How to Make Extra Money From Home As a Nurse
Nursing is quite a demanding profession. Nurses work long and often odd hours relative to their pay and benefits.
Work often involves physically-involved tasks, such as lifting patients, moving equipment, and generally being on their feet all day/night. You can tire out fast and potentially hurt yourself from the constant physical exertion.
On top of the long hours, little pay, and physical exertion, nurses experience compassion fatigue; nurses spend so much time being compassionate for so many different patients that they become stressed and burnt out themselves.
And to pile on all that, it’s likely that you have student debt and other obligations if you’re a nurse.
While you can’t exactly make your nursing job easier, you can at least alleviate some of your financial worries by making extra money from home as a nurse.
Healthcare-Related Ways to Make Extra Money From Home
Side hustles adjacent to your main line of work complement said line of work nicely. You’re already ahead of the competition with your education and industry experience, and working one of these jobs can actually sharpen your nursing skills.
Here are some ways you can use your current industry experience and abilities to make extra money from home as a nurse.
1. Nursing Registry
Nursing registries hire nurses to be on call for certain positions, kind of like a temp staffing agency. When you work with a nursing registry, you’ll get a variety of types of work, making each day interesting and helping you to build experience.
It’s not exactly working from home, but nursing registries do let you specify your availability, allowing you to build out a schedule that works better for you.
Such flexibility makes it almost like a work-at-home job.
What if you could perform your regular nursing duties without leaving your own house?
Telehealth nurses provide assessments via phone, over email, or even on a live chat service, so you can help patients without walking out the front door. They can work part-time or full-time depending on their career goals.
Pay’s not too bad, either. According to ZipRecruiter, the average work-from-home RN earns around $66,000 per year working full-time.
When you consider the fact that you don’t have to commute and half more flexibility in your schedule, that’s a pretty good salary.
Another peek at ZipRecruiter shows several openings for telehealth RN jobs. You aren’t limited to a specific location either since you’ll work remotely, meaning even more opportunities to earn extra money from home as a nurse.
Play your cards right, and you could turn your nursing career into a full-time work-from-home gig.
3. Medical Coding
Medical coders are kind of like medical translators. They take information from patient medical reports (such as diagnoses and prescriptions) and turn it into codes for insurance claims purposes. Without medical coders, healthcare would run a lot less smoothly.
As an RN, you have a huge leg up in breaking into this field. You already meet the education requirements by having a nursing degree; getting certified by an accredited institution such as the American Academy of Professional Coders or the American Health Information Management Association will increase your opportunities.
And since you’re bringing your healthcare experience to the table, you’ll be able to earn a lot more than someone starting their healthcare career in medical coding.
4. Medical Transcription
Medical transcriptionists get paid to take physicians dictated recordings and turn them into reports and other documents. They ensure all information is free of grammar errors and that medical terminology is used properly in patient files.
Medical transcriptionists normally must complete a certified medical transcriptionist training program in order to be qualified for jobs. Program lengths can range from 6 months to 2 years, culminating with you earning a certificate or degree that states you completed the program.
However, you’ll be ahead of the pack as you already know a lot of the background stuff (anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc.) from your nursing education and career.
After completing a transcriptionist program, you have the option of getting certified by the Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) as a Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). Although certification is optional, it’ll open up many more doors for you.
To become certified, you have to pass the AHDI’s national exam. Then, you have to complete continuing educational credits every 3 years as outlined by the AHDI to maintain certification.
With all that in mind, remote transcriptionist jobs are everywhere. Aside from working for a health organization like a hospital or a doctor’s office, you can work for a transcription business or even hang your own shingle as an independent contractor.
And with your previous healthcare experience as a nurse, you should be able to command better pay out the gate than a medical transcriptionist fresh out of school.
Soon enough, medical transcribing can evolve into your full-time job if you so desire.
5. Nursing Faculty
Experienced nurses can earn a nice paycheck by returning to the hallowed halls of academia and teaching future nurses.
But you don’t have to physically be present in those halls; most professor jobs will be on-campus, but plenty of online faculty positions are needed as well.
Especially in a field like nursing, where most people are too busy to travel to a lecture hall.
Now, nursing faculty positions require at least a Master’s degree and several years of real-world nursing experience. So unfortunately, newer nurses most likely can get a faculty job.
However, if you qualify, educating the future of your profession is incredibly rewarding.
Not just in terms of career satisfaction, either.
According to salary.com, associate nursing professors in the US generally make between $63,592 and $115,519, with an average of $78,171. If you can move up to a full professor job, salary.com states you could on average earn just under six figures.
All that with less working hours than as a nurse.
