The 13 Most Practical Side Hustles for Nurses

Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

8 min. read

Updated May 13, 2024

Download Now: Free 1-Page Business Plan Template

Any nurse who’s been in the field for a while has gotten used to hustling. You know how to track one patient’s medications, draw blood from another, dress a wound and give counsel on how to manage their health from home.

You already have the skills and training to take on a side hustle or two. So whether you’re looking to bring in extra income or create a better work-life balance, you have plenty of opportunities as a nurse to start a profitable side hustle.

Here are 13 of the best side hustles for nurses based on their typical skill set and the current demands in the market.

1. Telehealth nurse

The emergence of remote healthcare has transformed the way medical care is delivered. In many cases, nurses can now provide consultations, education, and follow-up care from the comfort of their own homes.

Telehealth nurses utilize video conferencing and phone calls to offer medical advice, explain treatment options, and assist with home care questions. The role requires strong communication skills and a good grasp of the necessary technology, since you’ll need to talk through a patient’s symptoms and offer guidance remotely.

To pursue this side hustle, you’ll typically need 3-5 years of clinical experience and a valid nursing license. But the opportunities in telehealth are numerous: it offers the flexibility to work remotely, enabling you to set your own schedule and maintain a better work-life balance.

2. Home health nurse

More than 75 million baby boomers — those born between the mid-1940s and 1960s — are reaching retirement age in the United States. Today’s seniors are driving a growing demand for nursing care outside of traditional clinical settings.

Taking on shifts as a home health nurse gives nurses more independence than in a hospital or clinical setting. You have more freedom to select your patients, and often get to work independently, providing personalized care and sometimes specializing in areas that interest them most.

For nurses considering taking on home health care shifts, pursuing additional certifications, such as gerontological nursing, may be beneficial to enhance your expertise and appeal to potential employers or clients.

3. Event medical staff

Nurses seeking a unique work environment away from traditional medical settings can find rewarding opportunities as paid medical staff for concerts, sporting events, or camps.

Event organizers hire medical staff to assist guests who fall ill or suffer injuries. Employment durations can range from weekend shifts to multi-month commitments. 

It’s unlikely that you’ll need anything more than an active nursing license and some clinical experience to qualify.

4. Medical billing and coding

Medical billing and coding involves ensuring that healthcare providers receive proper reimbursement from insurance companies. The work typically consists of:

  • Reviewing patient medical records
  • Compiling patient insurance information
  • Recording and tracking bill payments

Nurses, with their understanding of medical terminology and procedures, can excel in this role. While not a patient-facing side hustle, it offers the possibility of remote work with steady, predictable hours.

To qualify, nurses need to enroll in a medical billing training program, which can be offered online or in person. Completion of a Certified Professional Biller Exam gets you certified and ready to start this side hustle.

5. Adjunct nursing instructor

Share your expertise and inspire the next generation of nurses by becoming an adjunct instructor at a local community college or university. This role allows you to teach specialized courses aligned with your experience or mentor nursing students as they navigate their education. The academic calendar offers some schedule flexibility, making it a manageable side hustle, and the income potential can be significant.

The qualifications you’ll need for to be an instructor depend on the scope of your nursing work and the requirements of the institution you’ll be teaching at. To teach a class that’s part of a credentialing program, you may need a master’s or even a doctoral degree in nursing education.

But at community colleges and smaller institutions, certification through an organization like the National League for Nursing may be enough.

6. Nursing student tutor 

If you have a passion for sharing knowledge, but don’t want to go through the  rigorous credentialing processes of a full-blown nursing instructor, you may still be able to find rewarding side hustles as tutors or instructors on an individual or small group basis.

You could offer your services online or through social media, targeting nursing students who need a bit of help outside of their program. Independent tutoring offers flexibility to set your own rates and hours.

7. First aid/CPR instructor

By becoming a certified CPR and first aid instructor, you can earn extra income by teaching classes to businesses, community groups and schools.

To become an instructor, you’ll need to complete a certification course through a recognized provider such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Once you’re certified, you can teach classes on your own schedule, either in person or online.

8. Health and wellness writer 

As a freelance health writer, you can create content for websites, blogs, magazines, and other publications on topics ranging from disease prevention to patient education.

To get started, you’ll need to build a portfolio of writing samples and reach out to potential clients. You can find writing gigs on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, or you can pitch ideas directly to health-related publications. While pay varies depending on the client and the scope of the project, skilled health writers can earn a significant income from their writing while setting their own schedule and workload.

9. Nurse influencer

As a wellness influencer, you can publish content on topics such as nutrition, fitness, mental health, and self-care.

To get started, you’ll need to choose among the niches you’re most knowledgeable and passionate about, and start creating content. The knowledge part is essential because, as an ethical healthcare professional, you’ll want to be wary of peddling medical advice that may not be right for all viewers. You’ll also need to check if there are any conflicts with your current position or limitations around what you can discuss.

But once you get started, you can build a following on social media platforms by sharing insights, tips, and inspiration related to your nursing journey. You can then monetize your content by partnering with brands, products or services, as well as selling ads, affiliate marketing and even offering digital products such as e-books and online courses.

While building an audience takes time, creativity and the ability to engage an audience, successful wellness influencers can earn a significant income from their content.

10. Medical transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists play a crucial role in the healthcare industry by converting audio recordings of doctor’s notes, medical reports, and other documents into written form. 

To become a medical transcriptionist, you’ll need excellent listening and typing skills, as well as a strong understanding of medical terminology. You may also need to complete a certification program to demonstrate your proficiency.

Once you’re certified, you can find work through transcription services or by reaching out to healthcare providers directly. Leading medical transcriptionist services include:

11. Immunization nurse

Immunization nurses administer vaccines to patients in a variety of settings, including clinics, schools, and workplaces. As an immunization nurse, you can work on a part-time or per diem basis.

To become an immunization nurse, you’ll need a valid nursing license and experience administering vaccines. You may also need to complete additional training in vaccine storage, handling, and administration. Once you’re qualified, you can find work through staffing agencies, healthcare organizations, and public health departments.

12. Lactation Consultant

Lactation consultants are healthcare professionals who specialize in providing support and guidance to breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

As a lactation consultant, you’ll work with new mothers to help them overcome common breastfeeding challenges, such as nipple pain, low milk supply and latching difficulties. You’ll also educate mothers on proper breastfeeding techniques, positioning, and the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.

To become a certified lactation consultant, you’ll need to complete a comprehensive training program and pass a certification exam administered by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. The training program typically includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and counseling, as well as hands-on clinical experience.

Once certified, you can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practice. You may also choose to offer virtual consultations or provide in-home visits to new mothers.

13. Health coach

As a nurse health coach, you can help individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through personalized coaching and support. You can work with clients one-on-one or in group settings, providing guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and other lifestyle factors that impact health.

To start coaching, you must complete a certification program through organizations such as the National Society of Health Coaches or the American Holistic Nurses Association

Once you’re certified, you can start your own coaching practice or work with healthcare organizations and wellness companies.

Get your side hustle started

Whether you’re starting a side hustle to pay off loans, save up for a big purchase, or create more flexibility in your schedule, it’s important to make a plan. We recommend writing a one-page business plan, which will help you quickly formalize your idea and understand how to run your side hustle like a business. You can download our free one-page business plan template to get started now.

If your goal is to save up to start your own home health care business, learn how to write a home health care business plan, and then download our free home health care business plan sample, which you can customize to fit your own business plan.

Brought to you by

Create a professional business plan

Using AI and step-by-step instructions

Create Your Plan

Secure funding

Validate ideas

Build a strategy

Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.