A Guide to Side Hustles for Nurses and Work-from-Home Nursing Jobs

In today’s evolving job market, nurses are among the professionals who can take advantage of remote side hustles or full-time remote careers. While both are alluring, understanding their nuances is essential for finding the best fit.

A side hustle typically provides supplementary income that a nurse might pursue alongside their primary job. The biggest draw is flexibility, allowing nurses to earn extra without taking on a full-time position. 

Conversely, a full-time work-from-home job offers the comfort of working from a chosen space, whether at home, in a co-working space, or at a local coffee shop. This working arrangement can drastically reduce commute times and help improve work-life balance. However, it’s easy to blur the lines between professional and personal time in these scenarios.

Read on to explore the pros and cons of side hustles for nurses compared to full-time work-from-home nursing careers.

Side Hustles for Nurses

For nurses whose lifestyles thrive on dynamic challenges and diversified roles, side hustles are a great fit. Unlike a full-time remote position, a side hustle provides unparalleled flexibility, allowing professionals to craft their schedules around primary job commitments, family needs, or personal pursuits. This adaptability ensures that nurses can maximize their earning potential during their most productive hours, rather than being confined to a strict schedule.

One standout advantage of a side hustle is the potential for exploration. Nurses can dip their toes into diverse realms of the healthcare industry without the risk of leaving their primary jobs. This exploratory phase can help discover hidden passions, expand skill sets, or identify future career opportunities.

Side hustles require some entrepreneurial spirit. Rather than adhering to a predefined role in a larger system, nurses with side hustles might find themselves creating their own niche, setting their rates, and choosing their clients. This entrepreneurial venture can be both empowering and fulfilling, as they’re not just employees but, in many instances, visionaries of their mini-enterprises.

The temporary or project-based nature of many side hustles can lead to a continuously changing work environment, warding off the feeling of repetitiveness. Each new gig brings challenges, learning opportunities, and rewards, keeping the professional journey stimulating and enriching.

Work-from-Home Nursing Jobs

In contrast, nurses who crave routine but want to work from their own space are typically better suited for a full-time, work-from-home job. Working from home as a nurse carries the gravitas and stability of a traditional office job, coupled with the benefits of remote working.

One key factor that draws nurses to these roles is the consistent salary and benefits package. Unlike side hustles, which might provide sporadic or project-based pay, a full-time remote nursing position typically guarantees a stable monthly income, health benefits, paid time off, and sometimes even retirement contributions. This financial predictability can be immensely comforting, allowing nurses to plan long-term.

Another distinct advantage is the potential for structured career progression. Within an organization, even if it operates remotely, there are often clear paths for advancement, regular performance reviews, and opportunities for professional development. This goes hand-in-hand with being part of a larger team or organization. This sense of belonging can foster collaboration, provide networking opportunities, and create a support system, ensuring nurses never feel isolated despite working from home. Regular team meetings, virtual training sessions, and digital get-togethers can simulate the camaraderie of an office environment, minus the commute.

The delineation between work and leisure is also more apparent in a full-time remote role. While the workspace is at home, set work hours allow nurses to log off at the end of a shift, creating a mental separation that’s sometimes hard to achieve with entrepreneurial side hustles.

Lastly, there’s the credibility factor. Being associated with a reputable healthcare organization—even if it’s in a remote capacity—can lend more weight to a nurse’s resume than a string of side gigs. This affiliation can be a boon for future job applications or when seeking higher educational opportunities.

While side hustles offer flexibility and variety, they tend to appeal to people who are more entrepreneurial by nature. In contrast, full-time work-from-home roles in nursing provide stability, structured growth, a sense of community, clear work-life boundaries, and institutional credibility.

Transferable Skills: Why Nurses Shine in Remote and Side Hustle Roles

Nursing is more than just clinical expertise; it’s a blend of soft and hard skills honed through years of hands-on experience, patient interactions, and critical on-the-job decisions. Many of these skills are readily transferable, making nurses uniquely positioned to excel in remote work and side gigs. Here are several examples:

  • Communication: Nurses are skilled communicators, adept at explaining complex medical jargon to patients and their families. This ability, both in writing and verbally, is invaluable in remote roles where clear and concise communication is paramount.
  • Time management: In bustling healthcare settings, nurses often juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. This translates well to remote work environments that require efficiency, prioritization, and multi-tasking.
  • Adaptability: The dynamic nature of healthcare means nurses must be prepared for the unexpected, constantly adapting to new challenges. In side hustles or remote roles, adaptability comes in handy when faced with unexpected challenges, such as technology glitches, shifting deadlines, or changing client demands.
  • Attention to detail: Being a nurse requires acute attention to detail. Meticulousness is highly sought in any role requiring precision, be it in medical transcription, coding, or project management.
  • Empathy and interpersonal skills: Nurses are skilled at building rapport with patients, understanding their concerns, and offering comfort. In remote roles, such as customer service or consultancy, connecting, understanding, and responding to client needs is indispensable.
  • Problem-solving: Nurses encounter challenges daily that require quick thinking and effective solutions. This problem-solving ability can be pivotal in side gigs, especially when autonomously steering a project.
  • Technical proficiency: Modern nursing often interfaces with various medical technologies and software. This comfort level makes transitioning to remote tools, platforms, and software an easy transition for many nurses.
  • Ethical judgment and integrity: Nurses uphold a stringent code of ethics. This sense of responsibility and moral compass is reassuring to employers and clients, especially when the remote work environment requires trust.

