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7 Best Side Hustles for Nurses to Make Extra Money

Jul 27, 2020
Jennifer Shugart, RN

Earning a little extra cash can lead to big gains toward securing your financial freedom.  

The nursing field has skyrocketed in recent years and is poised for continuous growth. Although nursing jobs pay comparatively well in the US, earning additional income is always a plus.

Having a supplemental income stream or side hustle can make a substantial impact on your finances. Approximately half of all working Americans have a side hustle outside of their primary jobs. This means roughly 60 million people are working a side gig, and most of them are doing so to try to make ends meet. 

Whatever your financial situation may be, there’s a side gig out there for you. Below are seven of the best nursing side hustle opportunities that can help boost your bottom line (especially if you’re looking to retire wealthier than a doctor)!

7 Best Side Hustles for Nurses for Making Extra Money

Paid Medical Surveys

One of the easiest ways to earn extra cash and use your clinical expertise is completing paid medical market surveys. Options include online surveys, online focus groups, telephone studies, and in-person focus groups.   

Nurses’ opinions are highly valued and imperative for medical device, diagnostic, drug, pharmaceutical, and healthcare technology companies. Healthcare panels are always seeking new members to join their database of respondents.

How to get started today (requirements vary):

  • Sign up to receive emails to complete surveys (credentials are verified)
  • Once you receive an acceptance email, thoroughly complete your profile
  • Survey emails will identify the topic, estimated time to complete, and amount of compensation offered
  • Surveys will be relevant to your title and specific areas of expertise
  • Receive payment by check or PayPal

Below are a few reputable survey companies to consider:

plant coffee cup and pen and paper on table side hustles for nurses


Immunization Nurse

Administering flu shots as an immunization nurse is another great way to earn additional income.

Immunization nurses work in a variety of locations. They can choose to work part-time, seasonally, or on an as-needed basis. COVID-19 has led to additional approaches for giving immunizations, which opens up even more nursing job opportunities. This includes drive-through clinics, curbside clinics, mobile outreach units, and home visits. Immunization nursing pay ranges from $20.00 to $45.00 per hour or more. 

How to get started today (requirements vary):

Must have a RN or LVN/LPN license in nursing, a CPR certification, and at least one year of healthcare experience administering vaccinations.

  • Have excellent customer service, computer, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Check for available jobs on nursing job sites, schools, doctor’s offices, and specialty clinics (ex. CVS, Kroger, Walmart)

Freelance Health Writer

Nurses who enjoy sharing their clinical insights and expertise through writing may find that becoming a freelance health writer is the perfect side hustle for earning extra cash. Many companies seek out nurse writers for their invaluable knowledge, skills, and experience. 

Writing clients often need fresh content for a variety of mediums:

  • Ongoing website content
  • Company blogs
  • Nursing and educational curriculum
  • Online journal articles
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Patient-focused brochures
  • Online magazine content

Freelance health writers also have the flexibility to set their own hours, determine their pay rates, choose their clients, and work from anywhere.

How to get started today:

  • Determine your nursing specialty area
  • Set up an email address and Paypal account
  • Create great writing samples
  • Guest post on health and healthcare websites
  • Create a website and post your articles there
  • Set up a free writing portfolio on Contently
  • Network with other nurse writers (ex. Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Find nurse writer jobs (ex. Freelance Writing Gigs, Indeed, Scripted, Upwork) 

Telehealth Nurse

Telehealth nursing is an evolving role that typically consists of providing healthcare services through video conferencing and online communication tools. Telehealth nurses use these technologies to evaluate patients remotely and help them manage their health, illness, or injury.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), telehealth (along with dozens of other remote nursing jobs) growth has accelerated by 53% since 2017. The AMA is working to ensure that this growth continues, as it improves access to quality care and results in more efficient health care systems and better patient outcomes.

This surge in telehealth and telemedicine creates plentiful job opportunities for nurses.

How to get started today (requirements vary):

Nurses must have three to five years of RN experience, an unrestricted RN license (may require a compact multi-state license), and a clean background check.

  • Have strong computer skills and a high-speed internet connection
  • Apply for positions on popular nurse job boards (ex. Indeed, Flexjobs, Nurse.com)

Sell Your Scrubs and Nurse Gear

Most nurses accrue enough nursing gear to outfit a small store, including scrubs, uniform jackets, scrub hats, and comfort shoes. Instead of disposing of these gently used items, consider selling them on platforms like eBay, craigslist, Mercari.com, or Poshmark. 

How to get started today (requirements vary):

  • Download the platform app and set up a free account
  • Take several, well-lit photos of your item and upload to the platform
  • Add a detailed description, including keywords
  • Hit “next” or “list item” and start selling
woman flipping through dollar bills after selling scrubs nursing side hustles


Universal Side Gigs to Increase Income

Nurses—or anyone—can also do these non-nursing related side jobs for extra cash.

Rent out Your Space as a Side Hustle

Do you have a spare bedroom, basement apartment, or loft over the garage? If so, this could be a viable money-making opportunity. Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects property owners with travelers. 

How to get started today:

  • Submit information about your available space, location, and size
  • List your area for free on the site
  • Decide how you want to host
  • Once your listing is live, guests can start contacting you

You will get paid within 24 hours of a guest arriving at your property. Many people around the globe earn their primary income just by renting out their extra space every month. 

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking as a Side Gig

Feeling stress or burnout from your day job? The mood-lifting power of pets combined with an additional income stream could be your side gig solution. 

Along with helping you earn some quick cash, providing pet sitting or dog walking services may also positively benefit your mental health. Science has shown being around dogs and cats can lower your heart rate and reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Over 48 million households in the United States have dogs as pets. That’s a lot of dogs that need love and attention. 

In-home and overnight pet sitting is done at the client’s house or the sitter’s home. Usually, the sitter stays at the client’s house to feed, water, walk, play with, and watch over the pets each night. 

Dog walking involves going to a client’s home for short walks, feeding and watering pets, and providing love and playtime. After all, what’s more fun than playing with furry friends?

How to get started today:

  • Advertise services to your neighborhood, Facebook groups, and family and friends

Here are some websites for pet sitters and people looking for pet care:


Final Thoughts on Side Hustles for Nurses

Overall, taking on a nursing side hustle or non-clinical side gig can be the perfect way to earn extra income on top of a full-time job. It’s also an excellent opportunity to explore an alternative skill set, potential new career, or simply channel your creativity. (Check out our event series Shift[ing] Forward, beginning July 28th, for more nursing-life resources!)

Are you ready to start your nursing side hustle today? 

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