8 Ways Nurses Can Make Extra Cash

BY CYNTHIA DUSSEAULT, republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine

Sometimes you need or want a bit more money than you’re earning from your regular salary.

It could be that you’re planning a special vacation, your child needs braces or you have to do some home renovations. Maybe you simply want to save a little more for your retirement.

Here are eight more things you can do to make your bank account more happy.

1. Extra Shifts
Let your supervisor or unit clerk know that you’re willing to take on extra shifts. Some hospitals have web-based systems that you can log onto and sign up for extra shifts. Some organizations that administer several hospitals have web-based systems that allow nurses to sign up for extra shifts at any hospital within that organization.

2. Per Diem Shifts
The easiest way to work “per diem,” which literally means on a day-by-day basis, is through a nurse staffing agency. Again, you can usually manage your schedule online through a web-based scheduling system. Some agencies offer incentives such as bonuses for referring other nurses to the agency. And agencies tend to pay very quickly—sometimes even daily.


3. Immunization Clinics
Just prior to flu season, you may be able to latch onto a temporary job administering flu shots at a seniors’ home, school, etc. Check with nurse staffing agencies and with your local health agency, and do an online search as well. Sites like indeed.comoften advertise such positions.

4. Call Center Nursing
You basically perform telephone triage, offering advice to callers on how to deal with medical situations. FONEMED is a national advice/triage line. Many insurance companies and private health clinics offer advice/triage lines to their clients. The Partners for Health 24/7 Nurse Advice Line, for example, is available to State of Tennessee Group Insurance Plan subscribers.

5. Medical Transcription
You’ll have to invest a little upfront to do this because you’ll want to take a course and become certified. But the beauty of medical transcription—transcribing digital voice recordings of dictated medical reports—is that you can work from home, make your own hours and do this from anywhere, as long as you have a computer and Internet access. There’s tons of information about this on the Internet, and you can take online courses.

6. Medical Coding
Again, you’ll have to invest a bit to become certified. Medical coding involves classifying medical procedures and diagnoses with the proper medical billing codes so that claims will be processed by insurance companies. An understanding of medical terminology is an asset, and as a nurse, you already have that. The jobs are typically in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices, but there opportunities to work from home as well. The Internet has plenty of information on becoming certified and finding jobs.

7. Teaching CPR and First Aid
You’ll have to become a certified instructor first. The American Red Cross, for example, offers instructor training, and the cost is minimal. Check for job postings in papers and on the Internet. Market your services to boards of education, daycares, private companies, etc.

8. Paid Online Surveys and Focus Groups
You’ll have to do some online legwork in the beginning, and sign up with as many sites as you can. Then the e-mails will start coming in, inviting you to complete surveys or participate in focus groups. People claim they can make a nice supplemental income this way, and it’s worth a shot if only because you pay nothing up front to join the various sites. This is online market research, and if you visit survey-n-more.com, you’ll get an idea of what it’s all about. Test the waters by signing up for Brand Institute, which focuses on healthcare research and seeks input from healthcare professionals such as nurses.

Of course, there’s no rule that states that, as a nurse, you can only earn extra cash from a nursing-related job. What you do is up to you. It’s just important to keep in mind that your main salary-earning nursing job is the one you have to focus on, so if you do decide to make a little extra cash by taking on something else, be wise with your time and energy. You don’t want to burn out from doing too much.

Do you have any tips on earning extra cash from a nurse-related job? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. As an RN I used to do Critical Care interfacility ambulance transports back in the 90’s. I decided to take EMS courses to help out more (as a volunteer firefighter, the department paid half of the course fees), & worked my way up to a Senior Medic position for the city’s EMS service. I worked 48 hour weekends (to keep my rank) there, & Mon-Fri in the OR (evening shift – paid more than day shift). There were many opportunities to work extra shifts as well; I did this for 10 years, & was able to put my 2 girls through college without student loans. Again…a nurse can build upon what we already know, & with some initial investment in courses, make some extra cash.

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