How to Make More Money as a Nurse

By Lace Brunsden

Published:

Side Hustles

Lace Brunsden

Lace Brunsden

Writer & Career Coach

Have you ever wondered how to make extra money as a nurse? Look no further! We’re diving into the nitty-gritty of how you excellent nurses can not only rock your patient care game but also bump up those digits in your paycheck. Get ready to uncover some savvy tips and fantastic avenues to supercharge your earnings in the world of healthcare.


How to Make Extra Money as a Nurse


Let’s spill the beans on some crafty strategies and side hustles that fit perfectly into your nursing gig, helping you pad your wallet without burning out. From scrubs to extra bucks, we’ve got your back!

Our criteria for the best side hustles for nurses:

  • Flexibility and Scheduling: allows the nurse to choose when to work without conflicting with their primary job.
  • Skill Utilization: leverages the skills nurses have such as medical know-how, patient care, and communication abilities.

Non-Clinical Opportunities: Freelancing and Transferable Skills

Who says your nursing journey is limited to the hospital walls? Let’s explore exciting avenues like freelancing and skills that flex your healthcare expertise in fresh ways, opening doors to a world of new opportunities and cash flow through different side gigs for nurses. Many of these may give you ideas of how to make extra money online as a nurse.

Below is everything you need to know about non-clinical opportunities you may have as a nurse. We’ve covered the following:

  • Medical Writing
  • Teaching (courses, workshops, or tutoring for nursing students)
  • Medical Transcription
  • Healthcare Product Sales
  • Healthcare Blogging or Vlogging
  • Babysitting for Special Needs Children

Medical Writing

Medical writing involves creating content like articles, reports, or educational materials related to healthcare topics. You can freelance for medical publications, and websites, or even create your own healthcare blog.

This allows you to share your medical expertise, contribute to education, and earn money simultaneously. It’s a flexible option that lets you work remotely and showcase your knowledge while honing your writing skills.

  • Transferable Skills: Medical terminology, research skills, and clear communication.
  • Requirements: Strong writing skills, and understanding of scientific writing conventions.
  • Opportunities: Freelance platforms (Upwork, Freelancer), medical publications, and healthcare websites.
  • Downsides: Competitive market, need for writing expertise.

Teaching

Teaching nursing courses, workshops, or offering tutoring sessions can provide an additional income stream. It is one of many great alternative jobs for nurses. You can create online courses or offer in-person workshops for nursing students.

Sharing your experience and knowledge with aspiring nurses not only helps them succeed but also brings in extra income. Teaching can be incredibly fulfilling, and it allows you to stay connected to the field while making a difference in students’ lives.

  • Transferable Skills: Communication, teaching/mentoring, and subject expertise.
  • Requirements: Teaching credentials (for formal education), knowledge of curriculum design (for courses).
  • Opportunities: Online course platforms (Udemy, Teachable), nursing schools, tutoring services.
  • Downsides: Preparation time, the potential need for formal education.

Medical Transcription

Medical transcription involves converting spoken medical reports into written documents. It requires attention to detail and familiarity with medical terminology.

This role enables you to work from home and offers a steady income. It’s ideal for nurses who have strong language and typing skills, as well as an understanding of medical jargon. It also tends to be very flexible making it one of the best side gigs for nurses.

  • Transferable Skills: Medical terminology, attention to detail, and typing skills.
  • Requirements: Proficient typing skills, and understanding of medical terminology.
  • Opportunities: Medical transcription companies, freelance platforms.
  • Downsides: Monotonous work, accuracy is crucial.

Healthcare Product Sales

Selling healthcare products, such as medical devices, wellness products, or even branded merchandise, can create an income stream and make great side jobs for nurses.

This allows you to tap into your knowledge of healthcare products and recommend items that could benefit others. You can set up an online store or collaborate with existing healthcare product companies.

  • Transferable Skills: Product knowledge, communication, and customer service.
  • Requirements: Familiarity with healthcare products, sales skills.
  • Opportunities: Online stores (Etsy, Shopify), collaborations with product companies.
  • Downsides: Market saturation, requires marketing skills.

Healthcare Blogging or Vlogging

Creating a healthcare-focused blog or YouTube channel can generate income through ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

Sharing health tips, experiences, and information on platforms like blogs or videos not only lets you express your passion but also opens doors to monetization. It’s a way to engage with a wider audience and contribute to health awareness.

  • Transferable Skills: Communication, health education, storytelling.
  • Requirements: Basic video editing skills (for vlogging), and content creation skills.
  • Opportunities: Blogging platforms (WordPress, Blogger), YouTube, and social media.
  • Downsides: Time-consuming, building an audience takes time.