While the backdrop of a hospital or clinic might seem vastly different from a home office, the core skills nurses cultivate throughout their careers make them versatile, valuable, and incredibly adept at navigating the intricacies of remote roles and side hustles.

The Best Side Hustles for Nurses

The wealth of knowledge and experience the nursing profession offers can translate into numerous side hustles. Here’s a glimpse of the diverse opportunities awaiting nurses:

  • Freelance medical writing: Nurses can harness their medical expertise to craft articles, blogs, and content tailored for healthcare websites, pharmaceutical entities, and renowned medical publications.
  • Healthcare consulting: Seasoned nurses have the hands-on experience and prowess to consult for healthcare firms, insurance conglomerates, or budding medical startups.
  • Telehealth nursing: The pandemic underscored the significance of telehealth. Nurses can seize this opportunity to provide medical consultations from the comfort of their homes, bridging the physical gap between patients and healthcare services.
  • Medical transcription: There is an escalating demand for medical transcription. With advancements in healthcare documentation, nurses can easily pivot to this remote role, transcribing medical dialogues with precision.
  • Legal nurse consulting: Serving as a nexus between healthcare and the legal system, nurses can play a role in medical lawsuits. Their expertise aids in deciphering medical records, elucidating intricate terminologies, and offering authoritative perspectives in legal settings.
  • Nursing tutoring: As academia shifts increasingly online, there’s a burgeoning demand for tutors. Nurses can impart their knowledge, assisting nursing students in grasping convoluted subjects and prepping for challenging exams.
  • Health and wellness coaching: Harnessing their medical acumen, nurses can become coaches, guiding clients toward their health and wellness milestones, making informed choices, and embracing healthier lifestyles.
  • Medical sales: A nurse’s in-depth understanding of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals is valuable in sales. They can represent companies, ensuring that products are pitched accurately and authentically.

Tips for Balancing a Side Hustle with a Nursing Career

Juggling the demands of a primary nursing role with a side hustle can be challenging. However, with strategic planning and self-awareness, it’s entirely feasible. Here are practical tips and resources to help you strike a balance without compromising your well-being:

  • Prioritize time management: This resource from the American Nurses Association provides several ways to help nurses stay on top of their to-do lists.
  • Set clear boundaries: In this blog, Georgetown University’s School of Nursing emphasizes the benefits of setting boundaries at work to promote mental and physical well-being.
  • Learn to say “no:” As a leader, it’s easy to feel like you have to say yes to everything; however, the best leaders know how and when to say no. Hawai’i Pacific University’s School of Nursing shares tips for nurse leaders on how to avoid burnout.
  • Allocate “me time:” Making time for yourself is critical to being successful as a nurse. Purdue Global shares the importance of self-care for nurses, and how to strike a balance in this career.

Balancing nursing with a side hustle requires finesse, but it’s achievable with conscious effort and the right strategies. Nurses can enjoy the best of both worlds with these guidelines, nurturing their passions while excelling in their primary profession.

Embracing Opportunities Beyond Traditional Boundaries

Diving into side hustles as a nurse can be a journey of personal enrichment, a chance to explore latent talents, learn new skills, and broaden one’s horizons. Nurses are equipped with a wealth of skills, insights, and experiences that can be used to step beyond traditional roles and explore new opportunities. It’s not just about supplemental income; it’s an investment in the future.

Sharlys Leszczuk

Sharlys Leszczuk

Guest Contributor

Sharlys Leszczuk is the founder and owner of Shar-Liss, a creative, deep-thinking, insights-driven communications consultancy. She built her career counseling high-technology companies of all sizes – from not-for-profits and pre-seed startups to Fortune 100s – on messaging, communications, and go-to-market strategies. Her specialties include ghostwriting, content development, corporate communications, creative strategy, events, and social media, with a focus on project management, operations, and executive relations.

Born and raised in North Jersey, Sharlys received bachelor’s degrees in public relations and global studies from Hofstra University on Long Island. After graduating, she spent nearly a decade working for New York City PR agencies. Then, with the remote work flexibility afforded by the pandemic, she took an interest in roadtripping, which ultimately led her to relocate to Oregon. She is an active member of her small coastal community, Pacific City, where she spends her free time exploring the outdoors and activities such as hiking, biking, paddleboarding, and kayaking.