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What are the best side jobs for nurses?

Have you ever “moonlighted” to supplement your nursing income? Taking on a second job is very common in the nursing profession. Many nurses ask for additional shifts with their existing employer or at other nearby hospitals to earn more money. Others look outside the hospital setting for extra work. Some of these jobs are linked to the healthcare profession. These include:

  • Home Health Aide: Nurses may provide support for families who can afford to hire a medical professional to assist with taking care of aging parents or chronically ill children. This can be a long-term job that may be shared among two or more nurses based on their shift schedules. With the right patient and family, this could be the most rewarding side job you’ve ever had.
  • Transitional Care: Nurses can care for patients who need assistance selecting, setting up and learning to use medical equipment at home. They can also serve as coordinators for patients with complex care needs. This is often a short-term gig, but may lead to referrals. It can be rewarding to help patients get back on their feet in a relaxed setting outside the hospital.
  • Nurse Tutoring: Nurses can either get certified to teach in a formal setting or simply offer casual tutoring to nursing students. Private tutoring allows you to set a teaching schedule that meshes with your hospital shifts. It’s a great way to be a mentor and get paid at the same time. Of course, not all nursing students have a lot of extra cash to spend, so the pay may be low. One way to increase your income in tutoring is to come up with your own set of training tools to sell as a package to new students. Tutoring online can also be a way to cut down on travel/time costs associated with this job.
  • Flu Clinics: These clinics may be community based, employer sponsored, in a pharmacy—you name it. Obviously, it’s seasonal work (unless you provide other vaccines as well). On the other hand, giving people a shot in the arm all day is about as easy as nursing gets.

Side Jobs Outside the Medical Field
This is where things start to get more interesting. As a nurse, you probably want a side job that offers flexible hours or requires only two to three days a week so you can work around your main schedule. At the same time, it must be a job that doesn’t leave you so drained that you make mistakes when you show up at the hospital. Here are some of the many jobs nurses have reported taking on the side:

  • Fitness instructor
  • Weight loss/nutrition coach
  • Spa technician (IPL, laser, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, etc.)
  • Wellness program coordinator or health seminar presenter for corporations
  • Substitute school teacher
  • Realtor
  • Retail sales (clothing, coffee, etc.)
  • Beautician
  • Online sales (network marketing)
  • Production and sale of art/jewelry/photography/craft items
  • Travel agent
  • Writing (especially blogging and information articles)
  • Telesales
  • Catering

As you can see, not all of these occupations will appeal to the same personality type. Nurses often seek out a side job that fulfills a need that their nursing career doesn’t meet. If getting a second job is mostly about the money, you could focus on a commission-based sales job that allows you to increase your income quickly with little overhead. If you’re sick of being around people after dealing with patients and coworkers all day, you might gravitate toward an online job. If a second job is really about fulfilling a passion, you might pick something that lets your artistic or adventurous side shine through.

What jobs have you done on the side? What job do you want to try? Do you tell your primary employer about your moonlighting? Let us know in the comments section.

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