Babysitting for Special Needs Children

Providing specialized care by babysitting for special needs children can be a rewarding income stream.

Your nursing expertise can be invaluable in providing proper care and attention to special needs children. This role allows you to make a positive impact on families while earning money. It’s one of many fulfilling alternative jobs for nurses.

  • Transferable Skills: Patience, empathy, medical knowledge.
  • Requirements: Understanding of special needs care, First Aid/CPR certification.
  • Opportunities: Local communities, referrals, specialized care services.
  • Downsides: Emotional demands, variable schedules.

Leveraging Education and Specialization

In the dynamic landscape of healthcare, seizing the opportunity to further your education and hone your specialization isn’t just a career move – it’s a financial game-changer. Discover how investing in advanced degrees, certifications, and focused expertise can propel your earning capacity as a nurse, opening doors to positions and compensation packages that reflect your dedication and expertise.

Below, we have covered some of the following specialized fields:

  • CPR Instructor
  • First Aid Instructor
  • Wound Care Specialist
  • Maternal Care Provider
  • Lactation Consulting
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

CPR Instructor

Become a CPR Instructor and empower individuals with the knowledge to respond effectively in emergencies. As a certified instructor, you’ll guide others through life-saving CPR techniques, equipping them with the confidence to take action when it matters most. While the role offers flexibility and the satisfaction of teaching vital skills, keep in mind that income can vary, and you’ll need to maintain your certification to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques.

First Aid Instructor

If you thrive on being a beacon of help in critical situations, consider becoming a First Aid Instructor. With your certification in hand, you’ll educate others on administering immediate care in emergencies. Your expertise will empower people to step in with life-saving techniques until professional medical help arrives. While the role provides a flexible teaching schedule and the gratification of spreading essential knowledge, remember that income can be inconsistent, and you’ll need to engage in ongoing education to stay current.

Wound Care Specialist

With specialized training and certification, you can take on complex wound cases and provide expert care to patients. Your skillset will address a critical need in healthcare, potentially leading to higher compensation and increased demand for your expertise. Keep in mind, though, that emotionally challenging cases and intense patient situations might be part of the journey.

Maternal Care Provider

If you’re passionate about supporting mothers during one of life’s most transformative experiences, stepping into the role of a Maternal Care Provider could be deeply rewarding. By offering care and guidance through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, you’ll contribute to creating positive birth experiences. Specialized training and potentially pursuing a nurse-midwifery program will equip you for this journey. While the role offers the chance to make a significant impact and even start your private practice, be prepared for irregular hours and emotionally intense moments.

Lactation Consulting

Do you have a passion for promoting healthy infant feeding and supporting mothers on their breastfeeding journeys? With a certification in lactation consulting, you’ll assist breastfeeding mothers with challenges, offering guidance and expertise. Through flexible consulting opportunities, you’ll empower mothers to provide the best start for their infants. However, keep in mind that income can vary, and staying updated with continuing education is crucial.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Embarking on the journey to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) can lead to an exciting and impactful career. With a Master’s degree in nurse anesthesia, you’ll administer anesthesia during surgeries and play a crucial role in patient safety and comfort. This path offers a high earning potential, autonomy, and a dynamic environment. However, it requires intense training and the ability to handle pressure in critical situations.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

If you’re ready to take on a more independent and comprehensive role in patient care, becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) might be a good choice. By pursuing a Master’s of Nursing Practice degree in a specialized area, you’ll diagnose and treat medical conditions, collaborating closely with physicians. The autonomy, broad scope of practice, and potential for higher income can be appealing, but remember that complex patient cases and navigating legal and regulatory limitations are part of the role.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

If you’re passionate about driving excellence in patient care and influencing positive outcomes, consider becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). With a Master’s or DNP degree focused on clinical expertise, you’ll provide specialized consultation to healthcare teams, elevating patient care standards. In addition to higher earnings, this role offers the chance to influence and lead, potentially guiding teams toward improved practices. However, opportunities can vary, and ongoing education is essential to stay at the forefront of your field.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

If you’re captivated by the journey of pregnancy and childbirth, becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) could be your pathway to making a significant impact. With a Master’s or DNP degree in nurse-midwifery, you’ll provide comprehensive care to women throughout their reproductive years, offering support during childbirth and beyond. This role offers the satisfaction of guiding women through a transformative experience, potential for private practice, and a strong demand for natural childbirth care. However, complex pregnancies and varying hours should be anticipated.

