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The Best Side Hustles for Nurses

  • One must understand the definition of a side hustle and why nurses may want one
  • Examine ideas of side hustles for nurses with a focus on their advantages and disadvantages
  • Review essential steps to begin a side hustle
Tracey Long

The best side hustles for nurses are boundless. We know that making money on the side can be fun and profitable for anyone, including nurses. Nurses have many skills and abilities apart from patient care that can be profitable in various areas. Due to this, many possibilities exist for nurses to earn extra money in addition to their full-time nursing job.

It’s been said that money does not buy happiness but does pay for the internet, so it is pretty much the same thing. Yes, we can all use a little extra money, even if you are making bank as a nurse. Nurses are discovering the side hustle world and having great success, and you can, too!


What Is a Side Hustle and Why Would You Want One?

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Aside from a full-time professional job, a side hustle consists of part-time work. It is a job you control that brings in extra income. Despite competitive wages for nurses, extra money is always welcome. Many nurses still pay off nursing or graduate school debts and have more months than money at the end of their budget.  According to a national survey by the Penny Hoarder, over 55% of those surveyed admitted they don’t keep a budget.

Less than 30% of the adult American population has a long-term financial savings plan. It’s no surprise why many people wonder why their income doesn’t match their expenses. 56% of survey respondents admitted they don’t know how much they spent last month. Unfortunately, nurses are no different than the general population in money management and need more greenbacks. You can either make more money or decrease your expenses. A side hustle is a way to earn extra cash, and your nursing skills are transferrable to a profitable side business.


Top Side Hustle for Nurses
There are many side hustle ideas for the average person, such as house sitting, pet care, selling art on Etsy or Pinterest, babysitting, mystery shopping, becoming a notary, buying a small franchise such as selling essential oils or health products, being an Uber driver, or a freelance photographer. However, because you have strong professional skills, you have additional opportunities to create a side hustle using your nursing skills.

nurses wearing scrubs


Here are a dozen ideas to jump-start your thinking if you want to earn extra cash in exchange for your professional nursing skills and unique knowledge.

  • Paid medical market research surveys
  • Immunization worker
  • Freelance health writer
  • Telehealth nurse
  • Online tutor
  • Work as a standardized patient
  • Work as an adjunct nursing instructor
  • Private duty nursing
  • Teach Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Sell your scrubs or extra gear
  • Create an online course with your expert knowledge
  • Create a new product of design (wound care pillow, etc.)
  • Become a medical transcriber in your own home
  • Become a nurse health coach 
  • Moonlight as a per diem nurse


Advantages of a Side Hustles for Nurses

There are many advantages to having a side hustle and being a nurse entrepreneur. The most apparent benefit is bringing in more income aside from working more exhausting nursing shifts, which can help with budget restraints and even add a little fun. Plus, Extra money can help you save for a special event such as a vacation or a large purchase like a new car.  In addition to the added income, some nurses like to create a side hustle to explore other interests or hobbies and make money, such as teaching a yoga class or selling homemade art and crafts. Optimizing a hobby into income can be rewarding.

A side hustle doesn’t have to be worked every day, allowing you more flexibility to be your boss. You can work the schedule you want while fulfilling your full-time nursing job. It may mean working in the mornings, evenings, or off-work days. It may even become something that evolves into a full-time job by replacing your usual nursing income. An example is a nurse who works on the side as a personal health coach who begins to acquire so many clients and has so much fun that the nurse trades bedside nursing for full-time coaching and then works PRN at the hospital instead, making the hospital job the side hustle.

Disadvantages of a Side Hustle

Before you hang up your scrubs, you must consider some realities and possible disadvantages of being your boss. Being a nurse entrepreneur has the attraction of creating your schedule and being your boss; however, unless you are self-motivated and self-disciplined, you may not get anything done in your side job. Risk is involved if your side job requires an investment of money, eating up some of your savings before you see any profit. Over half of all new businesses are estimated to fail in the first year, often due to poor planning and capital investment.

Financial freedom also means you are responsible for filing your taxable income without an employer to perform those accounting duties.  You must budget, record your expenses and income, and plan for your business’s finances. If you create a physical object like a craft, you must inventory, ship, manage, and store it.

Like any new job, success takes time, initiative, and discipline. Those are the same qualities that helped you earn your nursing degree so that they can be used towards the success of your own independent business. You are only as successful as the level of the problem you solve. You have unique skills and knowledge that can benefit others and be monetized.


How to Begin Your Side Hustle

Deciding what you want to do is the first step. Study what the market needs, brainstorm your ideas, determine what action steps are needed, and then act – SIDE.

S:  Study the market for needs you can fill.

I:  Idea brainstorm to see what matches your interests and talents.

D: Determine action steps needed to make it happen.

E: Execute your plan.

Marketing yourself includes letting people see you on social media sites by making your profile public. Take a professional profile picture, update your summary, add your skills and certifications, and begin to network with others by asking questions online and face-to-face with groups of people who would use your services. Create your business plan and budget, and then begin to advertise yourself.

If you’re not confident in selling your skills yet, boost your knowledge by learning more through online courses or even YouTube to learn about marketing, finance, budgeting, and even how to be an entrepreneur. Having a side hustle can even help re-energize you in your regular job as you have fun doing something you love and begin to lessen the burden of heavy finances. Doing something new and exciting to you can even help reduce burnout. Lastly, think about all the ways you’re going to spend that extra money!

The Bottom Line

Overall, nurses maximize their skills and extra interests by having a side hustle to earn extra money and have fun. Starting a side business, however, takes thoughtful planning and time. Be aware of careful budgeting, effective marketing, and the delivery of quality services.