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Side Hustles for Nurses

Everyone enjoys having a little extra spending money, and nurses are no different. With sometimes long and unpredictable hours plus night shift and weekend rotations, it can be challenging to find an extra job that accommodates your schedule. Nurses’ skillsets — critical thinking, multitasking and interpersonal communication — translate well to other occupations, providing several side hustle options.


The current nursing faculty shortages make teaching an excellent side hustle. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), more than 75,000 students were turned away from nursing programs in 2018, with faculty shortages cited as a primary reason. Community colleges, universities and vocational schools often hire nursing instructors and adjunct faculty. Given the rise in popularity of online RN to BSN programs, internet-based teaching opportunities provide working nurses with a convenient way to add a side hustle.

Committing to teach just one class per week for a session or semester can help you gauge if it is a good fit. Although teaching requirements vary, many schools require at least three years of nursing experience along with an unencumbered nursing license. Other requirements vary widely by school and program and may include a Master of Science in Nursing.

Nurses frequently find work as nursing tutors also, networking to find students on their own or seeking employment through a college. You may help nursing students with their preparation for the NCLEX exam or those who are struggling with core coursework like anatomy or pharmacology. Meeting times are flexible and can take place face to face, on the phone, or through video chat.

Freelance Writer

Freelance writing has seen substantial growth in recent years as more companies and publications move into content creation and develop websites, blogs and newsletters. Physicians, hospital systems, insurers, medical device manufacturers, journals and many other healthcare-related businesses hire freelance writers to generate educational and informational content.

RNs with strong writing skills and a knack for research might find this a worthwhile venture. While print publications still have content needs, digital publishing is increasingly common, and many freelancers work remotely. This is particularly advantageous for RNs balancing work, family and possibly continuous education commitments.

First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor

Since nurses are usually already certified in first aid, CPR and AED devices as a condition of their employment, becoming a first aid/CPR/AED instructor is a natural progression that aligns nicely with existing skills. While nursing licensure does not automatically qualify candidates for the job, the process to become an instructor is relatively simple through the American Red Cross. Keep in mind there are other companies that hire and prepare individuals for these positions as well.

Once you are certified, you will be able to conduct classes for businesses, schools, teams and groups throughout your community. It is perfect for nurses seeking temporary or part-time work as it requires as few as two hours per week.

BSN Graduate

Instead of taking on one or more side hustles, another option is to earn your BSN. According to data from PayScale (September 2019), RNs with an associate degree earn an average annual salary of $68K while BSN-prepared RNs earn $82K.

An accelerated online RN to BSN program, like the one offered by Easter Illinois University, makes this endeavor simpler than ever with completion in as few as 14 months. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree benefit from higher salaries, more job opportunities and potential sign-on bonuses. A BSN is a jumping off point to more advanced degrees also, which typically further boosts income along with career growth.

Boost Your Cash Flow

There are times when extra money can come in handy. For nurses with nontraditional or inflexible work schedules, however, squeezing in a part-time gig seems nearly impossible. But with a little creativity, there are side hustles RNs can pursue alongside full-time nursing careers. If taking a second job is not feasible, earning a BSN is an option that can provide more income and boost long-term earning potential.

Learn more about EIU’s online RN to BSN program.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Nursing Faculty Shortage

American Red Cross: Instructor Training and Certification

Oncology Nursing News: From Nurse to Freelance Writer

PayScale: Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Degree

PayScale: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

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