing does come with some downsides, however. It usually takes a substantial amount of time to build up an impressive portfolio - which means that your earnings will stay relatively low until you can convince clients that your expertise and skill are worth the top dollar.
You can get started by setting up accounts on websites such as Fiverr or by approaching digital publications with an exciting idea for an article.
4. Join A Seasonal Flu Clinic
According to the CDC, a massive 131 million Americans get vaccinated annually.
93% of these vaccination appointments happen at clinics, doctors' offices, pharmacies, and hospitals - and registered nurses generally administer those vaccinations.
Working part-time at these health facilities can establish some good seasonal income with relatively stress-free work. The timings are convenient too. The US experiences flu season in the fall and winter, which means vaccinations will happen before then. The timing allows you to earn and save for the winter holidays and enjoy quality time with family and friends.
While the work pays relatively well, remember that it is sporadic, and you'll have to reach out to vaccination points well in advance to beat out other nurses looking for similar opportunities.
5. Emergency Response Instructor
Another excellent way to directly use your nursing background is to teach your local community the basics of essential medical techniques. Generally speaking, you can earn an extra $10-$20 an hour by instructing people in:
CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
First Aid Techniques
While the income-earning potential here may not be massive, it relies on skills you likely already possess - making it a low-stress option for nurses looking for a side hustle.
Considering that you will probably be teaching aspiring EMT personnel, firefighters, cops, and more - you're also contributing to saving several lives.
While your qualifications may need a slight upgrade, organizations such as the YMCA and Red Cross offer various courses that allow you to upgrade your skills without burning a hole in your pocket.
Once you develop a solid reputation in this field, you can further boost your income by conducting corporate first aid courses for large, well-paying corporate clients.
6. Part-time Health Coach
While getting hired as a full-time health coach requires a substantial amount of study, you can invest in short-term courses and then impart your knowledge to a select base of clients - bolstered by your medical experience.
You will be responsible for motivating them to stick to health goals, encourage them to make healthy eating choices, suggest better everyday habits, and push them towards a healthier, happier version of themselves.
It's certainly a rewarding job, and while you can start slow by coaching your family and friends, word-of-mouth spreads quickly in the coaching world. Provided that you give your clients helpful and genuine advice, tips, and motivation, you could charge anywhere from $30 to $150+ per session.
Remember that this side hustle requires that you maintain a positive, encouraging persona when working with clients - no one will be motivated by a dreary, tired-looking coach, after all.
7. Medical Transcriptionist
If there's one thing that medical institutions generate in spades, it's a vast, unending barrage of data. Almost every single thing in a hospital is accounted for somehow - from patient case details to administrative timetables and even the behavior and conduct of hospital staff - this is where medical transcriptionists come in.
What Does A Medical Transcriptionist Do?
In simple terms, a medical transcriptionist is responsible for converting conversations, audio logs, and reports from physicians, patients, or other people in the medical industry, into properly formatted documents.
Transcriptionists write according to industry standards, and readers expect them to be edited by professionals as well. Most importantly, a medical transcriptionist ensures that a doctor's notes and instructions are recorded accurately for any future referencing. In complicated, long cases, this may mean the difference between life or death for a patient.
Sometimes, hospital systems use speech-to-text software to speed the process up. In this case, a transcriptionist will have to review and edit the document - making sure that the final draft is error-free.
Naturally, this calls for a certain degree of medical experience and a solid understanding of how hospitals function and manage patient data.
Depending on the location and level of experience, a medical transcriptionist can make around $10 to $30 per hour - not bad considering that you can easily complete the work with a laptop at home.
8. Part-time Clinical Instructor
While tutoring nursing students for their academic pursuits is one thing, real-life practical guidance is another.
If you're a licensed nurse, chances are that you've already interacted with clinical instructors, probably during your first stint as a nurse. Here's a quick refresher on their responsibilities:
What Does a Clinical Instructor do?
Apart from classroom learning, the other half of a nurse's education comes from clinical learning - where students learn from hands-on experience working with actual patients under the guidance of a clinical instructor.
In simple terms, a clinical instructor serves as the liaison between a medical institution and the nursing students learning within it. They are responsible for:
Introducing students to nurses and other medical staff
Giving students clinical assignments and supervising them
Answering student questions and providing them with the resources they need
Taking students through essential everyday procedures and testing their nursing knowledge in a practical environment
Not only is this a pretty straightforward role for most qualified nurses to do - but it's also flexible and well-paying.
As a nurse, you have the option to work 3-4 days a week - this leaves you enough time to slot in a day or two per week to serve as a clinical instructor, as most universities and colleges will accommodate your schedules.
Depending on your location, you can earn anywhere between $30 to $50 per hour as a clinical instructor.
9. Take 'Per Diem' Shifts
'Per Diem' is a Latin term that means 'by the day'. Working as a nurse on per diem shifts means that you're not necessarily a full-time employee of a particular hospital or clinic operating in a specific department. Instead, you sign up for shifts to help out away from your full-time employment responsibilities.
Per diem shifts give you a pretty good deal of flexibility - you can usually decide when your shift starts and ends, so spending time on hobbies, family, or social engagements gets a lot easier.
You also get paid slightly higher than the usual hourly rate for a nurse while working these jobs. Weekend per diem shifts are popular among experienced nurses. Not only do they offer the best wages - weekends generally tend to be less chaotic than weekdays at most hospitals or clinics.
Key Benefits To Your Medical Career
Here's another underappreciated benefit of working per diem at different medical institutions - it dramatically allows you to expand your network of friends and contacts within the industry, compared to nurses who stick to just one workplace.
Let's say that your area of expertise is in orthopedic nursing.
By working per diem alongside nurses in, say, surgical or rehab departments, you get a front-row seat to different disciplines and might even discover an interest that you never knew you had! If you're looking for a change, you will also have direct contacts to ask questions to - most will be eager to answer and help you on your journey as a medical professional.
While this may not be for nurses who want to spend their days off away from a hospital, it can be an excellent way to improve your chances of getting promoted, developing key workplace relationships, and earning good money while doing so.
10. Establish a Social Media Channel About Nursing
Not everyone is comfortable putting themselves out on the world stage. But, doing so can be fun and exciting, not to mention a lucrative way of generating side income - especially if you're interested in various subjects outside of healthcare and would like to share your interests on your off time.
You can create an Instagram page or YouTube channel for just about anything - regardless of whether you're into cars, cooking, sports, fashion, or anything in between - there's an audience out there waiting to hear your opinions and ideas.
What if I Want to Become a Healthcare Influencer?
Health influencers play an impactful role, especially among Gen Z and the millennial population. A 2020 Social Influencer Report states that almost 44% of people with health conditions value th
e opinion or advice of a health influencer over that of a regular blogger for information or support related to their health.
Simply put, there's a massive market for reliable healthcare information - and who better to take it from than a qualified medical professional?
As a nurse, not only do you get to share key, hands-on insights from your life - you also have a much more nuanced understanding of healthcare compared to the average person.
Your stories have meaning and can resonate with thousands of others - all you need is a camera and a voice… and perhaps a laptop.
Earnings for social media influencers vary wildly, however.
While you stand to gain small amounts of money through advertising revenue, once you build a decent platform, you can directly approach companies for referral links or sponsored videos to showcase or test their products and boost your income quite considerably.
Most of the options here are hard work, no doubt - just as nursing is.
On the bright side, many of them are accessible, easy to start, and have great scalability. As long as you keep checking in each week, you can grow a simple interest into a well-paying side hustle that can help you pay bills, hit savings goals, or make life a bit more fun while on vacation.
We hope that this list has helped you and wish you the best in your side hustle endeavors!