6. Medical Article Writing
Got a knack for writing? There’s a constant, sizable demand for medical writers in the healthcare industry.
With an aging population, debate over the fate of healthcare, advances in medical technology, and a push to help patients understand their own health, we think the demand will only grow into the future.
Becoming a medical writer isn’t too difficult. There’s no additional certification required (unless your client/employee is searching for someone with certain credentials); The hardest part is landing your first few gigs, especially if you have no writing samples of any kind to show.
But you’re competing against a lot of people that only have writing experience (and no healthcare experience); you’re much more likely to be hired to write simply because you actually have healthcare experience.
Use that to build your portfolio and experience, as well as to stash a little extra money.
As for job opportunities…
Any healthcare-related organization most likely has a website, which means they most likely have a blog. Most of these organizations need fresh blog/article content on a regular basis, so there’s a huge market of steady work waiting for you.
In addition, online healthcare magazines are always on the lookout for qualified freelancer writers (read: have experience in healthcare) to contribute to their columns. Impress a magazine, and you could have steady, interesting, well-paying work.
Lastly, you could write for companies that serve the healthcare field. Examples include
- Healthcare management consulting firms
- Healthcare software companies
- Government organizations
- Private healthcare-related think tanks
If you’re uncertain about where to start, you can always try freelance sites. They don’t pay very well, but they’re an easy way to land a few jobs for the purpose of creating a portfolio.
Fitting Writing Into Your Work Schedule
Writing businesses are essentially free to start and only require as much time as you want to put into it. Since you’re busy enough as a nurse, you could start out by landing a low-stress, one-article-a-week type of gig.
Use that to build your portfolio and stash away some extra cash, then take on more work if you feel comfortable.
Eventually, you can make the leap to full-time writing if you want and use your newfound free time to land more clients. Otherwise, you can continue to write on the side to pad your pockets if you don’t want to leave nursing.
7. Health Coaching
Health coaches work closely with their clients to improve their health through lifestyle changes. They educate patients on healthy food choices and teach them how to become more physically active.
In addition, they help their clients with stress management, sleep, and combating unhealthy habits like smoking.
This career can be incredibly rewarding, even if you only do it on the side part-time. We’d imagine that watching your clients look AND feel much better due to permanent lifestyle changes makes you feel good inside.
But health coaching isn’t just a good gig because it’s satisfying; it’s also poised for growth.
This field is likely to grow a ton in the near future for two reason:
- Increasing health-consciousness among the general population
- Changes to the US healthcare system, which has spurred insurance companies to encourage and even cover health coaching and other efforts to improve health
There are currently no overarching organizations governing health coaching, meaning there are no standardized educational/credential requirements to become one. It’s up to employers to create their own standards and criteria for what they want in a health coach.
That being said, your nursing experience puts you ahead of the pack.
Still, certification drastically improves your credibility with prospective employers and clients. Thanks to the lack of a governing body for the medical coaching field, several organizations offer their own certifications that typically involve having a degree and clinical working experience as well as passing an exam.
Many start out working as an employee of an organization, but that means you can’t exactly work from home.
If you’re bold and daring, you can strike out on your own right away with your own health coaching business.
8. Medical Equipment Sales Rep
Nurses can easily move into a part-time sales rep position selling medical equipment.
No formal training is required. You don’t even need a previous sales position, although having one doesn’t hurt you at all.
The job itself won’t be too hard because sales is all about knowing your product and knowing the market. As a nurse, you ARE your market. Also, you’re probably familiar with a lot of the equipment you’ll be selling.
Plus, you’re an expert at establishing rapport (another key to successfully selling) after working with hundreds of patients.
Best of all, you can work entirely from home. Every industry has remote sales jobs, and medical equipment is no different.
You can make selling medical equipment your full-time gig if you like it. If you’re more risk-averse, you can do it on the side of your nursing job so you don’t have to rely on commissions to survive.
Non-Healthcare Ways to Make Extra Money From Home
You don’t have to work a healthcare job to make extra money from home as a nurse. In fact, it might be better for your own health to try one of these non-nursing related gigs.
However, we aren’t going to tell you to use survey sites. Each of the following jobs will complement your nursing career well, and perhaps enhance your life in other ways beyond just money.
9. Start a Blog
Blogging is a tried and true method of earning money online while also having some fun, despite the annual cries of “blogging is dead”!