Alternative Nursing Roles and Travel Nursing

Nursing, once confined to hospital walls, has burst forth into a realm of diverse opportunities. Among these, travel nursing shines as a prime example, promising not only higher hourly rates but also unparalleled flexibility. Join us as we venture into the realm of alternative nursing roles, where a world of career enrichment and financial growth awaits, starting with the exhilarating journey of travel nursing.

Let’s look at the following:

  • Travel Nursing
  • Per diem Nursing
  • Agency Nursing
  • Home Health Nursing
  • Telehealth Nursing

Travel Nursing

Travel nurses are adventurous souls who take their nursing skills on the road. They work temporary assignments in different healthcare facilities across various locations, often for 13-week periods.

  • Benefits: Travel nurses enjoy exploring new places while earning competitive pay, including housing allowances, travel stipends, and sometimes even bonuses. This role provides the opportunity to expand clinical skills by working in diverse settings and networking with professionals across the country.

Per Diem Nursing

Per diem nurses have the freedom to choose their shifts and work schedules on a day-to-day basis. They’re typically called in to fill gaps in staffing or handle increased patient loads.

  • Benefits: Per diem nurses enjoy flexibility in their work hours, allowing them to balance their nursing career with personal commitments. The higher hourly rates and the potential for overtime can lead to increased earnings. It’s a great option for those seeking greater control over their schedule.

Agency Nursing

Agency nurses work through staffing agencies, which connect them with healthcare facilities in need of temporary staffing. They can be placed in a variety of settings, from hospitals to clinics.

  • Benefits: Agency nursing offers flexibility, competitive pay, and the chance to explore different healthcare environments. It’s an ideal choice for nurses who want a change of pace, enjoy variety in their work, and desire higher hourly rates.

Home Health Nursing

Home health nurses provide medical care to patients in their own homes. They support patients who need ongoing care, such as those recovering from surgery or managing chronic conditions.

  • Benefits: Home health nursing allows for one-on-one patient care, often fostering strong relationships with patients and their families. This role offers flexibility, the ability to create personalized care plans, and a chance to witness the impact of care in a familiar environment.

Telehealth Nursing

Telehealth nurses provide virtual care to patients through video calls, phone calls, or messaging. They offer advice, monitor patients’ conditions, and answer medical questions remotely.

  • Benefits: Telehealth nursing is a cutting-edge role that allows nurses to provide care from the comfort of their own homes. This role promotes a healthy work-life balance, reduces commute time, and offers the satisfaction of providing essential medical support to patients across geographical boundaries.

Exploring Shift Differentials and Overtime

What Are Shift Differentials?

Shift differentials are a compensation strategy used in the healthcare industry, particularly in nursing, to reward nurses for working shifts that are less desirable or atypical. These shifts often include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays when patient care remains essential but staffing might be more challenging. Shift differentials involve offering additional pay, often in the form of a higher hourly rate, to nurses who work during these less conventional hours.

The concept of shift differentials acknowledges that certain shifts can be more demanding due to factors like disrupted sleep patterns, increased patient acuity, or reduced support staff. By offering higher compensation for these shifts, healthcare facilities aim to incentivize nurses to fill critical staffing gaps during times when patient care needs are consistently high.

Shift differentials can significantly increase your income by boosting your base hourly rate when working during less common hours. The additional compensation can vary based on the facility’s policies and regional norms, but it’s not uncommon for nurses to earn anywhere from a few dollars to a substantial percentage increase for each hour worked during these shifts.

For example, when working a night shift, you might receive a shift differential of 10% on top of your regular pay rate. If your base hourly rate is $30, the differential would add an extra $3 per hour, resulting in an effective hourly rate of $33 for that shift. Over time, these extra earnings can accumulate and have a notable impact on your overall income.

Benefits of Working Non-Traditional Shifts

Working non-traditional shifts, including evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays, comes with a unique set of challenges, but it also offers several benefits that can be appealing to nurses seeking a flexible and potentially more rewarding career. In addition to higher earnings, some benefits of working non-traditional shifts include:

  • Flexibility: Non-traditional shifts often come with more flexible scheduling options. Nurses can often negotiate their work hours to accommodate personal commitments, family responsibilities, or continuing education pursuits.
  • Reduced Commute Time: Working during off-peak hours can mean less traffic congestion during the commute, leading to shorter travel times and reduced stress associated with traffic.
  • Autonomy and Responsibility: On non-traditional shifts, there may be fewer supervisors and administrators present, allowing nurses more autonomy in decision-making and patient care. This can lead to a sense of responsibility and empowerment in one’s role.
  • Learning Opportunities: Nights and weekends can be quieter periods in hospitals, allowing nurses more time for in-depth patient interactions, self-directed learning, and skill development.
  • Less Administrative Work: Non-traditional shifts may involve fewer administrative tasks and meetings, allowing nurses to focus more on direct patient care.
  • Team Dynamics: Working during non-traditional hours can create tighter-knit teams, as nurses rely on each other more due to reduced staff presence. This sense of camaraderie can foster strong professional relationships.
  • Quicker Career Advancement: Fewer staff members working during non-traditional hours means opportunities for career advancement might arise more quickly. Nurses who take on leadership roles during these shifts can gain valuable experience and recognition.

