Earn A Little Extra Using RN Skills

December 12th, 2011


By , BSN, RN

Nursing is a career for multi-taskers. We organize, prioritize, assess and diagnose, and all while giving meds, straightening beds and charting—and don't forget the unit potluck. We work until our knees go weak, our stomachs growl and our feet give out. Nursing is a great career, fulfilling, and better paying now than ever before. However, sometimes we still need some extra dough.

If you are a nurse there are a myriad of opportunities out there to earn some extra cash. Your skills, your ability to multi-task, and your experiences with people, healthcare, and, yes, customer service make you marketable.

It may be a little late to find that extra job to earn extra cash for holiday presents, but, if you start looking now, you may find the perfect extra job to pay off your holiday debt or start saving for your next vacation.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started :

  1. Per diem, from the Latin for per day or for each day is the first job that comes to mind when you ask nurses how they earn extra money. There are independent and hospital in-house agencies that keep a stable of nurses who are looking for extra work. Just because people are on vacation, out sick, or working on a special project doesn't mean the patients can go without care. If you can work spur-of-the-moment, don't mind an early morning call on your day off or don't mind putting in a weekend here or there, the work is available.
  2. Home health nursing is another avenue for using your daily job skills in a slightly different market. Home health work is managed by agencies that are often looking for experienced nurses to visit patients in their own homes. Are you a wound care specialist? People at home need help with dressing changes. OB nurse? Homebound, bedbound ladies need checkups and monitoring. These are just a couple of examples. It's a job that gets you out of your house and into someone else's.
  3. This one is kind of seasonal, but I've done it myself. Check the help wanted ads starting in September and you will see a need for flu shot nurses—and we all know how to give an injection. With the advent of flu season, community centers, corporate offices, churches, pharmacies, and grocery stores all sign up to provide flu shot clinics. Someone qualified is needed to man the needles. With a little paperwork and instruction you are off and sticking. You can work as much or as little as you want for several months each year.
  4. Chart reviews and physicals for insurance companies are another area to look into if you need some extra cash. The jobs are just as they describe and nurses are perfect for the work. We write the charts, know the language, and giving a physical is Nursing 101 in school. Check out the employment pages of your favorite insurance company to fill out an application. You work from home on chart reviews and the companies who handle the physicals set up your appointments for you. Not bad work if you can get it.
  5. Any nurse who has spoken with a patient over the phone has practiced telehealth nursing. It's not a new job, but, with today's technology, nurses can do even more. You can see the patient on Skype, monitor readings in real time, look at photos of a wound or injury, and provide appropriate assistance and recommendations. Telehealth nursing is practiced in the home, healthcare clinic, doctor’s office, prisons, hospitals, telehealth nursing call centers, and mobile units. Telephone triage, remote monitoring, and home care are the fastest growing applications.

These are just a few areas where extra work can be found and dollars banked. Don't get into holiday debt, but if the credit cards are starting to smoke there are ways to earn a couple extra bucks to pay that season of giving off sooner.

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