Bloggers earn money through several methods, mainly
- Ads – Placing ads on their site
- Affiliate marketing – Promoting other people’s products, you earn a commission each time someone buys through your affiliate link
- Information products – eBooks, guides, courses, and other digital products are inexpensive to make yet you can charge a lot for them, making for nice profits
- Memberships – You can make a “members only” section of your blog and charge people a monthly subscription fee to view it
- Freelance writing – Bloggers can leverage their writing skills and subject matter expertise/passion to land gigs writing posts on other blogs or non-blogging writing jobs
You can start a blog in minutes; it will take months before you see traffic and income, but the good thing is you only need to work on it a little bit each day.
Most people that put enough time into their blogs start to see full-time incomes within a couple years max.
Whether you’re thinking of leaving nursing to do something else full-time or just want another part-time income stream, blogging can get you there.
But you might be wondering what to blog about.
Picking a Blog Niche
Why not blog about nursing?
Nurses have a unique work schedule and therefore lifestyle relative to most of the working population; this can make for interesting blog content.
Maybe you want to blog about your own career and how you balance it with your life. A LOT of other nurses will find this type of content helpful, because many times, work itself leaves nurses very little time and energy to think about how to improve work-life balance at all.
Or perhaps you want to help other future nurses earn better grades and land spots in the best nursing programs. You could start a blog specifically teaching prospective and current nursing students how to succeed academically.
Whichever angle you take, there are plenty of affiliate products out there to promote, and you can make your own info products based on your unique experiences. Plus, you can land some of those coveted medical writing jobs we talked about earlier by showing off your blog.
But what if you’re sick of hearing about anything healthcare-related at the end of each workday?
If you don’t want to blog about nursing, your best bet is to go with something you’re passionate about, as long as there’s some profit potential.
For example, are you a big fan of cycling? You could start a blog about it. Then you could make money promoting cycling products as an affiliate or maybe create an eBook about something cycling-related.
The possibilities are endless, even if you don’t want to blog about your profession.
Several reports have predicted that within the next few years, at least 80% (but probably higher) of all internet traffic will be made up by online videos.
You can get in on the action today by starting a YouTube channel.
Picking a niche works the same way as blogging. Starting a nursing channel would be easy, and you could cover any nursing-related content you want.
Or you can YouTube about something else, such as video games if you’re big into gaming.
No matter your niche, you’ll have to build up your audience before you can monetize your channel effectively. Like blogging, this can take awhile; YouTube works best if you start it as a side hustle and let it grow slowly over time.
YouTube offers you several platform-specific ways to monetize your videos:
- Ads – Display, overlay, and video ads.
- Channel memberships – You can charge viewers a monthly memberships to access special channel perks.
- Merchandise shelf – Put your brand/logo on t-shirts and sell them to your viewers.
- Superchats – Users can pay to have their chat messages in streams sent to the top.
- YouTube premium revenue – For each YouTube Premium subscriber that watches your videos, you get a small portion of their monthly subscription fee.
In addition to those, you can do some affiliate marketing in your videos, video descriptions, and channel pages.
There’s also Patreon. Patreon lets your viewers help you fund your creative efforts through one of two ways:
- A small monthly payment
- Payment per post
In exchange, you can offer them special perks like exclusive or early video access.
11. Fitness Instructor
Nurses that love to workout can make that passion into side income as a fitness instructor. You get to do what you love, get exercise, and help other people stay healthy, all while supplementing your paycheck.
This one’s not exactly a work-from-home job, but you’re getting your workout in while also earning money, or in other words killing two birds with one stone. That leaves you more time to be at home!
Babysitting is the perfect non-nursing job for nurses. After spending years of your life caring for thousands of people with different medical situations, it’s safe to say you know how to watch people’s kids for them.
Many parents agree, and are likely willing to pay a premium to have a nurse watch the kids.
The best part is when you could work on another one of these side hustles while you’re babysitting in between tasks. If your client has little kids, take advantage of nap time to knock out a bit of work on another one of your money-making endeavors.
13. Pet Sitting
Pets have proven time and again to be amazing stress relievers. Unfortunately, pets are also a large time and money investment, something that many nurses lack.
But if you take up pet sitting on the side, you could hang out with plenty of animals and get paid while you’re at it.
Not only can you earn a decent side income, but hanging out with furry friends will provide you a way to de-stress from your busy workday.
You can start by asking your friends or neighbors if they need anyone to care for their pets while they’re gone.
To find more clients, check out Rover.com. They’re a service that matches dog owners to dog sitters, taking the burden of finding work off your shoulders.
Now, pet owners tend to prefer pet sitters with experience around animals. Don’t fret, though; the fact that you’re a nurse means you’re adept at caring for living things, which counts for something.
Although it’s possible to make this a full-time job, it doesn’t pay as well as your nursing job might. Instead, think of pet sitting as a paid way to de-stress.