By most standards, RNs have good salaries. Still, whether you are just getting started in a nursing career or are a seasoned professional, taking a second job, or a “side hustle,” can make a lot of sense.
Side jobs are popular with nurses for many reasons. Earning more money is one. But a side hustle can be so much more than extra income. Here is a look at some benefits of side jobs, along with six options to consider if you are a nurse.
Why Pick Up a Side Job?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median salary for RNs is $71,730 per year, compared with $38,640 for all workers. A nursing career also offers job security. So, why add another job?
- Achieve Financial Stability: A side job can generate the extra cash it takes to pay off student loans and other debt (not to mention reduce stress).
- Start Saving for Retirement: It is never too early to contribute to a retirement account. Investing earnings in a retirement account can also be a tax benefit.
- Sharpen Essential Skills: Nursing-related side jobs offer opportunities to strengthen the skill sets employers want to see. For example, almost any healthcare-related job will enhance communication skills, which can help RNs advance their careers.
- Build a Better Resume: Whether a resume is screened by human resources or a robot, the right keywords can make all the difference. Side jobs can give RNs the skills and experience they need to boost their resumes and help them stand out from the crowd.
- Network, Network, Network: PayScale reports that 70% to 85% of positions are filled through networking, so it pays for RNs to grow their network with side jobs and open the door to new opportunities in the process.
- Discover New Interests: The nursing profession offers dozens of career paths. Taking a side job is one way to explore other options and stay energized.
What Are 6 Ways to Earn Extra Income as a Nurse?
RNs typically work three 12-hour shifts per week. They are left with four days to fit in a side gig and still have time to catch up on life. Here are six options to consider.
- Nurse Consultant
A consulting business can be a low-cost way to pursue an interest. RNs with a passion for health and wellness, for example, might consult with organizations on workplace wellness. Salary.com puts the average hourly rate for nurse consultants at $40 as of January 2020.
- Private Elder Care Adviser
Geriatric nurses might look into a side job as an elder care adviser or manager. PayScale lists an average hourly rate of $34.08 for geriatric care managers as of February 2020. Services typically include:
- Assessing and monitoring client needs
- Arranging and overseeing services
- Advocating for the client
- Communicating with family members
- Substitute School Nurse
With four days off a week from their regular jobs, RNs can find work as a substitute school nurse. Perks include regular hours. Based on PayScale salary information from February 2020, substitute school nurses earn an average of $28.66 per hour.
- Nurse Instructor
Nurse faculty positions typically require an advanced degree. But RNs with an associate or bachelor’s degree may be able to teach in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) programs. CNA instructors earn an average of $26 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter (February 2020).
- Per Diem Nurse
Per diem nursing can be an excellent way to earn extra cash. RNs can check job postings or work with staffing agencies to find per diem shifts. Need to skip a week or two? Prefer one shift over another? Per diem nursing is all about flexibility. Other benefits:
- Per diem nursing is ideal for RNs who are considering a new specialty or employer. As HealthCarePros explains, per diem nursing lets you “try before you buy.”
- Some nurses prefer the flexibility of per diem shifts over the ongoing demands of a full-time job.
- Per diem RNs typically earn more per hour since employers generally do not include benefits. ZipRecruiter puts the average hourly rate for per diem nurses at $47 as of February 2020.
- Nurse Freelance Writer
Freelance writing may be the perfect side hustle. RNs can work anywhere, anytime. Nurses with strong writing skills are in demand in a number of areas including healthcare content marketing and medical communication.
In a Nurse.org article, Portia Wofford suggests blogging as a way to make extra money. A beginning blogger may not earn any money, but learning how to monetize one’s work and being persistent can pay off. RNs are uniquely qualified to review healthcare products and services. Each review can be a chance to earn affiliate marketing income.
Taking on a side job can help RNs achieve personal and professional goals. Not all of these side jobs will require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). But with a BSN becoming the expectation across the healthcare industry, nurses with an associate degree can improve their options and income by going on to earn their bachelor’s.
An online RN to BSN program can give busy nurses the flexibility they need to earn their BSN. Lamar University offers an online RN to BSN program that students can complete in as few as 13 months. Lamar University’s bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs hold ACEN accreditation, a sign to students and employers of quality education that meets high standards.
Learn more about Lamar University’s online RN to BSN program.