Negotiating Salary and Seeking Higher-Paying Settings


Negotiating Salary During Job Interviews and Performance Reviews

Making more money as a nurse can simply be done by negotiating your salary when given the opportunity. This can be uncomfortable for a lot of people. Here are some tips to help you negotiate your salary better:

  • Research Market Rates: Before the interview or review, research the average salary range for the position in your region. Websites like Glassdoor, Salary.com, and industry-specific sources can provide insights.
  • Know Your Worth: Assess your skills, experience, and the value you bring to the organization. Be prepared to articulate how your background justifies the salary you’re seeking.
  • Highlight Achievements: During interviews and reviews, highlight your accomplishments and contributions. Concrete examples of how you’ve positively impacted patient care or operational efficiency can justify a higher salary.
  • Timing Matters: Wait for the employer to bring up salary discussions, ideally after they’ve expressed interest in hiring you. During performance reviews, focus on your accomplishments before discussing compensation.
  • Practice Negotiation: Role-play negotiations with a friend or mentor to build confidence. Be ready for counteroffers and prepare responses in advance.
  • Be Professional: Approach negotiations respectfully. Avoid making ultimatums or being confrontational, as this can impact the overall impression you leave.
  • Consider Benefits: If the salary is non-negotiable, explore other benefits such as flexible scheduling, professional development opportunities, or bonuses.
  • Stay Flexible: If the initial offer isn’t ideal, express your enthusiasm for the role and ask if there’s room for adjustment. Sometimes, employers may be open to meeting you halfway.

Seeking Higher Salaries in Healthcare Settings

Seeking higher salaries in healthcare settings involves strategically positioning oneself to earn more based on factors such as skills, experience, and the specific healthcare environment. This can be achieved through pursuing roles in settings known for competitive compensation, such as metropolitan hospitals, specialized facilities, and academic medical centers.

Here are some places you can start your search for a higher salary:

  • Metropolitan Hospitals: Urban hospitals often have larger budgets due to patient volume and access to more resources. They may offer higher salaries to attract and retain top talent.
  • Specialized Facilities: Facilities focused on specialized care, such as trauma centers, surgical hospitals, or cancer centers, often require highly skilled professionals and may offer competitive compensation packages.
  • Academic Medical Centers: These institutions combine patient care, research, and education. They often have well-funded departments and can offer competitive salaries, especially for those involved in research.
  • Outpatient Surgical Centers: These centers provide surgical procedures without hospitalization. They can offer attractive salaries due to their specialized nature and focus on efficient care.
  • Urgent Care Centers: With growing demand for immediate care, urgent care centers often offer competitive pay to attract experienced nurses who can handle a wide range of cases.
  • Pharmaceutical and Research Companies: Companies involved in clinical trials, drug development, and medical research require nursing expertise. These roles can offer higher salaries due to their specialized nature.

Conclusion


The healthcare landscape holds a multitude of possibilities for side jobs for nurses to bolster their earnings while continuing to deliver exceptional patient care. We’ve journeyed through alternate nursing roles, negotiating salary strategies, and seeking high-paying healthcare settings, uncovering valuable insights to guide your path. We’ve even covered how to make extra money online as a nurse.

However, while pursuing higher salaries is undeniably important, let’s not lose sight of the very essence that drives us in healthcare: the commitment to our patients’ well-being. As you navigate the realm of income enhancement, remember that the heart of nursing lies in compassion, expertise, and making a positive impact on lives.

It’s a delicate balance—earning well and providing top-notch care—but an entirely achievable balance. Your journey towards maximizing your earning potential should align with your genuine dedication to the health and healing of those under your care.

As you contemplate your next steps, consider the strategies we’ve explored—specializing, negotiating, and embracing alternative roles. Tailor them to your unique aspirations and circumstances. Let them empower you to forge a rewarding nursing career that fulfills both your financial goals and your mission to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives.

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Lace Brunsden

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